The Power Of A Repetitive Thought

(See Also –
The Power Of A Repetitive Thought Part 2)

Most of the time, without even realising it, we are repeating thoughts to ourselves in our heads. When I use the word “thought” I mean any sort of word, imagery or feeling that occurs in the mind. I’ve may have mentioned this before but there is a saying by Henry Ford that goes “whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right”. So if you keep repeating to yourself that you cannot do something, what do you think will be the result overall?

Lets say, for example, that you’re at work and you’re given a task. It’s not an easy task by any means, but you keep saying to yourself “I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this, I can’t be bothered, I can’t do this.” What do you think will be the result of that kind of thinking?

The process of repetitive thought has come to us in many guises. There are mantras, incantations, affirmations, prayers, or chants. All of these have a similar resulting effect. However, mundanely saying a thought again and again and again to yourself doesn’t achieve much on its own, the power comes from the feeling associated with those thoughts. For example, If you keep telling people and repeating to yourself; “I am ill” and you feel ill and you keep telling people that you’re ill then the ultimate result of that is you will feel even more crappy because that’s what you keep telling yourself and everyone around you.

So you might then ask, “If I am ill, do I keep telling myself that I’m well, aren’t I just deluding myself?” The simple answer is no, you’re not deluding yourself, but you choose your thoughts and if you can find a constructive way of changing your state and emotion then the faster you will heal. Most doctors will tell you that the more stressed your are, the weaker your immune system, whereas, the happier you are, the less likely you are to become ill. I personally am quite healthy and I don’t get ill often. But, if I do, and I have to stay in bed, I may watch some comedies so that I feel better and heal much quicker than if I was depressed and if I felt sorry for myself because of the sickness. I do have a serious health condition, it doesn’t affect me that much in my day to day life, but the docs have warned me that if I don’t act now, then I potentially could face serious repercussions in the future.

In the past, I used to think to myself: “Oh no, what am I going to do, I’m always going to be this way, I’m never going to get better!” So this series of repetitive thoughts led me to feeling stressed and unhappy. As doctors say, stress leads to a weaker immune system. Not only that, people hated being around me because I would make them depressed too. So after a while, I changed my perception of the condition and in time my whole attitude towards it changed. My new chain of repetitive thoughts went along the lines of: “I feel good, happy and I am grateful that I can run, jump and play” It wasn’t always exactly the same, but I would use these patterns of repetition to break the cycle of the less productive thought patterns. And I love being around people and I like to think people love being around me because I’m always, happy and cheerful and those feelings and attitudes rub off onto them.

Everything is repetition! You wake up, brush your teeth, have a shower, go to work or begin your daily routine, you eat, watch t.v. and so on, and the repetition of life continues. As I said earlier whether you’re consciously aware of it or not your life is repetition. A big part of that is the repetitive thoughts that you will have on a day to day basis. So, breaking the cycle of a current set of repetitive thought patterns is not and easy thing to do, but doing so will change your state of being and the way you feel about any given situation or circumstance that occurs. One of the best ways of breaking that repetition is something I posted on earlier called “Minute Meditations.” Minute meditations are ways breaking old thought patterns, into newer, more positive and powerful thoughts at various times during the day when you’re performing a mundane task. So it could be while you’re driving, standing in a queue, cooking, brushing your teeth, or at any other time when you choose. Consciously force yourself out of the old pattern and initiate a new pattern and then allow yourself to unconsciously flow into the new pattern.

The more you consciously direct your thought patterns in the direction you want to go, the more drive and energy you will have to follow through with anything you want to do and the more your creative juices will begin flowing!

44 Responses

  1. Deb says:

    You are so right about how repetetive thoughts can influence how we approach life. Any key to success requires us to look at how we talk to ourselves, what thoughts steer us, etc. What a fab post!

  2. Hi Amit,

    Thanks for so much of what you’ve written. I’m absolutely on board with this post and have done a bit of writing about this topic myself (See my Lavender Log’s category on Mindfulness — http://shonnielavender.com/blog/?cat=3). I’m grateful that there are so many other’s encouraging folks to be more aware AND giving them specific suggestions for how to do this.

    Peace.

  3. Amit says:

    Hi Deb, thanks for the comments, and you raise an important point. The way we talk to ourselves is very important…there is a myth that goes around that auditory digital self talk is a sign of insanity, who ever said that obviously wanted some way of controlling people. The way we communicate with ourselves results in the quality of your lives. Thanks once again! 🙂

  4. Amit says:

    Hi Shonnie, great to have you on the site! 🙂 It’s nice to meet a fellow life coach too! I love the blog and I’ll be putting a link to it on my blogroll!

    Thanks for you comments and encouragement!

  5. Michelle says:

    I believe this is why affirmations can be so powerful.

    Interestingly, there are two schools of thought concerning emotions and affirmations.

    School 1: If your emotions are not involved (i.e. if you are not emotionally passionate about the affirmation), you won’t succeed in making it come true.

    School 2: Is, of course, just the opposite. If you are emotionally involved, then you are attached to the outcome, and you won’t succeed.

    I can see how they each could be true for different people, I suppose. Do you have any thoughts on School 1 or School 2, emotional vigor or calm disassociation?

  6. Amit says:

    Hi Michelle, a pleasure as always! 🙂

    With regards to school of thought 1, I believe that a repetitive “just words” thought, can work on it’s own. I believe in the cases where it doesn’t work, because of it’s lack of emotional experience, people get bored and give up on it very easily.

    With school of thought 2, from personal experience, I think that it relates to affirmations of desparation. So, If I am reciting this affirmation: “I am rich and wealthy beyond my wildest dreams!” but I’m doing it because I’m poor and desparate for money, It won’t work because the thought and emotion don’t match in nature. So If I think that same thought, but I feel good about it, I enjoy thinking it, I feel wealthy at the same time, then that will bring out the best result of all! 🙂

    What do you think?

  7. Michelle says:

    Hi Amit,

    I agree with your conclusion about School 2.

    The power of thought was a hot topic about 100 years ago. I don’t know if you have ever heard of, or read books like “Thoughts are Things” by Prentice Mulford (published in 1908), or “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen (published in 1904)…. I don’t really know how well received these were in their day, but obviously they didn’t carry too far forward or we all would be living quite differently now. 🙂

    My own opinion on the need for emotion or disassociation is still “in development” at the moment, and subject to change with deeper knowledge or clearer understanding of the topic.

    However, (and this is just my opinion) I believe that what a person needs to be successful with affirmations or any similar practice undertaken as an effort to change the thought process or undesirable behavior, is an unswerving belief that you are the creator of your universe. Everything you experience is a reflection of who and what you are. There is no “destiny” you were born to fulfill, no outside influence causing good or bad luck.

    The minute you believe you are in the hands of destiny or any other outside source or power that has complete control over you, you have diluted the power of your own thought, or outright given it away. You believe you can make an attempt at change, but some outside force has the ultimate power over your success or failure.

    I’ve heard about and known quite a few people who have been both successful and unsuccssful with this kind of repetitive process (like reciting affirmations), and it seems to me that, ultimately, you can believe fervently or calmly in your statement, but the key factor to success is that you must believe that you alone are capable and responsible for that success.

    (That’s my two cents worth, anyway) 🙂

  8. Amit says:

    Wow, 🙂 a lot for me to absorb there Michelle, I’m just about to go out but I will reply to your comments very soon!

  9. serenity says:

    In a physiological sense, we know the power of thought over our bodily processes both through research that has been conducted as well as our own personal experience. We know that when we are thinking fearfully, our hearts begin to pound, our stomach is tied up in knots..Our thoughts are driving a physiological process.

    With regard to affirmations and their success, I believe it depends on the affirmation and how it is crafted. To use your example, Amit…”I am rich and wealthy beyond my wildest dreams!” This would be surprising if it ever worked for anyone. However, an affirmation that is crafted to say, “It is within my personal power to create wealth in my life”, that is something entirely different. One is shaping a belief and modifying a perception, the other is simply an attempt to deceive yourself.

    Thank you Amit for always bringing choice and personal power to the forefront of our discussions. Very important topics!!

    Blessings of joy to you this weekend.

  10. Radhika says:

    Hi Amit…sorry coming here after a while. Believe me I have been busy and what not…..

    What you say about repeated thoughts is true, though in my case I think negative thoughts get more repeated. It is a struggle to stop them being repeated.
    Thanks for writing about it Amit

  11. Amit says:

    Michelle,

    I was fortunate to be introduced to “As a Man Thinketh” about 2 months ago and so I read the book and I absolutely loved it. In fact I was just telling a friend yesterday about it and how ahead of its time it was! I can’t even begin to imagine how a ground breaking book like that must have been recieved back in the early 1900’s. I doubt very much that people would have understood it’s message at the time.

    As for you thoughts about us being the creator of our own destinies, I couldn’t agree more! When I used to believe in destiny, I became suicidal! It was only when I began truly understanding the POWER of CHOICE that my life completely turned around.

    Whatever happens, I know that altering the pattern of my thoughts is just the beginning but it has to begin there. Because when I change my habitual thinking, it will eventually become my natural way of thinking and in turn will be the driving force of my life.

    I wholeheartedly appreciate your lovely post and would love to discuss this further with you very soon! 🙂

  12. Amit says:

    Serenity,

    You know, when I actually first came up with the thought “I am rich and wealthy beyond my wildest dreams” I didn’t think it would either. My conscious mind said to me, “that will never work, you’re just deluding yourself Amit” but then I just decided to go ahead and try it anyway. When I began, I immediately felt a shift in my emotions! For some reason, it was just a thought that resonated with me. It gave me a really nice feeling and gave me that emotional “buzz” so to speak. I’m a firm believer that any “I am” statement to the self is a creative force, I haven’t had any results that I can share here yet but I’m experimenting to see what will work for me.

    I think that anything on the finance side will always be open to debate but here is anther example of a change in thought pattern that changed my whole state of being, my energy levels and my love for life.

    Just today, I was doing the activities with the disabled children. In the back of my mind a niggly thought cropped up in me that really disturbed me. It was a thought of wanting to be appreciated and recognised for the work I was doing! I had to snap myself out of it and I thought to myself, “what would change the way I feel and allow to continue with this humbly and without expectation of any return?” So I came up with this one and so far, this thought has, for me, been the most powerful thought that’s shifted my whole being! Here it is: “God appreciates everything that I do! He loves me, adores me and every day he sends me a hug to say thank you for all the amazing things that I’m doing.” This thought totally empowered and re-energised me!

    Your thoughts?

    I loved your affirmation and it’s one that I will experiment with. Thank you for sharing and caring! 🙂

  13. Amit says:

    Radhika,

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, it’s taken me years to get to this stage and I’m only a beginner but practise makes perfect. The hardest part is always snapping yourself out of an old pattern and initiating the new one. Once you get the knack of it, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, you will find that you create new patterns for yourself that will stir new and powerful feelings within yourself.

    What have you been busy with? 🙂

  14. serenity says:

    Amit,
    Well, affirmations of course are a very personal thing. What works for one may not work for another. Also, it can be quite surprising to find what will work for someone. “I am” statements are very powerful indeed and often lead to self respect and personal power.

    In my experience, I have found that “I am” statements are more effective when it addresses an aspect of self or perception as opposed to an aspect that is not of self. I am rich and wealthy (assuming you are speaking financially here and not referring to blessings of life in general) does not really address an aspect of self, or perception. It is seeking something outside of self for fulfillment. On the other hand, to affirm one’s personal power to create wealth, this addresses an aspect of self, and shapes a perception.

    And as far as appreciation goes. Humility is a valuable quality and we should all strive to remove ourselves and our ego from those works we do for others. We are giving our time, our spirit, and effort for the giving, not for the ego gratification or the return. At the same time we are still human, and being encouraged and appreciated in our efforts is something we draw strength and inspiration from.

    And on that note, I will say that I greatly appreciate the positivity you express here in your blog, and in your spirit, and in your work, and in your life. You are a bright shining star in our universe!

    Blessings to you, Amit….love, hugs and smiles flowing endlessly to you.

  15. Michelle says:

    Hi Amit,

    Your post about the children reminded me of an experience I had some years ago. I was working as a classroom assistant in Special Education kindergarten, and in our class, we had a little girl who had cerebral palsy…she ran over our toes a lot in her power-wheelchair. *ouch!* 🙂

    Anyway, the Physical Therapist taught us how to hold her so she could walk…a rather bizarre arrangement of hips and knees, hands and shoulders….but it got her out of the chair and on her feet.

    Well, we took the children outside everyday for recess unless there was a downpour or blizzard, so one winter day the teacher suggested to her dad that he bring in boots for her, and we would get her out of the wheelchair and help her walk outside during recess. He was back within the hour with the boots, and we did as we promised….

    As I said, it was winter, and we were no strangers to snow…the snowbanks around our outdoor recess area were about 7 feet high. So…..I carried this little one to the top of the snowbank, maneuvered into that knees/hips, hands/shoulders arrangement, and there we were, walking on the top of the world!

    You should have heard her…she had never done this before, and she was shrieking with delight: “I’m walking on snow! Look at me, Mrs. T (the other assistant outside with our studenst group), I’m walking on snow!!!” I thought she would burst…I thought I would burst…she was so excited; the joy of the moment was just incredible, it poured out and washed over all of us as though we were one person living one joy….there was no separation of her/me/them…just this brief moment of bliss. I remember thinking, though, that it was a shame that her parents weren’t there to share in this blissful experience.

    Anyway….it was just one of those moments you remember for the rest of your life….pure heaven. 🙂

  16. Amit says:

    Serenity,

    I think it’s just occured to me what it is about that affirmation that worked for me. I think it was because it easily allowed my natural state of P.I.C.’s as I call it, or daydreaming or trance like state to initiate. I’m going to experiment with both over the next few weeks. I will try one for two weeks, and then the other, to see which effects the most transformation in my life! 🙂

    You’ve given me so much to think about, I am eternally greatful. I am going to continue to learn, experiement and see what works for me. I will continue to guinea pig for new ideas and share the results with others.

    Joyfully happy, 🙂

  17. Amit says:

    Michelle, what an awesome story! I’ve invited a few friends with me next time as I truly think that the experience will be life changing for them! It’s moments like those that truly give you overwhelming appreciation for life and give you and even greater sense of purpose!

    Thank you for sharing you amazing story!

    I’ll leave you all with a link to an article that Antarananda shared with me, I haven’t read through the entire article as yet but from what I did read it was very good so I thought I would share it with you here!

    🙂

    http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Latiff1.html

  18. serenity says:

    Amit,
    As I am eternally grateful for you. We all continue to learn, to grow and to experiment. And my motto, as always is … whatever works!!!

    I look forward to hearing of the progress you wish to share along the way.

    Blessings, peace, and LOVE!

  19. Beautiful thoughts!

    i had this thought going on for few months in my head. i was thinking about writing it in the light of how prayer shape our consciousness.

    indeed our inner consciousness is realigned with our thoughts that we repeat. it could be prayer, it could any other mundane things.

    for example, one of my favorite prayers or u can say thought that i repeat is simply this,

    “O Lord beautify my thoughts
    beautify my actions
    beautify my speech
    beautify my relationship with others.

    Indeed You are the most Beautiful and you love what is beautiful.”

    it does gives our consciousness stimulus to work on it, knowingly or unknowingly deep within.

    thanks again for the lovely post.

  20. Amit says:

    Hi Sadiq,

    If you do decide to write that post I would love to have a read! I’m always fascinated by the ideas that others come up with with in terms of prayers, affirmations, etc so it would be interesting to see what ideas you come up with!

    It’s always a pleasure! Let me know when you write that post 😉

  21. Michelle says:

    Hi Amit,

    I think the article is exactly correct in the way it has broken down the different pieces and phases of affirmation use. He’s done an excellent job of showing an effective method to build and make the best use of affirmations.

    However, there is one thing I would like to clarify about “go with the flow.” It isn’t remotely “new-age.” It’s a Daoist concept that is at least 3,000 years old, and is meant to convey the idea that the actions one takes, the things one does, should always be in harmony with and within the energetic laws of nature and the universe. To do otherwise causes inner (and outer, too) conflict, struggle, and disharmony.

  22. Amit says:

    I had no idea that it was an old concept. I agree with you that it is a great article and one which I’ve learned plenty from already. I’m experimenting over the next weeks and probably months too, to see what yields the greatest results.

    Thank you Michelle! 🙂

  23. Brian Kim says:

    Amit,

    You’re dead on when you mention that the power comes from the feeling associated with those thoughts. Napoleon Hill mentions this fact as well. Feelings are like the spark that ignites the jet fuel to make things happen. Great post.

  24. Michelle says:

    Hi Amit,

    I thought you would enjoy this; it is Chapter (or verse if you like) Eight of the Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing), Stan Rosenthal’s translation: all about how to “go with the flow” aka “be like water.”

    Enjoy! 🙂

    Great good is said to be like water,
    sustaining life with no conscious striving,
    flowing naturally, providing nourishment,
    found even in places
    which desiring man rejects.
    In this way
    it is like the Tao itself.

    Like water, the sage abides in a humble place;
    in meditation, without desire;
    in thoughtfulness, he is profound,
    and in his dealings, kind.
    In speech, sincerity guides the man of Tao,
    and as a leader, he is just.
    In management, competence is his aim,
    and he ensures the pacing is correct.

    Because he does not act for his own ends,
    nor cause unnecessary conflict,
    he is held to be correct
    in his actions towards his fellow man.

  25. Amit says:

    Thank you for your post Brian!

    Do you think in that case that, the thought or affirmation itself is not that important and that so long as it generates a feeling in me of experiencing that thing now?

  26. Amit says:

    Michelle,

    What a great extract. I have another confession and that is that I have never even heard of the Tao Te Ching before you mentioned it.

    I remember watching an interview with Bruce Lee and I remember him saying something similar along the lines of: “Be like water, it’s the softest stuff in the world, and yet it can penetrate rock!”

    Thank you for introducing me to that, I truly appreciate it! 🙂

  27. Brian Kim says:

    I think that the thought or affirmation is the catalyst to CREATE the feelings of having it now.

  28. Amit says:

    Nicely put! 🙂

  29. Tabs says:

    I found an amazing affirmation that I replay constantly in my head over the last year, from the moment I started repeating the affirmation I could literally see my life changing for the better. The key to affirmations is finding the one that resonates with you, you have to believe in it. Thanks for this great blog.

  30. Amit says:

    Hi Tabs, Would you be able to share it here or is it something that you prefer to keep private?

  31. Dan says:

    I am curious to know your thoughts on the follow up film to The Secret, “How Thoughts Become Things.” Is the Law of Attraction or Neuroscience really responsible for all the consequences in my life. seems pretty bold, considering we don’t even really know what the Law of Attraction is. Or is it simply my life is a result of real life efforts following the thoughts that I really value as worthwhile. A little confused about this?

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Dan, your question is an interesting one and one that often sparks so much debate. Do we really attract everything? Are events random or made to happen in some by our thinking?

      I haven’t seen the follow up film but here are my thoughts:

      If I were to sit around and visualise a picture of new iPhone 4G in front of me would I automatically manifest one? No of course not. That’s not have matter, nature and energy work. If I want one and I make steps and bring my thoughts, words, deeds all into alignment then I am much more likely to get it.

      Am I responsible for all the bad things that happen to me? In some way yes. But I don’t think it’s does anyone any good to think like that. I personally prefer to keep looking forward and understand that right now I do have a choice in how I respond to them. If I take a totally different direction I’m likely to start attracting more of that stuff into my life.

      Does that make sense? Would you like further clarification?

      Amit

  32. louise says:

    the more you consciously create your life, the more you understand this truth i think

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