Choose your thoughts and change your outcomes

We have heard it said that our brain is a very powerful tool and that most of us do not use it to its full potential.

How often do you deliberately choose what to think? Or do you let your thoughts bubble up, as if on autopilot, thinking you have no control over them?

Take a moment to consider this – we can choose our thoughts

You might be thinking that this is impossible, maybe you think that you have always had these thoughts, so how can you change them?

Common Thoughts are Just Habits

Like most things we do on autopilot in our lives, our common thoughts are habits…. deeply ingrained over the years. And whether they serve us or not, these habits are comfortable as we are so familiar with them.

Habits are formed by repeating the same action again and again and thus creating deep neural pathways in our brain.

This saves us having to relearn that action again when we need it. Habitual thinking patterns are exactly the same – we think the same thought over and over and thus carve a deep neural pathway creating a strong habit.

Does this sound familiar?

A common thinking habit for one of my clients was to play out in her mind the scenario of the next meeting with her business partner. In all cases the scenario she imagined was negative, the conversation ending in stalemate or worse still, an argument.

When I posed to her, that she could take control of her thinking and start to use that brain energy to imagine a scenario where the meetings were positive, she was rather surprised.

So, I asked her to take note of her thoughts, and each time she went down the well-trodden path of the negative scenario, I asked her to change the script and go for a happy ending.

As you can imagine, as she started to take control of her thinking and think about a positive outcome, the relationship started to improve and the business moved forward.

Choose your thoughts – and make them good ones!

Start to notice your thinking. As you walk to the train or into a meeting, what are you thinking about? Is the thought going to help you get towards your goals, or is it going to sabotage your progress?

Then, once you have got used to noticing your thinking, start to actively create thoughts that will help you get to where you want to go.

You may want to write down those thoughts that you notice yourself repeating and what the new thoughts are that you want to think instead.

Then as you think about your thinking, actively start to pull more of your new, helpful thoughts into your mind.

Over time, the habit of thinking good thoughts will become your autopilot!

“There is a basic law that like attracts like. Negative thinking definitely attracts negative results. Conversely, if a person habitually thinks optimistically and hopefully his positive thinking sets in motion creative forces – and success instead of eluding him flows toward him.”
— Norman Vincent Peale

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Wendy Kerr

Director for The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Auckland University.The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the hub for the development and promotion of innovation, commercialisation and entrepreneurial activities within the University.We create experiential programmes, workshops and events to unleash the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, to transform the mindsets of our students and staff to support the growth of New Zealand as a prosperous and creative nation.

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.

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