Do you sometimes find yourself in a high stakes situation, and every thought that comes to mind is about exactly the outcome you DO NOT want?  For example, preparing for an important presentation, you begin imagining the audience asking questions you can’t answer.  Or, you’re planning to ask for a raise you know you deserve, but the picture in your head is of your boss saying, “No!  Are you crazy?!”   Or you’re trying to decide whether to take on a new role, or step out in an unfamiliar way while thoughts of failure grip you and hold on tight.

Well, I have 2 words for you:  STOP IT!  You’re priming your path to failure.  You’re selling yourself short rather than giving yourself the chance to succeed.  Instead, give yourself a jolt of positive energy generated by thoughts of previous successes, or by envisioning yourself achieving exactly the outcome you do want.  Then, take that positive mindset into the presentation, negotiation or new situation.  

It’s important to learn to recognize when you’re getting caught in negative thought spirals that sap your energy and your confidence.  This kind of thinking also results in the kind of stress that doesn’t move you closer to your goals.  Rather it pushes you farther away from them and farther away from the success you deserve.

Like successful athletes, you can create your competitive advantage by using the power of your mind to recall successful past performances or to envision the victory you’re about to create.