The question people often ask me is when their self-development work and personal growth finally "takes," is when will they stop having negative thoughts. I wish I knew. Although I'm afraid the answer could be never.

I play CDs with positive subliminal messages while I sleep each night. I start each day by reading something positive, and end each night the same way. I have many positive, success-oriented people in my life. I feast regularly on positive books, tapes and other programs. And let me tell you what happened the other day...

I have an embarrassing confession to make.

I was practicing the vacuum law of prosperity in my closet again. I decided that since I have so many nice, stylish and beautiful clothes - I was going to stop wearing blue jeans so often. The last time I did this, I gave away over 40 pairs of jeans. I still have about 15 left.

About five of them are black Armani, Boss or other designer jeans that I could wear with a sport coat or similar situation. That left me still with ten pairs of blue jeans. I made a spur of the moment decision to give away nine of them. I figured that way I couldn't be lazy and just reach in the closet and grab a pair every day. So I stacked the nine pairs up on my donation pile. And then it came . . .

The thought.

For a fleeting moment I thought about what would happen if I lost everything and had to start over again. And I thought about the possibility that I might have to take a blue collar or manual labor job where I would want to have those blue jeans again.

And that blows my mind.

For the sake of this neurotic fantasy, let's suppose I lost everything tomorrow. Everything.

I could start a restaurant chain (Which I already have the concept for) and would likely become a billionaire. I need just snap my fingers and I could have ten or twenty investors.

I could start up my speaking business and make millions of dollars from scratch.

I could announce that I was available for copywriting projects and pull in a million dollars a year.

I could jump back into network marketing and be worth a couple million in a few years.

I could announce my availability as a marketing consultant and have more business than I could possibly handle.

If I mentioned to my Mastermind Council that I was looking for a job, I would have two or three high five figure offers in five minutes.

Truth is, it wouldn't matter what business I do, I would be successful in it. I could make a fabulous living anywhere I go.

But I still had that thought . . .

Fleeting, though it was. And I have been working on my prosperity consciousness for 13 years! I've made millions of dollars, I have the ability to make billions more. I judiciously guard against negative programming to the point that I will leave a movie halfway through, or end a conversation in a mid sentence. And I still had that thought.

And know what?

I've had lots of other ones. Sometimes ten a day. As rich, successful, healthy and happy as I've become, I have often still had fear-based thoughts. Looking back now, I see a lot of things I did, thinking they were prosperous, but I see now they were fear-based.

When I bought a bike, I bought a titanium professional race bike for $3,000. I remember thinking then that if things got bad, I could always sell it for some quick cash.

Well I bought three Vipers at the same time, I felt secure, knowing I could always sell one or two and scrape together a hundred grand.

Coming from the place I did, I always felt like I was somehow cheating destiny. That God, or the universe, or someone was going to wake up one day and discover that I had acquired wealth by mistake. And given my mother's proclivity for worst case, nuclear meltdown scenarios, I still had that niggling thought in the back of my mind--the defensive, better-prepare-for-the-really-bad-scenario, and have my options covered--just in case. And not get my hopes up too high--because then I was setting myself up for a great disappointment.

And like I told you, I've had those kinds of thoughts recently, as many as ten a day. But here's the difference . . .

I notice every one of them now. Immediately. And I often laugh about how silly they are. Best of all, I see the progression of my mindset.

First, I had hundreds of negative thoughts a day, and noticed none of them.

Then I graduated to the point that I had lots of negative thoughts a day and noticed some of them.

From there I got to the point that I had less negative thoughts a day and I noticed a lot of them.

And gradually over time, I started having less and less of them. Some days I have none. And now when I do have them, I catch myself right away.

I used to wear a rubber band on my wrist, and snap it when I had a lack thought. Now I no longer need to do that. I just tap my fingers on my forehead. That's the signal to my mind, and I instantly reject that thought, and replace it with another one. And once that happens. The world changes.

So when do the negative thoughts end? I doubt they ever do. The sheer enormity of how much negative and lack programming you will be assaulted with over the course of a lifetime makes that seem unlikely. (But let's not affirm that.)

In any event, if you keep counter-programming--you will win the fight. Because once you control the programming--you control the mindset. And once you control the mindset--you control your destiny!

Start a life journal and track your negative lack and limitation thoughts and tally them. At the end of each day, spend some time thinking about this subject.

If I were to spend the day with you--how many times would I say, "Let's not affirm that?" How many times did you think about attempting something and consider not doing it because you thought you would fail? How many times did you just simply assume bad or less-than-great things were going to happen to you?

When you really analyze the day and think about this regularly--you will start to notice these thoughts. And once you do that, they lose most of their power.

And your mindset starts to change . . .

You change your core fundamental beliefs. You believe you are supposed to be healthy, happy and prosperous. You believe you are worthy. And when you are confronted with dozens of situations each day, most minor, some bigger, and even some that are major--you expect good things to happen to you!

You expect to find that tie you need to complete the perfect outfit, you expect to win in a sporting event, you figure you are next in line for that promotion, or you expect your business ventures to be successful.

And because you expect good things to happen to you--you approach life differently. You approach it expecting to end up on top. And because you believe it--that's exactly what happens! Ain't it great?

A former high school dropout, Randy Gage rose from a dishwasher in a pancake house to become a multi-millionaire. Today Randy is recognized as one of the world’s preeminent experts on prosperity. For more than 15 years, he has been helping other people transform self-limiting beliefs into business and personal success. Randy is the author of Prosperity Mind, The 7 Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, 101 Keys to Your Prosperity, Accept Your Abundance, and 37 Secrets About Prosperity.