The Truth About the Challenge of Changing Your Thoughts ll By Brenda Bomgardner

We all have heard how to change your thinking and everything will work out just fine. I offer you a simple test to check out the reality of how easy or hard it is to change your thoughts. This is a test you can’t fail. I promise.  All you gotta do is fill in the blanks as you read the sentences below – about half way down the page. 

First I want to lay the groundwork for the test. 

Have you ever been told all you have to do is think positive and good things will come your way? 

Like the message in the book The Secret – just focus on the thing you want most in your life and you will attract it. I realize many people are quite fond of thinking they can think their way into success and happiness. It is truly seductive to believe this. I find this is similar to the diet pills advertised on late night TV…. give me a break! No need to eat less or exercise more. Buy the diet pill and boom …you’re a new person. Really? 

Anyway, I believe it is hogwash.

What I object to most is the sense of failure that one can develop if they have been doing daily affirmations, thinking positive at every corner and then flogging themselves for every transgression of having a negative thought. This is not self-compassionate. It is another way to blame a victim if bad things happen. Where is the loving kindness in the ‘think positive’ model for creating success which is called the Law of Attraction? 

Mind you, I am not saying you shouldn’t think positive; it’s just that it takes more than thoughts to create a life of your dreams. My common sense is captured by this old proverb,

A vision without a plan is just a dream. A plan without a vision is just drudgery. But a vision with a plan can change the world. Anonymous 

Time for the test. Please fill in the blanks:

Mary, Mary had a little __ __ __ __.

Row, row, row, your __ __ __ __ gently down the __ __ __ __ __ __.

One two, buckle your __ __ __ __, three four shut the __ __ __ __.

Twinkle, twinkle little __ __ __ __.

How did you do? Did you get all the blanks filled in? When was the last time you thought of these rhymes? I remember them from when I was a small child and then again when I read them to my children. Has it been 5 years, maybe 10 years or even yesterday since you thought of the above rhymes. If I said to you, “I’ll give you a Million Dollars if you will forget the rhyme,” can you? Be honest with yourself.

Here’s to dispelling the first lie: you can’t just get rid of and change your thoughts, not even the negative ones. 

We are all made to hold and retain our learning based on our unique personal history. Our minds, our bodies, us as a living organism carry with us a history of our whole life and this is how we have managed to survive. Hence, it is useful to have the ability to have…recall. Furthermore, since we are hardwired to watch for the harmful things in our environment we have a tendency to focus on the negative.

Lie number two: there is something wrong with you if you think negative. Hence, as noted in the above paragraph, negative thoughts are normal and can save us from danger. Often, we respond to a trigger in the environment then low and behold there is a memory from a distance past showing up in our thoughts today. This is neither good or bad. It is how we are all made. Likewise, it is why we are here today individually and as a species.

Lie number three, just think it (get rich quick) and it will come to you. Wrong! The REAL Secret; you need to do something after you think of it. Get a plan, set some goals, take action! Magical thinking is comforting but may not produce results.

Are your thoughts running your life? 

Are you caught in a TORNADO of struggle to battle negative thinking? Do you want a different way to approach the affirmation trap? I offer you this – it may well be acceptance and I can help you learn how to be accepting of your feelings, thoughts, memories and sensations that present themselves as the enemy of dreams.

To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page

Brenda Bomgardner is in her encore career. One of her greatest joys in her career is seeing people move beyond life’s roadblocks toward a fulfilling and meaningful life. She believes each person has a purpose in life waiting to be realized and that purpose continues to evolve over a lifetime. The path to reaching your life’s purpose is as unique as each individual. We all have dreams. Step by step she will walk with you on uncovering how to bring your dreams to fruition.  Brenda is a counselor, coach and clinical supervisor and specializes in practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is a cutting edge evidence-based process. This means there is scientific research to show ACT works. Before becoming a therapist and life coach, she completed a successful 17-year career in Human Resources at a Fortune 500 company. On a personal note she loves the great outdoors, ATV riding, adventure travel and family.