Truth or Consequences
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Recently I heard someone say that “there is no such thing as a thought that doesn’t have consequences.”  This statement caused me to really give this topic some thought, which, if they are right, has its own consequences.

According to researchers, we have between 50,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day and each one causes our brains to release chemicals which control our feelings and emotions. If this is all true, we have a huge problem that we desperately need to get our hands or minds around. Now it is clearly impossible to control all of our thoughts, but we can take control of our Self-talk. Yes, it is time to admit that we actually do talk to ourselves all day. We make assumptions about people, situations, and our own performance. We predetermine the end results of meetings, conversations, and opportunities that we are presented with long before they are finished. We end up setting ourselves up for success or predetermine our own failures. By learning to control our self-talk, we can manage our emotions better and allow ourselves to focus on the right things. Positive self-talk allows us to be open to new and more innovative ideas resulting in greater productivity and happiness. Negative self-talk drags us down and can send us into a self-defeating spiral. So what can we do to set ourselves up for success?

Begin to visualize success. According to researchers, the same regions of our brains are active whether we are witnessing something in person or whether we are visualizing it. If you struggle with having an open mind when challenged by others, practice visualizing yourself reacting with an open mind. If you are a person who procrastinates, visualize yourself starting and completing projects on time. This intentional practice allows us to bring positive and successful thoughts into our conscious mind.

Another powerful tool is to develop affirmation statements. Take some time to develop statements that describe your gifted areas and what you want to achieve. Once you have developed them, read them to yourself each morning as you prepare for your day. I know to some this may sound strange, but I can tell you from personal experience that it does in fact work. Often in my coaching and training session, I will remind people that we find what we are looking for.

The truth of the matter is, if we do not take control of our thought life we will, in fact, suffer the consequences.