Think – Behave – Results

How do our thoughts affect our behaviour?

How often do we reflect on the science that, what we think about affects how we behave? And that how we behave will have a knock-on effect on the results that we and the team around us deliver? 

We’ve all experienced it in some form: when a toddler won’t stop crying because she wants her toast cut into squares instead of triangles and you arrive in the office frazzled and frustrated, which in turn makes you snap at your colleagues and starts the day on the wrong foot for everyone; or on the flipside, you receive a phone call at lunchtime telling you that your best mate has managed to buy tickets for your favourite band and you return full of optimism and energy, ready to tackle anything that comes your way. 

We often underestimate how our thoughts and mindset affect our behaviour, and one thing’s for certain – we would all benefit from being more conscious of this. Looking at strategies to help manage our mindset is an excellent way to increase self-awareness and to positively impact our results. 

Here are a few strategies that we recommend: 

  • Challenges are simply an opportunity for us to learn and grow. We defy you to find us a world-class athlete or a highly successful corporate leader who hasn’t learned from some of their worst defeats. How we frame them dictates what we get from them. 
  • Turn your focus towards the positive outcomes and possibilities. Even when everything seems cloudy and grey, search for the colour and the chink of light. If you head towards it – it will get bigger. Our brain moves towards what we think about, focus on the positives and your brain will elaborate. 
  • Ensure you get enough rest to maintain your mental clarity and energy. For some of us, sleep does not come easy, but taking time to rest and breathe mindfully can help to reset, de-stress and positively influence the internal narrative. 
  • Become a problem-solver and focus on finding solutions. Replace ‘but’ and ‘can’t’ with ‘we could try…’ or ‘have we thought of…’ or ‘I’d like to…’. There is little benefit in remaining stuck in the weeds of the issue, looking for evidence, blame or excuses, moving forward requires us to examine the issue and then be decisive. 
  • Limit your exposure to negative news and media. Rarely are the headlines celebratory, and the constant onslaught of bad news can be overwhelming and somewhat depressing. Recognise how this makes you think and feel, and decide when you are willing to be exposed to it. Perhaps do a tally of how many articles or posts in your media of choice are positive, hopeful and inspiring, and how many are doom-mongering, partisan or inflammatory. 
  • Make time to move and be active, to help boost your mood and energy levels. Whether your choice of activity is walking the dog, lifting weights or running, your mindset will thank you for it. Notice the difference in how energised you are when you return from being outside, or from a physical activity. To obtain clarity of thought, borrow from Aristotle’s approach and take your ideas for a walk. 

If we can strengthen our mindset, this will help us to behave more deliberately and we are very likely to see an impact on our results, which in turn serves as a feedback loop, fuelling our mindset and concreting behaviours even further. We often hear the phrase, ‘surround yourself with positive people’. How about taking every effort to be one of those positive people, no matter what else the world has thrown at us today?

Let us know how you get on!

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