Two people running both look the same. They pump their arms the same way. They fight with all their strength. They inhale and exhale and struggle against burning muscles.
But one is chasing and one is fleeing.
Are you running toward your goals or away from your fears? What’s driving you—a thirst for success or a fear of failure? The difference may seem subtle, but the effects of positive thinking versus negative thinking are huge. And when I say positive thinking, I don’t mean repeating, “You can do it! You’re the best!” to yourself all day. Let me give an illustration from my softball career.
If I stepped in the box and thought, Don’t swing at the rise ball, all my brain registered was rise ball. Inevitably, I would swing at the rise ball because that’s what I was thinking about. If I stepped in and thought, Look for a down pitch, my brain would focus on the strike zone, and I would have no problem laying off something above my waist.
Your brain doesn’t understand negatives. It understands images. Instead of thinking about what you don’t want, think about what you do want. [Click to Tweet]
Let’s put this in writing terms.
I work hard because I’m afraid my work will never be published.
I work hard because I want my work to be published.
I write every day to keep from writing nothing.
I write every day to improve and create.
Keep in mind, these may not be things that we actually articulate. These may be deep, subconscious motivations. So ask yourself the question, What motivates me? Are you acting out of desire to accomplish your goals and dreams? Or fear of failure?
Are you fleeing or chasing?