Transformative Power of Positive Thinking
I am going to start this off with a moment of transparency; I am a licensed professional counselor and I struggle with the transformative power of positive thinking sometimes! I was asked to do this article months ago and I hesitated until now and you know why – my “stinking thinking” got in the way. The metaphor “stinking thinking” is commonly used in therapeutic and 12 Step meeting settings. It refers to negative thoughts we have about, pretty much anything and they appear to be automatic. What if I told you in a sense, our thoughts really can be?
Perception is reality
Although the brain is highly complex with many intricacies, First, I want to focus on the mind aspect of these intricacies, thought processes, and how we consider things carefully. When something happens, or we hear and or see something, our mind processes it in a way where we understand it. Everyone processes differently and we know this to be called “perception.” Perception is highly influenced by so many factors, including but not limited to, messages we heard from childhood, culture, social media, environment, and religion.
So most of the time the way we react to life is subconscious, appearing to be conditional or out of our control, generally speaking. Because we are creatures of habit, we can find ourselves in patterns, cycles, addictions, etc. because we have automated thoughts that fuel our reactions/behaviors. The majority of what we do can be considered “autopilot” and highly influenced and or susceptible to our subconscious. For example, we can consciously make a decision to go to a new restaurant and wind up ordering our “favorite meal” every time without trying something different.
The subconscious mind influences one’s thoughts, feelings and actions without one fully being aware. The way we start to become more conscious in life is first to be mindful or present, which aids us in becoming aware when we are operating in “autopilot” mode.
Second, we address and deliberately challenge beliefs that are deep-rooted ideas we accept as truths by using powerful evidence-based therapeutic modalities such as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). In the 1950s, Albert Ellis created REBT which suggests activating events (life scenarios) that trigger beliefs we have that ultimately lead to consequences (behaviors/outcomes).
Third, we challenge those old negative thought patterns with new positive truths of choice better known as “positive affirmations.” If you somehow believed the old negative lies, with enough intention and commitment, daily positive affirmations can and will become your new reality. You never hear a successful person repeatedly say things like, “I am a failure” if they did not make a specific deadline. A person’s speech is generally their thoughts out loud and healthy individuals understand the power and or danger of “self-talk,” depending on how it is used.
Choosing positive thinking is up to you.
In conclusion, it is imperative you stay vigilant about anything or anyone that influences you and your thoughts about yourself. Filter incoming information and thoughts by observing with your eyes, listening with your ears, and verbalizing with your voice. Life is what it is. It is easier to deal with effectively and generate favorable outcomes when we exercise the power of positive thinking. So, choose transformative, positive thinking daily! Doing so will create feelings of encouragement, inspiration, and excitement that speak life into you and carry you through whatever you are going through.
Always Peace & Love,