Automatic Thoughts? Take Your Mind Off Autopilot says Dr. Henry Cloud

When it comes to thinking about myriad topics – form your real estate business right down to the shoes you are considering – your mind may be coasting on autopilot.

In a video presentation, Dr. Henry Cloud points out that research indicates that as much as 80 percent or 90 percent of what we think today will be what we thought yesterday.

Cloud is a Christian self-help author who co-authored “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life,” which sold two million copies and evolved into a five-part series. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology.

According to Cloud, what does go on in our head can actually define what reality actually is.  He terms these as Automatic thoughts – the thoughts and images that involuntarily pop into our conscious (or just below if they are habitual). They make up how we “read” a situation.

On some levels, our repetitive and negative thoughts can be part of a learned helplessness that can limit our chances for success. With this type of automatic thought, people predict what will happen in the future based on their thought patterns.

“Even when your thoughts change, in terms of the content that you are thinking about, the way you are thinking is pretty much the same as yesterday,” Cloud said.

Patterns of thinking in our mind may serve as the gatekeepers of what goes in in another part of our mind where our dreams, feelings, goals and aspirations reside.


In your business, you may have dreams and desires that may be considered, but your thought patterns may override your potential goals.

“You will come up with an idea and then think ‘that will never work’ and you will never try it,” Cloud explains.

The automatic attachment to these thoughts may be a negative and the mind treats it as a truth and doesn’t question it.  The automatic thoughts can actually rule over your mind.

The key, according to Cloud, is to let thoughts fly through your mind. Question thoughts and train yourself to think freely without reverting to the automatic thoughts that can set your course. Make your own reality.

“Don’t treat everything in your head as reality,” he said. “You will be able to develop more freedom to develop thoughts into reality.”

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