EPISODE 20: “Can I ever fully overcome my negative thoughts, even if I’ve been believing them for 40 years?”
“Can I fully overcome my negative thoughts even if I’ve been believing them for 40 years?” This is Jennifer’s question on this week’s Q&A episode. If you’re like Jennifer who has been battling over negative thoughts, then you’re going to love this episode.
Negative thoughts are simply thinking. And a large portion of your thinking comes from your past experiences, which makes beliefs subjective interpretations.
But how exactly do you define negative thinking? And to what degree are you negative? How will you know if you have overcome your negative thoughts? And what’s in it for you if you have overcome them?
In this episode I discuss:
I expound on moving the attention to positive thoughts in the most simple and understandable manner through a brain-based dialogue.
And a lot more…
Your negative thinking was learned through events that happened many years ago. You made interpretations, created stories, then you created the belief. Then the belief is completely unconscious.
Your negative thinking is nothing more than habitual.
You're listening to episode number 20 of the Transform Your Life from the Inside Out podcast. This episode is a Q&A episode, and I'm going to answer Jennifer's question. Her question is, "Can I fully overcome my negative thoughts even if I've been believing them for 40 years?" So if you've been battling negative thoughts for a lot of years, stay tuned. Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start transforming your life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation, and I've coached superachievers all around the world for over 25 years here. You're going to find no rah-rah motivation and no hype, because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you have never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life, then this podcast is for you. Because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
Negative Thoughts Are Simply Thinking
Okay Jennifer, so the first part of your question is, you have a question about fully overcoming negative thoughts. Now, it's interesting that you use the word "fully overcoming." So let me ask you, how will you know when you have "fully overcome" your negative thoughts? So the way that you're actually structuring this is that you have all of your negative thoughts for what's happened to you over the past 40 years and 40 years ago. But what about any "new" negative thoughts?
You know many people actually, they qualify their life by an estimation of proficiency. So what I mean by that is they'll qualify, you know, XYZ behavior based upon how proficient they are at it. And then many times, people won't actually start something new because they don't think there are a 100% proficient at it. Therefore, they never start. So the reason I just give you this example is when it comes to proficiency of overcoming negative thoughts, how will you know when you've overcome your negative thoughts, if possible 100%? And what does it mean if you haven't overcome them? I do want to say that negative thinking for the most part, I don't know how you're defining negative thinking, so when you say negative thoughts, how specifically is a thought negative and relative to what? So I'm asking you, what kind of negative thoughts? And to what degree are they negative? When it comes to negative thoughts, I think everyone has negative thoughts. It's just a matter of to what degree. And negative thinking to a large degree is also "normal" because no one has the perfect childhood or the perfect past. Myself, you know, people will say things like, you know, Jim, you know, and I talk a lot in my coaching and training and obviously into podcast about moving your attention and being happy all the time. But I'm going to tell you there's some of my days that, and I'm going to be careful how I phrase this, there is some days that are a challenge to get through.
I remember a day just recently, everything in that day, it literally was a challenge. And I did stand in a good place. But everything in that day many years ago would have just set me off. Everything from the garage door not working, and then the lift, I've got a rental car right now, and then the lift in the rental car hitting the garage door, things falling out of my hands, traffic, construction, you know where there hadn't been, everything in that day had just gone sideways. And then years passed, and I know I recently did an episode on this that would have been triggered, and you know what, I can't say that I was in the most upbeat positive place that day. I definitely wasn't negative, but I want to share with you that everyone has to some degree or one degree or another they have things that happen throughout their day. Let me go even a step further here. Many times, I'm not sure if you've ever woken up before, and you're in a foul mood. You get out of bed and you wake up and you're like, why am I on a foul mood? Well, that's something that you bring back from dream time because literally we are conscious beings, and even we're, you know, I talked about this in another episode, even when you're asleep, you're still a conscious being. And I remember one morning, I don't know four or five years ago, and I woke up and I was just in a foul, I mean foul mood, angry, bitter, everything. And I recognized right away that wasn't a powerful place to be. I mean, I even said to myself, you know what, move your attention. And it literally took me a couple of hours that morning to fully move my attention. But what I want to point out as I think everyone experiences negativity. And here's the operative, you know, the operative words to one degree or another. So what you have an indicated is to what degree you're experiencing, you know negativity? And then how does that affect your life?
You know, something else that I want to point out is that negative thoughts are simply thinking. And thinking for the most part, and there's multiple levels to thinking we're not going to get into it right now. But for the most part, a large portion of your thinking comes from your past experiences. Now, you would actually indicate 40 years of past experiences, but whatever's happened in the past, the experience created the interpretation, the interpretation has created your stories, and then your stories have created your beliefs. So I want to look at that a little bit here in this episode because I'm curious as to what beliefs you're holding that may be negative, or what negative beliefs you're getting into. So something that I want you to understand is that your beliefs are subjective interpretations. Meaning, everything that you believe is simply something you believe because you believe it. There's a phrase that I love, and you might want to ponder this for a while and contemplate it. But the phrase is, "there are no true beliefs." Now, let me give you an example of beliefs being subjective and people will even argue them beliefs are real when they're not real. They're completely subjective. Let's say for example, right now a big debate going on in the United States is all the stuff and especially in Mississippi and places like that, where states are passing laws about abortion and you know, eliminating abortion and all this kind of stuff. And there are people that are pro-life, and are people that are pro-choice. Well, the reality is the people that are pro-life, that's because that is their belief. The people that are pro-choice, that is because that is their belief. What I want you to understand is that every belief is subjective, any negative beliefs that you have are completely subjective, and that's evidenced by the fact that you might hold a negative belief and someone else might think the same thing, and they have a positive experience about it. So beliefs are subjective interpretations. And in just a moment, I'm going to give you some questions to start questioning your own subjective beliefs.
Something else that I want to add here that I learned many years ago, you know, obviously I speak a lot about it, I apprenticed with the shaman. And something that was said to me, and you might not be able to get your mind around it at this point, and that's okay, what was said to me many years ago is that "beliefs are archaic." And what I was told is to believe nothing and to observe everything because whatever you believe you will see the entire world through the filter of that belief. If for example, I use the examples of pro-life and pro-choice. Whatever belief that you hold, you will see all of life through that filter. And it's a completely subjective filter. So when I say that it's more powerful to actually observe life, you know, just imagine for a moment that you could actually look at life. And you could remove all the filters and all your beliefs, and you could see life for what it is because see, you and pretty much everyone listening to this podcast, you do not see life for what it is. You see life for what you think that it is, and what you think that is preceded by your beliefs. Now, people also look for evidence that they're limiting beliefs are true. I mean, think about yourself for a second. What if we could take the most foundational belief that you had. And what if I said, you know what, we're going to push a button and you can no longer have that belief. Notice how scary that becomes for a lot of people. Why? Because their belief is their identity. And if they lose the belief, then they lose their identity, then they don't know who they are anymore.
So as I alluded to with the comment about Shamanism, the most powerful place to work from is to observe the world instead of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. But for right now, with where you are in life, just recognize that whatever you believe, there's a good chance that it's not true and it's completely subjective to you only. But then what people do is they want to hold on unto their beliefs. So then they look for confirming evidence to convince them and then prove to themselves that the belief is true. When it comes to belief, there are three types of belief. There are beliefs about cause, belief about meaning, and belief about identity. And not only that, but generally most people's beliefs are generalized beliefs. So when I say that, there are beliefs about cause. Many people believe that A causes B, or that B happened because of A. And that's not always true. To give you an example that everyone listening a lot will understand, is many people will say cigarettes, you know, cigarette smoking causes cancer. And some people believe that, some people don't believe that. And to demonstrate that, is that not all people who smoke get cancer. So if it were a true belief that cigarettes always cause cancer, then everybody who smoked a cigarette would actually get cancer, but everyone who does smoke doesn't get cancer. Therefore, the belief is not true, but many people take it. And they hold it as true or not true.
You know, a very simple example is people can say driving fast causes accidents. That's not always true. There are people that drive really fast, and they never have any accidents. What I want you to see by that example, and I'll give you a few more, is the two things that I just said, driving fast causes accidents, and smoking cigarettes causes cancer, these are beliefs that a particular percentage of the population holds. But it doesn't mean they're true because you can probably look for counter examples that disprove both beliefs. Next, there are beliefs about meaning. And basically that premise is because X Y Z happens, it means blank about me or the world. So let's say for example that you don't have any money in your bank, and you can verify that by looking at your bank account. You could say I don't have any money in my bank account, and that means blank. Now given that sentence, I don't have any money in my bank account and it means blank, you listening right now, what does it mean? It can mean that you have been lazy, it can mean that you just paid your credit card bill, it can mean that money's hard to make, it can mean that you know what, you had a blowout at a bachelor party last night, and you spent $3,000, and you had a great time. What I want you to notice here is that two different people can look at an empty bank account, and have completely different meanings about that empty bank account. By this point, I'm hoping that you're starting to see how slippery beliefs are. And where we want to go in just a moment is to look at your own beliefs, now that you're starting to recognize how slippery they are. And to start letting go of some of the beliefs that have held you back that are nothing more than subjective constructs made up in your mind.
All right, and then the final kind of belief is the belief about identity. And that paradigm is XYZ happened, and it means blank about me. So let's look at some beliefs here. You know, what somebody slammed the door in my face, and it means that they don't like me. Another example, someone slammed the door in my face and it means you're a mean person. Another example, someone slammed the door in my face and they're a jerk. Another example, somebody slammed the door in my face because there's a fire on the other side of the door, and they didn't want me to get hurt. Do you notice that something happened? But you know what, every person who looks at what happened will give it a different meaning and interpretation based upon their belief. And as you already know, there are the same things that can happen to two different people, and two different people have different interpretations about what happened, and then people will even argue about what happened because you know what, they are insistent that they are right. What's interesting is that beliefs are a very, very tricky thing. There's this old parable, and I won't mention the name, but it's a parable about a spiritual deity. And the parable was that he actually rode to a small village on a horse. And it's a very small village and it only had one street. And if it's like a town that I grew up in really, it only had one stoplight. But anyway, so this individual is on a horse, and he's riding through a very small village. And after he rode through the village, the villagers started fighting about the stranger. And they were fighting because villagers on one side of the street said the stranger had a red hat. And the villagers on the other side of the street were, you know, arguing and saying no, he had a black hat. And then the villagers started arguing because they couldn't agree because they had different beliefs about the stranger riding through town. And the parable, the truth was this, is that he did have a red hat on one side, and a black hat on the other side. His hat had two colors, but depending upon which side of the street were you were on. Obviously that affected the side of the hat that you could see.
So the same thing with your beliefs. Whatever belief you hold, even we're talking about negative beliefs, whatever belief you hold about negative beliefs will affect what you think, and then what you think will affect what you feel, what you feel will affect what you vibrate, and that will affect your frequency, and that's going to affect what you create in the world. Okay, so as I promised a little earlier, let me give you some questions to start digging a little deeper and then start busting your beliefs. Well anytime that you have a negative belief, a great question to ask yourself is this, is this true? And then what I want you to do is I want you to look for contrary evidence. So let's say you have a belief about me, and the belief can be that people about yourself, meaning you have a belief about yourself, you could say people don't like me. And that can be true to some degree. But what you may be creating in that moment is actually a self-fulfilling prophecy. And what I mean by that is if you believe that people don't like you, and then you show up at an event, and you stand in the corner, and then people ignore you because you're standing in a corner, and you being antisocial, you could use that to sell verify that people don't like me when really it has nothing to do with you, and just you're creating that kind of environment. So whatever negative belief you have, this is what I want you to ask yourself, is this true? And I want you to look for contrary evidence for a time in your life when it has not been true.
And actually that's the second question. Has there ever been a time in my life when this is not true? Another question you can ask yourself is, what I believe, is this true for everyone? And I've given you multiple examples in here. What you believe is not true for everyone. Two people can have the same experience, and have two very different beliefs about it and two very different emotional reactions to it. Another question you can ask yourself is this, do other people who already have what I want, believe this way? And you're going to find many times the answer is no, they do not believe the way that you believe because if they did, they would be, and I'm actually applying this to people being stuck in life, if other people had the same belief, they would be stuck, but they're not stuck. Therefore, they do not have the same belief. A couple more questions here. If you've got a negative belief that's holding you back, a great question is, what is it costing me to hold this belief? Many times, your negative beliefs are costing you multiple millions of dollars in lost income. Let me give you a great example about that. If you believe, and I've coached only professionals for a lot of years. And you know, online marketers and etc, but for many years I coach selling professionals. And many selling professionals hold the belief that if I cold-call somebody I'm bothering them. That doesn't mean that it's true. It just means that many people believe it. Now because they have a belief that they're bothering people, they won't cold-call.
What if for example that you are in sales, and you hold a belief you make a hundred thousand a year. Let's keep this really simple, you make a hundred grand a year. But your believe is that it's painful to cold-call, or you're bothering people. What if you didn't hold that belief, and you actually got on the phone, you called people, you know you prospected, and you made two hundred thousand a year. Now let's say that you're going to stay in that position for 20 more years. When I asked you what this cost you, it cost you an additional hundred thousand a year in income for an additional 20 years, which is an additional 2 million dollars over 20 years you invested. And you know, wherever you want invest it, but over 20 years you can double that. So literally, that belief that you're bothering people cost you. And I mean literally cost you to lose four million dollars. Most people never look at their limiting beliefs and negative beliefs that way. They never put a price tag on them. But I'm telling you, having done this a lot of years that your negative beliefs cost you millions and millions of dollars in lost income. And then for most people, what that really cost you, if you want to be honest about it, what it cost you is security later in life, and it cost your family security as well. Okay, one more question here is, whatever limiting belief you might be holding that you want to rid yourself of, the question can be is where am I going to be a year from now if I continue to hold this belief? And let's go to the simple example that we used about prospecting. So let's say that you have a belief that you know what, when I cold call people I'm bothering them. Well, where are you going to be a year from now if you choose to hold that belief for the next year? Many people will also say well, you know what, I'm going to be in the same place. No, you're not going to be in the same place. You're going to be worse off. Why? Because you've lost a year of income opportunity. I'm sure you know doing this podcast that later I will do more episodes on beliefs, and belief busting, and everything from identity shifting, and subconscios reprogramming, and all this kind of stuff. But for now, hopefully and my intention is that these questions are food for thought for you.
Okay, and then you said also about fully letting go of your negativity is, then you said even if it's been 40 years. What you're doing is you're factoring in time as an element to overcome thoughts. Now, you might have heard me say, I don't know how many episodes you've listened to, but the one on subconscious reprogramming, and I don't know which episode that was, and I'm sure you can, you know, scroll down here and find it. But here's the thing, your unconscious mind, when I use the word unconscious, I also mean subconscious. Because people use the words interchangeably, your unconscious mind is not know the difference between real and imagined and it cannot tell time. When we are using affirmations, we always want to speak in first-person positive present tense. Why? Because your unconscious mind only works in the present moment. But it's your analytical mind that saying you know, what I've done this for 40 years. Now, also saying you've had negativity for 40 years could create a lot of resistance for you to change, because if you look at 40 years, you're like, oh my gosh, that's a long time. How am I ever going to overcome 40 years? What you may be doing there is creating more resistance for you that you don't even need to put there. Why? Because plain and simple, your unconscious mind even listening to me right now, your unconscious mind is in the present right now. So all that we have to do is focus on the right now.
What I'd like to suggest, I know I've covered a lot in this particular episode, but what I'd like to suggest is moving your attention. Anytime that you have a negative thought, because you might have heard me say before, and if you haven't you're going to hear it right now. And as I've said before, this could take you literally seconds, it can take you a lifetime to get your mind around. But you are where your attention is. And so let me go a little further here. Anytime you're having a negative thought, you're having a negative feeling, and that can actually be your alert that you know what, you're miscreating. A place that I work from is that anytime that I feel bad, because I know my feelings come from my thoughts. Anytime that I feel bad, I am miscreating. So I also know that if I "feel bad," it's a reflection of my thinking, and my thinking is where my attention is. Therefore, I have to move my attention. Because you only feel like you think. And if you think bad, and you think negative then you're going to feel bad and you're going to feel negative. And then what happens, is a lot of people fight this for years. I want to you know, they'll say things like I want to feel good, I want to feel good. Well, your feelings come from your thoughts, and if you want to feel good, then move your attention from the negative thought. Now, how do we do that?
Very simple way, we can do a couple of things. And it depends on whether you're predominantly auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. We think in all the five predominant senses, but yet we have one predominant way to think. Let's say for example that you are predominantly, well, let me give you all the three predominance - auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Auditory is you predominantly think through words and sound. Visual is that you predominantly think in pictures. And then kinesthetic is that you predominantly think in feelings. A large percentage of the population is predominantly visual, so we'll work with that. I don't know the exact numbers, but I've heard anywhere from 50 to 60 percent of the population is predominantly visual. Now, let's say if you can relate to that means you can think in pictures and you can imagine very easily, you'll get that right away by me saying that. But let's say for example that you have a negative picture of something happening, which is a thought. What you can do is, these are called sub-modalities in their own linguistics, NLP, neuro-linguistic programming. What you can do is, let's say for example that you have an image of going to your mother-in-law's, and you're feeling bad about that because you don't like going to your mother-in-law's, and you're seeing this imagery in your mind, being in the kitchen later in the living room or whatever, and you don't like the imagery, and you're starting to talk to yourself about it. What you can do is, you can play with the sub modality. Which means, you can actually take the picture like a TV set and turn the picture all the way down to where it's hazy. Imagine that you take a squeegee, and you squeegee the picture away. Something that I do, the predominant way that I do it is if I'm looking at a picture I don't like, I imagine that I'm picking up a rock, and I crash it. I throw it right through the picture, and the picture shatters.
This is brain language, imagery is brain language. And when you do stuff like this, you're shifting the way that your brain is interpreting the information. Let's say for example, another way to pattern, it's called pattern interrupt. Let's say that your predominantly auditory, and you're constantly talking yourself down of negative thoughts. What you could do is you can have an auditory pattern interrupt. And you could say to yourself, stop it! Literally, you're actually interceding and intervening in your own thinking. Stop it! Nice and firm. And then what I imagine a lot of time, is time is like a windshield wiper taking like, just flipping it off the screen in front of me. Then, what we do next is we move our attention. Where you move your attention to is something that's contrary or opposite to the negative thought. So then you move it to a positive thought. Now this sounds really simple, right guys? But here's the thing. Here's where the power is. Is that the reptilian, and because negative thinking is nothing more than habit, which comes from the reptilian part of the brain. And the brain, reptilian part of the brain learns to repetition. Now, I'm going to give you some unconscious or brain-based dialogue. This is what's happening in the brain, so to speak. And I'm just making this up, but the reptilian brain says, you know what, every time I give her negative thinking what she does is she says, stop it, or she does a windshield wiper, or she throws a rock through it. You know what, every time I do it, she shoots me down. So therefore I'm going to stop doing it. And what you will do by doing this is you will recondition in the positive thinking, and the operative word is condition because your negative thinking is nothing more than 40 years of conditioning, you will recondition yourself into positive thinking. And by the way, it doesn't take 40 years of recondition 40 years of negative thinking. Simply just start doing it with repetition over and over and over, and move your attention. And you will find yourself shifting very quickly.
All right, so what are your transformational takeaways? One is that your negative thinking was learned. It was learned through events that happened many years ago. You made interpretations about those, you created stories, then you created the belief, then the belief is completely unconscious. It's also another takeaway, is that your negative thinking is nothing more than habitual. And what you want to do is you want to pattern interrupt with the examples I gave you of throwing a rock through a TV screen, or a squeegee, or windshield wiper. You can even imagine if you hear your mother talking to you in the back at you know, it's called critical voice. You can even imagine like a radio, click just turning it off. But what you want to do is use those sub modality exercises every time that a negative or an undesirable thought pops up, and then what you're doing is your reconditioning and training the reptilian part of the brain through repetition to no longer give you that thought pattern. Because again, it's just plain and simple, a habit. Okay, that wraps up this episode. And the next episode, Wednesday's episode is going to be about fear. But it's not so much going to be the brain based approach that I've taken in the past. What I'm going to do in the Wednesday episode is I'm going to talk to you about fear from a higher perspective, from a higher perspective of you. And transcending fear and letting it go. So if you're experiencing fear in your life, which basically is also brain-based, we're going to talk about superseding that and going beyond that, if you're experiencing fear, then whatever you do, make sure that you catch Wednesdays episode. Okay. Thanks for listening, and do what you can to make it a great day today. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family. You know, if you found value they will too. So please share via your social media channels. Also, if you have questions, I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to support@JimFortin.com, and I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want transformational content like this daily, connect with me on Instagram. My Instagram name is @IamJimFortin. Finally, I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others, and to grow and evolve ourselves. Together, you and I, let's help more people. If you would please, leave a review on iTunes, and a good one, by the way. I'd be grateful, and through your assistance together, we can transform more lives. Thanks for listening.