new_paradigm_signWhy is it that some people succeed and others don’t? This is a conundrum I puzzled over for years.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are multiple reasons — and one of the big ones is purely mental.

One of my coaching students, Ryan Crawford of Sunapee, New Hampshire, wrote to me about this very problem:

“When you know what to do to achieve success, and you know it works, how do you make yourself do it? This is a problem most everyone has. All the business smarts in the world won’t do you one lick of good if psychology is standing in your way. How do you rid yourself of mental blocks?”

Good question. I’m sure that many Barefoot Writers — maybe even you — are struggling to find the answer.

So today, I’m going to give you some simple guidelines for clearing out the mental clutter that is blocking your success.

3 Simple Steps to Changing Your Attitude

Just as you “spring clean” your house, you can rid yourself of the negative thoughts and feelings that are holding you back and the people who are sabotaging your goals. Here’s what to do:

Step #1. Change the way you think.

Our thoughts govern our attitudes and, therefore, the actions we take. If you work on improving the quality of your thoughts, you improve your ability to take action.

Shift from negative thoughts such as, “I can’t reach my goal because it will take too long” to “My goal is taking longer than expected, so I need to adjust my schedule accordingly.”

Successful people guard against their own negative thoughts — as well as those of others. This brings us to …

Step #2. Limit your association with negative people.

Sadly, there are many people who choose to view the world in negative terms. They always see the glass as half empty. This doesn’t mean they are bad people. But, it does mean that if you are around them on a regular basis, their sour outlook will begin to affect you.

You may not be able to let go of the negative people in your life completely (maybe they are friends, family, or co-workers), but you can limit the time you spend listening to their moans and groans.

Step #3. Let go of the past.

This is huge. And, because it is difficult, it takes practice. And then more practice!

Whatever has gone wrong in the past … whoever slighted you … whatever didn’t work out quite the way you intended … let it go! Just let it go.

Banish it from your mind and focus on the here and now. Past failures, rejections, or injustices will hold you back if you keep dragging them forward. They will inhibit the productive thinking and feelings that are needed to establish effective solutions and results. Cut those chains! Your future is built from today forward.

3 Exercises to Get Yourself Going

  • Read something inspirational. You could find inspiration in the works of Tony Robbins, the Chicken Soup series, or in the stories of successful Barefoot Writers you read in Barefoot Writer Magazine. Realize that these people weren’t born successful. They started with a blank slate. But, they had a desire to change their life … just like you.
  • Visualization. I’m big on using the Power of Visualization to keep your motivation strong to accomplish your goals. It also works to remove the mental blocks that get in your way. A champion golfer visualizes each and every swing — in detail — before he drives, chips, or putts. Say you are gearing up for an interview with a potential client. Visualize how confident and positive you will be. See yourself answering every question quickly and correctly. See the client smiling and nodding at your answers. Now … call them up and take your shot.
  • Have an upbeat conversation. This simple exercise is a favorite of mine.Have an upbeat conversation with your spouse or significant other, a friend or a family member, a co-worker or your boss. Maybe you could reconnect with an old mentor. You could even take this opportunity to speak with someone new. Perhaps the new hire in your office or your new neighbor.

The only rule is that the conversation has to be positive. Put no limits on the topics … just limits on your attitude.

It All Begins With Choice

Toss out those blocks! Toss out the bad and let in the good.

Choose to take action on your thoughts to feel good about yourself, and see how natural it becomes
to take action on making any goal a reality!