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

        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 How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up 2 How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late 3 Your Life Is a Mess? How to Fix It and Turn Things Around 4 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer 5 How to Memorize a Speech the Smart Way

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on March 14, 2019

        7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

        7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

        Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

        For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

        Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

        1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

        A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

        It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

        It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

        How it helps you:

        If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

        Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

        2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

        Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

        Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

        Advertising

        How it helps you:

        Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

        Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

        If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

        Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

        3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

        Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

        Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

        How it helps you:

        This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

        For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

        Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

        Advertising

        A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

        4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

        To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

        A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

        How it helps you:

        One word: hierarchy.

        All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

        In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

        If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

        5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

        Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

        Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

        How it helps you:

        Advertising

        Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

        If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

        This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

        6. What do you like about working here?

        This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

        Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

        How it helps you:

        You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

        Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

        Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

        7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

        What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

        As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

        Advertising

        How it helps you:

        What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

        First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

        Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

        Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

        Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

        Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

        Making Your Interview Work for You

        Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

        Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

        More Resources About Job Interviews

        Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

        Read Next