Today’s Chicago Woman Blog: Psychology of Success

by Joyce Marter, LCPC, owner of Urban Balance LLC – from the latest issue of Today’s Chicago Woman

Change how you think of success and you soon might find it

There’s more to finding success in your career than how you act or what you say. How you mentally approach success can dramatically improve your chances for achieving it.

Through my experience as a psychotherapist and a business owner, I believe the following strategies are pivotal for achieving career success:

Become conscious of why you do what you do. We all come into our careers for a reason. We learn our roles in our families of origin and often recreate patterns until we work through them. Give yourself permission to let go of old behaviors that are no longer working and open yourself up to new ways that will allow success into your life.

Open yourself up to prosperity. Cognitive psychology suggests that our thoughts precede our feelings and behaviors. To be successful, we must first think of ourselves as a success. We must believe we deserve prosperity, such as health, love, resources and money.

Bring your attention to the present. Honor the past, learn from it, accept it and let it go. Don’t obsess or worry about the future. The best decisions are made when grounded in the present. Achieve clarity through mindfulness practices such as deep breathing and meditation.

Discover the power of intention. As in sports psychology, positive visualization increases the likelihood of success. We largely create our own realities through our thoughts and intentions, so clarify them by writing out your careers goals and objectives.

Develop your vision.Ask yourself, if you had a magic wand, what would you want? Aim high. As you develop your career vision, look for the “win-win.” Look for how your strengths can benefit others and use assertive communication to ask for what you deserve.

Create work/life balance.For success and wellness, plan your career in the context of your life, not the other way around. Empower yourself to create a career that supports your personal life (with regard to lifestyle, schedule, location, et cetera.).

Practice self-care.Practice self-care, such as proper nutrition, rest, exercise, social support and leisure activity to reboot your mind and body. You must take good care of yourself first in order to be effective in your career.

Silence your inner critic.Pay attention to your self-talk and notice if you have negative thoughts that perhaps come from voices of the past (i.e. a critical parent). Separate from negative beliefs by “zooming out” and looking at situations objectively from a neutral place.

Practice positive thinking.Choose to be your best cheerleader rather than your worst critic. Cut yourself some slack and recognize we are all human and works in progress.

Surround yourself with good people.Assess your support network. Let go of negative or toxic relationships. Establish and nurture positive ones.

Be resilient. Deflect or detach from negativity rather than absorbing it. Don’t let somebody tell you that you can’t do something, as they are likely projecting their own fears and limitations.

Let go of that which you cannot control.Empower yourself to change what you can, and let go of the rest. Don’t expend your energy trying to control others. Focus on yourself.

Appreciate that personal and professional progress is not linear.We all go through setbacks. It’s how we respond to those setbacks that determines if we are going to grow and move forward or continue to cycle.

Practice gratitude. If you focus on what you don’t have, you will be unhappy and attract negativity. Be grateful for what you have and you will be attract positivity, opportunity and success.