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How 'Thinking About Thinking' Can Help You Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

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Mindfulness is one of the most powerful mental practices we can use to reach our goals.

When we discipline the mind to be fully present and aware, we develop something called “metacognition", which feels as if we have a type of cognitive superpower and can discern our thoughts with exact precision. 

Metacognition is often defined as “thinking about thinking.” This means that we’re aware of the thinking process, so, therefore, can be involved in it thoroughly.

Rather than just allowing thoughts to pop up in our head, as they will, and pretty much go along with whatever thought our mind is holding onto — I call this “hosting” — we can actively participate in the thinking process mindfully and notice our thoughts with exact precision.

This means we can literally pick and choose which of our thoughts we want to “host,” and which we want to let go of — or in a hosting context, tell to leave. 

RELATED: How Meditation Improves Your Spiritual Health

Using mindfulness as a type of superpower makes us feel as if we have quality control over our thinking.

We can use our thoughts for exactly what we need to reach our goals, successfully.  

The main reason that people have a difficult time reaching their goals is that their thinking doesn’t consistently support what they’re trying to achieve.

This means they can tell themselves what they want to do and can initially start strong in supporting themselves with their intention, but if their attention isn’t on the intention through mindfulness, then they very quickly become less aware of the thoughts that aren’t supporting them in achieving their goal.

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This can allow thoughts that are critical or full of doubt because they aren’t exercising quality control over their thinking. Soon, these critical or doubting thoughts begin to dominate their mind. Without practicing mindfulness as their superpower, they become defeated by their own way of thinking. 

Instead, to activate your Mindfulness superpower and give attention to your intention of reaching your goal, use a mindful meditation, like below.

Follow these five steps to sharpen your metacognition and tap into your superpower

1. Sit or lie quietly and silently and say to yourself, “I wish to reach my goal of ___.”

Don't judge yourself, just let it flow.

2. Acknowledge yourself as the gatekeeper of the thoughts that support your goal.

From that point onward, consider yourself in charge of quality control of your thoughts. 

3. When a thought pops into your mind, note whether it’s positive or negative.

If it’s positive, accept it as a thought that wants to serve your well-being, and help you reach your goal. If it’s negative, acknowledge that it holds no useful purpose for your well-being, or for reaching your goal, and consciously tell yourself, “I choose to let this thought go.”

Replace it with a positive counterthought, like, “I will reach my goal,” “I have this,” or “I’m already successful.” 

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4. At the end of each day, write down the thoughts that supported you in working to achieve your goal.

Also, write down the thoughts that tried to defeat you.

By the end of the week, your supportive, positive thoughts should outnumber the negative ones until your goal is achieved. 

5. Once you achieve your goal, acknowledge that it was you, using Mindfulness as your superpower, that led you to successfully realize your goal.

Knowing that you have the ability to use mindfulness as your superpower can allow you to feel that there’s no goal, big or small, that you can’t achieve.

The only thing that gets in the way of reaching a goal are thoughts that tell you that you can’t. But with your mindfulness superpower, you know that you truly “have this,” and no other thought can convince you otherwise. 

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Ora Nadrich is a certified life coach and mindfulness teacher. She's also the president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity. More information is available on her website

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This article was originally published at Brainz Magazine. Reprinted with permission from the author.