5-Step Formulation to Rewire Your Mind for Entrepreneurial Success
February 3, 2021 7 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
If there is one thing 2020 has taught us, it is that things can change. Or to put it more clearly: things have to change in order to remain successful. Obviously the last year has been brutal for many of us around the world. Despite all these difficulties, we have seen incredible advances and twists, proving that the most difficult of circumstances can offer us new opportunities. The secret? When we can overcome our normal methods and patterns and use the situations we find ourselves in, we can find new levels of success.
But I wanted to explore this secret a little more and give you some actionable things that you could implement in your own life. So I spoke to Dr. Alok Trivedi, a health and human behavior expert who is the author of Chasing Success and founder of the Aligned Performance Institute. When I asked him if he had any advice for entrepreneurs during these troubled times, he told me that the best way to deal with change is to change ourselves. Or, as the title suggests: rewire our brains.
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Dr. Trivedi says that the external factors of the world are largely beyond our control, but how we adapt to them makes the difference between successful divergence or standing still and nowhere. While it feels safe to lounge casually in our comfort zone, every true business owner knows that if they stay quiet, nothing will happen. Success, by definition, requires a constant state of change and adjustment. However, once you’ve started, knowing how to start or where to go is not always easy. Add a pandemic to the mix and sprinkle it with extreme uncertainty. It can seem almost impossible to turn your way around and rewire your mind.
The good news is that it isn’t! Dr. Trivedi reiterates the idea that we can all manage our personal adjustments while changing our thoughts and actions to become more successful. In fact, we can “rewire” our brains at the cellular level to think and feel differently. We can begin reforming who we are on a fundamental level and transforming ourselves to be focused on success. While this method may sound difficult, it is actually relatively easy to implement. Dr. Trivedi gave me five steps specifically tailored for entrepreneurs to help them find a better path.
Step 1: recalibrate your expectations
This fundamental step is the cornerstone of rewiring our brains. It can be easy to ponder our mistakes and punish ourselves for past shortcomings. This past guilt causes us to lose faith in the present and hold us back from moving forward. This may be inherent in all of us, but it is important to understand that we can overcome it.
What we need to do is consciously listen to our thoughts and the feedback those thoughts give us. You should be absolutely realistic and understand that there will be roadblocks and you will be imperfect. So it’s okay if you screw it up. However, focus not on these mistakes, but on what you have achieved and how you can move on. Celebrate success and validate lessons learned if you stumble. The more you do this, the more your brain rearranges itself so success is your default mode. It will be your nature to produce past triumphs so that you can pursue successful ventures with a decreased sense of fear.
Step 2: use 3D thinking
Next, we should adjust the scope and scope of our ambitions. In the 9-5 world, many employees view their daily tasks and career path as a fairly straight line with Task ABC as a milestone. They receive instructions from their manager and continue to perform the tasks set for them. Sometimes they can add input and creativity. Sometimes they don’t. This type of daily work is what Dr. Trivedi two-dimensional thinking.
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But real entrepreneurs can’t think that way. Instead, entrepreneurs need to be able to think on their feet and deal with whatever comes their way without an authority to take responsibility for failure or success. This type of environment can feel intense and overwhelming to some, but to thrive you need to make sure you are thinking in three dimensions. Keep telling yourself to broaden your horizons and think deeper and more three-dimensionally about the topics.
What does that mean? We need to be able to build or discard new structures and adapt to every situation we find ourselves in. Go with what works, but never get so complacent that you don’t see what’s next. Keep reinforcing the idea that you can deal with anything and everything, but keep the perspective that there is always room to improve and learn. Never stop growing. Never stop being creative.
Step 3: Enter the zone of inspiration
The inspiration zone is a magical place. This is where the seeds of our dreams were planted. It was here that your ambitions began to turn into action and then into reality. However, it is just as easy to leave this zone as it is to enter it. Real life details disrupt and turn the once bright and exciting opportunity into a boring and frustrating affair. In that case, it’s time to rewire your brain.
We want to regain the initial inspiration that led you to be an entrepreneur and reaffirm how much you love what your company stands for. That inspiration can come from anywhere: like what you can do for your customers, or the freedom that comes with the sacrifices you make. Let yourself be transported back to the zone of inspiration that will help you say, “I love this” and “I am so proud of what I do.”
Step 4: become a mirror
Mirror neurons fire in the brain when we do something that others do. They help us understand how we relate to what others are doing. As children we learn many skills in this way and understand how to behave. What better way to find our sense of achievement than by reflecting the actions of a successful person? The concept of observing to learn is nothing new, but this idea gets a little deeper once you grow up.
Imagine embodying the successful elements of the successful person you are watching. Actually feel this success and let it be part of you without losing yourself.
Step 5: ask “why not?”
Why is such a great question. It is the pickaxe that reveals hidden nuggets of knowledge, but can also strike the depths of doubt. Let’s not let it get negative. If you are wondering why? Questions about something positive like “Why should I stick with this business?” or “why did I think I could do this?” turn that into “Why NOT!?!?!” Reinforce that in your own head over and over again. Remember that nothing can stop you. Why should I be an entrepreneur? Why not!?!?!?
The combination of these five steps is really easy. With each of these steps I keep a piece of paper to see them in. At first I had to constantly correct myself and use these steps. After a while it got easier. Then, after a while, I realized that I was doing these things almost naturally. I had rewired my brain and watched my life change for the better. Although it does take some work, it is relatively easy to rewire your brain to be successful.
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