Are You Getting The Same Results No Matter How Hard You Try?
A month ago, I received a rather worried call from one of my elder sisters. Her 12 year old son was doing badly in school despite receiving private tuition on the side and studying every other night. She was pretty concerned and sought my advice if she should send him to a costly accelerated right brain stimulation program to improve his learning capabilities.
It’s natural for anyone to feel worried in her circumstances. She’s vigorously trying out all ways and means to help her child improve his grades and all she’s getting is the same result, day after day. The kid’s frustrated too, allowing his lousy scores to slowly devour his self esteem and confidence.
At first glance, it’s easy to attribute the stagnation to not taking enough action, but my sister was doing all she could, to the extent of sending him to an expensive course. And this doesn’t just happen to my sister. I’ve a few friends who’ve been complaining of reaching a plateau in their weight loss regime. Despite the regular workout and strict diet, their weight seemed to have stopped at a particular point whereby it will not drop further. That’s not all. An ex-colleague used to tell me how she was still getting the same pay even though she was a diligent worker and given rave reviews in her user trainings.
They’ve tried their best in all their respective areas, working out their goal plans dutifully with strong persistence and healthy motivation. But why are they still getting the same grades, weight, salary etc?
And if action is not the root cause of their trauma, what could’ve gone wrong?
The Cycle of Thoughts
Be prepared for this shocking reality.
It’s not about how hard you act. It’s about what you think first that determines your results.
I know this may appear unsettling for some of you. But the conscious control of our initial thoughts does have an immense impact on the way our outcomes turn out. Take a look at the diagram below.
Our thoughts are constantly spearheading a cycle. Whenever we think about something, it generates a tide of internal feelings that drive us to commit certain action (no action is also considered action!). That, is what eventually determines our results.
The reason why people keep repeating the same results is because they choose to kickoff this cycle by thinking about their present circumstances or let other people’s opinions and what they’re reading affect their ideas. When they’re thinking about what they’re having right now, they’ll likely resort to the similar methods and tactics that result in that outcome in the first place! There’ll be little outlet for them to deploy a different set of actions that could’ve worked better to get the outcome that they’ve desired.
This is precisely the reason why motivational gurus always encourage people who want to be successful to emulate the ones who already are, so that their thoughts will be filled with ideas of how they could be like them and inevitably generate the dynamics to achieve what they did!
What you reap is what you sow, and thoughts are just like the seeds of the fruit that you want to harvest. You cannot expect to get apples if you’ve been scattering orange seeds into the soil.
In the case of my sister, she may have been so affected by my nephew’s existing grades that she’s emotionally held ransom by fear and anxiety. Instead of trying to improve on my nephew’s intrinsic motivation to study, she took the inappropriate action of seeking remedy outside of him by engaging private tutors and signing up extra curricular courses for him, thinking that it’ll catalyze the whole process. In the end, it may even lead to more stress and other potential issues for the kid.
On the other hand, if she has adopted a more optimistic outlook and focused strongly on the intended grades for the kid, she may find avenues to interact with mums whose children do well in school. She may run into someone who’ve experienced a similar situation and pick up some pointers from her on how to turn it around.
Breaking Out of This Bottleneck
If you know that you’re not making significant progress or reaching your ideal outcome in your goals, your thoughts are definitely the stumble block. It’s very likely that those limited thoughts has ruptured into feelings of fear and doubt that causing you to embark on a totally wrong set of actions, moving you further and further away from your desired goal.
Like a clogged pipe, this blockage is obstructing the flow of new, inventive and expansive ideas. Therefore, it becomes imperative that before you jump into straightening your thoughts to go through this quick tip to get over the fear of not achieving your dreams.
Once your system is cleared, sorting out your thoughts will be a breeze, assuming that you’re fully aware of what you intended to pursue after. If you’re still unsure of what you want, I’ll would recommend that you go back to the drawing board and work out your goals.
A lot of people assume that sorting out your thoughts must be a complicated methodology, given it’s strong implication on the results. Frankly speaking, it’s not that difficult. All you have to do is to redraft your thoughts with descriptions of the time when you’ve achieved your ideal goal outcome and keep reminding yourself of it.
You can write them down on a card, carry it with you and read it every day and anytime you’re fretting over your existing outcomes. Begin your written statement with “I am so happy. I now see myself …”
For example, if you want to achieve a certain weight, you can translate that into scenarios where you find yourself slipping into an older tight fitting dress or going on dates with partners you’ve attracted as a result of your new image and write that down in your success card. If you want to get a pay raise, consistently see yourself opening a envelope celebrating your promotion and describe it in the card as well.
What it does is that when you’re celebrating the success in your mind, your physical reality evolves to achieve an equilibrium with your thoughts. It also keeps you away from non-constructive thoughts that eats into your energy and motivation, allowing you to strategize on the next course of actions.
Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself evolving out of this bottleneck. I know it works because I’ve been there, done that.