Are you prepared for success or failure? Think about it!
Your greatest business ally and your worst business enemy are two sides of the same coin. That coin is your habitual way of thinking. As Sally Kempton once said, “It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.” In other words, your mind can work against you at least as effectively as it can work for you.
If you worry that you often sabotage your own success, consider the following “Dirty Dozen” of counterproductive mental habits. If you’re ready to change your thinking – and your results – the first step is to figure out which of these is your most deeply ingrained habit of thought. Turning around that one will result in your greatest ROI.
- Creating a negative self-fulfilling prophecy
- Thinking in terms of either/or
- Thinking your wishes are needs (“must-have” thinking)
- Demanding perfection
- Operating from a position of learned helplessness
- Reading minds
- Fantasizing that you control everything
- Talking and acting like a victim
As you pay more and more attention to how and what you think, you’ll notice several things:
- While any of these success-sucking habits is highly counterproductive in and of itself, there’s an even greater danger when one plays into another. For example, you may focus only on the aspects of a situation that were negative (filtering), but you’ll feel even less capable if you act as if it were a complete and devastating failure (catastrophizing).
- Assumptions play a huge role in many of these habits. That’s a double whammy of danger, because both assumptions and habits are tough to uncover and change.
- Whenever you’re operating on a default setting, i.e., acting out of habit, you’re taking the path of least resistance. If your thoughts and the actions they lead to are negative, your results are poor. Conversely, if your habits are productive, your results can be worth cheering about.
Fortunately, there are ways to shift each of these Dirty Dozen habits a full 180 degrees so that, instead of enduring sabotage, you enjoy success. Here are the alternatives: powerful – and empowering – thought habits you can use to propel yourself to better outcomes.
- Create a positive self-fulfilling prophecy.
- Think and act in terms of could rather than should.
- Label less-than-ideal results accurately and with as much emotional neutrality as possible.
- Think in terms of multiple potential outcomes or solutions.
- Acknowledge positive outcomes and events, rather than filtering in only the negatives.
- Think in terms of desires rather than needs.
- Let go of perfectionism by becoming comfortable with “good”.
- Accept complete responsibility for your own outcomes.
- Learn how to acknowledge your personal power and act from it.
- Always confirm the accuracy of your communications with other people.
- Accept that certain events and circumstances are not under your control, just as your thoughts are fully under your control.
- Use “victor” language.
Are you trying to figure out the best investment you could make in your business during the fast-approaching new year? You won’t find one with a higher long-term payoff than converting the enemy in your head into your most powerful ally.
Of course, the question then becomes, “How do I do that??” Fortunately, I’ll be providing simple – although not necessarily easy – ways to start building your new and improved habits of thought over the next three weeks. This Thursday, we’ll start by addressing how to get in the habit of creating a positive self-fulfilling prophecy.
What are your thoughts on all this? Is it practical? Woo-woo? Exciting? Overwhelming? All? None? What sort of habitual thoughts are running through your mind right now?
By the way, thanks to Sids 1 and jblyberg for posting the coin and chair images, respectively, in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.This entry was posted in achievement, bottom line, choice, counterproductive, mindset, personal power, success factors and tagged effectiveness, personal power. Bookmark the permalink.