I watched the SAS training thing on TV the other night - the one where Ant Middleton and his team of ex Special Forces supermen take a group of 'normal' (but abnormally fit) people through a shortened version of the SAS selection program.
From the outset there was a clear front runner - a big, incredibly strong, super-fit bloke; clearly very, very determined. In the brief interviews they have with the contestants he came across as the man to beat.
Then, on day 2, he was taken for 'interrogation' and Mr Middleton asked him a few simple questions that got him questioning himself and sent him into a tailspin.
Next thing... he totally crumbled. He lost some of his equipment, failed to complete one of the tasks and dropped to the back of the pack.
He went from believing he was the #1 candidate to believing he was a total failure. And after just a few hours of negative thoughts going round his head... he asked to voluntarily withdraw from the program!
It amazes me how our thoughts (and primarily the thoughts we have about ourselves) literally dictate our experience of life.
From the outside anyone would see this guy as having all the attributes of a champion but in his own head, as soon as his inner demons had been exposed, he was a total failure.
Wow. His whole world view, his self image and his performance was radically distorted just by thinking differently.
He became slow, weak, forgetful and confused... as a result of thinking differently.
He went from being confident, happy and strong to miserable and fearful... as a result of thinking differently.
Can you relate to this?
I know I can.
Failures, embarrassments, disappointments and lost opportunities can all be attributed to poor thinking.
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell or a Hell of Heaven.”
Thankfully there's a proven technique for breaking free from negative thinking. Well, actually there are two as far as I know....
One is the Gung Ho method. The 'fake it 'til you make it', 'Rah Rah' method touted by some motivational speakers, management gurus and corporate trainers. This is where you dig deep and muster all the strength you can to control your thinking.
Phew. It's hard work that one. You've probably tried it - we all have to some extent. Keeping it up is difficult to say the least.
Another (much easier) method is the total opposite to fighting with your thoughts.
With this method you don’t need to try and shut out or change thoughts you don't agree with; instead you just allow them to be there.
Weirdly this counter-intuitive approach brings magical results.
Gradually, that busy stream of constant nagging doubts, fears and other thoughts you’d rather not face, starts to subside and your mind reverts to its natural, calm, quiet state.
In this calm state you start to become aware of how your thoughts drive your emotions and actions in the moment. Then, with this awareness, you are able to detach from them so that you are no longer at their mercy.
If you’d like to learn this method, be sure to lookout for notifications about the next online Quiet Mind course.