Has that ever worked for you? If I tell you: Whatever you do, don't think "elephant", what happens? No matter what you do, you really can't help but think "elephant", can you? Telling yourself NOT to think about something is a guarantee that you will TOTALLY focus on it.
I remember reading an article in Parents Magazine when my daughter was a baby. A pediatrician was explaining how parents should not tell their children, "It won't hurt", because the child will not hear the "it won't" part; all they will hear is the "hurt" and they're going to be scared and tense up and start crying and that will make it hurt even more. Makes sense, huh?
But don't we do that to ourselves all the time when we're trying to affect change in our lives? Whether we commit to changing our eating habits or starting an exercise program or whatever habit we may be trying to break, if we focus on NOT doing something, that's all we think about. It's like reading cookbooks when you're trying to diet. It's not going to give you the pay-off you're looking for.
When someone asks you what you want to have happen in your life, can you give a description that does NOT include what you don't want? Or do you respond with what you don't want, as in, "I don't want to be stressed" or "I don't want to be fat"?
I was thinking about that episode of "The Biggest Loser" this morning as I was doing my intenSati workout. It was more reinforcement to what my "trainer" on the DVD (Patricia Moreno) was telling me: That if I focus on the positive affirmation connected to the move I'm doing, my mind can't start thinking about how tired I am or how difficult this balance position is, which would ultimately lead to me telling myself I can't do it. Your mind can't fully hold two thoughts at the same time. So, we can choose where we're going to focus: on the positive thoughts, so they crowd out the negatives and we are successful, or on the negative thoughts so we're discouraged and give up. We really have all the power right there in our minds.
And don't confuse this concept with the idea so many people espouse when they encourage you to "think positive". What does that mean, exactly? It's not about being Pollyanna and trying to force yourself or pretend to be happy. It means thinking about what you REALLY WANT and focusing on that.
How can you use this principle in your life? Think about where you can apply it to something you struggle with. If you wait until you're in the moment, it's not going to happen. But if you will formulate a positive statement, affirmation if you will, that reinforces what you really want, and do it in advance so you're ready, it can change your life. Hold THAT thought, no matter what, and you will get there. And the journey will be much more pleasant, because it will prevent you from holding thoughts of doubt, discouragement and lack.