310 - Pattern Interrupters - John Laurito

We all have an inner critic. At times this little voice can be helpful and keep us motivated toward goals, but this voice can often be more harmful than helpful, particularly when it gets into excessive negativity. Today, host John Laurito talks about interrupting that pattern of negative self-talk. There are many ways you can do so; figure out a way that works for you. The key is to stop negative thoughts in their tracks before it snowballs into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

[0:00] Intro

[1:27] Here’s an idea…

[3:48] Our brains run wild

[5:59] Don’t let a negative thought stay in your mind

[11:52] Here’s what you do

[13:27] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader. 

John All right, tomorrow’s leaders. How are you? Welcome back. I should say me. Welcome back. Because I’ve been gone for a little bit. I know these episodes. I try to get these things out every, you know, few days. So there’s not a big gap, but sometimes there’s a gap in my production of them. So I missed you. I missed you a lot, but I’m back. And some of you wonder, when do I do you know, what’s your schedule? When do you do these things? Honestly, I don’t have a schedule. I just do them whenever they come to mine, whenever I have blocks of time. I will tell you right now, it is 1105 at night on a Thursday night. And I actually have a flight tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. So I am leaving here at 315 and 4 hours and 10 minutes. Is that crazy? What the. But you know what? This is what I do and I love it. So, see, you know what I was thinking about the other day? No, you don’t know what I was thinking about, but I’m going to tell you what I was thinking about. I was thinking. About the TARP, I mean, the very, very top of the pyramids in Egypt. 

John And when I say the top, I mean, I’m thinking like, okay, what is the very highest brick top? I mean, literally that very top brick. What does part of the pyramid look like? I mean, the top like foot, whatever. Very, very peak pinnacle part of the pyramid. There are not too many people that have actually seen that. I mean, they just venture guess and say. I mean, I don’t know. I’ve never been there. I’ve never been to Egypt. I would love to go I’d love to see the pyramids. I don’t know if they run some kind of excursion where they take you to the top. You know you scale the outside of it and you climb to the top. But I was thinking, why wouldn’t it be cool to just touch the top of the pyramid? Just sit up on the top of the pyramid. I know there’s a movie, I think Transporter or something like that. I remember where the actor could transport himself anywhere and he was sitting on top of the pyramid. I’m like, Wow, that’s a really, really cool thought. So anyway, I don’t know. But then my mind was like, Well, how, why was I even thinking about that? Like, how do they even get to that? How do they even get to the point of thinking about the top of the pyramid? And I really don’t know. I don’t know. So have you ever been in that situation where you’re just wondering you have this thought in your deep in thought about something, you’re like, How did I get here? And sometimes it’s in such a fast period of time. Like, okay, like 3 minutes ago I was thinking about, you know, my plans for Saturday and then, you know, now I’m thinking about the top four kinds of on the pyramid. 

John I don’t get it. Like where how do they get from one another to another? And if you sometimes you can actually go back and say, oh, yeah, I was talking about Saturday. And then that made me think about the movie that I was going to see and that made me think about this and this made me think about that and that made me think about this. And you can actually connect the dots and trace it back. Sometimes you can’t like this situation. I just could not figure out how did I get to thinking about the top of the pyramid? Anyway, it’s kind of cool though and I fixated on it for a little bit and then I realized, well, I may never see that, but maybe, maybe I add that to my life’s goals and say, Hey, I want to see the top of the pyramid anyways. Not the point. My point is that our brains like run just totally wild. Like, honestly, our thoughts go in a zillion different directions and it’s I love what I do because what I do, I get to talk to incredibly and work with incredibly successful, talented people on a day and truly a daily basis. I, I’ve built great relationships with tons and tons of leaders truly all over the place in all different industries and all different companies in all different countries. So one of the great things about doing this podcast, is I get to talk to leaders in all different walks of life and truly all around the world and some unbelievably talented, talented people. So it’s kind of cool, you know, I get to pick people’s brains and just learn and share and all this kind of stuff. But it’s interesting, you know, what I realized is even the most successful people that are out there that I mean, the truth, you know, ultra, ultra-successful, talented, influential, impactful people, super achievers, they have a lot of the same thoughts floating to their head that everybody else does. 

John I mean, honestly, they truly have when you think about you know yourself, you know, individually think about the thoughts that run through your mind in a given day or moment. And, you know, unfortunately, most of the average person’s thoughts tend to be negative. They truly do. There’s just no we kind of fill ourselves with negative self-talk, and that’s just that’s natural. You know, we’re going into a situation we envision the worst case or worst-case scenario. What if this happens or what if that happens? We just tend on average, the average person tends to beat themselves up a lot. They tend to be pessimistic, they tend to envision, and sometimes totally unknowingly, a really bad future or outcome of a situation. And they fill their mind with these. This negative visualization. And the thing that I’ve realized, is the difference between people that are really successful, that move upwards and achieve so much and are leading these massive organizations that are doing just unbelievable things in a short period of time. You know, the difference is not that they don’t have these thoughts that are coming into their mind. It’s really not. It’s the fact that they just manage to get them out of their mind faster. They tend to be able to they don’t accept those thoughts coming in or staying in their mind very often. I’ll give you an example. I did a keynote a couple of weeks ago and it was an important keynote. All keynotes are important. And this one I had people in my circle that were in the audience and wanted to make sure I did a dynamite job. And in the morning I just found my mind kind of wandering into the wrong place. 

John And I usually tend to be really good at just blocking that out and not even letting it enter my mind, you know, the scenarios of which is what if I got up there and I just flopped? What if nobody was laughing when I wanted them to laugh or they just were bored or they were playing on their phones? Or What if I just lost my train of thought? Or just what if I feel like I’d just delivered a C minus, you know, performance? And, and I just, you know, started to think through this longer than I normally would. And I let it in my mind. I let it stay in my mind longer than it should now. Fortunately, I became very aware of it and suddenly became aware of it. I’m like, What am I doing? Like, you know, this is not how I do this. I mean, I’ve got a whole, you know, the process of just thinking of consciously thinking about the desired outcome and fixating on that positive, desired outcome. And here I am letting all these negative thoughts come into play. And I’m realizing, you know what everybody does as everybody goes through this. But the difference is how good are you at just pushing those negative thoughts out? And there’s a technique that I’ve used and learned, and I got this from Tony Robbins years and years ago. And in all it is just learning and knowing how to interrupt that thought pattern, truly. I mean, just and when I say interrupt, it would be like somebody is literally talking to you, spewing negativity, and you just slap him in the head literally, and you walk away. You just shut down the conversation. You do not even listen to another word. 

John You don’t let them finish their sentence. You don’t respond. You just shut them down right then. And the beautiful thing about this is it works so well. You don’t have to worry about being polite. You can be rude as you want. You just shut that negative self-talk down and all it is is you have to interrupt that thought pattern, you have to break it. And there are all kinds of different ways you can do it. All you can do, is just change your body posture. If you’re sitting down and you’ve got these jump to your feet, literally run, walk outside, whatever you got to do, think about something. Open up the computer and Google something. Put a movie on whatever you going to do, listen to music, say something, and start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Start singing a song, start you know, making up a rap, whatever you get to do. But just interrupt that thought process. You don’t even have to focus on changing it from negative to positive. Just stop the negative and then allow the positive thoughts to come back. And if they don’t, in another negative thought then interrupted as well. I used to you, I used to wear a rubber band around my wrist, and literally every time I had a negative thought creeping in my mind and I was aware of it, I would take that rubber band and I would pull it out really far and I would snap it back on to the inside of my wrist. And it hurt. It was a thing and it started to create like this, this almost this pattern that when I started to think about negative things that I would associate with real physical pain and it actually was unbelievably effective. Right? That was my way of just interrupting the thought pattern. 

John I couldn’t continue that negative thought when I had this pain. Now, my wrist, my mind was broken from that thought and now directed to the pain that I had on my wrist. And at the same time, it was building this negative connection of consequence. When my mind was going that way, it worked really, really well. So when encouraging you to just think about is number one, accept the fact that everybody has negative thoughts. When you look at somebody that’s ultra, ultra, ultra-successful, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have negative thoughts coming in. It just means. They’re better at pushing them out. That’s it. That’s truly all it is. And trust me on this, because I’ve asked these questions directly to these unbelievably successful people and great leaders, and they still have those thoughts. And it doesn’t matter if they’ve been doing it for a year or ten years or 20 years or 30 years, it still happens. World leaders. It still happens. It’s unbelievable. But they just get better at pushing that out. You don’t think that a world leader, a leader of a country, when they’re getting up in front of their audience or they’re going to the U.N. or they’re going to somewhere, and they’ve got some kind of important engagement, they’re meeting another world leader. You don’t think that they have some kind of negative thoughts that creep in? They may not tell you that. They may not show it, but they do. They’re just better at how they handle it or manage it. That’s it. So my message to you today is just and figure something out. I don’t care if it’s snap in your finger if it’s yelling if it’s, you know, using the rubber band technique, whatever it is, just break the thought pattern. 

John Interrupt the thought pattern. Just slap that person in the head. That said, inner voice. That starts to go in a negative direction. Because what I will tell you is what you say to yourself and repeatedly say to yourself will come true. I promise you that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I think negative things consistently. I will have negative things happen. If I think about failure consistently, I will fail consistently more times than I will not if I think about the outcome that I don’t want. I am more likely over time to achieve that outcome that I don’t want versus if my brain is fixated on the positive outcome. But in order to do that, you have to break the negative pattern. So I’m here to help you with this. Believe me, this is one of these things. It’s been a life long journey to try to figure this out. And again, I’ve just it’s it’s my own experience as well as talking to zillions other people this work. So reach out to me. I’m here to help you. That’s my food for thought for you today on this random Thursday night. I hope you’re enjoying your week. 

John I hope you are enjoying your weekend whenever you’re listening to this. As always, greatly appreciate you. Like share, subscribe, and go down below. Give a five-star review and we will see you next time. Thanks, everybody. 

John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!

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