Strategies for Career and Life Empowerment

By: Laura DeCarlo

Changing the way you think can change your career and your life.

Self-belief truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy and will be the number-one advantage or disadvantage you bring into your career and your life. Whatever you fix in your mind, you will make true in the world.

Thoughts Are the Gatekeepers to Success

ASAE Career Headquarters

If you're looking for the next step in your association management career or looking for high-quality candidates to fill open positions at your organization, check out CareerHQ.org—the best source of association jobs and resumes. In addition to helping you find your next job—whether it's as CEO, director of technology, or membership coordinator—ASAE's career services department offers such services as executive coaching, resume writing, and more. For more information, contact Catherine Lux at [email protected].

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You've been living with your stories for as long as you can remember, so it's easy to think it's your own wisdom keeping you safe. But it's really just a tape you helped program and call reality.

Sometimes, just the realization that it is only a thought can allow you to make a powerful shift, but usually more steps are required.

Start each day with a gratitude exercise. Tackle your gratitude list at the start of your day. List off all the things you have to be grateful for today. Deepen the experience by asking yourself what about each item makes you feel grateful and how that makes you feel. This does get easier.

Filter your thoughts before owning them. Our thoughts seem automatic, so it's necessary to become aware and insert your own interrupt switch. Stop and take the time to examine each thought. Ask yourself, "Is this really true?" If you expand this to, "Is this really true for everyone in the history of the world?" you will suddenly realize how untrue this is and how your thoughts are leading you astray. Through repetition of this exercise, you will regain the power to choose your thoughts and control your feelings.

Take 10 to be the leader of your domain. Changing your thoughts opens up a new world of opportunity that you can continue to nurture. To feed your mind, challenge yourself to spend at least 10 minutes each day learning one positive new thing.

Learn from each day. Take stock at the end of each day. Make a list of what you are proud of and what you are disappointed with. Ask yourself, "What about this makes me feel proud or disappointed?", "What could I have done differently?", "What is another way to look at this?", and "Is this really true?" You will find that these situations or actions you took are simply lessons learned, something to laugh about, or something to try differently tomorrow.

Laura DeCarlo is the founder of the global professional association Career Directors International. She is the author of Interviewing: The Gold Standard and Interview Pocket RX as well as coauthor of Job Search Bloopers.