How to Think Better: thoughts

Reduce, reuse, recycle. We’ve all heard that expression, right?

The context is typically about thrift, being green, and simplifying. I came across that phrase in my reading the other day and saw it in a new light. The phrase can be applied to our thoughts just as easily as our physical possessions or consumption.

Let’s see how this might work.

Reduce: Decrease limiting beliefs and false assumptions

We all have them—those disempowering things we tell ourselves and think when we have a setback, disappointment, or are stuck. It could be saying, “I’m not creative enough“, “I’m no good at networking” or “I just can’t win“. Limiting beliefs and false assumptions are very individualized, so I don’t know what yours are specifically, but I bet you have at least one or two.

Is there a limiting belief you’re willing to reduce today?

Reuse: Apply certitudes about one area of your life to others

The idea is to “reuse” ways of thinking that work well in one area of your life by applying them to another area

For instance, I have a client who’s a whiz at networking and making connections with others, but wilts at the thought of cold calling. How can she take the fact that she’s good at something (networking and connecting) and reuse that self-knowledge when it comes time to pick up the phone and cold call?

Is there self-knowledge you’re willing to reuse to bolster an area of your life in which you feel less competent or fearful?

Recycle: Give away your thoughts to others

Share what you know. Don’t hoard your knowledge. I’m a big believer in giving away what you know and have witnessed time and again that more comes back to you by doing so. We are shaped by the sharing—not simply because it’s the right thing to do, but because our ideas grow bigger and better the more we open them to the world of others’ input and expand their reach.

Is there knowledge you have right now that you’re willing to share?

How can you apply reduce, reuse, and recycle to your ways of thinking?