Have you ever heard the term “Stinkin’ Thinkin’?” Well, traditionally stinking thinking was thought of as a way for others to influence you, positively or negatively.
Stinking thinking has been used by mass media organizational management and advertising to create biases and influence your decision-making ability for a long time.
Psychology Todayhas a great definition of Stinking Thinking “Language fosters a bad way of thinking that makes you believe you will fail, that bad thing will happen to you, or that you are not a very good person.”
Big businesses are not the only ones who employ these tactics. We often use these same tactics on ourselves.
All of these are examples of our inner dialogue using stinking thinking to manipulate our actions and outcomes.
You may be thinking that the negative self-talk isn’t a big deal. However, there are plenty of people who will disagree with you.
Guess what? The more you tell yourself something, the more it becomes a reality. A true belief you hold about yourself. If you believe, you are capable and worthy of your job, your actions are going to reflect those beliefs. You are going to look or ways that show how capable and worthy you are.
You will even perform better at tasks than those with more experience than those who have more experience. Psychology Today notes that overconfident people are evaluated with higher abilities even by objective parties.
Research also shows that when you have negative self-thoughts, like those associated with shame, you tend to have behaviors that will reinforce those thoughts. You become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Undermining your efforts to change and even participating in self-sabotaging behavior are all characteristics of how your beliefs shape your behavior.
This starts the nasty, or positive, (depending on your thought train) cycle.
As crazy, as this sounds follow me on two thought trains. First, we are going to follow the thought train from a person who believes they are competent at work and a good person at heart.
Now let’s look at someone who doesn’t think they are smart enough for their job and they feel shame about their intelligence.
Negative performance reviews about the amount of work done reinforce the idea that they are too dumb to have the job in the first place.
Are these overly simplistic? Yes. However, don’t discount the theory. Forbes Magazinenotes that you draw conclusions about yourself by looking at evidence that reinforces your beliefs. This phenomenon is called confirmation bias, and we all have it.
If we believe something, we look for ways to prove it. For the successful person, each good deed is proof of their worth. For the individual who is telling himself or herself they don’t deserve their position, each mistake they make is another nail in the proverbial coffin.
Your thoughts will determine your behavior and shape the way you view yourself. The amazing thing about this is you can set intentions daily to think great and positive things about yourself. If you suffer from stinkin’ thinkin’, then it may take practice. But you too, can become a master of confidence and eventually your performance will follow.