You’ve probably heard some version of this quote: “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.” We don’t really know who first said it, though it has been credited to everyone from Henry Ford to Tony Robbins.
Regardless who coined the phrase, it’s more applicable than ever to our businesses (and personal lives). We have access to endless amounts of information that can alter and improve our perspectives, so all it takes is desire, commitment, and action to transform your business and life into whatever you desire.
Change your perspective
I remember years ago, the Lovely Christy mentioned she likes to travel because it gives her a fresh perspective. I completely agree; having a new experience or seeing a different place can change the way you think if you are open to a mental shift and try your best to remove blockers.
When I was first starting my plumbing business, I traveled to multiple shops around the country to see how they were doing things, and I gained such great perspective once I got out of my own way of how I thought things should be done. I reached out to people who became mentors, who challenged me to view my company and life in different ways.
Now, I’m not saying you need to circumnavigate the world to gain new perspective or visit a hundred other shops, but I am encouraging you to challenge your mindset and dig into limiting beliefs that could be holding you back from the business and life you desire.
As we focus on shifting your mindset and perspective, I also want you to think about how far you’ve come. It’s easy to lose sight of previous accomplishments while you are planning where you want to go in the future, but use what you’ve achieved to give you the confidence to move forward with your goals.
Here are some ways to challenge your mindset and perspective to experience new levels of success.
Challenge how you view achievements. Even if you don’t think you’ve accomplished much in your life, I can assure you that you have. Starting a business is a huge accomplishment, for example. So is hiring your first employee, or buying your first truck.
When you look at everything you’ve done to get where you are, it should start to build your confidence level. You can even include personal accomplishments in your list. Everything from graduating high school to having a child can count — it’s all about you!
Challenge how you see yourself. There’s a good chance you’ve developed some strong identity about what you do for a living or tasks, projects, titles, etc. I know there is much more under that tip of the iceberg than you are acknowledging.
You are so much more than a job, title or single relationship. Always remember that having a “bad” month in the business isn’t who you are, it’s simply part of what you do. Don’t let a perceived “good” or “bad” day, month or year dictate how you see yourself; if you do, life will become quite a rollercoaster.
Challenge what you say to yourself. Part of examining how you see yourself includes looking at what you say to yourself. Studies indicate an alarming amount of our self-talk throughout our day is focused on negativity: “Why did I do that?” or, “That was so stupid,” or, “I can’t lose weight,” or, “I’m not good at finance,” or … fill in the blank. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back for an accomplishment or thought, “Wow, I did a great job today — I’m proud of what I got done?”
Can you see how a small shift can make a big difference? Simply asking what you can learn from a situation instead of criticizing actions or results can shift your mind from a place of lack to a place of positivity. This might not seem significant to you, but it’s actually a game-changer that most people never recognize.
When you develop a more positive mindset, you will actually find that higher quality team members want to work for you, and things just seem to “flow” better in your business.
Simply start catching yourself each time you say something negative about a person, situation or yourself. When you find yourself in negative mental conversation, ask some leading questions. “What’s the real evidence?” or, “Is the glass half full or half empty?” or, “How can this be a gift?” or, “What can I learn from this?” or, “How can I be grateful this is happening?”
It will take time to reprogram your thought processes, but it is worth the effort more than I can even explain.
Challenge how you view free time. We are so engrained in this economy of trading time for money that we have given up quality of life at alarming rates. Sickness, substance abuse of all kinds, finances, relationships and more have been impacted by a lack of effective free time. I believe strongly in taking “true free time.”
True free time is when you aren’t focused on business; instead, you are doing something you truly enjoy. For some people, they enjoy free time in the company of others, and some people like to have their free time reserved as complete alone time.
Activities can include reading a magazine, coffee with a friend, or even jumping out of an airplane; whatever feels right to you. Many people fall into the trap of not taking any free time until they are on an actual vacation, but you don’t even have to leave your city (or house, in some cases) to recharge.
When I take a free day, I don’t even check email or social media, and I try my best not to talk (or think) about anything business-related. Trust me, it’s not always easy to find the time, but putting yourself first and recharging your battery is essential to your wellbeing. It also helps to put this time on your calendar and commit to it, otherwise things always come up to distract you.
We must challenge the thought that everything else in life comes first. Then, and only then, do we take time for ourselves. Make “you time” a priority and watch how you handle other priorities so much more smoothly and life becomes more rewarding. The best thing about free time is when you return to business and are pumped up and more productive than ever.
Think about this: When you take time to work on yourself, you are actually taking time to work on your business. It’s true. You will be a better leader, spouse, friend and parent, and your business will experience new levels of growth when you challenge your limiting beliefs and open your mind to what’s possible.
Take on these four challenges, and you won’t keep getting the results you’ve always gotten — you will improve in ways that will truly surprise you.