You are locked in a colossal battle. It’s invisible. And given that you haven’t produced a bead of sweat yet, you might be incredulous that this war exists. But those who win it will go on to the highest levels of success in business and in life.
I’m talking about your inner dialogue.
Learn how to change your thoughts and change your life
If you could see the bombs most people drop on themselves daily—I’m stupid; I suck; etc.—you’d know this war is real. But we don’t even hear these bombs exploding, let alone realize we ordered the strikes. Our internal war of the words has been going on for so long that we’re inured to the concussions, much like a veteran soldier, or a Syrian refugee. Most people are oblivious to the immediate damage they’re causing.
But how are we supposed to change our thoughts if we can’t see them? How are we supposed to connect them to concrete consequences, like the job we hate, or the debt we own? I had as much difficulty as anyone.
Three years ago I was stuck blaming my parents and girlfriends for my situation—everyone but me. I’d been living on mom’s couch for two years, and the longest I’d kept a job was six months. My life was an embarrassment. I just didn’t know the cause.
It took a trip to rock bottom for me to search for the answers.
I’d never been desperate enough before to make a change. But when you’re in existential anxiety, wondering whether life is worth living, you’ll do just about anything to make a change. For me, that meant reading self-help books…the ones I’d always marked for losers. And through reading all the greats—Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard—the same answer kept cropping up:
Change your thoughts,
Change your life.
I hadn’t thought about my thoughts. Chasing a new girlfriend, yes. Getting drunk as often as possible, yes. But thinking…I just hadn’t seen the point in thinking about that.
Someone broke down the significance for me:
“Your thoughts feed your emotions. Your emotions fuel your actions. Your actions form your habits. And your habits define your life. –It all starts with the thought.”
Not seeing another option, and for the first time in my life, I took control of my thoughts.
Thinking positively starts with affirmations.
I got into the habit of speaking highly of myself. A strange thing for someone like me to pick up—a loser by all accounts. I thought it was silly too. But I reasoned that at the very least it wouldn’t hurt me. And at best, I might just change my life.
So I looked in the mirror and said, “I am independent; I am bold; I am courageous, I am dependable”—everything I’d never been. And nothing happened, at first. But by consciously choosing any thoughts, I trained myself to tune into the subconscious thoughts that defined my life.
Within a week I started noticing all of the belittling thoughts that had been on repeat; I became aware of the war that had been going on inside me since birth. And with that new awareness, I started consciously thinking positively.
When I noticed a negative dialogue, I’d break the pattern by practicing affirmations. I diffused the “suck” bombs with conscious positivity. And within one month, I was a brand new me. For the first time, I saw life with eyes for opportunity.
I read the how-to books; I adopted a writing routine; I pitched my first publications—things I never could’ve done before. The next month I was getting paid $50 an hour to write. Three months later I was published on websites with millions of viewers. Six months later I was writing full time. And a little over a year later, I was finally living on my own.
Most people who are desperate for change don’t attempt the long-term strategies. They’re hurting now. And they want to escape the suffering now. But now takes a long time to build. If you can change it all around within a year, that’s fast.
But if I can do it, you can do it too.
Making a habit of positive thinking
All the mental work seemed tedious at first. But once it became a habit, choosing the right thoughts became automatic. I just had to make sure to start my day off with inspiring and uplifting thoughts—then I’d schedule activities that advanced my dreams—and within a year, I’d broken all the subconscious barriers that made life hell. I’d made a habit of positive thinking.
A year doesn’t seem fast when you want change today. But if you can commit to choosing the right thoughts for one year, starting today, you’ll pinch the new you one year from today. It’ll pass in the blink of an eye.
So choose a set of affirmations that work for you. Commit to doing them for thirty days, three times a day. Make daily goals for your affirmations and self-encouragement. And if you need help after a month, I will coach you to success.