Taking charge is a mindset of positivity. It means that you believe in yourself and your vision and you are committed to taking the steps that will make your vision a reality.
This is leadership in its purest sense. Leadership is essentially the ability to inspire yourself and others to create success. And entrepreneurship takes the concept of leadership a step further by instilling the notion of taking charge and being the driver who makes things happen.
How do you develop the positive attitude that enables you to take charge?
It starts with embracing the concept of Flow.
The ability to have a “can-do, positive attitude” stems from the construct that your thoughts determine your feelings and your behavior. For example, if you think that creating a successful career is hopeless, you probably feel apathetic and scared. If you are a musician with those thoughts and feelings and you walk on stage that way, you are not likely to give a good performance.
On the other hand, if you are in the flow of your music and your thoughts are positive–“I am sharing my music with people who mean a lot to me.” or “I am excited about making music and I feel at my best when I am doing so”—you feel empowered and excited. With these thoughts and feelings, your performance is likely to be much more powerful and successful.
No matter what career you are in, your negative thoughts will lead to negative behaviors, whereas positive thoughts will inspire you to be your best and act at your top level.
The good news is that you have a choice: you can choose to change your thoughts and tap into your best self. And when we have choices, we feel empowered and in charge: it is, in fact, one of the best ways to take charge!
To tap into your Flow or best self, it helps to know what you are like when you are in the flow and at your peak. Drawing on your actual experience of Flow, you select the words that represent you at your best and create an affirmation that defines yourself at Flow.
The following 3-step process will guide you through how to create a definition of who you are when you are in the Flow and at your best:
1. Identify 3-5 situations when you were totally in Flow, doing what you do best, feeling incredibly confident and joyful. These situations can be drawn from your career, your relationships, your leadership experiences, your creative life or any other area where you feel at the top of your game.
2. List all of the qualities of you at when you are in the Flow. Be sure to consider your
• Favorite personality traits
• Artistic Talents
• People skills
• Leadership skills
• Thinking skills
• Organizational skills
• Feelings that you experience when you are at Flow
• Attitudes that you display when you are at Flow
3. Once you have your list, pick the 3-5 words that represent you at your absolute, authentic best: your Flow self.
I am _________, ___________, ____________, __________ and _____________.
Enjoy how great it feels to know what you are like in Flow and at your best! And then learn how you can use your “Flow Affirmation” to help you develop that positive mindset.
© Astrid Baumgardner 2014
I would be delighted if you should wish to reprint (for free) any part of this article in your newsletters, blogs, websites, and message boards. Please include the following attribution:
Astrid Baumgardner, JD, PCC is a professional life coach and lawyer, Coordinator of Career Strategies and Lecturer at the Yale School of Music and the founder and President of Astrid Baumgardner Coaching + Training, which is dedicated to helping musicians, lawyers and creative professionals take charge of their lives and experience authentic success. In addition to her work at YSM and her individual coaching practice, Astrid presents workshops at leading conservatories and law firms on topics including Career Planning, Goal-Setting, Time Management, Dynamic Communication, Conflict Management and Personal Branding and Networking. She is the author of numerous articles on the various aspects of how to achieve and live authentic success.