Growing up a helpless romantic, I had my heart broken quite a few times. But one wonderful thing that came out of all of that was my mother’s sage advice.
Her advice was to say the word, “NEXT” whenever this happened and think of something else, or BETTER YET someone else, like a director asking an actor to leave the stage so that another could audition for the leading role. It wasn’t a cure-all for what ailed me but it helped me realize I could choose what I wanted to focus on.
I’m sure most of you are beyond the puppy-love stage in your life. I know I am. But I still use this little trick to snap me out of negative thoughts that I now know I create.
Every time you feel a negative thought entering your mind, do the following:
1. Recognize you are creating this negative thought.
2. Know you can choose a positive thought.
3. Say or think to your self “NEXT”, “NEW THOUGHT” or “BETTER YET.”
4. Now choose that positive thought.
5. If your new thought makes you feel better, STOP.
6. If it doesn’t, continue the “NEXT/NEW THOUGHT” process until you do.
“Do this exercise enough and the word NEXT will become your next best friend.” – Kristy Fong
*You can use any word or words for this exercise. You can even use an action. I often tap my fingers on something. When I work with improv actors I use the term “NEW CHOICE”, with intellectuals “NEW THOUGHT”, with the military “MOVE OUT.” My personal favorite has been “BETTER YET.” When I need a real kick in the pants, I command myself to,“SNAP OUT OF IT, ROB!”
Sometimes a negative thought can be felt before it has a real good hold on you, that’s when you can nip it in the bud and immediately say, “NOT THIS TIME!”
Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber
Special thanks to Kristy and Kelly Fong
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