“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”– William Shakespeare
Shakespeare was on point. How we think plays a significant role in how we shape our lives. However, few people make the effort to understand and harness this power.
Neuroscientists have discovered that thoughts are actually electrical impulses which trigger both electrical and chemical reactions in our brain. Far from being fleeting bits of consciousness, our thoughts have a direct impact on the chemical activity in our brain.
This is why we should pay close attention to our thoughts. If we learn how to get better control of them, we gain more control over our lives. This is a BIG deal that does not discriminate. Anyone can take control of this success lever.
Whether your thoughts are good or bad, fact or fiction, make no difference to your brain. Good thoughts trigger a positive chemical reaction; bad thoughts create a negative reaction. Unfortunately, we have an inherent negative bias (fight or flight instinct) and we live in a world that’s rife with negativity (the news is a great source). If we’re not on top of this, we’re vulnerable to negative thoughts making the passage from consciousness to our subconscious. And that’s what is known as unintended negative programming.
None of us can eliminate negative thoughts from entering our minds completely, but we can develop the habit of hand-selecting the thoughts that dominate our thinking. This is a powerful skill, not only for becoming more successful, but for becoming happier in general.
It’s all about using our thoughts as positive affirmations. An affirmation is simply a positive statement that’s both personal and present tense. It represents a personal quality or outcome that you want to be your reality. For instance, I remember a banker-turned-advisor who told me he didn’t like the idea of being a salesperson, yet sales were an important part of his role. As his coach taught him the power of affirmations, one of his mantras became, “I enjoy selling my services,” (which was a fiction that he wanted to become a reality).
This former banker, who previously didn’t like the idea of selling his services, had completely reprogrammed his mind by using affirmations. The last I heard from his coach, he brought in $70 million in new assets the previous year. That’s serious selling!
So here’s the drill – think of areas (qualities & outcomes) where you’d like to improve–we refer to that as a change area. Visualize it changed, affirm it changed, and then write your affirmation on an index card.
Change Area: I would like to be more disciplined.
Image: See yourself going through your day successfully executing all of your high-impact activities, sticking it out even when you’d rather be doing something else.
Affirmation: I am disciplined and always execute my high-impact activities.
Change Area: I would like to be more confident in selling my services in affluent circles.
Image: See yourself at a social function, relaxed and confident, in conversation with a potential client, sensing a window of opportunity, and closing for an appointment.
Affirmation: I am confident when prospecting in affluent circles.
I’m sure you get the idea. The secret is in being honest with yourself regarding areas you like to improve; whether it’s confidence, sales skills, goal focus, discipline, or expanding your comfort zone.
One of the best ways to develop this into a habit is making an affirmation recording, as repetition is the engine for programming. We’ve had tremendous coaching advisors recording 7 affirmations, each repeated 7 times, with a 7-second pause between each repetition. When you listen to it daily, it sticks, and you start to believe it. Every 90 days or so, you should change some, if not all, of your affirmations.
The aforementioned banker recorded his 7-7-7 on his cell phone, which his kids stumbled onto and teased him for. However, he got the last laugh, as he passed on this affirmation knowledge to them and they used it for both sports and tests.
Our mind is our most powerful tool and true success awaits those who take control of their success lever.