We hear about positive thinking and that we should always “think positively!”, trying to keep any and all “negative” thoughts out of our head. I don’t find that very useful. Trying to micromanage our thoughts is hard.
Rather, what if we notice how we’re feeling (via those good old emotions)? This internal GPS is a more useful (and easier to use) gauge of how well our current thoughts (and thought patterns) are serving us.
If we’re feeling like crap, we may want to see what’s rolling around and try something different, something that heads in a baby step direction that feels a little better. For example: “Why can’t I get this right??” → “D’oh, that didn’t work. Check another direction off the list. Hopefully I’m learning something even though I have no idea what that might be…”
Skip trying for all or nothing positive thinking land where never again will a negative thought enter our mind (until one does and then crapola — we’re off track and in a ditch). Something like “I am powerful and I can do this!” just feels like a heap of words (and maybe a condescending heap at that), which won’t actually help. Micromanaging our thoughts is hard, as is trying to make a quantum leap. Noticing how we’re feeling and then taking a baby step? More useful (and easier).