A penny for your thoughts: how to enhance your silent conversations
[3 min read]
Let the power of your thoughts lead you to higher grounds.
The most powerful force in the world is not a person, a machine, a company or a Government. The most powerful force in the world is the humble thought.
“The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our THINKING.”
We have about 65,000 thoughts per day which we can’t turn off unless we are asleep, and possibly they are still there then. These many conversations each day is a lot. Our thoughts are our constant companion, more intense than the relationship with our best friend. So, we better make sure those thoughts are positive and supportive ones!
So, the first thought that comes to mind: what are thoughts? In simple terms, thoughts are either questions we ask ourselves or statements we make, which are either based on facts or beliefs.
We have a choice between asking ourselves high quality or low quality questions.
WHY questions are of low quality because these questions put us straight into victim mode and simply justify why we are facing a particular PROBLEM. For example: “Why am I always missing out?” (Not to be mistaken for the ‘WHY’ = Purpose in life, which is very important!)
WHAT and HOW questions are of high quality because these questions provide us with SOLUTIONS to our challenges. For example: “What do I learn about myself in this situation?”, or “How can I change this situation?”
Statements are often expressed in beliefs, an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. The tendency to make statements rather than ask high quality questions unfortunately seems to be human nature. There is a big difference in the two approaches when dealing with other people. Learning to ask questions will not only cause you to slow down and listen better, it will also give you time to think about how to respond more accurately and appropriately to the question being asked. It may give you more insight into what the other person is really asking than you first realised.
“What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” ~ Mark Twain
Just because we believe something doesn’t always make it true. We often blindly accept limiting beliefs based on values of somebody else (like our parents or former mentors), based on outdated facts or based on things that might never actually happen.
According to Australian-American speaker and author Chris Helder’s philosophy, we can instead choose to adopt useful beliefs that lead to useful actions and useful steps. In contrast to positive thinking, useful beliefs accept two actions:
- We must stop complaining about things we can’t control and adopt a useful belief about it
- We must stop complaining about things we will not change and adopt a useful belief about it
Silent (and not so silent) conversations
Because our beliefs are heavily influenced by our personal language ‘program’, we can effectively reprogram our communication and outcomes through our choice of language. If we ‘upgrade’ and change vocabulary and language choices, we can upgrade the way we feel, how we make decisions and behave. We must build positive emotions through positive thinking because experiencing positive emotions fuels our resilience, builds resourcefulness, and triggers an upward spiral toward optimal results. It also improves our mental health and relationship with self, and it is contagious (especially those of the leader).
Teaching your team (and family) members how to overwrite negative emotions with positive ones gives them all of the above and much more, not only at work but also in their personal lives. AND it shows those around you that you truly care for them.
Following are 3 ways of upgrading and thus empowering your language so you can reach higher grounds:
Speak an empowering language
What you say has meaning, energy and creates neural pathways in your brain. The more you say something, the stronger the neural pathway becomes. The words that you regularly use determine how you feel and experience your life. They can be empowering or disempowering. The language of disillusion, disappointment and depression is like gravity and will bring you down. If you continuously focus on words that evoke lack, pain and despair, then that’s what you are experiencing. If you on the other hand consistently describe your life as something multi-coloured, vibrant, loving, fun and adventure filled, then that is how you are experiencing it.
State it as you want it, not as you don’t want it
Stop labelling yourself in negative ways, because the labels you use to describe yourself are a reflection of where you are right now and have consequences. Whenever you say the words “I am” the words that follow are experienced by your unconscious mind as a direct order to shape your personality, ego, and confidence.
Statements like “I’m stupid”, “I’m confused”, “I’m always late” or “I’m hopeless” get manifested and reinforced every time you say them and ultimately create your identity. Choose to say only positive expressions of who you are and let go of any negative, limiting talk that isn’t in line with who you want to be.
If you hear yourself say something negative or limiting out loud, for example “I can’t stay calm when someone ticks me off” then reframe it. Instead, say “I am in control of my emotions and behaviours, and choose to be better each day!”
Choose your language to match the experience you desire
If you express your experiences with extraordinary language, you influence how you will /want to remember an event or situation.
Some people could have the best time of their lives and would describe it as “good” or “yeah, it was alright”. Other people could experience the same wonderful event and yell: “That was phenomenal!”. We can intensify our experiences simply by improving some of our expressions with better, more energised alternatives. We could for example say ‘awesome’ instead of ‘good’. Or ‘fabulous’ instead of ‘fine’. Or ‘love’ instead of ‘like’
The power of your thoughts is one of the strongest and most useful powers you possess. Use the strategies and pointers in this article to become aware of your silent conversations or how you express your thoughts aloud. This will guide you to higher grounds with your own thinking and mindful language; and if you share your new knowledge with those around you, you can give them the gift of empowerment and positive results too.
“Dare to make a difference!” #WeMakeItEasy #LeadershipSkills
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