List of Negative Thoughts (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

I'll never forget the first time I realized that the way I was talking to myself had a direct impact on every aspect of my life. At times, we can be our own worst enemy, and our internal dialogue and negative thoughts can be extremely limiting. Like most people, I was oblivious to this seemingly obvious fact.

Eventually, I realized that the negative thoughts I was having were not facts at all, but rather self-imposed limitations that I was imposing on myself, which I could also remove. Over the last decade, it has become abundantly clear to me that the majority of us have very similar negative thoughts. Here are some of the most common negative thoughts we all have, as well as some alternative thoughts.

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1. I Am Insufficient

Have you ever felt like you weren't good enough? When we believe we aren't good enough, we tend to drown in self-doubt and pity. It can be a sign of low self-esteem, but the truth is that everyone is sufficient.

You may not have the skills or tools to achieve your goals right now, but you are certainly good enough and deserving of what you desire in life. Is it true that if you have a $10 bill and it falls into a puddle of mud, it loses its value? Certainly not! So, why do you believe you are less valuable because of what you have accomplished in life?

Instead, consider the following:

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Instead of telling yourself, “I'm not good enough,” tell yourself that you, like everyone else, are deserving of everything you want in life. Concentrate on the aspects of yourself that you like right now. You can even make a written list and keep it somewhere you can see it every day.

2. I'm Not Able to Do It

One of the most limiting words you can tell yourself is “can't.” As Henry Ford once stated,

“Whether you believe you can or cannot, you are correct.”

If you tell yourself that you can't, you're telling your mind and brain that you can't, and that's what you'll get. If you have already told your mind that something is impossible, it will not try.

Instead, consider the following:

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Instead of focusing on what you think you can't do, tell yourself, “I can do whatever I set my mind to.” While we all have limitations, believing in one's own abilities is the first step toward achieving one's short and long-term life goals.

And sometimes you just need a little push to get going. Get the Instant Motivation Boost Worksheet, a free worksheet that will guide you to do the little things that will give you an instant motivation boost. Download the free worksheet here.

3. I'm Not as Lucky as Others

This is usually the result of believing that other people's lives are better and they are luckier, and that this is what separates you from them. “Perfect” does not exist, and there is frequently a lot of effort behind that perceived “luck.”

It is very disempowering to believe that life will never provide you with good things; however, if you practice gratitude, you will notice that you already have good things all around you.

Instead, consider the following:

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Rather than focusing on how lucky others appear to be, tell yourself, “Good things can and will happen to me.” Use gratitude to start noticing all of the good things you would normally overlook. When was the last time you were thankful for the roof over your head, the food in your fridge, or your comfortable bed?

4. I doubt I'll ever…

This is true for whatever you believe will become your reality. Every day, the decisions you make and the habits you develop shape your future. Limiting yourself with negative thoughts can sabotage your opportunities.

What if you believed you could do what you really wanted and have the experiences you desired instead? It is not so much about getting it right the first time as it is about trying. Don't give up before you've even given yourself a chance.

Instead, consider the following:

Don't put yourself down with negative thought patterns that tell you you'll never be able to do something. Instead, tell yourself, “I am certain I will…” Even if you don't feel confident right now, feeding your brain positive thoughts will gradually boost your confidence over time.

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5. I Ought to Be Better Than I Am

Using the word “should” in this context turns this into a truly negative thought, making one feel less than they are. How often do you tell yourself, “I should be smarter, more disciplined, more productive, etc.”? Remember how you felt right after that?

Instead, consider the following:

Tell yourself, “I'm trying to change what I don't like.” Everyone wishes to improve aspects of themselves, and this is certainly possible; however, it requires approaching these things with self-love and patience.

Instead of telling yourself what you “should” be like or do, set goals for the things you are unhappy with. Change the things you want to change, and eliminate limiting modals from your vocabulary.

Here are some things you can do to start bettering yourself.

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6. I Do Not Have Enough Strength

It's normal to feel like you don't have enough strength at times. We're all human, and I don't know anyone who doesn't feel vulnerable at times. What matters is the discussion you have with yourself afterwards. How can you expect to feel if you keep reinforcing the fact that you don't feel strong with negative thoughts?

Instead, consider the following:

Instead of focusing on your flaws, tell yourself that you are strong enough to face the challenges ahead of you, and encourage yourself to find the strength you require in that moment.

Nobody Gives a Damn

It may appear that you are alone and that no one cares at times, but I am convinced that there are people who are thinking about you who you are unaware of. People care; however, not everyone expresses their feelings in the same way. It's not nice to feel as if no one cares, so stop focusing on it and assuming what other people are feeling when you don't actually know. Instead, shift your focus to something that makes you feel better.

Instead, consider the following:

Rather than assuming that no one cares about you, remind yourself that there are people in your life who do. To combat your negative thoughts, do your best to cultivate those relationships and accept the love that others are willing to give.

I'm Not Smart Enough

This is a very broad statement, but many people say it frequently and then feel bad about themselves. What exactly are you not good at? I'm sure if I asked you to name some areas in which you excel, you could if you really tried.

Not everyone is brilliant and flawless in all areas, and this is what distinguishes us all. If you believe you are lacking in a particular area of knowledge, instead of thinking negatively, make time to study and learn whatever it is that you desire so that you do not feel this way again.

Instead, consider the following:

Instead of believing that you are not intelligent, remind yourself that you are intelligent in your own unique way and that you are capable of expanding your knowledge in any field you choose. Lifelong learning can be a goal that you strive for on a regular basis.

9. I'm a failure if I don't do well.

Holding high expectations for yourself and basing your self-worth on your performance isn't fair. If you want to achieve different results in life, you must take risks. Don't be afraid of failing; the real failure is not trying at all.

Instead, consider the following:

When confronted with a difficult situation or potential risk, tell yourself, “I am going to try; I am not afraid of failing; that is not what is important.” Even if you “fail,” you will learn something about the world and yourself, and nothing is ever truly a failure as long as that is the case.

10. Harmful Things Will Occur

Thinking negatively in general means believing that whatever happens will most likely be the worst-case scenario. What would it be like if you instead imagined the best-case scenario? Our thoughts, both positive and negative, are extremely powerful, and it is common to use visualization as a technique to imagine the best-case scenario.

You influence your results whether you imagine the worst or best case scenario. Stop worrying about what you don't want to happen and start worrying about what you do want to happen.

Instead, consider the following:

Instead of expecting bad things to happen when you try something new, try expecting the best. You'll aim higher this way, and even if you fall a little short, you'll still get farther than you were before.

Final Thoughts

We all have negative thoughts now and then. However, if the majority of your thoughts are negative, you will be unhappy at the end of the day. Our thoughts have a direct impact on how we feel and, as a result, what we do in life.

If you're feeling down and overwhelmed by negative thoughts, you should consider speaking with a mental health professional to help boost your mental health and get you back on track toward positivity.

Don't limit yourself or what you can achieve. Change your results by mastering your thoughts.

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You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.

No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.

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