We know that failure is inevitable; it’s just another thing that helps us grow. But when we do fail, it’s hard to get back up and try again. It’s hard to tell ourselves the risk is worth it.
Understandably, failure discourages us in many ways. And when we see others succeeding in their careers, we see that success as unattainable for ourselves.
If we look at our lives as one full of failures, and the lives of others full of success, that reality will eventually stick. What you believe becomes reality, and we want you to see that when you can change your outlook on life, your life will begin to change.
All it takes is changing your belief in what’s possible for you. But that’s easier said than done.
What do you believe? And why do you believe it?
Over time, we’ve developed habits so deep they’re practically coded into our DNA, making it harder to change the way we think, speak, act, behave, and shape our identity.
At the AIGA Conference in 2019, Chris spoke on the subject on mindset and belief systems to a group of creative professionals. Much like everyone in the room, Chris has encountered his own limiting beliefs. In his speech, he shares six things to help you reshape your belief system so you can reshape your reality.
Or, as Chris refers to this in his speech, your BS. Life is a series of input and output; our input affects our output, but there’s one critical step in between we often miss, and that’s our interpretation.
The way we interpret input is what affects our output. It’s what causes us to be happy, sad, or angry about things. Choosing to interpret every piece of input in a positive light is the first step to reframing our belief system.
Humans, by nature, are inclined to share and love stories. Stories are what help us make sense of things we don’t yet understand. They bring us together and connect us in some way.
So, what is the story you tell yourself? Does this story match what your friends, family, and colleagues say about you?
We need to learn to see ourselves for the way others already see us. If the stories don’t match up, something’s not right. And if we don’t like the story we’ve been telling ourselves, we can try to change it with these three questions:
1. What are three things about my physical appearance people compliment me on?
2. What are three traits, talents, and skills people admire me for?
3. What are three ways I express generosity and give to others without expectations?
For every negative word that we tell ourselves, word jitsu helps us reframe it in a positive way. We can reinterpret the words that have debilitated us. For example:
Impossible = I’m possible
Fail = First Attempt in Learning
Alternatively, we can take a positive word that keeps us in our comfort zone, and make it negative to push us to take risks. The word ‘safe’ can be reinterpreted as: Stay Average For Ever, or Simply Always Following Everyone. After reframing ‘safe,’ is that how you want to do things for the rest of your life?
When we hit a bump in the road, the best thing we can do is to congratulate ourselves. Find a reason why your failure could be exciting, or a learning opportunity.
Didn’t land a project? Congrats! Time to find one that’s an even better fit.
We often tell ourselves things like, “I’m just not as good a designer as her.” Or, “The client doesn’t want to work with someone like me.”
Think of these phrases as incomplete sentences, then finish them on a positive note.
“I’m just not as good a designer as her…yet.”
“The client doesn’t want to work with someone like me because I don’t deliver typical, cookie-cutter work.”
Reveal the true meaning of your sentences at the end.
Whose voice is in your head, telling you what you can and can’t do? Throughout our lives, we learn to develop certain self-defense mechanisms to cope with rejection, neglect, or hostility. We develop our own internal armor to protect us.
This inevitably affects us later in life, keeping us from making risky decisions, or trying new things.
When you face the enemy within, you can show it compassion and completely erase your limiting beliefs.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will start to change. Your limiting beliefs don’t have the power you may think they have. All it takes is a simple shift in your mindset to tell yourself, “I know I can.”