A quick solution to disempower negative thoughts
Doing the mind-decluttering work – letting go of self-limiting thoughts and moving on with new powerful thoughts – on a regular basis is the best way to take active ownership of our mind and our life.
Our thoughts – what we think about the circumstances in our life – are so important because they are the cause of everything that’s happening in our life: What we think determines what we feel, our feelings determine how we act (or don’t act), and our actions determine the results in our life.
If we don’t like how our life looks like, or if we want to feel or act differently, we need to find and practice other/better thoughts.
Finding and thinking new thoughts is not always easy and it can take some time.
We have to become aware of what we are currently thinking and then experiment with new thoughts that might be suitable to replace the current thought. And then we have to practice the new thought.
In our daily lives, things tend to happen quickly and unexpectedly.
And it’s our mind’s job to immediately bring up its default thoughts which then cause unwanted and unhelpful feelings, actions and results. If we don’t pay attention and take control!
So what’s a quick solution
if we don’t have the time to redirect our mind toward the thoughts we want it to think on purpose?
When our mind ‘stubbornly’ insists to continue thinking a certain thought, it sometimes can be helpful to agree with our mind (Source: April Price Coaching).
We can decide not to try to prove it wrong in that moment. We deliberately agree to the thought our mind is bringing up – but with conditions!
Rather than trying to think a whole new thought we kind of accept the unhelpful thought, we don’t fight it – but we add a little clause, a little condition to it.
Let’s imagine you decided to go through a new 4-week fitness program and on the first day in the gym your mind immediately brings up the thought ‘My muscles will hurt. This is really hard!’
Instead of fighting this thought you now add a little thought like ‘it’s o.k.’ or similar:
- My muscles will hurt. This is really hard! – And that’s o.k.
- My muscles will hurt. This is really hard! – And that’s not a bad thing.
- My muscles will hurt. This is really hard! – And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
- My muscles will hurt. This is really hard! – And I can do hard things.
Let’s say you made a booking for a networking event and offered to give a short speech. Now your mind comes up with the thought ‘I am not good at giving speeches, I am going to fail.’
You accept your mind’s point of view but add a little phrase:
- I am not good at giving speeches, I am going to fail – and I am doing it anyway.
- I am not good at giving speeches, I am going to fail – and that will help me get better at speaking.
- I am not good at giving speeches, I am going to fail – so what?
Your friend promised to help you with your tax return and then cancels the appointment. Your mind suggests the thought ‘I can’t rely on other people, I am always on my own.’
Adding some words to this thought helps you to get rid of any upcoming (and useless) feelings of self-pity or anger:
- I can’t rely on other people, I am always on my own – and that’s o.k.
- I can’t rely on other people, I am always on my own – and that’s good, it makes me independent.
- I can’t rely on other people, I am always on my own – no problem at all.
Deliberately allowing a negative thought, without resisting it, makes it immediately less powerful and makes you feel stronger and more in control.
Give it a try.
Next time when a negative thought comes up and you struggle to let it go in that moment, decide to allow it and add something that expresses your acceptance of the thought and makes you feel better.
The important thing here is to find a little phrase that is right for you – there is no standard phrase that works for all of us.
Experiment and play around with different phrases and then practice the most suitable so that you can remember it easily whenever you need it.