How do you want to feel right now?
Seriously. If you could pick any feeling in the world to have right now, what would it be?
Thought work isn’t just about trying to feel less bad. It’s also about creating positive emotions that we want to feel, on purpose.
Which means you can decide to feel great on purpose.
And guess what? When you feel great, your actions will flow from those feelings, so choosing to create positive feelings in your life will lead to positive actions and results in your life.
I call this “generating positive emotion” and it’s my new favorite magic trick.
Now, if you’ve heard me talk about why “positive thinking” doesn’t work, you may be a little confused.
But there is an important distinction here: generating positive emotion isn’t about ignoring or resisting negative emotion you haven’t dealt with. It’s about starting from scratch with new thoughts that create genuine positive feelings for you.
And you can do this with literally any emotion.
So how does it work?
Let’s walk through it.
Let’s say you want to feel grateful.
Since your thoughts create your emotions, let’s figure out what you’d need to think in order to feel grateful.
Write down a few different gratitude-related thoughts and try each one on as though you’re trying on outfits.
These thoughts can be anything. Some people respond well to more general thoughts like “I have a lot to be grateful for” while others may prefer something a little more concrete - say, listing out a few things that make you feel grateful when you think them.
The only thing that matters is that your thought leads to feelings of gratitude.
As with clothes, there’s no one-size-fits-all thought that will produce the same feeling for everyone.
Sometimes a thought that feels GREAT for one person and even sounds nice in theory may fall flat when you read it. That’s ok! Just keep trying on thoughts until you find one that works for you. Read each thought and be curious about yourself and what emotion each thought creates in your body.
Once you find a thought that creates a positive emotion in your body, you know what to do: Practice that thought on purpose all day long.
Soon, your brain will start looking for more evidence to support whatever the thought is throughout the day.
Brains love to spot patterns, and when you give them a positive thought to focus on, they’ll go to town.
It’s pretty amazing.
So what do you want to feel in your life?
Do you want to feel friendly? Come up with a thought that makes you feel friendly. Go through your day practicing it, and you will look for opportunities to be friendlier in your life.
Do you want to feel love? I recommend picking one or two people to focus your thoughts on. Practice these thoughts and you will look for things to love and reasons to love the people in your life.
Do you want to feel motivated? Spend your day looking for opportunities to be motivated and practice thoughts that help create motivation for you.
It gets even better.
Maybe you have big dreams for your life, but they feel distant to you.
You can decide on purpose to generate feelings that will create the results you want to see in your life.
Let’s say the result you want is a $100,000 coaching business.
Try asking yourself how you would want to FEEL in order to create that result.
Motivated? Excited? On fire with purpose?
Whatever it is, decide the feeling you want and work backward to see what thought you’d need to believe to create that emotion.
Then practice creating that emotion all day.
By focusing on the positive feeling you want to generate, you can discern thoughts that will actually work for you and help generate feelings that will produce the actions and results you want in your life.
And that, my chickens, will make you unstoppable.
I'm a former lawyer and now a Master Certified Coach. I work with high-achieving women who believe in empowerment, but don't always feel empowered. I teach my clients how to overcome social conditioning and their own self-critical thoughts so that they can create more confidence and get what they [...]