The temperature has cooled, the holidays are virtually over, we’ve left the frivolity of August behind and are gearing up for the much more serious month of September; a month many of us see as a time for change.

In fact, I’ve noticed that more individuals make resolutions – though they may not call them that – at this time of year than in January.

However, though you may know you could improve your life if you made some adjustments, you may also be a person who invariably puts off doing them.

Why does this happen? Usually, because we’re prone to dwelling on negative thoughts which make us feel inadequate. So, let’s look at the most common of these and how we might deal with them.

1. I’m bound to fail

Do you believe you’re more frail and less capable than others? Lots of people have such feelings but there’s rarely much evidence for them. So, have a think about what you regularly succeed at.

Perhaps you’re a wonderful granny. Or a terrific cook. Or a great organiser at work. Next, look back and recall how you passed difficult exams, or coped with a drop in income, or re-trained for a new career.

Bringing such episodes to mind will allow you to focus on your triumphs rather than your failures. Then, ask yourself whether skills you used to defeat problems in the past, could be useful today, to solve your current problems.

Once you feel more positive about your capabilities, it will be easier to accomplish your goals.

2. I’m stupid

This is a common negative thought and usually stems from childhood when strict parents or unkind teachers yelled at us and made it clear they thought we were rather “thick”.

This is a terrible way to treat children and leaves a horrid legacy. But the fact is that most of us who were labelled as stupid are nothing of the kind.

However, to reverse this negative belief, you need to prove to yourself that you’re as able as other people. So, make a list of 30 things you do well. If you can’t come up with that many, ask friends what they think you’re good at. You might be surprised at what they say.

Pin the list up in your kitchen and read it every time you boil a kettle. This will boost your confidence and help re-educate your mind so that you shrug off that “I’m stupid” tag once and for all.

3. I’m frightened

Fear is natural when you’re tackling something unusual. Who hasn’t had a rumbling tummy and sweaty palms before giving a speech at a daughter’s wedding or when going for a job interview?

Making changes to your life is also scary. But loads of people do it. And so can you.

This time of year, many adults decide to leave a partner. This is because summer holidays are often a make-or-break time for relationships.

Maybe, for far too long, you’ve been with a spouse who belittles, or controls you, or is routinely unfaithful. Or perhaps you’re simply unhappy and want to be alone.

This is a terrifying prospect and it’s natural to be fearful. But take it a step at a time. Start with practical changes – for example, establish a personal bank account if you don’t have one.

Next, confide in someone you can trust who will support you as you unpick your current existence and forge a “new you”. Also, you might want to read a book which many of my clients have raved about. It’s Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. Published originally in 1987, it still sells in huge quantities and might inspire you now.

4. I’ll be bored

Lots of changes involve tasks that we find boring. These include doing a tax return, making sense of our accounts and clearing out cupboards.

What we need to tell ourselves is that there’s no law in the universe which says we should never be bored. So, just get on with it, and resolve to live with the boredom – but do give yourself little rewards along the way.

5. I’m chaotic by nature

No characteristic is set in concrete. And everyone can become more organised. How? Well, you need to challenge your belief that you’re chaotic by retraining your brain.

Begin today, by drawing up a plan of everything you need to do, hour by hour. Tonight, look at what you wrote earlier and see what you stuck to, and what you didn’t. Then assess what messed up your schedule. It may be something simple like not allocating sufficient time for a particular task.

Tomorrow, learn from today’s mistakes. Make another plan and try to keep to it. Gradually, you’ll become more organised, and change will become easier.

Managing your negative thoughts will really help in galvanising you to make changes which will alter your life for the better. Wouldn’t it be good if, by the end of the month, we had all made a definite start?