Your thoughts determine your results – if your thoughts are predominantly positive, about success and about achieving your goals that’s what will happen. The personal development tip is that you might be surprised to find just how many of your thoughts are quite the opposite – negative, leading to bad feelings and thinking about what you don’t want.
If you spend a lot of time focussing on negative feelings and ideas and thinking about things that you don’t want, you chances of getting what you want are diminished.
Warning! Killer ANTS on the loose!
Your mind is continuously flooded with thoughts all day long – problems you are solving at work, what you are going to have for tea tonight, what you think of the boss, how you need to loose some weight… Many of these thoughts are automatic, they just pop in to your mind without you consciously thinking about them, stay for a few seconds and the go only to be replaced by the next thought.
The problem is that a large number of your thoughts are of the undesirable negative variety – ANTS- Automatic Negative Thoughts. Like their insect cousins, these ANTS are present in huge numbers, they run relentlessly through your mind and they are very difficult to get rid of!
Personal development tip – first find your ANTS
The first job is to find your ANTS.
Carry a piece of paper around with you for at least one day. Every time one of these ANTS crosses your mind, write it down. You may find this difficult at first. Many people I have worked with find that they only see the most obvious negative thoughts when they start looking for them. For example when they have an argument, when some inconsiderate driver cuts across them and so on.
However, over time, as you get used to spotting these insidious creatures, you will find that there are a lot more of them – sometimes they are very trivial and fly by in a flash.
You’ve probably developed the habit of ignoring the vast majority of your ANTS, so they don’t appear to be having an effect on your life. But where there are small ANTS there are also big, destructive ones and there are so many of them that they have a big impact on you life through their sheer weight of numbers!
Personal development tip – kill your ANTS
There are two ways you can approach this problem – you can use tools that will kill any ant stone dead or you can find the source and eliminate it.
My personal development tip is to adopt the habit of positive thinking – every time you come across a bad ANT, expose it to the light of day and watch it shrivel into nothing.
Ask yourself “on the scale of things, just how important is this, what impact will it have on my life tomorrow, in five years”. Often the answer is that this is an insignificant problem that is not worth the emotional turmoil that it might be causing you.
If it turns out to be potentially more serious, then develop a plan to deal with it. Once you know it has been controlled, you can get it out of your mind and get back to working on the things that are really important for you.