“I told myself, ‘Don’t spill the soup. Don’t spill the soup. Don’t spill the soup.’ What do you think happened? I spilled the soup!”
Does that ever happen to you? You tell yourself something you don’t want happen and WHAM exactly what you didn’t want to happen happens.
The Public Speaker
Or how about this. You’re scheduled to speak in front of a group. You hate public speaking. You tell yourself over and over how much you hate public speaking. You tell your friends too. You dread the event the entire week before. It’s even causing you to lose sleep.
The day of the event arrives. You feel nauseous all day and even think of cancelling. When they introduce you, your knees go weak and your palms go sweaty. Somehow you stumble through the event.
Afterwards, you beat yourself up for your performance. You mispronounced the president’s name, they didn’t laugh at your jokes, and you skipped at least three slides in your presentation. You confirm it. You aren’t good at public speaking.
You think about 60,000 thoughts per day which equates to about 42 thoughts per minute. If most of those thoughts are focused on an area, you create a perception of an event, situation, person, etc. because you imprint a picture of it on your brain.
Your left brain is creating the words and your right brain is creating the picture. Therefore you are fully engaging your brain in this process, which makes it very powerful.
Ultimately when you focus on something long enough, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Many of us unconsciously create dramas in our minds, expecting the worst from a situation only to have our expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Inadvertently we become authors of our own misfortune. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance
Stop the Drama
It’s easy to get caught up in the drama. Once you do, it feeds on itself. What I try to do in my life and with my clients is to interrupt the cycle and replace it with a positive drama.
Think about it. What if you could take something you’re dreading and turn it into something you’re excited for? Doesn’t that sound like a better plan?
Here’s the Deal
When you replace the negative pictures with positive images, your brain automatically starts to see clues to this new reality and changes your perspective of the situation. It does take a leap of faith and full commitment to the new image. Meaning you have to believe it down to your toes. No doubt. No slipping back in to the drama.
Tips to Get Started
This takes a bit of practice. Here’s what I’ve learned helps.
- Start small. Don’t tackle saving the world. Focus on a small drama that repeats itself. (the soup example is a good one).
- Keep it simple. The brain likes simple commands.
- Watch out for negative positives. This would be something like, “I’m not smoking on break.” What the brain hears is I’m smoking. You are still bringing up smoking. A better replacement would be, “I’m taking a walk on break.” Do you see how that changes the picture.
Back to Our Speaker
What if she replaced, “I hate public speaking” with “I enjoy public speaking?” As she continued to think about the event she saw the audience loving her speech, if she skips a slide there are people there to help her, and she feels calm before the event.
I can guarantee her performance, and her post evaluation would be 180 degrees different. Now instead of her brain being full of negative pictures it’s full of positive pictures and that’s what it will focus on during the event.
Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
What drama will you stop today?