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The Biggest Misconception About The Success Mindset

The Biggest Misconception About The Success Mindset

If you were to play a word association game and “success mindset” came up, what are the first words that would come to mind?

For many people, “positive thinking” would probably top the list.

While the success mindset does include approaching things with a positive attitude, associating the mindset with being positive is actually a misleading idea that usually leads to people failing to achieve meaningful, long-term results from their self-development programs and efforts.

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In order to get a firm grasp on the success mindset (and to be able to reap its benefits), it’s important to have a clear understanding of what it actually is and how it differs from you simply being positive a couple of times a week.

What’s The Difference Between Being Positive And Having A Success Mindset?

Being positive involves looking at the bright side of things. People who confuse positive thinking with having a success mindset quickly discover that being positive simply isn’t enough to get them the results they’re looking for. This is because you could decide to think positively about certain things, but if you don’t address the automatic thought patterns, attitudes, and beliefs that may be limiting you (aspects of your mindset), your results are likely to be superficial and short-lived.

This is why positive affirmations alone don’t really do much for someone in the long term, as these are more like a short dose of motivation and encouragement.

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Achieving permanent results involves a lot more work as well as creating the right kind of mindset that allows for the nurturing of patterns of behavior that are known to contribute to success. A mindset is a set of attitudes, beliefs and values that translate into patterns of behavior, habits and routines.

A success mindset, therefore, is a set of beliefs that result in patterns of behavior that lead to success.

What Does The Success Mindset Consist Of?

In order to benefit from the success mindset, you need to automatically be able to think (and subsequently act) like a successful person. This won’t come automatically at first; but start to practice and ask yourself for example, what would Richard Branson or Tony Robbins think about this and how would they react to it? How a successful person might react to a situation can be determined by looking at aspects of their mindset such as their:

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  1. Habits
  2. Sources of motivation and willpower
  3. Attitudes
  4. Beliefs
  5. Inclinations/disposition

As you study the mindsets of successful people, you’ll probably notice that while many of them choose to have positive outlooks on certain things, they can also be realistic (and at times even cynical) about others.

So the key to having a success mindset isn’t being positive, but rather taking a deeper look into how you really think in order to change yourself from the inside out, rather than simply focusing on the surface issues! You can’t expect your thoughts to lean towards one direction and your life to lean towards a completely different one. Remember, your external world is a reflection of your internal one – fixing your internal world will automatically change your external world, it just doesn’t work the other way around!

Remember that building a success mindset doesn’t happen overnight. It requires constant awareness of your habitual thoughts and the effort and commitment to challenge the limiting ones and replace them with ones that will support your success.

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Be aware of the questions you ask yourself – this is a great place to start. As Tony Robbins says, the quality of your life is related to the quality of the questions you ask.

You can only change your mindset, in my opinion, if you get really serious and clear about how you want to be thinking instead and then, every day, being conscious of your thoughts and actions and making sure they are aligned with the mindset you want to have. Consistency is key in changing your mindset and, for me, that is a 24-hour effort. Yes, it isn’t easy, but success isn’t easy – that is why only those people who put in an enormous effort experience success.

Positivity Is Not The Enemy

Just because having a success mindset involves a lot more than positive thinking, it doesn’t mean that being positive about certain things will hinder your success! You should still see opportunities instead of obstacles and not be obsessive about the bad things going on, for example.

Approaching life with a positive attitude is a great start and will help to give you the momentum needed to kick-start the success mindset as well as the motivation needed to maintain it long-term!

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks to Make 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated) How To Break the Procrastination Cycle Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That) How To Control Your Emotions Effectively

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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