Do you still use a rotary phone, or have a Beta VCR and a black & white TV in your family room? Are you still wearing sky high bangs and Jordache jeans? Most likely the answer is NO! When it comes to fashion and electronics most of us make it a priority to upgrade to the best that we can afford. My cell phone company offers a discount on cell phones after you’ve had your phone for 2 years so customers can take advantage of the latest technology and gadgets. Why is this appealing to me and many others? We want to make sure that what we are using is the fastest, most user-friendly, most reliable, most attractive thing available. That leads me to wonder, why we don’t have the same desires for ourselves.
We need to regularly upgrade the operating system in our computers to receive the highest level of performance from them. Likewise, it is imperative that we improve the operating system that is our mind in order to benefit from the highest level of performance. To put it plainly, we need to upgrade our mindsets! What worked well there and then, may no longer work here and now. I often saw examples of this concept in the workplace. We had a practice of manually running several reports on a weekly basis. This process was very time consuming and full of opportunities for human error. Then, some of our systems and programs were updated, and therefore had the ability to automatically generate the reports. But, despite this advancement, employees continued to manually generate these reports. When asked why they continued to do it that way, they responded “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” What area in your mindset needs to be upgraded?
I attended a workshop with Jack Canfield this weekend that focused on success principles. During the workshop, he did a demonstration to show how much control our thoughts, a.k.a. self-talk, have over our physical reality. Jack had a volunteer hold his arm straight out, so that it made a 90 degree angle from his body. Then he pushed on the volunteer’s arm to see the baseline level of resistance, which was very strong, so the arm was hard to push down. Then Jack told him to think of something that made him feel bad, thoughts like “That was a stupid thing to do. No wonder you didn’t get that promotion.” Then, he tried to push down on the arm again. This time his arm went down easily when it was pushed. Next, Jack repeated the process except with a positive thought about a success that made him feel good. The arm went back to being strong and difficult to push down. The purpose of me sharing this with you is to demonstrate the enormous power that our thoughts (self-talk), have on every aspect of our lives, even down to our physical state.
Now that we know the significance of focusing on the positive and not the negative, focusing on the solution and not the problem, what are we supposed to do about it? One thing we can do is to be very clear on what we want in our lives, careers, relationships, finances, etc. Then, we should keep those thoughts in the forefront of our minds. Another critical component is to surround yourself with people, ideas and things that empower and uplift you. This helps you to stay in a place of generating solutions and attracting opportunities. The problem with allowing pessimistic people into your inner circle is that negative people focus on the negative things. Before you know it they are spewing their unconstructive thoughts on you, so that you can carry them around. Please remember that like attracts like. What do you want to attract into your life? Peace and Joy, or Hurt and Anger?
At times, I have found myself feeling stale and stagnant. Those were the moments when I took my focus off of what I wanted for myself and was only looking at the things that were not going according to plan. In those moments, I’ve realized that something’s gotta give, or else! That’s the time for an upgrade, so I immerse myself in resources and environments that assist me with the necessary changes. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could subscribe to a plan that let us know we were eligible for a “New in 2” for our mindsets?
If you know that it’s time for you to upgrade your mindset, here is my challenge to you. Write down ALL of the negative thoughts (negative self-talk) you have in a given day. For example, “They won’t give me the raise I deserve; that’s why I’ll never get out of debt. Everyone in my family is big, that’s why I can’t lose this weight. All men are _________. I know they’re going to lay me off next. Etc, etc etc.”
- Create a list of how it’s benefiting you to hold onto these thoughts. (I know it sounds odd that something so terrible could be beneficial at all. But, we only do things that serve us on some level.) For example:
I get to blame my problems on other people/circumstances.
I don’t have to commit to changing things.
I get to sing the blues with my friends, so we have a reason to bond.
- Write down a list of how you would be benefited by releasing these thoughts. For instance:
I can take control over my environment.
I will be able to look for the solutions, rather than dwell on the problems.
If you’d like to share what you discovered, I’d love to hear from you! I’m here to help.