One of the things I find myself talking about most often with my clients is whether the faith they have in their thoughts is based on hard evidence, or whether it's just an opinion, theirs, or someone else's, that they have continued to listen to time and time again. Our thoughts are immensely powerful if we let them have that power and control, but how often do we take a step back and ask ourselves why we are believing them?
An example I often use is one of where a friend visited me some years ago and I took him for a walk along the promenade. We passed a section of railing and he said to me about the urge he had to jump in - apparently he always gets this when he is near water. Did he jump in? Of course not, he recognised that this urge/thought was just something that he had, but that he didn't have to do anything with it. Why then can we not apply the same logic to those thoughts that make us doubt ourselves, or make us feel as less important than those around us, maybe even telling us that we're no good?
Don't believe something just because you've always thought that way. We can learn to focus our attentions on what we want to, it just takes practice and time. We may not be able to stop those same thoughts occurring, but we can choose whether we pay attention and act upon them or not. There are different ways of responding to those thoughts when they set in, I commonly use/suggest countering the thought with a more realistic alternative, or mindfully accepting it but re-directing focus to something else in the present moment. However, there are other strategies too, it all depends on what works best for you.
If you have been plagued by negative thinking for too long and it's the dominant force in your life then ask yourself whether it's time to try something else? There's no reason why you have to continue listening to these thoughts just because you always have. You can learn different ways and you will notice a difference. You just have to believe and have conviction in the methods.
If your thought has no evidence supporting it, other than the fact that you think it, or someone has said it, ask yourself from now on whether you can trust it and whether it's working for, or against, you...