Advertising
Advertising

Be Tenacious! 8 Super Useful Mental Models You Need in Order to Thrive

Be Tenacious! 8 Super Useful Mental Models You Need in Order to Thrive

Exuding a calm, deliberate confidence is the secret sauce to thriving in life, don’t you agree?

But in order to achieve that, we need to solve a problem. Your inner critic. The sower of doubt, fueled by faulty conditioning. Like an annoying pop-up, it keeps harassing you with messages that distract you. That nagging little voice. “I can’t do it because of [fill in irrelevant fact]”.

It convinces you to falter…to stop…

You avoid taking action to achieve your goals, your dreams or just to get stuff done in general. Your inner critic convinces you that your cozy comfort zone is way too comfy to leave.

Why is it so difficult to act without doubt and anxiety? Your brain is running some faulty mental models. Over our lifetimes, we all adopt limiting beliefs that are acquired through media, upbringing or unrepresentative experiences.These mental models keep us grounded instead of free and confident.

In order to thrive, we need to replace faulty scripts with the right ones. Because whatever you might tell yourself, you are not too old/nerdy/fat/dumb or whatever to improve your life. You are awesomely you and you can have a thriving life!

Here are eight examples of mental models you need to adopt in order to thrive in this life.

1. Accept the world as it is

First off, you must develop utter acceptance of the world you live in.

Advertising

There are a lot of uncomfortable facts in life that we try to hide from. Uncomfortable facts, harsh realities. The world may seem unfair, but it’s not. The world just is. There is no inherent goodness or badness about it. It is just a collection of things in being.

So stop putting your head in the sand–take a breath and see it for what it is. Confront yourself with reality. Don’t sugar coat it, but also don’t get pulled into exaggerated thoughts of doom.

As you accept how things are, you can take steps to effectively improve them.

2. Take responsibility for your life

You are the primary stakeholder in your life and, ultimately, the only one that will always care. You are also the one with the most direct influence on your life. That means you are responsible for where you end up.

You might have been dealt a bad hand, but there is no reshuffling the deck. You can only play the cards you have. It’s up to you to do well.

If you don’t like something in your life, change your attitude towards it or change the situation. Develop active coping strategies. Don’t blame other people, God or the universe. You have free will; you are in charge. Take the constructive view to look towards yourself for progress.

3. No self pity

Self pity is a devastating emotion. It’s so unproductive to feel sorry for yourself. No matter how justifiable, it is toxic.

Nothing is gained by engaging in this rotting state of mind. You are dirt poor? You are plain ugly? You are 30 and still living in your mom’s basement? Your life may truly suck, but you can’t live in self pity because then things will never change!

Advertising

Suck it up. Accept your situation and plan to improve on it. Feeling sorry for yourself only makes the situation worse. Lose the victim mentality. Learn you can change yourself and the situation.

giphy
    No more pity parties for you!

    4. Redefine failure in a learning experience

    Failure has a big stigma in western culture. Once you fail, you are a loser. Too many people believe that somehow you should be able to win instantly. Well, that is not going to happen. So why not give yourself permission to suck and fail in life.

    Learn from your mistakes. You are not a loser because you have failed! The real losers are those that don’t even try, or who give up too quickly. The one who fails and gets back up is ultimately the winner.

    Try not to see a specific goal as the definition of your success. Instead, view making progress as success. It is not going to be a straight line to perfection, but making the effort to move forward, through failure and learning is truly success!

    5. Fear is your guide

    As you move through life you will sometimes halt, paralyzed by fear. Feel the fear and take action anyway. Unless you are about to win a Darwin award, you were probably on the right track.

    Fear shows you where you want to go, but you have to take a leap. Let fear indicate something you need to do. Push through. Let fear be your ominous guide to prosperity.

    fear as a guiding emotion
      Let fear lead the way

      6. Think about your death

      Good new everyone! We are all going to die.

      Okay, so maybe that isn’t such great news, but it’s true. Use this as a reminder that your time is finite. One day you will be gone. It might be tomorrow; it might be in 80 years. All of your small pettiness, fears and jealousies should pale in comparison to the large unknown nothingness that awaits you. So why not make the most of this wonderful life of yours?

      Advertising

      Take the time to confront yourself with this impending doom, and rejoice that you are still alive!

      Time to enjoy life even more by taking risks and making progress toward even the simplest of goals.

      7. Don’t take life too serious

      What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of your life?

      If you go down that rabbit hole, you will end up with this answer: The meaning of life is to live.

      It’s not very grave, but it’s very significant.

      Culture and upbringing might argue otherwise, but the importance of arbitrary events, parameters and people is mostly exaggerated. There is no significant higher goal to attain, no higher purpose except the one you give yourself through living.

      So take it easy.

      There is not a checkpoint you have to pass to achieve a fulfilling life.

      Advertising

      It’s just not that serious! It is to be enjoyed whenever possible. You choose how you want to live, so why not take it easy–despite what people try to tell you.

      too soon too serious
        There is always time for singing

        8. Live in the now

        Last but not least, to truly thrive, you must live in the now. Learn to let go of your mind. Stop chasing lost moments and anticipating potential futures.

        Your predictions are mostly off, and your memories are remixes of unalterable events. Instead, learn to truly experience what is right in front of you, no denying but embracing the now. Whether it’s through sports, nature, or meditation, embrace the present.

        Adapting these mental models won’t be an easy task, and it won’t happen overnight. But if you remind yourself of them and make small steps towards your goals, you will see over time that your programming will be changed and it will have an amazing impact on your life.

        Good luck on thriving!

        Liked this? How about you adapt these 5 habits to becoming confident as well!

        Photo Credits: Joshua Earl – Jumping Person in Forest, Mr Crabs Violin, Scary Movie PianoLooking on the bright side

        Advertising

        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earl via unsplash.com

        More by this author

        Be Tenacious! 8 Super Useful Mental Models You Need in Order to Thrive

        Trending in Communication

        1 Is Living Together Before Marriage Good or Bad? 2 How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication 3 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 4 I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse 5 How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Published on May 18, 2021

        How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

        How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

        We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

        The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

        Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

        Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

        Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

        There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

        Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

        Advertising

        Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

        We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

        Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

        A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

        The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

        Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

        Advertising

        Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

        Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

        Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

        While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

        Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

        These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

        Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

        Advertising

        Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

        Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

        Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

        Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

        Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

        Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

        As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

        Advertising

        This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

        Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

        Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

        These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

        Actions Speak Louder Than Words

        Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

        Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

        Advertising

        Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

        More Tips Improving Listening Skills

        Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next