Thoughts become things... so choose the good ones!
~Mike Dooley
I tell people: If you don't want to get into positive thinking, that's OK. Just eliminate all the negative thoughts from your mind, and whatever's left will be fine.
~Bob Rotella

(As I was playing in the garden and digging up weeds, my mind was active with many random thoughts as there were no other distractions, just the weeds, the sunshine and my thoughts. I began to think about how much training it takes to "dig up the weeds in our mind" and to focus/re-train the mind. Being aware and conscious is the first step. I was on this train of thought as I later went past the Garland Theater and noticed the marque with the various movies. One caught my attention, "Train Your Dragon." Our thoughts do need training and especially those ones of fear and doubt. Otherwise, they can be like a fierce dragon and take us for quite a ride.)
It is a well-known fact that many people now understand: Your predominate thoughts become things. Everything has been created twice first in thought and then in substance. I intellectually knew this for many years, yet did not get the full significance of knowing it and taking action to make the conscious changes needed. In fact, I would admit that I really didn't know what I was thinking because I was on autopilot much of the time. Going from one thing to another without paying much attention.

Although this is not a news flash anymore; we have at least 50,000 thoughts a day, mostly random and mostly negative self-talk. I am often asked, how can we begin to monitor our thoughts and change how we are thinking to a more positive mindset?

Below are some methods that have been useful for many:
Awareness is the first key
Until we are aware we are not able to make the desired changes/shifts in thinking. This is not rocket science, yet we often operate on autopilot much of the time, allowing our habitual patterns of behavior to drive us.


I will recommend to clients that they take "the one week challenge." They are asked to pick a subject to consciously focus on for the week and write down their predominate thoughts. They carry a small notepad with them that goes in their car, purse, or pocket. For instance, they might say they are challenged with bringing in more money or want more clients. They will often say that they are thinking positively about these subjects. Many are surprised when they see the other thoughts that are mixed in with their positive thoughts. It's as if the positive thoughts are canceled out by the predominately negative thoughts. Their thoughts are mostly ones of fear, worry and doubt.

The second key is turning within


This is a common reason many do have difficulty meditating; the quiet they seek eludes them as their minds race giving them no peace. However, with practice, people learn how to train their mind by focusing on their breathing, saying a mantra, or just letting the thoughts come and then getting back to the breathing or mantra. When you are first beginning this practice you can easily see how untrained your mind is and how many of your thoughts are ones of fear, worry, doubt. With practice you can tame the dragon thoughts or let them come and not stay focused on them. (I use the eraser on the thoughts and see them disappear)

Once you are aware of your predominate thoughts on a subject you must practice compassion. You may feel worse and become angry or impatient with yourself for thinking in mostly negative ways.

The third key is compassion


When a baby is learning to walk they fall down frequently in their learning process. They do not "give up." Their caregivers cheer them on. They do not get impatient with them for falling. They feel compassion for the young one when they fall and cry. They understand and have faith in the process that allows the baby to learn. The baby becomes more skillful with practice and time. Soon they have mastered walking.

It is much the same for us as we practice awareness and focus on our thoughts. Our negative thinking is learned behavior, in fact for most of us we have formed powerful habits. We learned to think this way as young children when we heard our roles models talk and express their own fears, doubts & worry. In order to break these habits we need to approach our unskillfulness with compassion. We did not develop these patterns overnight and generally speaking it will take some time to undo that we learned through the years. As we know better we can do better. Our expanded awareness is cause for celebration, not judgment, as we become more skillful with time and practice.

The fourth key is shifting our thinking to a more empowering one


Come up with your own power phrase when the dragon thoughts occur. I use the phrase, "CANCEL-CLEAR, this is not for my highest good or the good of others." I then re frame my thoughts and say the new statement out loud (or to myself if I'm around others) Some other ones I've heard are:"EXCUSE ME, I interrupt this broadcast for a message from my spirit", "I'M CHANGING THE CHANNEL NOW", or I'LL DEAL WITH YOU ON FRIDAY."

Have fun with this and really use it. Pretty soon you'll catch yourself automatically. As your thoughts change to more empowering ones be ready for the CHANGES IN YOUR WORLD. The title of the book by inspirational author and coach, Alan Cohen says it all...THE DRAGON DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE!

Author's Bio: 

I am a Certified Life Coach working with professional women who are in the process of becoming entrepreneurs, changing careers or who need support in their current position. I also support individuals with whatever goals or challenges they face. I enjoy working 1:1, but am available for group coaching sessions as well.

My background includes 30 years of combined experience in social work, mediation, counseling and advocacy. In these complimentary careers, I have supported many people with diverse backgrounds and needs. My services are strictly confidential and are held either in my home office or over the phone.

I love helping others reach their goals and re-discover the magic that makes them the unique person they truly are. We are all born with this magic and an understanding of our own inner wisdom. As we “grow up” and stop listening to our own inner voice and start listening to others instead we “forget” how magnificent we truly are. My approach is to listen to you and support you in re-discovering the you that you were meant to be.