Have you ever had an area of your life you wanted to change, and you were committed to making that change, but you still didn’t do it? Why does this happen? Is it because you don’t know how? Are there circumstances that prevent you from making that change?
Although we can come up with a variety of reasons why we don’t follow through on what we say we want to do, inevitably it boils down to our mindset. Eighty percent of success in anything is psychology, and only 20 percent is mechanics. Most people know enough to get the job done, but they’re not doing it because their psychology is not in sync with their goals.
If you want to change your life in any area, there are five keys to succeeding at the highest level that will not only create the change you want to make but also make that change sustainable and lasting.
1. Raise your standards.
Although this may sound like a tired old thought process, none of us who are honest can deny the truth that changes do not last long term until they become a part of our identity, until we literally begin to see them as the standard we live by. Raising your standards truly means turning your shoulds into musts. Everyone has a list of shoulds: ‘I should spend more time with my kids.’ ‘I should spend more time with a business plan.’ ‘I should lose some weight.’ I should, I should, I should. People don’t actually change. They just end up what I call, “shoulding” all over themselves. Convert those “shoulds” into “musts” and your entire life changes.
I’ve seen this example so many times when people have no money, but then one of their parents becomes ill, and they find the way to generate the money to cover the incredibly expensive cancer treatments. If you look at anyone who seems to have a superior life to yourself, I guarantee you they have a superior standard in that area. If you see someone who works out five times a week, it’s not because they have more time than you have. It’s because it is a must for them. They never miss. They identify with the standard and they live it every day.
When you feel that you absolutely must get something done, you will find a way.
2. Change your limiting beliefs.
Even when the goal is crystal clear, and it’s truly a must for you to achieve, is that enough to succeed? Often it can be. But if you find yourself either failing to act or pulling back, or even sabotaging yourself, there’s one reason: You have Inner Conflicts. Those can show up in fears and doubts, or they can show up as limiting beliefs in the form of fear or doubts. You may have a burning desire to experience absolute financial abundance, to be wealthy. But you may also have a conflicting belief that says: ‘I don’t want anyone to judge me.’ These two goals are in complete conflict. Or you have a desire to achieve a goal but simultaneously believe that you’re not strong enough, smart enough, or educated enough to make it happen. Unless you uncover these inner conflicts, they will cause you to fail.
One of the most important things I do in all of my seminars, in all of my coaching, is help people discover the conflict and realign themselves. When a human being is completely aligned, when everything inside of you is moving toward what you want without any holdbacks, there is a level of certainty that moves you to action on a consistent basis. And it will cause you to tap your fullest potential, creating results beyond your wildest dreams.
3. Model strategies that work.
Remember, success leaves clues. There’s a Pathway to Power; a way to achieve what you want in a shorter period of time. And the way to find it is to model someone who’s already achieving what you want. If someone is successful at anything, whether they have a great relationship, are extraordinarily successful in business, or they have the body and energy that you desire, they’re not lucky. They’ve got a set of strategies that they apply and those strategies work. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You don’t need to reinvent a way to succeed. Throughout my life, I’ve always believed it’s been best to learn from others. That’s how you compress decades into days.
4. Intensify your emotions.
It’s inevitable that life will hit us with something that feels like a crushing blow, whether an illness, a business setback, or a problem within your family. But this is a critical moment that, if faced directly, will give you the muscle of life—psychological strength—if we can simply look at it as a gift from God and find a way to use it.
Lance Armstrong’s a great example. When he faced cancer, what did he do? He didn’t give up. He intensified the emotions that he had to find a way to succeed more than he ever had in his entire sports career, even though he thought he had maximized his capabilities. And what happened? After conquering cancer, facing another biker was nothing. He won seven Tour de France events in a row. Remember, he had never won any Tour de France before that. He turned something that could have been the most traumatic moment of his life into a launching pad for some of his greatest victories. He chose to intensify his emotions and fi nd a way to conquer, not be defeated by what life offered him. These are the moments that determine our destiny.
5. Give much more than you expect to receive.
Ultimately what shapes the meaning of our lives is not what we get, but what we give. If you can make it your goal to each day find a way to add more value to people’s lives than anyone else, then you’ll never have to worry about success. But if you’re constantly just trying to make a deal, trying to make a trade—‘I’ll give you this if you give me that,’ you’ll find yourself struggling to prosper. Remember, the secret to living is giving. We’re not made to be selfish. We can succeed and achieve, but what we want deep in our souls is to feel like life matters, that we’re givers, not takers. If each day you can sincerely feel like you’ve given something of value to those around you, I can promise you you’ll experience the ultimate victory of life; a life of meaning and joy.
This post was originally published in December 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy and clarity.
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