Find Mediators Near You:

7 Ways to Get Rid of Unhealthy Mindsets

An unhealthy mindset is a common vice we all struggle to get rid of. Tips like acknowledging the negative thoughts, establishing the root cause, taking responsibility, fighting self-doubt, second-guessing, and needing approval can make the process more productive. 

Are you struggling with unhealthy mindsets? Don’t beat yourself up; you are not alone. Everyone deals with negative feelings, some more than others. This doesn’t mean you are in the clear, though; you need to find a way to deal with the mindset since, if left unattended, it could spiral and attract more, resulting in a hyper-negative mindset.

Your mental attitude defines how you see the world. When the unhealthy mindset takes center stage, it can significantly impact your relationships, career, and physical and mental health, to name a few faculties. Therefore, finding ways to get rid of the mindsets is critical. Among the strategies you can employ to get rid of the negative mindsets includes:

Tips for dealing with unhealthy mindsets

1.    Embrace the thoughts

Embracing an unhealthy mindset sounds counterproductive. After all, you are trying to eliminate the mindset. However, remember that not every negative thought is bad, and the more you focus on eliminating them, the easier it can spiral. Acknowledge that you have negative thoughts; this is half the battle to turning them into positive things.

Once you embrace the thoughts, you can process them consciously and deliberately rather than struggling to suppress them. Follow hacks such as setting a break for the thoughts, including measures like writing them down and throwing them away or burning the paper. It may seem childish that you’d expect the thoughts to dissipate with the paper gone, but it can do wonders as you let them out instead of bottling them up.

Embracing an unhealthy mindset allows you to acknowledge and work through them by deliberately planning solutions. You’ll be equipped to tell when the thoughts hit, know how to ensure they don’t distract you, and, by efficiently dealing with them, avoid a spiral that can trap you in a long-term negative mindset.

2.    Own your shortcomings

Do you have a blameless mindset, meaning you’re always making excuses or finding someone to blame for a particular result? If you don’t own up to your good and the bad, you’ll hardly make notable progress. You don’t take personal responsibility, meaning that acknowledging and dealing with the unhealthy mindset won’t be manageable.

Owning your success and the areas you aren’t doing well can help deal with the negative mindset. You can focus and lean more into your strengths and leverage them to improve on your weaknesses. This means you’ll stop making excuses moving forward. This allows you to take on whatever comes your way. As you notice progress and positive outcome, your attitude will change, making it easier to stop the negativity.

Owning up makes your successes more fulfilling since you’ll spend more time savoring the moment. Practicing gratitude for the wins also helps change your mindset since you can treat the mistakes as a learning opportunity, not necessarily a bad experience; hence you won’t focus more on negative things.

Taking responsibility isn’t just about shortcomings; it lets you enjoy your successes, which can help get rid of unhealthy mindsets. In addition, you can take your efforts a notch higher by investing in aspects that make it easier to focus on the positives. Self-talk and setting reminders where you receive notifications affirming your successes, for example, could make it easier to avoid focusing on the negative things, even when you are having a tough time getting through a task.

3.    Be your biggest fan

Are you always looking for approval from others? An approval mindset can be destructive. It means you’ll always be looking for validation, and if a colleague or a friend doesn’t give you the thumbs up, your thoughts could interpret it as a failure. Seeking approval isn’t necessarily bad, but it shouldn’t take center stage if you want to live a fulfilled life.

The energy you spend seeking reassurance could be used to improve instead of self-doubt that stalls your progress. The self-doubt mindset stops you from excelling, even in areas you can comfortably cruise. You only set yourself up for failure when you doubt your every move.

Self-doubt deals a significant blow to your confidence. Those minor decisions feel like you are missing vital information, yet you have everything you need. Thinking you are incapable or don’t have vital information lowers your confidence, a significant component of success in one’s life.

Did you know that a confident person doing something the wrong way has a better chance of success than someone with all the information and skills but is doubtful, hence not confident enough? That’s how important it is to stop seeking approval and focus on improving, not perfecting your undertaking, dialing down on your self-doubt.

Follow a simple psychology today mantra; the more you seek validation, the more you lose focus on the task at hand, time that could be spent improving your weaknesses. Also, remember that what others perceive as significant progress may not necessarily apply in your situation. Moreover, you can’t control what others think, and their input may be biased considering their situation.

Be your biggest fan, and strive to prove to yourself that you can achieve what you set your mind to do. When you are your biggest fan, you are the only validation you need, which improves your confidence and lets you excel.

4.    Avoid the second-guessing habit

Consulting your previous decisions can help, but making a habit of it can slow your progress. Second-guessing is high on the list when considering the five key unhealthy mindsets. Major indecisiveness turns minor decisions with little or no consequence into serious concerns.

While reflecting and second-guessing can sometimes help you catch on to areas where you’ve made errors, it usually does more harm than good when it becomes a habit. You’ll spend more time reviewing a small detail just to be certain, dragging your progress.

Besides the lost time, second-guessing habits also impact your confidence. You’ll hardly trust yourself to do something right, and key unhealthy mindsets make it hard to push past the slightest hiccup. The worst part; you can easily get caught up in the situation of a worst-case scenario.

The “what ifs” of the worst-case scenarios make it hard to stay focused on your tasks. You are always thinking of what could go wrong instead of how you can do better. Stop second-guessing and reflecting on your past decisions and the outcomes, and focus instead on the matter at hand. This is a surefire way to get things done. As you make good progress, you’ll quickly get rid of the unhealthy mindset.

5.    Reach for a positive mindset

Fighting negative thoughts can be overwhelming, especially when you are stuck in a challenging situation. Reaching for positivity, such as things you love and appreciate. For instance, if the task is tipping you towards a negative mindset, reach for the reasons you love and enjoy your job.

The conscious effort to tap into positive feelings can dial down the negativity, allowing you to control the situation better. This makes dealing with overwhelming tasks more productive since the negative mindsets won’t send you into chaos.

6.    Address the root cause

A negative mindset could be rooted in experiences and beliefs from an early age. A path destined to fail will always be characterized by challenges, some of which aren’t real but stem from a negative mindset. Addressing your thoughts’ root causes can help you eliminate the negatives and adopt the right mindset. What’s the deeper-seeded reason behind the negative thoughts? By establishing and addressing the root causes, you can quickly get rid of the thoughts and break the pattern.

7.    Have a routine geared for success

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? All our choices stem from those small and seemingly insignificant aspects, such as what you have for breakfast. Therefore, a routine can significantly impact your thoughts. For instance, what plans do you have for the future, and how do you intend to get there?

Simple goals and a realistic schedule can help you stay on track. This way, your choices won’t be as spontaneous but driven by your goals. This improves your success rate, especially with accumulated small wins helping you actualize your goals.

What’s your self-worth? If you believe you aren’t worth much, you are deep in a negative mindset. Your overall happiness and success are significantly reliant on your mindset. Therefore, as you strive to improve the quality of your life, your mindset is the most important aspect to revisit. Good-quality friends, self-belief, and focusing on improvement rather than perfection are great starting points. While the tough times can linger, with the right strategy, you won’t let negativity define your progress and future.

The choices begin with investing in self-care. You can’t thrive if your physical or mental health is getting in your way. Leveraging tools like meditation and resources such as Theraheal can help you strike a balance. This makes your quest to control and eliminate negative thoughts more manageable. Once your mindset is changed, you’ve won half the battle as you strive to improve and enjoy a good-quality life.


Lia Medvedeva

Lia Medvedeva is a meditation coach at She is also an expert in meditation practices, well-being, personal growth, and self-motivation. Lia uses extra professional meditation guidelines for helping people heal and find inner peace. MORE

Featured Members

View all

Read these next


Timing is Everything Again

As I was finishing this article and coming up with a title. I realized that I had written an article entitled,  “Timing is Everything” in 2009. Not surprisingly, timing is...

By Oran Kaufman

Juliana Birkhoff: Mediating with Multiple Parties – Video

Juliana Birkhoff talks about convening with political decision makers, asking them what they want from parties who will be affected by an outcome before they bring those parties to the...

By Juliana E. Birkhoff Ph.D.

Mediator Ethics and Professionalism: A Recipe for Success

Several years ago in Houston, I attended an interesting presentation on agreement writing and other mediation issues for advocates. The difference between the two presenters struck me enough to still...

By Josefina Rendon