I Think, Therefore I Feel Better
We interpret the events of our lives in a similar, yet biased way. Since our perceptions are largely influenced by such things like our current mood state, personality, environment, as well as our past experiences (good and bad), -- we can't help but put our own spin on 'the facts.' We create our own interpretation of 'what is' without realizing that this is only our interpretation. Because so many of our behaviors are a knee-jerk response based on how we are feeling in that particular moment, the secret to changing these old patterns is to change the way we feel. We can change the way we feel about any situation, by first changing the way we think about it.
Back to our earlier example. If you are like most people, you would probably walk out of your boss' office feeling a mix of negative emotions such as disappointment, annoyance, hopelessness - maybe even complete and utter exasperation!
What do you do when you get back to your desk? Do you call that headhunter who phoned you last week and tell him that you've changed your mind about looking for a new job? Do you spend the rest of the morning in a bad mood getting little or no work done? Or do you snap at the supervisor who comes to you with a simple question? How about all of the above?
What you've just done is react entirely on your perceptions of the situation. In essence, you've created a whole story in your head about how unappreciated you are by your boss and how your ideas are not valued. All of the negative thoughts running through your mind are actually based on your interpretations of the truth. Your thoughts (accurate or not) have created negative feelings which you are now acting on. Your thoughts (positive and negative) are the single driving force behind what you do or don't do.
In order to changing unwanted negative behaviors, whether it be related to your performance in the workplace, or in your personal life, you first need to get a better grip on those runaway negative thoughts.
Just how can I do this you ask?