Unfortunately, many people don’t think their way through life. They do life like someone trying to navigate through a maze, in the dark, bouncing from obstacle to obstacle until their find a way through. 

Sometimes it seems that the whole world revolves around feelings; so much so that we become virtually a slave to our feelings and behave in ways that are not rational to our situation. Feelings can be the biggest hindrance to changing our lives for the better.

Emotions- feelings are triggered by a thought. If you have control of your thoughts you have control of your emotions. That said, if the thought is untrue we experience feelings of a set of circumstances that are actually false.

Your Thoughts Do Determine Your Actions

One of the most common excuses for not taking action is  “I didn’t feel like doing it”. So many people live unfulfilled lives far from their potential because all their actions are driven purely by how they feel from one minute to the next.

The whole “if it feels good, do it” philosophy on life is really just another way of saying, “I’m controlled by and a slave to my feelings.”

Allowing yourself to be controlled by your negative feelings will never lead you to positive actions. But using the downside of not taking action is a more powerful motivator than looking at the positive. What will happen if I don’t take action?

If you have a bunch of phone calls you need to make to get the sales, get the leads,  most people will look at the results of making the calls. The latest research reveals that looking at what will happen if you don’t make the call is a bigger motivator and will get us to take action.

Successful people make their feelings subject to their thinking so that their actions are ultimately driven not by feelings, but by thought. When you change your thinking, you will change your feelings, which in turn will change your actions and therefore your life.

Because of the direct link between our thoughts and our feelings, we sometimes confuse our thinking patterns with feelings. Here are five thinking patterns that people often mistake for feelings:

1. Enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is a way of thinking that relates to how you approach things.  Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, has been quoted saying, “Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress. With it there is accomplishment. Without it, there are only alibis.”

We need to develop an enthusiastic mindset so that we approach situations and opportunities with positive expectations, we expect the best result. An enthusiastic and positive mindset will result in feelings of optimism.

2. Attitude.

Attitude is a way of thinking that is all about how we view things. In the Bible story of David and Goliath, the Israelite army had a perception that Goliath was too big to hit. But David’s perception of the situation was that Goliath was too big to miss!

Attitude is everything and is all about mindset. Developing and having a positive attitude puts us in a position to recognize and maximize every opportunity that we create or that comes our way. 

As the well-known financier and presidential advisor Bernard Baruch said, “You can become anything if you don’t belly ache.”

Winston Churchill said, “A pessimist sees a difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

 3. Happiness.

Happiness can be described as contentment, and contentment is a mindset, not a feeling. You cannot be discontented and also be happy.

Abraham Lincoln said this: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Or as Martha Washington, wife of George Washington, observed, “I have learnt from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.”

4. Depression.

Depression can stop anyone in their tracks. If you are suffering from depression make it a priority to seek help. Depression can and will derail your life, progress, and ultimately success.

5. Confidence.

You often hear sports people being asked the question just prior to competing,  “How confident are you feeling?”

The reality, confidence is all about mindset, not a feeling. Confidence is just a way of thinking based on your level of preparation.

When you are well prepared you are confident. You might experience nervousness, but you are confident that you have prepared for the task or set of tasks you are about to face.

When I present I always make sure that I have prepared and practiced well before. It has been said that our actions are ultimately determined by our thoughts or mindsets. At the same time, however, behavior can also influence our thought life.

Watch Your Language

One of the behaviors that can often undermine our thought patterns is our speech. Usually, our words express our thoughts. The words we use to describe ourselves, others, and situations also have a significant influence on our mindsets. We need to pay close attention to the things we say both to ourselves and outwardly and the words we allow to dominate important areas of our lives, such as our relationships, our business/career world, and our mental and physical wellbeing.

To Your Success

David