When people exercise it’s usually to improve their physical strength but today we’re going to talk about some interesting ways to improve your mental strength. It can have a huge impact on your attitude, habits, and performance. If that alone isn’t enough to peak your interest, the points we are about to cover were originally organized by a former FBI agent. She says these three mental toughness tools can produce the right attitude to move everyone toward success. Continue reading to learn fantastic ways to help in your Etsy shop goal setting and to find even greater Etsy shop success!
The blog post that these ideas originated from were written by LaRae Quy. This isn’t the only article that LaRae has written and you might want to check out some of her other articles as well! This particular article was featured on Medium and it’s titled “Why Mental Toughness Gives You A Competitive Advantage”.
One of the biggest barriers in a lot of things we do is that we tend to get in our own way. The way we talk to ourselves also really affects how much we can accomplish. We’re going to be covering three broad headings:
1.) Goal Setting
2.) Positive Thinking
These three headings wrap up nicely into mental toughness for a competitive advantage. We’ll be covering these plus several tips that go under each of these headings! Get ready for some seriously positive vibes and mental toughness heading your way.
The way LaRae describes goals is interesting. A goal is not simply something you want, but also something you’re willing to persevere to achieve. This is a great way to think of goals. Often there are times when we look at certain goals and think about how nice they are. But, then when we really look at what it takes to achieve those goals, we realize it’s more fight than we may really want to put into it. A good goal is something you want enough that you’ll also fight to achieve it. Things will get tough if it’s a worthwhile goal.
Goals can be a deep topic. We actually wrote another blog post about how to make smart goals a while back. It’s important that when you look at the Etsy shop goals you’re setting for yourself, you choose goals that are actually realistic and attainable, otherwise, things will start to fall apart. LaRae covers a few tips that will help with the goal-setting process for your business and life:
Tip 1: Set goals for the right reasons
This can help you think about the “why” behind things. An example LaRae gives is winning the lottery. Setting a goal for yourself that you’ll win a ten million dollar lottery is a strange goal to set. Why would you set this as a goal? Are you trying to purchase a house or go on a vacation? Maybe you want to pay for your child’s college education in the future. Whatever it may be, understanding and having the right “why” behind a goal is important. You don’t need to win the lottery to do any of these things. What’s important is that you choose the right goal. If you choose a goal that you’re not willing to fight for when it gets challenging, then the bottom line is that you won’t stick with that goal.
You need a powerful “why” for your goals. Remember, there is no shame in trying a goal and then deciding later that you didn’t have a good enough “why”. That’s ok. Or maybe your circumstances changed. You thought you wanted a particular goal more than you did in reality and now you want something else. This is perfectly fine. What most important is that we have goals and continually strive for things.
Do what’s right for you
There are TONS of books and theories out there on how to make goals. Some theories say you should set very small and attainable goals so you stay motivated and attain what you aim for. Other theories say to set HUGE goals that have you shooting for the moon so that no matter what, even if you don’t attain your goal exactly, you’re still not disappointed because you’ll have attained other great things along the way. We think what’s most important is that you choose what works for you. Choose what will keep you motivated and moving forward. Everyone is different and it’s important to tailor your goal setting to how it works best for your life and personality. Try things out, dive in and set goals, but have grace with yourself as you learn which method is right for you:)
Tip 2: Set a direction
The way we interpret this is that it’s a bigger picture than your goals. Once you have your goal and you know your “why” for that goal, figure out what direction this will point you in. Make sure that the goals you’re setting are all agreeing with each other and with the direction you’ve established you should be heading in.
Tip 3: Change the goal if it’s not taking you in the right direction
The core of this is to really be flexible. As we mentioned earlier, this is a learning process. If you need to restructure a goal because it ultimately isn’t taking you in the right direction, do it! If the goal is simply too big and they need to be broken into smaller goals, do it. If your goals have been too small and you’re crushing them with basically no effort, great, make them a little larger. Changing up the way you do things as you learn what works for you is totally ok! Life changes and your goals might too. There is no right or wrong way to do this as long as you’re moving in the direction you want to be going. Goals should be flexible enough to change when needed in order to keep you on track.
LaRae says this about positive thinkers: they are blunt realists who look misery right in the eye and confront the most brutal facts of their day, without expecting things to change. The adapt to their circumstances without ever losing hope. This seems like an important characteristic for an ambitious goal. At first, when you’re setting goals, you can pretty much make any goal look reasonable. At some point in the journey of a particularly ambitious goal, however, you’ll hit a low point. Many things may not be working like you thought they would. This is where the first tips under this category come into play:
Tip 1: Find 5 positive thoughts to counter each negative thought.
Once you hit that low point, you’ll absolutely find negative thoughts about why your goal isn’t going to work. This is where positive thinking is so important. Once you have a negative thought, finding five positive thoughts that are related and counter that one negative thought might be more challenging than you think. Looking at LaRae’s background and that she’s suggesting this technique would indicate that it really must be true to creating a better reality. It carries just as much importance as any other tip she’s suggesting. If you’re looking to beef up your mental toughness, this is a perfect exercise. If it’s nearly impossible to come up with five positive thoughts, start a bit lower. If thinking of two positive thoughts for every negative thought is easier, do that! The point is that you’re countering the negative with the positive.
Tip 2: Reflect on each positive thought for 20 seconds.
This is basically forcing yourself to take some time and let each positive thought soak in. You don’t want to simply think of it and then let it fly out of your mind. Really take the time to dwell on those positive thoughts because each one deserves that. The brain is wired to pay more attention to negative rather than positive information. Negative things naturally alert us to emergencies and threats to our lives.
Now, our lives aren’t threatened every day, but it’s important to remember and be aware of the fact that we as humans are hard-wired to think about the negative. Negative thoughts tend to be like velcro while positive thoughts can easily slip away. You can see this pretty much everywhere, but especially on social media. When there’s a negative feed that starts, it can really snowball with more and more people jumping in and making it grow bigger and bigger. It’s important to make a conscious effort to dwell not on the negative but the positive.
This all takes us right into our third topic: Imagery. This has become a very popular notion. Imagining how you want things to be and visualizing your success is an important part of all of this. If you want to become a better public speaker, envision yourself speaking to a large crowd with ease. If you want to find Etsy shop success, visualizing sales and customers can really help in setting goals and thinking positive. LaRae also has some helpful tips under this topic as well:
Tip 1: Differentiate between visualizing and fantasizing
To understand the difference between these two things, we dug into what they each mean. Fantasies are often times are around things that are impossible or improbable. This ties back to earlier when we talked about goal creation. If you’re in the goal creation step and you pick a goal that you know deep down isn’t realistic or attainable whatsoever, this would be an example of choosing to fantasize and not visualize a goal.
Now, understand that if you truly believe in your core that something is possible and attainable, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about how possible it is. What matters is that your mind and heart truly believe that in what you’re setting out to do. If you believe deep down it’s possible, absolutely go after it. But, don’t waste your time on goals that are simply a fantasy, because your heart and mind will know this and will treat them as just that, a fantasy.
Tip 2: Move ahead with fearlessness
This amps up what we were talking about with imagery and visualizing your success. Because now you’re not only visualizing what you want but you’re visualizing obstacles you might encounter along the way and how you’re going to fearlessly tackle them. This will not only prepare you for those obstacles if they do actually happen, but it will also prepare you to have a better sense of confidence. You will know that no matter what shows up, you’ve already thought through things and visualized yourself past them.
Be sure to check out LaRae’s original article that we mentioned earlier. She definitely goes into other details that we’re sure you’d find interesting and that will help with your Etsy shop goal setting. Also, as always, be sure to listen to this week’s Jam and be on the lookout for our first Easter Egg in May!
Happy selling, everyone!