Have you ever heard the phrase, “The loudest conversation taking place in any room is the one going on in your head?”
What we say to ourselves, even silently while looking in the mirror and shrugging in exasperation at the circles under our eyes, sends a message to our brain about who we are and what’s true in the world. The brain doesn’t know if it’s true or not, it simply accepts the information you’ve sent.
The past four months have been a complete reassessment of my business structure, my coaching focus and even my personal goals. It’s been a lot to deal with in one fell swoop and it would be so easy to cave in to the fear of “what’s next?”
During this time of unbelievable uncertainty, it was so easy to catch myself thinking of myself as a failure. Those nasty little thoughts are always right there on the edge of my Doer personality. My hardwired need to produce was trying to get into the driver’s seat of my mindset so I had to hustle to make sure that it didn’t get a chance to settle in and drive the car. I needed to stop the car and reassess the route I was on.
Sitting around hoping for the best, or thinking pleasant thoughts, even counting my blessings was not doing the trick. This required more direct action. So I pulled out my copy of Catherine Ponder’s book, “The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity” as my mind guide. She writes, “The mind is man’s wonderful servant, when he realizes this and trains his mind to work for him.”
So here are four of the techniques that have been getting me through this challenging phase:
1) Be Deliberate in What You Say
There is nothing that will be solved in a bad situation by talking randomly or incessantly about the troubles. That puts the trouble front and center in your brain. It draws other people unnecessarily into your problem. It keeps you sitting in the mire. It repels solutions.
Poverty in thought leads to poverty in words and attracts more poverty in action. This isn’t limited to dollars and cents. A poverty mindset is about what you believe you can accomplish, what you believe you deserve and what God and the Universe will make available to you in terms of people, vision and resources.
So what I said and to whom – especially myself – was critically important. I chose to be clear and deliberate, and audible. You must say the positive things you want to manifest out loud to yourself and out loud to others (the ones you know support you.)
And then shut up.
Don’t make excuses, don’t offer lengthy explanations, don’t rehash what went wrong. You must live consciously and become acutely aware of what you are saying to yourself throughout the day.
2) Step outside yourself to view the problems.
When you are in the middle of something hard, emotions run high. You owe it to yourself to figure out what your role in the situation was and how you can move forward without repeating mistakes. But you’ve got to take the 30,000 foot view.
Imagine you are flying in a jet plane and instead of looking at a landscape dotted with farms, small towns and criss-crossing highways, you are looking at the map of what happened in your life. From that distance it’s difficult to make out discrete details, but easy to see patterns.
It’s necessary to know how you got into this place, but do so with the emotional detachment of a coroner conducting a routine autopsy. You are looking for evidence of behaviors, decisions, actions that should not be repeated in order to chart a new route into a solution. But staying down in the details, mired in the minutiae ties you emotionally to every behavior, decision, and action in a way that entices you to relive them. You don’t want to relive them, you just need see them.
3) Don’t try to eliminate the negative self-talk, reprogram it.
Sometimes people who choose to talk positively, or use the law of attraction are accused of not being realistic. Well, it’s not a matter of one or the other. It’s a decision to reprogram our thoughts and our statements to redirect our mindset.
I work hard at catching myself saying denigrating things to myself. How many times a day do we have just a flash thought, “Oh, you shouldn’t have done that.” “Well that was stupid.” “Ugh, you are getting fat girl.” Each of those thoughts causes damage to your mindset.
Admit you’ve had the thought and then reverse and replace it with a new statement that creates a positive message.
4) Be your best coach.
When you find yourself renting real estate in Pity Land, step in and ask yourself, “If someone came to me with this exact problem, what would I advise them to do?” Play the role of counselor and counselee. It will set you on the path toward a solution and give you an opportunity to do step number 2.
The world is designed to make you doubt yourself every time you step out the door, turn on the television or pick up a magazine. You must protect your mindset in order to navigate through the detours, past the roadblocks and over the potholes.