Stop Doing Means Thought Stopping

By Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

In Jim Collins book “Good to Great” he mentions that great companies not only have a “start doing” list but also a “stop doing” list. A stop doing list begins with thought stopping. Any time you use your energy on negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings you are wasting your precious resource. Thought stopping is designed to help you stop the thought and replace it with a more energizing one. Here’s how it works:

  1. Wasting Mental and Emotional Energy in your Head. When you are consistently and continuously thinking about something negative you are driving your energy to that thought.
  2. Stop the Thought. Find a rubber band and put it on your wrist. When you begin thinking of that negative thought pull the rubber band about 8 inches from your wrist and let it go. Yes, it stings just a bit but it interrupts your thought process.
  3. Replace the Thought. Any time you stop something in your thinking process you have to replace it with something else or the mind will go back to the original negative thought. I suggest replacing it with a “Happy” or pleasant thought.
  4. Repetition is Best. Repetition is the mother of skill. You may have to do this over and over again to reprogram your thinking.


Here are a few things that you can use as replacements and that will refuel your energy:

  1. Get back to basics. Think about how much you admire and appreciate your family or someone in your life.
  2. Begin a Compliment List. Start a compliment list in your head. Who do you want to show appreciation to for what they mean to you.
  3. Get grateful. List the things in your life that you are grateful for; good health, friends, family, etc. Thankfulness is a powerful energy refueler.
  4. Review past memories. Begin to recall past experiences that have been energizing and encouraging in your life.
  5. Reach out to others. Take immediate action to reach out to people who you admire or respect.

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