We’re talking about negative thoughts, or what you might call whitewash or even self-sabotage. 

There’s a connection and it’s in your best interest to know how to deal with all the negative stuff that’s going through your mind.

I train coaches so this is directly at you but I also work with people who aren’t coaches, like entrepreneurs, business people, and general professionals.

Regardless of what our job is, we all have trouble with our thoughts. That’s a common thing. 

And adding to the problem is us thinking that we’re in it alone. 

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But I can assure you, in the many years that I worked with people, it’s clear that it’s something common that every human being experiences. 

Although the topic is about negative thoughts, I’ll keep this super positive because you can change your life.

You can change the way you’re experiencing life if you figure one thing out. 

Not that long ago, I was talking about negative thoughts, and someone posted a message to me asking, what’s a great book? 

Well, the truth is, there are lots of great books but they’re just pieces of the puzzle. 

And they don’t all go directly to the problem. 

A lot of the time, these books are full of fluff.

They give you some solid information that could help you. And then there’s lots of filler.

So I’m not going to name any books for you to read. Just like I didn’t to that message I got. 

Sure, there are some great books but you have to piece it together. 

That’s why I want to help you piece it together. 

I want to cut out the filler and the fluff so that we can get straight to the point.

How do you help yourself?

Because we tell ourselves that we cannot deal with the problem of negative thoughts. 

And then we battle ourselves to deal with them.

Look at the irony in that. We tell ourselves that we can’t deal with it. And then we stay in this constant state of battle. 

You end up feeling like you can’t handle it. 

But guess what? When you tell yourself you can’t deal with it or you don’t have the ability, then you’re really going to struggle.

I know a lot of you struggle with this, a lot of you struggle with negative thoughts, daily.

And once again, you’re not alone.

This is not about what job you have, how educated you are, or about how professional you are. Trust me.

I coach therapists and specialists who are well-trained in psychology, and they’re struggling with the same problem. 

So it’s not you. It’s a human problem.

You’re definitely not alone. 


What are negative thoughts anyway?

There are different sources of it. But here’s a couple I want to share right now. 

One of the predominant negative triggers or sources of these horrible thoughts we have is WasWas; the whispers.  

That could be the whispers of the Shayateen or it could be the negative whispers of people.

People say negative things and you innocently pick it up and believe it to be true. 

I get people this to me all the time.

“Such and such a person with such credentials, obviously know what they’re talking about.

They told me that I might have Bipolar, or I might have Schizophrenia.”

So you have random people going around telling people that they have medical illnesses. Even if you’re a professional, you wouldn’t do that without a diagnosis.

You wouldn’t do that without looking into the person’s situation. 

This example is the worst-case scenario, maybe. 

But the truth is, people do this.

People tell each other what they think the other person might have, and then you innocently take it on and believe it, thinking, I might have a real problem.

I might have this condition. And if you believe you’ve got that condition, you’re going to feel horrible. 

Whatever your thoughts are, they’re going to play out in your feelings. 

If you believe it, you’re going to get stuck in that feeling. 

So, it could be Waswas of the Shayateen or it could be people giving you dodgy information. 

That’s where some of the negative input comes in from. 

The Waswas is a pretty major component. You can’t go through life without Waswas.

You can’t go through life without those negative thoughts that are constantly there, they come and go.

And they’re usually telling you about yourself, how much of a loser you are, or how bad you are, or how unworthy. 

We tend to demolish ourselves and you look around for evidence in your life.

You look for reasons why these thoughts are true. 

And that’s when you spiral down. 

This is how people get into really bad mental health situations because their mental health deteriorates, the more they believe this stuff.

So, there are two ways that most people deal with it. 

You can get all obsessed with those thoughts and feelings. 

And you can imagine, if you get obsessed with any thought or feeling you’re essentially obsessed with the feeling and you take a deep dive into that feeling. 

Even though you hate it.

The second thing that people do is get lost in the feeling. 

They get lost in the feeling and then they don’t understand why they’re feeling what they’re feeling. 

I want you to imagine feelings like this. 

Feelings are like a can of dark gray paint. And you’re swimming in this dark gray paint. You take this paint and cover your whole life with it.

Then, everything you look at in your life looks gray. 

Everything has a tint of gray. 

It looks a bit boring or unexciting. You feel like you haven’t achieved much. You feel like you’re no good.

Like you’re a lazy bum and I’m being polite. People are calling themselves way worse things. 

So what’s the remedy? How do we fix this? 

How do we change this? 

Or how can you help yourself to stop swimming in negative feelings and thoughts?

I’ll focus on one.

Dealing with Waswas; whispers of the Shayateen or people, it’s really important to understand that it’s a normal part of life. 

You can’t just delete negative thoughts or negative feelings from your life. 

Every human being has it. 

The biggest thing is that you become aware that it’s just a thought, creating a feeling.

The problem that most people have is their belief that it’s true.

They believe it means something about them. 

If you can stop believing that these thoughts actually mean something about you, then that’s the first step towards changing everything, because you can’t get rid of Waswas permanently.

Now, we know that obviously, the more connected you are to Allah(swt)  the more okay you are, the better you’re going to feel. 

But if you get stuck in that feeling, or if you get stuck in that thought, and you and you hold on to it, you won’t feel good.

That’s what people do. They take a thought and they sit and ruminate on it. 

They go round and round in their mind. 

And the more you do that, the worse you feel. 

Because even though it’s not believable, you start believing that negative thought about yourself. 


Ultimately, if you’re swimming in those negative thoughts, and not coming out of them because you’re choosing to stay in them, you’ll feel the horrible feelings that thought generates. 

It will affect the way you behave. 

When you get angry or upset, how does that affect the way you show up in your day? How do you then communicate with people around you?

How does that feeling manifest in your actions and your behaviour? 

It’s really important to ask yourself this question. It will show you the results of such thinking. 

Most people are sat there thinking that the situation that they find themselves in is causing their pain. 

But what’s causing their pain is the way that they’re reacting or the way that they’re thinking about that situation. That’s what’s causing the pain. 

Being in that state of thinking is generating your feelings. 

The negative thoughts that you struggle with, because you believe that they’re true, you struggle with the emotions that it generates.

The thoughts you have generate the feelings. 

If you didn’t believe those thoughts, then you wouldn’t struggle with the emotion it generates. 

It’s not a question of having the thought or not, because the thoughts are going to be there, but it’s believing them that’s the problem.

We can’t control our thoughts all the time.

Thoughts come and go and you can’t always control the thoughts. 

Recognising that it’s not telling you anything about the truth can extinguish the feeling that you’re experiencing. 

If you could get rid of that feeling, that’s key because you can’t get rid of the Waswas completely, it keeps coming back. 

So, when you reconnect to Allah(swt), you follow the Sunnah, you seek refuge in Allah, and then what happens is that you’re back in a state of security.

You realise you’re being protected by Allah, always. It’s like you’re never away from that protection.

The minute you realise it, then your thinking changes, and your feelings will change.

Ultimately, the way you show up in life, your behaviour, and what you do, will change. 

This will, of course, affect your relationships, your job, and your business. It will affect your health, and no doubt it’s going to affect your wealth too. 

Because you’re not going to sabotage yourself. 

So the way to really change everything is to focus on the good stuff. 

Before you even get to that point, the first step is always becoming aware of the fact that these are just thoughts.

Random, negative thoughts that aren’t even real.

Recognising that would change everything. 

Self-sabotage is exactly what we call it. It’s literally you sabotaging yourself. 

And self-sabotage is the result of those thoughts that you’re focusing on, or you’re believing in. 

You might be thinking, okay, that explains why I do what I do, even though I don’t like my own behaviour. But I can’t escape the shame and the guilt that I feel afterward. 

That is one of the fruits of self-sabotage. 

This is one of the fruits of getting angry, overreacting, lashing out, or whatever you do.

That subject of shame and guilt is a topic for another time.

Let’s get to the simple thing. Keeping it simple makes you see that something can be done about it. 


Your thoughts, possibly inspired by Waswas, or maybe by something negative someone has said or your negative, habitual thinking.

Maybe you’ve picked it up and you’ve been running with it for ages. Or it’s just been there. That doesn’t matter.

How long it’s been there, doesn’t matter because you can overcome it at any moment. They are only thoughts and thoughts can’t kill you.

If you take the life out of the thoughts, meaning you take the belief out of them and you don’t focus on them, then you strengthen your connection to Allah.

This is the antidote. You strengthen your connection to the All Merciful, the All-powerful; Allah(swt). That’s the key! 

It cannot be emphasised enough.

If you seek refuge and protection in Allah(swt), knowing that He is the All-Merciful or the Most Powerful, then you’re going to feel safe, and your thoughts are going to change.

You’re going to have some trust, some Tawakkul, and reliance.

You’re going to realise that you can change your focus, and just that alone will change your focus. 

Getting to the second point.

The second thing is to change your focus to what serves you, where it’s going to help you, where it’s going to empower you. 

You absolutely can change your life permanently. 

When coaching my clients, and training my coaches, we’re focusing on the transformation of life, permanently.

We’re not talking about dealing with symptoms, we’re talking about solving the problem, at the core. 

Anyone can do that. That’s the power that you’ve been given by the All-Merciful.  

Focus your attention on where it serves you, focus on the things that are positive in your life, and your feelings will follow. And you will take action. 

Because feelings are the motivation.

If you’re looking to be motivated, the feeling of motivation comes from the way that you think. It’s about what you focus on. 

An example that I often give my clients is that it’s a bit like a child throwing a tantrum.

As parents, we take the child who’s having the tantrum out of the situation.

We take them out of the room, to change the focus, so that we can distract their attention. 

I’m not telling you to be distracted with entertainment. I’m telling you to change the direction of your focus. 

Now, imagine a child having a meltdown, what would you do? You talk to them about ice cream and toys. 

And as soon as you start talking to them about ice cream and toys, even though they’re having a meltdown, you’ve now got their attention, they’ve now perked up. 

There’s a little tinge of a smile there.

So ask yourself, what is ice cream to you? What is your ice cream?

What’s going to change your focus? What’s going to make you perk you up very quickly?

Whatever that is. Offer it to yourself. 

When you’re having negative thoughts, distract your attention, and change the focus. 

If you change the focus, and you’re very intentional about it, trust me it will help you immensely. 

Your thoughts are not real until you decide to swim in it. 

Like a child in a dirty puddle. 

Have you ever walked through a park when it’s been raining and there’s a dirty muddy puddle? And the child just runs over and starts stamping up and down in it getting themselves all dirty while they’re enjoying it. 

Adults do the same thing. Except we can see the dirt and we don’t like it but we still stamp up and down in it.

We still like swimming and playing in it even though we don’t like it. 


Take yourself out of that puddle of thoughts. It’s a choice. 

Clean yourself up with positive thoughts and positive focus.

You can absolutely do this but it takes practise. It takes practise and it takes time. 

You’ve got to stay focused because what you focus on will become your reality. It will grow. 

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About the Author: Abdul Shahid – Master Coach Trainer & Therapist of Professional Life Coaches, pioneering The Science of the Nafs Psychology model for healing, transformation and peak performance. Specialist in Mind health, wealth and mastery using this Quran and sunnah based Spiritual Psychology.