As I began writing about "Cognitive Reframing" this evening I was thinking about the impact that our thoughts have with regards to success, well-being, our health, and personal fulfillment. Sometimes we are more successful in one area, and not so successful in another part of our life. Am I more successful in business, in my professional career, as a parent, or in my intimate and personal relationships? Do we have priorities with regards to which areas are most important to us? What are the barriers that keep us from being successful? Can identify them, and can I remove or go around the roadblocks that keep me from having the life I want?
What determines our success for the most part is our behavior. Does luck play a part at times? This is always a great question. The world can give us opportunities that others may not receive, however, I believe that for the most part it is our behavior that determines what we accomplish. There are two ways that we can look at behavior. There is covert behavior, which relates to the manner with which we organize and process internal information. It determines the way we view ourselves. It is about the way we interact with our thoughts and emotions. And there there is overt behavior, which is about the things that we do physically, the things we do with our hands, the things we say, and both our verbal and non-verbal behaviors. A recent study reports that the average person has over 6,000 thoughts per day. What is the content of those thoughts? How many of those 6,000 thoughts are repeated every day? How many of those thoughts lead us in the direction of achieving our goals, and move us in the direction of enhancing our lives? How many of those thoughts sabotage and undermine our ability to be happy and successful?. They are not all kind, supportive, and encouraging. and sadly for too many people there may not be many, that are kind, loving, and encouraging thoughts. The good news is that we can lessen the impact of those thoughts and change our lives. It is our internal behavior that ultimately determines our external behavior. I can't talk about this topic without mentioning my friend Dr. Sidney Cohen's book "Your Self-Sabotaging Inner Bully", His book addresses this topic very well. Love the title! Whatever we want to call it, whether it is a Bully, Saboteur, Inner Demon, or some other name, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that we all sabotage ourselves, and we all have thoughts that undermine our sense of well-being and success. If we don't admit that these forces exist within us,we will likely have a difficult time changing anything, and will stay stuck. I am fortunate that I understand that within me there are forces that want to keep me from being successful. There are parts of myself that don't want things to change, and there are parts that tell me I can't do things that I am capable of doing. There are parts of me that are even degrading and demeaning. They are a part of all of us, it is just a matter of degree. It is often the case that we have more self defeating thoughts in one area of our life than in another. How can we begin to relate to these self defeating thoughts in a manner that is more effective? How can we learn to relate to them in a way that helps us achieve our goals goals, and have the rich and fulfilling life that we really want and deserve?