Why does it always seem to rain when you just washed your car? Why is it that, when you’re in a hurry, you manage to hit every red light for blocks?
Well, statistically speaking, it does not rain more often when you wash your car. (If it did, trust me – everyone in drought-stricken areas would be washing their cars in their driveways on cue in the morning and swimming in newly-refilled reservoirs by the afternoon.)
Why Your Brain Looks for Patterns
Truthfully, there have probably been just as many times you breezed through a green light as there were times you had to stop at every intersection. You just did not notice it because it did not seem important at the time.
The human brain likes to look for patterns. Your brain also tends to notice things you have strong emotions about. Whether your emotions are positive or negative, your mind pays attention.
Brains look for patterns because, throughout human history, noticing patterns – such as changes in seasons that told our ancestors when to plant crops, or how a sky looked before snow – could mean the difference between life and death.
Patterns, then, are really a form of mental shorthand. They help us process information quickly and make sense of the world around us.
In many cases, though, the patterns and associations we think we see have nothing to do with reality whatsoever. We have simply noticed or focused on an event and created a mental pattern/association based on our mindset at the time. The thing is, you can either take control of your mindset or you can let it control you.
Just because something unpleasant happens does not make it a pattern. Just because you lose one sale doesn’t mean you’ll lose the next one. Unlike sitcoms, life does not have to repeat the same old tired clichés every day. Unless, that is, you don’t change the channel.
You Are in Control
If something bad happens in a meeting with a prospect, it may suck in that moment, but that does not mean you have to relive it over and over. Not to be Mary Poppins here, but you really do get to choose how you feel about something – as well as how you view it.
And, ultimately, what you do about it.
Lucky people are no more or less lucky than you or anyone else. They simply tend to seek advantages and see solutions where others do not. And they have the mental toughness to see things through.
Jamie Crosbie is founder and CEO of ProActivate and an accomplished senior executive with a proven record of sales leadership success. A certified Peak Performance Mindset trainer, Jamie helps companies of all sizes increase their sales productivity by training them to think – and therefore act – differently. Contact her today to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org or 214/720-9922.