Over the years I’ve learnt that we think in two very different ways and that difference is pretty consistent amongst us. There is one type of thought that can really serve us. And another type that can limit our potential if we aren't mindful of it .
So what are these different types of thought? I'm going to call them 'first' and 'second' thoughts.
That 'first' thought. You may recognise it can go something like this:
"Ooh, I am going to do ‘X’"
"I’ve got a great idea"
"I’m going to have a conversation with X about"
"‘X’ is what we should do"
"‘X’ is what I will do"
"‘X’ is what needs to happen"
These instinctive first thoughts come from your instinct, your intuition, your gut, your subconscious mind. They are often ideas, strategies, actions, possibilities. Things that are important. Things you want to do. Things that if listened to spur you forward.
Then we have the second type of thought, which you may recognise can go something like this.
"Oh, but what if..."
"No wait, you can’t because"
"But what will X think"
"But what if it doesn’t work"
"Oh I shouldn’t because"
"No point, you tried that before"
"What if you look stupid"
"You’re not good enough for"
NLP teaches us that the second thought, even though potentially limiting or unproductive has a positive intention. i.e. your self-protection or security. And in my experience it can cause us to limit ourselves or question ourselves if listened to too much. What many of us do is we listen to that second thought for too long, giving the thought energy - playing it over and over. It drowns out the first thought and stops us taking that much needed instinctive action.
Listening to these second thoughts can cause procrastination and emotional states like worry, nervousness, even anxiety or depresssion. They are often linked to beliefs within us, about ourselves that can potentially limit us.
I've noticed that those who are most successful and productive listen to and trust their first thought. They recognise that it comes from their instinct, their gut - their soul even. They notice the positive intention of the second thought, understanding its caution but they don’t give it any energy, instead taking what useful within its information, and giving energy to, listening to and trusting the first. People who listen to their first thought often have a good sense of their own wellbeing.
Just this simple understanding and self awareness of the two types of thought they have, helps them and can transform their productivity.
So which thought do you tend to listen to, most? First or Second?
Imagine, if you truly listened to, trusted and gave energy to your first thought...
Imagine what you might do.
Imagine the possibilities.
Trust your first thought.