A Copyblogger Gem: 5 Mindsets that Actually Work
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My two biggest weaknesses, in this particular 15 minutes of my life, are analysis paralysis and prioritizing research over action. Right now I have dozens of blogs that I’m way behind on and a handful of podcasts I haven’t listened to in a while. You’re probably shouting at me right now to back off; isolate the resources that give me the most value so I’m not wasting time.
And don’t worry, I will cut back on my self-imposed obligations… eventually.
Sonia Simone talks about lots of good stuff in this episode of Copyblogger and references a number of interesting books like The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking and Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Whether you’ve listened to the episode or not, there are a couple of things I want to talk about.
A wildly common bit of self-help advice is to look in a mirror and repeat a particular phrase to yourself every day. Things like: “I am incredibly attractive,” “I am good at my job,” and “I have the best finger collection in the world.”
I personally have been working on repeatedly telling myself that, despite my own stupid, angry, jerk of a brain, I am a good writer.
But there’s a problem with all of this.
There are articles and research out there that indicate this method doesn’t always work. You see, it’s not just enough to repeat the phrase over and over again. It has to be something that you believe could be true.
That said, I don’t think it’s worthless. A huge part of my past and present practice in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is about building towards those beliefs. If you can’t believe you are amazingly attractive, start with something smaller. Find one thing about yourself you like and begin your affirmations there.
I’m already spewing more word-vomit than intended on this topic. The point is that affirmations don’t work for everyone; they can be made to work better. Only you can decide if it’s worth giving a go, but there are other things you can try.
Speaking of, here’s another common discussed over at Copyblogger.
Visualization of Goals
“See yourself where you want to be,” they said. “It will be fun,” They said. Now I’m stuck here fighting horde of Orcs for all eternity.
The funny thing about your brain is that it doesn’t seem to understand the difference between visualizing something and doing something. Every time you visualize yourself exactly where you want to be, your brain assumes you are already there. It’s true that visualization can smother your motivation in its sleep without so much as a scream of protest, but there are a couple ways it can be made more useful.
Sonia at Copyblogger hits on one of them in her episode. Go ahead and visualize away whatever you desire. Once you have that squarely in your mind, make sure to pull back and acknowledge that where you are is not where you want to be. This can provide the perspective you need to keep your motivation alive.
Personally, I take the visualization and keep everything stated as a destination, not a present location. Instead of thinking, “wow, it feels so amazing to have my own ball-pit filled with shrunken heads,” I try to think, “wow, that’s an awesome ball-pit filled with shrunken heads. How can I get one of my own.”
In both techniques, the point is to make it clear action is still necessary to reach that visualized state. They’re small differences, but they can be important. Oh, and one more thing.
Visualization is Awesome for Building Skills.
Because your brain doesn’t know the difference between mental practice and physical practice, visualization can be a priceless method for honing abilities.
Martial arts, acting, music performance, all of these things can benefit wildly from consistent visualization exercise. They aren’t a replacement for physical practice, you gots to have that muscle memory, but not everyone, myself excluded, can slow time and manipulate the laws of nature to repeatedly practice one specific moment over and over again.
5 Habits to Try: A Summary
- Value Affirmations
- Develop a “Growth Mindset”
- Grow your network and ask for help
- Understand your goals are possible for people like you (whoever that may be)
- Allow yourself to be uncomfortable
If you want any actual information on these habits, go listen to this episode of Copyblogger. Seriously. Do it now or you might end up in my new ball-pit… forever.
Thanks for Stopping By
Finding the motivation we need to keep going is one of our greatest daily struggles. I hope this episode of Copyblogger helps you as much as it did me. If you want to here smart-ish people talking about similar topics, you should check out Alive & Writing, a podcast featureing yours truly, Chautona Havig, and April Hayman. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and diabolical plans.
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Until next time: Rowenson, out.