Have you ever wondered why some people just crush it and walk from one success to another, perform like crazy and seem to be even happier than the rest of us?
These people must have super powers, right? They were just lucky to be born like that.
Admittedly - we are all different - which is wonderful as it is. Have you ever felt a bit neglected or disadvantaged when it comes to the distribution of the good stuff? Or felt like this world is really unfair?
Let’s face it though, nobody is born with a bad or a good attitude or great skills or lousy ones. Or with being just positive or being negative.
Even if we are happy to state exactly that “Well, I’ve always been the half-glass-empty-person, can’t help it”. “I’m just not like that”, “I don’t have these powers other people have”. In fact you can, and you have - I’ll come back to that in a moment.
Some of us might even have gone through Myers Briggs tests and the like and got a confirmation of who we are or who we are not. You might be surprised to learn that there is not necessarily a correlation between those results and our future success - the MBTI measures preferences, not ability.
For example, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington all have different Myers-Briggs types than the ones stating that you are most likely to succeed as an entrepreneur, as stated in a recent Business Insider UK article. And just because someone’s predisposed to entrepreneurship doesn't mean they are prepared or even capable of starting a successful company.
So these kind of tools can definitely trigger an interesting discussion, but by no means predict our personal success. Don’t let yourself be de-motivated.
Be careful - our potential is not fixed based upon our current situation!
Avoid labels you’re giving yourself or you’ve been given by others. They most definitely do not determine what we can achieve.
Now comes this one again, which, in case you read my blog more often, you’ve heard before. In fact, probably many times:
High Performers are not born, they are made by habits.
Yes indeed: we are a sum of our habits. Just think about your own and how they determine your days, weeks and…finally years!
And - we can change anything - even our personality, and definitely our habits.
So it comes in handy that changing our mindset is in fact more important than the number of hours we put into something, our personality, years of experience, gender, nationality or whatever you can think of! Even more important than our IQ.
Let me back that up a bit for the sceptics amongst you.
It’s not just me claiming that: Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that our attitude is a better predictor of our success than our IQ.
She also states that people’s basic attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
Fixed Mindset: we believe we are who we are and we cannot change. This creates problems when we’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than we can handle is bound to make us feel hopeless and overwhelmed.
Growth Mindset: The ones who believe that they can improve while putting in an effort. No wonder that those outperform the ones with a fixed mindset, even when they are having a lower IQ. The reason: They embrace challenges and view them as opportunities to learn something new, rather than labelling them as failures.
The conclusion: We’re not limited in our power. Our brain and our potential are NOT fixed. Your thoughts are not fixed, nor is your situation, so no reason to limit ourselves!
We can change our thoughts, our attitude and add dedicated master class tools and behaviour – and ta-dah – we’ve got a great start to unleashing our real potential!
What does it take then to get – or access – those super powers? What are the habits that allow us to get ahead?
Clarity – Knowing who I am, who I desire to be – creates the difference between spinning our wheels or getting ahead. Ask yourself the questions of life: What do I choose for my life, who do I choose to be and what does it take to become this person?
Admittedly not a 5-minute job, but worth the effort. I don’t want to look back in years to come and find that I never asked myself this question and find myself in a place where I never wanted to be!
Energy – That is a big one. If we’re tired and struggling all the time, we’re simply not as good as we could be. Our capability of taking good decisions decreases, our performance levels are going down if our mental and physical energy is down. The good news: We are generating our own energy! I’ve identified 4 pillars of energy: Movement & Rest, Breathing, Mindset and Nutrition.
If we get those right, we can create a high performance energy with a high quality of alertness, joy and confidence – and just alone showing that will appear like special powers to many people!
Productivity: Dreams need to land in a daily planner. I know, I know, I have exhausted that before. “What’s not in our calendar, won’t happen”. Still true. As a high performing person you know that outcome matters, right? That is putting the stuff out that matters – not just ticking off boxes of stuff to do. So plan them and how to get there and you’ll increase your productivity in no time.
Courage: Are you being bold or are you going through the motions? Knowing our strengths is great. But that also keeps us firmly in our comfort zone. What is the next thing we’re going to try which stretches us and is kind of uncomfortable? Do you ask yourself this question from time to time, particularly if you desire to be more successful? Do we have the courage to take this step? Yes, it can be frightening.
When I started pivoting in a completely different direction from my business of 20 years and even started recording videos, this was a more than a haunting experience (and some results were too ;-) ). Getting out into this uncomfortable area made me cringe and it took even more courage to put those videos out – after all, I opened myself up to feedback….positive and negative.
The result: this boosted my confidence a lot – I showed myself that I can muster up the courage, this helps me to do the same thing again when stepping outside of my comfort zone, which I seem to do on a regular basis these days!
Influence: aahh….a dirty word for some of us as it smells of manipulation. Quite right – it can, if used with bad or wrong intentions. On the other hand learning how to influence other people is absolutely great as it can in fact help them! Influencing has a lot to do with listening (really listening, not interrupting and showing off our knowledge!), with being a great mentor or coach or sales person who’s got the interest of their customers in mind.
You want to change the world? Then start learning how to become a charismatic leader and influencer. If you believe you’re not, start with the intention and maybe Dale Carnegie’s book: How to win friends and influence people.
Knowing the big WHY: Funny, that is somehow the point we’ll come back to every time again and again. Why are we doing what we’re doing. What is it that is driving us. Our mission? Our values? Who I desire to be in my life? My heart or soul…the fire inside?
The Why can be something external and mundane as pressure from the outside. Quite honestly, I found circumstances such as when our boss or spouse applies pressure, it can be quite useful as it kicks ass and summons up something inside of us we did not even know was there….
Intuition: We have all heard of intuition or gut feeling, inner voice or whatever we’d like to call it. For me this is the foundation for everything. Our excellent and well-functioning brains will only bring us so far and answer what we ask them to do. On the other side, our intuition is the place where creativity, courage (see above) trust and that moment when every idea comes so easily is our natural state.
In our adult life we all experience that from time to time – when this genius idea suddenly pops up - but it’s mostly viewed as something that can only be accessed at certain times or it comes up “by chance”. Besides that, we have a tendency to believe more in facts and figures than in our intuition, right?
Learning how to re-member what we already know, or better, will help us make better decisions and unlock this power we have within all of us.
I went through the process, which shifted more than I could dreamed of before.
Whatever habit we’re starting with, will bring us much closer to becoming this person with super powers – or at least we’ll be considered as such. The biggest one for me - and the foundation all the others are built upon is getting access and re-connecting with my intuition.
Where are you going to start to unleash your super power?
PS: If you’re now curious how the heck this intuition thing works I am totally with you. Sounds a bit like new age esoteric strange stuff. The good news: it’s not. No sitting on mountain summits in a yoga pose for weeks to get there (unless you need an excuse to get out of the house).
In fact, it is rather easy and quick. I you want to know more I am happy to explain - just get in touch at email@example.com