A successful mindset is the difference between doing and thinking. When I first left the corporate world, I would come up with all these great ideas but then I would talk myself out of them. I would think of all the reasons the idea or I would fail. I had an abundance of ideas but no ability to act.I remember my business coach asking me. “What would you do, if you knew you couldn’t fail? What do you want your legacy to be?” Well, I guess it’s time to go deep. I want to be the person who helps thousands of female entrepreneurs start and grow their business by giving them affordable and constant help. Something that I was struggling to find.
This time I pushed aside all voices of doubt and used these 10 techniques to reprogram my mindset for success and ultimately my happiness.
“Your destiny is determined by the choices you make. Choose now. Choose well.” – Anthony Robbins
1) Make a List of Possible Successes. So often we focus on all the possible negative outcomes, we forget to think about the potential positive ones. Create a list of small and big successes which can include places you want to speak, press coverage, partnerships, etc. These are all the small steps you need to take to get to your bigger goal. The Goal Pyramid by Matthew Michaelwicz, serial entrepreneur, author of Life in Half a Second, has a great diagram of milestones you need to reach to get to your goal. Make a list or pyramid so you have both the mini and large milestones in mind.
2) Dismiss Negative Thoughts. In a typical day we have about 50,000 thoughts and feelings, of which 70% are negative. I realized I had the power to control my thoughts and get rid of ones that did not serve me. I would recognize a negative thought and replace it with a visualization from my list of possible successes. If it was the same recurring negative thought, I would allow myself to sit with it and start asking questions like “how do I minimize this risk?” or “how do I overcome this hurdle?” Start understanding what is possible.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
3) Create a Vision Board. It is so important to visualize what you want for your life and business. Psychology Today, reported that brain patterns activated when a weightlifter lifts heavy weights are also activated when the lifter simply imagined (visualized) lifting weights. By constantly reminding ourselves of what we want, we can strengthen our focus. I like to use Canva to create a digital vision board and make it the screensaver for my computer.
Jim Carrey was an unknown actor struggling to get by and stay motivated. He wrote himself a check for $10 million for “acting services rendered,” dated it for 1994, and carried it in his wallet for daily inspiration for years. In 1994, Carrey received exactly $10 million for his role in Dumb and Dumber and he credits his constant visualization with helping him achieve his success.
4) Guided Visualizations. This is a popular technique that professional athletes use to improve their skills. Visualization is also a great tool to stay on top of your mental game. Bob Bowman has been Michael Phelp’s swim coach since he was a teenager and credits visualization as a part of Phelps’ mental training. You can use Guided Visualizations or use the following steps:
Step 1: Visualize the outcome – What will happen. If your visualization turns negative, then stop and start over.
Step 2: Engage your senses – What will you see, feel and hear? Really tap into the feeling.
Step 3: Practice – Repeating the exercise daily really helps to get your mind programmed for success.
5) Create a Collection of Quotes. Quotes are a great way to stay inspired. “There’s a little bit of implicit coaching that’s happening when you’re reading it. It’s building that self-efficacy in that kind of dialogue that you’re having with yourself,” says Jonathan Fader, PhD, founder of the Union Square Practice in New York City. Pick a few of your favorites and keep them handy on your phone so you can read them anytime you feel a lack of motivation. My favorite is:
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” –John D. Rockefeller
6) Pick an inspirational song. Scientists have found that the mood of music you listen to can change the way you perceive the world. According to researchers from the Netherlands, listening to a song like Bill Wither’s “Lovely Day” can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Create a playlist of songs that inspire and motivate you that you can access throughout the day.
7) Love Learning. Part of having a growth mindset is looking at the world as full of learning opportunities. The more useful knowledge you accumulate the more confident you will feel. I use Ted Talks and other industry relevant videos and webinars to stay motivated and in the right mindset.
8) Be Grateful. There are a lot of scientific benefits for gratitude including mental strength. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I suggest writing three things you’re grateful for each day in a journal.
9) Power Pose. Having “good” posture helps to set your mind for success. Amy Cuddy, social psychologist says that you can change your daily outcomes by simply adopting a power pose. According to Cuddy’s research, if you are able to act powerfully within various power poses, you will begin thinking powerfully.
Achieving success does not happen by accident. You have to do it on purpose. You have to know what you want and to program your mind to achieve it.
Kavita Sahai is the CEO and Founder of Have BIGplans, LLC, which virtually, conveniently and affordably connects entrepreneurs with certified business coaches. As the first-ever text business coaching platform, Have BIGplans has revolutionized the business coaching industry by providing unparalleled dialog between certified business coaches and small business owners in the digital age.