Momentum is a double-edged sword; when things are going well and life is heading in a positive direction, you feel unstoppable. Inspiration, ideas and solutions seem to flow to you, and everything feels that impact – your mood, how you interact with people around you and the results you achieve.
However, when several things go wrong at once, it can mean a shift in momentum. Then it may feel like you can't do anything right, and this can be reflected in your attitude, which affects results, which affects your attitude, which affects results…
This is the downward spiral and once you're in it, turning things around can seem difficult.
So, here are some simple tips to pull yourself out of a rut, move from the negative spiral and back into positive momentum.
1. Understand the Spiral
A positive or negative spiral is momentum based on evidence. You've seen yourself succeed or fail, and as a result, have decided that this is the way things work. Your subconscious notices opportunities to continue the momentum – be that positive or negative – and acts upon those opportunities. It does this because it cannot differentiate between positive and negative self-talk – it thinks whatever you are saying to yourself is what you want.
“I can't do anything right,” sounds like a request to do more things wrong.
“Nobody loves me,” seems like you are asking for ways to avoid love from those around you.
“Why can't I ever do anything right?” is a request to continue to take action that leads to failure.
Many experts liken the brain to a computer and the commands you send it to a form of programming language – the computer itself doesn't interpret whether a command is positive or negative; it just acts on the information it's given and follows commands. Throwaway comments that seem to be meaningless are still interpreted as commands by your brain, including humorously mocking yourself and blaming your mistakes on your lack of ability, or stupidity.
However, simply being positive isn't the answer either, because when you are feeling negative it can feel almost impossible to pull yourself out of the downward spiral, and positive affirmations can seem repugnant. So, we interrupt existing patterns by changing the way we're thinking.