Often, we get stuck on the past, allowing our failures to define us and hold us back. But this doesn’t have to be the case! In this podcast (episode #226) and blog, I speak with entrepreneur, top podcaster and life coach Ed Mylett about why our failures are gifts, how our intentions often define our success, how to recover from the death of a dream, common mindsets of the most successful people, how to boost your self-confidence, mental mistakes we often make and how to overcome them, and more!
When it comes to our success, we don’t have to do something perfectly. But, if our intentions are honest, authentic and good, we can still be a success and do good on some level. Too often we don’t give ourselves enough credit!
We also need to recognize the power behind serving others. As Ed points out, we are not designed to think about “me, myself and I” all the time. We find lasting value, success, fulfillment and joy when we serve a purpose and community that is greater than ourselves. This doesn’t mean you should be poor or give everything away. It does mean, however, that when we find success, our greatest joy is sharing that with others, not just keeping it for ourselves. When we serve others in love, our anxiety and insecurities often fade away, and we can truly see life for what it is: a gift.
We also need to have confidence in ourselves. Indeed, one of the most common mindsets among top achievers is their self-confidence in their abilities. They truly believe in their capacity to perform!
Another major aspect of success and performance is imagination. As Ed notes, most people in life, at some age, tend to operate more out of memory than imagination. People who are high achievers, however, are, in general, incredibly creative and adept at harnessing their imagination to achieve great things in their career.
If you feel stuck in your life, the best thing you can ask yourself is: Do I operate more out of my history or my vision? Am I addicted to old feelings and experiences? Is my thinking reactive or imaginative? One of the keys to a happier life is having vision and being creative, in both your personal and professional life, so think about what you want your life to look like, consciously harness your dreams, put yourself out there and create life! If you don’t know where to start, Ed recommends just letting your imagination loose and dreaming for 5 to 10 minutes a day. You won’t regret it!
That is not to say that that success and optimum performance will make you happy all the time. Many high achievers often feel sad and depressed. They are generally great at harnessing their imagination in their career, but not always adept at doing so in their personal lives. Yet feeling down or sad is not always a bad thing. These uncomfortable feelings are signals that we need to listen and respond to, telling us that something important needs to be addressed in our lives. When we just try to ignore or suppress these emotions, we cannot live a full life, which is why we always need to ask ourselves, “how can this feeling serve me?” It may be a stepping stone to growth and success!
But what happens if you are dealing with the loss of a dream? As Ed notes, it is important that you:
1. Stay present in the moment.
We are the most happy when we are most present in the moment. We should not only have a mindset of going on to the next best thing or thinking about the future. One of the best things you can do for your mental health right now is to enjoy the “now” more!
2. Don’t wait for the future to feel better.
When it comes to our dreams, we often don’t just want the dream—we want how the dream will make us feel. We often think if we get these feelings, we will be happier. But we need to realize that we can give ourselves the gift of these feelings now if we are prepared to do the mind work!
3. Don’t see the dream as lost.
Every lost dream is not “lost” or dead. Through that experience, there were skills gained, breakthroughs made, mental resilience developed, relationships discovered, and lessons learned. This failure has in fact prepared you for the next dream! Nothing is a waste of time.
4. Have present vision.
Seeing things as they are now will make you happier now—you don’t have to wait 5 years or until you achieve that dream to be happy!
No matter what we have gone through, it is possible to shift our mindset and learn from our failures. We can start doing this by:
1. Identifying all the thoughts we have that don’t serve us as symptoms of a disease.
Don’t treat the symptoms—get to the root of the disease. Get to the root of why you feel the way you do. Recognize that you need to love yourself more. Believe that you were born to do something great in your life—that you deserve to be happy. Find your self-confidence again; don’t let your past define you or hold you back. When you adopt this mindset, you will see that you are infinitely bigger than your thoughts. You don’t have to believe everything you think! We get stuck and let failure define us when we think our thoughts are bigger than ourselves and that everything we think is the gospel truth.
2. Keeping the promises we make to ourselves.
This will boost your self-confidence by teaching you how to have faith in yourself and your abilities.
3. Celebrating when we do something well.
This will give you momentum to keep on keeping on, even if it is something as simple as getting up at the same time each day or working out 5 times a week.
As Ed points out, it is also important that we recognize the common mental mistakes that hold people back in life:
1. Complexity is often the enemy of execution.
Simplicity is key when it comes to doing most things!
2. Our obsessions become our possessions.
Remind yourself that although you can’t control everything, you can control your thoughts or emotions.
3. Letting ourselves drift with all the uncertainty and bad news in the world, which makes us anxious and fearful.
Use gratitude to center yourself and remind yourself that there is good in the world.
4. Living life in the grey areas, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
Don’t just stay in the safe, comfortable spaces, or the shallow end of the pool of life. Be intentional about how you want to live your life. Be curious and chase your passions. Use your imagination; live your life in color! Don’t be afraid of diving into the deep end of the pool.
Remember that life is infinite. Give yourself these gifts now!
For more on success, self-confidence, pursuing your dreams and mental health, listen to my podcast with Ed (episode #226), and check out his website. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing! And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media (don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
For more self-care tips to improve your mental health, pre-order my new book 101 Ways to be Less Stressed, which is now on sale at 20% off!
You can also check out my app SWITCH, which is a great tool for helping you learn how to manage your mind and achieve success by dealing with the roots of your choices, and overcoming thought patterns and behaviors that hold you back through the mental process of reconceptualization.
To learn more about success, the power of imagination and mental health, register for my Virtual Mental Health Summit this December 3-6! For more see drleafconference.com. CME and CEU credits are available for PAs, NPs, RNs, MDs, DOs, and other medical professionals, and certificates of attendance will be given for physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers!
3:20 How working at an orphanage changed Ed’s life
5:00 How helping others heals us
6:02 The power of intention, and how it is related to success in business and life
10:00 What makes a top performer a top performer? What do high achievers have in common?
20:44 How to recover from the death of a dream
33:55 How can we shift our mindset and learn from our failures?
40:00 Common mental mistakes people make that hold them back
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