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How to Develop a Mindset for Success

How to Develop a Mindset for Success

If you’d like to be more successful in your life, working on your mindset can greatly help you.

Here’s how to develop a mindset for success.

1. Learn to think big

In The Magic of Thinking Big, author David Schwartz gives suggestions to help you develop creative power through belief. He writes, “Eliminate the word impossible from your thinking and speaking vocabularies. Impossible is a failure word. The thought ‘It’s impossible’ sets off a chain reaction of other thoughts to prove you’re right.” He then advises us to think of something we’ve been wanting to do but felt we couldn’t, and make a list of the reasons why we can do it. When we start thinking big and believing things can be done, our minds start working for us to find solutions to our problems.

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It’s possible for you to do work you love, be very successful, find your passion, and build a life you love, and it starts with being able to think big. For some thought-provoking questions to help you think big and discover your passion, click here.

2. Make decisions from the viewpoint of “future you”

Think about future you. Future you is the best possible version of you. Future you is the person you most want to be. It’s the “you” that lives your priorities and reaches big goals. What does future you want you to do today?

Does future you want you to go running tomorrow morning, or hit the snooze button a few times? Does future you want you to stay another year at the job you don’t like, or be brave enough to find your dream job? Does future you want you to take action toward a meaningful goal tonight, or mindlessly scroll through your social media newsfeeds?

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Let the viewpoint of future you guide you as you make decisions in your daily life.

3. Rephrase your self-talk

Start paying attention to how you talk to your friends versus how you talk to yourself. If a friend says, “I want to lose 30 pounds,” you’d say, “Oh, that’s awesome! If anyone can do it, you can! I’m here to cheer you on; you’re going to do great! You’ve got this! Now go crush your goal!”

Compare that to how we often talk to ourselves. If we tell ourselves, “I want to lose 30 pounds,” we look in the mirror and say, “Ya, right. You’ve tried before and failed. There’s no way you can do it. You’re too far gone now, why even try? You’ll never keep up an exercise habit. Healthy eating? Hahahaaaa. Nope.”

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I want you to start treating yourself with the utmost respect. Start talking to yourself in a kind, encouraging, supportive way, as you would your best friend. One way you can work on your self-talk is by rephrasing your sentences. Instead of saying, “I can’t,” rephrase it to, “I don’t know how — yet — but I can learn.”

4. Take action even when you’re scared

One of the best ways to build your confidence is by taking steps out of your comfort zone. When you learn to act even when you’re scared, your confidence and momentum build. You don’t have to start by taking massive leaps out of your comfort zone. Just start taking one baby step each day. Strike up a conversation with a stranger, try a different spice in a recipe, or ask that person on a date.

You can let fear guide your life, or you can learn to act even when you’re afraid. Working toward big goals and building the life of your dreams will require you to move outside of your comfort zone, and although it’s scary, it’s incredibly rewarding.

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5. Set goals that align with your priorities

No matter how ambitious you are, and how successful you are according to society, it’s tough to feel truly fulfilled in your life if you’re not living your life according to your priorities. Define what a successful life means to you. Does it mean reaching a certain income level and building a strong financial legacy? Does it mean having a great work-life balance? Does it mean building your own business? Does it mean raising kids who are kind, helpful people? It’s important to think about what it means to you to be successful, and set goals that align with your priorities, so you can work toward your version of success in a way that feels authentic and fulfilling.

Developing a mindset for success is not an overnight process, but it can be done. Continue to work on your mindset and your life will change in amazing ways!

Featured photo credit: Jakob Montrasio / https://flickr.com via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them How to Have a Successful Career and a Fulfilling Personal Life

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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