I’ve noticed, in speaking with people, that there are five different thoughts that people default to when preparing for action. They may or may not be aware of these thoughts. After meeting with a client and laying out specific action plans, I’ve noticed that energized and competent people will actually say, “I can do that!” That had me wondering, though, what their default thought is. What is the below-the-surface thought that runs through their head or automatically pops up when they want to take action? Here are the five default thoughts I’ve identified:
- I want . . .
- I need . . .
- I don’t know how . . .
- I am going to . . .
- I can’t . . .
Not sure where you fall? Consider this. You have identified a specific plan of action for your business, for instance, and you’ve decided that your goal is to create an appreciation event for your clients. Once you’ve identified that goal, what is your most immediate thought?
“I want to have a fun evening with appetizers.”
“I need to figure out how to organize that.”
“I don’t know how to coordinate something like that.”
“I am going to make this a great event.”
“I can’t pull that off.”
There are some situations where you may have slightly different responses depending on your competence and confidence levels. But pay attention to the typical response you have. Did you notice that each of those five phrases will lead to very different action? If your default response is “I don’t know how” instead of “I am going to” you will create self-doubt and insecurity that instantly dampen your enthusiasm. However, saying “I am going to” instantly sets you up to take action with a strong commitment. Over the next week, listen for your below-the-surface default responses; catch yourself and see if you can identify which responses give you motivation and which don’t.
I’d love to hear your insights.