When something isn’t working, the most obvious remedy is to change it. A CEO will stop an out-of-date production practice and decide on a new system to increase the bottom line, rather than continue to lose money on the old technology. A customer service manager will stop a phone practice that repeatedly angers callers and decide on a new approach, rather than continue to threaten repeat business with an ineffective method.

Change is a way of life. When a process or method doesn’t yield results, most people naturally think to change it. But for some reason, people often don’t consider change as a remedy for their own negative thinking, even when their negative thoughts limit the success of their business.

The principles that follow have been taught to people in the middle of war zones and to those facing imminent death from catastrophic illness. If people can overcome obstacles in these situations, then it can happen in your business and in every aspect of your life.

The primary obstacles to success are always self-imposed negative beliefs and habits. Practice these techniques for stopping negative thinking and deciding on positive actions, and you will successfully overcome the negative thoughts that limit you.

Stop Thinking: My work is meaningless and there is nothing I can do about it. Decide: I will do the best I can in all situations.

People often complain that they are no longer happy in their career or position. They say that they don’t care about the work any more, that nothing seems very important, or believe nobody appreciates their efforts.

If this sounds like you, then decide today to stop thinking about the reasons you are unhappy and simply begin to go to work and do the very best you can. As you begin to focus less on the reasons you are unsatisfied and more on doing the finest work you can, you will become more satisfied. Don’t wait for your work to make you want to do your best; bring your best to your work.

Stop Thinking: Whether or not I meet my goals is determined by things outside my control. Decide: I can learn and create opportunity from whatever is happening right now.

Have you ever noticed how two individuals can do very different things with the same experience? Two people can expend the same amount of energy and resources to launch a business and have similar results but vastly different reactions to those results. If neither business truly takes off, one person may become bitter and blame others, while the other uses the experience as a way to learn and create future opportunities.

The defining mindset is not to think of yourself as a victim, but instead, to learn from what is happening and create opportunity.

Step Thinking: I am what I do. Decide: I will keep perspective. The outcome of my business situation will not make or break my life.

Many people tie their personal success and survival to that of their business. They cannot imagine being happy if their business does not make it—and this leads to constant stress.

Regardless of what happens outside, you can choose and direct yourself to be calm inside. External change may be important, but the most important thing you can address is the way you think in every single moment. Doing so brings your happiness within your own control.

The quickest way to less stress and more success is to stop listening to fear. Realize that even though you may care deeply about your business, you have worth beyond its success or failure.

Stop Thinking: My “to do list” and accomplishments are the most important things. Decide: Being patient, kind, and understanding can be the new foundation for success.

It is easy to become sidetracked and stressed by a multitude of tasks and problems, or to lose sight of what really matters in the long run. In our increasingly complicated work world, it can seem that emptying the “in box” as often as possible and keeping as many balls in the air as you can are the most important tasks.

Few retirees, regardless of their success level while working, look back at their careers and say, “I wish I had been a little less patient and more of a tyrant.” Most look back and wish they had taken more time to develop such traits as patience, kindness and understanding. Use the wisdom of their perspective to create the job satisfaction you want now.

Stop Negative Habits to Meet Your Goals

Negative habits can be just as detrimental to your success and happiness as negative thoughts. If you don’t change these habits, no matter what external changes you make in your business or work, you will not find lasting satisfaction and true success.

To overcome the obstacles you face in your daily work, stop these four negative habits:

Stop blaming. It takes you away from accountability, self-reflection and effective decisions.

Stop holding grudges. All they really do is hold you back.

Stop seeing value in anger. It leads you away from inner calm and even causes physical illness.

Stop jumping to attack. This will lead to lack of trust.

The biggest obstacles to success are often self-imposed negative thoughts and habits, which can lead to dissatisfaction with your job, minimized self-worth, and feelings of a lack of control. Fortunately, you can change these negative thoughts and habits just like anything else that doesn’t work, but you must decide to make the change. When you practice stopping negative thinking and habits that don’t work and decide on a new direction, you can regain your sense of satisfaction and reach new levels of success in your business.

LEE JAMPOLSKY, Ph.D. is a psychologist and acclaimed speaker;
he is author of Walking Through Walls, Smile For No
Good Reason and Healing the Addictive Mind.