On Tuesday, we explored the connection between your thoughts and your physiology. Today we’re taking it a step further to see how looking for the gift in any obstacle will get you astounding results.
Have you ever been in the middle of a very pleasant experience when something unpleasant hits you? How about some everyday examples:
- You’re finishing a report that you’ve been working on for weeks and are very proud of. Your boss walks into your office and says the project has changed and your report is no longer a part of it.
- You have your hand on the doorknob, ready to walk into the office of an important client for a pivotal meeting and you suddenly realize that the materials you thought you had in your briefcase are on your desk back at the office.
- You’re talking to a colleague at a networking event and she mentions that your competitor just sealed a big deal with a client you’ve been pursuing for six months.
What happens to you in those moments? You probably have some physical responses like these:
- you feel like your stomach has become a rapidly descending elevator headed for your feet
- your mouth goes instantly dry
- your palms, armpits and behind your knees, are suddenly drenched with sweat
Now that your body is experiencing these symptoms, what happens to your brain? Like Elvis, it has suddenly left the building.
Now here’s the secret to harnessing the power of the Third Belief: when you understand that your thoughts instantly affect your physiology, you can decide to think something that will affect your physiology in a very positive way.
Yes, something negative has just happened. Yes, it was completely outside of your control. When something like this hits, it can appear to be an obstacle–to your success, your well-being and your peace of mind. Now remember what you just discovered about the impact of a positive thought? At this moment you have a choice about what you believe: this negative situation has blind-sided you and become an obstacle–or– it’s a gift that you just haven’t unwrapped yet.
Neither of these two beliefs is The Truth.
The truth is that your beliefs filter your experience; your beliefs are the truth for you in your 1st Gear. When you change your belief, it’s because you’ve changed your mind about something. Changing your mind changes your physiology, and…
Changing your physiology changes your experience.
Let’s put this in perspective with an example.
Captain “Sully” Sullenberger was flying over the Hudson River in January 209 and ran into a flock of birds. As a result, he lost both engines; his left engine was on fire. He certainly could have considered this circumstance to be an obstacle. My guess is that he instantly decided that it was something else.
According to Wikipedia, Capt Sully has “more than 40 years and 27,000 hours of flying experience…. since 2007, has run his own safety consulting business ( Safety Reliability Methods Inc) which provides “emergency management, safety strategies and performance monitoring to the aviation industry.”
My guess is that Sully made the decision that this situation was his gift–here was the perfect opportunity to use everything he knew in a real-life application.
Imagine the moment he realized he’s lost both engines. It puts that rejected report, those missing materials and that lost client of ours into a totally different perspective, doesn’t it? What feels like life and death to us in the moment gets superseded when we consider the real life and death scenario.
So Sully settles in to unwrapping this gift he’s been given. His mind is perfectly clear and he’s totally engaged. He’s as focused as he was as a child, putting together some new airplane he got for Christmas or his birthday. He’s completely immersed in the task at hand and time passes beyond his notice. He has access to every bit of information he’s gathered over the last 40 years: do this, not that — move here, not there.
Sully lands the plane in the Hudson without incident and no lives are lost.
Now let’s take this belief back to our three situations. What if each one of these “obstacles” really is a gift? When you believe that, you can:
- Thank your boss and file your report in a spot where it’s ready when you need it for a future situation. Tackle your next activity with a clear mind.
- Take a breath and decide that these materials are not as critical as your focused attention in this meeting. Walk in the room ready to fully engage with the client.
- Smile at your colleague and consider the situation as a gift you’ll learn more about as time passes. Keep networking.
You can get these kinds of results when you believe that you bring about what you think about, you have with it takes, and there’s a gift in every obstacle. These three are the foundational beliefs of Powerful Presence that will transform any negative experience to a positive one.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Try it out yourself.
Next week: Beliefs in action