Taking Thoughts Captive

Are your thoughts always hijacking your attention and holding you back from the things that you want in life, or are you able to filter them in a healthy way to produce the behaviour that you need? Hi, this is Grant Herbert, Emotional Intelligence Speaker and Trainer of the Year and Sustainable Performance Coach, and today, I want to continue our conversation around all things human behaviour and Emotional Intelligence by learning with you how to take our thoughts captive.

All conscious behaviour starts with a thought. So if it's not a good thought, if it's not a positive thought, it's probably not going to produce positive behaviour. Negative thinking creates a breeding ground for negative outcomes, whereas positive thinking moves you towards the behaviour that you need to get the results that you want.

Ruminating on all the things that are wrong with your situation creates roadblocks that hold you back from the thought patterns and the behaviour patterns that you need to change your situation for the better. It's time to take back control of your thoughts before they do you harm. Negative or unresourceful thinking is like the impurities that exist in a precious metal that de-value it. We have to remove those impurities so that it can reveal its true beauty and its true value. When they heat the metal up, it brings the impurities called dross to the surface and that enables them to skim it off the top and be left with just the purity of the metal itself.

So too when things heat up in our circumstances those unresourceful thoughts rise to the surface, just like the dross in the metal. It's at this point that we need to learn how to remove them, skim them off the top so that we are left with the best version of ourself. We take them captive, call them out for the impurities that they are, and then replace them with more resourceful thoughts that's going to help us to move forward and get the results that we want. So, let me take you through a five step process to be able to not only take them captive, but to reverse the negative process and design a thought pattern and an inner dialogue that's going to help us to move forward and get the results that we need right now.

Number one is being able to recognise those unhealthy thoughts in the moment. Remember: Social and Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of what's going on for us emotionally in the moment, and it's the same here. We need to be able to have space and stop and go, "Okay, I'm recognising this dross is coming to the surface." So, that's the first step. To do this, we need to be on guard to be able to hear that small voice rising up, that mini-me, those thoughts and those beliefs coming to the surface. So, we need to make sure in this step that we're always looking for thoughts that aren't going to service.

Step two is to do an audit of our thoughts. It's just like when a suspect is taken captive on your favourite crime movie and they take them in, and they sit them down, and they ask them questions, and the whole purpose is to get the real truth. The whole purpose is to uncover anything that's not really true, any inconsistencies in their story. So, this step is where we use our logical brain and we take inventory of what our thoughts are saying. So, step two is to do an audit of your thoughts.

Step three is to challenge the validity of what you uncover. So when we go back to our story of someone in a crime movie, whether they're in the police station or they're in the courthouse, they'll be giving this story and there'll be things that come up that just don't add up, or they don't fit the story that's going to give you the outcome that you want. So, what we need to do is challenge the validity of that. We need to object to it and go, "Well, hang on a minute. No, that's not true." So if I'm thinking a worst case scenario, I can bring that back to reality by going, "Well, hang on a minute. No, that's not true. That's my small voice working on my fears, working on my negative beliefs, my limiting, my false beliefs." And we can call it out and say, "No, that's not true, and I'm not going to accept that as being so."

Step four is to offer an alternative. So now that we have taken it captive, we've interrogated it, we've done an audit on what it's saying really and found the truth, we can now offer ourselves a different way of thinking. We can flip the beliefs. We can turn the thinking around. We can look at, "What do I need to think that's going to give me the energy, the impetus, the behaviour that I need to move forward and get the results that I want?" So, the next step, number four, is to offer ourselves an alternative to the negative or unresourceful thinking. 

And step five is to change the narrative. We tell our own story, we're in charge, we're in control of what we let become our truth. So now that we have taken it captive, we've done an audit, we've challenged the validity and we've said, "No, that's not going to serve me. That thinking is not true", we now move forward with a different thought pattern, with a different self-talk, a different inner dialogue, one that is scripted in the positive, one that allows us to move forward and to do what we need to do right now to change our situation for the better.

You can become the person that you need to be so that you can do what you need to do to have the results that you want in your life. You just need to take back control of your thought life.

Well, that's it for me for another week. Join me again next week when we start a new conversation and take all that we've learned over the previous months and we prepare our 2021. We look at a process of what we need to do to write our own version of the script and to plan to have the best year that we've ever had. I'll see you then.

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