Destructive Thoughts can destroy our ability to succeed in life and business as well as kill our spirit. To begin the process of shifting destructive thoughts to empowered thoughts, you must first be aware of the different categories of destructive thoughts that exist and acknowledge which ones you are personally struggling with.
Read through the most common types of destructive thoughts below. If one stands out as something you can relate to and feel you are struggling with, make a note of it and commit to working to shift that type of thinking.
1. Limited Beliefs About Ourselves.
This refers to all the thoughts we choose to believe that prevent us from moving past our business and personal challenges and achieving our goals. Examples of limited beliefs about ourselves might be, "I'm not good enough" and "I will never be successful anyway". How does this work? First, situations and events happen in our life. Second, we choose to think a specific way about those situations and events. Sometimes we create empowered thoughts about situations and sometimes we create limited thoughts about situations and events.
For example, a woman's parents abused her until she was 14 years old. She thought being abused meant she did not deserve love. That was her interpretation. You and I can see this is not true from our perspective; however, she thought it was true. In addition to the memory of the abuse, she had a current string of failed relationships as additional "proof" that her thinking is true. If this woman has been thinking she is not worthy of love, can you imagine how she would act around men, friends and family? Just by thinking she was not worthy of love, she sabotaged her relationships. In this way, the thinking itself created her reality, like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
2. Limited Beliefs about Others
We can also have limited beliefs about others. These negative beliefs cause limitations all over our life. For example, Stacy worked for a high profile executive. He gave her a task to send a letter to an associate. The letter contained a couple of typos that were pointed out by the associate. So Stacy's boss decided that Stacy was stupid and incompetent and immediately stopped giving her important tasks. He only gave her menial jobs to do: getting coffee, filling the stock room, filing, etc. Over time, he made comments about her inadequacies. He determined she was unintelligent, lazy and unworthy of doing important tasks because of those typos and he communicated that to Stacy. This made her feel inadequate, stupid and lazy. Her confidence was shot and this created all sorts of secondary issues such as depression, frustration and anger.
3. Injured Party Mentality
Injured Party Mentality is when you make excuses and blame external events and people for your negative situations and problems. If you cannot find YOUR contribution to why YOUR problem exists, then, you are suffering from injured party mentality. Some examples of this are:
- I cannot get ahead because of my partner.
- It is not my fault.
- If I had more money then I'd be able to grow.
- If they would just change "X", then things would work.
The more you blame others and external events, the farther you get from a solution and the worse your situation will get.
4. Inflated Ego
You know you are suffering from Inflated Ego when your life and business are suffering and all you can think about when you make choices is preserving your self-image. It is impossible to get to the business of solving problems when your focus is on looking good.
5. Results Attachment
This is when we believe that events and situations should happen a specific way and that people should behave a specific way. And, when they don't, we suffer or get upset–and secondary problems are created such as frustration, depression, giving up on goals/dreams, etc. Someone who is attached to results is FIXATED ON THE RESULT instead of being COMMITTED TO THE PROCESS. For example, let's pretend person X has set a goal of generating $10K in a given month in their business. But, instead of generating $10K, they only generate $3K. Instead of celebrating the $3K win and then figuring out how to hit the $10K goal the following month, a person suffering fromr esults attachment might abandon the goal completely, become depressed, allow destructive thoughts to creep in, etc. It is impossible to step back from your business and evaluate what is working and what is not so you can achieve your goals next time, if you are attached.
This is focusing on problems rather than solutions. You know you are problem focused when you find yourself talking about your problems often, analyzing your problems, justifying your problems, coming up with excuses for your problems, sharing your problems with others and thinking about your problems all the time. The danger here is that THINKING about the problem does not create the solution; it merely perpetuates the problem. The problem persists and, by default, becomes an excuse or reason for why we do not have what we want.
Those who indulge in this kind of thinking interpret people and events through past experiences, rather than experiencing them as they are occurring in the present. Imagine that you have a pair of glasses that you view the world through. You put them on and that is how you see the world. If you put "pink" glasses on, then everything you see will be pink. If you have had some experiences with people lying to you and you determine that people are liars, then you have your "liar" glasses on. Imagine communicating with someone who has "liar glasses" on. How horrible. That person is probably overly cautious, always suspecting…not fun! The danger for others is that they will find it hard to do business and life with you. The danger for you is that you will find it hard to do your business and life.
8. Unmindful of Community
This is when you are not aware of your impact on those around you. For example, Marty was a hardworking and ambitious computer programmer who was determined to become the head of his company's tech department. Part of his strategy was to "show his commitment" to the company by working on weekends. During the week, he would share with his co-workers about his weekend work efforts. He did not realize that instead of impressing people, he was turning them off. He had no idea that they were perceiving him to be arrogant and a show-off and self-promoting. The opinions of his coworkers made it to the boss. Instead of being promoted, he was laid off.
When we are in denial, in the context of our business, we know there is a problem but we deny having anything to do with it or that it is there. This actually perpetuates our problem and stops the solution process. When we accept that a problem exists and understand precisely how we are creating it, we can immediatelly get into solution mode.
10. Unmindful of Self
This is when we are unaware of how our thinking and actions. And if we are unaware then we won't know what we do that hinders and helps our success. The only way we can become successful is to look at what is working and what is not working so that we can make adjustments. When we are unmindful of self, we are not paying attention to how we are related to our success or lack of it.