How Thoughts Shape Our Lives – And How to Shape Your Thoughts
What you think shapes your life.
That’s because what you think shapes your behavior, which indirectly controls the way your life unfolds.
If you think you’re unlucky for example, then not only will you not take any chances, but you might also actually miss opportunities that appear. You’ll focus on things that go wrong, and this will make you feel worse about yourself.
If you think you’re bad at your job, you won’t speak up in meetings, you’ll keep your head down, and you might even be less prone to power dressing!
In the case of a thought like ‘I’m always unlucky’, you now know that you’re only unlucky because you think you’re unlucky. Likewise the thought that ‘good things never happen to me’ is self-perpetuating. Ask yourself genuinely what your skills are and your assets. Be objective and ask others if necessary. Chances are you will find that you’re just as capable as everyone else so the only thing that could be bringing you down is your own negativity. Accept this and replace those thoughts.
Likewise, you can also use positive affirmations in order to improve your luck. These are statements you repeat to yourself like ‘I’m a successful and positive person’. Over time, if you repeat these enough they can become ingrained and part of your psyche. If you struggle to remember to use them, consider putting post-it notes up around your home.
This might seem like it wouldn’t accomplish much, but by constantly exposing yourself to these positive messages, you will be repeating the same thoughts over and over and actually strengthening the neural pathways in the brain that are responsible for creating them. As these become strengthened, they will become more likely to be activated in future.
In short, those positive thoughts can actually become a habit.
There are other more powerful methods you can use to transform thoughts too. One is to use “thought challenging.” This means looking at the content of your thoughts and assessing whether it’s accurate.
Can you really just be an unlucky person?
And if you are so bad at your job, how are you in the position you’re in now?
Another trick is something called hypothesis testing. Here, you actually put those negative beliefs to the test in order to prove to yourself they’re inaccurate. For example, take on a big project at work and show to yourself that you can do it!
Using these techniques. you can learn to change your beliefs and that’s when you will start becoming luckier.