Having constant negative thoughts pouring through your mind will quickly put a damper on your creativity, and tends to get in the way of realizing your true potential. While we all know that being more positive and optimistic in our lives will help us find success, but many struggles to make the change from a negative to a positive mindset.

Here are five simple keys to help you overcome negativity and change your life.

Recognize When You Are Using Negative Thoughts
Often, when we are being ridiculed, facing disappointment, or not wanting to put in the effort, we’ll use negative thoughts to protect ourselves. When we think negative thoughts, like “It won’t work,” or “I can’t do that,” we are permitting ourselves to play it safe. When you catch yourself thinking negatively and talking yourself out of action, take a step back and remind yourself that the most successful people have also faced failure. If you are talking yourself out of something that you want, take the time to make a list of why you want it. The list of positives will help to change your focus and keep you moving forward with less fear.

Use Black and White Thinking
Many people will tell you to just “think positive.” However, it isn’t always that easy. When you find yourself stuck in a cycle of negative thinking, or are terrified of a negative outcome, positive thoughts often ring as untrue. When you find yourself worrying about a negative result, take a piece of paper and pen and write down the worst thing that can happen. Then, write down the best thing that could happen. Then, think of some middle ground outcomes. When you create a variety of potential outcomes, you will become less emotional, which will help you think more clearly.

Become an Observer of Your Thoughts
Doesn’t it always seem much easier to see and solve someone else’s problems than your own? You can recognize when your sister is getting all worked up over nothing, or that losing sleep over a meeting isnÕt going to help. However, when it is your mind dealing with negative thoughts, itÕs a lot tougher to see and stop. When you decide you want to be more positive, you need to become more conscious of what you are thinking. When you can step back and analyze things as an observer, you will see a shift in your focus, and you’ll be more mindful of how you are looking at the situation.

Being able to focus more on positive thoughts will make you happier and more optimistic about your life. This will allow you to experience more joy and well-being.