Has fear ever stopped you from progressing in life? Did you ever think that you could be stronger just by the power of thinking?
Everybody has a certain style of thinking, and for most of us what we feed ourselves in our mind is negative. If thinking affects our feeling and behaviour, then thinking must be a primary factor in influencing our actions. There is a difference between negative thinking vs positive thinking and it is uttermost important that we understand the difference.
Positive thinking is an attitude that you adopt in which you expect good and favourable results from the outcome (‘Seeing the glass half full’ as the expression says). Negative thinking is the opposite, you expect the worst in any scenario (‘Seeing the glass half empty’).
Let’s start off with a personal anecdote of when I was back in my younger university days – I experienced a typical student ‘crash n burn.’ Sound familiar? We have all been there, when you are revising all day and night, drowning yourself in redbull (!), enduring sleepless nights, experiencing lower work productivity, having a poor appetite and many other negative experiences. I experienced all of these, which not only jeopardised all of my relationships but my state of mind, my body; it had an adverse effect on every single aspect of my life.
Then, like a lightbulb pinging above your head, like the missing piece to the jigsaw you have spent the last 5 hours working on, like the light at the end of a tunnel… – this book was presented to me. Bang. Slam dunk. Laying there on my bare wooden study desk staring at me. The title of the book screamed up at me in red:
Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway. By Susan Jeffers
Now, you will probably find a lot of references to this ingenius self-help book, but I want to draw particular attention to Chapter 5.
In this chapter, Jeffers reinacts this mind-blowing Arm experiment, originally conducted by Jack Canfield in his Self Esteem seminar. Firstly, Jeffers asks a volunteer to come to the front of the class. For assurance, she asks whether this volunteer is completely healthy, with no physical problems that could affect their ability to take part in this experiment. She then asks the volunteer to extend their arm, with their fist clenched in front of them. The volunteer is told to resist with as much strength they can muster. Then, Jeffers instructs the volunteer to repeat the following statement: ‘I am a weak and unworthy person.’ The volunteer is told to really feel the words of the statement and repeat it ten times. Jeffers then attempts to push the arm down as the volunteer resists as much as possible. Jeffers finds that she can indeed push the arm down and as she does so, it seems as if all of the strength inside the volunteer is leaving her too.
In the second trial, the volunteer is told to yet again extend their arm. Yet in this trial the volunteer is told to repeat the following statement ten times: ‘I am a strong and worthy person.’ To my astonishment, Jeffers cannot budge the arm at all! She physically cannot push down the arm of the volunteer! It is as if the positive words have made the volunteer stronger.
The conclusion of this experiment is the uttermost key:
Negative statement equal weak – powerless.
Positive statements equal strong – powerful.
Therefore, there is power to the words we speak.
It does not matter, if we do not believe the words or not. It is merely the fact that saying these words out aloud has enough momentum to induce a certain power.
This exemplifies my following point beautifully… Investing into positive, powerful thinking and words is key! Feeding yourself negative thoughts will diminish your power and paralyse you from your fear. Feeding yourself positive affirmations will heighten your power and help you to overcome your fear.
Your mind is a powerful, wondrous tool. What you feed is what will feed you.
This is applicable to all aspects of your life. How you think about anything and your reactions to any situation that arise in your life is a skill in itself. If your thinking is negative, everything you react to will be negative. You will see the glass half empty. Always. Everything will feel hopeless. Problems do occur, it is an inevitable fact of life. Thus it is how you think, react and deal with them that is key.
Now retrospectively looking back to that crash and burn I experienced, I am proud I endured through all that. And that pride provides me with self fulfilment and reminds me that I can endure anything if I put my mind to it.
Remember negative thinking equates to being powerless; positive thinking equates to being powerful. Choose powerful 🙂
Disclaimer: You will find that I will make many references to Susan Jeffers throughout blogs. For the past few months, I have been engrossed in this book, it truly has changed my outlook on life. I have started to embed her practices in my own personal life too which is why this book is now my bible. The result? I feel happier with myself – which I think is one of the most important fulfilling thing one can achieve and obtain. To feel content with your life, with your body, with your work, with yourself is a valuable asset and the key to inner happiness. Yes, you will still compare yourselves to others, who have a better body than you, who have more money than you, who seem better off than you. But you are you, in all of your unique and wondrous glory – and that in itself is enough for this world. Why not take this life as an opportunity to strive for your goals, to improve your mind and your life for the positive?