Stinkin’ Thinkin’

by Patrick K. Wier, MBA

You say that you have heard this before? The pioneering, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar used this quote many times to his audience to capture the negative behaviors that limit us from achieving our goals. All of us know that moment, what it feels like and how we responded. We especially remember those occasions where the barrier was crushed. However, do you know the limiting behavior that you overcame to arrive at a goal? There are many to list, however, we will keep this discussion to three transformative behaviors that once we are aware of we can then start to implement them in our daily lives.

              Think of a timeline that is the path towards your goal. Along the way we encounter bad days and great days. This can take the shape of an estranged relationship in your personal life or a huge sale or project closed. It is important in these moments to ask, “where am I on the timeline?” Failure is an opportunity for growth and education while success is a time to remind yourself who has helped you arrive at this moment. Nothing happens in isolation. Therefore, failure is an event, NOT a person. When you are at these moments be forward looking, not living in the past.

              Seeing is believing. In a way, if you are seeing events and outcomes in a negative frame of mind then you believe that bad things will come your way. Negativity can come in many forms- you are not where you should be, I do not deserve this. If you flip these sentiments on their head then you have “I am on the way to where I should be” and “I deserve to have this achievement” then you are. A mountain summit is not scaled in one day rather a carefully planned approach requiring smaller distances each day filled with switchbacks, small valleys and rock faces. Take the time each day to plan incremental steps toward your summit then finish your day by collecting your thoughts on what you were grateful for. Completing your day by creating a gratitude journal ends your day with positive thoughts of yourself and others while preparing yourself for the following day’s events.

              Finally, looking at others successes and failures as mirrors for where you should be only gets you to closer to their goals. The priorities you have in life should not be shaped by others. No two people’s priorities are the same. Positive thinkers have values, principles and plans that are non-negotiable. Allowing others successes to reshape your plan is a zero sum game. Stick to your principles and goals and your successes will follow. As Aaron Tippin said, “you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”

Do you have self-limiting behaviors that you are aware of? Which ones have you transformed into positive behaviors? I would love to hear from you!