You can’t afford to worry about what people think – Positive Thoughts are a prerequisite for Success!
It’s no longer just the opinion of motivational speakers, it’s scientific fact. Your thoughts determine your success. By thinking a certain way over a period of time, we create neural pathways in our brain – shortcuts that make that thought pattern easier to achieve. Think of it like driving your car into the bush to make a shortcut. At first it is hard, but as you drive over and over the same tracks, you make a road which becomes easy to travel on.
So you naturally fall into that thought pattern with everything. Introducing a new way of thinking is just like making a new track in the bush, it’s more difficult and we naturally avoid it.
If we have been used to worrying about what people will think of us every time we have a chance to implement a new idea or try something different, we will naturally continue to do it unless we recognise that thought pattern for what it is and make a concerted effort over time to change it.
This concept of highways in the brain reinforcing thought patterns was recently proved beyond a doubt when the Journal of the American Medical Association published images of brain scans in people before and after cognitive therapy, showing visible changes in the wiring of the brain.
The new thinking patters which the therapy created when practiced over and over by patients, created new ‘neural pathways’ as neurons which were associated with each other, clumped together.
In people with disorders like social anxiety, the neural pathway systems of their brains often lead them to emotional pain and irrational conclusions, so by introducing new thought patterns, doctors were able to reduce the levels of anxiety that patients experienced.
People who continually experience failure can be suffering from a similar condition.
Cognitive Therapy Guide.org identifies two of the four main types of negative thinking as ‘Disqualifying the Positives’ and ‘Catastrophizing’. In other words, expecting the worst outcome from any opportunity or action.
People who think this way are sceptical about everything and examine every opportunity for problems and reasons it can’t succeed. Over time, they create neural pathways in their brain for this thinking pattern – making it much easier to think this way than to expect a positive outcome.
The more they expect a negative outcome from their actions, the less likely they are to take those actions– instead procrastinating and doing nothing, ensuring their failure.
The most common type of negative thinking according to Cognitive Therapy Guide.org is ‘All-or-nothing thinking’. People who have these type of thought patterns suffer anxiety and depression because they think that any mistake is a failure, which may expose them to criticism or judgment. People who suffer from all-or-nothing thinking rarely take action, because everything is never perfect. They feel trapped by their own unrealistic standards and feeling trapped is one of the known causes of depression.
As some of our thinking patterns emanate from experiences going right back to our childhood, neural pathways are often very well established and changing them is not easy – it takes determination.
A visualization of success can lead to real success
Our brain is incredibly powerful and we don’t actually need to experience a positive outcome to change our thought patterns and our chance of success. It can be as easy as visualizing it.
Mental rehearsals have been used successfully by athletes for years and although we knew they worked, nobody really knew why until recently.
Studies published in September 2014, in the Scientific American concluded that imagined practice may activate the same neural circuits as real experience – so somebody who rehearses a speech or performance in their mind with a positive outcome is much more likely to experience a positive outcome with the real event.
By focusing on that thought pattern over and over, we fuse these neurons together, creating new neural pathways and making it easier and easier for us to think this way.
Don’t let your fear of failure stop you taking the necessary action
The fear of failure paralyses people into inactivity. They use visualization in another way, looking at the opportunity and visualizing the worst possible outcome. It stops businesses growing, families enjoying the lifestyle they deserve and it prevents people really experiencing life to the fullest!
Streetsmart CEO Ian Marsh is fond of saying: “Continually try new things -Don’t get too comfortable – You’ll blink one day and life will all be over, so experience as much of it as you can, while you can!”
So as you start 2015, the worst thing you can do is slot back in to that comfortable rut, doing the same things over and over, expecting this year somehow there will be a different result.
Instead, take a leaf out of the Lion’s book. Do not concern yourself with the opinions of those around you. Resolve to do things differently. Start by downloading the ‘4 Essential Pillars of Any Good Marketing Plan’.