“Mindset” is a buzzword that gets a lot of attention these days. As an independent advisor, it can be easy to assume that mindset is simply positive thinking and can be summed up by quotes you find posted on Pinterest. For this reason, many advisors fail to understand the true importance of mindset. It’s not just being optimistic or turning that frown upside down. To put it in a different perspective, think of mindset this way: you are the result of your thought processes; where you are six months from now will be 100% directed by the thoughts you are thinking today. Makes it seem a little more important when I put it that way, huh? Without the proper mindset, you can’t be successful. Plain and simple. Here’s more on how thoughts direct your future and how you can ensure yours are setting you up for success.


How Thoughts Affect Outcomes

To be an effective counselor to your clients, you must understand how your thoughts affect your actions not only so you can make sure your own thoughts are constructive, but so you can help clients deal with negative thoughts as well. Thoughts lead to emotions and emotions, in turn, lead to actions. Many people think the emotions come before the thoughts, but that’s not true. An emotion cannot be evoked without a thought. And guess what? While you can’t choose situations or things that happen to you, you can choose the way you think about them.

One of the keys to becoming a successful advice-based fiduciary is being emotionally agile and able to respond to different situations quickly and without taking things personally. Guess where that agility comes from? You guessed it, thinking the right thoughts. There is plenty of proof out there that negative thoughts have an impact on brain function and can cloud logic and slow down decision-making. When you think in a negative manner, you not only trigger negative emotions, you also impair your ability to come up with solutions to bring you out of that negative thought pattern. It’s one big downward spiral from there.

As independent financial advisors, we have no one else to rely on to make good decisions or engage in creative problem-solving. If we aren’t in the right mindset, our clients and our businesses will suffer. Here are the three types of thoughts that are most damaging to your career.


Types of Thoughts that Negatively Will Impact Your Success

Fearful thoughts

Are you afraid that you won’t succeed? Worried that if you don’t get five new clients this month, you won’t be able to pay your mortgage? Thoughts like these lead to fear and fear is one of the best ways to immobilize thinking. Yes, there is always the possibility that things won’t go your way. However, harboring fearful thoughts about it won’t help prevent these things from happening. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The more we concentrate on the fear, the more likely we are to take actions (or, more likely, to fall into inaction) that will make these negative outcomes a reality.

Uncertain thoughts

Are you about ready to give a presentation or meet with a new group of colleagues and continuously wonder if they’ll like you? If you’ll sound stupid when you talk? Uncertain thoughts like these don’t stay in your head – they show up on your face, in your voice, and in your body language. The more uncertain you are about yourself, the more others will be uncertain of you. When you talk confidently to yourself, on the other hand, others can’t help but view you in a positive light.

Self-sabotaging thoughts

“I’m not good enough.” “I’ll never be a success.” “My mom was right, no one will trust me with their money.” Thoughts like these can only lead to a dark place. If you’re sabotaging yourself with these types of thoughts, you’ll have a tough time establishing boundaries with your clients because you’ll never feel like you’re doing enough to earn their trust. You’ll also turn inherently positive situations around in your head so they fit your negative self-image.

So what’s the solution? It comes down to this: you need to train that inner voice that’s constantly yapping in your brain. You have to find ways to turn negative thoughts into positive ones and be kind and supportive to yourself. You can do this through meditation, reading the right books, or by going through some training on mental processes. The route you choose is less important than knowing that mindset is the single most important indicator of your success.

Have questions about changing your mindset or comments on how your thoughts have led to actions either positive or negative? Please leave them below.