There are plenty of books you can read that are supposed to help you focus or train your mind.
But the reality is that this is something you can only learn by doing.
Once you start putting mental training into practice, things start to get more clear about how you can set yourself up for success.
In this post, I am going to shed some light on how your brain was designed and how it might be holding you back from moving forward.
You’ll be able to implement the specific strategies I go through to retrain your brain to be programmed for success vs. continually focused on failure.
Our brain is often the culprit for why we don’t reach our goals.
By learning how to train your mind to release negative thought patterns, you open yourself up to a new world of vast opportunity.
This is an oversimplification, of course.
Two Sides of The Brain
The right ‘creative’ side and the left ‘logical’ side.
Every incredible idea you have is thanks to that outlandish, creative right side of the brain.
That side has endless amounts of positive ideas, dreams, fantasies, and desires. However, in order not to get too wrapped up in fantasy land, your brain also has a left side.
The left side is logical and critical of all the crazy ideas your right side is scheming.
Now, while the left side can be good in keeping us set in reality . . . it can also hurt.
It can squash any idea we ever have, convince us we aren’t good enough, and drive us crazy with worry and anxiety.
Our brains are designed in a way to literally look for negativity.
Negative thoughts also require more brainpower, so the more we recycle these thoughts over and over again, the more our brain stores them in our memories.
Psychologists believe that the reason our brains focus on the negative and get into those cyclical negative thought patterns relates to our primal ancestors.
Their brains constantly had to be on high alert and scanning the environment in order to survive.
Our brains naturally have a negative bias. This means they respond more to negative images, ideas, etc. than to positive ones.
How this looks in the moment is being paralyzed by fear when new opportunities or ideas arrive.
New Means Scary To The Brain
Often our judgment is clouded by this fear, and we get stuck.
Even if it’s a positive opportunity or idea, we are unable to move forward.
By knowing the way your brain works and acknowledging negative thought patterns when they occur, you can shift the way you approach new ideas and thought processes.
You can literally train your brain.
When your brain is processing things at a higher level and doesn’t get stuck in negativity, that’s where the magic starts to happen.
I want you to know that there are actions you can take to train your mind to process 80% of those 70,000 thoughts differently.
Unless it’s a completely unrealistic fantasy (e.g. retire at 65 and decide I want to start training so I can be an NFL starting quarterback at 70), it actually doesn’t matter how lofty the goal is.
If you want it bad enough and are willing to work hard enough, there is a high chance you can make it happen.New means scary to the brain until you train it to think differently. Click To Tweet
So let’s get practical.
Here are the six ways and specific strategies I personally recommend to start to train your mind to be programmed for success.
1. Seek out Others That Have Done It Before
The best way you can prevent your brain from getting stuck in negativity over a new idea or “I can’t do this” thought pattern is to seek out others who have done it before.
This may sound simple, but it can be very powerful.
Saturate your mind with success stories.
Meet and talk with these people if you can but otherwise look them up on the internet, YouTube, and read their biographies.
This is why conferences are so powerful and life-changing.
It’s not what the speakers say on stage, it’s the fact that you get to see them in real life.
And maybe even get a chance to meet them and ask some questions.
These exposures are life-changing and they happen all the time so why not with you.
There are literally millions of conferences going on in every subject around the world every year, or at least they will once COVID is behind us, and you need these exposures one way or another.
If you can’t get it live, get on Zoom—everyone is Zooming.
Mix, mingle and allow yourself to get stimulated and allow negative restrictive thoughts to get washed out of your consciousness.
Refuse to be your worst enemy by carrying incorrect and negative thoughts forward.
Once you have listened to these conferences—then it’s time to train your brain to think about your ideas, that you daydream about, positively.
One way to do that is to show the brain, “See, he did it and was no better than me. In fact, he had more to overcome than I do and was still able to accomplish this.”
You are giving your brain logical reasons to accept the fact that.
If he did it, you can do it.
Focusing on the most successful players in the same arena you want to grow in will start to replace the negative stories in your brain with new positive ones.
You will see the mistakes they made and how they kept going
When you have questions on how to do something, they likely had to deal with those same issues and can point you in the right direction.
Printing out quotes to put up that, researching and reading interviews or books, watching documentaries, or even working with an actual mentor can start to convince the logical side of your brain that this isn’t so scary and crazy after all.
2. Set Boundaries
You can take charge of your brain. Your brain is part of you—it’s not you. The real you is a soul, a spirit.
The brain is something your spirit uses to operate the body and accomplish the things you want to accomplish.
Since I’m actually not God, we don’t need to debate this because I’m probably wrong but that’s a close enough explanation for you to run with.
The point is that you’ve got to protect your mind—you can’t let any random capricious thought that happens to pop up take over your brain and cause you to do or say destructive things.
It’s one thing to be driving around the curve on a cliff over the ocean and have the thought jump into your mind wouldn’t it feel great to accelerate and drive right off the cliff.
It’s another thing to let that thought cause you to actually do it—that same principle applies all day long.
You get in a tense situation and you’re ready to explode and say something but if you’re smart, you’ll realize that will just make things worse—It might feel good for a second, but I will have created a big mess for myself.
I’ll have to clean up later, so you put boundaries on yourself as much as possible, and again no one is perfect but boundaries can protect you.
We all need to be constantly aware of the tendency to go negative.
We need to realize the positive people we see in our lives that always seem to be happy and always seem to take a positive outlook in a situation isn’t that way naturally.
Don’t let yourself think that—they are that way because they decided to be that way.
If you wait for a good day to happen in your life, you’re going to have a long wait.
It’s your job to make the day good—look for positives.
Refuse to get beat by negative circumstances and situations—refuse to be a victim.
Take the hit and bounce back strong with a positive response—do something good for yourself or someone else.
If you drift, sooner or later you will drive off that cliff and explode with anger and make a fool of yourself unnecessarily.
Decide to be positive—decide to look for the positives.
When you lock in on a project you want to take on, it’s like you’re going on a trip.
If you decided to give in and let the negative thoughts win and just go off that cliff, you would never be able to start your trip to success.
So it’s time to set some parameters for the other side of your brain.
The negative side likes to have boundaries set in place.
After you have learned to think positively and avoided that cliff, you get to decide who is going on the trip with you— if that person in the car constantly complaining no matter where you go, it will be a miserable experience.
The trip is ruined, and you may end up giving in to the constant nagging in the end.
In order to avoid this, you want to learn how to take care of your mind and protect it from these negative voices.
Nobody can operate at their best when they have a negative, interfering, constant nagging.
You cannot allow a flood of negative thoughts in your mind to abuse the logical side of your mind.
Both sides of your brain need a positive environment.
You have to look out for yourself and go into a positive tunnel.
Getaway from all the negative people, places, and things.
Tell those negative voices in your head, “Enough! Stop with the negative ideas right now. Instead, let’s think about how we can do it.”
Give your mind time to work through the transition of sorting out a new idea that may seem scary.
And allow it to work out the next steps.
3. Write down the Things You’re Grateful for Every Day
If you don’t you’ll forget it.
You’ve got to be specific about the good things and good people in your life, and if you don’t write them down, they’ll evaporate from your memory in a flash.
I do this on a daily basis, and I’m always amazed at the end of the day how I would have otherwise already totally forgotten something absolutely amazingly positive that had happened just a few hours earlier.
And because I’ve got a routine, a journal, a diary, where I keep up with these things, I force myself to think about things I need to be grateful for—and I am always encouraged with a rush of good feelings when I remember the event or the incident or whatever it was.
Again we drift towards the negative, and we’ve got to steer ourselves towards the positive if we want positive things in our life.
Great and glorious things actually do happen to us from time to time, but we usually do a miserable job of remembering them.
One way of making your life special is by spending those limited hours you have on this earth by deciding to spend a portion of those limited hours you have on earth being grateful for the good things that happen to you on a daily basis.
Even if it’s the simplest thing—when you remember it, it will have an energizing effect on you.
Negative, miserable, irritated people could change overnight if they started being grateful, started taking the time to notice the good things that happen in their lives.
But they are annoying and miserable because they never let themselves appreciate that side of their lives.
One trend you’ll notice with successful people is that they don’t obsess about what they don’t have.
Instead, they appreciate the things they do have.
It’s great to keep growing in life, but not if you never enjoy what you’ve already accomplished.
The trick is to train your mind to be grateful and enjoy what you’ve achieved so far, while you continue to push forward for bigger and better things.
Just because you were expecting your child to bring home straight As on her report card doesn’t mean you should fall apart when she shows up with 4 As and 1 B.
When you spend the bulk of your time focusing on the negative, you’ll find yourself getting less and less done.
You won’t move forward.
By constantly obsessing over unrealistic expectations, you take the joy out of the successes you do have.
There have been countless studies that show what the brain does when we practice gratitude.
Starting a gratitude journal is a popular method for implementing this practice into our lives.
When we participate in gratitude, it lights up the positive parts of our brain.
The more you practice, the more your brain adapts to this mindset.
Just like you can train your brain to be more protected, you can also exercise and strengthen your brain’s ability to feel thankful and empathetic.
4. Start Thinking like an Overcomer
Shift your thinking towards becoming someone who is going to overcome obstacles rather than someone who is going to be held back by obstacles.
Everyone goes through difficult situations and seasons in life.
Even if you are implementing everything we’ve gone through already, negative thoughts and self-doubt are going to creep in.
So how are you going to react? It’s your choice.
Remember, your brain’s natural inclination is to be negatively focused.
It’s easier to give up and continue living life in a stalling neutral.
On the other hand, it’s much harder for your brain to shift out of a negative state and continue forward even when everything inside says to stop.
Know that it is okay to get upset, angry, sad, overwhelmed, etc.
The most important part is what happens after those feelings arrive.
Don’t stay in that state of mind. Don’t allow yourself to spiral out of control.
Success is when you choose not to stay stuck and instead choose to use those emotions as momentum to keep charging forward.You start to take charge of your life when you start to take charge of your thinking. Click To Tweet
5. Make Failure Your Friend
You must decide to be your best friend. Your best motivator. Your best supporter.
If you can’t get excited about yourself, your possibilities, and your ability to work and make a difference, why should anyone else?
Give yourself room to fail—no one is perfect.
Don’t overreact when you run into a wall. Decide to be your best friend, Best motivator, Best supporter.
Stay excited about yourself, your possibilities, and your ability to work and ability to make a difference, why should anyone else?
Use failure as an indicator of what the next steps you need to take so you can win more consistently—failures show you the potholes on the road to the top.
You can either fill them in or you can drive around them, but once you know they are there, they can’t hold you back any longer.
Don’t be your worst critic.
It’s one thing, to be honest with yourself and takes responsibility when you fail it’s another thing to be your worst critic.
If you are your worst critic that means you’re spending way too much time focusing on negatives.
That’s the easiest thing in the world to do and that’s why the world is full of people who are glad to criticize you.
Instead, be your biggest booster.
Don’t allow yourself to freeze up in indecision because you are afraid of failure or of offending someone.
Remember that even the most successful people in the world blundered along the way.
If you offend someone, you can apologize. If you make a mistake, you can fix it.Don’t get too upset when you fail. Everybody does it. Failing is how you learn. Click To Tweet
I remember once I was at a convention in Puerto Rico and spent an afternoon at the driving range.
The professional golf instructor was giving a lesson in the booth next door. The woman he was teaching kept missing the shots.
Shot after shot, she was just terrible.
I’ll never forget what the pro said to her; it stuck with me for a long time. He said, “Don’t worry, a lot of getting good at golf is not getting upset when you miss a shot. Your capacity for getting good at golf is directly related to your capacity for being able to tolerate hitting terrible shots while you learn.”
There is no need to go timidly through life afraid of offending someone or making a mistake.
Live boldly and know nobody is perfect!
6. Tune Your Mind for Success
Think of training your mind like tuning an instrument.
Once you know what the instrument sounds like when it’s in tune, it will always sound wrong when it is out of tune.
The same goes for your mind, once you know how to train your mind to think differently, you will subconsciously know when your thought process is veering off course and starting to go negative.
Even better, you’ll know how to steer it back on track.
Incorporate more of these strategies into a daily practice and watch how you begin to see more doors that lead to success than ever before.That wasn’t a failure. That was my education for success. Click To Tweet
We’ve covered a lot of ideas here, and you don’t need to implement them all at once.
Make it simple for yourself.
Look back at what we just discussed and choose something that you know you can easily try.
Make this your first step in training your mind.