The Toilet Bowl Syndrome

Posted by Todd Smith

For years, I have been teaching salespeople and entrepreneurs about what I call the “toilet bowl syndrome.” Here’s how it works. When you get down for whatever reason, your sales almost always follow. When your sales and resulting income drop, you get down even more. When this happens, you get even more depressed, resulting in a further drop in sales and income, and the vicious cycle continues.

The only way to stop this downward spiral is to take action. YOU have to rip yourself out of the ditch of sorrow and self-pity and take control of your thoughts and emotions.

While this lesson has historically applied to salespeople, I believe it’s one that has universal relevance, regardless of your occupation or career.

When you allow yourself to emotionally get down, every part of your life will likely suffer. It will be almost impossible to focus on advancing your career. Your home life and relationships will suffer because no one enjoys being around people who are an emotional drain. Even your health is at risk.

I realize taking control of your emotions is easier said than done, but unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from controlling your thoughts; you are in control of your emotions. And if you think you are not in control, then who is? If you don’t change your thinking, how can your life improve? If you don’t rip yourself out of the ditch, who will?

When I get down for any reason (and I do get down), I realize if I don’t use my self-control and take responsibility for my thoughts and my emotions, I will begin a downward spiral of negativity that will soon begin to affect all aspects of my life. Sure, I can justify my feelings of depression until I am blue in the face, but the facts don’t change. I am the only one in control of what I think, and if I don’t do something about it soon, it will only get harder.

Reversing the spiral of negative thinking will be difficult initially. It’s as if you are fighting a strong current in the ocean. But the sooner you get started, the better off you’ll be. You’ll make progress, one stroke at a time. It’s like putting a live frog in cold water and turning on the heat. It is a lot easier for the frog to get out when the water is cold than when it is boiling.

Focus on your blessings and you’ll begin to see positive things occur. Small improvements will increase your happiness and new doors of opportunity will open for you as you begin to attract like-minded people into your life.

If you are struggling with negative thoughts and emotions, let me offer you five suggestions:

1.  Read The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. I listened to this book on tape many years ago and it has had a profound impact on my thinking and overall attitude.

2.  Read my post, Count Your Blessings. This will help you realize you are truly blessed and have so much for which to be thankful.

3.  Read It’s a New Day. This post will highlight the importance of learning from your disappointments and then moving on and not allowing them to negatively affect your life.

4.  Read Is Your Attitude Helping or Hurting You? (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). This three-part series is packed with ideas that will help you take control of your attitude.

5.  Read Who Do I Have to Become to Get What I Want? This will help you start thinking about the person you need to become to move your life forward.

6.  Read The Power of Self-talk. This post will bring attention to the critical importance of controlling your internal dialogue.

Remember, when you get down (and we all do), you have to be the one to pull yourself out of your funk or you may find your life swirling like a toilet bowl in negativity. Don’t feel sorry for yourself and hope that someone is going to come along and help you out of your doldrums. This decision is up to you. It’s your life.

Let me encourage you to take responsibility for thoughts and emotions and begin to run your life, rather than letting negative emotions run you. Let this be the day when you step up to the plate and say enough is enough; I am done feeling crappy; and I am going to take steps to change the downward spiral of negativity in my life.

As my favorite mentor, Jim Rohn, has said, “Disgust and resolve are two of the great emotions that lead to change.” Use these two emotions to change your life.

You are in control of your emotions and thoughts! They won’t change on their own. You are the ONLY person who can change them.

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About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.

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