Have you ever found it frustrating and downright unbelievable when someone says something to you like, “Well if you want it bad enough it will happen?” And all the time all you can think about is how dumb that sounds to you because so much of what you want depends on other people to make it possible.
Take a job for instance. You find a posting for some job you think you’d really do well in and the pay is pretty good too. Not only would you do well in the job, but it’s something you’d really enjoy doing. But once you fire off the resume, you feel it’s totally out of your hands, and your fate now rests in the hands of someone at that company who will or won’t call you for an interview. And furthermore, even if you get an interview and feel you aced it, it’s out of your control again as to whether or not they actually hire you because you can’t control how other people think and the decisions they make.
So when someone tells you, “You are what you think”, and you’re thinking how unfair the job market is, and how your starting to think you’re a failure, it can seem like a slap in the face and the dumb advice. After all, if you start thinking you are going to get a certain job, that doesn’t automatically guarantee success does it? So why do people say that and what do they really mean when you figure they are really thinking they are being helpful?
Simply put, those that say things like, “You are what you think”, believe that thoughts lead to actions, and actions determine outcomes. So if you want a positive outcome, you have to perform the actions necessary to bring about the outcome, and the actions can’t be put in place unless the right thoughts are there that have to happen first. Think negatively and you’ll likely take short-cuts or put little effort into applying for a job. The result will be that because your thoughts were negative, your actions weak, the result will be no interview, or if granted an interview, you’ll be ruled out quickly.
On the other hand, if you find a job you want bad enough and really think this is what you’ve been waiting for, you may just start to do more because you believe in your mind, “THIS IS IT!” That initial thought has to be supported by a further thought that prompts you to take action; research the job and the company, write a cover letter introducing yourself and your value to the company, targeting a resume that specifically matches the requirements of the job to your own skills and experience. Then the job once applied to gets followed up with some enthusiasm. Phone calls to ensure they got it, a request for an interview, and at the interview, your anticipation and enthusiasm for the job shines through because you’re thinking all along how close you are to claiming this job as your own. And when the interview has concluded, you follow up the interview with a note of appreciation and provide more convincing documentation that you are the right person for the job.
Now contrast this with someone who is given a job posting which is something they are trained to do, and upon looking it over, they furrow their eyebrows, screw up their face, sigh and say, “What’s the point? I probably won’t get it anyhow, but I’ll apply.” That negative thought process will translate into an application sure; but the application will become a chore with little real enthusiasm for the work it will take to submit a dynamic and targeted application.
Now I’ve run into people who have terrible resume’s with spelling and grammar errors but they think they will get a job interview with all their hearts. You can’t only have a positive thought process but lack real skills necessary to compete with the best. You need that great winning attitude matched up with solid work skills and a polished, professional application.
I had a guy I was trying to explain this to once tell me that I was wrong. His example was that he doesn’t think he’ll win the lottery but he buys a ticket every week because he might, and no amount of thinking he’ll win improves his odds. In this example he’s absolutely right. Every ticket has an equal chance, and if interviewers just randomly picked a resume from a pile like they do lottery numbers, I’d be out of a job as an Employment Counsellor! But employers take time to review applications, sorting through each to see which matches best with their needs. They read not only matching skills and qualifications but also have people in to match up personality, enthusiasm for the work to be done, check out your potential influence – negative, neutral or positive on their existing workforce. Numbers in a lottery have no such luck.
If you want, look at 2014 as a chance to start with a fresh, winning attitude. Do your best to think positively and then take actions that support this thought process. Get help with your new mindset but sitting down with those who can help you stay positive and avoid folks who are negative and pull you down.