14 Dec How to Manage Your Thoughts to Get the Results You Want
Did you know you already possess a superpower? One that can get the results you want! Whether you want to create more money, a greater impact, deeper relationships, sustained happiness or almost anything you want, first you need to manage your thoughts.
Hard work, consistency and dedication are the keys to success, right? That’s what I read on the internet and that’s what my mentors have taught me. It’s hard to argue against those tenants when you get a promotion, raise and recognition after countless hours of hard work.
You tell yourself, “Finally! My hard work and consistent dedication have paid off.”
Until one day when your hard work and dedication don’t seem to return the same accolades.
Maybe your boss hasn’t noticed your 60-70-hour work weeks. You get passed over for the project you’ve had your eye on or your stress is getting the best of you and it’s showing.
What if one of the most powerful ingredients to success is actually rooted in something beyond hard work? And what if you could access this superpower all of the time?
It’s the ability to manage your thoughts. Thoughts have more power than you may realize.
The Mind Trap
Your mind produces an estimated 50,000 thoughts a day or roughly 2,100 thoughts an hour according to the National Science Foundation. That’s a lot of thoughts!
Chances are, the thoughts running around in your brain are not all high fives, hallelujahs and congratulations.
For many of us, our thoughts can go in a negative direction – especially when we hit a rough patch at work :
- “My boss/employees/customers don’t listen to my ideas!”
- “I don’t think I’ll ever get that promotion I want so badly.”
- “Everyone can tell how insecure I feel about our project. I feel like a fraud.”
- “Mark doesn’t like me and he’s trying to sabotage my work.”
These thoughts can repeat themselves over and over like a loop in your brain. Once a thought begins to hit replay, it can get trapped in the loop and be difficult to change its tune. I call this the mind trap.
Repeating thoughts is not inherently a bad thing. However, if your thoughts are not serving you or are preventing you from moving in the direction you want to go in, it’s time to address them.
Manage Your Thoughts For Results
Our past experiences and learnings impact our thoughts regularly. When we experience something over and over, we draw conclusions that help us make future decisions. Our brain likes to be efficient, so thoughts we regularly think become deeply held beliefs.
What if our deeply held beliefs can be wrong or even keep us from happiness and greater success?
I argue that this happens quite often. A thought I once believed to be 100% true, can turn out to be different when I take a step back and question how I’m thinking. I’ve also seen incredible outcomes when I help my clients question and explore their thinking. When we’ve done this, they realized new ways to make more money, relationships blossomed and challenges that once seemed too difficult became very doable.
So how can you explore and choose the most helpful thoughts that create the results you want?
Thoughts Create Feelings
It’s important to note that your thoughts and mental chatter generate feelings.
For example, when you think the thoughts, “I’m confident about giving this presentation. I’ve totally got this!” How do you feel when you think and believe those thoughts?
You likely feel happy or at peace. You may have even smiled to yourself.
When you think the thoughts, “My teammate, Mark, doesn’t like me and he’s trying to sabotage me.” How do you feel when you think and believe those thoughts?
Do you immediately feel happy, empowered or excited to spend time with Mark? Probably not.
Thoughts are extremely powerful. The great news is that you can choose your thoughts anytime you want. The key is making yourself aware of what you think or say to yourself.
Thoughts Also Create Results
Let’s stick with the thoughts, “I’m confident about giving this presentation. I’ve totally got this!”
Now you’re likely feeling happy and at peace. You may even be motivated to take more positive action.
When you’re feeling happy, how do you interact with your colleagues? How do you view your workload? How do you show up in meetings?
You likely show up with a pep in your step and you’re more aligned with your best self.
If you were to ask yourself the same questions using the negative teammate example (i.e., Mark), how do you think you would act?
You might show up as a different version of yourself. You may speak unkindly to Mark, act more anxious or take no action at all (avoidance) which signals to Mark that his behavior is acceptable.
Whichever action you choose, will create a result that aligns with your actions. And it all began with the thought you chose to think.
Recap: Your thoughts generate your feelings. Feelings then influence the actions you take. Actions create the results you experience.
If you want a different result at work or at home, begin by choosing a thought that will make it happen.
Enlisting Your Superpower
Choosing your thoughts takes practice. Frankly, it takes a lot of practice.
When I’m having a crummy day or when I’m anxious about something, I catch myself and get curious. I either jot down my thoughts and feelings or I speak them out loud. Once I have them on paper or floating in the universe, my thoughts and feelings suddenly lose their power. I’m then more able to view them from a place of curiosity and less judgement.
And then I choose. I choose a thought that will create what I want.
Which thought will help you glide through a difficult conversation or challenging task?
Which thought will help you generate more money in your business or get you a promotion?
Which thought will create your desired feeling state?
When you’re intentional with your thoughts, your life can take on a whole new trajectory full of joy, love and meaningful success.