The Personal and Organizational Power of Mind-set!

The Personal and Organizational Power of Mind-set!

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, people like me!
— Stewart Smalley Saturday Night Live

Some of you may remember Al Franken’s character, Stewart Smalley, from Saturday Night Live. He was funny and a bit pathetic at the same time. He was also delusional. He engaged—inadequately I might add—in a technique called self-affirmation. The process consists of uttering positive mantras of being, doing, and having what we want in life—those things we are not and do not currently possess. Stewart was always just beyond the grasp of what he really wanted to become.

We are all in a perpetual state of becoming. Just as seedlings emerge as plants and one season gives way to the next, we too grow, evolve, and become—make no mistake—what we think and believe! Our organizations follow suite. How we think determines how we behave, and how we behave determines what we and our organizations become. Since 95% of our behaviors are functioning below the conscious level, do we have any idea of what we’re thinking?

When I ask audience members how many say affirmations, a few raise their hands. Some say “I don’t but I know I should.” Others simple stare. We have 60-70,000 thoughts a day (I read this in a psychology text book), and they end up being the same thoughts we had yesterday and are most certain to be the same ones we’ll have tomorrow. Here’s the $64,000 question, “What do you say to yourself?” How do you suppose these comments affect what you want to be, do, or have? Here’s your dirty little secret. These thoughts are your affirmations—your self-talk. Good, bad, or indifferent they determine your results. We cannot behave differently from our thoughts—from the image of ourselves and what we want to be, do, or have.

So, what do you say to yourself? Let’s get personal. If your best friend said to you some of the things you say to yourself, how long would you keep them as your best friend? What you think determines who you are. If you want to know what you’ve been thinking about, look around. If don’t like what you see, now’s the opportunity to change—but you must know what you’re thinking!

The good news is that your brain will help you be, do, or have anything you want—but you must know what to say to it and how to treat it! Your thoughts are your programs. Just like a computer you cannot behave differently from your programming? Affirmations—better yet your self-talk—create your new programs, but you gotta know how to apply it.

We know that successful people share the common trait of self-awareness. If you say you’re confident and successful—and don’t believe it—that’s your affirmation. Doesn’t matter what you think, it’s what you believe that matters! Repeated thoughts become affirmations. Beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking. We cannot consistently behave inconsistently with our beliefs. Therefore, we become what we repeatedly think about. As they say, “Isn’t it time to start thinking about what you’re thinking about?”

Grant Stewart