You have lot of potential to succeed (or at least that’s what people tell you), but your thoughts are on repeat and you just can’t seem to reach your goals. Time to channel the positive wisdom of Leslie Knope of “Parks and Recreation.” Just think, “No matter what I do, literally nothing bad can happen to me.” Here’s how to shake up your thought patterns and knock down mental blocks so you can achieve your personal goals.
1. Listen to Music
Crank up your favorite station, sister, because music can be a wonderful tool for helping you reach your full potential. Music has been shown to enhance well-being, increase focus and facilitate social interaction, according to Psychology Today. Relaxing instrumentals like those by Jose Gonzalez may reduce your stress, or an upbeat dance-tempo track like Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” could do the trick to shake up your routine and get you started in a new direction.
2. Talk to a Friend
Let a close friend blast away your mental block. Call up your bestie and let her know you’re in a rut. Chances are, the negative thoughts rattling around in your brain don’t stand a chance next to her ideas. At the very least, by listening to someone else’s problems, you might forget about yours.
3. Envision Success
Take a few minutes and daydream. Imagine the very best case scenario. What does that look like? How does that feel? It turns out, self-made billionaires like Sara Blakely faced rejection and failure many times. But Blakely’s ultimate success stemmed from her optimistic belief in her own success, according to Forbes. It’s out there for you, too. And believing it may be the missing piece to making success a reality.
4. Get Creative
Disengage your conscious thoughts for a minute and let your brain flow where it wants to. Get out your sketchbook and pencils and draw something commonplace, like a glass of water. Or simply free write for 10 to 15 minutes, recommends Entrepreneur.com. If you don’t let your fingers leave the keyboard, you may end up with a lot of embarrassing nonsense, but at least your mind will be freed from the same thoughts pinging around in there. And you may come up with a really cool idea. Fifteen minutes well spent.
5. Start Small
So—like the rest of us—you fear failure. That crippling fear can be overcome by recognizing that you can only control your own actions. Give yourself small opportunities to experience both success and failure in the gig economy. Try a side hustle with a company like Amway, which offers entrepreneurs access to a wide range of products so they can focus on what they’re passionate about. Other companies like eBay, Stocksy, Uber or TaskRabbit offer independent employment options without the long-term commitment of a regular 9-5 job.
6. Reinvent Lists
Bulleted lists are cliché and you’ve probably already tried them. Instead, try breaking down your goals into a timeline and sketch them like a map on a chalkboard. Doodle your goals in a journal along with embellishments and pictures. Or write your to-do’s on post-it notes and stick them in random spots around the house, like on your TV remote, to re-channel your focus.
7. Displace Yourself
Sometimes the best way to get out of a mental rut is to disrupt your physical surroundings. Go for a walk. Drive until you are lost in a strange town. Rearrange the furniture, or sit in a different room for a while.
8. Take a Break
When in doubt, take a step back. Or go to bed. Your thoughts will percolate on their own, and when you wake up in the morning, you may find you mind in better order.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I can’t do it all, and that’s okay. I don’t have to have a great career, a perfect house, good health, interesting hobbies, and fulfilling relationships with those I love. There’s just not enough time in the day, and if something has to give, it better not be my relationships.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
Simplicity. Not needing to live in a big city to be entertained, or to own a new home to be comfortable.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
Learning to speak Spanish. I was always good at writing and reading Spanish when I was in high school and college, but I always really struggled with the oral skills. After living for a year in Peru as an English-teacher, I became close friends with people who only spoke Spanish to me. By the end of the year, people I met thought I was a native speaker.
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
Definitely my obsessive need for order and predictability. I plan ahead for everything. Sometimes before going to a social event, I even practice potential conversations in my head.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my strategic brain. I love my imagination. It comes in handy when I need to solve a problem, or when I’m imagining what my house could look like in 20 years.