I have learned first-hand that this statement is 100% true:
“Change Your Thinking – Change Your Life”
Our thinking is a reflection of what we believe about ourselves and the world around us. In many cases, we don’t even realize what we believe until the moment presents itself and that belief rises to the surface.
I remember a point in my career where I was instrumental in our company achieving worldwide recognition, for a program I had set up and implemented.
I appreciated all the acknowledgment and accolades I received – but deep down, I truly didn’t think it was a big deal. Anyone else could have done what I did. I minimized my success and my talent.
Now when I look back on it, I realize that I did an incredible job with a combination of knowledge, skill, drive, perseverance, resourcefulness and the ability to influence others. I couldn’t see it back then.
I have coached dozens and dozens of people who are top performers, and they set their standards very high. They consistently perform at a higher level than most of their colleagues, yet they never think they are good enough. Once they reach a position of prominence, they feel like a fraud.
The common thread I discovered is that they all had a voice playing inside them that said you are not good enough. This appeared to be a message they had heard since childhood, based on their experiences and their upbringing.
There is a term called ‘cognitive distortions’ meaning distorted or unhealthy thinking. I’m sure you have been associated with someone who demonstrates this thinking and can easily recognize it when it happens. The real question is, do you suffer from any of these distortions?
Other ways you can recognize if you have unhealthy thinking is to look at your habits. Do you have limiting fears or behaviors such as claustrophobia, social anxiety, fear of heights, feeling sad or depressed, anxiety, procrastination, lack of accountability for your actions, excessive eating, dieting, spending, drinking or drug use?
When I ask my clients how they feel about a particular situation, and the response is a negative one, I ask how they cope. It’s not uncommon to hear how they have chosen to escape the feelings of discomfort.
I hear stories of how much easier it is to avoid the pain of having to confront the problem. They mask the pain with unhealthy habits. The longer the pain stays buried, the more prone they are to illness or phobias or fears. Then they get stuck in those patterns, and it affects their moods, their relationships and their work performance. It all traces back to what they think – what they believe to be true about themselves or others around them.
I suffered from anxiety and claustrophobia for many years. It wasn’t until I sought professional guidance that I was able to free myself. And oh, what a feeling! Those invisible, yet very real barriers no longer exist. I had to examine my thinking, uncover limiting beliefs and replace them with healthier ones.
I am happier than I have ever been in my life and it is reflected in the quality of my relationships and the success in my professional life.
- What is it that you really want in your life that you don’t have now?
- What is holding you back?
- What are your habits or behaviors that you don’t want to continue?
- What is your thinking behind those habits or behaviours?
- What do you want to do about it?