Project Practitioners > The Power of Our Thoughts for Creating Personal Power in Tough Situations

The Power of Our Thoughts for Creating Personal Power in Tough Situations

By ProjectConnections Staff

Noted life coach Steve Chandler teaches that we basically have two choices for how we deal with and respond to life:  we can either be owners (in control, deliberate and actively creating our life experience) or victims (individuals who merely react to life and see themselves as having no other choice).  

There is much wisdom in this simple distinction.  A basic error many of us make on a daily basis is thinking that external circumstances or events are responsible for how we feel, and thus we often feel that we have to wait for external factors to change before we can feel better.   

WRONG!  Our thoughts (not external circumstance) determine how we feel, which then often determines the actions we take (and even our capacity for action), in an endless creative loop. The beautiful part of this is that while we usually cannot control external circumstances or events, we can (to a much greater extent than we sometimes realize or admit) control and influence our thoughts, perceptions and interpretations of them, which controls how we feel and what we then do.

The simple reality is that our life experiences AND our ability to be productive and effective in every area are affected by this cycle.  It's essential to remember that we DO have the power to choose how we interpret and react.  New responses to events create new experiences and thus new “realities.”  To a great extent then, our experience of life is really created moment-to-moment.  There are no “right” or “wrong” reactions – just reactions that are useful and helpful to us as we go about our daily lives - rather than being discouraging and counterproductive.

Shakespeare was right on when he said that “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” The brain reacts to thoughts, not events; to perceptions, not situations.  Every day we can choose to NOT be an ameoba-like stimulus response mechanism!  Instead we can each act as an owner in control of how we respond to the inevitable challenges we face.  As Chandler says, “It’s all just data until you assign a value or a meaning to it, but it’s essential to remember that YOU assign the value”.   There's a great deal of personal power in that thought!

Related Articles: - Creativity is the root of innovation...but it requires a suspension of disbelief. - Sometimes the most effective solutions are the simplest ones. - Three steps to getting unstuck when facing a challenge or a problem.

Related Templates: - Six different problem-solving tools help you do everything from determining root causes to assessing possible solutions, and outline a basic problem-solving strategy so you can be sure you've covered all the bases. - Capture critical personal goals, prioritize them, and develop personal action plans aligned with those priorities.

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