Rule # 2 of the ‘Seven Rules of the Mental Path’ states: “You cannot NOT think about what you have in mind.” In fact, the more you try to ‘not think about’ something negative, the more powerful and ingrained in your mind that negative thought becomes, and the more negative influence it has on your performance. The only way to stop negative thoughts is to shift your thinking to thoughts and images that are both positive and productive regarding your personal performance. Since the human mind can only process one thought at a time (rule # 1), you must actively choose to direct your mind toward (that is, focus on) a dominant thought that is positive, productive, and directly related to the way you you want to perform. . By doing so, you will deny your mind the processor “ability” to think negatively.

The FIVE R’s are keywords that summarize a Negative Thought Stopping procedure that can help you achieve this goal. Each word establishes the thought process for the next step in this sequential procedure. Implementing this thought process consistently, with intensity, is critical to successfully learning how to stop negative or self-defeating thoughts.

ACKNOWLEDGE: Acknowledging that you are having a negative thought is a critical first step in learning to control negative thoughts. Consciously increasing your awareness and vigilance regarding negative thinking will aid in the recognition and control of self-defeating and self-defeating thinking. You must be “on guard” to recognize the first signs of negative thinking in order to squash that thought before it has a chance to fully form and take hold of your conscious mind.

REFUSE: You must refuse to allow the negative thought to continue and gain traction through some positive, definite action (for example, visualize a STOP sign in your mind’s eye; put a rubber band on your wrist whenever you have a negative thought , etc.) . You must do something to interrupt the negative image and / or thought to prevent it from getting stronger. By doing this, you begin the process of turning your mind away from negative thinking.

RELAX – Use any of the techniques that can help you relax: breathe deeply and controlled; use a verbal trigger to change your thoughts and feelings to a relaxing image; etc. When you are relaxed, the effect of mental programming is more powerful and ensures that the next step in this 5-step procedure has greater potential to be effective.

REFORM – The fourth step in the Stopping Negative Thought procedure serves to complete a mental shift toward images and thoughts that are consistent with your best performance. Replace negative thinking with a positive image or thought. “I am in control of my thoughts and actions, I can choose to respond and think the way I want.” “I’ve been here before and I’ve done this before so I know I can do it again.” “This is part of the process I have chosen.” Use pictures to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ the performance you want to achieve and how you want to BE as you do it. Become your personal ACT © role model.

SUMMARY – Continue your activities with a sense of confidence and control. You will always enjoy a strong sense of confidence if you link this mindset with a personal commitment to always give nothing but your best effort, regardless of the situation or outcome. The degree of effort you put into the challenges you face on an ongoing basis is totally, 100% under your control … it’s one of the few things that is, in fact, completely under your control. Think about how you are when you perform with excellence and what you want to achieve, and develop your confidence by always applying your best effort to achieve it. ACT © like a Champion in word, thought and deed.

The next time you feel negative thoughts taking over, use these Five Rs to effectively change your thought patterns and achieve powerful results in your life. Make this simple program your new habit!

Copyright © 2006 Dallaire Consulting LLC

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