Do you ever feel like you’re running in place?
Do you set lofty goals at the beginning of the year only to end the year in a relatively same place that you started?
Maybe you lack inspiration and motivation, and you tend to cave into temptation once willpower inevitably gives way.
Maybe life gets busy, and the power of habit keeps you returning to the same old ways of doing things again and again.
If this is you, the first step toward change is self-forgiveness. There’s nothing wrong with you. Life is challenging for everyone, and there’s no way to predict all the curveballs that it throws. If you’re too judgemental and hard on yourself, that will actually work against you by creating low self-worth and making you equate change and transformation with uncomfortable, unpleasant feelings.
Plus, if you want to change but haven’t yet, it’s likely that you’re just using the wrong strategy. You may be relying too much on willpower, external motivations, or future outcomes.
While those can contribute to transformation, you’ll get further by focusing on changing your perspective, aligning with your values, and being grateful for what you already have. These generate feelings of presence, purpose, and appreciation.
Shifting your mindset can shift your energy, your focus, and ultimately, your professional path. It’s all about working through your thoughts so that they work for you instead of against you.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can modify your mindset and get the results you want.
The Power of Thoughts
Shifting your career starts with shifting your thoughts. Whether you want to be more effective and focused, assume a more authoritative role, get a promotion, change careers, or change the dynamics with your colleagues, you’ll need to be aware of why you haven’t achieved these goals so far. The reasons will often lie in your thought patterns, reactions, and behaviors.
Your thoughts, if left undirected, can be a major source of distraction and stress. More often than not, unmanaged thoughts can sabotage your productivity and keep you repeating patterns from your past. You might be triggered by scenarios that remind you of negative experiences, which fuels a cycle of negativity and self-criticism.
So, if you want a more authoritative role at work but your automatic thought patterns involve you constantly doubting your abilities, remembering past situations where you weren’t respected or worrying if you’re able to handle such a role won’t get you very far.
Or maybe you want to start a creative career, but your inner critic is constantly questioning your art. On top of that, you remember how your teachers always told you artists don’t make money. Those limiting beliefs will significantly block your progress.
To become aware of these types of habitual thought patterns, reactions, and behaviors, you first need to develop an ability to stay present.
This takes practice, and we’re never perfect, but meditation is a great way to start.
Meditation and Mindfulness
If you’ve never tried meditation, you’re missing out on an invaluable and ancient tool. Wise women and men have been espousing its benefits for ages, and for very good reason.
Meditation will sharpen your ability to stay with whatever is happening instead of blocking it out or running from it. It will also help you have more power over your thoughts, and it can help put you back in the driver’s seat of your life.
When you practice mindfulness for even ten minutes a day, you strengthen your ability to catch yourself in habitual patterns more easily. You take that ability with you everywhere.
Then, when your mind starts to travel backward, you can stomp on the breaks. You can become better at letting go of how things were and be in the moment instead. You can also train your mind to focus on positives — on where you want to go, how you want to be, and how you will feel once you’ve achieved your desire.
Mindfulness helps you take back control from runaway emotions like fear, anger, or stress. When you’re triggered by an emotion you can rise above that feeling and change your perspective to one of hope and change.
Dr. Joe Dispenza nails this idea in his book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. He writes, “When feelings become the means of thinking, or if we cannot think greater than how we feel, we can never change. To change is to think greater than how we feel. To change is to act greater than the familiar feelings of the memorized self.”
Of course, you also need to take actions to align with your goals, like getting more training, seeking a mentor, or learning new skills.
Are you still not convinced about meditation? You don’t have to sit in the lotus position to get into a meditative state. Let’s look at some alternatives:
- Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong can help you release intrusive thoughts and create a habit of coming back to the breath and postures.
- Activate meditations, including walking or running, but without music or distractions, totally count! Try noticing sensory things as you walk or run like the sounds of nature, the color of flowers, and the way the air feels against your skin.
- At work, ground yourself in the present moment by imagining you’re a tree with roots going into the ground. Intentionally send undesired thoughts down into the earth through your roots.
Remember also that good sleep, food, and hydration will set you up to be more in control of your mental state. How you live your life will affect your mental health, so keep up with your wellness practices to make mindfulness easier.
Define Your Values
Values are an important part of motivation and desire. If you don’t know your values and you aren’t aligning with them, you’re like a ship at sea without a true north.
It’s important that you’re driven by internal, personal values as much as you’re fueled by external values. If you’re just chasing money, status, and power, you might become more easily discouraged by obstacles.
However, if you’re motivated by things like being a good role model, creating a service that will change people’s lives, or simply living a stable, peaceful life, you’ll be more likely to stick with them.
If you’re an architect, maybe it’s beauty, harmony, or service that you value. You make the world more beautiful and harmonious through your designs, and you serve the people who will benefit from having a safe place from which to conduct their business.
Your values don’t have to be directly related to your job either. Maybe you value your creative projects, which are not what you do for a living. If your job is making those projects possible, that’s great motivation.
Maybe you value your family most of all, and having a great job is what makes taking care of them possible. Your job may just be a means to an end, but it’s no waste — it makes the experiences and connections you love most feasible.
Remember that values can evolve over time, so if yours aren’t working for you right now, take some time to realign them. You might even want to do this on a regular basis, revisiting them every month.
At the end of the day, connecting to your values should help give you the boost of motivation you need to keep grinding. They should center you, affirm your path, and help you push forward. If your values aren’t working for you, rework them until they do.
One of the biggest paradoxes about transformation is that you need to be satisfied with what you have in order to fulfill your future desires.
This has to do with how you feel. When you’re feeling good and appreciating what you have, you’re more able to manifest what you want.
When you think about it, though, it makes a lot of sense. A bad attitude and a cynical world view aren’t going to be motivating. They’re going to put you in a defeated mindset before you give yourself a fighting chance. They will also drain your energy, affect your health, and keep you stuck in the past.
To combat this, it’s important that you develop a gratitude practice. This might involve journaling in the morning or evening, being mindful throughout the day, or verbally expressing gratitude to your loved ones.
When journaling about gratitude, try to be very specific. So instead of writing every day that you’re grateful to have a job and a family (although those are amazing and truly something to be grateful for) try writing things like:
- Made Caprese salad and ate it in the backyard during sunset
- Repair person came to fix the AC — so much better!
- Best friend from high school messaged me — happy that we’re still in touch
- So grateful that my boss prioritizes wellness and gave everyone a mental health day this month
- Just discovered how amazing cacao smoothies are for breakfast
As you consistently document what you’re grateful for, you may notice patterns. Maybe you notice you have a pretty amazing support system of family, friends, and colleagues. Maybe you’ve always got some new, interesting, fun experience happening. What are the themes? Identify what is working well in your life.
When you’re grateful for what you have, you shift out of a scarcity mindset where you always feel lacking. A scarcity mindset will contribute to beliefs that you don’t get what you want, that you’re lacking in some way, and that you’re a victim in life.
On the other hand, an abundance mindset contributes to the beliefs that you are taken care of, that life is working well for you, and that you’re empowered and blessed. This attitude will, in turn, cause you to take action and pursue thought patterns that are empowering and create more abundance.
If you expect that things will go your way, you will be more confident to ask for a promotion or a raise, dive into new opportunities, and take inspired actions toward your goals. Gratitude is powerful — find out for yourself.
Your mindset matters. Just ask our founder, Dom Farnan. She is living proof that a shift in your perspective can move mountains in your life.
Manifest Your Dream Job With DotConnect
It’s time to give yourself credit for your own ability to change your life and career. While we can’t control many outside circumstances, we can control our inner world. The way we do that is through presence, alignment with values, and gratitude. Shifts in perspective will create change in the outer world, making it easier to manifest your dreams and achieve more than you ever thought possible.
Are you looking for a big shift? Are you seeking a new position that’s more aligned with your values? It would be our pleasure to help you find opportunities that are aligned with you on a deep level. So whether you want to rise in the ranks, do work that speaks to your soul, or find the stable and positive work environment that will help you thrive in life, we’re here to help.
Seeking new recruits who can take your business to the next level? We’ve helped businesses like Beautycounter, Samsung NEXT, and Zendesk find their dream teams. You’re only a message away from plugging into our network of talent.
Get in touch with us today!