Turning Thoughts Around

They call it work. Isn’t that right?
In a previous entry, I explained how a person told me, “If work was fun then they would call it something else.”
I discussed the personal mindset and the way our thinking affects our behavior.
This entry will not be much different. However, I will relate this more as a personal exercise in which I will expose the quitter’s mindset and offer my personal history. My aim is to detail how my thoughts impacted my behavior. As I mentioned in previous entries and as I plan to repeat; I am a real person. I have thoughts and feelings. I have a history. I have biases that range from memory bias to personal, to decision biases, thinking errors and fears, concerns and worries. Again, I am a real person.

Remember something, the mind’s primary function is to protect us. Sometimes, the mind is a funny trick. We can misinterpret information. We can misread situations or the intentions of others. We can jump to conclusions or assume. We are all imperfect creatures. There is the strategic mindset and the emotional mindset. But rather than profess as if I were a doctor of some kind; I would rather relate and offer this information as a real person who lives in the real world and struggles with real obstacles.

Emotional thinking has led me down the dead-end paths to assume the worst. In cases like this, I respond out of concern and fear. I worry. I overthink and question myself. I submit to my insecurities. I question my abilities. I question my importance and my relationship with others. I assume the worst because I become the energy of my thinking. I offer this openly and at times; I speak about this openly with trusted people who I value in my personal circle of influence. I literally feel the chemical reaction of my thoughts. I become this because the emotional mind does not understand the difference between imaginary and reality. All the emotional mind senses is emotion. This is when we take on the energy of our emotional thinking. We take on the assumptions in our mind and we assume this as if our thoughts are real—because to us, they are real.

The focus on an altercation creates a reactionary mindset. We prepare for arguments because we expect them. We worry about irrational criticisms. We don’t want to look or seem foolish as if our failures are a statement of who we are.
Now, please understand that there are those who struggle with this differently. There are those who maneuver through this well and others who struggle to navigate away from their own terms.

In poker, they talk about “The Tells.” These are the clues people give off when playing their hand. Maybe it’s a nervous twitch that shows doubt or concern. Or, maybe this is a subconscious response that leads to emotive behaviors. People pick up on this. And there’s a fear of being read. There’s a fear of losing. There’s a fear of being wrong or being exposed and humiliated.

The power of the mindset is truly interesting. We can literally absorb the energy of our thinking. Furthermore, there is a way for us to subconsciously close the doors of opportunity. And by the way, I say this with experience. I say this because there is a clear difference between emotional and strategic thinking.

The strategic mind thinks with goals, plans, tactics and methods. There is no emotion here. There are no fears or regrets. There is no blame, shame or biases of rejection. There is only a plan and action.

We can go back to that saying again:
It’s nothing personal. It’s just what?
It’s business, right?

This is to offer the idea of no emotional attachment to outcome, or, as I was taught by one of my longtime 12-step friends, there is an acronym that fits this perfectly:  N.A.T.O. (No Attachment To Outcome). We have to remember that we are in the effort business. Not the result business. However, letdowns are very real. But, if we focus on falls then how do we learn to focus on getting back up?

We are in the least control whenever we try to control things that are beyond our means. Outcomes are beyond our means. This is emotional thinking. It doesn’t mean there are no disappointments and life doesn’t hurt. This doesn’t cancel our fear of rejection; as if to say this doesn’t mean anything. However, mindfully, this is only to say that these things DO NOT have to mean EVERYTHING.

Now, with regards to quitting; this is where I open myself up to you. I have found myself in emotional tailspins. I have allowed the fear receptors in my mind to overreact and engage with my thinking to cause an irrational bias and response. In a sense, there are times when I quit before I started. I surrendered to my inaccurate expectations. I clung to the fear of unreachable outcomes and, there are times when I succumbed to the energies of my thinking, which led me to a self-fulfilled prophecy.

There are ways to quit without quitting. I say this because there are people who go to work and literally surrender to a depressive mindset. I know this because this was me. I also know this because I have spent time with people who’ve become victim to their own thoughts and lead themselves to quit without quitting.

You don’t want to quit. You just can’t see how you can hold on, so you wait for the shoe to drop. You wait for the boss to see your failures so he can fire you. And then it’s not like you quit. Then it’s just a case of a self-fulfilled prophecy. You quit without quitting

There is no passion here, no point and no direction. There is nothing to feed the reward system. The self-talk or “Inner voice” is predicting and preparing for the impending doom, which is always around the corner. There are those who go into a dead-end mindset and behaviorally respond to this. Their ideas fulfill a sabotaged prophecy, to which they paint themselves into a corner. Or they’ve quit without actually quitting (so to speak).
See what I mean?

As a coach, I ran a small empowerment group in a county jail. I have spoken with people whose attempt at suicide was what they called, “Death by Cop.” The idea was to draw a gun and aim to have the police defend themselves and shoot them down. I understand the emotion behind this is uncomfortable and perhaps too literal; however, I can say that I have seen this in the business world. I have seen people end their careers with behavior that leads towards professional suicide. I do not term this lightly by any means. Instead, I offer this as a means to understand the dangers of emotional thinking that lead us towards emotional or behavioral biases and professional suicide.

I am not a fan of the word “Just.” We use this word frequently as if to say, “Just do it this way,” or “Just don’t think like this.” However, depressive thinking does not coincide with logical thinking. Therefore, the word “Just” is a word that “Just” doesn’t make sense.

Telling a person who is struggling with depression or depressive thinking, “Just don’t think that way,” is no different from telling someone with the flu, “Just don’t be sick and you’ll feel better.”

Nevertheless, our thought process and mindset is certainly in need of attention. This is where mindfulness comes in. This is where it is important to replace thought with action. Rather than think ourselves into emotional failure, we have to work ourselves into a method that feeds our personal reward system and physical achievement.

Think of our personal reward system as a child that wants a cookie.
Think about the child that is continually told, “No. There’s no cookie for you.”
What is the outcome of this?
What does the child do?
Does the child accept and wait patiently or does the child break down and cry?

I have learned that there is a need to strengthen the inner-child’s resolve and patience. If we replace troubled thoughts with action, we can physiologically change the way we feel. This is why professionals recommend exercise for those who struggle with medicated resistant depression. This is so the body goes through a chemical change.

This is me. I am this person. I am someone who lives with medicated resistant depression. I have social phobias and anxiety. Yet, I do public events and speaking. I create interactive programs to improve personal and public relationships. As someone who struggles with emotional thinking and the wreckage of my past, I am someone who creates content for people who struggle to surpass their own limitations (just like me).

The title of this book is “Working for a Living” but this is more about our relation to terms and our environment. This is to help build a new personal atmosphere which can help us achieve an improved level of consciousness and achieve an optimal level of personal understanding. This is us at our best. Or better yet, to be; to live; to work and speak and have all of our emotional concerns become unobjectionable. This is freedom.

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