An enormous part of our toxic thoughts are our self-judgments. But to truly become more positive in our thoughts, we must begin by accepting who we are.

Wishing we were skinnier, happier, in a better job or living in a different house is a waste of energy. The energy that could be spent working on what we can improve.

The only way to be the person you want to be is to accept who you are and take actions daily to support your growth.

Use these five tips to eliminate negative thought patterns and get your mind straight.

1 – Question Your Negative Thoughts

A thought is just our way of talking to ourselves. Since our thoughts influence our lives, it is extremely important to shape our thoughts so they’re positive, encouraging and motivational.

By questioning your negative thoughts, you are looking for evidence as to their truth. If they are true, then you can begin to train your mind to stay positive. More than likely though, they are false. And it is when you prove to yourself that they are not valid, you can begin to let them go and move on.

2 – Talk to Yourself

When you are surrounded by supportive friends, you’ll often hear things like “I know you can do it” or “It’s awesome that you are doing that.” When we talk to ourselves though, it’s probable that you might hear “I’m not sure about this,” “I hope I can do it” or “What am I doing?”

Listen to the messages you’re telling yourself. Your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between a serious thought or one said as a way of not bragging.

Eventually, after hearing the same kind of statements over and over, you begin to believe them. This kind of self-talk, even if not real in your mind, will result in a decrease in self-confidence and add to a negative self-image.

If you aren’t cheering yourself on, then how can you expect others to support you? Create a few affirmations about yourself and start your morning off with a look in the mirror and a good conversation. It is amazing how saying a few kind words to yourself will change your outlook on the day.

3 – Release The Need for Approval

Our need for approval plays an important role in our thoughts. It kills our ability to think positively and prevents us from our journey. Instead, we think and act based on other people’s agendas.

The need for approval is negatively impacting our lives – we procrastinate, avoid doing important things, feel anxiety and fear, and get stuck in worry – all in the quest to gain approval.

Make the decision to stop seeking approval and trying to be someone you’re not. Stop feeling the pressure to do something you don’t believe is right for you. Stop doing things with the influence of someone else’s agenda. And finally, stop hiding how you feel.

4 – Think Bigger

It’s common to underestimate ourselves by setting small goals. In other words, we hedge our bets on success by setting goals that are attainable. This mindset is more harmful than helpful.

Pushing ourselves tests our strength and resolve and allows us to continue to grow. The world has infinite resources available, and when you think big, you begin to tap into the possibility.

Michelangelo said:

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

Thinking big means thinking beyond what you can see, setting extremely high standards and looking at challenges in terms of opportunities instead of barriers. Thinking big means knowing anything is possible.

5 – Accept Yourself as a Work in Progress

Start embracing the fact that you and your life are a work in progress. Face it, you will never be at a place when everything is the way you want it to be, and all of your dreams came true. That’s just the way life is.

Think about it. What if everything were perfect? Wouldn’t you be a bit bored?

Sure it might be great for a period, but how would you feel if you had nothing to dream about or no goals to achieve? Just because you are a work in progress doesn’t mean you are not good enough today. It doesn’t mean your life is any less meaningful because it isn’t perfect.

Being a work in progress means you have hopes and dreams and want to do better tomorrow. If you recognize life as a work in progress, it makes it easier to accept your life as it is today knowing something better is on the horizon.

Final Thoughts on Eliminating Negative Thought Processes

The big takeaway here is that you are in control. You can choose to be positive, or you can accept the status quo. Frankly, it is easier to stay in a negative mindset than to do the work necessary to move back into a positive space. Just know, it gets easier with practice and the rewards are more than worth the effort.