Although some motivational speakers might imply they’ve mastered the art of positive thinking, don’t believe it. Even Norman Vincent Peale, well-known author and speaker about the Power of Positive Thinking, realized that not even the most optimistic person in the world can think positively all the time.

Successful people, however, have learned how to quickly get rid of their negative thoughts when they do surface. There are several techniques which can be used to help. The following is a simple process that might work.

First, identify the thought that is bothering you. This is most likely, a fear of something like failure. However, it could also be a fear of rejection, incompetence, illness or catastrophe.

Second, remind yourself that a very high percent of the time, things that we dread (fear), never materialize. Since we’re human, that doesn’t always get rid of worry, so read on.

Third, interrupt the worry by a visualization technique. It doesn’t really matter the visualization scenario as long as it’s something to focus on. Maybe it’s playing golf or attending a child’s special event. It might be watching a candle flame. Once the visualization becomes clear, take a long, deep breath. This slows our breathing. The majority of people can’t think of two opposing, unrelated, thoughts at the same time, so you’ll find your fear diminishing. The visualization, coupled with deep breathing, triggers a relaxation response.

Forth, reject the negativity. As you exhale, imagine that you are breathing out the fearful or negative thought. If your visualization was watching a candle burn, observe the flame be extinguished when you blow it out. This symbolizes the power of your ability to remove the fear or worry as represented by the flame.

Lastly, replace the negativity. Instead of negativity, put a positive affirmation in its place and repeat it several times. Years ago, I had a friend who had been given a short time to live unless he had radical treatment and even then he was given a low probability of a five year survival. Instead of focusing on the negativity, he replaced those thoughts with visualization of how life would be with long-term survival. He created a set of specific objectives and wrote them down, so they were always present to focus on during rehabilitation. After 20 years he is still thriving.

Norman Vincent Peale said, “No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities, always see them, for they’re always there.”

Think about it...