Why positive thinking doesn’t work… and what to do instead!

Henry Ford said, whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right. All success or failure starts in your mind with a thought. Which is probably where the whole positive thinking mantra stemmed from. But I’m going to shatter that illusion. Positive thinking by itself simply doesn’t work!

And here’s why.

Transcript

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right”.

All success or failure starts in your mind with a thought.

Which is probably where the whole positive thinking mantra stemmed from.

But I’m going to shatter that illusion.  Positive thinking by itself simply doesn’t work!

And here’s why.

Back in our caveman days, our survival depended on detecting danger.  Being constantly hyper aware of sabre tooth tigers and other things that could eat us.

Fast forward to today.  Our brains have obviously evolved.  But rather than each new bit replacing the old, the pre-historic parts are still there, buried deep.

And while we’re now the world’s apex predators, those parts of the brain are still alive and well, and functioning.

All of which means we’re still hard wired for danger detection and survival.

So when we’re contemplating any action, there’s a predisposition to see the negative first, look for what could go wrong and avoid making a mistake.  Negative emotions come to the fore.

I’m going to call it the monkey mind.  The negative voice in our heads that goes “This will be a waste of time”, “You’re not going to succeed at this”, “You’re kidding yourself”, “Who do you think you are?”, “You can’t possibly achieve this”, or “You’ve got tickets on yourself”.

Realising you’re thinking this way, you decide to become positive.  You argue with yourself.  “Yes I can do it”.  “It will work out”.  “All I have to do it think positive”.

But that just results in an emotional tug of war which is draining, unsustainable and a waste of time.

And while all this is happening, not much else is.  You take one step forward, one step back.  Or at worst become paralysed with indecision which ultimately will sabotage your success.

To succeed in anything, you need a new way of thinking.

In short you have to ignore the monkey mind and act in spite of the negativity.

Not by being positive, but by just concentrating on the one next step you can take to move you towards your goal.

It’s a methodology well understood in sports psychology as highlighted when Naomi Osaka beat Serena Williams for the US Open crown.

In pre match interviews Naomi gushed about how much she idolised Serena as her childhood heroine.

Her post match comment was telling.  Naomi said that once she was on the court, she just concentrated on the tennis.  Serena was just another player.  Naomi had to concentrate on her own game and winning every point rather than being overawed by her idol.

Now, no one is saying this is easy.

However, you can learn how to run your own mind.  A large part of how we help our clients is exactly that.  We use a unique combination of NLP and behavioural modalities to drill and skill so you have the best chance of success.

Interested?  Give me a call. Till next time, this is Rashid Kotwal.

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By |2018-10-11T12:07:15+11:00October 11th, 2018|Mindset, Practical Tips, Video, Video Carousel|0 Comments

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