My co-worker looked at me and said “If you don’t stop saying that, you ARE going to make yourself fall.”
My first reaction to this was “Shut up old man.” Followed by “Thanks for your sympathy.”
I was participating in a relay race. The race was between different departments and I had volunteered to join the team representing my department. I was very nervous. I have never been really athletic. I was definitely not a distance runner, but I had been a fairly good sprinter. I think my leg of the relay was probably 100 yards.
The afternoon of the race I was anxious and nervous. I really wanted to make my team proud. I hoped I would not be in last place. (There is a lesson there we will come back to another day, why would I hope not to be last, why wouldn’t I strive to be first?)
When it was time for my leg of the relay and the baton was passed to me, I ran my heart out. And as I crossed the finish line, I slipped on some lose dirt and wiped out in a spectacular fashion! I had some scratches and a bruised ego. I also turned in a pretty good time!
So, when I said “I will probably fall”, was I tapping into intuition? NO! This was not me demonstrating the ability to foresee the future. This was me charting the course of my future by putting out an expectation. I put the possibility of falling into action by obsessing about it. (And trust me, I was very nervous about falling and I allowed it to take up way too much of my thought space.)
See what the ‘old man’ I worked with was telling me was that I had the opportunity to influence my outcome. By broadcasting my negative thoughts, I set an expectation and created my outcome. Of course I was young and arrogant and smarter than that ‘old man’ at the office. It took me a few years to begin to understand.
Our thought patterns do translate into outcomes. So if you go into situations expecting a negative outcome, you will see that outcome. If you move forward with positive intentions, you will see a positive outcome.
Thank you ‘old man’!