Price Pritchett is a veteran leadership consultant.

He says eliminating negative thoughts does more good than positive thinking. While he believes that optimism and positivity are great practices, he says studies show that people who mindfully attack their negative thinking clear the paths to further progress.

Pritchett says there are Five C’s to negative thinking:

  • Complaining – Pritchett notes that we complain most about things that are out of our control. To eliminate complaints and focus on improvement is an excellent redirection of energy.
  • Criticism – What role does criticism play in your self-talk? Are you half-empty or half-full? Do you find the good or notice the defect? Do you keep it to yourself, quietly downgrading, or do you find ways to share your observations in a way that encourages and improves?
  • Concern – Pritchett says concern is just old-fashioned worrying. If you inventoried your worries, you’d find that most don’t materialize. Minimize concern.
  • Commiserating – The old phrase “misery loves company” comes to mind here. If you’re going to get into the ditch with someone, don’t linger there. Give a hand and a good word. Help them to a better place.
  • Catastrophizing – Negative thinking makes negative events worse than they are. When you make an event a catastrophe, it takes you off your feet and off your game. Don’t stay there. You can get up. You can step ahead.

This list should help you analyze the degree to which negative thinking has a hold on you. Break through it. It’s how you “happen to the world.”