We all face challenges in life. If we’re human, we’ve come up against struggle personally and professionally. But some of the best advice I’ve received is to show up like you’re already where you want to be. If you are stuck or feeling like things aren’t exactly where you want them to be, let me send you some virtual encouragement and maybe a new perspective. Here’s what I’ve learned.
First, let me put it out there. I’m my own worst enemy. There’s no one who can do more damage and hold me back more than the things I do to myself… and while that’s the truth, it also means that there’s a much brighter flip side. Once I get going in the right direction, I light a fire under my butt and go for it. No one can stop me from moving forward and staying the course.
But it’s not always easy to make that switch and go from “not there yet” to “where you want to be.”
I heard something the other day that spoke to me, “Teach what you need to learn.” So let me teach you something that majorly clicked for me, both personally and professionally.
Making mindset count
Let’s talk about this idea of showing up where you already want to be. It applies to pretty much anything and is about mindset. It’s something we have 100% control over even when things around us are chaotic and messy. Our mindset and how we react to the circumstances around us affect us more than we think.
What’s your default mindset when you’re struggling? Not a positive, proud one, right? Mine is doom and gloom all day every day and it’s so incredibly hard for me to see a sliver of light when everything looks dark. That attitude — that I have control over yet have trouble controlling — gets the best of me. And when one thing snowballs into another day after day, it’s hard to see your circumstances ever changing for the better.
So what’s that look like? Maybe you’re starting a new business and can’t find clients or you’re not hitting your targets at your sales job. Or maybe you’re a student who is not doing well this semester or a new blogger who gets only 10 page views a day despite working your butt off.
All of these things can make us feel stagnant, like we’re not measuring up, or downright bad… bad about the situation and in turn, ourselves.
It’s easy to feel down about where we are in life and opening our eyes to what everyone else is doing can make us feel even worse.
Regardless of your exact circumstances, it’s pretty normal in life to feel like you’re not quite there yet. You want more out of life and know you could be doing better — physically, emotionally, spiritually. People around you are seemingly doing better and you want that success for yourself.
You’ve lost motivation and your drive so you throw in the towel and stop trying. What’s the point, you think to yourself.
At your worst, you feel like a failure at life. At you’re best, you’re just coasting. You’re just going through the motions. You’ve accepted where you are as how it’s going to be from now on.
But don’t accept this. Don’t let this bring you down. Even if you can’t see it, you are so much more than whatever failure you’re currently experiencing.
It does NOT define you.
Do everything in your power to shift your inner dialog. It counts for so, so much.
My advice to you is to show up tomorrow with the mindset that you’ve already gotten to where you want to be. Treat yourself with care. Our thoughts become our reality, so why not make them good?
To make that shift happen, totally own whatever shortcoming (perceived or real) you’re facing and live life like you’ve found that success and triumphed over that thing that has you down. Allow yourself to mentally feel how being successful will change your perspective.
Take the feeling of achievement and wrap yourself in it. Visualize what life looks like when you’ve already achieved your elusive goal. Talk to yourself like you’re already there.
How will your day look and how will you feel if you’ve already achieved that elusive thing that’s not quite there in you life yet? Feel that positivity and satisfaction and not in a flowery, fake way. Feel like like it’s real and 100% your doing. It’s not about positive vibes all the time. Feel whatever you want to feel for whatever amount of time and then force yourself to move forward.
Nothing changes if you don’t at least try to make a change.
If it’s something quantifiable like a raise at work, how will that change your perspective? Maybe it’s getting a certain grade on a paper at college. Or getting 100 readers/day for your blog instead of 10. What does that confidence mean to you?
Show up and put in the work because you want it that bad. So often we do the exact opposite. We mope and feel disappointed and let down that we’re not where we want to be. It eats away at you until it’s all consuming.
To step up your mindset game sounds hokey and believe me, 10 years ago, I would have laughed at my own advice. I’d tell you things would happen around me and to me and that I was helpless to do anything about them. We’re not helpless, though. Our mind is so powerful that it can make or break us when we’re barely holding on.
So again, if you’re struggling or down on yourself. Try to implement my advice in any way you can. What’s the worst that can happen?
Whatever it is, live like you’re already there. Only positives can come from it. Do the work like you’ve already achieved what you want.
What I mean is, if you’re waiting for “success” to act successful, stop waiting. Change your mindset and the rest will follow… probably in ways you hadn’t even considered.
When you show up to do the work on you business or project or whatever it is, carry that feeling of success with you and lead with it. Now that doesn’t mean be arrogant and show up to your new entry-level job right out of college and boss people around like you’re the CEO. It doesn’t mean go crazy with your spending like you’ve already gotten that raise at work.
That’s not what I mean at all.
What I mean is when you talk about you business, job, studies, or whatever aspect of your life has you down or feeling stagnant or just not “there” yet, talk yourself up. Let your inner dialogue be kind.
Be proud of where you are now and trust yourself.
Be confident about what you do and don’t belittle yourself or your efforts.
How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, yeah, right, my new business. Well, it’s going OK but I’m not quite there yet. It’s really small right now because I haven’t quite gotten off the ground… I don’t have many customers and I’m not sure where to go from here.”
Speak from a place of authority, self-assurance, and inspiration. Focus on what gets you excited about your project and where you see it going. Talk about what you’re doing from a place of confidence.
This could even apply to relationships in your life. Maybe you’ve had a major blowout with a partner, family member, or friend and you’re holding on to resentment and just wished things could go back to normal. But instead of things being normal, you act distant, short, and less supportive than you should. LET IT GO. Do your part so things get back to where they were. Show up to that relationship being present and supportive and watch the other person reciprocate.
Because what’s the other option?
Talking down to yourself and belittling your current circumstances and efforts? Criticizing yourself? Negative self-talk that reinforces how you’re the victim? And incapable? And failing?
How will that help anything? Shouldn’t we be kinder to ourselves?
A shift in perspective can count for more than we realize. That’s all I wanted to say, so those who need to hear this will understand and get it.
Measure your own success against yourself and not people who have been doing it longer than you have. We’re all different and my success and failures won’t look like yours. If you believe in something, then it’s worth believing in and deserves your time and attention. Let me say it again for the people in the back: If you believe in something, then it’s worth it. End of story.
Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy, but the truth is, we’re also our own best asset. A mental shift can make all the difference. Our mind creates our reality, so make it a good one. Life is too short for anything less.