Positive Thinking: The First Step in Changing Your Life
Positive Thinking: The First Step in Changing Your Life ~ Life is both, highly complex and immensely simple. The key to successfully navigating it is to understand when things need to be simplified and when they need to be anatomized. I have invested a substantial amount of my time to understanding human behavior — how to evaluate it, as well as how to help others change it in order to achieve optimal results out of their goals and actions. While human behavior, and the catalysts behind it, is highly complex, the manner in which you change it is actually very simple, at the core.
The most common question I receive from people who approach me for impromptu advice is: How do I get better results out of my efforts? — Or something to that nature. Many of these individuals are quite surprised when my response is so simple: change the way you are thinking. They normally follow with a subsequent question that inquires as to how I can possibly know that it is their thinking without having spent any time with them. My response is also succinct and to the point: It is always your thoughts that are the seed of your reality. Simply put, your thoughts, mixed with emotion, are the foundation of your reality.
It is impossible to think negative thoughts and live a positive and productive life. The entire universe responds to the energy you emit as a result of your beliefs, and your beliefs are established, cultivated and shaped by your thoughts. So, the results you get in life, business, relationships, and more, are all a byproduct of the beliefs that are the results of your thinking.
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I have a concept I call “minding your reality,” which gets people to focus on the cognitive influences that have a massive impact on their reality. Many times people have cognitive biases that are founded upon negativity, and they may be influenced by past experiences, or they could be the result of consistent exposure to negative stimuli. When a person suffers from negative cognitive bias to the point that it negatively influences their social functionality, financial progress, and more, I call it Cognitive Bias Syndrome — meaning that the combination of multiple negative biases has created a systematic thought process that leads the person to expect negative results.
Allow me to elucidate my point. You should view life as being cyclical, and in this constant cycle beliefs are inextricably linked to manifested results in life.
- Your beliefs establish paradigms through which you view life. It is these paradigms that dictate how you feel about each situation you encounter — because you will interpret every situation based on the beliefs that you used to construct your current paradigm.
- Your beliefs also impact your emotions, which play a direct role in how well you perform in any given situation. If you are negative, or even capricious, in your thinking, it will negatively impact your emotions — minimizing your ability to perform optimally.
- While there are many factors that impact your results in life, the vast majority are exogenous in nature, meaning that you have very little influence on them. The only factor that you have 100 percent control over is your performance; however, if your thinking has tainted your beliefs, it has negatively impacted your self-confidence. Your mental attitude, which is directly correlated with your thoughts, not only impacts your ability to perform, but it impacts how others perceive and receive you. How you feel about yourself will determine how others perceive you.
- Here is where the cycle comes into play. Not only does your thinking directly impact your performance, but your performance will reinforce your thinking. So, if you think negative, it will produce substandard results, and those results, will serve to reinforce your thinking.
This vicious cycle of poor thinking produces poor performances, which in turn reinforce poor thinking — creating the need to be addressed at the source — which is your thoughts. Because people lack a reasonable perspicacity of the manner in which their thinking impacts their reality, they often focus on the idea of persistence and hard work. While I am a firm believer in taking an implacable stance to achieving goals, pressing inexorably through every obstacle, the action must be accompanied by expectation of success. It does not matter how hard you work if you already believe that you are going to fail.
The hard work provides the force and momentum, but it is your thinking that provides the direction. No matter how hard you try, you cannot produce positive results from negative thinking.
Here is something to think about as well. It becomes easier to grasp the concept that thinking manifests reality when you understand that your physical reality is not the ultimate influence of your existence. Your physical reality, everything that is tangible and measurable, exists in the third dimension, but the third dimension is simply the physical manifestation of a reality that was initially created in the fourth and fifth dimensions. You create your reality by first conceptualizing it in your thoughts and then birthing it in either the fourth of fifth dimensions, and then your work and efforts bring the physical manifestation into the third dimension — your reality.
If I could simplify the equation even further, I would say that you will always get what you expect, so to change the results you have to chance the expectations. I work with a wide range of people from multitudinous backgrounds, and when I work with people of faith, I always remind them that God will always meet them at the level of their expectations.
You will be surprised at how many people consistently cling to negative thoughts. How many times have you heard the following statements, or even spoke one or more of them yourself?
- I can’t win for losing.
- Mondays (insert any day) are always so depressing
- The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.
- Nothing good ever happens to me.
- Life sucks and then you die.
The way that you counter negative beliefs is to begin to adopt new beliefs. I am an avid believer that every person has a purpose and a genius to facilitate that purpose; therefore, mediocrity is a choice, not a lot in life. The moment that you begin to fill your life with positive thoughts that foster positive beliefs and expectations, you will immediately begin to fill your load becoming lighter. This does not mean that there will not be difficulties and challenges, but it means that you will view those challenges differently. You will engage the challenges expecting to win. Following are some beliefs that you can start developing by speaking each at least three times per day.
- I take full responsibility for my results.
- I always act on purpose.
- I push myself past previously self-imposed limits.
- I refuse to accept the limits placed on me by others.
- I will not wait for the perfect moment, I will take action now.
- I will not fear failure, because failure is a competent teacher.
- I will only be motivated and inspired by negative feedback; I will get better.
- I will guard my mind and body against anything that will harm its capacity to perform optimally.
This is just a few affirmations that you can start using to train your thinking. Monitor your thinking and speech carefully to identify things that you are thinking and saying that could be negatively impacting you.
I will leave you with this one truth that I hope serves as the theme of this short treatise — you are what you think! ~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.