Written By
Fatima Doman
Author, Speaker, Positive Psychology Coach, and CEO at AuthenticStrengths.com

Transform Your Thinking With Strong Thoughts 

I’m excited to share a tool with you that helps people redirect negative thoughts to positive ones, rather than just trying to suppress them. Many people say this is an effective way to feel and perform better quickly.  


Research has shown that our attempts to “stuff” negative thoughts can actually result in a preoccupation with the very thoughts we are trying to suppress. Ruminating thoughts tend to go round in circles and typically don’t resolve until we take some form of action, even if it’s simply deep breathing or going out for a walk to calm ourselves. Another key to transforming a negative thought is to replace it with something empowering, such as focusing on our character strengths. 


The tool I’m sharing below offers an easytoremember three-step process to help transform those negative thoughts. I call it the Strong Thoughts© Tool because it leverages your strengths of character in creating a more positive perspective.

Strong Thoughts© Tool 


Observe how negative thoughts make you feel: 

  • “I’m so stupid!  
  • I can’t believe I dropped the ball on that project!  
  • I’m a failure.” 


Negative thoughts and negative self-talk cause stress chemicals to be released in your body. You may notice this through muscle tension, faster heart rate, shallow breathing, sweating, dizziness, lack of awareness, and foggy thinking.  


Contrast this with how differently positive thoughts affect your body. When you are in a positive frame of mind, you tend to feel relaxed, your heart rate stabilizes, and your breathing is deep and effortless. You may notice more energy, increased awareness, and better focus. 


Replace negative thoughts quickly with objective language that utilizes your strengths best suited to the situation. In other words, observe the situation as if you were coaching yourself, and remind yourself of all the ways your character strengths can help you better deal with or solve the issue.  


For example: 

  • “I am learning from this experience.  
  • I am using my strengths of social intelligence and teamwork to have a constructive talk with my colleague.”  
  • I will take responsibility in a way that builds our relationship and increases my colleague’s trust in me.” 


Affirm this authentic view of yourself anchored in your character strengths. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and visualize yourself using the strengths you just called forth for the challenging situation. See yourself behaving in this higher, more ennobling and productive way. Affirm these strengths in yourself until you feel more optimistic about the situation 


Visualize the details of the constructive conversation you will have with your colleague, and create in your mind the outcome you want. Consider how you will practice emotional self-control and focus on learning and growing. Play that over again in your mind to solidify and affirm a positive outcome. 


So, how did that go for you? What did you learn from practicing this self-empowering tool? Learning to quickly shift from a debilitating thought to a Strong Thought© can significantly increase your energy, resilience, and wellbeing. 

Author, speaker, coach, and CEO of Authentic Strengths Advantage Fatima Doman has motivated audiences across six continents to leverage their authentic strengths for transformation. An influential voice in wellbeing, resilience, engagement, and leadership, she is passionate about empowering people for sustainable high performance at work and in life.

For decades, Fatima has worked successfully with Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 clients representing a variety of industries and with educators around the globe. Her books, “Authentic Strengths,” “Authentic Resilience”, and “True You,” have been featured by ThriveGlobal.com, the Huffington Post, and Psychology Today and on TV, radio, and e-learning platforms, and her workshops have been licensed throughout the world. Learn more at AuthenticStrengths.com.

i Mayo Clinic Staff. “Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-Talk to Reduce Stress” Mayo Clinic. Accessed March 25, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/ in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950.