Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

I found a great little sign on Martha’s Vineyard this summer. It reads, “Don’t believe everything you think.” As a multi-tasking entrepreneur, I am definitely prone to being in my head too much, or as my yoga teacher wisely refers to it, my “monkey mind.” If we believed every thought that crossed our mind, or reacted to everything we think, most of us would surely live in a constant state of chaos and unhappiness.

One thing I now know for sure is that the quality of your thoughts and feelings will determine the caliber of your life in general. The universe will return your joy, confidence and happiness to you; and it will return your fear, anger and envy as well.

Think of yourself as a mini radio station. You are constantly broadcasting signals about yourself to the world. The people and situations that match those signals are the ones that will tune in and become a part of your life experience. Some refer to this as “chemistry”, but it’s actually the resonance of your own personal energy that has been created by your thoughts and feelings.

If you believe this to be true, then you begin to realize that there is no one to blame, no fingers to point and no more excuses. In terms of your personal and professional success – or lack of it – you are 100% in charge. The accountability, direction and outcome are completely up to you. Our own consciousness creates our reality. Your self-observations, whether positive or negative, become your present reality. In other words, you become what you think about most.

It’s important to be fully aware of what you are focusing on. If you find yourself focusing on the things you don’t want, such as a difficult boss, too much debt or no significant other in sight, you want to stop and immediately shift your thinking. Here are just a few tools that work for me:

  • Take a ten minute walk outside. Breathe in the fresh air, remember all the things you have to be grateful for and give yourself a little bit of time and space to daydream about the things or situations you want in your life.
  • Read through a list of positive affirmations. In fact, combine this with your walk and say the affirmations out loud at least half a dozen times. Don’t worry if they don’t feel real to you yet. Put the energy out there and allow the possibility to exist.
  • Enlist a positive, enthusiastic friend as your “feel good” accomplice. Any time you find yourself down in the dumps and focusing on the negative, call her for a five minute pep talk. Let her remind you of not only how wonderful you are, but also of everything you have to be grateful for in your life.
  • Assess your environment. Are you surrounded by clutter and things you don’t love? Take some time to clear your space and keep only those things that are most meaningful to you.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Spend five minutes a day writing down all of the things you are grateful for in your life. Any time you need a mind shift, spend a few minutes reading through your journal.
  • Help someone less fortunate that you. Volunteer. Mentor. Spend a weekend at a pediatric cancer ward. Nothing will snap you out of feeling sorry for yourself faster than helping an at-risk teen or someone who only has a few months to live.

By transforming even one negative thought, you can make a major shift in your energy. As you continue to make these shifts within, you will notice that everything around you will begin to change. Your thoughts are the direct source of your emotional energy – your feelings – and can either be your greatest asset or your greatest obstacle to genuine happiness and success.

©Liz Dennery Sanders 2009


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