Mind-reading made easy
You’ve gotta give a lot of parents “A” for “effort”, because they do their very best to keep their kids safe and free from emotional or physical harm. Unfortunately, some of us, as a result of our well-intentioned parents, absorbed messages that are NOT particularly helpful to us now. For example:
- “Be happy with what you’ve got.”
- “Don’t get your hopes up.”
- “Are you sure you want to do that?”
- “What were you thinking?!”
Are your thoughts and beliefs sabotaging your success?
It’s inevitable that you develop habitual ways of thinking which, in turn, produce your beliefs about the world around you. If those beliefs are energizing and empowering, your life and business are likely to thrive. On the other hand, if those beliefs turn you into a helpless victim, your results are likely to be…less than optimal.
You may be one of those courageous people who pay attention to how and what you think, so that you’re able to create the results you’re striving for. If so, woohoo for you! Life is good.
On the other hand, you may be one of the many people who are just starting to explore the possibility that what you think affects what you get out in the physical world. In these early stages, it’s common to inadvertently create results that don’t bear much resemblance to what you really want.
If that’s the case, you’ll love some of the tools shared by Mike Dooley, one of the stars of The Secret. (I learned about these tools in depth when I was certified by Mike to facilitate a course based on his book, Infinite Possibilities.) Here are steps you can take right now to up-level your conscious creation of a truly butt-kicking business—and life.
Monitor your emotions.
Any time you experience an unpleasant emotion like fear, worry, anger, or resentment, ask yourself what’s prompting you to feel that way. Are you assuming bad behavior on someone else’s part? Are you anticipating poor outcomes? Are you feeling threatened somehow? Your emotions are a powerful tool for developing awareness of limiting beliefs and unhelpful assumptions that may be holding you back.
Notice and challenge your automatic reactions.
If you habitually respond with negativity to a particular type of event or situation, your thoughts are probably running in well-worn, comfortably familiar ruts. Unfortunately, those habitual negative thoughts are also robbing you of a lot of joy in life—not to mention robbing you of opportunities to get better results.
So experiment with getting in your own face about those habitual negative responses. If you hear yourself thinking, “She never calls me back when I contact her,” ask yourself if that’s really, universally true, or if it’s only occasionally true. And if it is occasionally true, is it that she doesn’t call back at all or that she doesn’t respond as quickly as you’d like her to?
Re-vamp your explanations for what’s happening and why.
If you don’t get exactly what you want exactly when you want it, you have a gold-plated opportunity to change your perspective from one that hinders you to one that empowers you. (Oh, boy! Another growth opportunity! Yippee.)
So instead of sulking over your unresponsive acquaintance’s “rude” behavior, see how many explanations you can come up with that support your positivity and keep you free of blame and resentment. For example, you could make up the following story: “Hmmm…guess I don’t need her input to figure this out after all.” Easy to see how this will move you forward instead of keeping you logistically or emotionally stuck, isn’t it?
Here’s a real-world example of how deliberately choosing to change your explanation for an event can create an entirely new—and often far more positive—emotional response to that event.
As I was walking my cool-down lap around the track at the health club, I made brief eye contact with a leanly muscled woman riding a stationary bike. I smiled at her while thinking, “Wow, I want muscles like hers!” After I’d passed her, I glanced back to lock that “here’s my future body” image in my brain. To my surprise and chagrin, I saw that she was also glancing over her shoulder at me.
Unconsciously, I somehow flashed back to high school (yuck) and got battered by all kinds of negative thoughts: “She thinks I’m some kind of nut for smiling at her…She’s probably sneering at how out of shape I currently am…She’s comparing how good she looks with how I look…”. Can you see how such thoughts got me in kind of a downer mood?
Fortunately, almost as quickly as these thoughts flashed through my mind, I gave myself a mental whap upside the head and deliberately changed my interpretation of her backward glance: “She’s probably stunned that someone was confident enough to actually make eye contact and smile! She’s probably thinking I’d be a neat person to get to know. I bet she admires me for being committed to improving my health by working out.” A few seconds of these thoughts and I was practically strutting the last few yards of my lap.
Moral: If you’re gonna make up stories, make up ones with happy endings.
Imagine how reaching your goal will make you feel.
This is actually one of the tougher steps for me. I think because I’m pragmatic and tend to be both goal- and process-oriented, it’s hard for me to let go of the steps involved in achieving the goal and simply focus on the emotional end result: how fabulous it will feel to achieve what I want.
If you’ve experienced the same challenge, then you know the way around it is through it. In other words, get out your trusty kitchen timer, set it for five minutes, and just practice imagining, in as much emotional and sensory detail as possible, what you’ll experience when you achieve your goal:
- What sort of emotions do you experience? Joy, happiness, pride, excitement, delight, gratitude? More?
- What do you see? An auditorium full of people giving you a standing ovation? A client signing a huge contract based on the sales coaching you provided her?
- What do you hear? Enthusiastic congratulations on exceptional work? Ocean waves at the resort that’s holding a conference where you’re the keynote speaker?
- What do you smell? The salt spray from that same ocean? Fresh-baked brownies? (In my world, all excellent outcomes involve chocolate in some shape or form.)
- What do you taste? Celebratory champagne? Those amazing brownies?
- What do you feel with your kinesthetic sense? The sleek swoosh of the elegant gown you wear to the awards banquet? The heart-felt hug from a grateful client?
Act as if.
This is totally one of my favorite steps (probably because it plays into that pragmatic bias for action I mentioned earlier).
Since you’ve already proven to yourself that you’re highly creative (you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur otherwise, right?), just take it one step further and use that creativity to imagine how you’d act if your big goals and dreams were already part of your reality. Would you appropriately share your value with ease and confidence in networking situations? Would you just pick up the damn phone and make the scary call, knowing that you would totally handle whatever resulted? Would you reserve a spot for that conference in Bali? Okay; there’s your action step.
Do you get to be smart and refrain from getting a new credit card to put your airfare on, because your other 11 cards are already maxed out? Yes, definitely. Do you get to be gutsy and go to your first-ever meeting of that professional association where a lot of your ideal prospects hang out? Yes, definitely.
Keep in mind that your act-as-if steps don’t necessarily require any money at all. One of my fellow Infinite Possibilities trainees illustrated this brilliantly: She and her husband plan to be, in five years’ time, living in a town called Charpentras in the south of France. One big reason they chose this spot is because they’re looking for lots of sun and moderate temperatures. Cheryl is acting as if they’re already there by using an app on her smartphone to track the daily weather in Charpentras. Like I said: Brilliant!
No matter what your big ideas and dreams involve, think about how the powerful, excited, successful person living those dreams would act, and then go act the same way. This may feel awkward at first, but expanding your thinking and your comfort zone this way will SO be worth it!
What sort of successes have you already enjoyed by consciously applying the dictum that Thoughts Become Things? Let us know so we can join you in your happy dance!
Or are you still waiting for the results you want because you’re overwhelmed with all the steps you could take to achieve them? That’s where I can lend a hand.
When I consult with overloaded entrepreneurs, the first step to getting them unstuck is to figure out just what exactly is cluttering their brains and paralyzing them, and then to start sorting through. By the time we’re done, they have a very manageable, step-by-baby-step action plan that will propel them toward their goals…and they also have a compassionately ruthless accountability partner (that’s me) to ensure that they do the important-but-uncomfortable tasks.
Does the idea of finally basking in forward progress make your mouth water? Then maybe it makes sense to find out if we could work together to make that happen. Just call me at 319-270-1214 or email me with “I’m acting as if I’m curious” in the subject line. We’ll set up a 30- or 40-minute call to explore whether or not we’d make a fantastic goal-getting team. If we both agree we would, we’ll immediately start kicking business butt. If we both agree we wouldn’t, we’ll immediately pat ourselves on the back for taking action anyway. I think that’s what they call a no-lose deal. ☺
(By the way, thanks to BK for posting his wonderful image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)
This entry was posted in mindset, personal power and tagged choice, effectiveness. Bookmark the permalink.