A few years ago, I had the opportunity to deliver a short motivational message to my daughter’s softball team. The girls were fifteen at the time, and they were 8 and 8 for the summer season and had qualified for the playoffs. When they found themselves in the semifinal game, the coach approached me and said, “You’re a motivational speaker. Do your thing. You’ve got five minutes.”
No pressure, right? I said to the girls, “If I ask you not to think of pink elephants, what are you going to think about?” They all yelled at once, “Pink elephants!” I then explained, “The mind can’t process the negative. When you concentrate on the thing you don’t want to do, then you’re likely to do just that. So if you go up to the plate thinking about not wanting to strike out, you’re probably going to strike out. But what if you do the opposite? What if you approach the plate and think about that homerun you want to hit? What if you saw yourself hitting the ball flawlessly and the ball going over the fence? You’re probably going to do better than if you focus on not wanting to strike out.”
That day the team hit like they had never hit before. They were a .500 team; that day they won 13-4. I’m not trying to take credit for their win. They did the work. But what got them going in the right direction was their mindset.
How many times do we feel panicked and think, “I’m never going to get this deal”? When you catch yourself thinking in negative terms, take charge of your mind and replace the negative thought with a positive one. Focus on the outcome you are looking for. Doing that will help to calm you down and get out of that negative mental spiral. It will get you thinking about the right actions to get the result you want.
The outcomes you want only come from taking the right action, and taking the right action comes from right thinking. You can only think properly when you start with the right mindset—and that is under your control. Operate from a positive mindset and notice the difference in the outcomes you achieve day in and day out. To learn more about how Mindsets can Generate Positive Outcomes, check out Selling with Impact.