Many of you have heard the quote, often attributed to Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” Although I was unable to find a definitive source citing those profound words to Mr. Ford, I still find myself struck by their simple truth and timeless power.
Here’s a simple exercise in mindfulness as it pertains to your inner voice and what it is that you tell yourself regarding your successes and / or failures. Over the next several days, when performing tasks, whether it be things at work, your fitness routine, cleaning your house, interacting with your significant other (which can be a real chore in itself for some of you) take a mental note of how you’re feeling about the task. Are you feeling excited about it, or down on it? Then, poll yourself to ascertain just what type of things you’re saying to yourself at that moment and you may find yourself surprised to see this impressive correlation at work.
Common thoughts people say to themselves regarding tasks might be: “This is stupid!” “This is a waste of time!” “I can’t run that far” “I can’t lift that much” “He never helps” “She’s always bitching about something” “This is so hard” and I can go on and on for days, but you get the picture. Now, contrast the same tasks you imagined as your read the previous thought-quotes with these more positive thoughts: “It’s so different that it just might work” “I’m here, I might as well give it a shot” “I will not quit” “This is the strongest I’ve ever felt” “Whether he helps or not, I’m just glad it’s clean” “She fusses a little from time to time, but I love her” “I’ve got this” can you feel the internal power shift from one set of thoughts to the next? It’s amazing how that works. After you learn to hear when you’re using self-defeating rhetoric internally, begin reframing the thoughts with words that are more conducive to pushing you forward than holding your back. It works!