How to Stop Your Negative Thinking

visualize your happy place“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” –  Willie Nelson, American country singer and philosopher

A negative thought from time to time is normal. Negative thinking becomes a problem when it becomes rooted in your subconscious mind. Then you are actually training your subconscious mind for failure, for things you don’t want.

When this happens you need to train your subconscious mind to think differently. You can do this by using techniques found in hypnosis and NLP. You can use the techniques in this article to banish negative thinking. You can use them to rewire your subconscious mind for success. These techniques include positive thinking, positive self talk and positive visualization.

What is negative thinking?

Negative thinking is when people are focused on not succeeding, on thoughts of failure. When people use this type of thinking they are actually using self hypnosis to program themselves to fail. Let’s look at an example.

In my martial arts schools I regularly held tests where I required students to break boards in order to be promoted to more advanced belt ranks. Most students would break the boards without any issues at all but some would find breaking the boards extremely difficult. When this happened I would take the student aside for a few moments and tell them that I knew that they could break the board. “Focus on the middle of the board and imagine your foot going through it” I would tell them. Then I would have them visualize breaking the board. After a minute of so I would have them try again. Almost always they would break the board.

Why couldn’t they break the board at first? They were hypnotizing themselves with negative thoughts, visualizing failure. They had told their subconscious mind that they were unable to break the board. They were actually training themselves to fail. As a result it was impossible to break the board. They had programmed themselves for failure.

Using the same type of visualization techniques used in hypnosis and NLP I had them shift their negative thinking into a positive belief about their ability to break the board.  At the same time I had them use their subconscious mind to visualize success. Using these techniques they were teaching their subconscious mind that they could break the board. They believed they could so they were able to.

What is positive thinking? 

Some people believe that positive thinking is merely telling yourself that good things are going to happen. That if you tell yourself something like “I’m good enough and smart enough so by golly I can do this” you’ll be able to achieve whatever it is you desire. But positive thinking is much more than that.

While positive thinking does require positive self talk, it also requires visualizing with certainty what you want to achieve as an accomplished fact, expecting to succeed. This type of pattern doesn’t always come easily but there are ways to program your subconscious mind for success, to develop a consistent pattern of positive thinking.

How to Stop Your Negative Thinking

While everyone experiences negative thinking every now and then, when your negative thoughts become persistent they can stop you from achieving success. It’s at this point that you need to change your habitual thinking patterns.

The following is an effective step-by-step process that uses techniques from hypnosis and NLP that will help you develop consistent positive thinking, training your subconscious mind for success.

1. Notice what you want to change.

Many time clients come to me with fuzzy requests. What I mean by this is they say they have an issue but they can’t quite describe what it is. They say something vague such as “I want to improve my ability to succeed,” but success means different things to different people. So the first thing I have them do is figure out what exactly it is they want to change.

To make this process easier to follow let’s take an example that you have made a mistake and, as a result, didn’t do well on a project at work. So your goal is to do a better job on work projects in the future.

2. Notice what you are asking yourself.

This mistake means you will have to redo a major portion of your work. As a result you might find yourself asking something like, “Why do I always do such dumb things?”

What’s funny about your subconscious mind is that when you ask it a question it will try it’s very best to come up with an answer. So when you ask it “Why do I always do such dumb things?” it will come up with examples of why you “always” do dumb things. You are actually showing your subconscious mind all the reasons why you cannot succeed.

3. Stop your negative thinking in the moment.

Once you notice your negative thinking cancel it in the moment. You can do this simply by telling yourself “cancel, cancel”. You can involve your other senses by clapping your hands while imagining the words “cancel, cancel” written on a large white board. Maybe you could imagine yourself naked jumping up and down on a big board with the words “cancel, cancel” written on it. The key here is to do whatever it takes to interrupt your negative thinking pattern.

4. Redirect your focus.

Now that you have cancelled your negative thoughts it’s time to change your focus. Why? You will achieve in life what you focus on.

What is focus? Focus is the direction your thoughts are taking you.

How do you control your focus? With the questions you ask yourself.

A better question than asking “Why do I always do such dumb things?” might be, “What’s not perfect yet?” or “What do I need to do in order to make this better?” or “What did I learn from this and how can I use it in the future.” These types of questions help your subconscious mind focus on finding solutions instead of dwelling on the problem. This trains your mind to focus on success.

5. Visualize a successful outcome.

Now that you have shifted your focus visualize a successful outcome. This image should include the sounds, smells, and physical sensations of that successful outcome as well.

Also, play around with the perspective. Most people find it helpful to view everything in the third person, as if they were spectators watching themselves in a movie. You may prefer imagining things from a first-person perspective, in which everything happens to you, as it would in everyday life. Try both of these perspectives to determine which works best for you.

Once you figure out what perspective is best for you paste that positive image clearly on the mental screen of your mind. You are now training it to go in the direction of success.

Some people find that they have difficulty with this step. If you find that you are having difficulty with this try engaging the help of a professional hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner. In most instances they can help you rapidly reprogram your subconscious mind for success. If you would like my help give me a call at (619) 293-3255.

6. Create a positive statement.

Now that you have your mind positively focused, visualizing success, replace your old negative self talk with something positive. For our example, good self talk might be, “My mind is quick and intelligent, I consistently come up with good solutions,” or something similar. Choose something that gets your mind even more focused in the direction you want to go in. Select a phrase that feels right to you.

7. Reinforce your habits with practice

Developing new habits take practice. Practice by using these steps every time your old, negative thought appears. You can teach your subconscious mind to respond positively. Practice develops the kind of habits you need for success.

Begin making these shifts today

You can use this process to overcome all types of negative patterns of thinking. By replacing your old thinking with positive thoughts and images you can begin making the types of shifts you want quickly and easily.

With that shift what might you attempt that you’ve always been too afraid to try before? As you systematically deal with all your old negative patterns, you’ll eventually find that you have very few left. Your subconscious mind will now be habitually looking for solutions instead of problems. Imagine how that can change your life. You can use this process to develop the courage to do just that.

Your Subconscious MindAre you interested in understanding how your subconscious mind can change your like? If you are then download “Discover the Secrets of Your Subconscious Mind”. This 29 page report is filled with techniques that you can put to use right away to help you transform your future into the one of your dreams.

Wil Dieck is the founder of Total Mind Therapy that uses hypnosis and NLP to help people make rapid and significant shifts in their behaviors. His office is located in San Diego, CA. If you interested in learning more about Total Mind Therapy or would like a risk free evaluation to determine how Total Mind Therapy could benefit you, call (619) 293-3255.