We tease each other all the time about losing our minds and I’m sure that some days you really feel as though you will. But the truth is that is the one thing you have total control over.
I know it doesn’t seem that way when your boss is yelling at you or the company is downsizing. Or if you are a writer and the voices inside your head are not those of your characters. But it’s absolutely true that you are in total control over your mind, your thoughts and your attitude.
Since you are a creature of habit, you form an automatic response to things that happen in your life rather than assessing each event on its own set of circumstances. You condition your emotions to react a certain way when things happen to you. After a while, you become a victim, not of the circumstances but your own reactions.
Ever wonder why the same thing can happen to everyone in your neighborhood, department at work or family and some people seem to take it all in stride while it destroys others? It’s attitude pure and simple.
You may not even realize you’re doing it. That’s why I’m writing this. You can overcome it and retrain your mind to react in a way to life events that will be more helpful to you. Follow these training steps and see if you don’t notice a change.
1) Stop, drop and roll. Ok, maybe not the drop and roll part but I wanted to get your attention. When an even happens in your life, the very first thing you need to do is, well, nothing. STOP. Give your mind time to process it. If we don’t make a conscious effort to do that, our mind will go into auto pilot and react the way it always does. In most cases that’s not positive.
2) Interrupt the conversation. Remember, your mind has already started reacting automatically. You must interject that this event is NOT the same event of the past. Sure, it could be similar. That’s why you feel déjà vu. But it is different. Unique to this particular moment.
3) Get the goodie out. Even the most challenging moments have something you can gain from. There is wisdom to be gleaned and lessons to be learned. Focus on those things and determine that you are going to take advantage of the situation.
4) Remember who you are. If someone is questioning your ability or performance, perhaps there are things you can do to improve. But, your integrity, character and personality are intact. Rest in that.
These are steps to developing the skill of reacting… changing your mind to work for you rather than against you. Believe me, when you change your mind, it will change your life and that’s a beautiful thing!
Today’s Challenge: Identify those statements you tell yourself when you’re being challenged and write them down, along with the truth about those things.
Have you recently changed your way of thinking about something challenging? Leave a comment.