Your life is a result of your actions. Your actions are a reflection of your beliefs. Your beliefs are reinforced by your thoughts. Want to be happy and successful? Let’s start with step one: mindset. You need to drop these toxic thoughts like a bad habit (especially #3).
1. “This is as good as it gets.”
Don’t let yourself become complacent. The second you do, forward progress will come to a halt. Treat every new day like an opportunity to learn and grow.
Complacency and contentment are not the same thing. Complacency is smug satisfaction with yourself (read: cockiness). Contentment is an ability to feel at peace no matter what happens. See the difference?
Complacent people reek of arrogance. They can’t be bothered to read a book or rethink a belief, because they already have it all figured out. Content people let go of their expectations. They work hard and try their best. Beyond that, they don’t worry about the outcome of their actions, because how would that help their case (hint: it wouldn’t)?
2. “This is too hard.”
Worrying about the complexity of a task will not make it any less difficult. Besides, you can accomplish anything with practice and patience. Just ask Thomas Edison*, who said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
When you claim something is “too hard,” you are putting yourself down in an indirect way. Repeat this thought too often and you might convince yourself you shouldn’t bother trying. Stop sabotaging yourself at the starting line. Get out of your own way.
*Yes, I am aware Thomas Edison died 84 years ago. That sentence wasn’t meant to be taken literally (unless you like to communicate with the dead via Ouija Board).
3. “I’m not ________ enough.”
Wrong. You are absolutely ________ enough!
Fill in the blank with an adjective of your choosing.
“I’m not experienced enough to start my own business.”
“I’m not strong enough to travel the world all by myself.”
“I’m not rich enough to support a charity or cause I care about.”
“I’m not young enough to learn how to use this crazy new technology.”
“I’m not attractive enough to stand a chance with someone so handsome or beautiful.”
Do any of those thoughts sound familiar? If so, please don’t beat yourself up. Everybody has struggled with a lack of confidence or low self-esteem at some point.
I’ll be the first person to admit I’ve felt insecure in the past. Even though I’ve been writing professionally for three years (more than ten years total), I didn’t feel confident enough to call myself a “writer” until last year.
Why? I didn’t feel like i had sold “enough” books or achieved “enough” social shares or been featured on “enough” websites. While I still aim to improve in those areas, I don’t agonize about it anymore, because I know I am good enough. The moment you believe that, it becomes true.
Why does that matter? Scroll up and read the first paragraph again to refresh your memory. Really. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Get it now? Okay. Let’s continue!
4. “It’s too late for me. Why bother?”
Personal growth doesn’t have to occur by a certain age. We all evolve at our own unique pace. You may reinvent yourself at any time you choose to do so. Yes. It really is that simple.
History is rich with case studies of famous folks who didn’t find purpose until later in their life. Stan Lee didn’t write his first comic book until he was 39. Henry Ford didn’t create his first automobile until age 45.
Don’t feel pressured to change the world, start a movement, write a NY Times bestselling book, or create the coolest superhero since Spider-Man before you’re 30. The human brain doesn’t even reach its full capacity until you’re 25 or older.
Give yourself the gift of compassion. Treat yourself with the same kindness you would show a child, friend, or partner. If you wouldn’t say it to a person you love with all of your heart, don’t think it about yourself. Be patient, no matter how long or windy the road ahead might seem. Your evolutionary process will last as long as it needs to take (and not one second longer).