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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

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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The power of habit

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to make a reminder works for you

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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