Great spirits have always

encountered violent opposition

from mediocre minds.

— Albert Einstein

mental toughness

{excerpted + am.com edited from inc.com}

First, the definition:

“The ability to work hard and respond resiliently to failure and adversity; the inner quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals.”

Now the word:

GRIT.

The definition of grit almost perfectly describes qualities every successful person possesses, because mental toughness builds the foundations for long-term success.

For example, successful people are great at delaying gratification. Successful people are great at withstanding temptation. Successful people are great at overcoming fear in order to do what they need to do. Successful people don’t just prioritize. They consistently keep doing what they have decided is most important.

Here are ways you can become mentally stronger–and as a result more successful:

1. Always act as if you are in total control.

The same premise applies to luck. Many people feel luck has a lot to do with success or failure. If they succeed, luck favored them, and if they fail, luck was against them.

Most successful people do feel good luck played some role in their success. But they don’t wait for good luck or worry about bad luck. They act as if success or failure is totally within their control. If they succeed, they caused it. If they fail, they caused it.

By not wasting mental energy worrying about what might happen to you, you can put all your effort into making things happen.

You can’t control luck, but you can definitely control you.

2. Put aside things you have no ability to impact.

Mental strength is like muscle strength — no one has an unlimited supply. So why waste your power on things you can’t control?

For some people, it’s politics. For others, it’s family. For others, it’s global warming. Whatever it is, you care, and you want others to care.

Fine. Do what you can do: Vote. Lend a listening ear. Recycle, and reduce your carbon footprint. Do what you can do. Be your own change–but don’t try to make everyone else change.

{They won’t!}

3. See the past as valuable training and nothing more.

The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.

Then let it go.

Easier said than done? It depends on your perspective. When something bad happens to you, see it as an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, don’t just learn from it–see it as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.

The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong but only in terms of how you will make sure that next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.

4. Celebrate the success of others.

Many people — I guarantee you know at least a few — see success as a zero-sum game: there’s only so much to go around. When someone else shines, they think that diminishes the light from their stars.

Resentment sucks up a massive amount of mental energy — energy better applied elsewhere.

When a friend does something awesome, that doesn’t preclude you from doing something awesome. In fact, where success is concerned, birds of a feather tend to flock together — so draw your successful friends even closer.

Don’t resent awesomeness. Create and celebrate awesomeness, wherever you find it, and in time you’ll find even more of it in yourself.

5. Never allow yourself to whine. {Or complain. Or criticize.}

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems always makes you feel worse, not better.

So if something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that mental energy into making the situation better.

So why waste time? Fix it now. Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.

And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don’t just serve as a shoulder they can cry on. Friends don’t let friends whine; friends help friends make their lives better.

6. Focus only on impressing yourself.

No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all things. People may like your things — but that doesn’t mean they like you.

Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.

And you’ll have a lot more mental energy to spend on the people who really do matter in your life.

7. Count your blessings.

Take a second every night before you turn out the light and, in that moment, quit worrying about what you don’t have. Quit worrying about what others have that you don’t.

Think about what you do have. You have a lot to be thankful for. Feels pretty good, doesn’t it?  Feeling better about yourself is the best way of all to recharge your mental batteries.

am.xo

Don’t be distracted by criticism.

Remember – the only taste of success some people have is

when they take a bite out of you.
― Zig Ziglar

the power of a slight shift

“…when two people meet, if there’s rapport, the person who is most certain will always influence the other person…”

 

 

I have to open this post with a bit of an explanation. When I was in my early twenties and beginning my career as a real estate agent, I could not get enough of the personal development movement, all of these talented speakers spoke directly to my timid heart; they taught me how to shape my perspective, the power of my own mind, how to cultivate self-confidence and in the cut-throat world of  sales, how to grow some b*lls. Here is one of my absolute favourites:

{the video is 14 minutes and pretty dated in its aesthetic + economics but every bit the wake up call you might need right now}

What Jim Rohn Believes:

  •  You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
  • The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.
  • Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
  • Let others lead small lives, but not you.. Let others argue over small things, but not you.. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you.. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.
  • Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.
  • Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.
  • Miss a meal if you have to, but don’t miss a book.
  • Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.

Jim Rohn was the first person that said, “if you invest in your job you will make a living but if you invest in yourself, you will make a fortune.” My mind was blown and then completely changed. My fortune has manifested in many different ways throughout my life, but because of this man’s work I never wake up feeling anything less than abundant and blessed. And my hope is that you do too.

am.xo

how to live with mistakes

I have learned to like my mistakes. Definitely not in the moment, but in retrospect things were never as bad as I thought they were. And believe me, things were {felt} really awful at the time. We all feel it don’t we? That our mistakes somehow define us and that it is impossible to see ourselves in a positive light again? It can feel so limiting {and even hopeless}. But the truth is, as women, our ability to deal with mistakes is tied rather tightly with the idea that we have to be perfect.

Striving for perfection is crippling and can paralyze you. But progress, now that’s totally doable. If our lives were composed of one perfect moment after another, we would be robbed of the feeling of true success, the bliss of finding real love and the beauty of a rainbow. Things would be truly blah. My mistakes have made it possible to be grateful for all the wonder and joy in my life. My mistakes have helped me reach higher and push harder for what I want. And to do this. To be okay with your mistakes. You need to know a few things…

{an abbreviated excerpt from The Beauty of Getting it Wrong by Bonnie Tsui for O Magazine, January 2014}

Our minds are highly attuned to focus on what we’ve done wrong, not what we’ve done right. With regard to mistakes most of us fall into one 1 or 2 categories; the fixed mindset or the growth mindset. The fixed mindset tries to shut out the mistake all together and not acknowledge it. This is unfortunate, because according to recent research, acknowledging our slipups is critical to recovering from them. The growth mindset, identifies what went wrong and then adapts accordingly – it’s easier for these people to get back on their feet. The key: self-compassion. “Several studies show that when we practice a new way of approaching failure, it can change an error from something we fear into something we embrace,” says Kristin Neff, PhD, associate professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas at Austin. “The hardest part is giving yourself permission to relate to the mistake differently.”

“We found that people who were taught to be kind to themselves felt more motivated to see their mistakes as a chance for growth,” says lead researcher Juliana Breines, PhD. “Outside validation didn’t seem to matter as much.”

Talk to yourself from the perspective of a caring, problem solving friend. No excoriation necessary.

{for the entire article, click HERE}

So there you have it, another invitation to shift your perspective on things. I know it’s not an easy feat, but if you begin to apply self-compassion to your little mistakes, you will find your ability to deal with big mistakes has dramatically improved. By then you’ll be okay with not being perfect and maybe even a little thrilled by your progress.

am.xo

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