“You’re picky about the car you drive. You’re picky about what you wear. You’re picky about what you put in your mouth. We want you to be pickier about what you think.” —Abraham
I couldn’t agree more!
So many of us are walking around being selective and choosy—in a good way—about some aspects of our lives. Where we live, our choice of career and mate, where we send our kids to school or go on vacation. We’re intentional about how we invest our money and the kind of produce we buy at the grocery store.
But when it comes to our thinking…intentionality goes out the window.
We’re not picky or selective about our thoughts.
In fact, too many of us are willing to entertain and indulge in thoughts that make us feel lousy. We act as if our thinking is happening to us and we have no choice about the negative emotion-producing thoughts we think.
I really want to encourage you and challenge you to be pickier about what you think. I’m going to spend a little time on why you would want to do this and then how you would actually go about it.
I’ll have a client say, I can’t help a negative thought popping into my head. It seems to come out of nowhere. So what can I do?
Here’s my take: I don’t think it’s that first thought that’s really the problem.
I think the problem or issue is when you don’t nip it in the bud. It’s when you entertain a second and third thought that also make you feel lousy. It’s when you get momentum in the direction of a downward spiral and just keep going in that direction.
I certainly have thoughts that don’t feel good that pop into my mind.
For instance, yesterday a random thought crossed my mind, seemingly out of nowhere in that it was unrelated to what I was doing and who I was with. That thought caused a feeling of worry. It was a thought about someone and the nature of the thought made me feel worried.
So what did I do? I could have indulged the thought, meaning just let it hang out in my mind. I could have added to it with another thought in that same direction, thereby creating momentum around the negative emotion.
But I didn’t do any of that. Instead, I recognized the thought-feeling combo made me feel lousy, and I got pickier in my thinking. I intentionally chose to take my thinking in an entirely different direction.
I call that managing my mind.
Because my mind, if let unmanaged and unchecked, will take me into some very bad neighborhoods, so to speak.
Bad neighborhood in the sense all kinds of scary thoughts are there. All kinds of things to fear and be worried about. That bad neighborhood of thoughts is pessimistic and overwhelming. It’s confusing and makes me doubt myself.
Your mind will probably do the same—take you into some bad neighborhoods—if you are not intentional about your thoughts.
Being pickier about what you think is simply making it a priority to feel good and so thinking thoughts that feel good.
This is not complicated. It’s really very simple because you know the difference between a thought that feels good and a thought that feels bad.
Now, you may say it all sounds like a lot of work. I hear that frequently. That what I’m describing in terms of managing your mind is too hard or takes too much effort.
First, I certainly wouldn’t describe managing my mind as hard work or lots of effort. That just creates a belief upfront that isn’t going to serve me. If the bubble over your head right now is Sounds like a lot of effort, I gently but firmly encourage you to consider that belief is not serving you.
Second, what’s the alternative? If you’re not going to manage your mind because it’s too this, that, or the other, what kind of life do you think you’ll create?
“What you are living is the evidence of what you are thinking and feeling every single time.” —Abraham
It’s really straightforward: If you are not picky about what you think, you simply don’t have control over the reality you create. You cannot be a deliberate creator.
It is only by being picky, selective, choosy, intentional—however you want to describe it—it’s only by being deliberate in your thinking that you can create the reality of your choice.
“You are the creator of your own reality because you are the chooser of the thought right now.” —Abraham
You are the chooser of the thought, and the next one, and the next. And if you are pickier about what you think, you can and will create the reality you want.
“If you want to effect substantial change in your life experience, you have to offer substantially different vibrations, which means you must think thoughts that feel different as you think them.” —Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness
I don’t think the goal is never have a thought that creates negative emotion.
But I do think the goal is not to indulge in thoughts that makes you feel bad.
You know what I mean by indulge, right? It’s when you lose yourself in thoughts that cause you to feel negative emotion. It’s when you give your mind free rein to think any lousy-feeling thought it wants.
That is exactly what too many of us are doing—indulging in thoughts that create negative emotion. If that describes you, here’s my invitation to manage your mind and elevate your thinking.
And remember why all this is so important from an LoA perspective. “As we think, we begin to feel. As we feel, we vibrate. As we vibrate, we start to attract.” —Abraham
Here are five steps to take your thinking up a notch.
Step 1: Embrace picky.
A want and a willingness is really important here. Meaning you have to want to elevate your thinking. You have to be willing to manage your mind.
Just as Abraham encourages, I want you to be pickier about what you think.
Repeat after me: Starting right now, I want to be pickier about what I think. Starting today, I am willing to be picky about my thoughts.
Really embrace this idea of being discerning about your thoughts, being selective, intentional.
It might be helpful to think of your mind as a neighborhood.
- You get to create that neighborhood as a scary, worrisome, overwhelming, angry, disappointed, unworthy place…
- Or you can create a neighborhood in your mind that is filled with ease and acceptance, with positive expectation and optimism, with love and appreciation.
Both neighborhoods are available to you because you are the only one thinking the thoughts in your mind.
Embrace picky. That is the start of managing your mind.
Step 2: Notice the cause and effect of your thinking.
- This thought feels good.
- This thought feels bad.
I want you to notice and really pay attention to how your thinking makes you feel.
This means you will get off autopilot with your thinking, and you will start to really make use of your Emotional Guidance System. We all have one. It’s built-in and ready to use.
Start noticing whenever you feel negative emotion, and ask yourself: What thought was I thinking that caused the low-vibe feeling?
You don’t even have to reach for a better-feeling thought right away. Just start noticing the cause and effect: Your thoughts create your feelings.
“Not only does the thought you are choosing right now attract the next thought and the next…and so on—it also provides the basis of your alignment with your Inner Being.” —Abraham
Step 3: Be willing to give up old identities.
I’ll give you an example. The other day a client told me she had always had a weird relationship with money. She wants financial abundance and ease around money, but in order to create that reality, she has to let go of this old identity as someone who has a weird relationship with money.
And letting go of an old identity usually means letting go of old patterns of thought. Thoughts like: Money doesn’t come easily. You have to work hard for money. I’ve never been able to save. Money comes in and goes out.
Those are old patterns of thought that have created the identity of someone who, as she puts it, has a weird relationship to money.
“You have the ability to quickly change your patterns of thought, and eventually your life experience.” —Abraham
Sometimes someone will say to me, I’ve just never been a very positive person. What I hear them saying is how they have been. And how they’ve been in the past doesn’t have anything to do with how they can be in the future.
If an old identity isn’t serving you, if it’s creating negative emotion, then it’s time to let it go. It doesn’t matter if, in your past, you have been more a glass half empty sort of person. That’s not who you are at your core. It’s just a pattern of thought you’ve gotten used to.
But you do have to decide to change your patterns of thought. Again, want and willingness are key here. You have to be willing to let go of old identities that create negative emotion within you.
Step 4: Decide how you want to feel.
“Think about how you want to feel, rather than thinking about the conditions that you think you need in order to feel that way.” —Abraham
So what about it? How do you want to feel?
I’m amazed how often I ask a client this question and there is a very long pause. Because she hasn’t given it much thought. She feels all sorts of emotions in the middle and at the bottom of the emotional scale, and is so used to just feeling in reaction to circumstances.
If you are new to managing your mind, you may not have given much thought to how you want to feel. That’s OK. Start where you are. How do you want to feel?
I know how I want to feel. In fact, I’m very clear about the go-to emotions I want to experience. I’m also clear some thoughts will create those emotions and other thoughts will not.
And so again, we’re back to this is not complicated. If I want to feel my desired emotions, then I must manage my mind. I must be intentional about my thinking. I must be picky about my thoughts.
I must choose to think thoughts that allow me to feel the way I want to feel.
And the same is true for you. You have the ability to choose thoughts that will create the emotions you want to experience. Isn’t that wonderful?
Step 5: Clean your mental house.
In her book Trust Life, Louise Hay says:
“I am willing to begin where I am right now to clean the rooms of my mental house. I know it does not matter where I start, so I now begin with the smallest and easiest rooms, and in that way I will see results quickly.” —Louise Hay
I love the language and image of cleaning the rooms of my mental house. What thoughts do you need to clean from your mental house?
- Do you have grudges over in the corner and resentments in the closet?
- Do thoughts of unworthiness and insecurity meet you when you walk through the front door?
- Is your mental house full of anger or disappointment?
- Do you need to clean the room called Overwhelm from your mental house?
Many of my clients have a room of overwhelm in their mental house.
I also like Louise’s advice to simply start and start where it’s easy. Sometimes we want to tackle the big hairy scary first, but often it’s quicker to get momentum and build confidence when we start where it’s easy.
As you pay attention to how your thoughts make you feel—remember that was Step 2—you will know which ones warrant being cleaned from the rooms of your mental house.
To recap the five steps to elevate your thinking and manage your mind:
- Step 1: Embrace picky.
- Step 2: Notice the cause and effect of your thinking.
- Step 3: Be willing to give up old identities.
- Step 4: Decide how you want to feel.
- Step 5: Clean your mental house.
“You have to practice hopeful thoughts, expectant thoughts, thoughts of appreciation, thoughts of happiness.” —Abraham