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How One Empowering Mindset Shift Can Elevate Your Entire Life

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Mindset shift

To become a successful entrepreneur, I had to radically shift the way I thought about myself, my life and success. Taking that long look in the mirror can be a painful process. Most people don’t like what I’m about to say but I need to say it because internalizing this is critical to success. This is the hardest truth I had to face and I imagine it’s going to be tough for you too.

You’re exactly where you want to be, your life is exactly as good as you feel you deserve it to be. Right now – in your career, in your relationships, in your life – you’re exactly where you want to be. “Wait,” you protest.  “But I read articles on successful morning routines and the power of persistence! I want a better life. I want out of this cubicle. I want more money & more freedom.” I know how you feel, I’ve been there too.

The Wantrepreneur’s Dilemma

You’ve probably heard the term “wantrepreneur.” Basically it’s someone who wants to become an entrepreneur – they read about it, they talk about it, they listen to podcasts about it – but they struggle to take any real action. There’s a good reason for this – wanting isn’t enough.

You have to feel, down in your soul, that you also deserve the things you want. If you want more money, more freedom and a better life, you have to feel that you deserve those things too. Because if you don’t know it in your soul, your internal thermostat will kick in and push you right back into your comfort zone.

Escaping Your Comfort Zone

We all know how a thermostat works. When things get too cold, it turns on the heat. When things are too hot, it turns on the air conditioning. A thermostat regulates your environment to keep you comfortable. Most people, however, don’t know that we also have an internal thermostat that regulates the comfort zone of our life. When things get bad, or “too cold,” it kicks in the motivation to get you moving. You take action and solve your problem, which warms you up and settles you back into your comfort zone.

This is great when life is “too cold.” Unfortunately, the internal thermostat also works at the other end of the spectrum. When you earn some success and life begins to heat up, your internal thermostat will cool things off and bring you back down into your comfort zone.

The thermostat’s job isn’t to help you reach new heights of success, it is to just keep you comfortable. Since comfort isn’t what we’re after – we want success and happiness, we need to reset our thermostats.

“To move to a new level in your life, you must break through your comfort zone and do things that are not comfortable.” – T. Harv Eker

How to Reset Your Internal Thermostat for Success

The only way to change your comfort zone is to change the settings on your thermostat. The only way to change the settings on your thermostat is to change your beliefs. It was this realization that I had to change my beliefs, in order to raise the upper limits of my comfort zone – that radically transformed my life.

Let me give you an example of a limiting belief that was holding me back:

“Working hard means you’re working long hours.”

When I was a kid, my dad owned a deli. He left for work at 5:00 in the morning and most nights didn’t come back until after 9:00. Most weeks he worked six days. He often got called in for an “emergency” on his days off. A normal work-week for my dad was 80 hours, easy.

As a child and a young man I thought the way my dad did it was the way it was supposed to be done so the belief that working hard means you’re working long hours was crystallized into my soul, my thermostat was set. A lot of us develop beliefs this way.

When I graduated college, I turned down a 9-5, corporate job to work in hospitality. For over 10 years I worked “in the business” as those in hospitality refer to it. Long shifts, working holidays, weekends, and nights, are all the norm.

I let my limiting belief of “working hard means you’re working long hours,” set a low ceiling on my comfort zone. There was a piece of me, without me consciously realizing it, that forced me to work ridiculously long hours. It wasn’t until I started to explore my limiting beliefs that I even uncovered this and started to raise the upper limits of my comfort zone.

Destroy Your Limiting Beliefs

I never felt so empowered as the day I discovered that my subconscious beliefs were holding me back. The path forward seemed so much clearer, I just had to destroy these limiting beliefs. I encourage you to explore, and destroy, the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. The next time the voice in your head says something like “rich people are selfish,” or “a steady paycheck is secure,” or “you need to be jerk to get ahead” – stop yourself and recognize that these statements aren’t true, they are just your limiting beliefs.

Awareness of your limiting beliefs is the first step to destroying them, and raising the upper limits of your comfort zone. Once you discover a limiting belief, ask yourself – is this always true?

“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” – Brian Tracy

If it’s not always true, then ask yourself why you believe it to be true. And if you can’t discover any good reasons to continue believing it to be true, then challenge yourself to replace your limiting belief with an empowering belief instead. These empowering beliefs could be “Working hard means caring about my clients,” “Rich people worked hard and I admire their success,” or “Helping others makes me happy and proud.”

When those empowering beliefs replace your limiting beliefs as the regulators on your thermostat, you’re comfort zone will expand to include all of your wildest success and dreams. Your internal thermostat won’t be turning on the air conditioning to sabotage your success.

Brian Saemann is a successful digital marketing consultant and the founder of the Digital Agency School. He likes solving problems, learning new things and helping people become successful entrepreneurs. He believes that entrepreneurs are made, not born, and that the biggest problem in the world today is that schools exist to merely produce employees. If you want to explore your own entrepreneurial journey, you can check out Brian’s secrets to success.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Yosniel Romero

    Feb 12, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing your insights, you are correct, taking a long look in the mirror IS a painful process, but a necessary one to emerge on the other side.

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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willpower
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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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