We’ve all met people who are full of negativity and skepticism, who always second-guess everything and criticise those around them.
Their negative mindset is like a wet blanket, smothering anything productive or beneficial before it can ignite.
A positive mindset is critical to achieving your goals and dreams in life, according to mindset expert Angie Zimmerman, author of 7 Steps to Master Your Mind to Increase Sales and Boost Productivity. This kind of mindset can be cultivated, but only if you are willing to open yourself up to new ways of thinking.
I recently sat down with Zimmerman to discuss some of her observations about what it takes to put your mind on the path to success.
1. Have a growth mindset
According to Zimmerman, the most important thing you can do is to embrace a growth mindset. This is the mindset that will allow you to dream big and push the boundaries of your ideas to new levels.
She subscribes to the maxim, “Everything on the way rather than in the way,” which comes from leading educator Dr. John Demartini.
Instead of judging experiences in terms of failures and successes, frame them in a positive light. You will have challenges and obstacles along the way. Recognise that all of them can help you grow and become a better person.
Another mindset expert, Carol Dweck, explained that if you aren’t in a growth mindset, you probably have a fixed mindset, which is dangerous because it will ultimately stifle your ability to reach new achievements.
“A fixed mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, intelligence, talents and abilities are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that,” Dweck said.
With a growth mindset, people believe that their talents and abilities can be developed over time through experience and mentorship, so they push themselves and “go for it.”
“They’re not always worried about how smart they are, how they’ll look or what a mistake will mean,” Dweck explained. “They challenge themselves and grow.”
2. No risk, no reward
“Sometimes you just have to jump off of a cliff,” Zimmerman said.
Do something completely out of your comfort zone and your mind will become more nimble. As a result, you’ll learn to push yourself to new heights. Those who fail to get out of their comfort zone often end up with a rigid mindset.
An unwillingness to take risks stymies progress, and you will ultimately fizzle out.
Just like the high achiever from high school — the person voted “most likely to succeed,” but who doesn’t accomplish anything beyond that — you have to push yourself or you will fail to launch.
“They become afraid of making mistakes. They become afraid of tarnishing their image,” Dweck said.
3. Embrace your mistakes and move on
Part of taking risks is being able to learn from your mistakes. A blunder can also be an amazing blessing because you can use your misstep as a jumping-off point toward something new.
“The universe gives us gentle reminders of what we need to do,” Zimmerman explained. “However, if we ignore that advice for too long or fail to understand the message and take action, that is where we receive our greatest life lessons.”
Instead of trying to hide or make excuses, consider what you can take away from these experiences as you go forward.
4. Curiosity will keep you thirsting for more
No matter what your level of education, you should never stop learning. According to Zimmerman, a thirst for knowledge is something that can never be quenched, and should be a lifelong quest.
She explained having an endless supply of curiosity is key to seeing beyond what’s in front of you, discovering what you are truly capable of and keeping yourself in a growth mindset.
“I can honestly say that no amount of knowledge is ever enough to quell my thirst in life to know, have and be more than I am today,” Zimmerman said.
5. Find gratitude, celebrate others’ successes
“Another important factor is to cultivate gratitude by celebrating and sincerely being happy for other people’s successes,” Zimmerman said.
Acknowledging and delighting in others’ successes will help you shirk feelings of bitterness or resentment, and will allow you to focus on the positive things you have accomplished as well.
“In life, you cannot receive that which you resent,” Zimmerman added. “Therefore, if you resent or are upset about other people’s success, this leads to you being unable to achieve the level of success you desire.”
6. Shun the negative, feed the positive
As a rule, you reflect the characteristics of the people with whom you surround yourself. As motivational speaker Jim Rohn has said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
In the same way, your mindset will reflect whatever information you feed it. That’s why it’s key to fuel your mind with positive information on a daily basis.
“Most importantly, you must surround yourself with positive influences that can help you live your best life and become your best self,” Zimmerman said.
7. Be healthy in mind and body
Don’t discount the importance of both physical and mental agility.
Zimmerman recommends embracing both, since they work together to keep you alert and focused.
She says being fit and healthy creates more positive thoughts than negative and helps you to take the daily action necessary to achieve your priorities.
“What I mean by that is, by staying fit and healthy, you have endless energy and enthusiasm for life, and act in a more loving way.”
8. Keep your energy high
When you are feeling low on energy and neglect to work out for a little while, your enthusiasm and positivity wanes, which in turn allows negative thoughts to take hold. Zimmerman likened those negative thoughts to a river of energy running out of your body.
“You lose your vitality and you are far less likely to attract all the positive things, people and opportunities that you want from life,” she said.
Energy equals momentum, which is particularly important in business. It’s about having the drive and endurance to manage your daily activities.
“Physical exercise and positive thoughts assist with that, and give you a constant boost of ‘feel-good’ endorphins,” Zimmerman explained. “It all works to make it easier to attract positive circumstances into your life.”
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
5 Inspiring Quotes From Madiba To Stir You Into Action On Mandela Day
In honour of Mandela Day, here are 5 of Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring quotes.
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
25 Bad Words That Make Other People Feel Inferior
If the harshest thing you have to say about someone is partly true, say the other part.
Did you know that in every language, there are more negative words than positive ones? It seems we need lots of words to describe our negative feelings, but we’re content with a handful of positive ones.
For instance, researchers have found that most cultures have words for seven basic emotions: Joy, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame and guilt.
That’s one positive emotion, and six negative
It’s no wonder so many of us have a hard time keeping our negative comments in check. Over the past six months I’ve been working on the verbal language that I’ve been using that I don’t even realize hurts others and in some cases makes them feel inferior. I even noticed that I’ve used a couple on my personal and business website. This is a “no-no” that I needed to fix.
This post will list 25 negative words you should avoid…so that you stop hurting, belittling and intimidating those around you!
How To Control What You Can And Influence What You Can’t In Your Life
Every day you need to get up and face numerous challenges. Here’s how you can keep your head in the game — even when all you want to do is quit.
On Monday you wake up ready to take on the world. You’re focused, determined and business is doing well. Tuesday feels like you’re invincible and things could not be going any better. Wednesday, your world collapses. You doubt your ability to deliver to your clients. You wonder whether you should still pursue the same business. You think that quitting at this stage is easier than dealing with the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. And you are dramatically reminded that entrepreneurship is hard.
Mix in human nature and it becomes borderline insanity to try and build a business. And yet, the reward is worth it. I therefore want to share three strategies that might help you cope with this tough but deeply rewarding pursuit.
Influence and control
Most of the things in business and life are out of our control. You cannot control how other people react to your service or product. You cannot control how your employees will show up. You cannot control how the market will react and how that will affect your business.
Related: How You Can Do Big Things
This makes it very important to control what you can and then influence the rest to the best of your ability.
So, what can you control? You can control your actions, reactions and perceptions of the challenges you face. Meaning essentially, that you can control yourself and your efforts.
Do this with excellence and you will automatically influence the people around you and the situations you find yourself in.
Override your moods
If we only did the hard work when we felt like it, we would hardly get anything done. Our moods fluctuate like the tides of the ocean. Not because we are temperamental but because the external world has a profound impact on us.
When you wake up to news that the economy is in recession, it has the potential to plant seeds of doubt in your mind. When you receive an email from a disgruntled customer complaining about your service, it has the potential to ruin your day.
The fact is that you can receive a hundred testimonials singing your praise, but you will obsess and become despondent over that one negative comment.
This means that we have to move beyond our emotions. Sure, they are important in the decision-making process and for fostering meaningful relationships. But you cannot allow them to dictate when you will do work.
In other words, work hard, irrespective of your moods, especially on the days when you don’t feel like it.
Create a calibration practice
One of the best ways to deal with this rollercoaster effect is to create a daily calibration practice. I am a big fan of any action taken on a daily basis. Not only because of the accumulation effect that occurs over time, but also because it keeps you focused.
So, what does a daily calibration practice look like?
It differs for everyone. It could range from meditation to a vision board to journaling to listening to a specific playlist of songs. My suggestion is that you give journaling a go.
Because it’s sometimes difficult to start a new calibration practice, I have included my journaling template for you.
It’s called ‘J1G’ (pronounced as jig). I use Evernote or a notebook from HumanWrites for journaling purposes.
For the first few minutes, simply allow your hand to run across the paper. The idea is for you to dump as many of your thoughts onto the paper as possible.
Some questions you can answer in this section are:
- What am I currently excited about?
- What am I currently worried about?
- Where am I currently winning?
- What can I learn from what happened yesterday?
1: The one thing that you want to get done today
In this time, I usually have a look at my to-do list and decide which one action I want to get done today. Write it down and then expand on why it is the most important action. How will it move you or your business forward?
Related: Better Thinking For A Better World
In the last section, you simply write down three things that you are grateful for. Trust me, this is an important daily practice, but even more so on the days when you feel as if life is beating you down.
When you focus on the things that you are grateful for, you crowd out fear and shift your state of mind to a more positive and productive one.
The punch line
If you can stick to the three ideas I outlined above, I guarantee you will develop more resilience and perseverance. You are an entrepreneur because you chose to be one. Do not allow life to impose its will on you. I have no doubt that you will be better off because of all the challenges you face. Not in spite of them.
Snapshots2 weeks ago
27 Of The Richest People In South Africa
Women Entrepreneur Successes2 weeks ago
How Jacqui van der Riet Went From Receptionist To Co-Owning A R230 Million Business
Self Development6 days ago
5 Inspiring Quotes From Madiba To Stir You Into Action On Mandela Day
Self Development2 weeks ago
25 Bad Words That Make Other People Feel Inferior
Angel Investors4 days ago
A Comprehensive List Of Angel Investors That Fund South African Start-Ups
Ongoing Learning1 day ago
15 Of The Best And Most Unusual Online Courses For Entrepreneurs
Lessons Learnt1 day ago
11 Things Very Successful People Do That 99% Of People Don’t
Small Business5 days ago
Even SMEs Can Use Big Data: Here’s How