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.
20 Quotes On Coping With Change From Successful Entrepreneurs And Leaders
Change is up to you.
Change is a hard concept to grasp – and can be even harder to cope with it. Whether you’re switching careers, leaving a company or ending a relationship, change comes in all sizes – big and small. And while some change can be exciting, other times it can be difficult.
Having your own approach to change, whether it’s in how you view it or how you handle it, is important in moving forward and being successful.
To learn how others do it, here are 20 quotes about change from today’s most successful leaders and entrepreneurs.
1. Elon Musk
“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.” – Elon Musk
2. Oprah Winfrey
“You don’t have to hold yourself hostage to who you used to be.” – Oprah Winfrey
3. Barack Obama
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” – Barack Obama
4. Larry Page
“If you’re not doing some things that are crazy, then you’re doing the wrong things.” – Larry Page
5. Steve Jobs
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs
6. Andy Warhol
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol
7. Steve Case
“Revolutions happen in evolutionary ways.” – Steve Case
8. Coco Chanel
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” – Coco Chanel
9. Warren Buffett
“The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.” – Warren Buffett
10. Steven Spielberg
“All of us, every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives.” – Steven Spielberg
11. Mark Zuckerberg
“Entrepreneurship is about creating change, not just companies.” – Mark Zuckerberg
12. Richard Branson
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.” – Richard Branson
13. Joan Rivers
“Life is very tough. If you don’t laugh, it’s tough.” – Joan Rivers
Related: 3 Reasons You Should Embrace Change
14. Lady Gaga
“In order to build strength, you have to usually come from a lot of weakness.” – Lady Gaga
15. Thomas Jefferson
“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” – Thomas Jefferson
16. Thomas Edison
“Good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” – Thomas Edison
17. Sheryl Sandberg
“I learned that, in the face of a void or in the face of any challenge, you can choose joy and meaning.” – Sheryl Sandberg
18. Tony Robbins
“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” – Tony Robbins
19. Martha Stewart
“The more you adapt, the more interesting you are.” – Martha Stewart
20. Albert Einstein
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
You’re Probably Biased At Work. Here’s How To Stop It
New research looked at hard data to find solutions.
Everyone suffers from bias, despite their best intentions. And that bias can manifest itself in ways we don’t always intend – including how opportunities are and aren’t doled out in the workplace.
Recently, a trio of researchers used sensors to see if they could distinguish any differences in day-to-day behavior between male and female employees. Their goal was to eliminate the type of bias that can occur in self-reported polls about behaviour.
To study this, the researchers looked at a company where women made up just under 40 percent of entry-level employees and 20 percent of employees at the second-highest level of seniority. For four months, 500 male and female employees at this company wore badges with sensors in them that recorded their movement, speech patterns and proximity to one another.
The researchers then monitored who the subjects communicated with and who led conversations. Though the data was anonymous, the research team collected information about a given person’s gender, role and how long they had worked for the company.
Although they approached the investigation with the hypotheses that perhaps the female employees had less access to mentors or did not advocate for themselves with management as much as their male counterparts, the researchers found that this was not the case.
“We found almost no perceptible differences in the behavior of men and women. Women had the same number of contacts as men, they spent as much time with senior leadership and they allocated their time similarly to men in the same role,” the researchers wrote in a summary of their findings in Harvard Business Review.
“We found that men and women had indistinguishable work patterns in the amount of time they spent online, in concentrated work, and in face-to-face conversation. And in performance evaluations men and women received statistically identical scores. This held true for women at each level of seniority. Yet women weren’t advancing and men were.”
They concluded that differences in men and women’s behaviour aren’t what leads to gender inequality in the workplace – entrenched bias is the culprit.
So what can you do in your own company to make sure that bias doesn’t impact your hiring and promoting decisions? The researchers recommend instituting training programmes to reduce bias among management and people in the position to bring on new team members. You also might want to consider making a policy that, for all new open jobs, you interview and recruit people from a variety of backgrounds.
Also, look at the responsibilities your employees have outside the office. Think about ways to make it easier for both women and men to have flexible schedules, especially given that women often have social pressures to take on more family and household obligations.
Finally, determine where the pipeline to managerial and executive positions begins to trend more towards men. Collect data on exactly when these shifts happen in order to identify their specific causes (e.g. higher-ranking positions and their responsibilities require more late nights), then come up with pointed solutions (e.g. flexible morning schedules to accommodate childcare).
From there, measure the effectiveness any solution you implement. (“Since we implemented this policy, have those who have taken advantage of it advanced?”) This way, mitigating inequality is a science, not a guessing game.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com
Better Thinking For A Better World
How to think more critically and strategically in a world filled with complexity and rapid change.
We take the act of thinking for granted. It is often seen as a skill one is born with and not one that should be cultivated over time.
As the world becomes more complex and more busy, strategic and critical thinking becomes more valuable. Strategic thinking points to the ability to decide how and when to deploy resources to achieve a certain end state.
Below are four areas of focus that will improve your strategic thinking:
1. Making Time For Reflection
Life is busy. Juggling work, friends and family, and the recurring notifications from your phone has become quite a feat. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to create space for reflection.
Time spent in solitude allows you to reflect and connect the dots. It temporarily takes you out of a world in which you must be reactive to survive and keep up.
My suggestion is to create a SOS (space of solitude) for at least 30 minutes every day. In this time, reflect on what has been working and what has not been working. Meditate on your goals for the future and plan for the actions that will help you get there.
2. Asking Better Questions
Many of us fall into the trap of sequential problem solving. This happens when leaders or organisations simply move from one challenge to the next and the only question they ask is “how do we overcome this challenge?”.
What about the questions like “how did we arrive here?” or “what assumptions are we making here?” or “what does better look like?”
I am not trying to give you a template of questions to ask. Merely prodding you to go beyond challenging the problem but to also challenge the thinking about the problem.
As we deepen our questions, we elevate our thinking.
Do not simply ask more questions. Ask better questions.
3. Seek More Input
Teams are great and often underutilized. How can you use your team’s knowledge, experience, and opinions in a more constructive way?
Well, how about allowing them sufficient time for reflection in solitude but also as a group. How about prompting them to look for the patterns in their environment? How about, as a leader, asking them questions that allow them to really stretch their cognitive abilities?
Even better, empower them to ask those questions themselves.
Related: Disruptive Thinking: A Winning Edge
4. Thinking rules
We often make the same mistakes over and over. Not because we have not learned the lesson but because the context changes. Or excitement gets the better of us.
During your reflection time (hopefully you have noticed the importance of this by now) you can reflect on your past decisions and figure out how you could have made better decision.
Once you have done this start jotting down a few personal rules that will help guide your decision making in the future. A personal guideline I established was that I will wait 24 hours before making any big purchase. Gadgets and golf gear often get the best of me. But simple rules like these help to guide my decision making and prevents me from making mistakes irrespective of context or emotional state.
What is next?
Starting today schedule a daily SOS. Yes, schedule it. Do not leave it to chance.
Think of it as training for your brain. A space where you get to think. Free of distraction and noise. You will be amazed at the clarity that comes from these sessions and how your productivity and effectiveness soars.
- The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – More Than An SUV
- (Podcast) Are All Prices Negotiable?
- (Podcast) Phone Calls Often Solve Email Problems
- (Podcast) Being An Entrepreneur Is Painful
- (Podcast) Playing To An Audience Of One
- Be 1 Of 3 High Growth Scale Ups Sponsored By FNB & Vumela To Participate For FREE In 10X Accelerator Program (Value Of R650 000)
- R33 Million Boost For Job Creation And Innovation In SA
Start-up Industry Specific2 weeks ago
How Do I Start A Transport Or Logistics Business?
Entrepreneur Profiles1 month ago
10 SA Entrepreneurs Who Built Their Businesses From Nothing
Upstarts1 month ago
10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets
Business Plan Advice1 month ago
Writing a Business Plan May Not Be Your Idea Of Fun, But It Forces You To Build These 4 Crucial Habits