Do you desire to better yourself or situation? It all starts with YOU. YOU must believe in yourself. YOU have to believe what you are doing is going to work. YOU have to believe opportunities will arise that are FOR YOU. Trying to better yourself or situation is never easy. It always requires leaving our comfort zone. It involves the risk of failure. What follows are 3 strategies we can use to ensure we have the proper mindset needed to stay on that sometimes rocky, but rewarding, path of self-improvement.
- Believe In YOU. First and foremost, you have to believe that what you are doing is going result in success in some form or fashion. You can’t rely on others to always spur you into action. It is great to have a support system, but it is meaningless if you don’t believe in yourself. Others can encourage, but you have to act. Everything starts and ends with you!
- Tune out the Noise. Many will not understand. Some will flatly say you can’t do it. Some will think you are crazy. Some will ask why would you want to make yourself so much trouble, why not just go with the status quo? Get used to it. You are going against the grain. It is pretty likely that the majority of people are not doing what you are trying to do, whether it’s starting a business, improving your health, growing spiritually, etc. It’s only natural that they may not throw their full support behind you. Expect it & accept it.
- Keep an Open Mind. Do your research. Continue to learn about the area you are seeking to improve upon. We are in an age where we have an ability to access limitless information at our fingertips. There are usually several ways to accomplish a particular goal and, through your own research and observation, you may find your own way of doing it that works well for your situation.
Empower yourself by realizing you can make your goals a reality!
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Talk is cheap! It really is. Think about it. It costs you nothing. It takes extremely minimal effort to do. Talk is important for communication, but the communication must be followed by action. How many things can be accomplished by simply saying that you are going to accomplish them? None come to mind off right off the bat. What good is it to state you are committing to a healthier lifestyle if you do not exercise or eat healthier? What good does it do to state you need to quit _________ (smoking, drinking, spending money, etc.) if you choose not to change? We live in a world that respects action. Talk with no action undermines credibility. What follows is 3 strategies to make sure your “talk” is not cheap!
- Make yourself accountable: Utilize formal and informal support systems if you struggle with being accountable. When we know we have someone to answer to, it helps us to fight through those times where our motivations may be a little low. Your support systems can include family, friends, groups, and social media networks. Documenting your actions or progress toward a certain goal on your social media account is an excellent way of staying encouraged and accountable. Those who comment will likely be very supportive of you. Plus you may unknowingly inspire someone. Allow it to be a positive tool.
- Change your people, places, or things: Granted, in many cases, it is hard to make wholesale changes due to certain circumstances in our lives. However, we typically are able to change an aspect of our lives to some degree. For example, a person who is dieting may drink water or tea instead of soda. A person who is quitting smoking or drinking may avoid bars. The downside to this is that when we make changes to our people, places, and/or things, in many cases, those closest to us are the least supportive or understanding.
- Have a plan: You want to have a plan in place for change. Your plan is your foundation. It will likely need to be adjusted; that is ok. Plans provide a vision.
Doing these 3 things will ensure that you are more than just talk!
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The beginning of September signals the start of one of our country’s favorite past times ….football season! Over the years, I have seen how sports provides such great analogies for life in general. Just like the start of a sports season, our lives can be broken down into seasons. There are many lessons that can be learned in equating the start of the football season to the various seasons and cycles in our lives.
- Importance of preparation. Every team has prepared by learning and training during the offseason. Each team has spent many hours doing conditioning and learning plays. A lack of preparation will definitely insure that the team will be unsuccessful. Same with us on an individual level. We cannot take advantage of an opportunity if we are unprepared mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. We must commit ourselves to learning and improvement.
- Losing (disappointment). Most teams will lose at least once. It is rare that a team makes it through a season undefeated. A few years ago, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl having lost half of their regular season games. In life, we will suffer disappointments, but the good news is that, like the New York Giants, we do not need to be close to perfect to succeed at our goals. More importantly, we must develop the mental stamina to deal with those disappointments which may arise.
- Injuries (unexpected challenges). Teams will have key players that get injured. Those teams that have good systems in place always seem to suffer less of an impact when this happens. This definitely relates to preparation and foresight. Disclaimer: There are things that happen to us, just like an injury to a key player on a team, which can derail a whole season. We want to focus on things within our circle of control. This is where preparation helps.
- One Game at a Time (the process). A team must focus on winning the game at hand, not the game that is 3 weeks from now or the championship. Winning the game at hand puts the team closer to its goal of making the playoffs or winning a title. Same with us on an individual level. We must focus on the steps to accomplishing our goal as opposed to the actual goal itself. Mastering the steps will naturally result in accomplishing the goal.
Good luck this season!
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We are all seeking to be successful at something, whether it be our work, health, relationships, or finances, to name a few. Accomplishing our goals requires a certain mindset. I have observed the following qualities in those who have achieved success:
- Vision: Having a vision means identifying your purpose and understanding your ability to achieve the goal. A vision sets the foundation for creating a plan to achieve your goal. Your vision can always be referred back during the challenging moments that undoubtedly arise in pursuit of your goals to keep yourself on track. Once you have a vision and plan in place, you will need…..
- Discipline: Discipline equals commitment. Being committed will allow you to stay true to your vision and plan. This commitment will encourage you to tune out negative self-talk and naysayers (haters). On the flip side of that, discipline also allows you to at least hear people out; you never know where your insights may come from. Something else to consider is that when you are trying to do great things, a lot of times you are going against the grain, so to speak. For example, let’s say you are looking to start a business. The majority of people are not business owners, so it may hard for you to find people to relate to what you are trying to accomplish. People may be critical or unsupportive, which can be discouraging. Accomplishing your goals is also a lengthy process. This is where your discipline comes into play.
- Effort: It is going to take work. There may be a lot of trial and error involved. There will be some sacrifices involved. You will definitely devote a lot of mental and physical energy to reach your goal. Efforts must be consistent. Take weight loss for example. The person who is seeking to lose weight is far more likely to be successful if they exercise 5 days a week for one hour compared to 1 day a week for 5 hours. Consistent efforts will bring progress and/or may reveal how your plans need to be adjusted.
- Positivity: You must have a positive attitude. Let’s face it, sometimes it is hard to be positive in the face of disappointments. There is always the potential for things to go wrong. However, a positive attitude will attract the energy and people you need to achieve your goals. You must believe that there will be positive results from all your efforts. You have to believe that what you are doing is going to work in the long run.
Thank you for reading. I wish you the best in your pursuits!
How you see things is everything. There are some people we know who suffer through some truly horrific circumstances in their lives, but are seemingly happy. Then, there are some who that had a lot of things in their favor and are unhappy. Heck, I remember watching a program where the person acknowledged they had a great upbringing: loving & understanding parents, money, good schools, health, etc. However, can you believe they actually said that having an upbringing that seems to avoid many of us, was a problem? Really????? Perfect example of how perception shapes our reality. If you choose to see something as a problem, it is a problem. To change our lives, it helps to change our perceptions. Below are 3 ways we can change our perception:
- Spend actual TIME helping people. Notice I didn’t say spend money to help people. Don’t get me wrong, giving away money can be helpful, but it doesn’t seem to provide the same sort of impact for the giver and receiver that spending time does. You will definitely gain some insights into life when you spend time helping or getting to know someone.
- Read about people you admire. Many times, these people have overcome great odds to achieve greatness. Their stories can be inspirational and, more importantly, provide perspective.
- Learn your history. In addition to reading about history, talk to those who have lived through different eras. Understanding your place in a WORLDLY and HISTORICAL context will change your perception and put you on the path to finding your purpose.
I was watching a video of motivational speaker Les Brown and he instructed the audience to say “Good things are supposed to happen to me.” He recommended that the audience say this to themselves daily. Brown then went on to say we tend to expect bad things to happen to us, so we need to affirm the positive. Affirmations are designed to change our subconscious thoughts by constantly referring to them in our conscious minds. Our subconscious impacts us in ways we are unaware of. We tend to have thought patterns and experiences in our past which, if we are not aware, can undermine our conscious efforts to do better in the present.
So what happens when we start to internalize the message that “good things are supposed to happen to me?” Does that mean everything we pursue will happen? Of course not! Does it mean that you won’t be disappointed? Absolutely not! This message is rooted in your faith in a higher power (God) and yourself. People who believe good things will happen for them will start to become more perceptive of opportunities. They will tend to attract those good people who genuinely can help them.
There is a flip side to this type of thinking. If you truly believe good things are supposed to happen for you, then you will believe that if something doesn’t happen, it just wasn’t a good thing. I’ll keep it real with you, sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow if you are in a desperate situation or have tried repeatedly at something. It’s ok to feel disappointment, but we can’t let it keep us down. In this day and age, we have many opportunities to overcome our circumstances and do well. It can happen when we exude a faithful, positive mindset, with efforts to match.