Thoughts, Attitudes, Words and Behaviour4th February 2018
I worte this for Affintity magazine a while ago but the message bears repeating. Thoughts are amazingly powerful and influnece both our words and actions.
Thinking really is the beginning of everything. Any invention, accomplishment or activity begins with a thought. Surely that should give us the message that thoughts are powerful. They are! In circles of self-help and empowerment there is much being written about the power of thoughts in shaping our lives in very real and tangible ways. Often we see thoughts as something completely internal which of course they are BUT they have the power to create and shape things in the very physical realm in which we live.
It’s sometimes easier to see how powerful thoughts are when we think of negative thoughts. Imagine if you are afraid of something and then you have to face it, flying, a particular animal or water for example, the thought itself ‘the fear’ is actually powerful enough to make you feel very real physical symptoms. So someone who is afraid of flying will often experience panic when the plane takes off even though everything is safe and going to plan. The thoughts and fear of what might happen is so powerful it causes physical changes, the racing heart or difficulty breathing for example in a panic attack.
But if we really begin to take on board how powerful thoughts are we can then realise that same power can be used positively.
One of the other important aspects about thoughts is that they create our attitudes. An attitude in this sense is the position we hold with regard to a person or thing. So if we think that flying is dangerous our attitude will be that we don’t want to fly.
This happens in all sorts of situations of course – and our attitudes will also cause us to interpret things in particular ways which then strengthen our thoughts and attitudes. If someone has a low self-esteem for example, they have no confidence in their abilities and if they apply for a job and aren’t successful they will be sure that it will have been because they are pretty useless, not because there were hundreds of applicants for the job or that they wanted someone with more experience. Someone who has a high self-esteem and generally positive attitude will no doubt think it wasn’t the right job for them and something better will be just around the corner. It’s down to the attitude.
Similarly imagine meeting someone for the first time and imagine that you have heard they are a gossip, a bully and a fraud! What would your attitude be? Negative I suspect or guarded at the very least – sensibly. The way you think about them, in this case because of what you have heard, will have create the attitude you have towards them.
Many of our attitudes are much more general, the way we think about the world, our jobs, success, money, relationships, but all of these attitudes stem from thoughts. Get the thoughts right, as in ensure they are positive and our attitudes will be more positive which in turn will ‘attract’ more positivity into our lives.
Like thoughts, words are powerful. Obviously what we say comes from our attitudes, which stem from our thoughts. So take a minute and think about what you say about important things in your life. Are your words positive and full of optimism or are they negative and always expecting the worst. They are a window on your inner thoughts and attitudes. So if what is coming out of your mouth in your words is negative the chances are your thoughts and attitudes are full of negativity too. And it’s all your own work! The thoughts were yours and so was the attitude but these can and need to be changed if you want a more positive fulfilling life.
Our thoughts, attitudes and words all have an impact on our behaviour, on the things we do the way we act and that in turn is what creates our world. So if you think life is one long test of endurance then your attitude will be negative, your words probably will be too and your behaviour will follow suit. In essence you are creating, or at least perpetuating a negative lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be this way, everyone has the power to change and so often when I work with people they put a lot of effort into changing their behaviour (usually unsuccessfully) but no effort into changing their thoughts. Yet this is where behaviour begins.
Again it’s easier to see how this works by using a negative example. Someone who has experienced rejection will think they are unlovable and that everyone will reject then sooner or later. Their attitude will be that people are not to be trusted because they will let them down and reject them Their words will often be negative about either themselves or relationships and their will behave in such a way as to make darned sure they are actually rejected. From their thoughts stems a whole negative cycle. But it can be changed and the place to start is by changing the thought patterns.