Negative wants are phrases I come across every day when talking to patients, they are a pattern of thought that damages your ability to achieve and takes your eye off any real goals that you may have, instead a negative wants focus your mind on what you don’t want.
So you are probably asking what are negative wants ?
Well that’s simple, negative wants are when you ask someone what they want and they reply by telling you what they don’t want.
An example of how negative wants effect you life would be; imagine if you are sitting in the back of a taxi and the taxi driver asks you where you want to go?
If you then tell the taxi drive where you didn’t want to go, this would be an example of a negative want, and typically this wouldn’t really get you anywhere.
The importance of this article is simply to make you aware of negative wants, now you can notice them when others are saying what they don’t want and you can notice when you are using a negative wants too and perhaps then and most importantly you can get into the habit of turning what you don’t want around into a stated positive goal of something that you do want.
A negative want focuses your mind on something negative.
Patients typically say things like
“I don’t want to be in pain”, or
“I don’t want to be overweight”.
Negative wants focus the mind on the problem and not the solution, in doing this the only resource the mind can find is how to do the problem and not how to do the solution.
A negative want makes you think and dwell on the negative things around the problem and this is exactly what you don’t want to do.
The unconscious mind cannot differentiate between a positive and a negative, when I say “don’t think about the purple elephant”, even though I said “don’t” you still think of the purple elephant.
What compounds the problem with negative wants is that this negativity puts the brain straight into the problem, when you are in the problem your brain automatically looks for reasons to keep you there which creates a negative thought spiral which only goes down.
An example of this would be when someone says they “don’t want to be over weight” it does take long before they are also asking themselves, what that means, why they are overweight, how bad it feels and how your life will be in the future if you continue to be overweight.
Imagine how bad you would feel, imagine how low your self esteem would become and how deep seated your problem would become if you got stuck in your problem tool long, this is why you need to notice and stop using negative wants.
So from now on let’s nip the negative wants in the bud, let’s turn them around into a “positive want” and a goal with a clear outcome, with this you will find your mind will instinctively looks for ways to achieve your goals, you will see solutions, you feel better and more positive.
Negative wants are a pattern of thought people get into the habit of using which trap you inside your problem, the trick is to stop noticing them and instead start saying to your self what you do want.