You know not to think the obvious kinds of negative thoughts. Thoughts like âI am not as smart as my counterpartsâ or âI canâtâ¦â Those are easily identified as thoughts to remove from your mental diet. Here are 3 other kinds of âempty caloriesâ thoughts. Cut them out immediately!
1. Unanswerable questions â When things arenât going your way, you often ask an unanswerable question, such as Why donât things work out for me? or Why does it look so easy for the guy who sits next to me? or Why doesnât the person in operations get back to me?
You ask these questions but you are not actually looking for the answers. What you really want is progress on your situation. When you say to yourself, Why donât things work out for me, it causes you to dwell on whatâs not working, and it doesnât set you up to get information you could implement to make things go differently for you. Better to ask a constructive question, like: âWhat is one behavior I see the guy next to me doing that I could do today?â Instead of staying stuck on why he can pick up the phone and you canât, ask him what he says to himself before he picks up the phone.
2. Future worries about what someone else will do â When you have a thought about someone else, require the thought to be about what you will enjoy about them or the value you will bring to them. Too often when you are thinking about other people you have the thought, âWhat will my boss think?â âWhat will my colleagues think?â âWhat will my wife think?â etc. Its associated with a fear-inducing picture in your mind about a future response you might get from them. Donât allow yourself to have future thoughts about other people unless you are able to also enjoy the thought in the moment (for example, Iâm planning a special surprise for my parentsâ 50th wedding anniversary this weekend. I confess I have been thinking about what their response is going to be, but its associated with an excited smile. BTW, I canât share the surprise with you because sometimes they read my blogsâ¦).
3. Open loop thoughts â Remove thoughts that desire change unless you are willing and ready to make that change. Examples are: I know I should start looking for another position or I know I should do more social media marketing â but you donât have a plan to get started and arenât even committed to start the process. It keeps you in conflict with yourself. Either make a commitment, talk to at least one person who could give you advice to get started, or else take off the pressure and guilt, and revisit the intention when you are ready to act on it.
To help you on your diet, you want to remove those thoughts that have been stuck in your mind accumulating cobwebs. Try this breathing technique, consider it the mental equivalent of a âfat flushâ. It will help to clear out negative memories and stuck or depressing thoughts.
Use this âMental Diet Breathâ daily: Breathe in 4x rapidly through your nose. Exhale forcefully 1x through your mouth. Repeat this pattern without stopping, do it at the fastest pace you are able to do it. Start with up to one minute and work your way up to 3 minutes a day.
If you know that you need tools for a mindset reboot, I have a special opportunity for you to get Confidence at the Core (and a private consultation with me at no charge). If you are interested in finding out more about the opportunity, go to http://confidenceatthecore.com/.
Sharon Melnick, Ph.D. is a business psychologist dedicated to helping talented and successful businesspeople âget out of their own wayâ. Her practical tools are informed by 10 years of research at Harvard Medical School, field tested by over 3000 training participants and applied by hundreds of coaching clients to quickly be more effective, productive, and influential. She is a leading authority in helping business professionals move to the next level and be secure about their contribution in insecure times. http://www.sharonmelnick.com / http://www.horizonpointinc.com