Do you talk to yourself? Do you answer? I’m sure you do. We all of have conversations with ourselves, these are called thoughts. Perhaps the more serious question is what type of conversations are you having? What is the language of your mind? Have you ever talked yourself into such a frenzy it actually made you nauseous? Ever worry about something to such an extent it made you physically ill? Maybe you talked yourself right out of a smart choice or into a poor decision. Perhaps it’s time to learn about the language you are using in the conversation you are having with yourself and start leading a fuller more successful life.
There are two significant elements to understanding and applying this Rule for Success. First is to understand how it can influence your decisions and subsequent actions/reactions, and second, how you can make a permanent change to your life. If you were to take a moment to close your eyes and think for a moment about a recent, strong emotional experience – say the loss of a loved one, how you miss their conversations, touching them, holding them. Remembering how close you were to them, what they meant to you. Listened to their voice, felt their touch. Remember the viewing, memorial or funeral. If you did this, pause for a moment and acknowledge how you feel…your emotions. Sad, upset, hurt, angry, depressed? Take another moment and realize how you look, what were your physical reactions. A frown, a stoic face, a blank stare out into space, perhaps your eyes teared up, or you even cried.
On the other hand, what if you thought about it like I do with my father, how he was a great dad, how he loved me, shaped me to be who I am today. I think about my phone calls to him almost every day and how they made him smile – that made me happy. As a Christian I know he is in Heaven and someday I will be with him, my mom and all those I love. If…if, you changed the way you thought about the loss of your loved one, and talked to yourself with happy and uplifting language, you would have noticed a change in your emotions, or feelings, to ones of genuine happiness, maybe even excitement. These emotions in-turn affected your actions or behaviors, predominantly facial features that included a smile.
What kind of emotions does, “Ah Crap! Another management initiative that’s just going to cause me problems.” evoke? Fear, anger, frustration? What about, “Damn, there’s just no way I’m going to lose this weight? Be able to handle this project? Failure? Sadness? Anxiety? What about this language…“Hmm, how can I use this situation to…help someone? advance my career? make my job easier?”? Empowered? Excited? Anticipation?
If you learn to understand the language of the mind, how it influences your feelings or emotions, and how those emotions drive your actions, reactions and behaviors, then you can understand how changing the conversations you have with yourself will change the way you feel, and how you feel will change how you respond. Instead of complaining about how something won’t work, ask yourself how it might. Instead of blaming others for the adversity in your life, ask how you might respond to it differently. Instead of worrying about things that haven’t happened, ask yourself, what can I do to prepare for, or prevent the unforeseen.
Every thought you have is a seed, your results are the fruit. If you want tulips don’t plant ragweed. Watch for our next Rule and Tool For Success – Seek Congruency, where I’ll share how you can become fluent in a language that will drive success. In the meantime…Be extraordinary! When you can’t be extraordinary, be awesome instead.
Founder & CEO
Leader Development Institute