When it comes to achieving your goals or dreams, your success boils down to one simple thing: your mindset. If you keep a positive mindset, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. But if you allow yourself to sink into negativity, you’re going to stay stuck. So how do you flip the negative to the positive, even when everything seems hard? I’ve got a few ideas to help.
I recently had the pleasure of reading a book for my friend’s book group. It’s called “The Dream Giver”, by Bruce Wilkinson. It's a short book, and the first half is a parable about the journey to following your dreams. Then the second half contains his steps to follow them.
It felt like such a coincidence to pick up the book, because I’ve been talking about leaving your comfort zone this past month. I love reading different takes on the same topic, but the idea of leaving the familiar behind to accomplish something bigger has been around probably forever: it’s the hero’s journey. It’s a universal idea found across history and cultures, and it’s useful to acknowledge that everyone experiences obstacles on their way to living out their dreams. It's only the people that quit or don't get started in the first place that don't get there.
Negativity plays a huge role in why people stay within their comfort zone. Negativity can make you feel sorry for yourself and resent others that are daring to do the things you aren’t. It can have a powerful hold on your mindset, but there are ways to turn it around. Here are five.
1. Define Your Comfort Zone. Even when you’ve got your goal in mind and have a solid plan to achieve it, it’s easy to lose sight of things when you’re faced with so many obstacles. This is when your comfort zone comes calling! One way to resist is to know exactly what your comfort zone looks like ahead of time. Here’s mine.
When things get tough for me, I start thinking it would be so much easier to go back to a life where I can shut down my computer and put my whole heart into taking care of my family. I’d dissolve the boundaries I have around my work time and be completely available. I’d spend most of my time cooking, cleaning the house, and doing yard work, and those are things that I mostly enjoy doing. I’d have a lot more time for exercise, and life looks much easier in my comfort zone. I'm not having to balance my family and home life with my mission to help more women achieve their dreams.
It helps to know what your comfort zone is so that honestly you can resist it when the going gets hard. Your comfort zone might be a comfortable job that you don't really love, or a city that doesn't fit your lifestyle anymore. When you know what your comfort zone is, you can be more aware of when you start slipping into it.
2. Know What Matters. Before you close the door to your dreams and fall back into your comfort zone, you need to remind yourself what really matters to you. Why did you choose that particular goal or dream? If you've created a journal for your journey, then you can simply look up your entries or notes from when you started. That's why I hold my Design Your Decade Workshops every year, and why I recommend writing down your 10 dreams every single day. In that workshop, you would've written down your hopes and dreams, and more importantly, your why.
Your why is what you really need to focus on. It's the reason you're doing what you're doing. It's why you're taking risks and facing all these difficult challenges head on. So don't let those obstacles stop you. Remember your why, and you'll remember all the hopeful positive thoughts you had at the beginning of your journey when you were still excited. This practice motivates you and it gives you a good kick in the pants.
3. Think Limitless. Keep in mind that there really is no limit to what you can do. You’re given your dream for a reason! This is going to be harder for someone used to thinking negatively. They'll find it hard to do anything noteworthy at all because their negativity is going to pull them down. Even though they may have the skills and talents to go after their dreams, they don't use them to their advantage. The defeatist attitude is going to pull the plug on their dreams and maybe even those of others.
You can have a different story. While it may seem safe, your comfort zone is actually keeping you penned in. Outside the walls of your comfort zone, there are no limits. This is where you’ll uncover your true potential. And when you think positively, you'll be able to see previously hidden opportunities and possibilities you couldn’t see before.
4. Look Forward to Failure. Every successful person has had failures on the way to realizing their dreams. Ask any successful person if they had a smooth journey towards their success, or if they didn't suffer any hiccups or failures on the way to the top, they'll probably have a chuckle and tell you about all the mistakes they made and the countless nights they spent trying to understand what their failures were telling them.
That last part is key - your failures will literally show you what you need to do (or not to do) so you can succeed. At least, this is what a positive person will say. Negative thinkers on the other hand will see failures as evidence as to why you should quit.
When you fail at something, it shows you what you can't and shouldn't be doing the next time. It also shows you that you're out there giving it a try, and the more failures you have, the closer you'll be toward your goals. Eventually you’ll find the right combination, the right process, the right system that will lead you to success.
5. Be Excited For Your Future. Negative people aren't excited about their lives or what the future can bring them. Instead of looking for the possibilities, they're looking for what won't work about their situation or circumstances. And if you're looking for what won't work, you'll definitely find it. Luckily, if you’re looking for ways that things will work out, you’ll get that, too.
Get excited about your life and all the possibilities it holds! Being positive doesn’t mean you won’t see dark clouds now and then, because life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. But rather than honing in on the negative, you’ll still look forward to what comes after the storm.
This is where gratitude plays a big role. By practicing gratitude and noticing what’s right in your life, you can keep yourself from spiraling downward when you do experience the inevitable failures and obstacles.
Your mindset is key to getting exactly what you want out of life, and you get to choose: Do you want to stay where you are, or step into a place of limitless potential? If it’s the latter, working on your positivity will help.
If you are ready to get serious about making your dreams come true, I hope you'll join me in one of my Design Your Decade Workshops. They're held on Zoom so you can join from anywhere. They're also completely interactive so you can learn from other people, and other people can learn from you. We'll evaluate 2022, clarify your big goals and dreams, and decide what you want to focus on for 2023. This is two hours of your life that will set the stage for moving forward and out of your comfort zone. Join me!
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