Do you have areas in your life or work where you feel chronic resistance on the path to success and productivity? If so, that’s usually your intuition telling you that the real source of the problem is your mindset. But don’t despair because that’s good news. After all, if the root of the problem is within you that also means that the solution is totally at your command.
Here are five keys to mastering your mindset:
1. You Believe What You Perceive
The ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus taught his students that what happens to them is not as important as what they BELIEVE happens to them. I subscribe to that 100 percent. What you interpret inside your head helps determine and construct your external reality, and what you focus on – whether positive or negative – eventually manifests in your life and in your career. So be one of the rare ones who always flip the toggle to positive. You’ll invite desirable outcomes that directly lead to your success.
2. Lead with the Mind and All Else Will Follow
Mindset management is a vital, integral part of every successful leader’s professional development. I got passed over for my dream job early in my career, for example, and was terribly disappointed. But with encouragement from my mentor I decided not to succumb to negativity or identify myself as a loser and failure. Instead I leveraged the devastating experience to motivate me to change and develop in new ways and directions. Because of how I responded, that was one of the most valuable turning points in my life and it led straight into a Fortune 100 senior executive position. Your mind is your internal compass so set it in the direction you want to go!
3. Tap into Your Hidden Treasure
Once you push past your invisible internal barriers you’ll find that everything you strive for comes so much easier and more naturally – as if your career success were second nature. That’s because assets like creative problem solving, magnetic leadership, executive presence, laser focus, and positive influence are all part of your innate, authentic nature. Most people never activate them, however, because they don’t ever move past their fears and self-imposed restraints to mine the full reservoir of their potential. Dig deep, because the rewards are a goldmine.
4. Comfort is Overrated
As I often tell my clients, “Feeling comfortable should make you uneasy.” That may sound contradictory, but unless you’re stepping beyond your comfort level you’re not growing to get to the next level. With practice stretching past your perceived limits becomes a habit. Soon it will be an instinctual part of your personality, just like other leadership qualities you’ve developed that started off uneasily but evolved into part of who you are. Sure, you’ll have to go beyond what’s familiar and cozy. But you already do that on a micro level every morning when the alarm goes off, because you’ll never accomplish anything if you stay in bed all day. Now just learn to do it bigger so you can wake-up your entire career!
5. Internalize Success, Not Failure
When you subconsciously (or worse still, consciously) think about what you are not able to do, achieve, or have, that mental process puts you on a downward trajectory with the wind in your face. Flip it around, though, and you’ll see possibility, potential, and real progress. I love the quote by Henry Ford, “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret to success.” Prepare for the outcome you desire by visualizing it and believing in it and the hardest part of your race is won. Stop internalizing fear, failure, and low self confidence and start invigorating your mind in ways that empower your world.
Research confirms that only 20 percent of failure to succeed is based external factors. The vast majority is rooted in self-limitation. If 80 percent of the challenge is within your power to solve it, just imagine how much more you can achieve! Apply your mindset leverage to control that internal 80 percent and use it as fulcrum so the other 20 percent will be a walk in the park! Flip the easy switch and transform difficulties, frustrations, and roadblocks into synchronicity, progress, and acceleration toward greater success.
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS
1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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