Why is it so hard to let go of negativity? Much of it has todo with ego, and misperceptions about ourselves. Here are three practicalrecommendations from spiritual guide Dalai Lama on how to combat self-induced shyness,fear of failure, and unhappy thoughts.

Shyness
“Sometimes when we meet a stranger we can be excessivelyreserved and distant. This reaction is not logical. Actually, we have no goodreason to fear contact with other people. We only have to realize that they arehuman beings like ourselves, with the same aspirations and the same needs, andit becomes easy to break the ice and communicate.”

Feeling Afraid
“If you are afraid because you have no self confidence andfeel that nothing you do will ever succeed, stop a while to think it over. Tryto see why you imagine you are a loser before you have even started. You won’tfind any really valid reason. The problem stems from your way of thinking, notfrom real ineptitude.”

Unhappy Thoughts
“Transform your thoughts into positive ones. It is a mistaketo think that everyone is bad. Some people are wicked, that’s true, but thatdoes not mean everyone is. There are also many people who have a noble andgenerous spirit.”

Mindfulness can help us learn to observe the mind withoutjudging the contents of our thoughts. When we feel unhappy, incapable, orafraid, many times these emotions are not rooted in reality. The challenge islearning to place value on the thoughts that matter (compassion, goodness,unity), while allowing the painful ones to fade naturally.

*Excerpts from 365Dalai Lama, Daily Advice from the Heart.