If You Donít
Like Your World Outside, Then Change Your Thinking Inside
By Della Menechella
Recently I have been getting a
number of e-mails from people asking me if I think they can realize their
dreams, even though at the moment they might be experiencing a variety of
challenges such as being in a job they hate, having financial difficulties or
relationship problems. My answer is
an emphatic yes; however, there is a caveat to that statement. The only way they
are going to be able to overcome their challenges and realize their dreams, is
for them to change the way they think. If
they do not change their thinking, their conditions will never improve.
Donít Be A Victim
Most of the people in the world believe they are victims of their circumstances. They believe that things just happen to them and they feel they have played absolutely no part in creating them. This is a very dangerous belief to hold because it will usually keep an individual captive to his negative circumstances. People need to realize that whatever situations they are in, they have in some way, contributed to them.
Very often the way someone starts to create a negative situation in his life is by thinking negatively. Negative thinking leads to negative beliefs, which lead to negative behavior, which leads to negative results. The most effective way to undo a negative situation is to begin at the place where it started Ė in our thoughts. As Albert Einstein said, ďThe significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.Ē Only when we change our thoughts about a situation will our behavior and results change.
Negative Thinking Produces
Letís look at an example of a relationship problem to see how this works. Suppose Sam meets a new co-worker named Mary and his initial thought is that Mary is loud and obnoxious. This may lead to a belief such as -- Mary is a difficult person to work with. This belief causes Sam to be short-tempered and uncooperative in his interactions with her. Samís behavior results in him having major conflicts with Mary and this situation is preventing him from advancing at work because he is perceived as not being a team player.
If you asked Sam why he was experiencing this problem, he would probably swear up and down that there are politics at play and everyone is out to get him and that is why he isnít being promoted. If Sam continues to think this way, he will never get promoted, and he very likely will end up losing his job. The only way for Sam to change his world outside is to change his thinking inside.
Change Your Thinking To Change Your Results
Sam needs to think a new thought about Mary. This may not be the easiest thing in the world for Sam to do, but letís assume that he is determined to find something about Mary that he likes, respects, or values. He decides that he respects the fact that Mary stands up for what she believes in and that she lets people know how she feels about things. This thought leads Sam to believe that Mary is honest and that people know where they stand with her. This causes a subtle change in Samís behavior when he is dealing with Mary Ė he speaks to her in a more professional manner and he is able to work with her to complete assigned tasks. On an unconscious level, Mary feels Samís changed attitude towards her, and she is able to work with him in a more harmonious way. Sam is no longer being reprimanded for not being a team player and his chances for being promoted have improved.
This example may seem very simplistic, but it is a good way to illustrate how thoughts affect our experiences. The only way you can change your experience is to change the way you think about it. Thoughts and beliefs control behavior. If you try to only change the behavior connected with a situation, the experience will not change. As soon as you let your guard down, your behavior will automatically revert back to the actions that support your thought. While this example deals with relationships, this process works the same way with every condition in our lives.
The Good News
While it might seem that we our victims to our thinking, the good news is that we can choose the thoughts we wish to accept. We can choose to think positive thoughts, which will lead to positive beliefs, actions, and results. When we control our thinking, we can have greater control over our lives.
Della Menechella is a speaker and trainer who helps organizations achieve greater success by improving the performance of their people. She is a contributing author to Thriving in the Midst of Change and the author of the videotape The Twelve Commandments of Goal Setting. She can be reached at 732-985-1919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to free Peak Performance Pointers e-zine - send blank e-mail to mailto:email@example.com.
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