We’ve been talking for the past couple of months now about HOW your thinking affects your ability to be successful, and to accomplish your goals. And today I was planning on writing about how to reprogram a belief.
BUT… I had a very interesting experience this week and I learned a valuable lesson that I want to share with you.
So… I’ve interrupted your regularly scheduled blog programming today to share a very important lesson with you!
I spent the week in San Francisco, and normally when I travel on business I come home completely exhausted, and I end up with a 3 day “travel hangover” followed by 2 weeks with a head cold or other virus. This happens… every. single. time. I travel on business.
I would much rather come home from a busy trip feeling energized and excited to jump back into my daily routine!
So I decided to use this trip as an experiment. I wanted to see if changing “HOW I think” could affect my experience!
My hypothesis: I must be telling myself some sort of ‘story’ that is causing me to feel exhausted and get sick.
My experiment: If I am consciously programming the travel experience with a positive story (HOW I THINK), I can create the outcome I desire!
In short – I wanted to see if by changing the running dialogue in my head about the trip would create a different outcome afterwards!
RESULT: An incredible success! I got home around midnight after 14 hours of flying. I was up at 7am the next morning. I had a very fully day of meetings, along with a backlog of email and other work. And 3 days later, no head cold… no aches… no pains… no stuffy nose or scratchy throat.
Wow! What an incredible different experience.
And here’s the really cool part… my trip was just as rushed… just as many long meetings… just as many poor diet choices in the airport… just as many phone calls… plane delays… baggage to be lugged through airports… and just a few hours of sleep.
The only difference was an exceedingly disciplined and deliberate approach to controlling the story in my head.
The stories we tell ourselves are just as important as the limiting beliefs!
And they are both vitally important to HOW we experiences the events around us!
So what’s the difference between Limiting Beliefs and our Stories?
Let’s use my travel beliefs to illustrate.
My normal beliefs about business travel sound something like this:
- Business travel is hard and exhausting
- I won’t have enough time to get everything done
- I can’t do it all
As we are going about our day – regardless of the activity – there is a little part of our brain narrating the events. This little voice is telling us “our story” about those events. This narration… this story… is HOW WE CHOOSE to experience the events… It’s our JUDGEMENT of the events BASED ON OUR BELIEFS.
Did you notice that I said this story is how we CHOOSE to experience the events, based on our limiting beliefs?
So in my experiment, I didn’t try to change my beliefs. I was very aware of these beliefs. All I did was CHOOSE to tell a different story.
SO… when my flight from Chicago to San Francisco was delayed by 5 hours, my normal story – based on my beliefs – would be called my “poor me” story… the story says, “Darn, I’ll get in very late… then I’ll be really tired… and I won’t get up on time in the morning… and then I’ll be groggy and not on my best game for my meeting”.
Instead of that story I deliberately CHOSE a different story… “Oh good… now I have enough time to find something healthy to eat. I can knock out some work for next week. AND I can take a nap! Now I feel refreshed and energized for my meeting tomorrow”.
And every time my ‘poor me’ story started up, I consciously and purposely reframed it to something energizing. My entire mantra for the trip was “my life and travel always work out in my favor”…
Here is the good news for you in this lesson. You can apply this directly to your own life.
- What story are you telling yourself today?
- How do you want tomorrow’s experience to be different?
- What story can you narrate your life with tomorrow to create a different outcome?
Share your experience below! Let me know if this trick works for you.
Photo Credit: Arden