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September 10, 2019

How to Legit Control Your Thoughts

As a serial entrepreneur who has built, operated, and sold multiple businesses, I’ve won and lost my fair share of clients. It’s part of the game. Winning clients feels great. Losing them, not so much. It’s scary. My thoughts used to immediately go to a scarcity mindset that if one client left, all would bounce, and I would be sent back to poverty. 

I’ve realized my thoughts have a significant impact on all aspects of my life, and my scarcity mentality wasn’t a good place to operate from. Though I know how it feels to be stuck in negativity, I’ve also learned how to control and shift my thoughts to a different frame of mind. With practice, I’ve learned to live in a positive mindset that feeds my creativity, skyrockets my productivity, and continuously helps me do well while doing good for others. 

Ultimately if our thoughts dictate our actions, then it’s essential to maintain a positive mindset. I’m going to share with you the same process I practice to legit control my thoughts. These techniques can help you through almost any day, any situation — even if you feel like your life is up in flames.  

Acknowledge That Your Mind Is Not Your Awareness

When you’re feeling restless, have you ever caught yourself saying, “Man, my mind is racing!” Though the saying captures our emotions, the terminology is not quite on point. 

A mind is a tool. It’s a fixed object and does not move. On the other hand, awareness is your conscious recognition of our memories, feelings, and surroundings. Awareness moves freely and is actually the racing part of our minds. 

Your mind is like a big house with many rooms. Your awareness is like a flashlight that sheds light into a room. Just as you can walk around your dark house with a light and shine a light where you need to go, you can move your awareness around your mind and focus it on what you want. 

Try this: Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Bring your awareness to the room around you. What do you hear? What’s the temperature? What are you touching? Your awareness is focused on the place and your physical body. Now bring your awareness to your last vacation. What was it like? What did you do? How did it feel? How many days were you there? Do you remember the food you ate?

Now, open your eyes. Guess what? You just controlled your awareness.

Just by doing this exercise, you’ll see your awareness moves, but more importantly that you can consciously control it. 

Practice Shifting Your Awareness

Start practicing moving your awareness regularly with an exercise I call “Imagination Stories”. It’s such an easy and fun practice, I do it with my kids all the time.

 Every night before you go to sleep, ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s the temperature in the room like?
  • What do I hear?
  • Do I feel the bed, pillow, and sheets under me? 

Then shift your awareness to another prompt like the last time you hung out with a friend or how you spent your last holiday. Ask yourself some questions like:

  • What did I do?
  • What did I wear?
  • Who did I see?
  • Why did I go?
  • What kind of food did I eat?
  • What was the weather like?  

Then come back to the present. Make this exercise a ritual; with time, you’ll find you will be able to move your awareness and hold it in one place with little effort.  

Related: High Vibes 101: A Practical Guide for Emerging Leaders

Become an Observer and Meditate

Of course, we all want to have a positive mindset. However, there will always be circumstances where our awareness will inadvertently go to places we don’t want it to go. The ability to observe the inadvertent shifts will help you get out of them and prevent them altogether. 

Shifting from negative to positive in stressful situations is challenging. Maintaining your awareness takes an immense amount of observation skills and self-awareness. I can’t think of a better way to develop these skills than sitting in meditation.

Meditation develops your emotional intelligence so you can identify when your mindset is in the wrong place. If you’re unaware you’re stuck in a negative rut in the first place, you’ll never be able to shift your thoughts.

Meditation also quickly destresses our bodies to maintain a relaxed mindset in stressful situations. Even in cases where we can properly identify our emotions and mindset, if we are too stressed, it’s easy to become fixated on negative thoughts. A meditation practice helps us keep our cool when the shit hits the fan so we can quickly shift towards a more rational and less emotional reaction.

If you’re not quite sure how to meditate or you’ve struggled with making meditation stick, my book Bling breaks down a meditation practice designed for controlling your thoughts. If you’re interested in learning about my upcoming release, read My First Book Unveiled: Bling and sign up on Spotify to get an alert when the book album drops on November 8, 2019.

You’re In Control 

Breaking the scarcity mindset whenever a client left my business wasn’t easy. With awareness practice and daily meditation, I forcefully moved my awareness to celebrate when new clients came in because it was a hell of a lot cooler than throwing a pity party when clients left. 

Though we can’t control the ups and downs life throws at us, we can learn to control how we react. Wherever our awareness goes, our energy flows. Would you rather direct your awareness to something negative or positive?

It’s your choice.   

All it takes is practice. Try out the night time routine and let me know if it works for you! 

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