Your brain is always thinking.
That’s what it was designed to do.
The top priority is to ensure your survival, which is why your brain looks for and notices potential threats all day long.
Then your brain goes to work by offering you negative thoughts.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you consider yourself positive and optimistic. You probably don’t realize how many negative thoughts you have, like:
– The client hasn’t called me back. They don’t want to hire us.
– The employee called in sick. They’re getting ready to quit.
– A critical system is down. Our reputation will be ruined.
It’s common to think your thoughts are facts, which is why you don’t stop to question them.
Besides, that takes time, and another priority for the brain is to conserve energy.
This is why more than 80% of our thoughts are versions of previous thoughts.
And most of them are about what we don’t want and what could go wrong.
The antidote to this automatic process is to train yourself to notice how you feel.
Any time you’re feeling bad, it will always be because of your thoughts.
Use your feelings as your internal GPS. If you’re feeling frustrated, stressed, worried, anxious, deflated, etc., STOP and:
1. Ask yourself, “What am I thinking?”
2. Is it an absolute fact? (Could there ever be a case where it’s not a fact? Could the opposite ever be true?)
3. If it is a fact, then by definition, it’s neutral data until you have a thought about it. Until you give it meaning. You get to decide what it means.
4. If it’s not a fact, then it’s a thought which has been offered automatically by your brain. It’s trying to save time by offering you thoughts you’ve had before in similar situations, even if they make you feel terrible.
5. Don’t let your brain be lazy! Break the pattern. The best way is to ask, “Why am I choosing to think that? What do I want to think instead?”
There is never a time when you’ll be more successful by thinking thoughts that make you feel bad.
I used to think the voice in my head that criticized me and my business 24×7 was helping me. That it was motivating me to be a better leader and grow my business.
I also thought by looking for danger at every turn, I would be safe.
But the opposite is true.
Negative thoughts create a superhighway in your mind. They slow you down and deplete your energy because your actions are less effective when fueled by negative feelings.
Check in with yourself multiple times a day and notice how you’re feeling.
Then ask yourself what you’re thinking and follow the steps above to make your brain work FOR you.