Intentional Thinking Day 2: Target Your Thoughts

Successful people take action regardless of their emotional state. This is easier said than done because showing up when you don’t feel like it is hard.

Emotions can influence the way you think and behave, and if you aren’t paying attention to your thoughts, then the resulting behaviors can be especially detrimental to your goals.

As I was reading about this this morning, I was reminded of an exercise my therapist guided me through a few years ago. In this exercise, you choose an emotion, list your thoughts that typically accompany that emotion, and then list the actions that follow those thoughts.

My chart looked something like this:

But the bottom line is that you are going to experience unwanted emotions. They are a natural part of life and you have to deal with them. You may not be able to control your emotions, but as Rory Vaden writes in Take the Stairs, “You are in charge of your thinking.”

So, while experiencing fear is pretty much inevitable, notice how targeting the thoughts that fear produces and replacing them with more positive thoughts can produce more positive actions.

Our focus shouldn’t be on stopping unwanted emotions from happening. That isn’t possible. Instead, let’s focus on targeting unwanted thoughts and replacing them with thoughts that will produce the actions we want to see in our lives.

Today, I challenge you to choose an unwanted emotion you experience on a somewhat regular basis. Jot down a list of negative thoughts that accompany that emotion, then, write down a positive alternative for each negative thought. Keep paying attention to your thoughts. Whenever one of the negative thoughts that you’ve written down pops into your mind, immediately replace it with one of your positive alternatives.

Feel free to share your list below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *