How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything
We have somewhere around 60,000 thoughts in a day. Of those thoughts, researchers have found that 80% are negative and 95% are repeated. Talk about a spin cycle!
With this in mind, it is no wonder we can get stuck in a perpetual cycle of falling back into the same habits and self-limiting messaging that reinforce barriers to our success.
Some examples of limiting phrases that might pop up are:
“I’m not sure if I can.”
“What if I can’t make my new business work?”
“If I’m successful at the examination.”
“It’s a cheat day.”
“I’m not sure if they will like me.”
“I hope I get the job.”
Each of the above phrases has an element of doubt, rather than messaging surety.
How you see yourself is how you will go about your life. If you feel like you can’t ever get ahead, you will never get ahead.
What’s Your Story?
What are you telling yourself?
Reprogramming our thinking to support how we would like to live our lives and our experiences requires that we make a full shift in our commitment. It’s all or nothing.
When you ask a successful entrepreneur what was the key to their success, the vast majority note pulling the trigger. They took a big step and jumped in.
The thing about jumping in, there is an element of giving away control. It’s a point of no turning back.
If you are on a rope swing over a pond, the moment you let go, you drop. There is no jumping back up. You are in the water, 100%.
Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen states, “It’s easier to hold your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold them 98 percent of the time.”
Think about this. It’s easier to make a 100%, all in commitment than to only be committed just 98%. Why is this?
Because you don’t have to continually mind-wrestle, or otherwise get caught up in the 95% spin cycle. That’s exhausting!
When we fully commit, “When I pass the exam,” there is no ‘if’ only ‘when’. It IS happening. Instead of going over thoughts of all the possible outcomes, there is just one, passing.
Of course, most of our learning comes from figuring out how to do things. Picture this, you go all in but still fail the exam. Alright then, dust yourself off and do it again until you pass.
Where does the learning moment come in? Ask yourself, “What did I do to prepare for this exam that I could have done better?”
“I haven’t failed. I just learned 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
We will all have many blunders throughout our lifetimes, but that does not need to define us. Our definition will drive our belief system.
If I’m committed to pass the exam. That’s it. I will pass the exam. I didn’t limit myself on when. I just said that I would do it. That might mean that during the journey between here and there that I have to adjust course to how I’m going to get there. If there is a roadblock, we find a way around.
When we can paint an accurate picture in our mind of where we want to be, our story has an opportunity to develop, grow and appear.
When we can articulate our story from a 100% perspective, all in, only opportunity exists.
So how can we get out of the spin cycle and reprogram our thinking to embrace and support our new thoughts and desires? The answer is in three parts, that when used together, will help connect different parts of your brain so that you can break the cycle of negative thoughts or undesired actions.
1) What are you feeding yourself?
Think of the old saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you were to eat candy bars, and nothing else, day in and day out, would you expect to be healthy? Seems like a pretty silly question, but it’s no different neglecting to properly nourish your body than it is to neglect to nourish your mind.
Turn off the morning or evening news. Most of what makes the news is negative and feeds your brain garbage.
Feeding your mind daily via daily motivational quotes, affirmations, or listening to uplifting podcasts, ted talks or audio books will help reinforce reprogramming negative thought patterns into better serving thoughts.
2) Focus on gratitude
Oprah Winfrey has a practice of writing down five things she is grateful for every day. Since misery loves company, why cry over spilt milk? If you want to make the 100% mind shift, making a conscious effort to name 5 things (or more) that you are grateful for will help you shift what you choose to focus on.
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Zig Ziglar
Visualization is a powerful tool that binds with the first two reprogramming mechanisms. This is because when you are inviting in new, better-serving thoughts by controlling your input and consciously shifting focus to what is good, your mindset is more growth oriented. A growth mindset is open to possibilities, which invites opportunity.
Visualizing what you want can take place in many ways. You may keep a journal, a dream list, a vision board, or place post-it notes with your intentions where you will see them frequently throughout the day.
Just like feeding yourself daily and focusing on gratitude daily, visualization is a daily process. You must feed your thoughts what you want to think, not let thoughts happen to you (spin cycle).
Combined, these three tools will help you take the leap, go all in and be 100% committed. How you do anything is how you do everything.
It’s time to go all in.