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Can changing your thoughts change your life?

I recently listened to a John Maxwell podcast about how changing your thinking can change your life.

John Maxwell is an American author and speaker, primarily about leadership, but I find the lessons he delivers apply across life.

The message of the podcast began by saying that everything starts with a thought, and I find that to be true.

Every goal or decision we make starts with a thought and that thought can then lead to a feeling or feelings e.g., we set a goal and immediately feel motivated, determined, and excited. These feelings may then drive the initial actions that we take.

However, do you think that we can achieve goals purely based on feelings?

My own experience is that feelings change and along with that, so does the motivation to stay on the path leading to change. I have found that it is when I keep my thoughts focused that I achieve most success i.e. I still take action towards my goal in spite of how I feel.

I have an example of this – I was training alone in the pool recently and I got two thirds of the way through and started to feel a little alone and a little bored with my own company! I found my self-talk started to suggest that I cut the set short and go find some company to talk to (to make me feel better). I caught these feelings and changed my thoughts. I reminded myself of the end goal and finished the set despite my feelings.

The podcast discussed the idea that feelings can be the biggest challenge to us making personal change and I found the analogy they used to illustrate this to be very helpful.

It went as follows:

Imagine your thoughts are taxis and you can get in to where you want to go. But imagine you get into a taxi (thought) and the feelings around that thought are not helpful, therefore not going in the right direction. So get out of that taxi and imagine yourself hailing another taxi with a more positive thought.

So, with that analogy in mind, over the next few days have an attempt of being aware of your thoughts, the feelings they invoke and what direction that takes you in.

Are your thoughts creating positive feelings?

Are your thoughts driving you in the direction of positive change?

Do your thoughts take a negative turn? If so, try using the taxi analogy and take control over those thoughts.

I would also encourage you to schedule thinking time each day, away from phones, screens and other distractions and allow yourself the following:

Think big picture

Think positive

Think creatively

Think realistically

Think strategically

Think possibilities

Think reflectively

(Taken from the podcast)

See how you get on and let us know!

Notes taken from:

Maxwell Leadership Podcast – “Change your thinking, change your life” 6th April 2022