This mindset I have and bring to my client’s struggling businesses did not get built overnight. It took years of conscious concentration to develop the discipline that says basically, if something goes wrong, it was probably my fault. Either I didn’t plan or predict a problem, or I didn’t solve the problem before it happened a second time; but now the burden is on me to solve it.
Luckily I have a few tips on how to develop a self-ownership mindset.
First is to change your inner dialog, how you speak to yourself. If you wake up every day and look in the mirror and tell yourself that it’s going to be a great day, you’ll find reasons to have the day be great. If you choose look in the mirror and hang your head because it’s “another day of this job…” you’re going to find every downside to the objective reality that happens to you.
Two people can go through the same exact day and have totally different quality of life just by changing that small interpretation of how they talk to themselves.
One guy can get cut off in traffic by a car going 20 miles an hour over the speed limit and think: “What an asshole! He thinks none of us want to drive faster?” Another can have the same car go by and think “Man, I hope his kid isn’t hurt in the back seat to get to the ER!”
It costs nothing to start approaching a problem from a positive perspective, but it can cost opportunities in business, your personal life and your social life to start an interaction with a negative viewpoint.
As you face problems, you’ll say you can’t do something due to a lack of time or skill or circumstance, which then you fail, you are able to turn around and point at whatever you saw as the weak spot and say “That’s why I failed!”.
The good thing about that is that it works in the other direction as well. When you’re able to face a problem with a better mindset, a more empowering point of view like: “I don’t like my situation right now, but I’m still going to find a way around it.”
When you start looking at the opportunities possible, the start to show themselves to you. When you start looking for the seemingly unbeatable odds, you’ll find them.
Earlier I mentioned how difficult getting this mindset can be.
The reason for this is that once you have momentum, nothing can stop you. But getting that momentum is the difficult part.
If you have spent 40 years of your life searching out and inevitably finding the problems with a situation, you’ve got 40 years of negative momentum working against you. You’re a cruise ship at full speed going south and you’re looking to get to the North Pole.
It takes time and effort to turn that massive momentum around, and at the start of it, it doesn’t feel like much. It’s like the first time getting back in the gym after a long time off, you think about how hard the next few months are going to be.
With discipline and commitment to the task, you’ll find out it’s six months later and you can’t stop going to the gym. The difficulty is pushing through that dip that starts at the beginning of any serious task, until you start getting results, and what you’ve done is redirected the negative into positive momentum.
One of the most addictive things in the world is winning.
When you start stacking up the positive momentum, you’ll look back and laugh at actually how little effort it took to get to a place where you know you wanted to be. It just took some faith, discipline, and believing in yourself.
Next thing I would recommend is taking some time to focus on your plan. We talked about that previously, but you need to develop a vision for where you want to go. This is done with three main things: setting specific goals, setting objectives to complete and setting the tasks to get you there.
The trouble with predicting the future is that even if you think you have mapped out where you’re going, it’s not going to be perfect, but anyone can tell you that a map that’s 90% accurate is a whole lot better than having no map at all.
It’s important to remember that you’re the only one who can change your life. Your Mom or Dad or kids or your boss, no one can actually change your life besides you. You can complain, and kick and scream about how it’s someone else’s fault, and people frequently do.
We take our jealousy, envy, and more negative emotions, and direct them at people who have more or better of what we want, because we only see the end product. We don’t see the years working late nights in a laboratory, or library and are envious of a brilliant discovery, or becoming valedictorian because we don’t see the effort that was put in.
A good example of this is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Before he was in movies and politics, he was known for bodybuilding. When he was in his 20’s, still on the rise in the industry, he was getting ready for a January contest and training four hours per day.
When it was Christmas Day, he didn’t know that the gym was closed until he got there. Most people would turn around and go home, but Arnold needed the heavy weights the gym had and with just weeks to go, couldn’t afford to skip a day of training.
So what did he do?
He broke a window in the gym, crawled through it and went over to the weights and started lifting. The problem was, the gym had no heat on because it was closed, so the subfreezing temperatures in the gym made the weights stick to his hands like a flagpole.
So what did he do?
He tore his shirt in half, wrapped one half around each hand, and used the cloth to prevent the weights from sticking. He hit his four hours and crawled back out the window, having not missed a day of work.
The same massive self-ownership displayed there brought him to great heights in multiple highly competitive industries, ending up the Governor of California. Everyone else at that competition in January likely took Christmas off, which is why he beat them: there was zero excuse for not doing the work in his mind.
For what it’s worth, he did replace that window.