A blog about leadership and confidence.

by Lisa Hinz     •      Leadership Development

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Choose Your Thoughts Wisely

Choose thoughts wisely

“…the group who only MENTALLY rehearsed the same exercises demonstrated a 22% increase in muscle strength.” The mind is incredible.  This is what happened… 👇

When I read this study several years ago, I found it fascinating. It was published in a 1992 Journal of Neurophysiology and there are many newer studies out there based on these findings.

It shows the power of the mind.

Subjects were divided into three groups:

1st group was asked to exercise by contracting and relaxing one finger on their left hand for five one-hour training sessions per week for four weeks.

2nd group mentally rehearsed the same exercises, on the same timetable, without physically activating any muscles in the finger.

3rd group exercised neither their fingers nor their minds.

At the end of the study, this is what the scientists found:

The first set of participants had their finger strength tested against the control group. The group who did the actual exercises exhibited 30% greater finger strength than those in the control group, which is no surprise.

What I found surprising is that the group who only MENTALLY rehearsed the same exercises demonstrated a 22% increase in muscle strength.


The power of the mind is incredible.

Imagine what could be accomplished if you focused on thoughts that served you in a productive way.

Let’s take the example of unproductive self-talk:

  • “I don’t think I can do this.”
  • “I’m not experienced enough.”
  • “I’m only here because of luck.”

If you focus on those unproductive thoughts repeatedly, what do you think the output might be? 

Now, imagine if you replaced those thoughts with more constructive thoughts:

  • “I’m fully capable.”
  • “I am resourceful and can figure it out.”
  • “I bring great value and experience to this role.”

If you were able to focus on these types of thoughts repeatedly, what do you think the output might be?

I work with clients on becoming aware of the thoughts that are holding them back and ways to manage them. Their unproductive thoughts can create roadblocks and unnecessary stress in their lives. They don’t always realize how often their thoughts are focused in this one direction. Their vision for their lives becomes narrowed because they’ve trained themselves to think that way. When a person gets stuck in that way of thinking, it becomes hard to see the bigger picture and the options and solutions that exist.

Once they develop an awareness and learn how to manage those unproductive thoughts, a new world of possibility opens for them.

It’s transformative.

What thoughts occupy your mind most of the time?

Choose wisely.

Lisa Hinz Writing

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