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How to Start Thinking Positively and Stop the Negative Thinking

First off, it's going to take some practice. If you spend the first 35 years of your life cutting yourself down at every opportunity you're not going to turn that around in a minute or day or a week. It's like exercising. a weeks worth of pushups won't turn you from a couch potato blob into an athlete.

But it can be done if you give it more time. Like exercise, if you want to gain and maintain your results you have to keep it up. There's another article on this site, Health And Fitness Is Not A 12-Week Program, which applies to any type of personal change, including affirmations.

Don't think of the white polar bear.

Huh? Thought about it, didn't you? If just for a moment. Here's another, then I'll get to the point.

My family and I, total canoe newbs, went on a day trip that turned out to be way too long for us. There were a few other issues, as well. We did learn one important thing, though. Don't look at the stump or you'll paddle right into it, every time. Every time there was a stump in the stream we looked at it and thought about paddling around it. We hit it most every time.

Eventually we learned to look where we wanted to go, not where we didn't want to go.

So how do you not think about the white polar bear? You think about some other thing. Think about what you want to think about, not about what you don't want to think about.

The concept behind Positive Affirmations is this: You are going to reprogram your brain by feeding it positve thoughts. Over and over again. You're going to stop the negative thinking by... not even thinking about it. You're going to replace the negative thinking with positive thoughts. These positive thoughts are affirmations.

Try this on for size: Every time, and that means every time, the negative thoughts come on you are going to say, "I lIke Myself" out loud, ten times in a row. For may of us this will feel really weird, at first. Eventually it becomes less weird, then normal, then you start to believe it.

Speaking of believing... one mistake people make with affirmations, as pointed out by Jennifer Shepherd in her book, Why Most Affirmations Fail and the Four Building Blocks of Successful Affirmations, is that we wish for the impossible.

"Don’t choose something that you see as an insurmountable problem or a horribly difficult task. If you choose a project that you have huge resistance around, you will find it very difficult to make headway, especially if you’re new to affirmations. When you first start working with affirmations, focus on manifesting things or situations that instantly fill you with optimism and good feeling. "

Even if you're thinking positive thoughts it's very important to believe in the posibility of it coming true. Jennifer notes that if you grow up in a situation where money is tight then any affirmations which have to do money probably won't work. You will undermine those thoughts since your core beliefs are based in lack of money. Your sub-concious will undermine your thinking.

Pick something you can believe in. Perhaps, for your initial affirmation practice, pick something that's far away from the core issue. If you've been raised in a situation where money has always been really tight you may have some deep core beliefs about money that will be hard to uproot. If you pick another topic you may find that area easier to work with.

Perhaps relationships might be a good place to start. As Jennifer says, "For your first affirmation projects, it’s critical to choose things or situations that you can truly believe are possible to achieve in the short-term." If relationships are the tough issue, as they are for many of us, then perhaps affirmations regarding the job, or the exercise program, or even a better attitude about money would be a better place to start. You can always come back to the tougher issues once you have some practice under your belt.

So what's the take away from all of this? There are three:

  1. Focus your thoughts on what you want to think about, and
  2. focus your thoughts, and affirmations, on ideas that you can believe in. Start small, then expand as you start seeing results.
  3. Keep it up. Don't stop, don't quit. Once you start practicing your positive affirmations keep it going. Just as if it were an exercise program.

Take control and think yourself to where you want to be.

Don't forget to check out Jennifer's site for lots more about Affirmations. If you have any thoughts or comments about this article please feel free to use our contact page and let us know.

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