Parents, caregivers, teachers and society in general all have a huge influence on how we live our lives.
That’s why people traveling to other countries often experience ‘culture shock’. The different rules, different customs and different attitudes can quickly lead to a feeling of confusion and alienation.
You may have experienced this yourself.
But, culture shock really just shows how conditioned we are by our local customs and culture. This is something you may not have considered before. But, I would urge you to do so.
It’s possible that you’re living the life that your parents, teachers and society want you to live — rather than the life you’d love to live.
Ready to break free from this conditioning?
If you are, then you’ve come to the right place, as I’m going to share with you five strategies that will allow you to escape your mental prison.
Let’s look first at…
The Benefits of a Confident Attitude
Generosity and a humble attitude are wonderful traits to have — yet, being humble can actually hinder you from reaching your goals.
If, when working in a team, you take on tasks behind the scenes, your work may go unnoticed. Which means you won’t actually get the credit you deserve.
It’s a sad fact of life, but if your efforts aren’t recognized, you’ll be forgotten about when opportunities arise.
And, if you often play the role of “I’m not good enough to do XYZ” — then please stop!
Starting right now, if you change your attitude about your own abilities and focus on your strengths and improving on (or delegating out) your weaknesses, then you’ll massively boost your confidence, which will translate into achieving your goals.
So be sure to speak up about what you’ve accomplished. I guarantee your confident attitude will work wonders for you!
Say Goodbye to Limitations
Do you often go through life thinking you’re not smart enough or not disciplined enough? And, how about time? Do you frequently feel that you don’t have enough of it?
I certainly used to feel that way.
Fortunately, over the years, I’ve been able to discover and put into action dynamic techniques that have allowed me to break free from my limitations.
Positive self-talk is an example of one of these techniques. This is a simple, but powerful, tool for stepping outside of your conditioned and habitual thought patterns.
What exactly is self-talk?
It’s the words you externally and internally tell yourself day in, day out.
“I’m not good enough to do this,” you might tell yourself over and over again. Well, guess what? With that attitude permeating your mindset — you probably won’t be good enough.
But, just as negative thoughts can lead to negative results, positive thoughts can lead to positive results. Using the example above, change the wording to “I’m good enough to do this,” and watch your positive self-talk boost your confidence and give you the strength and courage to say goodbye to your limitations.
You might also want to practice tried-and-tested ways of elevating your self-belief. Stuff like: always finding time to learn new things, focused goal setting and effective time management.
Do You Fear Change?
You’d love to make that big career change, but you’re afraid that it’ll end in failure.
You’d love to ask out that special person on a date, but you fear they’ll say no.
You’d love to move to the coast, but you’re scared to leave behind your habitual environment.
I’m guessing it does, as fear of change is probably the most common thing that prevents people from reaching their potential and doing the things they’d love to do.
The secret to defeating fear of change is to understand that if we want to change our lives for the better — we need to make changes in our lives. Without changes, nothing changes. It’s that simple.
In reality, fear of change is really just fear of the unknown. Now, I realize the unknown can be a scary place. But, it doesn’t have to be.
Again, it comes down to our attitude and perspective. If we approach the unknown with excited anticipation — we’ll no longer be afraid of it. And, its power over us will be gone forever.
With that simple change of mindset, you can put your fears in the past, and start living a life that embraces and welcomes change and opportunity; an authentic and free life.
Paint a Picture in Your Mind
Did you know that the majority of us think in pictures? That’s right. While we may speak and write in words, our brain turns these things into pictures.
Just think back to some of your most important memories (perhaps your first kiss, your graduation day, or the birth of your first child). Do words and sentences come to mind? Likely not. Instead, you may immediately bring back vivid images of the events. And, not just still images, but moving pictures that are equivalent to videos.
Once you understand that the mind functions with pictures, then the key to changing your mind — and your life — is to change the pictures that you put into your mind about the future.
For instance, if you constantly picture yourself stuck in the same job, then… you’ll probably end up doing just that! But, if you make a concerted and persistent effort to picture yourself in a new, stimulating role — then that’s where you’re most likely to end up.
You may know this technique as ‘visualization’. And, along with the other techniques I’m sharing with you in this article, it’s a powerful piece of the success puzzle.
So start right now by building a clear, definite picture of where you’d like to be in 12 months. Once you have the picture, then use daily repetition to place it firmly into your subconscious mind (expect this to take at least 30 days).
Do this, and watch your mental images gradually turn into reality. I like to call this real magic.
Your Setbacks and Obstacles Can Be Opportunities
Pause for a moment, and think about the last few days. I guarantee that along with the good stuff, there’ll be several times when you’ve had to face setbacks and obstacles. Things like: being stuck in traffic, a missed deadline at work, a health challenge, a relationship issue, and an unexpected bill landing in your letterbox.
This is perfectly normal. We all go through similar things to these on a regular basis. But, the difference between winners and losers in life, is that losers are defeated by these setbacks, while winners are propelled forward by them.
Let me explain with a quick example.
You’re on your way to an interview for an important job–a job you’ve always wanted. You allow plenty of time for walking to the train station, taking the train three stops, and then catching a cab to the office where the interview is scheduled to take place.
Your walk goes fine, but when you get to the station, you discover something shocking — all the trains have been canceled!
You could choose to panic at this time, and perhaps call the company to cancel or delay the interview. Or you could think creatively…
The job is what you’ve always wanted to do, so you don’t want to miss the interview or allow the company to see you in a negative light. You think for a few moments and then decide upon a strategy — you’ll pay the hefty fare for a cab to take you all the way.
The taxi driver is chatty, and he asks you what’s the purpose of your visit. You tell him about your interview and he replies with something surprising: he’s a friend of one of the people who will be interviewing you. He goes on to talk about how nice they are and how you’ll get on really well with them. In fact, he puts you so at ease that you begin to feel like you’re already part of the team!
You arrive early for the interview, and with the unexpected but welcome support from your taxi driver friend, the interview goes super-smoothly. And, a few days later you’re thrilled to receive a call asking when you can start.
Did the taxi driver put in a good word for you? Perhaps. As that’s the sort of thing that happens when you refuse to bow down to setbacks and obstacles.
I hope the self-improvement techniques I’ve outlined in this article will help you to begin breaking free from your limitations — and to begin breaking out of your mental prison!
Build your confidence.
And, picture your success in all its glorious detail.
Take these steps now, and begin living the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Featured photo credit: Brendan Church via unsplash.com