You can measure success in a variety of ways. For some, success might mean finally opening their own business. For others, it could mean being able to buy their first house. Success can be had by anyone who is willing to put in the hard work and dedication to achieve their ultimate goals.
While the definition of success will vary from person to person, all successful people have one thing in common: they have in some way or other, trained their mind to be programmed to achieve.
At the foundation, your ability to reach your goals and get what you want out of life is your mindset. Your mindset plays a significant role in how you approach going after your goals and in how you move past failure.
To achieve success, it is necessary that you have the right mindset, strategy, and approach. If you continue to fail in achieving your goals, you may need to change your mindset.
Changing your mindset to help you achieve your goals isn't as hard as you may think. Training your mind to perform in a way which promotes and fosters success can dramatically improve your life.
Even if you tend to think positively towards achieving your goals, it is your thought patterns when things get difficult that have a negative impact on your results.
No matter what your goals are, whether you’re looking to get a promotion at work, start a new business, or buy a new car, the following strategies for changing your mindset can be implemented in your life and start you on the path of success.
Tune Into Your Mind
Our subconscious mind is more powerful than many of us realize, and could be what’s holding you back from your next level of success. You may not realize that much of our behavior is controlled by our subconscious mind.
In fact, experts often cite that more than 90 percent of our actions are controlled by our subconscious mind, leaving just 10 percent to interact consciously with the world around us!
The problem with this is that after years of ‘programming’, our brains can become our most prominent opponent when it comes to achieving our goals.
That being said, our subconscious mind is at work 24/7, and can't tell the difference between reality and imagination, making it an enormously influential tool on your path to success.
Our conscious minds are responsible for identifying various information and making the best decisions based on what is currently relevant in our life. Subsequently, these decisions affect our subconscious.
Programming Your Mind
If we consider the conscious mind to be the programmer, then the subconscious is our “hard disk”.
Without even realizing it, our subconscious mind is being programmed continuously as a result of the decisions we make, the things we see and the sources we listen to.
All of your beliefs, thoughts and habits are programmed into your subconscious, so the first step to achieving success is to train your psyche to think successfully.
Sometimes, clients I coach regard this as a difficult, if not impossible, task. But the truth is, it can be done - with the right type and amount of effort.
Because the subconscious mind is largely programmed by images and words, one of the most critical steps when reprogramming your subconscious mind is to visualize the things that you wish to achieve – as if they’re already achieved (or in the process of being achieved).
This type of “subconscious entrainment” allows your mind to begin thinking and operating in a way that encourages success. Without having a specific vision of your success, it can be challenging to get your subconscious mind to point in the right direction.
So it goes without saying, that it’s vital that your visions are not too general. General, unclear ideas won't have an impact on reprogramming your subconscious mind to take the right actions for success.
To properly train your subconscious mind you’ll need to provide constant reminders of what you are trying to achieve. A great way to do this is through a “vision board” (no, it’s not just for new-age people!) – where you curate and compile images associated with your goals or vision.
Another way is to simply pin relevant images on your computer’s wallpaper, your smartphone or – as I advise some of my time-poor clients to do – on the bathroom mirror or kitchen fridge, thereby “priming” your brain to build the neural connections that are conducive toward the achievement of that goal or vision.
Setting Your Goals
Before you can begin to reprogram your subconscious mind to take the steps needed to achieve your goals, you need to choose the right goals. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to give up on your goals if you believe they are unattainable.
To begin building your goals, you need to make time to think about who you are and how to best approach things.
If you’re like many people, preferring instant gratification, then setting smaller, achievable goals to move you closer to your primary goal, can be a good strategy.
Setting small, achievable goals allows you to break down the amount of work that you need to do to achieve your goal, into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Using an analogy that my clients like – if your goal is analogous to the top of a set of stairs, then staring at the top of the stairs all the time can be daunting and overwhelm you into inaction or derailment. But if you focus on the next few steps ahead of you, then you can make steady progress toward the top.
Setting Strategic Goals
Dividing your goals into smaller, more easily achievable goals is one of the best ways to achieve success. However, for you to obtain the results you want, you have to develop the right strategy. Part of the plan is making sure that you set the right goals so that you can reach your primary goal.
To ensure that you set the right goals, you need to take your time and put some effort into designing and setting your goals.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when setting your goals is imposing unreasonable time limits on reaching your goals.
Giving yourself too little time to achieve your goals can increase your stress levels while giving yourself too much time can result in you losing your motivation.
I often hear this from ambitious CEOs who set incredibly high goals for their business, but without adequate planning for achievement timelines, resource and capacity considerations.
So take the time to understand your “why” (I call that your “WHYpower”), plan better, establish macro and micro KPIs to enable you to track progress for more sustainable results and better support from the people and things you need along the way.
Dealing with Setbacks and Failures
Setbacks and failures are a natural part of life. Even the most successful people have experienced setbacks and failures at some point in their journey. The difference between those who achieve success and those who don’t is how they deal with setbacks and failures.
Successful people, like everyone else, experience setbacks and failures, however, the difference is that they have learned how to face them head on and positively deal with them.
Whether it’s Edison or Branson, Gates or Jobs – they’ve all demonstrated that when they fail, they don't give up. Instead, they strive to persevere, never allowing the downfalls to get the better of them.
Which is why when it comes to success, it’s not about the mistakes that we will inevitably make, but rather how well we learn from them – how they can teach us to make better decisions.
Cutting Out Negativity
Negativity is one of the most damaging things that we often face on our journey to success. Whether it comes from negative self-talk or the words and actions of others, any kind of negativity will hinder your ability to achieve success.
Negativity acts likes brakes on our subconscious, hindering our ability to shift our mindset, while robbing us of momentum and drive. Let’s address two key sources of negativity:
Most of us have experienced someone like this (some of us might have been one at some point!). They’re the kind of people who have the ability to thoroughly drain the life out of you and push your buttons!
They’re often surrounded by a cloud of negativity and aren't afraid to share their negative opinions even when we didn’t ask for them! Spending too much time around toxic people can result in your becoming disheartened about your goals.
The best way to deal with toxic people is to cut them out of your life entirely. However, this may not always be practical, especially if they are a close friend, relative, or colleague.
If this is the case, just work on limiting your interactions with them and stop talking to them about your plans for success.
Negative Self-Talk & Your Inner Critic
Unfortunately, toxic people aren’t the only ones who can get in the way of your success. Often, we are our own worst enemies, as we sabotage our goals with negative self-talk. So getting to know yourself, and your own patterns of negative self-talk are essential to your success.
Everyone has their own inner critic which tells them that they aren’t good at anything, or they don’t have what it takes to succeed, or other disparaging self-talk.
Regular exposure to that inner negative voice can quickly derail your chances of achieving your goals. So being able to shift your mindset for success successfully means becoming aware of your inner critic and learning how to deal with it.
Here are 4 ways to change your “inner critic” to your “inner coach”:
1. Experiment with approaching your inner critic in a mindful way:
Try noticing what your inner critic has to say, but without
buying into what you notice. Step back and observe the
inner critic as it unfolds.
Name your thoughts and emotions as they arise, and observe your mind in a detached and non-judgmental way.
2. Counteract your inner critic by recalling examples of prior achievements and successes over adversity.
3. Put yourself in the shoes of those who respect or admire you – it can balance your perspective by reminding you how capable and worthy you actually are.
4. Practice self-compassion: respond by writing down a more realistic list. Write these as “I” statements. In response to a thought like, “You’re such an idiot,” you could write, “I may struggle at times, but I am smart and competent in many ways.” This isn’t meant to build you up or boost your ego but to show a kinder, more honest attitude toward yourself.
If you want to achieve success and accomplish the specific goals you’ve set for yourself, it is crucial that you refine your mindset. And yes, the only way to do this is, unsurprisingly - through hard work, commitment and consistency.
When it comes to achieving success, it all comes down to how hard you’re willing to work to reach your goals and tackle negativity and obstacles along the way.
So if you aren’t getting the success you want out of your work or life, it’s time to sit down and (re)visit the approach and amount of work you’re currently putting in to achieving your goals, and focus on pragmatic planning.
And while you’re at it, just as people often go on a diet or detox in the new-year, consider distancing yourself from negative people, upgrading the company you keep and making better choices in what you consume through your eyes and ears – not just past your lips.
You've been presented with some practical keys to reprogram your mindset for accelerated success. Now it’s up to you to turn on the ignition, put these strategies into action and drive yourself on the path to success.
And if you or your team can benefit 25+ years’ experience in high performance, emotional intelligence and success strategies for challenging times, then feel free to connect and discover what our proven StressToSuccess coaching and training can do for you.
Here’s to YOUR success.