In Part I: 3 Steps to An Inspiring Life I touched on what I like to refer as our Internal Coaching System. First of all, each of us has our own ICS. Think of it as an internal GPS System that helps us to move in the right direction, when we listen to it. Some call it intuition, others call it a gut-feeling. However you personally define it, the fact is when we have our ICS working at full capacity, life seems to be much easier and enjoyable.
Through our ICS we have the ability to mentally program ourselves to either succeed or fail, experience joy or sadness based on the thoughts we put into our head on a daily basis. So, first and foremost, it all begins with a thought. That thought has a belief and attitude attached to it and will then create a feeling and finally the thought will produce a result. Whether that result is positive or negative is within your power to create by how you have coached yourself. Two tools that are instrumental in helping to improve the effectiveness of your Internal Coaching System are:
1) Positive Response Loop
Think about it, if you tell yourself you are going to miss a deadline, screw up a presentation or fail its almost a certainty that you will because you have coached yourself to believe that. However, if you tell yourself you are up to the challenge or that you can do it, many times you will find yourself rising to the occasion for the exact same reason. What I am saying is by training yourself to respond in a positive way to challenges and your feelings your results can only be positive. When you respond consistently in a positive way you will create what I call a Positive Response Loop. What I mean is that when we experience a challenge we, in that moment, have choice to make. To make it simple, we can respond positively or negatively. When we react to the challenge positively it will create a chain reaction in our physiology that results in overall good feelings about ourselves or the situation. This, in turn, solidifies our beliefs and feeds our next response to a challenge. Thus the Positive Response Loop is born. Our ICS, how we coach ourselves, directly influences the effectiveness of our PRL.
So, why is a properly functioning Internal Coaching System so important? Firstly, it is better than the alternative. You may be saying, I can see how you can have a great Internal Coaching System Mr. Motivational Speaker Guy, but Ive tried that positive thinking garbage and it didnt get me anywhere. Have you ever had this thought? My response to this is always Well, try it the other way. Use negative self-talk and see how far that gets you. The fact of the matter is youre much more likely to achieve great things if you frame your thinking towards the positive.
2) Ask yourself the RIGHT Questions
Another programming tool that can aid in the implementation of our Internal Coaching System is to ask yourself the right questions. Another way to look at it is to change the way you phrase things in your mind. In Noah St Johns book The Secret Code of Success he talks about the use of Afformations versus Affirmations.
Affirmations are statements of something you want to be true. There is nothing wrong with affirmations and they are very useful and have had a massive impact in peoples lives. Some of the most successful people in the personal development industry promote them and experience great things as a result of using them. However, often times when we, the everyday person, use them we are trying to convince ourselves of this truth, but our mind doesn't actually believe it is possible. For example, if we look in the mirror and see someone who is overweight or fat no amount of affirmations will help. We can say things like, "I'm in great shape" or "I'm beautiful, skinny and lovely", but if we don't see it in our mind we won't believe it in reality. Our mind will respond by saying, Yeah, right, who are you looking at?! Until, we can change the picture in our mind the vision in the mirror will continue to be overweight. This is where the right empowering phrase of question can make the difference.
Afformations, as explained by St John are empowering questions that focus on what you have and NOT what you lack. I see it as another way to express gratitude. If you look at your state of being when you are expressing gratitude for what youve been given all you are focusing on is what you have. By asking empowering questions you are also strengthening your Positive Response Loop because they force us to focus on what is right and good about us. Our mind is always coming up with answers to our questions. It is continually looking for confirmation of our beliefs and comments. So, by telling ourselves we have horrible memory or asking ourselves "Why can't I remember that?" our mind comes up with the responses like: "Yes, you do have a horrible memory" and "Here are 3 reasons why...". Or, "You can't remember that because you are stupid and always forget things when your stressed". In my memory courses, I suggested that instead of saying, I have terrible memory, you rephrase it by saying, My memory is getting better and better. It's a small change, but it is empowering and can make a big difference. Other great empowering questions and afformations:
Why do I have all the money I need? Why am I in great shape? Why do I always meet the right person at the right time? Business consistently comes to me in unexpected ways. I am experience abundance in everything I do.
Empowering Phrases Exercise
Use your ICS to focus on something that you would like to see yourself improve on in your business or your personal life. Create an Empowering Phrase list on 3×5 notecards specifically focusing on the areas in your life that you would like additional encouragement on. I have approximately 20 empowering phrases collected and read it 2 times per day (sometimes more if I need the extra motivation) By doing this you will continue to reinforce your Positive Response Loop and strengthen your Internal Coaching System.
In Part 3 of this series I will talk about probably the most important element in our ability to have an inspiring life everyday and that is daily filling our laugh quotient. See you next week.