When I ask entrepreneurs what success means to them, I get a variety of responses. To many, success means having the money and the freedom to enjoy what's important to them. They want to afford their freedom. Definitions of freedom vary from having the time to travel, be with family, fulfill philanthropic visions, to creating the next company. Another common response includes being recognized for achievements and contributions. In other words, it's important that others believe in them.
Knowing that others believe in us is rewarding; believing in ourselves is critical to success. When you see the world's most "successful" people on television or at conventions, there's one thing that stands out above all; their high mental energy, or the strong, positive affect they have on a room — on the world. Barack Obama, Anthony Robbins, Michael Eisner, Oprah Winfrey; think about how you would feel in their presence. It would be difficult to be in a bad mood around any of these people. They believe in themselves, they believe in their mission, and positive, infectious energy emanates from them.
"At work, you will be far more productive and much more likely to be helpful if you are in a positive mood," according to Ed Diener, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. The state of your mental energy will determine your pattern of thought. "A negative state generates sadness, irritability, guilt, and a negative, self-critical, and pessimistic thought pattern," says Dr. Diener. Therefore, your energy level affects your judgment and will influence how you feel about your ability to achieve the things that are important to you. It may also affect how others feel about your ability to achieve your dreams and be a true leader. No one doubts Oprah Winfrey's influence on the American public. Her mental energy is strong, confident, and uplifting.
When you are goal planning, make sure you are in a positive, confident state of mind. Planning your goals while you are feeling low energy will undermine your confidence and you may not set your sites high enough, or you may feel deflated or overwhelmed by the process — you may not believe in your ability to succeed. To boost your energy try a vigorous workout, a walk in nature, an energetic pep talk, or a meeting with your mastermind group. Try a new activity to break the negative pattern, or shift your state. Work on your more aggressive goals when you are in a positive state of mind.
We all have periods of lower energy. It may not be possible to maintain a high level of energy all of the time so work with the flow of your energy, whether it's positive or negative. If you can't seem to give yourself a boost, work on more mundane tasks, rather than those that require high mental energy. Sometimes it's important to give yourself a break and engage in a relaxing, more playful activity. If you criticize or berate yourself for lacking energy, it is likely to bring you further into the doldrums and create a more intense environment of counter productivity. Remind yourself of the things you have achieved in your life and allow yourself time to regroup. When you let go of resistance you may find your mood lifting because your mind and body don't have to work so hard to harbor the negativity. Resistance zaps our energy; going with the flow by taking some downtime allows us to maintain or increase our energy.
Keeping your thoughts positive, your mood elevated, and your energy high, will create the internal environment that you require to truly believe in yourself. When you are in this state, others will believe in you as well. You will notice more like-minded people attracted to your environment, therefore the positive energy can only flow more strongly, giving you the boost to create, believe, and thrive.
How do you lift your mood and increase your confidence levels? What contributes to your Million-Dollar-Mindset? Share your secrets here!
Last updated: Apr 20, 2009
MARLA TABAKA is a small-business adviser who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness. @MarlaTabaka