No one can be a bigger critic than you. Your brain is wired to value negative information more than positive information and to gather the evidence to support your thinking. Negativity bias affects all. You hold on to, cogitate and recall negative experiences more quickly. It serves to undermine your progress, keeps you stuck and stagnant. Self-confidence is compromised and when the pattern remains unchecked, failure is imminent.
Life is a matter of priority and decision. Rather than burying your head in social media day in and day out, wasting hours staring idly at the screen, invest your time in strengthening something of value, like you. When you believe you are worthy of success and commit to executing ideas, you position yourself to exchange self-sabotage for success.
Here are 5 ways to ditch self-critical patterns that undermine your success:
1. Happiness facilitates success
Most people believe that they must have something before they can do what they want to do, resulting in them being something. For instance, if l have time, then l can start a business and then l will be content. Somehow you have managed to have this back to front. The have-do-be paradigm must be reversed to experience success.
To experience happiness, you first must be whatever it is you want to be, you then begin to start doing things that you love from this space and then what you are doing will bring about the things you want to have.
“Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.” – Tony Robbins
2. Define what you want
Being able to define what you want in the present tense highlights who you are being to inform what you will do and ultimately who you become. One way of doing this is handwriting affirmations or your goals as if you have already achieved them. Napoleon Hill ‘s book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ encourages you to write down on a piece of paper the amount of money you want to make and identify a timeframe.
Jim Carrey not only dreamt of his future, he wrote himself a check for $10 million and put in the notation line “for services rendered”. He dated the check, placed it in his wallet and time lined his success within five years. Just before the end of the 5-year journey, he was paid $10 million for Dumb and Dumber.
3. Be your own inspiration
When you step into becoming your own hero, you stop looking for external validation. You preserve your energy as opinions and perceptions don’t matter. You stand in your truth and choose who you want to be at any moment. You stop waiting for someone else to believe in you enough to act and invest your energy into your strengths. The pitty patter of self-misery will never unlock your potential.
4. Turn impossibility into possibility
Successful people today aren’t shocked when things are off course. Instead of complaining, going into overwhelm or drowning in misery, they look for the opportunity as a chance to grow. Expansive thinking creates a mindset of being able to develop you out of any pain. Observing your circumstances differently and working to develop you, creates a solution focused framework that is ecological for all.
When you believe that your pain is caused by your circumstances, rather than your circumstances exposing where you need to develop or adapt next, you can get angry when things change, blame others and panic that you don’t have all the information. You become critical of others for not giving you all the information. Overwhelm kicks in and you are drowning in the quicksand.
Your mindset has everything to do with your success. People tend to believe that pain comes from increased expectations and demands and rarely consider that it may be coming from your response to those demands, your lack of growth and readiness or perhaps your fear of failure or success.
Everyone has the same amount of time in a day. A victim mindset espouses they don’t have enough time, on the other hand an accountable person acknowledges they are not using their time wisely, learns to re-prioritise and looks for the possibilities to grow and develop out of the pain. Turn mistakes into teachable moments.
“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” – Confucius
5. The loop of self-sabotage
Have you ever witnessed another person sabotage themselves because they are afraid of succeeding? They are over-committed to their identity, they discard what is working or not and playing safe far outweighs the risk. They will take a few steps forward, make progress toward their goal and right before breaking through that goal, they emotionally withdraw.
People will pull themselves back because they are driven by certainty and more comfortable with their past self rather than their future self. On a deeper level, it is easier for them to be unhappy than uncertain. Staying the same requires no effort. This mindset will keep you on the hamster wheel indefinitely.
To reverse the process and create long term sustainable happiness, you need to learn to dance with uncertainty and breakthrough the gates of unhappiness. When you expand your unfamiliar zone, you place yourself in challenging situations and that is where the growth comes from. You expand your thinking and strengthen your own internal belief. It’s your choice.
Distractions are part of everyday life and often, our thinking processes are distracted or constantly interrupted, leading to shallow rather than deep thinking. If our thinking is shallow, then it’s safe to say that perhaps our living is as well. Your ability to invest in deep thought, energy and time is being compromised by your choices you make in a distracted world.
When you invest your energy into everyday routine tasks of emails, meetings, calls and do not allocate time energy into immerse you into deep work where you create something of value, you are not tapping into your creativity and possibilities for innovation. Just a few seconds could change your whole life.