We’ve all heard many, many things about the power of positive thinking.
Some people (myself included) believe that a key part of being successful at anything is visualizing that success. In doing so, you picture the details of that success, which often helps you a great deal in formulating a plan to get there. It also serves in making that success seem much more real. However, I believe that it takes a lot of hard work alongside that visualization to achieve anything of significance.
Others carry it even further, placing those visualizations at the center of success, which is a step beyond what I’m willing to agree with.
In any case, positive thinking and visualization help you achieve the things you want to achieve in life. If you picture what you want to achieve and couple it with a lot of hard work, your chances of achieving that dream go up significantly.
However, the reality is that we don’t think positively all of the time. Like it or not, doubt often creeps in.
I can’t do this.
It’s too hard.
I’ve been working so long at this and I’ve barely made any progress.
I’d rather just go do something fun.
Negative thoughts can hit like a sledgehammer. They can smash through all of the positive progress you’ve made toward a goal and leave it in pieces. Negative thoughts can completely wreck your motivation and make you feel as though the great progress you’ve made really doesn’t add up to much.
Negative thoughts can tear through a budget and undo a project like nothing else.
I’ve had negative thoughts like these break my progress in many different life areas. Negative thoughts have kept me from exercising. Negative thoughts have convinced me to eat unhealthy (but tasty) foods. Negative thoughts have encouraged me to spend (a lot of) money unnecessarily.
Over the years, I’ve really only found one antidote to negative thoughts that really works for me. I suppose it’s actually a two-pronged approach, but the two ideas are deeply interconnected.
The central piece of the puzzle is that I consciously try to think positive thoughts about my goals all the time. I visualize great outcomes. I tell myself that I can do this. I picture myself enjoying the little pieces of hard work. I go over the benefits of what I’m trying to do. I try to fill my mind with these positive thoughts.
Still, negative thoughts creep in sometimes, and when they do, I flood them with positive thoughts. Because I try so hard to think positively about my goals at other times, it’s pretty easy to pull up positive thoughts to counteract the negative ones. I actively think about the progress I’ve made. I pull up the facts I know that demonstrate my progress. I intensely visualize where I want to be and how good I’ll feel.
Of course, this requires me to be on guard against negative thoughts. You have to recognize when you’re telling yourself to make poor choices. For me, the best way to counteract this is to have a checklist of the things you’re working on and review it several times a day.
I keep mine open on my computer all the time and I look at it regularly. My current list is focused on making progress on my high fantasy novel and getting more exercise.
Because those things are present in my mind thanks to the constant reminders, negative thoughts are quite obvious when they pop up, which makes it easy to flood them with positivity.
This basic idea works for anything you’re trying to improve in your life, whether it’s your financial state, your health, your personal projects, or whatever else is important to you.