5 key mindset shifts for success
The new year offers us a chance to start fresh. It feels like we have a blank slate, and for many of us that means creating new intentions or setting goals and resolutions for things we’d like to achieve in the year ahead.
But there are many pitfalls on the path to change. And a lot of them are rooted in your mindset.
Our minds can be a tricky business–they can help us achieve feats we never thought possible, or they can hold us back from accomplishing what we know we can achieve.
I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the minefield that is my own mind; and with my background in positive psychology, I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t (mostly through trial and error in my own life!)
So based on my experiences, here are my top 5 mindset shifts that will help set you up for success this year:
Hey guys! Kate here and today I want to share with you some key mindset shifts that can help you make this year your best yet. These are all things that have personally made a difference in my own life and I’m excited to share them with you.
So here goes:
Choose to see the positive:
The way we frame our day can either set us up for success or failure–and the thing is we have a choice. I use this example all the time, but take my day so far–here are 2 versions:
I woke up and the sun was shining and I got a lot done at my office, and later I got to have coffee with a friend.
Or version 2: I woke up but it was early and I was still really tired and didn’t want to get up. I got to my office but we were out of my favorite tea so I had to have a different kind. Then I was late meeting my friend, which was stressful.
Which one is true? They both are–the difference is what I chose to focus on. When I choose to focus on the good, I’m creating a good day for myself.
Now, focusing on the positive doesn’t mean ignoring the bad. When bad things happen, we can’t ignore them. But we can acknowledge them, AND not let those things ruin the rest of our day.
So if a co-worker sends a nasty email first thing in the morning, you can acknowledge that it made you feel pretty crappy. Then you can take a deep breath, find something to be grateful for, and move forward with your day without dwelling on that one thing and letting it ruin your rest of your day.
And obviously sometimes big things happen–we lose loved ones, get into car accidents–and these things are major. We can’t just sweep them under the rug and put a smile on our faces. We have to sit with the hurt and the negative feelings.
But I’ve found that when we have cultivated a habit of being in the positive, when these catastrophic things happen, we can cultivate feelings of gratitude even while feeling hurt, sad, upset.
We might feel grateful for the bystander that stopped to help us after our car accident. Or the old family friend who brought food over after a loss. And these moments of gratitude can help anchor us in the midst of emotional turmoil.
So start cultivating that positivity today. Which side of the bed are you going to CHOOSE to wake up on? As my teacher Tal ben Shahar says,”each and every moment you have a choice.” Choose wisely.
Notice your self-sabotages.
Have you ever noticed that when things are going really great and everything is lining up, you get sick? Or something breaks down? Do you ever feel like you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop?
You’re not alone sister, but this is what we call self-sabotage.
Gay Hendricks talks a lot about this in his book The Big Leap. We all have blocks, and upper limits–the limits of what we think we can achieve/ deserve/ are worthy of. And when we get too close to those limits, or reach them, we self-sabotage and prevent ourselves from really achieving those successes.
Do you procrastinate planning your vacation and then when you do, airline tickets are way too expensive? Self-sabotage.
Are you trying to save money for a new car, but keep “forgetting” to pay your bills on time so you end up with late fees? Self-sabotage.
I know, you’re like “but Kate I really just didn’t have time to book the tickets,” or “I genuinely forgot about my bills this month.” But the truth is, those are things within your control, that if you really prioritized, you could have avoided.
If you really wanted that vacation and thought you deserved it, you sure as heck would have booked those tickets 6 months in advance. If you really believe you deserve that new car, you are going to be super careful with your money, making sure your bills are paid, savings is building up, etc. But you didn’t. Something is holding you back from taking these simple actions: your mindset.
So here’s an exercise: ask yourself–what is it you’ve been trying to achieve for a while, but have been struggling with? Is it saving money for a major purchase? Getting out of debt? Booking new clients? Getting pregnant? Whatever it is, I want you to spend 15 minutes writing about why you don’t want to achieve this thing, or why you don’t deserve it, aren’t worthy, etc.
Just do a brain dump–it can be dumb stuff, like my haircut isn’t professional enough to get new clients. Or it can be serious–I don’t deserve to save money because I’m bad with it and will just waste it on stupid purchases.
Let it all come up, and then review what you wrote. Chances are you’ve got some juicy stuff there. And the first step to overcoming these roadblocks and sabotages is being aware of them. When they are in the forefront of your mind, you can do something about them when they come up, and even take action to counter those negative beliefs about yourself. So go digging and dig up the dirt on your negative beliefs.
Ask yourself how you want to feel
Most of the time, we set goals about things we want to accomplish–milestones, accolades, promotions, etc. But we don’t think about what’s behind those desires. And usually those are feelings we want to experience or cultivate.
In her book The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte digs deep into this idea. If you’ve never read it, I suggest you do–this work can be transformational.
Basically, the idea is that behind every desire is a feeling we want to have.
You want that promotion at work? Maybe you want to be recognized, feel accomplished or successful. If you’re trying to buy a house, maybe you want to feel stable, cozy, safe.
But sometimes, the achievements and milestones we collect seem empty–because in the end they didn’t bring us the feelings we were seeking. You didn’t feel recognized by getting that promotion–your boss is just as dismissive as ever. Or you bought the house but you don’t feel stable because you’re still traveling all the time for work.
When we can identify the underlying feelings we desire, we can then ask, how can I achieve this feeling? Maybe it is by buying the house or getting the promotion, but maybe there’s another way to find that feeling.
Choosing to focus on the feeling rather than the accomplishment opens us up to a wide variety of opportunities that a single-minded focus on one goal might have closed us off to. So do the work: what do you want to achieve this year? And then what underlying feelings are you looking for in this accomplishment? You don’t have to have clear answers about how to get those feelings, but simply getting clear about how you want to feel can open you up to new possibilities.
See stress as something to balance, not eliminate
I know stress has a bad rap–and it should. It can contribute to a whole host of diseases in body and mind. But what if I told you stress isn’t really the problem?
Here’s the thing–a stress free life just doesn’t exist. It’s part of life–animals have stress–about predators, and where to find food–and humans have those same stressors plus a million more. That’s never going to change.
What can change is your response to stress.
Part of this can be a mindset shift: is this a major catastrophe, or a challenge that you know you can overcome? There are definitely catastrophes, but forgetting to buy eggs at the store isn’t one of them.
Ask yourself–is this worthy of my stress? If not, let it go and save your energy for sweating the big stuff.
Secondly, find time every day to pause. To take yourself out of the commotion around you, whether that’s work, kids or a mountain of laundry, and take 10-15 minutes just for you (no phones allowed).
Take a short stroll, listen to music (but don’t get distracted by facebook), or simply sit with a cup of tea.
I know, you’re freaking out because who has time to just sit for 15 minutes?
Well, you do.
Yeah, that’s right. The world actually won’t end if you take 15 minutes out for you. But guess what might happen? You will probably feel calmer and a little less harried and stressed. Schedule it in if you need to–set a reminder on your phone, but take those pauses.
Stress isn’t going anywhere, so you need to be the one to make small change that will help you manage it better.
Shift from achieving to receiving.
This is probably one of the hardest mindset shifts for women to make. Of all the women I’ve worked with, not one has said, oh easy peasy. Most just look at me like “you want me to do what?”
But here’s the deal, most of us are so busy trying to achieve things–make things happen and be in control all the time, that we don’t have space to receive things into our lives.
Sometimes opportunity comes in an unexpected package, and if we are too busy trying to control things and we have tunnel vision, we may not even see it sitting right on our doorstep. Or if we do, we say “I didn’t order anything–it’s not mine” and reject it.
But life has a way of offering the unexpected solution, the unsolicited help, and if you’re not open to receive those things, you can make life a lot harder for yourself than it needs to be.
Now, this doesn’t mean you just sit back and wait for things to come to you–you still have to take action, and yes we do need to be in control some of the time–of the things we CAN control. But there are plenty of things we can’t control.
(And yes, I know you try—you’re having a party next weekend and the weather had better be nice.)
But honestly, there are many things in heaven and earth that we have no control over. So let those things go, and create space to receive what does come your way.
It’s hard, and you might have to pry your little fingers off the steering wheel one by one. But I promise you can do it. And you might be in for a surprise or two.
So these are my top 5 mindset tips to help you be successful in 2018. These are all things that have revolutionized my life and mindset and I hope they help you too.
I’d love to hear from you–what aha’s did you have after today’s video? Feel free to share in the comments below.
Plus, if you haven’t already, you can download my 2018 Goal Mapping Guide to help you plan out your success in the new year! DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE HERE
Wishing you success in the year ahead!
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