I see it time and time again, people who have amazing possibilities and opportunities, but don’t seem to capitalize on them and succeed.
Are you one of those people? Do you feel like you’re not moving forward or succeeding the way you want or with the speed with which you want?
There may be a way to help you start to change that trajectory with one adjustment in the way you approach life and your own decision making. In other words, by changing the way you think.
Clear Negative Thoughts
Many of us create our own obstacles and our own failures just by the way we think. This type of behavior can have profound effects on the outcomes in our lives. It’s so powerful in fact, experts say that it can mean the difference between success and failure.
You might fit in this group if you have a tendency to do the following. Do you…
- Blame outside forces for the negative things that happen to you?
- Resist being open to mistakes by not listening or do you talk over people who are critical of you and offering advice?
- Feel hurt and angry when people are critical of your work?
- Always find excuses for situations or events when they don’t go your way?
- Highlight the negative experiences about an event or endeavor?
- Respond to the question “how’s your day?” with “Ugh!” “FML,” “Don’t even ask!” or something similar?
If you have a tendency to do any of these things then success might be more elusive to you than it needs to be.
Here’s the good news: YOU have the power to control it. You can change by understanding what is stopping you, then taking one single action to change it.
Keep in mind, it won’t happen overnight, but you can get started immediately.
Key point: negative thoughts and blaming outside elements for you not succeeding is a victim’s mentality and it will only cause you to continue to be a victim subjected to outside forces and everyone else’s thoughts and actions.
First, you need to accept–I mean totally OWN the fact that MISTAKES are a successful person’s ASSETS and not owning and evaluating them keeps you from learning from those mistakes. Which only helps you to you repeat negative behaviors and keeps you from overcoming obstacles and moving closer to your goals.
Making the adjustment that you yourself are responsible for the choices you make that impact your destiny is absolutely paramount to your success.
I Am My Destiny
So many people struggle with this concept. One of the reasons is that the negative type of thinking is their comfort zone and it is where they reside on a day-to-day basis. It’s how they wake up. It’s how they live their day. According to experts, this is often due to upbringing, education or the people we choose to surround ourselves with.
It’s hard to break that habit because negative thoughts are not only present but subconsciously it’s comfortable for us to live in the negative because it was an ingrained part of our youth. Also consider that if birds of a feather flock together, you may be choosing, currently, to surround yourself with people who also think negatively and blame outside forces. This will only perpetuate the negativity that will serve to reinforce negative thought processes that drive you because it’s all you are hearing. So it sounds, “right.
Mix together that with the fact that changing that ingrained thought process requires you to move out of your comfort zone–which usually requires uncomfortable work on yourself.
You can see how people can take the path of least resistance and stay the way they are. Because moving outside your comfort zone is hard.
Sometimes, the people you surround yourself with in a support group or a mastermind can also perpetuate this failed thinking. They do so by assuring you that you don’t have control over your behaviors, that there’s a force greater than you that is responsible. This can have long-term negative impacts on your success.
This can have long-term negative impacts on your success.
There is a rush of freedom that comes with releasing responsibility to a greater power. That rush feels so good that it can’t be bad for you, right?
It can be crushing to your long-term success if you don’t also assume accountability for your behaviors by knowing, intrinsically, that you yourself are responsible for your choices.
Keep in mind that you’re certainly not alone in this type of behavior. The majority of people seem to have this tendency to think negatively. But knowing that you can consciously change this behavior by just deciding to do so creates a sublime power.
It’s similar to the goal-obstacle-take action plan I wrote about in a previous blog. It simply starts with a decision to change your locus of control from external forces to internal forces… or one that is fully YOU!
It is a decision that YOU push the buttons that not only steer the ship but give it the power to propel forward.
In other words, stop playing victim to life’s conditions and situations, and instead of reacting emotionally to them, take responsibility for them.
It’s owning control of your own destiny, not cowardly relinquishing the control to some unknown force that’s “greater than you.” I’m not arguing that there is a force greater than you out there that exists or not. That’s not important. What is important is that you KNOW that YOU exist. And that YOU have the scientifically proven ability to make changes in the way you think, behave and react that can flip your trajectory from one that seems to fail to one that more consistently succeeds.
This kind of teaching that you’re not responsible drives me crazy and is utterly senseless. Think about it this way: If you’re not responsible for your own failures then subconsciously your brain will tell you that you’re not responsible for your own successes.
And if you can’t be responsible for your own successes… then why take action at all? It’s cognitive dissonance that leads so many people to repeat their failures.
The core character condition one needs to develop is accountability.
Experts say that all great leaders have this one quality in common. That quality is a willingness not only to accept accountability but to race to it. To own the mistakes that occur not only within ourselves but within an organization. It’s the-buck-stops-here approach.
Well, who is the leader of your life but you? Self-leadership requires the same accountability, the same introspection.
Take Positive Steps Now
So start making choices to take accountability for your own destiny. By first making the decision to start your day positive.
And if it’s not a positive day, take responsibility for that. Think about why and what you could have done to make it more positive and more productive. Because today is tomorrow’s yesterday and if you take the time and make the decision to learn from those mistakes, the lessons learned can be applied to your tomorrow to make it better.
It’s a lot of responsibility knowing that you’re in charge of your own success, but it’s also extremely rewarding knowing that you have all the power you need to succeed.
I know a lot of this may sound like gobbledygook. But if you take a moment to consider it, I think you’ll discover that the gobbledegook has some value.