Have you ever worked with a problem-focused colleague? It could be something different each day: A person, another team, a leader, a broken process. No matter what solution you offer, problem-focused people are great at looking at the art of the impossible as opposed to the art of the possible. They are stuck in a broken thinking process that is limiting their own success and they are likely not getting the feedback they hope for in their performance.

Regardless of whether this is you, or a colleague, there is hope for breaking this pattern, but it first requires acknowledging that thinking is reprogrammable and doing so can help you get the results and success you deserve.

Examine your thinking habits

Homework: Take a moment today to examine the thoughts that cross your mind throughout the day. Write down what results those thoughts deliver for you.

There is an undeniable connection between your thoughts and what you achieve. Negative thinking habits will undermine your success, whereas positive thinking will steer you directly into your next promotion. Consider this example: A new leadership position becomes available within your company. Something about it piques your interest and you have always wanted to become a manager. You know the hiring manager and where he sits, but you’re telling yourself: “They probably want to bring someone in from the outside,” or “He probably already has several candidates lined up.” You move on from the idea of this promotion and continue about your day. After lunch, you see your desk mate stroll up to the hiring manager’s office and hear him ask for fifteen minutes of his time. Two weeks later you get an email highlighting your colleague’s promotion and see him packing up his stuff for his new corner office. The only difference in this scenario was that colleague number two believed he had a chance and he acted on that positive belief. Colleague number one did not believe he had a chance, focused on the problem, and there for was not able to advance his own success.

Breaking negative thinking habits

Homework: Carve out thirty minutes each day at a time that is convenient to you to work on upgrading your thoughts.

When it comes to breaking negative thinking patterns, I like to call this process mindset work. Each day I spend thirty minutes or so thinking positive thoughts and repeating statements in my mind that reinforce my capabilities. I have practiced this process so much that I am able to stop any negative thoughts that creep in throughout the day and replace them with a positive statement. You can do this too, but it is going to require an open mind and a lot of will-power on your part to create new habits. Here are a few steps to help you get there:

Identify your negative thoughts: Which thoughts do you have that are limiting your success? A good way to identify these is to consider a recent situation where you didn’t achieve the results you wanted, then work backwards and look at what beliefs you had about that achievement along the way. Write those down as they will be what you will work on breaking down and kicking to the curb.
Identify when these negative thoughts arise: Are there particular situations that trigger your negative thinking? Is it a result of a situation where you feel threatened or insecure? Write down the situations where you feel your negative thinking patterns arise and be ready to amp up your willpower during those times.
Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts: Whether you know it or not, your thoughts are a choice you are making. I want you to start choosing positive thoughts. If you hear yourself thinking “I never get what I want in my career,” tell yourself that there are infinite opportunities for you to succeed at work. To grow healthy thinking habits, you need to feed them, to kill negative thinking habits, you must not feed them. This process is essential because your thoughts will create your own reality and there for will drive your success.
Ten power success statements

Homework: You’ve got to start psyching yourself up. Write down ten of your own power statements that make you feel awesome and that you can repeat to yourself when the negative thoughts come.

Not sure which statements to use, try my favorite ten:

  1. I deserve to be successful
  2. There are endless opportunities waiting for me
  3. I am qualified, capable and awesome
  4. My income is constantly increasing
  5. My success is unlimited
  6. I can achieve all of my wildest dreams
  7. Anything is possible
  8. My thoughts create my reality
  9. I am strong and capable
  10. There are endless ways I can solve this problem

Reprogramming your thinking will not happen over night if you are someone who has negative thought patterns. It is going to take continued effort. I recommend choosing your peer group wisely – shifting to becoming a possibilities person means surrounding yourself with other possibilities people. Be strict on yourself in scheduling time to do the work each day. Use repetition daily and results will follow.

About Meagan Mae

Meagan is a career and small business coach helping professionals and entrepreneurs reach their highest potential. She specializes in job search strategy, clarity coaching, startup messaging and modern day digital success strategy for professional advancement.