Psychology of Achievement: How to Unlock Your Potential
The Psychology of Achievement by Brian Tracy, which was first published in 1984, has become one of the classics when it comes to personal development. This program has been adopted by psychologists and corporations for years since it was published. With the onset of the internet and its massive impact, Tracy updated the program with “The New Psychology of Achievement”, adapting the program to the current state of things.
But what, exactly, is the psychology of achievement?
This article will help you understand 1) what the mindset for success and achievement looks like, 2) the 7 mental laws of success, and 3) how to unlock your unlimited potential.
THE MINDSET FOR SUCCESS AND ACHIEVEMENT
Success is what everyone wants to achieve, both on a personal level and on a professional level. It is the accomplishment of an aim, purpose, goal, or anything that one desires. Achievement, on the other hand, is something that is accomplished through special effort, hard work, great courage, or superior ability.
Tracy named six requirements for success.
- Peace of mind. One is successful if he is free from fear, guilt and anger. They can focus or concentrate better in pursuing their goals if they are not burdened by any of these negative elements.
- Good health and energy. A person cannot fully be satisfied with anything if he is of poor health or suffering from a weak body. High energy levels are essential to stay motivated to move forward.
- Having loving relationships with other people. Mature relationships – one of respect, affection, and intimacy – will inspire a person to do better.
- Financial freedom. Often, a person is held back by his constant worrying over the lack of money or financial resources. Poverty is seen as shackles that will hinder progress or advancement.
- Commitment to worthy goals and ideals. Everything we do, we do it for a reason. If you know what your goals and ideals are, you have a clearer direction on where to go, and how to go about it.
- Personal fulfillment. Success is achieved when you get a feeling of self-actualization. You have to feel that you are achieving what you set out to achieve, and that you are becoming everything that you are capable of becoming.
Interested in how our mindset influences our ability to succeed? Watch this video by Eduardo Briceno.
7 MENTAL LAWS OF SUCCESS
In his book, Brian Tracy identified 7 laws of mental mastery that, when followed, will lead you on the path to success.
#1: The Law of Control
When you feel good about yourself and how you are working towards the goals that you have set, then you will feel that you are in full control of your life. You are on the driver’s seat, and you call all the shots.
#2: The Law of Cause and Effect
For every action that you take, there is a corresponding reaction. If you are not happy with the result, it is up to you to work backwards and change the prior action that spurred it.
#3: The Law of Belief
You become what you belief. If you believe that you will fail in something, then you most certainly will. If you believe that you will succeed, then you have won half the battle. You just have to continue on to make it happen.
#4: The Law of Expectations
What you expect will become your self-fulfilling prophecy. You expect that you will get the results you want? Then you will have more confidence that it will come true.
#5: The Law of Attraction
Your dominant thoughts act like a magnet that will draw people, thoughts and circumstances. If you want to attract positive things, then you also have to think positively.
#6: The Law of Correspondence
Your outer and inner world are in sync with each other. So you want to present yourself as a success to the world? Then start from the inside, by making yourself look like a success.
#7: The Law of Mental Equivalency
You have your positive thoughts and affirmations. Apply the rule of repetition until it becomes your reality. When you create the mental equivalent to what you desire, then everything else will fall into place.
HOW TO UNLOCK YOUR UNLIMITED POTENTIAL
We all have power within us; it’s just that, sometimes, we are not aware that we have them or, even if we do, we’re not fully cognizant of how much power we have. We all have potential, waiting to be unleashed, so we can drive ourselves to achieve what we want and ultimately gain success.
But how do we unlock our unlimited potential? You will notice in the succeeding discussions that Tracy’s 7 Mental Laws are applied.
Develop a Positive Mental Attitude
Here, you have to work on building a positive self-concept, or the knowledge of who you are. Work on your attitude. You may not know it, but you may be letting opportunities slip past you because you have adopted a pessimistic outlook, or your attitude is that of a loser, or one who refuses to even try unless it’s a sure thing.
How can you build a positive self-concept, you ask? Start by taking a good look at yourself and your actual achievements thus far. But that is not all.
Set clear and specific goals. Determine what your personal mission in life is, so you can get a sense of purpose. Write down your goals so you have something concrete to keep going back to during those times that you need to be reminded of them. You can categorize your goals accordingly including, but not limited to, the following:
- Personal goals, or those with respect to your personal fulfillment and pleasure
- Family goals, or those pertaining to relationships with loved ones
- Career goals, or those you want to achieve in your chosen profession or field of work
- Business goals, or the goals you want to fulfill with regards to your business or enterprise
- Self-improvement or self-development goals, or those that will ultimately make you a better person
Devote yourself to the pursuit of excellence. Make a commitment that you will not settle for anything less than the best when it comes to both your personal and professional life. If you are going to aim for something, aim high. Aim for the top spot.
Contribute and perform. Make yourself, and your contributions, indispensable to others, so they will value you and think highly of you.
Exert effort and work hard. You reap what you sow. If you do not do invest anything, do not expect to be earning returns on your investment. Do not expect to be recognized for your hard work when you didn’t put in any. If you have a task at hand, focus on doing your best and accomplish it.
Manage your time efficiently. You have your talents, you have your abilities. But these will all go to waste if you do not use them efficiently and, to do that, you have to manage your time.
Accept Responsibility and Take Charge
Be mature and take responsibility. Do not just put on a show of maturity; be mature in making choices and decisions, and subsequently implementing them. Do not make a habit of pinning the blame on others just to absolve yourself of any accountability. It’s your life, your actions, and your decisions, so learn to take responsibility. Humans tend to find or make excuses for even the tiniest things, and that is a sure sign of their refusal to accept responsibility.
There are a whole slew of negative habits and bad feelings that stunt one’s growth and maturity. From the moment a person is born, he is exposed to various experiences that are bound to generate responses that, with repetition, become habits. Parents that tend to be protective raise their children not to do this or that, and so they grow up becoming afraid to do things. This fear – of failure, of getting hurt – will inhibit their path to success.
Positive reinforcement, where we seek affirmation and approval, cannot be obtained from other people alone. It could start within oneself. Start by coming up with a mantra and telling yourself repeatedly and continuously will go a long way. Phrases and statements such as “I like myself” or “I am doing well” and “I can, I can” are going to help a lot in keeping negative thoughts at bay. Think these thoughts to yourself. Say them out loud. Do it first thing in the morning when you wake up, or before you go to sleep.
Another negative attitude or thought that we should do away with is blaming others whenever we find something lacking or unsatisfactory. The problem is, when the blaming starts, it goes on and on, and becomes much bigger, so the negativity spreads even more. When we start taking responsibility, we stop getting sucked into a round of blaming and pointing fingers, and so we do not allow negative emotions to overrule us.
Improve your Self-Esteem
If you are gearing up for success, then you must learn to value yourself. Believe that you can accomplish something, and that you can do it very well. When you feel good about yourself, this will give you more confidence on your road towards achieving what you desire.
If you feel good about yourself, you will feel that you are more in control of your life. It is normal to worry, but if you worry too much that you let it affect other aspects of your life, that is unhealthy, and becomes another one of the many negative emotions that will hold you back from unlocking your full potential.
Learn how to stoke your self-esteem reading through the following slides.
Maintain Excellent Human Relations
Relationships are important elements of success. The most successful achievers reached the pinnacle of success because other people, in one way or another, helped them to get there. Developing and maintaining winning interpersonal relationships are also very important if you want to get ahead.
You also have to choose the people you associate with. Naturally, you would want to associate with positive people, so their positivity will rub off on you. Mingling with negative people, or those who think nothing but negative thoughts, will not help you create positive thinking and feelings.
Learning to forgive is an important element of sustaining relationships. Holding grudges is another negative attitude that can hinder your way towards success. And the forgiveness should not be handed out selectively either, where you forgive this person, but not that person. Learn to forgive everybody, and readily, too. Saying “I’m sorry” and “forgive me” is, to some, one of the hardest things to do. However, once they do say these words, they will feel better and lighter afterwards.
In addition, you also have to learn to forgive yourself. Once you do, you will be in a better frame of mind to approach other people and forge strong and lasting relationships with them.
Stress can be a good thing: it drives one to strive harder and perform better. But there is the other type of stress – the “bad” stress – that we are most familiar with. It’s the type of stress that could lead to reduced productivity, fatigue and overworking, and the breakdown of relationships. Clearly, stress can be a major hindrance towards your path to achieving what you desire.
Being too tired or exhausted, or suffering from too much pressure and tension, is counter-productive, especially when you want to achieve something. Let us say, for example, that you have a clear goal in mind: to get an executive seat on the top management of your company.
In order to do that, you put in more hours at work than anyone else, and you even forsake quality time you are supposed to spend with your family, friends and co-workers, because you are too busy trying to impress your bosses. You want them to give you that vacant seat, and you are feeling the pressure to perform according to what you think they expect of you.
This is, indeed, a stressful situation. Getting that seat may not be the achievement that you originally thought it would be, considering how your personal relationships have suffered, and even your health took a beating. At that point, you’d have wondered, “What was the point of all of that?”
Program your Mind for Success
Believe that you can do it, and you will be able to. Our thoughts and our perception of our selves will figure greatly in what and who we actually are or will become. You are who you are today because of what you thought of yourself. You have to program your beliefs and expectations, and choose who or what we attract into our lives.
This is another way of saying that our beliefs become our reality. If we think and believe something for long enough, then it will come true. Therefore, if we want to effect change, or alter our reality, we must start the change within ourselves, particularly what we believe. On the other hand, if we set our expectations, then we have a goal that we can pursue with determination and confidence. If we concentrate our efforts and thoughts on these expectations, the chances of them becoming reality will also be greater.
There is also a law of attraction at play here. Our thoughts attract various forces and elements towards us, so if we want to attract positive things, such as positive people, situations and circumstances, then we have to think positive thoughts.
Programming your mind for success is also done through affirmation or positive affirmation, and reaffirmation, as the case may be. Repeat the affirmations over and over until they are ingrained into your subconscious that you will have no room to believe otherwise, or for any negative thoughts. Visualization is also very effective when it comes to programming your mind. Use your imagination and picture yourself: what and how you want to become in the future and what you want to achieve.
Adopt a Willingness to Risk Failure
Fear of failure, for many, becomes too much that it paralyzes them, until they refuse to act or do anything. If they do not try, the will not fail. However, if they do not try, then they cannot achieve what they want. They will not succeed.
If you want to unlock your potential, you have to be willing to take risks, and one of them is the risk that you might fail. In fact, psychologists think failure is an excellent teacher, because it teaches lessons that you can apply in later attempts or endeavors.
Achievement and success are not handed to us on a silver platter. We have to work hard on them, and there is no denying that they demand a lot from us. It is a trade-off that we have no choice but to accept. Remember the 7 mental laws of success, and apply the various tips on unlocking them will enable you to unleash your full potential, so you can achieve what you truly desire, and the success that you have always wanted.