Creating a life of success is like building a house. You have to start with the foundation.
Strengthening skills for productivity, time management or project management is critical for success. But this is like building the upstairs rooms of your house. You absolutely need to have the upstairs rooms.
But if you don’t have a strong foundation, the rest crumbles. It doesn’t matter how nice my granite counter tops are, they’ll come crashing down without a strong foundation.
Just what is the foundation for success? Mindset.
And believe me, I know.
I’ve built plenty of upstairs rooms, metaphorically speaking. I have studied, taught and implemented proven processes for goal-setting, project management and productivity. But when I practiced these skills without having a solid foundation, I crashed.
The truth is that for years I lived with a crack in my foundation.
I got kind of a hard kick at a young age when I experienced a traumatic loss in my life – the death of my mother.
Mom died when I was 9 years old. It was as if my life suddenly went from living color to black and white. The blissful childhood I knew was finished. Over the next several years I slid into a tailspin of grief, loneliness and fear. Within two years, I fell into suicidal depression, substance abuse and a sense of loss that followed me well into adulthood.
Why am I telling you this? Because I had a crack in my foundation that I needed to repair before I could have the life I wanted.
What started as an 11-year-old cry for help, eventually developed into habitual thought patterns of how bad life was. And these habitual thought patterns evolved into deeply rooted limiting beliefs.
For years I cried out, “why God, why?” And without fully realizing it, my default thinking was to blame everything around me for anything bad thing that happened.
“Life’s not fair,” became my anthem.
I blamed circumstances for my lack of success. I envied those around me for having it “so much easier.” If I didn’t get the promotion, or if business didn’t go the way I wanted, or I didn’t have the relationships I wanted, it was someone or something else’s fault. I saw myself as helpless.
And for years, things stayed the same.
Until one day I saw that my own sense of victimness was keeping me from experiencing everything I was trying to achieve.
In my life’s journey, I was fortunate to have been handed a set of tools to re-build my foundation. In my painstaking search for relief from depression and alcohol abuse, I studied psychology, practiced spiritual principles and learned from all the self-help motivational gurus.
And they all had one common theme – the empowerment of choosing one’s own thoughts. The Bible calls it, “renewing your mind.” The counseling world calls it, “cognitive behavior therapy.” And motivational gurus simply call it, “positive thinking.” But it all leads to the same place:
Change your thoughts, and you can change your life.
From powerless to empowered
For me, the life-changing moment was learning that I had a choice in how I wrote the story that played out in my mind. I could create my own reality by choosing my thoughts. I could create the movie that would become my life. I was the writer, director, producer and star character in my life’s story.
Learning that I could write my own story was like having a key that unlocked a hidden door into the technicolor land of Oz.
When I learned the keys to a life of empowered thinking, the doors of heaven opened up for me right here on earth.
I discovered a clear sense of purpose for my life, I began doing work that I feel I was born to do. Helpful “coincidences,” started showing up in business and career. New relationships with amazing people seemed to appear out of nowhere both personally and professionally. And old relationships blossomed into deep connections like I’d never experienced before.
If your life, career or relationships aren’t going your way, start re-writing your life’s story. I have an awesome resource that you can use to help you change your habitual thoughts that are keeping you stuck.
For many people, part of the problem is that their powerless thinking isn’t even conscious. I’ve had many clients say, “wow, I didn’t realize I had a choice.” But once you have that realization, get ready for incredible breakthroughs.
Here’s a worksheet that’s designed to help you increase awareness and make the shift to empowered thinking.
Marianne Renner is a transformational leadership coach, helping aspiring and emerging leaders move from chaos to clarity and eliminate barriers to success in business.
Through speaking and coaching, she has inspired hundreds of leaders to achieve greater success and uncover limiting beliefs that keep them stuck.
Marianne has a background in marketing, communications and LEAN
Continuous Improvement. Her effective techniques for problem-solving, and insights to personal behaviors, have made her a highly impactful coach in helpingbusinesses reach their goals.
Marianne understands the importance of setting goals and having a clear plan to reach those goals. She has owned two businesses, founded a not-for-profit organization for at-risk youth, and was a bodybuilding champion and highly sought-after fitness instructor, having led two youth dance teams to win Gold Medals in the National Junior Olympics.