Do you want to know what’s holding you back? Unlike conventional wisdom, it’s got nothing to do with how much money you have, a lack of education, or a limited social network. Of course, these are all factors which contribute to your overall success, but the one factor that will make or break you all comes down to a belief in yourself.
Unfortunately, with the amount of external pressure a person receives in this day and age, a person’s beliefs are no longer his or her own. With an abundance of information and influence coming from parents, peers, partners, television, internet, billboards and social media, it is hard to find space to make up your own mind these days.
Signs you need to switch to a self-actualized mindset
The ability to remove yourself from these channels of influence and control your own mind and emotions means adopting a self-actualized mindset.
People who do not have the ability to self-actualize usually demonstrate the following traits:
• An inability to make up their own mind
• Anxiety and emotional stress
• Fear of taking risks and new challenges
Characteristics of a Self-Actualized Mindset
Self-actualization is a process of moving away from these symptoms and heightening your sense of self-awareness, but not in a way where you overly and unjustifiably become negative on yourself. Rather, self-actualization involves looking at oneself in the mirror and being critical in a way that positively leads to pragmatic changes.
A self-actualized person tends to:
• Reach his or her own conclusions without external influences
• Recognize their own fears, but faces those challenges regardless
• Self-critique themselves for personal improvements
• Experiences minimal anxiety and stress
Adopt the self-actualized mindset
Adopting a self-actualized does not happen overnight. Although there are a few simple steps you can follow to allow your mind become more independent and naturally become self-actualized.
Face the man in the mirror
The first mistake many people make is that they compare their progress to those around them. This leads to a sense of failure and unnecessary stress. Self-actualization, as the name implies, starts with the self and that means you need to start looking into the mirror and trying to improve that person looking back at you. This includes becoming a better version of you today than you were yesterday. If you can start doing that, you are well on your way to becoming self-actualized.
Go from being self-critical to being self-analytical
People who do not have a self-actualized mindset tend to be overly critical. A good test is to ask yourself how often you use superlatives in your self-talk. For example, have you ever caught yourself saying something like “I ALWAYS forget to take the trash out, I am SO forgetful.” The reality is most of us have spoken like this in one way or another, and it is damaging to our mindset. Self-actualized individuals have a holistic approach to criticism and that means accepting their strengths and weaknesses. They can then find a way to improve their weaknesses pragmatically while taking advantage of their strengths.
Understand that you are your own boss
It’s tough to eradicate external influences, but if you have performed step 2 correctly, you are well on your way to understanding you have control over your own mindset. You know what you want, where you need to improve, and you know what you need to do in order to reach your goals. Forget what other people say and focus on you.
Never be satisfied with current success
Self-actualization is about accepting that life is about getting better every day. Self-actualized individuals are not superheroes. Rather, they are people who accept their challenges, but face them anyway knowing they will grow as an individual. Self-actualization does not mean winning one victory and being content with that. It means moving onto the next thing and using the momentum from your victory to keep growing. Only then will you achieve a self-actualized mindset.
Featured photo credit: Kingsley Huang via flickr.com