Don't Let Negative Thoughts Sabotage Your Goals

October 24, 2018 Jenny Capper

Negative thoughts can stop us from accomplishing our goals. Learn a strategy on how to turn those thoughts around at HealthyPlace.

As negative thoughts are racing through your head, it's hard to focus on anything else, especially your ambitions. Goals can seem impossible to achieve when you're in the wrong mindset. You might even decide that it's not worth it to start a project or focus on a goal because you're experiencing all these negative thoughts that say you can't do it.

But one way to turn your negative thoughts into positive thoughts is to provide a counterpoint every time you have a doubt or find a reason that you can't do something. However, thoughts often move so fast that it's hard to keep track of each one and try and change it ("Negative Thoughts Consuming Your Mind? Try the GLAD Technique"). Here is a strategy you can use to combat and turn around your negative thoughts.

Provide a Counterpoint for Each Negative Thought

First, grab a piece of paper and write down all your goals in a bullet list format. These can be anything you want to accomplish, big or small. Here are a few examples:

  • Make my bed every morning
  • Drink eight cups of water a day
  • Get a promotion at work
  • Learn a new language
  • Write a book

After you finish, go down your list and next to each goal, write why you can't accomplish it. In other words, write the negative thoughts that pop into your head when you think about attempting the goal. For example: 

  • Make my bed every morning -- I'm so lazy. I'll never get up with enough time to do this.
  • Drink eight cups of water a day -- I have no self-discipline. I can't follow through with this. 
  • Get a promotion at work -- I'm not capable of having any more responsibilities. I'm worthless at work.
  • Learn a new language -- I'm too stupid to learn a whole new language.
  • Write a book -- I don't have the skill or the time to even attempt this.

You're now looking at a list full of negativity. It's time to take those thoughts and turn them around ("How to Turn Negative Self-Talk into Positive Self-Talk").

Take out another sheet of paper and write down the goals in the same order. On this list, you're going to write a counterpoint for the reason you think you can't do it.

  • Make my bed every morning -- I know how good I'll feel if I can wake up five minutes earlier to do this.
  • Drink eight cups of water a day -- I know if I set reminders, I'll follow through with this.
  • Get a promotion at work -- I'm a hard worker and my boss can depend on me. I deserve this promotion.
  • Learn a new language -- With the right tools, I can definitely learn a new language.
  • Write a book -- I have the skills and passion. If I spend just a little time every day working on it, I can write an entire book.

After you finish, put this list somewhere you will see it every day. Anytime you start to doubt your capability of accomplishing a goal, refer back to it.

Remind Yourself Your Negative Thoughts Are Not Reality

Negative thoughts try to trick you into thinking that you'll never succeed. This isn't true. Visualizing these thoughts and then finding ways to turn them around is key. By using strategies such as this one, you will find that accomplishing your goals isn't as hard or crazy as it seems.

APA Reference
Capper, J. (2018, October 24). Don't Let Negative Thoughts Sabotage Your Goals, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 18 from

Author: Jenny Capper

You can find Jenny on Twitter, FacebookYouTube, Instagram, and her blog.

November, 14 2018 at 10:41 am

Great idea for a writing exercise! I'm going to read over my goals and positive thoughts every morning. Thank you! :)

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