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10 ways to transform negative thoughts to achieve your goals

by Nicole Yormark
I can't/can do it

Every person has goals and dreams that they want to achieve. Especially around New Year’s time, people set resolutions (goals) and work for a few hours, days or weeks to try to achieve these goals.

Unfortunately, these often do not come to fruition because of many reasons including lack of time, too large of goal, motivation or a negative thought process.

Positive thinking can be very powerful to change your habits and attain your goals. How can you use harness the power of thinking to transform negative thoughts into a means to achieve goals?

Here are ten ways to change your mindset so you can accomplish your dreams and goals.

1. Nip negative thoughts in the bud.

It is natural to feel negative about a bad situation. However, your immediate response after the event that will determine how you feel from thereafter about the event and the emotions.

Instead of relishing in a flood of negativity, stop any negative thinking immediately and think about ways you can turn this into a positive mindset and situation.

Scott Schmaren, a hypnotist uses this strategy with his clients.

” The moment you become aware of a negative thought you have do the following:

  1. Freeze the thought
  2. Cancel it by saying “Cancel, Cancel, Cancel” (this will interrupt the negative thought)
  3. Reframe it into a positive thought (statement) If you can’t think of a way to restate it as a positive then say this statement, “Everyday and in every way I am getting better and better“.

This is an effective technique that will change your readers negative thought patterns.”

2. Know that it’s all right to fail.

No one is perfect and failure is simply a part of life.

By learning how to pick yourself up after failing, will determine how you proceed.

Realizing that perfection is not achievable and allowing yourself to learn from mistakes (rather than limiting yourself) can help you to feel motivated to try again and succeed.

3. Create a positive intention.

Human beings are, by nature, prone to exaggerate and think in absolute terms. When done in a negative way, this can lead us to a negative mindset.

For example, if you fail an exam, you might tell yourself that you are extremely stupid and cannot do anything at all.

Try and recognize this kind of thought process and, when you do this, turn it around into a more positive thought. In time, you will feel better about yourself and will have more self-confidence to achieve your goals.

Whitnee writes a successful blog called the Savvy Working Mom and uses this strategy to overcome negative thoughts.

” Acknowledge that your negative thoughts, have a positive intention and then re-frame the thought to match your positive intention.

For example, if you think “I’m so dumb.” The positive intention behind that could be, that you want to learn more.

Re-frame the thought to “There is more I can learn and learning is growing”. 

Repeat this new thought three times, out loud and then say it yourself each time the negative thought creeps back into your head.”

4. Don’t feel guilty.

By constantly blaming yourself and feeling bad over every single thing that goes wrong in your life, rather take a more proactive approach by evaluating the situation and determining how you can do better the next time.

When you learn from previous failures and choose to move on, you open yourself up to taking charge of your life and feeling more able to take on challenges.

People who are always saying “sorry” to themselves and to others, subconsciously reinforce the idea that they are inferior and less of a person.

Try and remove the word “sorry” from your vocabulary and replace it with “I apologize”. In doing so, you are creating a more positive space within your mind and helping yourself to move on from the negative situation.

5. Always look for the silver lining.

Do you see the glass half full or half empty?

Research has shown that those who are more optimistic about their lives, are far more likely to achieve their goals as they have more confidence in themselves.

We recommend adopting a loving and caring attitude toward yourself so that you are better able to see the inherent good in yourself and in others.

If this is difficult for you, try making a list of all the positive attributes that you have and don’t focus on any negative aspects.

Whenever you feel pessimistic, take out this list and read it.

This will help you to turn your negative mindset around and to build upon your personal assets and strengths.

Before you know it, you will be well on your way to achieving your goals.

Using gratitude is one way that Julie Lauren, author and podcaster, overcomes negative thoughts.

” [Her] advice for transforming a negative thought is to simply change one or two of the words in the thought to allow for more gratitude.

For example, instead of thinking and saying “I have to do x, y, and z,” you can say, “I get to do x, y, and z.” Let’s say you absolutely hate your job and dread going to work.

Flip the script and start thinking and saying that while your current job isn’t your dream situation, it’s getting you to the next step and look for at least one positive thing about your day. And then remind yourself about that thing anytime you’re starting to feel negative. Your thoughts become your reality. Think positive and the situation will be positive. “

6. Don’t beat yourself up.

It is only natural to have high standards but if you constantly hold yourself to these high levels of perfection, you are setting yourself up for a fall.

When we always expect ourselves to be perfect and to perform better than anyone else, we punish ourselves when we do not attain this goal.

This results in a negative, vicious cycle that will prevent you from moving forward to be better and succeed.

Instead of trying to be perfect, rather make a commitment to yourself that you will always do your best, even if it means that it is not as good as you had hoped.

When your subconscious mind is continuously told that it is able to perform well, it will eventually believe this and you will be better equipped to excel in life.

7. Take responsibility for how you act and feel.

When things go wrong in life, it is very easy to blame others or berate yourself for not doing well.

However, it is important to realize that how we feel is our own responsibility and allowing ourselves to wallow in self-pity can result in a lack of motivation and not achieving our goals.

Do not allow others to dictate how you feel about yourself.

The burden lies with you as you are responsible for your own happiness and success.

Realize that no one has the power to make you feel sad, anxious or depressed: it is all down to the way in which you respond to events.

If you love yourself enough, you will not want to allow yourself to be full of negative emotions which will only hinder your progress.

8. Give yourself plenty of encouragement.

To achieve your goals and dreams, do you think it is more helpful to receive constructive or destructive criticism?

The answer is obvious since no one thrives in conditions where they are constantly being criticized (by either themselves or others).

Of course, you cannot control the amount of criticism you receive from others, but you CAN control how you criticize yourself.

Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of how you handled a situation, try and replace this with self-encouragement instead.

For instance, if you did not reach your sales quota at work, instead of telling yourself that you are no good and not efficient enough, replace this with positive thinking.

Tell yourself that although you tried your best, perhaps next time you could try something different and more effective. This will give you the necessary motivation to pick yourself up and try the next time.

9. Be gentle on yourself.

Just as a parent who is always hard on their child, if you are constantly hard on yourself, you will end up with a low self-esteem and you will not feel able to work towards your goals.

If you find yourself calling yourself names, remember that you would never talk this way to a friend, so why would you be so harsh on yourself?

By talking to yourself in a kind and gentle way, you are treating yourself properly and setting yourself up for building on your confidence and abilities.

10. Calm yourself physically to find your inner peace.

Whitnee with the blog Savvy Working Mom, uses this breathing technique to overcome negativity.

” Our minds and bodies are connected. Negative thoughts can cause you to tense up.

When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, acknowledge that thought,  take a deep breathe and then ask yourself, “how can I turn this into a positive?”   

Once you have a new positive statement, take three deep breaths as you repeat that statement to yourself.  “

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