You find what you look for.
If you constantly look for:
…odds are, you’ll find it.
Expecting rejection? Expecting to be hurt? You find ways to make this happen — even just subconsciously — to make that a reality.
Jim Rohn once wrote, “It’s human tendency to blame someone or something else for our lack of progress.” It’s easy to slip into a negative mindset defined by resentment and blaming to make us feel better.
Back at my old corporate job, I used to love blaming my boss for my problems — I was stressed because he was a jerk, I was frustrated because he wouldn’t help me, etc.
But this mindset repels success. It makes focus and effort more difficult, because you’re wasting brainpower reminding yourself how bad they are instead of doing what you really need to do. A bad attitude guarantees you’ll never achieve the success you want.
If you want to see the success you want, it’s on you to stop the cycle of a negative mindset. Because you attract what you think and believe.
“People are so caught up in their own negativity and losses that they give up on creating the future they want.” -Grant Cardone
“Success is not determined so much by the size of one’s brain as it is by the size of one’s thinking.” -David Schwartz
I went to Cathy Heller’s Dreamtopia conference recently where I heard a haunting story of small thinking.
The keynote speaker used to be a kindergarten teacher. She asked the kids to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up.
Many of the young children drew things you’d expect — the president, an astronaut, a doctor. But there was one young boy who was sitting at his desk, not drawing anything.
“Why aren’t you drawing anything?” the teacher asked kindly. “Do you need some help?”
“I don’t know what to draw,” the young boy replied.
“Draw whatever you want!” the teacher responded encouragingly.
The boy began to draw. A few minutes later, the teacher came back and saw what the young boy had drawn: a pizza delivery guy.
Later, the teacher asked the boy’s mother why her son had drawn that. “Oh, that’s simple,” the mother said. “His father and uncle are in jail, and his other uncle is a pizza delivery driver.” The boy simply didn’t know anything else he could become, so he drew the only picture he could think of.
This is the terrible power of small thinking — if you can’t imagine a bigger picture, you’ll slip into a mediocre, subpar lifestyle well below your potential.
Author Kyle Eschenroeder once wrote:
“With the lowered costs of trying things, it means the value of listening to doubters is at an historic low. They don’t know what’s possible.”
There are countless opportunities for greatness available to you today. The cost of trying something new has never been lower. That means all those doubters and nay-sayers simply don’t know what they’re talking about.
Generally, you can only go as far as you think you can go. If you can’t imagine doing anything more than getting a 3% raise every year (if you’re lucky), it’s very unlikely you’ll do the work necessary to achieve anything beyond that.
Success is measured by the size of your thinking. Before you embark on your next big project, it’s wise to sharpen your mind and increase the picture of what’s possible.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” -Abraham Lincoln
You teach people how to treat you.
You get what you tolerate. If you tolerate low-level relationships and low self-worth, that’s what you’ll receive.
I’ve been reading several autobiographies from some of the world’s most famous and influential people. I’ve learned that in order to get to this level of world-class success, you must have your actions and beliefs completely aligned. Otherwise, people don’t want to be around you.
If you see yourself as unorganized, unprofessional, and unable to handle large responsibility, then others will see that, too. This will repel people away from you as they search for someone they can trust.
But if you focus on your craft and become prepared for opportunities, you’ll begin to attract success. As Tony and Grammy award winner Leslie Odom Jr. once wrote:
“Craft makes you reliable, and reliability gets you work.”
Early in his Broadway career, Odom Jr. worked extremely hard. He had to. He was offered his dream role in the show Rent a week before the show opened. “As a replace in a Broadway show, you get a week to learn your part, and then you’re on,” he wrote in his autobiography. It would have been very easy to make excuses — a week isn’t nearly enough time!
But he saw himself as a reliable professional with poise and class. He mastered his part and dominated his performance, which opened up many more opportunities.
George S. Clason once wrote, “Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.” If you’re unprepared or still see yourself as unable to handle responsibility, the world will listen to you, and move on to someone who is ready.
Others see what we see in ourselves.
“The only way you become a leading man is to treat yourself like a leading man, and work your ass off.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tony and Grammy winner Leslie Odom Jr. once described a key realization that completely transformed his acting career.
In his late twenties, Odom Jr. was on the verge of burnout. Already a well-established Broadway veteran with frequent TV/film roles, he was fine while he was acting; it was when the phone wasn’t ringing that was the problem.
The dry months waiting for the phone to ring built bitterness and resentment in his heart. Offers for roles came less and less, while his frustration grew more and more.
“Years of heart break and rejection had made me guarded,” he wrote in his autobiography. “I was tight and tense. There was a film of corrosion and jadedness over me that had to be stripped away immediately.”
Reluctantly, he joined an acting class. He was by far the most accomplished actor in the class, yet many of his amateur and rookie classmates were getting roles Odom Jr. auditioned for!
But when he recalibrated himself — he went back to his roots, chose to smile instead of frown, and open himself instead of walking into a room with tight shoulders and wary eyes — that’s when he started receiving offers again.
“What message are you sending out before you open your mouth?” Odom Jr asked himself. “What soundless story is your body telling when you enter a room?”
Tony Robbins once asked a crowd to imagine answering their doorbell to a depressed person. He asked them to describe what the person looked like.
Many people had similar answers: hunched shoulders, a frown, tired eyes. Robbins explained that the physical posture and emotional state of mind both fed off each other; the more sad you are, the more you hunch your shoulders, which makes you sadder, etc.
The same of true for bitterness and jadedness. When you’re bitter, it shows — in your eyes, your language, your demeanor. People don’t like working with jaded, cynical people.
As long as you’re holding onto bitterness and resentment — even if you feel justified — that’s all you’re going to attract.
“Success comes to those who are success-conscious.” -Napoleon Hill
Success doesn’t happen “to” you. It happens because of you.
Kevin Hart once joked, “Waiting for other people to make your dreams come true is like waiting for the bus on a corner where there’s no bus stop. Sometimes the bus driver may feel bad for you and stop anyway, but usually they’ll speed right past you standing there like an idiot.”
A lot of people are waiting passively for their dreams to fall into their lap without doing the real work to get there. A mindset defined by passivity and complacency may get lucky sometimes and win, but usually, this mindset leads to years and years of frustration and bitterness.
If you haven’t really won anything or achieved any of your big goals yet, don’t worry. Keep moving forward. You’ll move faster if you adopt the mindset of a winner — acting like a winner will make you one.
Said Bill Walsh, one of the greatest NFL coaches in history:
“Winners act like winners before they become winners. That’s how they become winners.”
Upgrading your mindset starts with how you see yourself. Most people don’t look in the mirror with happiness and joy; more often, they project disdain, self-loathing, or disappointment in themselves. This is a toxic mindset you need to avoid at all costs.
The road to success is paved with failure, struggling, and rejection. If you have a mindset that carries this negativity with you, it’ll slow you down and break you.
Upgrading your mindset isn’t difficult; it’s simply a matter of seeing yourself differently. You are stronger than you think; you’ve been educated with limitations. It’s time to shed these old ideas.
Act like a winner. Treat yourself like a professional. If you act “as if” you’re the person you want to be, pretty soon you’ll actually become that person.
“As a man thinketh, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.” -James Allen
There’s an old saying that goes: you can’t pick oranges from an apple tree.
Every day, you plant very specific seeds in your mind, relationships, and life — if those seeds are negative, they’ll grow into negativity. You can’t feel generous if you keep focusing on your lack of things with a scarcity mindset.
You can only reap the rewards of what you’ve sewn. If all you’ve sewn is negativity and a can’t-do-it attitude, that’s all you’ll be able to get.
Focus on upgrading your mindset. Act like a winner even if you don’t feel like one. Great things will come to pass for you.
Focus on looking for the good, the positive, the rewards for hard work — and you’ll find them.
If you want to become extraordinary and become 10x more effective than you were before, check out my checklist.