Negative beliefs can sabotage your future efforts, so leave those static thoughts at the door.

darren-nolander-the-emotion-codeSelf-fulfilling prophesies can be such pains. One minute, you’re trying to avoid something, the next minute you’re trying so hard to avoid said thing that you actually run straight into it! This happens to a lot of us as we pursue things we really want. Whether it’s a new title, a love interest, a nice sports car or a grand vacation, it often seems that the more we pine for something, the farther away it ironically gets.

The great thing about self-fulfilling prophesies are they really are, in fact, all in your mind. If you can change the way you think about an item, you can change the way you pursue and react to it as well. Health, wealth and love don’t lean toward some and away from others. While everyone’s situation is different and we all have a unique set of skills and challenges, if we work hard and cultivate the right mindset from the get-go, we can set ourselves up for a journey of success.

This is the crux of Dr. Bradly Nelson’s book “The Emotion Code,” which explains the correlation between our thoughts and emotions. Dr. Nelson has identified the ways in which we let doubt and fear block our ability to reach our desired outcome. Fortunately, he also outlines how we can combat this by flipping the script inside our heads.

This all starts with the mentality that the glass is half full. Whether you view yourself as having more than you want, less than you want or exactly what you want – you’re right. Negative beliefs can sabotage your future efforts, so leave those static thoughts at the door. Instead, Dr. Nelson recommends focusing on the abundance we do have in our lives.

He believes this starts with four simple steps:

  1. Acknowledge that what occurs in your mind matters

The first step toward fixing a problem is acknowledging the problem, which includes identifying a negative mindset. Dr. Nelson contends that 95 percent of our brain activity lies beyond conscious awareness, meaning only 5 percent of our decisions, emotions, actions and behaviors are executed intentionally. Make sure your mind is set on the right path from the start to achieve optimal results.

  1. Correct imbalances that stand in your way

The ratio of 95 percent subconscious to 5 percent conscious activity is already imbalanced. Do what you can to redirect your conscious activity to the positive side of things. This, Dr. Nelson says, will allow your subconscious to progressively shift in that direction as well. An internal conflict between what you want and your outlook on whether you can achieve it can actually impede your progress. This further blocks your creative, problem-solving process and causes your passion to die off, as the brain begins to believe it was a futile goal anyway. Literally the definition of a self-fulfilling prophesy.

  1. Revise your assumptions about the world and the way it works

Assumptions represent another dangerous mentality. Dr. Nelson recommends taking a few minutes to log what you really feel about your goal. If you’re looking to earn more money, for instance, you would begin by writing down your inherent thoughts on money and how it applies to you. You can counteract your negative thoughts or assumptions about what it will take to achieve your goal by remembering you control the time you spend on it, the way you think about it, the words you say about it and the risks you take pursuing it.

  1. Realize that past failures do not mean you’re incapable or undeserving of the goal

We’ve all failed at something. Chances are, manythings – at least I know I have. That doesn’t make you a perennial failure or any worse than someone who was able to achieve that goal. When these negative thoughts enter your mind, remind yourself once again that you are in control and responsible for your time, thoughts, words and risks spent inching closer to that goal. This is also a good time to gain a little perspective and realize you are not privy to the investment someone else made in that goal, no matter how easily it seemed to come to them.

Ambition is a great thing, but it comes with great responsibility – to one’s self. While no strategy can guarantee you success, there are many activities you can undertake to give yourself every positive advantage in your pursuits. Use them wisely.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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