Ah, mindset shifts. What powerful things. Why? Because they translate into meditated, focused and consistent actions. You might have heard the saying: "If you want something you have never had, then you've got to do something you've never done." In other words - Stop approaching the same situations the same way every time, and expecting better results.
This is where mental strategies come in. If you want to be empowered to start acting in a way you've never acted before, you need to start thinking in a way you've never thought before.
If you keep trying to motivate yourself to do something important but just can't seem to summon the willpower, this one's for you. We all have to-to lists. We know exactly what we need to do, by when, for whom. Yet despite all this knowledge, we still fall behind because of a lack of motivation.
We often say:
"I need to do this, this and this."
Well here's a different angle of approach: Instead of saying "I need to do this, this and this", take a step back and think about why exactly you need to do those things.
"I need to do this, and here's why..."
It is much easier to accomplish something when you are firmly rooted in the reason behind why your actions are so necessary.
Sometimes we need to zoom out and see how every action and commitment we make adds up to create a grand picture. Because when you get caught up and fixated on a smaller piece of the puzzle rather than seeking the overall picture, things tend to look a bit tricky.
In the Compound Effect, Darren Hardy illustrates this concept quite well. The book brings out an example about walking the plank between two 100-story buildings.
If someone asked you to walk on a wobbly wooden plank between two 100-story buildings for $20, you'd probably look at them like they're crazy. It obviously wouldn't be worth it.
But - plot twist...
What if your child was stuck on one of rooftops while that very building was rapidly catching fire. You need to walk the length of the plank in order to save him. Would you do it then? I hear you.. it would be totally different. You would start walking on your "rooftop bridge" straight away, and it wouldn't be for the $20.
Notice something interesting? Same task, but different motivating reasons brought different results. The takeaway? "Why power" is stronger than mere willpower. This is because "why power" fuels willpower.
Think about your situation in life right now. If you really want to do something that you're slightly hesitant about because of fear of failure, or whatever else it could be - think carefully about why you need to complete this task. Why the end result is so special to you. Certain motivations are greater than others so thoughtfully access your greatest and most compelling motivation and let it lead you. That's the essence of strategy no. 1.
Never allow yourself to forget why.
There's another type of question that's useful to ask when you want to improve your chances of being successful. But rather than "Why should I want this?", it's "What would happen if I actually did this?".
To be successful, you need to start getting more comfortable asking that sometimes-scary question: "What if?".
Think about your most desired yet most intimidating goal. Ask yourself, what if I actually....(fill in the blanks with your goal). Ask that question and simmer on it for a few seconds. Allow yourself to think about it. Go on, you can do it now. The rest of this article will be waiting right here for you to resume.
Is your heart-rate increasing? Did your mind wander off into infinite possibilities? That's what happens when you start opening doors that you always convinced yourself were locked.
When you start imagining what life would look like if you did what you've always wanted to do, it changes your mood and mindset. Achievements that used to seem crazily far-fetched and unreal start to feel actually kind of possible. As you dwell in the realm of "what if", you become more mentally and emotional attached to the imagined possibilities. As a result, you're more likely to work for those dreams till they become a reality.
The official name of strategy no. 2 is positive visualisation. It's a technique that a lot of successful people, including elite athletes, have used to get into the ideal frame of mind and boost their success.
Positive visualisation is 1) visualising yourself performing the steps needed to reach your goal as well as 2) imagining yourself enjoying the positive consequences that result from reaching your goal.
Here's where it gets interesting: Studies suggest that the brain doesn't always know the difference between imagining something and actually doing it. Through positive visualisation, the brain and body become responsive and even conditioned to the particular result that you have imagined. Due to the creation of this mental imagery, the mind believes that the successful result has already been achieved, and has no problem carrying out the needed action.
Powerful isn't it? What opportunities do you have to start asking "What If?"
So, these are 2 mental strategies that will bring you greater success. And you can start implementing them right away! You can reframe your mindset and create the needed foundation for success-generating actions. Do you remember the 2 strategies?
Always keep in mind the why and what if.
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