little negatives

I began to analyze my own conversational habits and was shocked by what I found. I discovered that I was making such statements as “I am afraid I'll be late” or “I wonder if I'll have a flat tire” or “I don't think I can do that” or “I'll never get through this job. There's so much to do.” If something turned out badly, I might say “Oh, that's just what I expected.” Or, again, I might observe a few clouds in the sky and gloomily state, “I know was going to rain.” These are ‘little negatives” to be sure, and a big thought is of course more powerful than a little one, but it must never be forgotten that “mighty oaks from little acorns grow,” and if a mass of “little negatives” clutter up your conversation, they are bound to seep into your mind. It is surprising how they accumulate in force, and presently, before you know it, they will grow into “big negatives.”

Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking