Written by Brian Scudamore
Change your mindset, change your life. It sounds so easy, yet many of us tell ourselves it’s too late to change careers or that we don’t have enough time to learn something new. Living with these limiting beliefs creates a self-fulfilling prophecy: we believe we can’t, so we don’t. If we instead lived in terms of “I can” and “I will”, imagine what we could achieve!
I believe our thoughts have incredible power over our everyday lives, and that our moods and behaviors are a reflection of how we think. Over the years, I’ve developed 7 hacks to ensure I’m always in the right frame of mind to be successful and happy — and it starts with imagining possibilities instead of focusing on roadblocks.
Anyone can transform their mindset and learn to ask “Can You Imagine?” too. Here are the 7 mindsets of highly successful (and happy) people.
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1. Ditch the Fixed Mindset and Go For Growth
Let’s say you feel like you’re not getting ahead at work. A fixed mindset says the situation is the way it is, and it will never change no matter what you do. A growth mindset says you can create change if you work hard, adapt to feedback and implement strategies for personal development. It goes without saying which type of people go further in their careers.
It comes down to the difference between limiting and empowering beliefs. If you believe your growth is confined to its current state indefinitely, you’re unlikely to develop. But if you start to believe in your capacity to achieve greatness, you’ll find that everything in your life will follow suit.
2. Adopt An Abundance Mentality, Not Scarcity Mentality
About 6 years into 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, my top employee resigned. This wouldn’t have been the end of the world … except he was leaving to start a competing junk removal business. At first, I was gutted — then, I wanted revenge. I became obsessed with shutting his business down, to the detriment of my own company.
Now I know that I was stuck in a scarcity mentality: I thought there was only enough success for one of us. I’ve since learned that this kind of thinking breeds a culture of paranoia where everyone lives in fear. Now, our company thrives on an abundance mentality: we believe that everyone benefits when we share ideas, even with the competition. By recognizing that there’s more than enough success to go around, we’ve freed ourselves from limitations.
3. Stop Fearing Failure. Instead, Be Willing to Fail
The number one reason entrepreneurs don’t succeed is because they’re afraid to fail — that fear can even keep them from starting something in the first place.
The fact is, no one ever fell to the top of the mountain; you can’t reach the peak unless you take the first step. We believe in the philosophy WTF (Willing to Fail) because the only way to grow is to make mistakes. Risk is scary, but stagnation is worse — and the more you believe you’ll fail, the more likely it is that you will. Remember: if you’re not progressing then you’re failing anyway, so you’re better off taking the chance.
4. Create a Long-Term Vision Instead of Only Short-Term Goals
You can’t reach a destination if you don’t know where you’re going. Same goes if you’re climbing the corporate ladder, switching jobs, or starting a new business. Before you can create a strategy and set your short-term goals, you first need to write a long-term vision of success.
I’ve always been more concerned with where our company is going than how we’ll get there. I’m a visionary entrepreneur, so for me, it’s not a matter of blindly putting one foot in front of the other — it’s about shooting for the moon and working backwards to bring our vision safely back to earth. We call our vision our Painted Picture: a crystal-clear snapshot of how our business will look, feel and act every five years. It’s a way of keeping everyone aligned and motivated to succeed as a team.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Break the Rules
Growing up, I was a bit of a rebel. But despite what my parents and teachers told me, this didn’t hold me back. If anything, my affinity for troublemaking made me a better entrepreneur.
Risk-averse people who stay in their comfort zones rarely lead the pack. It’s the people who move fast, break things and defy convention who change the world. Success is all about grit, guts and gumption — so if you want to progress your career, you better get comfortable colouring outside the lines.
6. Listen to Your Gut
We all overthink things every once in awhile and that’s okay — but if you second guess every decision you make, you’ll never get anything done. Over thinking also leads to rumination, the destructive and potentially career-ruining process of dwelling on the past.
After twenty-eight years in business, I’ve learned how important it is to make quick (and tough) decisions, and that to get ahead you need to avoid unproductive indecisiveness. Stop letting your lizard brain control your thoughts and actions — instead, take charge and start acting on instinct. In most cases, your intuition will steer you in the right direction.
7. Let Positivity Flow Into Everything You Do
If you’re only going to change one thing about the way you think, this should be it. It’s scientifically proven that optimists are happier and more successful than pessimists (provided they’re realistic about goals and outcomes). As an eternal optimist, I always try to see the good in every situation. If we’re falling short on some aspect of the business, I don’t see it as impending doom — I know it’s only a temporary obstacle we need to overcome.
The best part is that positivity breeds positivity; when you adopt a glass-half-full attitude, it will start to guide everything you do. The truth is success doesn’t automatically bring happiness — but a positive frame of mind will invite success into your life. All it takes is a few simple tweaks to your thinking to become your happiest, most fulfilled self.
With love and respect
Be better than yesterday, financially, personally and professionally