By Ryan Jackson, serial entrepreneur & success coach

Some people dream of being a different person, possessing more things or having a different future – and yet what they aspire to remains an insubstantial dream. In order to achieve your business goals and improve your future self, a whole new approach to your beliefs and behaviour is required.

A vital tool to assist this is to be the person you want to become, to act ‘as if’ you are that person. It means changing your thought-processes and belief in yourself and in what is possible.

Acting ‘as if’ is a mind training technique used by some of the world’s most successful athletes, leaders and businesspeople. Basketball star Michael Jordan had a strong belief that he would become a world-class sportsman – and he acted like one, being highly disciplined and training determinedly to achieve his goal. When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades, he practiced walking like a statesman every day, ready to be a leader when he was released – as of course, he was.

In order to be the best, do what the best do. Model and replicate their thinking, behaviours, habits and strategies in order to emulate their success. Remember, we are all only human – so, if it’s possible for them, it’s possible for you.

  1. Visualisation
Visualise your goals, dreams and hopes. Make the image vivid and multisensory, imagine how it feels to achieve your goal.
  • Feeling/touch: What will you feel, externally, when you have got what you wanted? (E.g. sunshine, luxurious textiles, etc.)? What will you feel internally (proud, happy, etc.)?
  • Sound/hearing: What will you hear around you (people applauding, congratulating you, etc.)? And internally, what will you be telling yourself: ‘I did it!’ etc.
  • Vision/sight: What will you see? What environment, objects or people will surround you?
  • Taste & smell: We’ve all heard of the ‘taste of success’ and the ‘smell of success’ – is your imagination so good, you can use these senses, too, to build your image?
  1. E-motion
The basic root of your desire or goal is emotion, and motivation lies in how achieving your goal or success makes you feel. You might want a sports car because it will make you feel successful, rich, or proud. Or maybe it’s the excitement and enjoyment of driving around in a new car. Whatever you want, what you are really craving are the feelings. So, identify the feelings you want, and recall when you’ve had that sort of feeling before. Get in touch with it and consciously feel this feeling every day. Feel that emotion to feel as if you already have your goal.

Having a dream or even a vision is nothing without a burning desire to achieve it. Be passionate about what you want to be, have or do – and you will be motivated to act. Feeling a strong emotional connection gives you the energy to move towards it. Emotion = e-motion towards your goal.

  1. Model behaviour
Choose someone who excels in their field as your role model – whether it’s a businessperson, sportsperson, or anyone else who is successful in an area in which you would also like achievement. Find out what you can about their thinking and behaviour through books, articles, social media and if you’re lucky enough – through personal contact or Q&As.

Research and analyse their thought processes and examine their daily habits or ritual behaviours. Think about: What their days consist of? What are their goals and values? What books do they read? Who are their mentors? What do they eat?

Not every single behaviour will be a mark of success, but some actions will be (e.g. getting up before dawn). See what you can utilise in your own life to accelerate your success.

  1. Choose your company
It’s said that we are the average of the five people we mostly spend time with. Similar to the old saying: ‘birds of a feather flock together’ meaning that like attracts like. You gravitate to people who reflect the same likes, interests and values as you do.

Look at those who are immediately within your circle. They are your sphere of influence in the sense that they are your current models for behaviour, values and lifestyle. Are they living the life and success you want? Outgrown relationships should not deter you from seeking more from life, so it might be time to shed those old ties.

Follow some of these steps and you will already have begun your journey to greater success. You will find it a life-changing experience.