Have you ever viewed your behaviors as if watching a show on TV?
Recently I had that experience. I had a phone call with a Coach assigned to me by my sales organization. The idea of the call was to discuss future business, create strategic plans and get excited about what was coming up. We spoke for almost an hour, and by the time we ended the call, I felt like I needed to take a nap. That is not the purpose of a coaching call.
Usually after you speak with a Coach, you feel focused with a plan and are optimistic about the future. I have had that positive experience many times working with this same mentor for many years. I asked myself, what was the difference this time… the answer was clear. It was me.
I thought about our conversation. I reflected on the things we discussed. If I was honest, I was completely responsible for our failed conversation. By spending the entire time together focused on the issues, I wasn’t present to looking for solutions. This mindset was not at all productive. When she attempted to bring me back to a more positive and productive conversation, I acknowledged her words only momentarily, then went back to complaining. I lacked ownership and spent the entire call focused on all that wasn’t working… no wonder I felt exhausted after we spoke. I can only imagine how she must have felt by the time we ended our conversation.
What we focus on grows.
What we concentrate our thoughts on will not only determine our results, but it will often determine our level or happiness and joy as well.
This concept applies to all aspects of our lives.
Have you ever had something annoy you about your partner? Then once aware of that annoyance, you notice it more and more . Until one day you can’t stand it anymore, bring it to their attention, perhaps harshly… they are blindsided as they didn’t even know it was an issue. The once small problem becomes a much bigger issue as you concentrate your thoughts on it, and it grows into something bigger.
Mastering your mindset is the first and most powerful step in self mastery.
As I get older, I recognize more and more that we are creating our lives by how we think. It is said that the average person has 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. There is so much happening in every moment that we may not be aware of what we are thinking. If we spent a day paying close attention to our thoughts, we may be very surprised how often we think thoughts that don’t support us.
One of the homework assignments for my Masterclass is for the participants to wear an elastic on their wrists for one week between sessions. They are encouraged to pay close attention to their thinking, and each time they think a thought that doesn’t serve them, they gently snap the elastic and replace the thought with one that DOES support them.
The first step in all change is acknowledgement. We must recognize what needs to be changed before we can change it. With heightened awareness we can identify areas to improve. Most are surprised with how negatively they speak to themselves, but also how quickly they can change how they feel, by replacing the thought with an encouraging one.
Change your thoughts, change your life.
Do you think thoughts of self love, or self doubt?
Are your thoughts fear based, or do you have faith in the future and your abilities?
Are you positive or negative?
Mindset matters, and how we think is always a choice.
As a Mom I am always trying to encourage positive self esteem. My son is eleven and as a normal child, he is affected by the words of his Teachers, coaches, other children at school, and often compares his abilities to those around him. Recently, we were heading to a tryout for lacrosse when he said to me “I probably won’t make a good team” When I asked him why he would say that, he responded “because I don’t think I’m any good. Almost everyone is better than me”
If you are a parent, I am guessing you already see the issue and know my response was along the lines of “do your best”… “I think you are great”… and “I believe in you”… but what’s interesting, is often we can see clearly how others (including our children) are their own worst enemy by how they think and then talk to themselves, but we don’t recognize, we do the same thing to ourselves.
In this case, with my son thinking he isn’t any good, he would likely perform at that level, which would then confirm his negative thinking by qualifying for a lower level team. I asked him, would you ever say that to a friend? Would you ever tell your friend they aren’t good and probably won’t make an A team? He said “of course not”
It’s so much easier to encourage others, than it is to encourage ourselves.
We think a thought; the thought creates a feeling. That feeling determines our actions (or lack of action if its negative) and our actions determine results.
With this we can see that the results we have are directly affected by the thoughts we think. Choose your thoughts carefully.
Live your best life, with purpose.
Photo by © Jenny Sturm / Fotolia.com