I started this challenge yesterday and I have to say, it's tougher than I imagined. The "no" itself is probably the easiest to eliminate, oddly enough. It's the "don't" and "can't" and the like that are a bit tougher. I notice it particularly when I write. It's amazing how negative our vocabulary is - or at least mine. I wonder if that was always the case, or if we have gotten more negative over the years. Were our conversations always filled with doubt and dismissal? Or have we been taught that to be positive, to believe heartily in situations, other people, and ourselves, is unrealistic, and that we'll only be disappointed? I'm inclined to think the latter, though I'd be curious to hear from those who have lived longer than myself and perhaps watched more of a transition.
For those of us with mental health conditions, I believe this negativity can have an even more drastic effect. If we are already dealing with anxiety, depression, or panic, for instance, the focus on "no" and "can't" and "shouldn't" can only exacerbate these. For instance, if I have come out of a depressive cycle, and I'm feeling positive about life (I don't tend to have the "delusions of grandeur" that is suggested in cycling systems, I just feel positive and energetic), and I'm constantly hearing how I can't or shouldn't do something, that an idea that's exciting to me is not a good one, it squelches me. Even in my most positive state, I start to feel worthless, like I have my head in the clouds and the success I hoped to have is a delusion after all. I'm sure this is the same for others. And even for those without a condition...who wants to have their ideas put down, and their dreams admonished?
I truly feel that focusing on the negative brings it to us. If, for example, all I keep thinking is "I hope I don't mess this up", I'm so fixated on the "messing up", that my brain tends to ignore the "don't" portion. It seems that inevitably, the negative thing I'm so focused on occurs. So if, instead, I think, "I hope I (or I'm going to or I plan to) do a great job with this", my brain hones in on the "great job", and I'm more likely to accomplish whatever it is - because that's where my energy is being placed. Obviously, there are possible exceptions. Natural disasters, freak accidents, and this kind of thing. Overall though, I've found that the more positive energy I place into my thought, the more positive the outcome, and the better my overall mood. So, I'm excited about this challenge, and I feel I'm up to it. I'd welcome anyone who wants to take it with me.