As you continue on your journey to become a better project manager and leader you may be considering which habits to kick and which habits to start embracing. But you are also aware that your good intentions - and new habits - may not stick.
In order to create a new habit and achieve your goals, you have to change from the inside out. You have to take control of your internal world so that your thoughts and feelings can positively influence your outer reality. The best way to do that is to foster a positive and empowering mindset that will allow you to pursue your goals without hesitation.
Let’s examine what this kind of empowering mindset looks like.
I am in control and I choose my own responses
The most empowering belief you can adapt is to know that you are in control and that you always have a choice. You choose your own beliefs, you choose what you want to focus on and you choose the decisions and the actions that you take. This is a very powerful belief system because it means that you take full responsibility for your actions without having to deflect blame onto others. It is true that you don’t have control over everything that happens around you, but you can control the meaning you assign to external events and how to react to them. If for instance you work in a very busy, competitive and reactive environment, you can either see this as a reason to emulate the behavior and get stressed, or instead define your own way of working based on what you know will generate the best results.
I have faith that the right things will come to me as a result of my actions
Part of having a positive and empowering mindset is to trust that as long as you do what can reasonable be expected of you, then the right things will happen. There is no need to worry unnecessarily that things might not work out or to imagine what failure looks like. In fact, focusing too much on the things that you don’t want is likely to derail you because you attract the things that you focus on. Your beliefs determine your reality. If you believe you will fail, chances are that you will. If you encounter a risk, by all means mitigate it, but then let it go. Spending time worrying about the things you cannot control is lost energy. Empower yourself by being proactive and by focusing on the right strategy and trust that success will follow.
I see the opportunity in every situation
A great way to set yourself up for success is to make sure that you don’t get discouraged or distracted by the issues or obstacles that you come across. We all encounter issues, but the difference between successful people and those who are not, is the way in which they deal with the unforeseen. Successful people approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mastered rather than as threats to be avoided. When something unexpected happens, ask yourself how you can move forward in spite of the issues and which new opportunities have opened up as a result. Your job is to focus on the opportunity and the way forward rather than the obstacle itself.
I believe in myself and I am my own best cheerleader
In order to achieve your leadership goals, you first have to believe in yourself. You won’t come across as trustworthy, impactful and inspiring if you don’t have a strong regard for yourself. You have to feel that you are worthy of achieving the things that you dream of, and you have to have absolute faith that as long as you take the necessary action, then you can be every bit as successful as everybody else. This belief in yourself is not about being arrogant or putting yourself above the team. It simply means that you feel worthy of the things you desire. Feel this worth in every cell of you body and don’t leave your home in the morning until you fully embrace that feeling.
There is no such thing as failure; only opportunities to grow and learn
An empowering mindset is also one in which you don’t let fear of failure hold you back. If you are afraid of stepping up and showing yourself as a leader out of fear that you aren’t good enough – or that others might laugh at you – then you won’t get very far. You need to alter your view of failure into something constructive and allow yourself to feel the fear and do it anyway. Your failures provide the opportunity to learn and grow and will genuinely move you forward as long as you take on board the lessons. When you change your thinking pattern into one that doesn’t see failure, you take away an enormous chunk of negative energy and worry. You free yourself up to pursue that which is truly important.
When I decided to give up my job and become an independent project leadership coach, I faced a huge amount of fear. I had been an employee for 17 years and never before run my own business. Would I be good enough? Would people want to work with me and would I be able to make money? It took me many months to come to terms with this fear and to not let it control me. At the end of the day I had to have faith that as long as I did what had proven to work for other successful people, I would be successful too. I began to study all the great entrepreneurs around me and stopped focusing on failure. In fact I began to see my business as an experiment that I would learn from, in one way or another, even if one day I were to go back into employment.
Be fully committed to doing what it takes
Becoming an inspiring leader who adds value in everything that you do may not be achieved in a matter of days. It will take you months or even years and will require you to be fully committed to doing whatever it takes and to learn and refine your approach. Sure, there will be times when you lose sight of the overall goal, but your drive and commitment and positive frame of mind will get you back on track. At the end of the day it is your grit that will keep you going. All successful people have needed to rely on their determination to get to where they wanted. So stay committed to your goals. With a positive and empowering mindset you will reach them.