“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” – Henry Ford
No matter what we strive towards, the best of our skills, knowledge, and strategies will only get us so far. We also need stamina, faith and a genuine belief in ourselves in order to become great at our jobs and achieve the goals we set out for – especially if you have your eye on a project management leadership role. Think of your mental attitude as a bike. The bike is reliant on you to move it in forward; your mindset — negative, positive; optimistic, pessimistic — is also reliant on you to move it forward.
According to studies, 75% of our daily thoughts and beliefs are negative. We might not feel good enough, clever enough, old enough, young enough or experienced enough – all of which affects our ability to apply ourselves effectively to achieving our goals.
So how do you make your thoughts and outlook more positive? For starters, replace the attitudes that are not serving you with a mental attitude that encourages you to take action and pursue your personal and professional goals without hesitation or self-doubt.
Here are six ways to think yourself into an empowered mental attitude.
1. Choose how you respond.
The most empowering belief you can adopt on your road to project management leadership is to accept 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 can take full responsibility of your actions without having to deflect blame onto others. You might not be able to control everything that happens around you, but you can control how you react to situations and how you influence other people.
2. Believe in yourself and be your own best cheerleader.
If you want others to believe in you, and if you want to be seen as a confident and capable project manager, then you first have to believe in yourself. You have to feel that you are worthy of leading a project, and you have to have absolute faith that as long as you take the necessary action, then you can be as successful at running a project as anybody else. It is this undeniable belief in yourself – and being willing to back yourself all the way – that fuels your motivation and inspires others around you. Believe in yourself and your success. Feel it in every cell of you body and repeat it to yourself over and over again.
3. Have faith that the right things will come as a result of your actions.
Part of having a positive and empowering mindset is to trust that as long as you do what can reasonably be expected of you, then the right things will happen. There is no need to worry unnecessarily that your project or your career will be a disaster. In fact, focusing too much on the things that you fear and don’t want is likely to derail you because we attract that which we focus on. If you encounter a risk, by all means, do what you can to mitigate it, but then let I go. Your only concern should be to take constructive action, stay focused and to have faith that the right things will happen as a result of your actions and intentions.
4. Look for opportunities in every situation (even the bad ones).
A great way to support your success is to make sure that you don’t get discouraged or distracted by issues or obstacles that pop up. We all encounter issues – especially on big projects – but one defining quality of successful project managers is the way in which they deal with the unforeseen. When something unexpected happens, ask yourself how you can move forward and which new opportunities have opened up as a result. It’s a great gift to be able to see the opportunity in every situation.
5. There is no such thing as failure – only opportunities to grow and learn from.
An empowered mindset is one in which you don’t let the fear of failure hold us back. If you’re afraid of making decisions or doing something new 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. See it as learning experiences and move forward in spite of your fear. Besides, what is the worst that can happen? Is it worse to “fail” having tried, or is it worse to fail because you never even dared?
6. Be committed.
Becoming an outstanding project management leader and delivering a large project may not be achieved in a matter of days or weeks. It could take much longer and will require you to be fully committed to learning and growing and applying your skills. An empowering mindset is one where we are 100% committed and where we consistently take action that moves us closer to what we want. With that mindset, there is no space for doubt or procrastination. Of course, there will be times when you lose sight of the overall goal, but your commitment and positive frame of mind will quickly get you back on track.
The best way of letting go of the beliefs and habits that limit you is to change from the inside out. Decide that you want to take control of your internal world of thoughts so they, in turn, can influence your outer reality in a way that best serves you. Start by observing the kinds of things you say to yourself on a daily basis and slowly but surely replace them with something more positive and empowering.
You can do it!
What about you – do you have a secret weapon that keeps you on the sunny side? Let us know in the Comments box, we uh, er, our friends would like to know!