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New year, new life, real you: 3 steps to banish your negativity in 2017

The New Year is always a time for reflection and forward planning. It is the time of year when evaluating our lives feels more natural than at other times of the year.

As one year draws to a close and another begins it is a perfect opportunity for us to slow down, take stock and make changes. As we decide what to change, we often focus on what makes us unhappy, what causes us stress, or appears problematic. The challenge is our negativity about the situation or deserving a new life can block our way forward, creates uncertainty, or causes paralyses. So we end up doing nothing.

As you change, your life changes. Rather than look at negativity as an obstacle, it is better to see it a fuel for change and one that can motivate you to make important changes so that you reveal the real you, the you that is often hidden away.

Clayton John Ainger, award-winning author of The Ego’s Code (£15.99, Panoma Press) shares why negativity is a powerful message from you, to you – a message to learn from rather than supress you. Below, Clayton provides three quick tips to help you start banishing your negativity in 2017.

1. Change the meaning of your negativity – Negativity is a natural and normal part of life, and is a valuable resource for change. By treating negativity as innately bad or wrong, we give it more power over us and increase its impact on our lives. Changing the meaning you give negativity and seeing it as something to serve you, rather than hinder you, allows you to approach uncomfortable and difficult situations in a new way, which enhances your ability to engage more fully with life.

2. Be aware, acknowledge and act on your negativity – It’s easy to allow ourselves to feel the weight of negativity. When we do this, our negativity anchors us to the past, causing us to literally relive our past in the here and now. In that moment, we are prevented from making any true progress in life. It becomes easier to bail out and accept failure rather than to push through and pursue success.

Instead of dismissing negativity or sweeping it aside, become aware of it, because awareness pulls you out of the past into the present. Acknowledge and express gratitude for your negativity. You are about to learn something about yourself to help you in life.

You then have a choice; you can react in a way that could harm you or someone else, or you can respond by consciously acting in a way that serves you for your highest good. It is this state of being that makes lasting changes, not short-term fixes.

3. Set yourself up to ‘WIN’ – Before I go into challenging situations, or have difficult conversations that may trigger my negativity I use my ‘WIN’ technique to calm my mind, calm my body and calm my emotions; I focus on my intention and outcome so that I feel confident to serve others and express my truth. Here is my WIN technique:

W: Walk and breathe: Deep, controlled breathing helps you to calm down, bringing clarity about the situation. I always walk in a figure-eight; to access both sides of my brain – creativity and logic – and align my head and heart, powering up my intuition.

I: Intention: As you walk, focus on your intention and outcome from the situation. I spend a lot of time front-of-room speaking, engaging with senior leaders in business, working with customers from all walks of life so being clear about my intention and how I can serve my clients or my audience at the highest level is of the highest importance to me. Clarity and certainty of my outcomes brings confidence, puts me in the best mindset to help my clients win.

N: Nail it: Deliver, succeed and celebrate! So many people quickly move on to the next thing without thinking about what they just achieved. Celebrating your achievements helps you to get a sense of your real value and real self-worth. When you value yourself, others will automatically do the same.