You Cannot Succeed With a Negative Mindset


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When negative thoughts dominate your thinking, you shut down or stifle the amazing powers of your prefrontal cortex, your brain’s highly evolved and very powerful executive command and control center.

The prefrontal cortex is the most advanced part of the human brain. It’s incredible power is derived from it’s connection to other parts of the brain. The prefrontal cortex uses spindle neurons (neurons with a long axon and long dendrites) to connect to the limbic system and the brain stem.

Because of this master connection, the prefrontal cortex has access to the treasure trove of information that exists throughout the entire brain.

Negativity shuts down or interferes with this master, brain-wide connection.

When you are in a negative mindset, the amygdala, part of the limbic system, overpowers the prefrontal cortex.

Example: Sometimes car accident victims go into shock. When the police or emergency service personnel arrive at the scene they are trained in dealing with individuals who are in this state of shock. Those in a state of shock are unable to communicate with the outside world. This is because they are still under the complete control of the amygdala, which has effectively shut down the prefrontal cortex and taken control of the brain. It’s a survival mechanism, intended to  eliminate the need to ponder what to do in emergency situations. The amygdala takes the prefrontal cortex offline, and automates what you do in emergency situations. It is the seat of your fight or flight control system. It’s there for a reason – survival during life threatening emergencies.

Obviously shock is the extreme effects of the amygdala taking control of the brain and shutting down the prefrontal cortex. But, a negative mindset does the same thing, albeit, in a watered-down sense.

A negative mindset allows the amygdala to subordinate the prefrontal cortex, effectively cutting off or short circuiting prefrontal cortex access to other parts of the brain.

Negativity hands over control of your brain from the prefrontal cortex to the amygdala, thus muting or disabling your prefrontal cortex.

When your prefrontal cortex is disabled, you are operating without the most powerful, most evolved part of our brain.

Success is hard, even with your prefrontal cortex operating at full capacity. But success is impossible when your prefrontal cortex has been disabled by negativity.

This is why it is no coincidence that so many self-made millionaires are often described as having a very upbeat, optimistic, positive mental outlook.

Positivity unleashes the incredible powers of the prefrontal cortex, thus increasing your odds of success.

In order to put an end to negative thinking, you must make positivity a daily habit. Here’s how:

  1. Meditation
  2. Positive Affirmations
  3. Five-Year Future Journal
  4. Vision Board
  5. Gratitude List
  6. Love


  • Sit in a chair and get comfortable
  • Close eyes
  • Feel your eyes relax, then your whole head, then your neck, then your shoulders, then your chest, then your arms, then your waist, then your legs and then your feet
  • Take thirty deep breathes and see the numbers in your head. Let all thoughts drift by one after the other
  • Visualize your big dream coming true. Visualize all of your goals being realized. Visualize your ideal life, with your ideal home, ideal job, your income, your good health. See yourself happy and successful
  • Ask for help in overcoming any obstacles that are in your way
  • Open eyes and say “I am happy”

Positive Affirmations

Affirmations need to be in the present tense and represent a future state of being. For example: “I Am our company’s #1 salesman”.  Affirmations only work when they are tied to your goals or your dreams.

Five-Year Future Journal

This is an entry you write in your Journal, if you have one, that is five years into the future. It lists all of the major goals you accomplished over the past five years, the things you acquired during that period, the wealth you accumulated during this period etc. It paints a picture of your ideal life, five years from now.

Vision Board

Your Vision Board is a visual representation of all of the the things you desire in life. Each dream you desire is represented by a picture.

Gratitude List

Each day write down at least three things that happened yesterday, that you are grateful for. Gratitude is the gateway to positivity. It shifts your thinking from lacking to abundance by forcing you focus on what you have, not what you lack.


Love is the most powerful positive emotion. When you make a daily habit of utilizing this very powerful emotion, like a muscle, it strengthens your positive mental outlook. Express love as often and as frequently as possible. The more you “love” the more positive you become and the less negative you become.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Love it ! Great article, Tom !!

  2. Mahender Gorrai says:

    Thanks you, very nice advice. I intend to incorporate these habits in my daily life.

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