Why We Cannot Trust our Thoughts


If you’re one of those positive people who always looks on the bright side and sees life as an endless adventure with only good outcomes, you should skip this post.

For the rest of us, this article offers some fresh insights into why we simply cannot trust our thoughts and what we can do about it.

Whether you’re in a state of transformation, having to make big decisions or trying to figure out the next phase of your life or career, your thoughts are often dictating how far you are willing to venture out of your comfort zone.

Most of us immediately think of all the negative outcomes, the failures that can happen, the worst possible scenarios or all of the other imaginative things your mind comes up with. This is a natural and automatic mechanism that has helped the human race survive for a long time. Long ago, when humans were still hunters and gatherers this instinct kept them from experiencing a lot of harm. In today’s world, however, these thoughts stand in the way of personal and professional success.

Often times we don’t even realize the impact of these negative thoughts right away and instead notice this feeling of uncertainty, fear and sometimes even panic. This affects how we view a situation and leaves us unable to move on and instead respond with sadness, stagnation and  frustration. The threat of the unknown keeps us treading water.

However, these negative outcomes are only guesses. You never know how a situation might turn out. You cannot look into the future and see where your actions lead you and neither can your thoughts. They’ve been wired over hundreds of thousands of years in order to think of the negative, but you can always turn it around.

Instead of constantly imagining the worst, why not force your brain to think of the best outcomes? They are just as likely to happen as the other ones.

Especially when you’re passionate about something, the positive scenarios are more likely to happen because you enjoy what you’re doing and you give it your best.

The future is full of opportunities and the ideas you have, the risks you would like to take, the changes that you want to make happen are absolutely possible. Don’t let your thoughts betray you and instead be proactive about it.

When you imagine your future and you notice these negative thoughts occupying your mind, push them away as being only one possible eventuality and focus on the positive sides of your plans. The more you do that the easier it will get to become a positive thinker and to take your future in your own hands without the constant self-sabotage you have been doing to yourself for so long.

I used to be a very, very insecure person. I saw the world as scary, harsh and life so difficult to live. I was always walking on what I thought was the safe side, which made me quite miserable. But my thoughts dictated that this lifestyle was the best, safest and the only one that would keep me out of harm. When I realized how much my thoughts were betraying me and my true potential and I started to distrust them, I quit my job without regretting it knowing that the world has more to offer for me than working at Starbucks. I decided not to continue my studies and focused solely on my business, which took off faster than I could have thought. I was walking more confidently, became more optimistic and took more risks. I saw a future that was full of possibilities and fun and I didn’t let those naysaying thoughts take over.

Sure, there will always be negative outcomes when you take a different and new approach and there will be some failures along the way. But those are there to learn from and grow. This is your life and you use those lessons to create new opportunities.

But you can only make this happen by immediately and completely mistrusting your thoughts.

Some Amazing Comments


About the author

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is a body image expert, self-love advocate and the author of Love Your Body The Way It Is. Join her newsletter and receive your free 3-part video series helping you to break free from your obsession with food and your body.


  • Thanks for sharing this post Anne-Sophie. I’ve recently done quite a bit of reading in this area and I’ve learned a lot from the insights of 2 people – Blair Singer and his book/audio cd “Little Voice Management” and John Kehoe author of “Mind Power”. Both have some good techniques for dealing with the negative thoughts (voices) that can hold you back from achieving all you are capable of. The biggest take-home for me has been to realize that the mind lies and when we realize this there is nothing to stop us from substituting positive thoughts in their place as Remex Sasson suggested above. Why should we believe the usually ridiculous negative thoughts our minds present to us but be reluctant to believe the ridiculously positive thoughts we might try to introduce. Neither has more merit than the other yet we are inclined to believe the negative. As soon as I realized this the negative thoughts lost their power over me. Hope this helps you too?!

  • Thoughts are a way we interpret senses received from external world and match them to our beliefs system. There’s no right or wrong answer only outcomes. If we don’t like the outcome, then we must challenge our thoughts. In order to make that challenge, we must first mistrust them like what you clearly said in the article. thank you.

  • That’s a great way of training your mind to be positive and it’s a life-changing step to take. Yes, it takes persistance, but it’s so worth it, isn’t it?

  • One of the ways to become positive is to learn to subsitute negative thoughts with positive ones. Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It is as if someone is writing something you don’t like on a blackboard, and then you erase it, and write something else.

    In time, if you are persistent enough, the subconscious mind will accept the positive thought and reject the negative one.

  • Hi Anne-Sophie, you are so right and as Helen Keller put it, “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within”. There is little doubt that you are (or will become) what you think. But thinking is only part one. Real success comes from realising, appreciating and gaining control of the associated emotions or feelings (and vice versa). Thanks for a great post, Stephen

    • Hi Stephen,

      thanks for your comment. I agree with you that thinking is only the first part of a long sequence of things ending in taking action in life, in whatever way you want to implement what’s going on in your mind.

  • Sometimes negative thought can easily overpower the positive ones. I should know, I’ve let negative thoughts rule my decisions more times than I could count. But I think making decisions with regard to things that you care and passionate about are the easiest to make. So knowing yourself and dong what you love can greatly influence the way you decide.
    Great post!

    • I absolutely agree with you, Gori. Knowing your true self is a big part of making the best decisions that are right for you and true to your values. The more in tune you are with yourself and your thoughts, the better you can live life.

  • Interesting, Anne! I love that you choose to brush away your fear and abandon the ‘always-be-safe’ approach. Instead, listen to your heart and make a bold decision. Even the outcome may hurt, but you’ll learn and grow. Your experience really inspires me. Thanks a lot~

  • Hi Anne-Sophie,
    I only trust my positive thoughts…your first sentence is a great target to aim for
    be good to yourself

    • Hi David,

      that’s a great way of living life. I am so happy to hear you’re one of those who mistrusts the negative thoughts in our head. I wish there were more of you. :)

  • This is very true, I used to be a very negative and anxious person. When I learned that I could control the thoughts in my mind it was literally life changing. It can still be challenging at times but I have the resources that I need to get my thoughts where I need them. It really is amazing how our thoughts guide the outcomes of life!

    • I agree. It is amazing how our thoughts can completely change our perspective or the way we are going and so often we don’t realize it. I am so glad that you are working on being positive. It is a challenge, but I am sure you will master it.

  • So true. I have recently been listening to brainwave entrainment MP3’s to see if the negative thoughts I was having might be a result of my brain activity. Sure enough, after listening to the audio that “relaxes” the brain I noticed a lighter feeling in my thoughts.

  • Psychologist John Grohol coined the term “catastrophizing” to describe the behavior you’re talking about. The fact is, regardless of how optimisic we are, we tell ourselves stories every day – stories about where we’ve been, where we’re going and who we are – and the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ outcome of those stories are based on perceptions and personal biases.

    Being able to step back and observe the singular change/transition within “the bigger picture” of your life helps to moderate how you think and feel about a certain event. When all is said and done, a singular event may not seem as sweeping and dramatic if you can learn to keep things in perspective.

  • Nice post!

    You are absolutely right about fighting the negative thoughts in order to move ahead. This is the ONLY thing that really works, or else you are bound to be surrounded by more negative thoughts, unknown fears, and things that will only sadden or depress you.

    I think what matters most is that you learn to see the positive side of things, even when you are surrounded by negative thoughts, and learn to face those fears and take the failures as stepping stones to success.

    I guess sometimes you need to push aside your thoughts – the negative ones as they are only thoughts, and listen to your heart, which will always tell you to fight on and move ahead.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Thanks of commenting, Harleena.

      It’s true, sometimes we just have to take a moment to breathe, get some perspective and focus on the positive stuff, which there always is, no matter the situation. I think it’s constant decision you have to take in order to stop letting your thoughts drag you down.

  • As for me, then it’s really a big problem for me to leave some negative thoughts far away from me. Of course, I know that all our thoughts are material, but still…
    You are absolutely right that we see situation in a completely different light.

  • Thoughts are just thoughts – it is what we do with them that matters. If we could make friends with our mind and able to see our thoughts for what they it might be better than treating our mind with distrust and as if it is an enemy. Who is thinking those thoughts anyway?

    • Good point, Renee. I was just trying to make the point that we are in control of what we think if we make an effort. I have seen what a great impact it can have on a life if you work on your thoughts. I have always been negative and that’s how I saw the world and life, no I think much more positively and so many things have turned around in my life. It’s incredible. Thoughts are very much a part of us, but they’re trained to go to the bad places first.

  • Great article Anne!

    I love your insights here:-

    “Instead of constantly imagining the worst, why not force your brain to think of the best outcomes? They are just as likely to happen as the other ones. Especially when you’re passionate about something, the positive scenarios are more likely to happen because you enjoy what you’re doing and you give it your best”..

    As someone who teaches people how to use the law of attraction to create their best life you are right on the money with what you have shared here… In fact your words remind me of a quote I just posted by Wayne Dyer which is:-

    “Abundance is not something we manufacture but something we accept and tune into. We receive that which we are willing to let in..We expand what we focus on” – Wayne Dye

    Basically Wayne Dyer is saying what you said Anne!… So you are in good company! lol

    And I love how you took the leap of faith to quit your Starbucks job when you realized how much your thoughts were betraying you and you true potential… Something I might add that our mutual friend Steven Aitchison also just talked about in a recent email…. Where Steven too is being challenged in a similar way(you can do it Steven! :) )…

    And to anyone reading this… Be encouraged to also follow your heart and passion not your fears… and it won’t be long until you too like Anne will be walking more confidently, becoming more optimistic and taking more risks. So that you also see a future full of possibilities and most importantly FUN!!!! :)

    Thank you Ann and Steven for the Inspiration
    Chris T Atkinson :)

    • Chris,

      thanks for the comment. I hadn’t heard of the quote yet, so thanks for sharing it. :) Yes, listen to your heart and follow where it leads you. That’s the ultimate way for you to succeed, isn’t it?

/* ]]> */