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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

15 Life Lessons Everyone Should Learn for a Good Mindset

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15 Life Lessons Everyone Should Learn for a Good Mindset

Life is filled with lessons. Some of them can be learned through experience. Some of them must be learned the hard way. But many of them can be learned from others. Here’s a great list of life lessons that can help you grow into a better version of yourself, day by day.

1. Live a Life True to Yourself

The single most common thing people regret when they near the end of their lives is this: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

When I look back on my life, I want to look back and be grateful for having honored my dreams. I don’t want to look back on a long list of unfulfilled dreams, thinking about how I should’ve/would’ve/could’ve — but never did.

Most people don’t even honor half their dreams, let alone all of them, and they end up going to their death-bed knowing that it was their own decisions (or indecisions) that determined a destiny bursting at the seams with unfulfilled dreams.

You are the author of your destiny, so write the story you want to live, regardless of how fictional it may or may not sound to someone else. Lead a life that’s true to you. Dream big, and don’t settle for less than you’re capable of.

2. Express Your Emotions

I’m not afraid to let myself cry. You shouldn’t be either. It’s okay to let yourself feel your feelings, rather than pretend like they don’t exist. It’s possible to let life’s moments touch you without allowing them to hurt you.

It’s also important to express your emotions to others rather than suppress them in order to avoid ruffling anyone’s feathers, or to keep them inside for fear of embarrassing yourself.

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3. Better Done Than Perfect

My favorite excuse for my lack of action and initiative used to be perfectionism. I’d puff up my chest and say, “I’m a perfectionist, that’s why I haven’t launched XYZ-thing yet.” But in reality, “I’m a perfectionist” really means “I’m a coward.” Don’t hide behind this cloak of comfort known as perfectionism. Call it what it is: fear. Then, launch and learn. The first iPhone was a touch-screen brick full of glitches. Today, it’s thinner than ever and keeps getting better.

4. Settle for More

The only difference between you and someone you envy is that they decided to settle for more in life than you did.

5. Find Something in Life That Pulls You

You can only “push yourself” for so long before your body, mind, and spirit toss their hands in the air and say, “F-this, I’m out.” When you keep pushing yourself to do something, it feels like something you have to do. But when you’re pulled by something, it feels like something you get to do.

Me? I’m pulled by my obsession with learning about personal development, success, and motivation — and then sharing what I learn to inspire people around the world to live up to their highest potential on a daily basis. This is one of the things in life that juices me up and gives me purpose.

6. Go for Walks

Not as inspiring as the first few, I know. But a brisk morning walk has been one of the most eye-opening habits I’ve ever decided to develop. No joke. Every morning, I go on a 15-20 minute walk outside. For the first half of the walk, I think about what I’m grateful for and envision how I’d like my day to play out. For the second half of the walk, I just walk — and that’s it.

It’s the second half of my morning walk during which I’ve had some of my best ideas and all-out epiphanies of my life. There’s something about being outside in nature — without any specific intentions other than enjoying a nice walk and observing nature’s boundless beauty — that re-energizes me and gets the good vibes flowing. Give it a try.

You can learn more about the benefits of walking in nature from this article.

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7. Happiness Comes From Solving Problems

It’s not the suffering of the problems that leads to happiness. It’s the solving of the suffering. Happiness is also a choice (which we’ll talking about in more detail in the final life lesson). We can choose happiness every day of our lives, rather than imagining that we will eventually, someday, be happy. Stop saying, “Someday I’ll be happy when I can get X or do Y.” Instead, start choosing to be happy right now — on a moment to moment basis — regardless of what’s going on in your life.

8. Develop a Growth Mindset

The essence of this life lesson — developing a growth mindset — for me means this: Hard work trumps talent every day of the week. The growth minded swimmer who works hard, day in and day out, will surmount his naturally talented opponents.

People that constantly complain, blame, and refuse to take responsibility for their lives do not have a growth mindset. Growth-oriented people don’t blame the economy for their lack of wealth; they pick up a book so they can learn how to create their own. Growth oriented people don’t allow their failures to define their identity; they learn from them and come back stronger as a result.

If you want to develop a growth mindset, focus only on that which is within your control. Let go of everything else.

9. Develop Selected Disciplines Into Habits

No list of life lessons would be complete without mentioning words like “discipline” and “habit.” Though seperate in meaning, disciplines and habits ultimately intersect with one another to form the foundation for achievement — regularly working at something until it regularly works for you.

When you discipline yourself, you’re essentially training yourself to act in a specific way. Stay with this long enough and it becomes a habit. In other words, when you see people that seem like they’re super disciplined, what you’re really observing is people who conditioned a handful of habits into their lives.

Bottom line? Success is in actuality a short race — a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over. So here’s the trick if you want to create a habit — you’ll need to use your will-power/discipline juice in the beginning. This is hard. But keep at it.

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According to research, it takes, on average, 66 days to develop a discipline into a habit. This number might vary for you depending on your situation, but remember that it’s not something that you can do overnight. But it is possible. And once you turn a discipline into a habit, you become better at it and it becomes easier to execute.

10. Be “Regular and Orderly”

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

The quote above was written by a French novelist named Gustave Flaubert, and the reason I love it is because it so elegantly (and violently?) explains how putting certain systems in place can free up tons of bandwidth and energy that you can put into doing deep work, or whatever else you care about. Put the important stuff in your life on autopilot so that you don’t have to think about it when it’s time to do them.

For example: there’s no use bantering back and forth with yourself every morning about whether you should get up at 6 am and hit the gym, or whether you should skip your workout and sleep in for an hour. This is wasted energy you could be putting into your most important work. Just decide ahead of time whether you’re going to do it or not — and then do it!

Use the power of habit (see life lesson #9) to get yourself moving in the right direction. Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.

11. Be Present

Presence is power. I’d rather be fully present with my wife (or whoever) for five minutes than be partially present for fifty minutes. Full presence means being fully there, locked-in. Not looking at my phone. Not thinking about what I’m going to say when she’s done talking. Just full, total presence. It’s powerful.

In a similar vein, it’s just as important to be present when we’re with ourselves. Try noticing the things you’re not used to noticing: the way you’re stomach rises when you breathe, how nice it feels when the cool wind touches your cheek, that annoying feeling you get when your foot falls asleep, etc.

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12. Communication Is Your #1 Skill

The ability to clearly communicate your ideas to other people is the most valuable skill you can ever develop. Learn to communicate your ideas orally as well as in written form. Also, learn as many techniques as possible: how to write with brevity (short-form), how to write long-form, how to use gesticulation, articulation, tonality, etc.

13. Combine Short-Term Pessimism + Long-Term Optimism

Becoming a short-term pessimist and a long-term optimist means you understand that most of what you try (over the short-term) will not work. But that’s okay, because eventually (over the long-term), you’ll find something that does.

14. Write It Down, Make It Happen

Write down your goals every day. Just take out your journal, and write down what you want. Two big reasons this is helpful:

  1. Awareness: It keeps your mind aware of what you want;
  2. Self-motivation: Writing down your goals everyday helps you hold yourself accountable towards making them happen.

15. Read Every Day

The greatest way to get the greatest ideas is to read, read, read. There’s this great quote that goes like this:

“Books are the hardbound drug of my choice.”

Plus, the only side effect of reading is a positive one — the more you read, the more ideas you get. Read something every day to expand your mind, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. Hopefully these life lessons have inspired you in some way, shape, or form to better yourself because at the end of the day, we’ve all got room for improvement.

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Featured photo credit: Elle Cartier via unsplash.com

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Dean Bokhari

Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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Published on October 14, 2021

How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

Do you ever worry about being exposed as a “fraud?” You’re not alone. It’s actually quite common for people to feel like imposters. In fact, approximately 70 percent of people admit to having experienced impostor syndrome[1] at some point in their lives — a Twitter poll found that 87 percent of people have experienced this.[2] Even successful and famous people like Tom Hanks, Howard Schultz, and Natalie Portman suffer from imposter syndrome.

But, what exactly is imposter syndrome. And, more importantly, how can you silence it?

Originally coined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., ABPP, and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., the term “impostor syndrome” describes symptoms that include being unable to internalize accomplishments and being afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

The individual may also be plagued by chronic self-doubt and believe that they’re unqualified for success despite evidence to the contrary. Inadequacies, fears of failure, and disbelief that success is a matter of luck or timing are also common.

If you don’t address this phenomenon, feeling like an impostor can prevent you from achieving ambitious goals. Moreover, those experiencing these feelings tend to over-prepare or procrastinate — which obviously hinders productivity and reaching goals. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, imposter syndrome prevents you from pursuing new challenges and opportunities.

Do you feel like you’re suffering from impostor syndrome? If so, don’t beat yourself up. After all, there are effective ways to overcome these feelings in a healthy and proactive way.

1. Don’t Hide It.

“Firstly, acknowledge it,” advises Claudine Robson,[3] the Intentional Coach. “You give strength to imposter syndrome by letting it continue to peck away at your confidence unchecked.” It can only be banished if you acknowledge it as soon as possible and break the silence.

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“Then you need to separate your feelings from facts,” Robson adds. “One thing imposter syndrome does very effectively is to mix up your perceptions of reality.”

If you can, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. “Recognize when you should — and when you should not — feel fraudulent,” she says. Appreciate and acknowledge the task, intellect, and insight that have led to your success.

You might even be able to take action by recognizing that the reason you feel fraudulent is that you’re new to a task. “That gives you a path forward; learning is growth, don’t deny yourself that.”

2. Implement the STOP Technique

In her book Cognitive Enlightenment, Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., outlines a technique to overcome imposter syndrome using what she calls the STOP technique.

“STOP is an acronym for ‘silence the oppressive player,” Fouts explains in Forbes.[4] “You need to eradicate this tape that is playing 24/7, whether you are conscious of it or not. It plays loudest when we are tired, hungry, or feeling defeated.”

Steps to implementing the STOP technique and rewiring your brain are as follows:

To replace the tape of not good enough, you need a “launch sentence.” “I’m more than good enough” would is an example of a solid launch statement.

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Put your launch sentence in prominent locations, such as your car’s dashboard or computer. How come? The reason is that as the tape plays, you won’t be able to remember your launch statement.

Continue to say “stop” until you recall your launch sentence, says Fouts.

Put your launch sentence into your own words and pontificate.

While going about your daily tasks, like while driving or exercising, practice your launch sentence so you can recall it when you need it in the future.

“I am told this sounds simple and it does,” she adds. However, this technique is challenging when your negative tape is playing. You will not want to replace the tape every day while your brain is rewiring itself. “It is these moments you can’t give up.”

3. Distinguish Humility and Fear

When it comes to hard work and accomplishments, there’s humility, and then there’s fear. In other words, having a high level of competence can lead one to discount its value occasionally. However, as Carl Richards wrote in an article for the New York Times,[5] “After spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?”

The problem is that we feel unworthy from time to time. But, as Seth Godin explained in a blog post,[6] “When you feel unworthy, any kind response, positive feedback or reward feels like a trick, a scam, the luck of the draw.”

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Feeling worthy without feeling entitled is possible. And, finding the right balance between them is critical for overcoming impostor syndrome. “Humility and worthiness have nothing at all to do with defending our territory,” Godin continues. “We don’t have to feel like a fraud to also be gracious, open, or humble.”

4. Keep a “Brag Sheet”

When you were sending out college applications, did you build yourself a “brag sheet?” If not, here’s a clean description from Shawna Newman,[7] “A brag sheet is very similar to a student resume – it highlights your accomplishments, key experiences, leadership skills, and employment throughout your secondary education.” In short, “it’s a quick reference guide with all the details and achievements for someone trying to get to know you better.”

While it may be awkward at first, you can apply the same concept when coping with imposter syndrome. Just compose a list of your accomplishments, activities, skills. That’s it. Just remember Godin’s advice and also be humble and gracious.

As an added perk, besides being an effective way to talk myself up, I’ve also found that this has helped me stop comparing myself to others. Instead of harping about other people’s milestones, I’m honing in on what I’ve done.

5. Celebrate Wins, Period

Speaking of accomplishments, they shouldn’t be categorized as small or big. After all, you feel as if you don’t belong when you have imposter syndrome. So, the more you celebrate your wins, the more confident you’ll become.

Furthermore, accept compliments without qualifying them and practice listening to praise every day. Finally, become kinder to yourself by saying at least one kind thing to yourself daily. And, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

6. Assemble a Legion of Superheroes

“You know how corporations have a board of directors to — in theory — make them stronger, maintain checks and balances, leverage resources, and help advance the organization’s vision?” asks inspirational speaker, speaking coach, and creative consultant Tania Katan.[8] “Why not assemble your own board of directors to leverage resources to help make your career stronger, keep you in check and balanced, and advance your vision?”

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“My friend Alison Wade, president of conferences, training, and consulting at Techwell, calls her personal board of directors her “front-row” — those are the people she invites to sit spitting distance from the stage, cheer her on, challenge her, and review her performance,” Katan writes.

As for Katan, she calls hers a “legion of superheroes.” The reason? “I dig the idea of joining forces to do good in the corporate galaxy.”

It’s important to have a diverse group of individuals who will defend you. Ideally, they should be varied in all dimensions, such as cultural background, way of thinking, and skills.

Katan recommends that you meet together frequently, whether if that’s once a week or every quarter. “Share your experiences, fears, creative ideas, aspirations,” she adds. “Celebrate each other’s accomplishments.” You also need to both support and challenge each other. “Discover what you are capable of doing when you combine your powers.”

7. Visualize Success

Follow the example of a professional athlete by imagining yourself crushing that presentation or project. You’ll enjoy the relief from performance-related stress. And, more importantly, it can help you avoid focusing on the worst-case scenario.

Final Words of Advice

While there’s no single formula to cure imposter syndrome, the tips listed above are a start. After all, your success depends on your ability to fight the negative effects of it. For example, feeling unworthy over time can lead to crippling anxiety and depression if left untreated.

If you’ve tried the above, then make sure that you speak to someone about what you’re experiencing, whether it’s a mentor, peer group, or licensed professional. And, above all else, there’s a place at the table for everyone — no matter what your inner voice is telling you.

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via unsplash.com

Reference

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