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5 Ways To Expand Your Network Like A High Achiever

5 Ways To Expand Your Network Like A High Achiever

You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” While I don’t advocate using personal relationships as leverage to get ahead in your career, especially over actually having the talent necessary to succeed. There’s nothing wrong with creating a network of qualified individuals to help you get where you want to be. But it’s not always easy to create these networks. You have to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself “out there” for the world to see. You could have all the talent in the world, but if you fail to get yourself noticed, it could end up going completely to waste.

1. Write for a variety of audiences

When I started writing for Lifehack, I was pretty excited when one of my first articles got shared over 1,000 times in one week. After about six months of creating content for Lifehack, I have had almost 200 articles published, and have over 130,000 shares under my belt. My articles have been reprinted by blogs ranging in focus from parenting and education to relationship and career advice. What started as a way for me to earn a few extra bucks here and there has turned into a full-time passion. I’ve reached more people than I ever thought possible, all because I’ve been able to write for many different purposes.

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2. Be a middleman

I’ve not only made connections for myself, but I’ve also helped connect others to each other as well. Knowing a guy who knows a guy can be an important asset for your career. It shows that you’re not just looking out for yourself; you want things to get done. It might be as simple as putting a friend with a specific talent in touch with a company who has placed an ad that you yourself aren’t qualified to answer. Doing so will also put you on the receiving company’s radar in case an opening pops up that you are qualified for.

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3. Look for a middleman

Like I said in the intro, it never hurts to have an “in.” But don’t just assume that you’re a shoe-in for a job just because you know someone that can put in a good word for you. By all means, use your connections to get your foot in the door, but once you get there, let your talents speak for themselves. If you think you can simply walk into a gig because your uncle works for the company, you’re not only going to look bad yourself, but you’re going to make your uncle look terrible, as well.

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4. Follow up when meeting someone new

When you meet someone new who piques your interest or is in a position to help you further your career, it’s incredibly important to remember them on a personal level. Take note of everything they mention upon your first meeting, such as their interests or hobbies. These little tidbits might seem inconsequential, but if you bring them up during subsequent meetings it will show that you truly pay attention to people when they speak. It will also validate you in the eyes of the person you’re trying (ever so subtly) to impress.

5. Use social networks

You know Facebook isn’t just to post pictures of your cat, and Instagram isn’t just to show off your home-cooked meals, right? Social networks are a vital tool if you want to find new opportunities to advance your career. One article or post has the potential to go viral, increasing your chances of being noticed by someone who can help you skyrocket to success. The next time you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed, think about how you could produce something on the feed that could benefit others; it will end up benefiting you in the long run.

Featured photo credit: 3D Social Networking / Chris Potter via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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