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By Kim Ades

RISMEDIA, Nov. 27, 2008-Do you even know what you’re thinking? How could you? With 6 million thoughts a day, it’s nearly impossible for you to be aware of what you are thinking every moment of every day. While you are conscious of some of your thoughts, the bulk of them lie in your subconscious and are difficult to access. There are some thoughts that serve you and others that stand between you and your success. Without full consciousness, how can you identify which ones are good for you and which ones are detrimental? And how can you have more of the thoughts that serve you and less of the ones that hinder you?

The secret is to write down the thoughts that are taking up primary space in your mind and challenge the beliefs that hover beneath them. Once you start to uncover your true beliefs, you begin to understand what it is that is stopping you from reaching the goals you want to achieve for yourself and replace those beliefs with ones that propel you to greater fulfillment.

Here is an example:

One of my coaching clients was journaling about a frustrating situation with a business partner. She wrote about how he wasn’t carrying his weight and how she was counting on him to close a deal on a work project. It wasn’t that she really wanted to do the project, but rather that she ‘needed the money.’

This journal entry provided critical information about her thoughts. It revealed both what she didn’t want and what she was focused on. She did not want to be involved with this partner or work on this project, and she was focused on the absence of money. What you focus on grows. After a little probing, we discovered that one of her beliefs was that she needed a partner to be financially successful and was chronically waiting for other people to make things happen for her. In order to challenge this belief, we went through a series of events in her past to accumulate evidence of the fact that she has, in fact, had a great track record of success on her own – but she never looked at it that way. The moment that she was able to see that she could succeed on her own was the minute that business started to come her way on a project that did not involve any partners.

Her journals uncovered that she was a chronic spender and was accustomed to living hand to mouth. Needing money was a way of life for her for quite some time. She decided that she wanted to upgrade her frame of mind in this area of her life. Rather than writing about needing money, her journals began to focus on having money and then she began to save her money. At first, the intention was to save only a dollar per day. But at the end of the month, she found that she saved $85. That excited her, so she doubled it and kept up with her daily dollar savings. She kept this process going for six months to find that she had saved a total of $7300 – more than she had ever saved in her life.

Journaling helps you to see the thoughts that lie beneath the surface of the consciousness.

Journaling provides you with a means to sort through your thoughts and pick the ones you want to keep and identify the ones you want to trade up.

Journaling with guidance challenges you to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t.

What you focus on grows.

There is no more powerful tool for helping you focus on your goals than journaling.

For more information on guided journaling, visit

Kim Ades is the president of Opening Doors. E-mail her at

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