William H. Harrison, Contributing Writer – When’s the last time you had your oil changed? What about the last time you had your tires rotated? Several of us have reminders that tell us when it’s time for routine maintenance on our vehicles, appliances, and other items, but how many of us have a reminder to perform maintenance on our minds? What’s mind maintenance? It’s ridding your mind of all those negative and limiting beliefs that keep you from reaching your peak potential. In this month’s article, I’m going to show you how to change your mindset to become a better leader.
Take Inventory – “What do you think?” This is a simple question that people can’t always answer. What are your thoughts on success and why? Can you handle rejection well? What usually happens when a member of your staff delivers unpopular news? It’s impossible to change your mindset if you don’t know which thoughts dominate your mind. You have to get inside your head and analyze your beliefs. This is not a stress-free task and it can be scary at times. It’s hard looking at ourselves in the mirror and identifying our imperfections and warts. However, this is a necessary step to a renewed mindset. I recommend starting with a personality test. There are countless free test online from reputable websites. With your results in hand, you will have a better idea of what to focus on for your personal change plan.
Unplug – According to Uproxx.com, the average American watches about 5.5 hours of TV a day. Accounting for all other forms of entertainment (i.e., social media, listening to the radio, etc.), the average American consumes approximately 11.5 hours a day of electronic media. We all can afford to cut back on our media consumption. That includes cutting back on all the news and political talk shows. I’m willing to bet that very little of what we watch or listen to is healthy for our minds. Let’s spend more time reading and/or exercising. According to Harvard Medical School, exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills. It also is an adequate defense against depression. Reading increases concentration as well as improves your memory.
Establish a Routine – To be successful, one has to be intentional. A renewed mind requires plenty of dedication and determination. Developing a routine increases your chances of success. I have a daily ritual where I begin every morning listening to something positive. Beginning each day with a motivational message is a great start. This doesn’t mean you won’t encounter challenges, but it does mean you will be better equipped to face them. A daily walk or other similar stress relievers (e.g., meditation, laughter, etc.) can promote a positive outlook. There are countless stress management activities you can do. It’s important that you figure out what works best for you and implement it.
Stay Positive – Last but certainly not least, it’s important that you keep a positive attitude through this whole process. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s possible to revert back to your old habits. It’s helpful to keep track of your progress in a personal journal. Developing a set of positive affirmations for those times when you start doubting yourself is also a great tool. I’m always listening to motivational speakers like Les Brown and ET the Hip Hop Preacher. Both gentlemen are masters at pumping you up when you are down. Maybe a vision board will also help you stay the course. It’s important that you fight the temptation to become upset if you don’t see instant results.
Remember your mind determines your destiny. Every great business leader understands this principle. The brighter your outlook, the better your prospects. Therefore, take inventory, unplug, establish a routine, and stay positive. I also recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
Will Harrison is Principal Consultant at West Arlington Consulting Group. West Arlington focuses on helping businesses gain superior performance while reducing cost. To learn more about Will and West Arlington or for booking information, please visit www.waconsultgroup.com.