Career Hack: Reconstruct Your Thoughts to Make a New Reality
It’s easy to feel like our thoughts and our reality are interchangeable. We say things to ourselves like “I can’t do public speaking” or “I can’t ask my boss for a raise,” and then when we avoid public speaking or seeking that raise we affirm to ourselves that our thoughts are true and that we are stuck. If we’re not careful, our whole lives can be spent in this continuous loop of believing we can’t achieve and then not achieving.
But what is actually happening here is that we’re allowing ourselves to set limits on what we can do because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of failure. We’re afraid of pain. We’re afraid of looking silly. The majority of our thought patterns are negative, and they’re attempting to rule our lives.
Growing up I was horrified of public speaking. Throughout high school, college and early in my career I would stand in front of small crowds and tremble wishing for it to be over. Back then the self-talk in my head was “I’ll never be able to do public speaking.” But as I came more aspirational in my career, I noticed this was a skill I had to develop.
The first step to developing this skill was changing my self-talk. I had to tell myself “I will be a great public speaker. I can do this.” Over time, as I allowed myself to negate my old negative thought pattern and create positive affirmations, my attitude and approach to public speaking changed. And eventually, with practice, the results changed as well. Incredibly, today I revel in public speaking opportunities.
You can change your reality, but it must start by reconstructing your thoughts.
Consider This: Family Matters
I write to you today from the beautifully lush Irish countryside where I’ve been traveling for the past week with my family. The week has served as a pleasant escape from the bustling New York City lifestyle and as a needed reminder of life’s priorities. Too often in New York, where I moved to eight months ago, I get caught up in exciting business opportunities and the fast-paced city lifestyle.
At a time in my life when everything seems to be moving too quickly, this vacation has allowed me to appreciate the most critical thing in my life: spending time with loved ones. As I inch closer to 29, I see now the importance of spending time with my mom, dad and sister.
On this trip I’ve made it my sole duty over these ten days is to be here for them. This week my job doesn’t matter. My blog doesn’t matter. My life in New York doesn’t matter. I am here now with my family and that is the onlything that matters. With this mentality, every day has been precious and the week seems to last a lifetime.
Life Hack: Spend Money with Intention
I used to think that making more money was the answer to my problems. The higher my salary, the more I’d be able to live a life that I loved. But over the years, as my career has progressed and my salary has increased, I’ve noticed a terrible phenomenon: As my salary increases, so does my appetite for spending it. Each time I’ve gotten a raise, I believe I can live in a more expensive apartment, eat out at better restaurants and travel in more luxurious ways. In the end, tragically I’m left with the same amount of money in my bank account.
More recently though, I’ve tried a new experiment: intentionally living below my means. This means having a real budget and finding ways (yes, even in New York City) to save money. This does not mean I am a “cheap person” but rather that each dollar is now spent in a way that directly benefits my life or the life of those around me. One thing I’ve started doing is cutting back on the $4 coffee each morning and instead giving $1 a day to a homeless person. This simple switch saves money for me and gives to someone in need. That money now has a purpose, rather than getting drained in a latte. How can you spend with more intention?
Quote of the Week:
“You can’t be afraid of saying the opposite, even if you look like a fool and everybody thinks you’re in the wrong country, speaking the wrong language.” – Hugo Hamilton, The Speckled People