Have you ever been humming along in your work or making progress in your life only to find yourself one day having no energy or motivation to move forward?
You start to feel paralyzed or just simply “lose interest” in what you had been so excited about only a few moments ago.
Or, perhaps you notice a bad habit or unhelpful behavior that you want to eliminate. So, you set off to add a positive habit or cut out a bad one, only to abandon your goal a few days or weeks later.
Sometimes our behaviors can be the cause of so much frustration. It’s difficult to understand why we make the choices that we do – especially when they seem to be so contradicting at times.
If you’ve tried to succeed in your business, career, or lifestyle before and haven’t yet, it’s not because you aren’t capable or talented or good enough or smart enough.
It’s because you didn’t know how to create a mindset that set you up for success – no matter the odds.
But addressing this issue isn’t as complicated as you might think. You simply need to learn these three things.
You Don’t Know How To Manage Your Fears
Achieving your goals and creating your ideal lifestyle takes so much more than simply knowing what you want to do. You also have to know how to get there.
While you might think of the “how” in the business sense – knowing how to market yourself, navigating office politics, getting the right education – there’s also an extremely important, but often silent “how” that keeps people from what they want even more.
It’s the “how” to manage your SELF.
It’s knowing what to do when your fears come up or knowing how to get yourself motivated when you consistently procrastinate or knowing how to quiet the negative voices that whisper why you can’t, won’t or shouldn’t.
Without knowing how to become a person who is capable of achieving the success you want, your desires will always be “out there” and will remain just a dream, wish, or distant hope for “someday”.
To be a person of considerable success, you have to develop a way of thinking that’s different than the average person. Many people prefer to live blind to the problems and solutions in their life.
But not you.
You were meant for something greater, to stand out, to be bold, and to express it in your own unique way.
The first step in creating a success mindset is self-awareness and knowledge of how beliefs and habits are formed.
It’s important to note that beliefs, habits, self-esteem, the way we think, the way we act, what we do – can all be changed. It’s not static.
We’re not immovable, irreversible beings. We can change our thoughts, alter our behaviors, and shift our beliefs in whatever way we would like.
Up to this point, it might have seemed like you were at the mercy of your own emotions. That you weren’t really in control of how you felt or what you believed about yourself. Some days were “good days” and others were “bad days”.
Not so anymore!
You are now in control of your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and LIFE! You get to decide, from this moment forward, who you are and what you will become.
Awareness is one of our most powerful tools. Without awareness and insight, it’s difficult to see change or improvement in almost any area of your life.
Luckily as introverts, we have a special advantage in this, as we’re wired to think deeply about lots of different subjects and to reflect on situations, behaviors, and reasons for our own and other’s choices.
The first step to changing your mindset is being aware of your current state:
- What thoughts or beliefs do you find yourself thinking about most often?
- Are they about how you can succeed and what steps you need to take next?
- Are they about your past failures, fears about the future, or never-ending questions of “what ifs”?
Depending on where your focus is, you’ll either be planning for how to tackle your problems or ruminating on why you can’t possibly overcome them.
One of the most important aspects of awareness is having a knowledge and understanding of your brain and how it works.
Your brain has two main jobs, both of which have a lot to do with whether or not you achieve your goals.
One of these jobs is to keep you safe from real or imagined danger and from physical or emotional harm.
Since your brain wants to keep you safe, this means that anything new, whether good or bad, can elicit the same unsure, anxious feeling.
From your brain’s perspective, maintaining the status quo of your current beliefs, habits, feelings, etc. is the safest route.
This is why after your initial excitement about a new goal or opportunity fades, you start to feel the doubts and insecurities rising up.
Your brain starts to go into “fight, flight, or freeze” mode, as this is the normal response to a possibly threatening (or new) situation.
Given that an introvert’s brain is already prone to overthink, and that our main mode of operation is the “calm down” system, we tend to fall into the “freeze” mode and lose our motivation to pursue this new idea or goal.
Without understanding what’s going on in your brain, you may mistakenly assume that it just wasn’t meant to be or that you just don’t “feel” like it’s the right choice.
But gaining this self-awareness is absolutely essential to managing your emotions and fears.
You can learn to observe your concerns, instead of being controlled by them. You can thank your brain for doing its best to keep you safe, then remind yourself that just because you feel afraid, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work toward this dream or goal.
In fact, the more important a goal is, the more scared you will feel; so, you’ll need to work even harder to overcome that initial fear-based reaction.
The second important step to upgrading your beliefs and habits is living intentionally.
So often, we’re just busy, but we’re not doing anything that directly moves us in the direction we want. We have to be intentional about not only how we spend our time (more on that later), but also on what we’re going to do when a negative, unhelpful or fear-based response comes up.
Plan ahead of time how you will redirect your thoughts in a positive direction. Remember the purpose of your fear (to keep you safe), but realize that you get to decide what action you take.
You are not your thoughts – you are what you repeatedly choose to do.
Separate yourself from your fear and consider it as a visitor who’s simply passing through. You do NOT have to own your fear as fact – it’s simply a brain-based process to a new situation, not a reason you shouldn’t pursue your goals.
Which brings us to the final step in the success-based process – acting in a way that supports our new beliefs.
Learn what you can from your fear (perhaps you need to make a list of specific steps to achieve your goal or evaluate the best path to take) and MOVE on.
I mean this in both the literal and physical sense. Moving your body reaffirms your mental choice to move on from the fear.
Get up, go for a walk, go outside, do some stretches… just DO something. There is where you capitalize on the mind-body connection by focusing on the here and now (not the fear) and moving with intention and purpose.
Learning how to manage your fears and emotions is a process just like anything else.
But since our beliefs, fears, thoughts, and actions originate in the brain – and the brain is able to adapt, change, and create new patterns – WE are able to completely shift our mindset and therefore the outcomes we see in our lives.
It’s all a matter of being aware, intentional, and acting in a way that supports your goals and dreams.
You Don’t Know How to Own Your Schedule
During our early years, it seems like all we do is wait. We wait to get our driver’s license, we wait to get our first job, we wait to graduate college, we wait to turn eighteen so we’re legally considered an adult…
We just can’t wait to grow up!
Then, we do – and oftentimes, life isn’t exactly what we expected.
There are no more summers off, no more school breaks, and no more student discounts.
We’ve entered the “real” world – the one we’ve been waiting for!
Only to find out that we now feel as though we have less time than ever, with even more demands, responsibilities and expectations (with no “breaks” in sight).
It’s at this point that you might realize that you aren’t really where you want to be. And yet you feel that you’ve missed your chance and that you’re stuck in this endless cycle of working and waiting for something to change.
But the truth is, for most of us, life isn’t going to slow down so we can get our priorities straightened out.
We have to design our life the way we want while continuing to work where we are.
But this kind of transition is going to require a new way of thinking. It’s going to take more than just setting goals with the intention of getting to them “one day”.
It’s going to require you to OWN your schedule and to purposefully structure your days in a way that puts you in charge of your life.
What does it mean to own your schedule? First, let’s consider what it doesn’t mean.
It’s NOT taking the leftovers of your day and devoting time to your goals once everything else is completed. It IS determining your values and what’s most important to you right now and giving that priority in your life.
For example, let’s say that you really value family time, but you have a goal of starting a new business.
Although you might rank family as more important than your career, during this transitional period, you’ll have to decide where you’re going to place your priority.
You may not be able to attend every family function, get-together or Sunday BBQ if you’re going to accomplish your business goal.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you give no time to your family – but you have to determine what your daily and weekly schedule will look like before it happens.
Distractions and other people’s plans will run your life if you don’t set your schedule ahead of time and know what you are committed to accomplishing.
Making a change in how you think or act takes more mental energy at first. Therefore, without a calm, supportive environment, you’re much more likely to slip back into old patterns when you’re tired, annoyed, frustrated, stressed, or distracted.
As much as possible, let others who are in your daily life know you’ll be implementing some changes in your routine and would appreciate their support and understanding.
As you’re working toward your goals, you won’t be as available to engage in some events, but you’re working hard short-term to set yourself up for long-term gains.
Make sure YOU are in complete alignment with this first.
Realize that there are so many more people than just you that would benefit from you having more time, more resources, more money, more knowledge, more personal development skills…and all that is possible if you live out your passion and create the ideal lifestyle you want.
Don’t accept the guilt from yourself or others that may come during this time of setting boundaries.
Own who you are and what you’re trying to create and KNOW that you are going to change lives, just by doing what you were put on this earth to do!
The final piece to owning your schedule is setting aside specific times in your daily and weekly routines that are devoted to working toward your goal.
Get a planner and devote time each day to reviewing your goals for that week.
Unfortunately, what tends to happen is that we set a goal, but don’t set a time for when we’re actually going to follow through on it.
It’s vital to break down your goals into daily and weekly objectives and then add those to your planner – that way you’ve set your intention to complete your objectives and can feel more in control and motivated since you’ll be taking consistent and specific action.
Owning your schedule is about more than managing your time wisely. It’s about coming to terms with who you are and what you want your life to look like.
A mediocre life takes mediocre effort, while an extraordinary life takes extraordinary effort.
It’s up to you to decide which path you’d like to take.
You Haven’t Strengthened Your Resiliency
As with anything in life, you will experience setbacks during this period of change and personal development. These bumps in the road, although challenging and painful at times, can be the points of biggest and fastest growth.
Since you know that the brain likes to conserve energy and to avoid threatening (or new) situations, it’s no surprise that we like to stay in our comfort zone.
We grow accustomed to our current patterns and habits and, regardless of their usefulness, find it difficult to change those routines.
When you start to implement positive thinking, make a new schedule and complete your objectives, your brain will use your initial motivation to keep you going for a time.
However, we all have our breaking point: the moment at which we’ve used up all our motivation and want to revert to our old, comfortable ways.
It’s crucial that you learn how to recognize these resistance points and navigate them successfully to continue on your path.
It’s essential to know that experiencing a resistance point is something to be celebrated! It means that you’re really giving your brain a workout and are training it to recalibrate to higher and better ways of thinking and being.
Also, know that EVERYONE experiences these blocks, no matter how skilled, advanced, or educated. Successful people are simply those who have learned what it takes to push past these points, despite the level of difficulty.
So what does being resilient really mean?
Resiliency is the ability to recover or adjust to a difficult set of circumstances or perceived setbacks. It’s the ability to continue moving forward despite fear, rejection, uncertainty or loss.
Resilient people are not those who have had an easy life. In fact, the most resilient people are those who have faced tremendous odds and still chose to create the life they wanted, not the one that was handed to them.
There are several key traits to building resiliency, but I’ll focus on the ones that I consider to be the top three most important factors.
First, resilient people don’t feel sorry for themselves.
Although they may find themselves in unfair, disadvantageous or emotionally-draining situations, they don’t focus on their surroundings or external environment.
They focus on what they CAN do, regardless of the challenges around them or the difficulty of the road ahead of them. They recognize that thinking about or ruminating on what upsets, frustrates or hurts them gets them no closer to their goals.
This also means that they don’t have a victim mentality. They don’t see events as happening TO them, but as happening FOR them. Whatever the situation or challenge, they’re determined to turn their biggest struggles into their biggest opportunities for growth.
Having this growth-oriented mindset allows them to see past their current reality and into their future with hope, clarity and perseverance.
Second, resilient people aren’t people-pleasers.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t care about other people or that they’re selfish.
What it does mean is that they don’t waste their mental energy on trying to figure out how to make everyone else happy (which is something we have absolutely no control over anyway). When they help others, they do so with intention, not out of reluctance, obligation or guilt.
They focus on what they can do to improve themselves (as opposed to focusing on how to change others) and they don’t expect something from others that they wouldn’t expect from themselves.
They understand that sometimes the most upsetting or difficult situations will be the most life-changing opportunities, so they don’t try to save everyone from their struggles or challenges, although they will offer help, guidance or support.
They’re comfortable saying “no” and accept that everyone does not have to understand, accept or agree with their choices, goals or priorities.
Finally, resilient people don’t focus on the past.
We all have regrets, disappointments and hurts that we wish we could change. But focusing on something that you cannot change – which is anything in the past – is futile and incredibly frustrating.
It keeps you in a cycle of negative emotions that seems inescapable at times. Resilient people realize the meaninglessness of focusing their attention on the past and determine to shift their focus forward – on things that they can have a part in creating and changing.
It’s not that they don’t have hurts or regrets. They just recognize that the longer it takes them to accept what is – the longer they will experience emotional pain.
Since resistance is the sustainer of emotional pain, acceptance is the antidote to our deepest sorrows.
The quicker we accept the things we can’t change, the faster we’ll be able to use our emotions and thoughts to create the future we want.
You CAN Create a Mindset for Success!
Developing a success mindset isn’t just about thinking positive. It’s about knowing how to implement the right strategies, at the right time, in the right order.
It’s a system that can be learned by anyone who is committed to making her dreams a reality.
Once you accept that this is possible for you – that you CAN change your beliefs, thoughts and feelings – a world of possibilities will open up. It all starts with refusing to accept the status quo and moving forward, despite your fears or anxieties.
You are capable of amazing things – isn’t it time you lived like it?
Did you find this article helpful? If so, would you mind sharing it with a friend? I appreciate your support in empowering introverts to live a passionate and purposeful life!
As always, please feel free to leave me a comment or question below and I’d be happy to connect with you!