Monday Mornings with Madison


What are you thinking right now? Is it a positive thought or a negative thought? Is it in alignment with where you are going or does it limit your growth?

In order to get to where you want to be, you have to change. You must take control of your thought patterns because the same pattern of thinking that got you where you are now will not get you where you want to go.

Our brains work non-stop to produce new thoughts every second. And the thoughts that we create shape our actions and how we feel about our actions. That feeling, in turn, creates new thoughts and the cycle continues:

  • Thought
  • Feeling
  • Action

The thoughts that we have are a result of our past experiences and our interpretation of those experiences. Everything that we ever saw, heard or felt is scanned into our brains and continues to shape our thoughts, which create our feelings and result in specific actions that reinforce those feelings.

Let’s take building relationships as an example. If you had an experience in the past in which making new connections was painful, (and who hasn’t had that experience?) your thoughts about building relationships will be negative. So when you know that you have to work on establishing a relationship in business or anywhere else in your life, your brain creates thoughts like, “Here we go again… I hate this but I have no other choice… ”

Basically, you know already before you start that this will be a negative experience, and you feel bad about doing it. So, when you actually start the process, since you already believe that it is bad and people will reject you, they do! And then your brain says, “See I told you this is bad,” which reinforces the thought that making new connections is bad. This “new” feeling gets scanned into your brain to create future thoughts.

One of the biggest discoveries in recent years is the fact that “you get what you think about.” The brain works like a magnet and attracts more of the things that you think about. So if you get up in the morning and think, “I am going to have a bad day,” you will! And the same will happen if you think, “I want to have a good day, but I know it’s not going to happen.” In both cases your thoughts are negative.

The best way to change you pattern of thought is to go on a mental diet and pay attention to what goes through your mind. Try to stay as positive as you can. If you find yourself thinking a negative thought, just stop and ask yourself, “What’s good about this situation? Since you are creative you will always find something good about the situation, and this will redirect you to more positive thoughts. The more you do it, the more natural it will become. After 10 days of constant practice, most of your thoughts will be positive and so will your life and your bank account.

This exercise is very simple and extremely powerful because it makes you aware of the negative thoughts and the beliefs that hold you back. It also creates the habit of looking for alternative, positive thoughts and beliefs about everything. And most importantly, you will find that once you change your thought patterns to be more positive and empowering, your life will begin to reflect the change.

For the next ten days, start paying attention to your thoughts. When you catch yourself focusing on a negative or unproductive thought or feeling, immediately ask yourself positive questions like, “What’s good about this?” or “How can I make this better?”

If you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts for more than a few minutes, don’t get discouraged. Just change them immediately and keep going.

The goal is to have ten consecutive days in which you don’t have a negative thought for more than three minutes.

“Things do not change; we change.” Henry David Thoreau

If this exercise could really change your life, when would you try it?

© 2008 – 2012, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.

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