Neutral thinking is an alternative to positive or negative thinking. This guide will explore how to learn the power of neutral thinking and why doing so will create a positive impact on your life.
In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients improve their mindsets, so they can achieve everything they want in their lives.
That’s why I wanted to explore this topic with you.
So, let’s dive in.
Neutral Thinking Meaning
This concept, created by Trevor Moawad, is essentially a middle ground between positive and negative thinking.
It means to accept reality as it is, rather than dressing it up with positive or negative spin.
Who Was Trevor Moawad?
Trevor Moawad is a world-renowned mental conditioning expert, widely credited with creating the concept of neutral thinking. He has worked with a myriad of successful individuals, helping to improve the performance of Navy SEALS, CEOs and elite athletes among others.
He is well-known for working with NFL quarterback Russell Wilson during his time playing for the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson was the Seattle Seahawks quarterback when they obliterated the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the 2014 Super Bowl. It was one of the great demolitions of the National Football League – and Wilson has publicly spoken about the impact of Moawad on his mindset.
Sports Illustrated has dubbed Wilson as “The World’s Greatest Brain Trainer”, so he’s not short of accolades.
Trevor Moawad has written a book on the power of neutral thinking titled ‘It Takes What It Takes’, which is packed with real-life data and anecdoes including how he worked with Russell Wilson before the Super Bowl.
Neutral Thinking Examples
Before we explore some methods to help you develop a neutral mindset, let’s explore some basic examples of what that looks like in reality.
Neutral Thinking In Sports
Your team has lost five games on the spin, or maybe they’ve given up a huge lead.
The team could dwell on their losing streak, which would most likely lead to a continuing sub-par performance.
They can force themselves to think positively, but that can be detrimental too, as we’ll explore shortly.
Neutral thinking would involve focusing on the truth of the present moment – and realizing that the outcome of their next game will depend on how they play NOW.
Neutral Thinking In Business
Should you lay off your staff? Should you quit your job? Should your new branch be in New York or Miami? Neutral thinking in business helps you to make decisions based on logic, not your feelings.
Not dwelling on the past is key here too. Just because one thing worked or didn’t work before, it doesn’t mean that’s the case now.
Neutral Thinking In Relationships
A neutral mindset is key when deciding whether to stay in a relationship or quit and find someone else.
It’s easy to stay in a toxic relationship, because you’re attached to what it was like before, but is that relevant to your relationship in the coming years? Most likely not.
How Do You Practice Neutral Thinking?
Let’s explore some basic mindsets and ideas to help you practice neutral thinking throughout your everyday life.
1. Accept Reality
Whether something good or bad happens, accept that it has happened. Review the situation objectively.
2. Look For The Facts
Worry about facts, not opinions. Question whether your beliefs are objectively true.
Related Content: Concrete Thinking – Important Facts
3. Focus On The Present, Not The Past
It’s no good letting the past dictate your present behavior, especially if you’re in a rut or on a losing streak. The past may be real, but it’s not predictive of the future.
4. Forget About Positive Thinking
Almost everyone accepts that negativity is unhelpful.
Positive thinking can be detrimental too though, because it has the tendency to crumble the moment something goes wrong.
Even with a positive mindset, your success would be based on how you feel, limiting your ability to control the consistency of your performance. With neutral thinking, athletes are more able to drill their behavior into their muscle memory and perform consistently without being hampered by their feelings.
Related Content: Ways To Overcome Shallow Thinking
5. Make Decisions Based On Your Current Situation
Your investment portfolio is at $100,000, having dropped 50% in a week? You’re tied at 3 goals each, having been 3-0 up at half-time? The second half of these sentences shouldn’t matter. Your previous performance shouldn’t determine your future performance, especially if you’re down bad. Your decisions should be based on where you’re at now, not where you were before.
6. Focus On Your First Steps
It’s no use getting overwhelmed by looking too high up your mountain of tasks. Just focus on what needs to be done next and trust in your abilities to complete other tasks once they come up.
7. Keep It Simple
If you’re overcomplicating things or overplanning for what might happen, there’s a good chance you’re stuck in negativity. By keeping your immediate goals simple and actionable, you’ll prepare yourself well to avoid negative thinking and remain in neutral thinking.
Related Content: Detail Oriented vs Big Picture
8. Limit Your Negative Language
Moawad and his team have completed research on the importance of the words you use. They found data suggesting that negative thinking increases the chances of a negative outcome by 400-700%, while this increases to 1,000% when your words are fuelled by negativity. So, mind your language!
Ideally, you wouldn’t ever listen to the negative voices in your head. But if they do pop up, it would appear beneficial to keep your feelings to yourself.
9. Stay Calm
A calm head. Deep breaths. A steady heart rate. These all increase your ability to think neutrally and make decisions based on reality. Meditation is a useful practice to control your emotions, separate yourself from your feelings and make smart logical decisions.
10. Try New Things
The inspiration to try new things should be a pleasant side-effect of a neutral mindset. After all, if you’re doing what you and everybody has always done (even if it doesn’t serve you), you’re most likely being dictated by the past. If you’re inspired to act on a new idea, that’s a good sign that you’re acting from a neutral mindset.
11. Neutral Thinking Books
To learn more about the power of neutral thinking, read the book ‘It Takes What It Takes’ by Trevor Moawad.
Moawad has worked as a mental conditioning coach for countless world-class athletes, entrepreneuers and Navy SEALS. He references several tales of driving these individuals to success to back up his points on the power of a neutral mindset.
12. Neutral Thinking PDF
There are PDFs of Moawad’s other book ‘Getting To Neutral’ available online. Simply search for ‘Coach Trevor Moawad Getting To Neutral PDF’.
13. Neutral Thinking Exercises
Neutral thinking exercises don’t have to be complicated. In fact, a couple of simple questions will help ensure you remain in neutral thinking.
- What is the situation I’m in right now? (review it objectively)
- What can I do right now to improve the situation and achieve success?
Thanks for reading my guide.
If you’d like to make a point or ask a question about neutral thinking, feel free to do so in the comments below.
This is your chance to contribute to the discussion. It would be great to hear your insights on this topic.