When you need to make a change, whether adjusting unwanted behaviors or carving a new path, having the right mindset can significantly affect your ability to succeed. For example, have you ever needed to come up with new, brilliant ideas for a project, a paper, or to solve a problem, and your mind just wasn't in a creative mode? Your mindset can have a significant impact on your impact and success.

Not only can the right mindset unlock creativity, logic, or problem-solving, but it can also make you more open to new ideas and perspectives. By contrast, a fixed mindset will be more resistant to change than a growth mindset, and can keep you mired in current behaviors, choices, and views, whether or not they serve you well.

Being able to shift your mindset as needed is a skill that will provide you a distinct advantage in creating desired changes as well as increase your effectiveness in other areas of your life. Try these five tips to shift your mindset and create a map for successful change:

1. Reengage both sides of your brain (right-brain and left-brain processes). You need both logic and creativity to be at your best, and if you can't access the other, you will be limited in what you are best able to accomplish. Try centering exercises or physical exercises that re-integrate both sides of the brain (exercises that cause you to cross the midline of your body alternately left/right).

2. Focus on success and positive attributes. Notice times of day or circumstances when you do your best work. Obsessing about negative events wires the brain to look for and expect negativity. Conversely, noticing your strengths, successes, and focusing on the positive aspects of your situation invites the brain to predict further successes.

3. Visualize the outcome or changes you want to see happening. Experiments with athletes show that the brain does not differentiate between visualized practice (such as nailing a free throw) and actual practice in which you physically perform the action. The same sequence is fired in the brain when you visualize doing something as when you actually do it. Create a clear visualization of the outcome you desire as if you have already achieved it, and practice "seeing" that outcome in your mind every day.

4. Seek out new perspectives and insights. Collaborative conversations with others where they can help you see the situation differently help create new pathways in the brain that you can then access when you get stuck in a particular mindset.

5. Take specific action even if you don't feel motivated to do it. Developing a plan for what you want to change or achieve, and repeatedly setting it into motion will hardwire your visualizations and insights into your brain. Action is how the future visualization becomes the present.

The brain is incredibly flexible -- by using these tips to map your brain for successful change, and then providing consistency of action and frequent attention to the change for a month, the change is hardwired and becomes difficult to dislodge or revert.

What change will you map into your life? How will you use these tips to achieve it?

Author's Bio: 

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Lauren Still (MBA, CTACC) is a strategic career coach for motivated professionals. She works with individuals and organizations to increase performance, “connect the dots” between where the individual is and where they want/need to be, maintain healthy work-life balance, and achieve goals and objectives more quickly. Lauren keeps her clients’ “rising stars” on their upward trajectory, and helps them avoid the “crash and burn” that many high-achieving professionals encounter.