It’s All Up to You Now
The inherent beauty of leadership at the Generation Y level is that we haven’t even touched the waters edge of our capabilities. Most of us(okay, all of us) are still on the grind putting in the long hours it takes to establish a reputation and not miss on rent.
We have shown the capacity to brace for impact – rising costs of education, economic crashes that reset financial markets, changing geopolitical atmosphere that challenge globalization – that have proven that we can persevere in the face of it.
We may still be nervous about our student loans and recent uneasiness of the global climate, but the world is ripe for inspirational leaders.
Check these statistics — Overall entrepreneurial activity is at an all time high and it shows no sign of slowing. Never has there been a better time to execute your idea amid all outside forces that we have gone through. The internet has become the great equalizer to spread a message and have countless resources from which to utilize.
According to research conducted by Visual Capitalist however, millennials are behind our generation X and baby boomer counterparts.
“Millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in recent history,” John Lettieri, the co-founder of the Economic Innovation Group, testified in July of 2016 before the U.S. Senate.
The lion’s share of hard chargers under 30 who own a business has fallen by a staggering 65 percent since the 1980s and is now at a quarter-century low, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Reserve data.
Are you part of the group of GenY’s that are gunning for the ultimate satisfaction of an enjoyable and passionate profession and personal life? Or are you struggling to gain traction amidst everyone else’s personal success that is swirling around you? Mindset, not student loans, could be to blame here.
Locus of Control
Enter: Julian Rotter and his concept of locus of control. To be frank, it’s not rocket surgery. Julian, who I’m sure was a great dude, said that a person’s “loci” (plural of “locus,” Latin for “place” or “location”) is conceptualized as internal, or a belief that one’s life can be controlled.
Conversely, an external view believes that life is controlled by outside factors, which they cannot influence, or that chance or fate controls their lives.
In other words, do you take ownership for everything that takes place in your life or are you quick to blame your environment and rest your life on “luck”?
According to research(and common sense), those with an internal locus of are better self-leaders, self-motivators, and have a higher sense of personal satisfaction. They own their personal space and don’t rely on “fate” or the world or around them to shape their future.
So how can you shift or strengthen your mindset to become a better leader?
Start with practicing positive self-talk
I do it all the time. Not a bizarre creepy dual personality type of way. Rather when I’m at a place where a mental obstacle is planted firmly in my brain, I have trained myself to rely on my inner optimist to turn my confidence all the way up.
Whether in the gym, on the job, or when I’m dreaming big, I have to believe in my own abilities. In an effort to build resiliency, this tactic requires you to actually speak to yourself. Become your biggest fan, and speak the words you hope someone standing behind you would say to you. Hear them, interpret them, and believe them.
Practicing self-talk and taking it one step further into mental imagery is a powerful psychological tool, made famous by professional athletes. Psychologically, we know from a large body of research that our brains respond to engaging in vivid imagery almost as if we are having the “real” experience.
It’s not the same, but it’s not entirely different, either. So, when we imagine something visually, our visual cortex(back portion of the brain in the occipital lobe) is active.
Giving your brain a positive visual and auditory slap in the rear can drive a higher sense of confidence. In turn, this heightened sense of confidence has the ability to erase doubt and allow you to go full tilt at your desired goal. Without having to rely on others or the environment, you become courageous enough to take on any task.
Locus of control is part of personality. Personality is engrained in us. While difficult to change, it can be manipulated. Despite being hardwired a certain way, you can reroute circuits to become a more positive and courageous leader by taking full ownership of the world around you.
Risk taking is not easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. To believe in your ability is to be confident. Your level of confidence sets the pace for your leadership that we are all looking to follow.