As part of a research project, I’ve been studying up on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT); I’m finding the study to be exceedingly interesting and insightful. One concept that comes from CBT is that our thoughts determine our emotions. Our emotions, once established, affect our thoughts. And so on.
For example, let’s say I’m reading an online article about the billions of dollars in wasted government spending. I’m reading via my cognition (thoughts), but as I receive with my thoughts it is affecting my feelings (mood). Now let’s say I move on to the next article about how bullying is on the rise in elementary schools. My mood, already fouled by the first article, changes how I take in (think about) this next article. I am already inclined to be negative. Which affects my mood even further, and so on.
How is your mood today? If it’s not all it should be you might need to change your thoughts. Try reading (cognition) something inspirational, or call someone who you know will lift your spirits. Send an encouraging note to someone else, or make it a point to compliment the next person you see. All of those actions are based in your cognitive mind, but just committing to any of those actions (cognition) will change how you feel (mood).
Notice something important about the words in bold italics in the paragraph above: they are all verbs. Our thoughts drive our decisions, and our decisions lead to action. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions.
Why is this discussion so critical? Because the customer who comes through the door has been hearing and seeing all kinds of negative things (cognition), and thus they could be in a sour mood (feelings). But if you approach them with something positive to think about you just might get that bad mood turned around.
That’s when you change their world!