I’m just speaking from personal experience here, but I think that in general, trying to change people’s thoughts is a waste of time. This of course goes against the grain of just about every self improvement book I have ever read.
Most of them start with change your mind and the rest will follow. I think this is backwards, futile, and a waste of time. They preach that better thinking will lead to better actions.
A question. Think about a couple of your most cherished beliefs. Politics, religion, The Way Things Are…just think about the belief systems that you participate in. How easily could you change your minds about them? Could you do it through willpower alone? I say no. The inadequate phrases “change your mind” and “think positively” do not provide any useful direction that I can see.
On the other hand, what about changing your actions? Is it easier to do something different, or to think something different?
I’ll use an example I always see in the fitness world. “My therapist says I need to change my mental/emotional relationship with food.” Oh, okay.
How often does that work? Not for everyone, that’s for sure.
But everyone can take an action. Everyone can go for a walk. Few seem to be able to change the way they think or feel without first moving. Taking action. Thoughts that are not coupled with actions seem completely inadequate to me in affecting any real changes.
If you have a goal that you cannot seem to move towards, I would suggest an experiment:
The first is to ask this question: is there an experiment I could use to test the effectiveness of taking action versus changing my thoughts?
The second is to take an action that you associate with progress toward the goal. Choose a time frame, execute, and reevaluate.
Are you now close to your goal or farther away? Better or worse?
So far, I am always better when I move while guided by positive associations, results oriented, rather than thinking real hard about how I would like to think differently about things.
The right movements and actions will lead to better thoughts and results. The only subjective part of this is how we each define better and the goals we choose to pursue.