Stop Obsessing About the 250 Ways You Could Fail, Because You Probably Will

Our brains don’t process negative thoughts well. What I mean by that is when you think to yourself “I don’t want this horse to spook,” your brain hears, “I want this horse to spook.” We’re not really programmed to comprehend the things we don’t want. Basically we’re telling ourselves that yes, we do want to accidentally add in that line. Yes, we do want to get riled up and transmit our tension to our horse. Surprise, we’re bringing it on ourselves sometimes.

Do you believe in the law of attraction? The idea that what we think becomes what we get? I used to think this only applied to what I wanted. If I did my own thing, exactly what was meant for me was coming my way. I didn’t quite get down to the root level: my thoughts. When I focused on myself, on what I wanted, how to get there… I didn’t think of the doubts. I didn’t think of what I might not be able to do. I explored my options, learned new things, and took some opportunities I wouldn’t have guessed were available to me.

I think the key is, what we focus on, we start surrounding ourselves with. Sometimes I focus so hard on how badly I don’t want something to happen that suddenly it happens anyway because it’s all I can think about. And so on, and so forth, until it’s a pattern that has me believing hard things happen constantly and sometimes for no reason.

So what do you do? How do you start changing your thoughts?

I think it’s in how we look at our thoughts. We usually deem them just that – thoughts. Things we think. But it’s not really that simple. Our thoughts are the things we tell ourselves, the last voice we hear before we fall asleep, and the first one when we wake up. Eventually, our thoughts become things. And things can be very real.

Why not think something more positive? It might not be an immediate change, but be sure you’ll feel the effects of that eventually. You start doubting yourself less, you start worrying less. Instead you’re focusing on the things you want to be, on the things you can make happen. You’re far more likely to get them when you’re focusing on all the ways things could work out, than the ways they couldn’t.

I know, I know. It’s kind of scary thinking of what could go right because what if it actually does? I’m guilty of thinking about every outcome and fixating on the bad ones. I’m sure you are too sometimes. What if I actually get what I think I want, and I’m not happy with it? And what if I don’t get what I want? I guess there’s not much to lose either way.

If you want to get your flying lead change, focus on the ways you can. Don’t fixate on the worry you might not get it, because you’re opening yourself up to the opportunity to actually miss your change. There’s no reason to tell yourself you’re going to make a mistake when you could encourage yourself to have a great ride.

It’s a small change to make, but it seems like the benefits are going to go a long way. So I’ll ask again: what do you really have to lose?

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