Whether we like it or not, we all have tapes playing in our minds.
The question is: who recorded it and is the information accurate?
Maybe your tape features your voice reminding you of all the fantastic things you have done and encouraging you to tackle more. Or, your own words could be holding you back, reminding you of past mistakes or creating anxiety over future failures.
Perhaps your voice doesn’t appear on the tape at all. Instead, someone else’s voice accelerates your drive or diminishes your efforts.
Maybe it’s a mixture of all the above that takes up residence in your mind.
When I think about the tapes that play in our minds, I’m reminded of the importance of mantras. Earlier this week, I chatted with my friend, former JetBlue Airways Chairman, Joel Peterson, about how a few well-articulated mantras can help us overcome obstacles and rewire how we see ourselves, others, and the world around us.
Here are a few examples of obstacles you might face and a mantra to adopt:
- Struggle with your ego getting in the way? Remind yourself that “it isn’t about me, it’s about us.”
- Spend more time talking than you do listening? Tell yourself, “I have two ears and one mouth; I will use them proportionally.”
- Find that your emotions can get the best of you? Repeat this, “I am not my emotions.”
- Feel like you aren’t good enough or are an imposter? Fill your mind instead with this saying; “I belong at the table and will do my best to contribute in real and meaningful ways.”
I encourage you to think about obstacles you face in your work and in your life and identify a few specific mantras that you can repeat to yourself. These daily reminders can help you to start to rewire how you see yourself, others, and the world around you.
This week’s tool and video invite you to create your own mantras to overcome your obstacles. Think of three obstacles that you face and identify one mantra for each. Then regularly repeat the mantra to reframe your thinking.
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.