Three Myths Of
The Mind That Sabotage
Even The Most Motivated Achievers
What is holding you back in your profession? Do you think
that a stock boy can become a CEO? Does your office have a general
sense of gloom, a malaise that spreads throughout departments,
affecting productivity? Our attitudes towards work and the way we
think and feel about certain concepts have direct results in the
workplace. The way we perceive things, in life and in work, affects
our output. However, these thoughts can be challenged and put
aside, producing better employees and business successes.
Myth of the mind #1: Negative thinking cannot be changed.
The human mind is a busy entity. It has been estimated that
the human mind creates more than 70,000 thoughts every day. However,
more than 85% of those thoughts are negative. That is a lot of
negativity and a lot of wasted brainpower.
Negative thinking is defined as any kind of thinking that
does not contribute, edify or build the person with those thoughts.
A person who dwells on negative thinking and becomes more depressed,
bitter, unhappy and frustrated. Perhaps a better way to describe
thoughts would be “contributing” thoughts or “non-productive”
thoughts. Each has a different value in terms of what they will
empower or limit in your life and work. Nothing in thought processes
is ever black and white; everything is varying degrees of gray.
Employees should seek out thoughts that will allow them to
become the best that they can become and reach their fullest
potential. Our thoughts are a critical factor for us to create
successful outcomes. No matter whether our thinking is positive or
negative our reality is shaped by what we think.
The challenge with directing your thinking patterns is that
it is easier to talk about thought patterns than it is to create
them. If we have been engaged in habitual negative thinking,
positive thoughts will not always come naturally or easily. The more
you train your brain to think in positive ways the more you will
expect, act on and create empowering outcomes. Long-term
participation in certain thinking narrows our view of what is
The good news is that all thinking patterns can be changed,
even the negative ones. As your thinking is given deliberate
leadership, you can direct it to predetermined and desired patterns
of thinking. For change in thought to be lasting, you
need an awareness of your thoughts, an awareness of the process
required to change and a commitment to change. Once the process is
understood, your thinking will change, and you can then have and
feel greater success than your current thinking will allow. With a
change of thinking, your external results in life and work will also
Myth of the mind
#2: Our filters of how we see things come from the past.
A filter is the way we see the world based on our values,
beliefs and expectations. If you were to ask the average person
about their thinking patterns, you generally wind up with a series
of answers like this: ”My thoughts and beliefs come from the way I
was brought up,“ ‘My thinking is the result of what I have
experienced in the past.“
Sometimes people even state it as part of their identity and
attached to genetics: “I am this way because of my father,” or “I am
a red head; we have bad tempers.” You may have also heard thinking
attached to culture or ethnicity, ”I am French, and we are gentle
and amorous.” In an office setting you may also see the results of
this thinking, “I am in IT, so I am withdrawn and socially awkward,”
or “I am a salesman, we are loud and manipulative.” These are all
elements that have to do with the past, or a context the individual
is attached to in some way.
The moment “now” is also part of your past. Technically, what
you are currently experiencing is part of the your past. Think about
it: the second you have had an interaction or experience your
interpretation of it becomes a part of your past. The moment we call
“now” is always becoming part of your past.
While we depend on the past, the most important filter you
use is the future. Your future thinking is like a magnet pulling
your thoughts in the direction you believe to be most beneficial for
you. It is estimated that most people spend an average of 80% of
their effort thinking about future events. Unfortunately, most
combine them with their filters of the past and get negative
When we become aware of our filters the picture suddenly
becomes clearer and it is easier to perform productive thinking
especially about future outcomes. If you can learn to direct your
most productive thinking through the filtering process, you can make
it a reality.
Myth of the mind #3: The brain stops developing after a certain
The majority of people still believe the notion of the older you
get, the slower and more difficult your thinking and learning
abilities become. These same people often reinforce these beliefs
with the following descriptions, “That’s just how I am,” or “You
can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” or “If I was 20 years younger, I
would do it.” This is why some members of older generations do not
use computers, email or the Internet, hampering their job skill set.
This idea of a mental slowing-down is false and comes from
inaccurate conditioning in our society.
Modern studies have shown even seniors still have the
capacity to reshape their thinking and effect physical changes on
their brain. This scientific name for this principle is called
Neuroplasticity. Your brain is continuously changing according to
the leadership that you give it. There is no limit to what and when
you can learn.
For example, Wanda is in her mid-forties. She went to
college, but due to some challenging situations that occurred in her
life, she had to drop out. She never finished the coursework for her
degree. She went on to have a successful life as a mother, and
raised two really great kids. They are now getting ready to head off
to college. This has Wanda thinking about the opportunity she
missed: never graduating.
Aware of her feelings, Wanda’s kids and employer have
challenged her to return to school as a mature student. Her initial
transcripts from the first time around were great and the college is
eager for her to reenroll. But inside, Wanda doubts she can learn
like the younger students. Though she realizes her possible increase
in business potential, she is worried she is simply too old to jump
Earlier generations of brain experts would have told her that
once she left childhood, the brain becomes static and unchanging.
They would have said that learning becomes much more difficult, if
not impossible for adults. Now, studies have found the opposite to
be the reality.
By tackling these Myths of the Mind, we can create a better
life for ourselves, which includes more satisfaction and better
production at our jobs. Believe in the power of your mind, it is
one of the most powerful tools we possess.
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