Every day we face challenges, decisions, and circumstances that increase our stress levels and occasionally wear us out. According to Norman Vincent Peale, “A change in your thoughts, changes your world”. Also, your thoughts over the years are your present reality –how you view something becomes your truth. Think about it for a moment!

There is a story of a boy, who had a difficult time in school and decided to quit. Having made his decision, he shared his experience with his father. His father placed three pots filled with water on a burner.

Inside the first pot, he placed carrots, the second he placed eggs and in the third, he placed coffee beans. After boiling for some time, he placed the three items before his son to observe and taste. He touched the carrots which were soft – unlike before. Also, he broke the eggs and realised the eggs were hard.

When he sipped a cup of the coffee bean, he savoured the sweet aroma and asked his father what he meant. His father explained, the three objects – carrot, egg, and coffee bean –faced the same situation but, reacted differently, after which he asked him – which of these items are you?

You can decide to be soft-hearted like the carrot, tough like the egg or change your circumstances entirely like the coffee beans. Basically, how you react under any circumstance depends on your thought paradigm. Consequently, making positive changes that will change your circumstances begins with your thought process.

Facing difficult circumstances regularly can break you and change the way you think and respond to such situations. However, you have the power to change your circumstances by changing your thoughts and attitudes.

The power of the mind

Your mind is the seat of creation and you are the architect – consciously or unconsciously. The mind is like a garden, you can cultivate it with positive thoughts in order to yield the harvest you desire or allow weeds (negative thoughts) to destroy your garden.

Typically, how you think determines the quality of your life – contented or unhappy. When you nurture happy, positive, optimistic thoughts and emotions, your subconscious mind picks it and assumes it is the reality you want in your life. The subconscious mind brings to reality both positive and negative thoughts.

Given that your mind influences your circumstances, the way you think will either affect your life negatively or positively. Therefore, changing your circumstances using the power of your mind is by being conscious of the thoughts you allow into your mind.

How to change your circumstances

Blaming someone or something for your current circumstances brings a temporary relief to most people. Nonetheless, this approach does not provide the comfort you hope to find. However, taking responsibility for your circumstances, changing your thoughts and attitudes is the best way to change your current situation.

Quit playing the blame game

The first step to changing your circumstances is to stop playing the blame game – stop blaming events or someone for your circumstances. Yes, people and events influence your circumstance but you have to take responsibility for the role you play.

Now that you know that your thoughts determine your reality and circumstances, you may want to look back and analyse the decisions that create your circumstances. Besides, accepting some responsibility for your situations gives you the will to change your circumstances and your life.

If you blame others for your circumstances, you give them the power to influence your life. If you doubt the role you played in your current circumstances, a look at your thought paradigm will convince you. These questions about your thoughts should help:

• Are your thoughts predominantly negative?

• Is your thought filled with anger, hate or resentment?

• Do you dwell on your past failures?

• Do you believe you can’t succeed?

If you answered yes to the above questions, then you attracted the negative situations into your life. Accept that you are responsible for your circumstances and believe you can change it.

No doubt, your thought becomes your choices, your choices become your actions, your actions become your attitude, and your attitude becomes your reality.

Examining your choices will speed the process of accepting your responsibility. Look back at the choices you’ve made and observe how you could have made a better one by changing your thoughts. In addition, not playing the blame game, gives you the power to channel that energy and change your thoughts.

Change your attitude and change your mind

Changing the way you think begins by being aware of your thoughts and making sure they are positive before your subconscious mind picks them up. Your actions are the direct manifestation of your choices.

Clearly, to change your circumstances, have a sense of fulfilment and happiness – there must be a change in the way you think. The beauty of the mind is that it is willing to adopt any changes you decide to feed it.

Like the coffee bean, your attitude towards your circumstances determines if it changes or not – you need to decide how to you respond – positively or negatively. It follows that a negative attitude attracts negative circumstance and a positive attitude attracts a positive circumstance.

Controlling your thought is a decision you have to make every day. It is a conscious choice, and best tackled from the roots of our thoughts. Below is a list of ways you can change your thoughts.

Create positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are very powerful as well as negative affirmations. Affirmations are thoughts or phrase your repeat always; positive affirmations are like mantras – they carry a spiritual force with them. One example is the one I use when I feel like giving up – I can do it if I put my mind to it.

Create your own affirmation, by making it forceful and determined! I can, I will, I am going to – and your mind will change to create your affirmation.

Count your joys and blessings

Gratitude unlocks more blessing and fullness of life. It turns denial to acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarify and what you have into more.

Be grateful for what you have now – no matter how small, even if your circumstances are not what you want.