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The Biggest Misconception About The Success Mindset

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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.

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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!

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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