What does thinking big mean & how to think big?
Do you ever wonder how to think big and what the difference between a highly successful person and someone who is floundering in life is? Well, the truth is, what makes them different begins with just an idea. A single thought. When this thought is nurtured, it is allowed to grow into something much bigger. It becomes so big that is influences that person’s behavior and outlook. It pushed forward toward achieving their goals. That single thought, when allowed to grow bigger, helps you to live better and be better.
How the Habit of Thinking Big will Help You
Learning to live the best life you can possibly have requires boldness of thought and big ideas that push you to your highest achievements. No person who has ever achieved great things was content with mediocre goals or run-of-the-mill dreams. They dreamed big and therefore were able to achieve great things.
This guide to thinking bigger is designed to help you live and be the best person you possibly can. We’ll share with you the importance of thinking big as well as the many ways that this type of mindset can help your life. We’ll also warn you about the many ways that you and others can sabotage your own attempts at thinking large. Finally, we will help you develop this habit of mindset with some helpful strategies and tips.
Why Big Thinking is So Important
Accomplishing any big dream is only possible when you stay dedicated to the hard work it takes to see it through to its end. But, aside from this essential dedication, the other thing that makes it possible for you to carry out big goals is to set your sights high. Setting the bar high for yourself, aiming for the big dreams, is the only way you’ll ever live bigger and be better. (Source)
The path to your ultimate future and happiness begins with that single thought, so don’t shy away when it comes to you. Learning to envisage your future and imagine it at its fullest will put you on the path toward creating it. Below are some of the many ways that thinking big can influence your life and allow you to live and be your best self.
You Learn to Invest in Your Own Success
When you dream big, you open up innovative ways of achieving your dreams as well as new possibilities that you likely never considered before. You also learn to invest in yourself the necessary resources for achieving these big dreams.
When you are optimistic about your future and your ability to succeed, you realize that, if you want to achieve significant things, you have to prepare yourself for the challenging work it is going to take to get you there.
Invest in your knowledge and skills, invest in your health and well-being, and invest in your life in ways that make it possible to not only dream big but to achieve much, as well.(Source)
Dreaming Big Motivates You
With big dreams come a positive way to think about your future, which can lead to feeling more motivated about what lies ahead. Thinking big about possibilities for yourself makes you hopeful in ways that setting your sights lower cannot. When you have something, you are looking forward to, it motivates you to work a little harder, think a little more creatively, and to want to get up and try each day.
You Gain Confidence
Having big dreams and thinking more significantly about your life can help bring you more confidence. When you set your sights on lofty aims, you feel powerful knowing that, when you achieve them, you’ll realize something wonderful. (Source)
The Habits of Thinking Big
Thinking big isn’t just about setting lofty goals. One big idea isn’t enough. You have to manifest that one big idea in many different ways, allowing it to gather momentum from other habits of mind and thoughts. Lofty ideas need other practices to help them come to fruition.
To think big about your ultimate dreams and goals, you have to also think big about:
- Your daily aims, tasks, and routines.
- Your ability to solve problems and analyze information.
- Your ability to think outside the box.
- Your ability to imagine possibilities.
- Your ability to be valuable to others.
- Your contribution to others and the world in which you live.
- Your ability to overcome challenges and obstacles.
- Your life’s purpose.
When you want to learn to think big, it’s not just about one idea or thought. It’s about everything you think, all your goals. You must think bigger about your perspective, possibilities, and desires. Thinking big requires throwing off the shackles that limit your ideas and ambitions.
And doing this can allow you to learn, stretch, and grow more in essential ways that push past your current limitations. Here are some habits of mind that can help you develop these new ways of thinking.
When you think big and set your goals high, you have to think in terms of solutions, not problems. Solution-oriented thinking will provide you with ideas and answers to the many obstacles and challenges you will face along your journey.
And the bigger your thinking, the better you will become at thinking outside the box to find ways to reach your goals.
Solution-oriented habits of mind require you to ask the right questions, which can expand your possibilities and open your mind up to alternative perspectives, as well. (Source)
Always be Curious
Curiosity is a habit of mind that is indispensable for learning to think big. Thinking big is very difficult when you limit your perspective to what you already know. But, staying curious, asking questions, and always wondering “why” is an excellent way to continue to grow and set your sights higher.
Curiosity enables you to wonder what things would be like if extraordinary things were possible. It allows you to see possibilities where others see challenges. And, it keeps you wondering if there is something bigger and better on the horizon.
Remain Steadfast in Your Beliefs
If you want to live life thinking and living bigger, then you need to believe unquestioningly that you can achieve what you want in this world. When you believe in your big thoughts, you can envision them coming true.
When you can visualize it happening, you can do things to make it happen. When you start to take action, lofty ideas become possible realities. And through it all, it’s your belief in this reality that will keep you moving forward.
If you want to think bigger, you must become a forward thinker, always considering what’s ahead. This habit of mind allows you to be better prepared for obstacles, to meet challenges head-on, and to know that your end goal is possible.
Thinking several moves ahead gives you the time to prepare for what you need to be able to do, and it means you understand what it will take to accomplish your goal.
Embrace Your Fears
Thinking bigger means that you let go of limitations that could be preventing you from reaching loftier aims. Fear is a strong limiting factor that can keep you from dreaming big. Learning to embrace your fear and recognize that being fearful is a sign that you are about to do something truly amazing will help you push past that limitation and move forward with confidence.
Barriers to Thinking Bigger
Learning to change your habits of mind and to think bigger isn’t necessarily easy. This way of thinking needs cultivation every day and then, over time, you’ll be able to see how your thoughts and dreams are expanding.
But, when you’ve been thinking small your whole life, learning a new way of thinking and dreaming can come with obstacles.
There are many older, more ingrained habits that can try to get in the way and hinder your progress toward bigger thinking. Here are some of the most common limiting habits you may notice or that may interfere with your progress toward learning to think bigger in life.
There are many types of fear that can interfere with your ability to think big. You may fear change, failure, or even success. And fear leads to apprehension, stress, and other negative emotions that keep you focusing on what could go wrong instead of planning for what will go right.
Fear constricts your thoughts, narrowing them back down into your comfortable place. Fear is the result of pushing outside your comfort zone. But nothing good ever comes from staying inside that comfortable area.
Fear can keep you from taking the chances you need in order to achieve massive things. But you have to push past that fear to embrace opportunities that allow you to live bigger and be happier. When you are old, you will regret the chances you never took. Don’t live with regrets. Don’t let fear control your ability to think bigger.
Many people will likely judge or criticize you when you start to think and dream bigger. Not everyone will see that your big ideas can help make your world, maybe even the world as a whole, a better place. But what you have to remember is people judge what they don’t understand or what scares them most.
If other people are criticizing you, trying to hold you back, or otherwise interfering in your dreams, it’s time to take control. Don’t allow others to become a barrier to your big thinking.
Unhealthy Habits of Mind
Thinking in the short-term or engaging in negative thinking are two unhealthy habits of mind that can act as a barrier to your big thinking. Short-term thinking keeps you thinking only about today, which doesn’t allow you to think several steps ahead to find solutions or see possibilities. A negative mindset will keep you from even imagining possibilities, which definitely limits your thinking.
Making excuses for yourself, your thinking, or your stumbles will serve as a barrier to your big thinking. Excuses show that you are ashamed of your efforts or somehow think you are not worthy or capable of succeeding. Excuses will hold you back from setting ambitious goals or working hard to achieve them.
Instead of making excuses, you have to concentrate on your strengths as well as evolving your areas of weakness. Failure is an opportunity to learn, not something that you should have to explain to yourself or anyone else. Drop the excuses and focusing on doing the work that needs to be done.
Other Bad Habits
Procrastination, perfectionism, over-analyzing things, and focusing on the insignificant are all limiting habits that can keep you thinking small and prevent you from bigger dreams.
These are all forms of self-sabotage that limit your possibilities and create reasons why the big ideas aren’t possible. Recognize when those are happening so that you can stop them in their tracks before they limit your big thinking any more.
Cultivating the Big Thoughts
You will need to invest a little effort and work into developing the habits of mind that allow you to think big on a daily basis. Over time, when you practice these strategies, you’ll start to see that it’s easier to imagine the bigger outcomes and see the loftier possibilities. The following big-thinking activities and strategies, when practiced consistently, can have you dreaming big in no time.
Embrace Empowering Language
The words you use every day reflect your thoughts, so if you want to change your life and your thoughts, start changing your language. Avoid language the reflect criticism, worry, and complaints, and instead use words that reflect hopefulness, power, and solutions. Ask more questions. Change your language, and you can change your mindset and behavior.
Practice a Growth Mindset
When you have a growth mindset, you see all things as opportunities to learn. You recognize that, as humans, we are all learning and have opportunities to evolve throughout life. When you have a growth mindset, you don’t see things as a weakness. Instead, you see them as chances to improve. Your flaws do not limit you; you have an opportunity to improve yourself by addressing them.
When you learn to embrace the growth mindset, thinking big becomes much easier. Unexpected challenges no longer send your running. Instead, you see that they are a chance to learn something new. When you learn to challenge the notion of weakness, and instead embrace growth, you’ll find that thinking big isn’t so scary after all.
Act Like a Kid Again
Remember when you were young, and everything was new and weird? Children ask big questions about the nature of things, how things work, and why things happen (or don’t). These are the types of questions that can lead to bigger thinking. How can I help others? What’s the best version of this I could possibly imagine, and why doesn’t that exist?
Asking big questions leads to lofty ideas and answers. It’s only by being more curious, opening your mind to possibilities, that you can learn to regularly think bigger about your life.
When setting new goals for yourself, stop settling for what you normally do or what has been your comfort zone for so long. Expand your notion of safe, and stop settling for “good enough.” Nothing amazing or huge every came from “good enough.” Stretch your imagination to set your goals higher and to free your mind to the possibilities of bigger thinking.
When setting goals, it’s vital that they be outside your comfort zone. When you think of something, is your first instinct to say, “no way!” That’s something outside your zone. If you say, “maybe,” it’s probably a little bigger than you normally wish but still not your biggest idea, yet. Really push the limits of your zone to find where the big ideas, the ones that really make you excited, live.
Be Comfortable with Discomfort
Thinking big means taking chances, doing things you’ve never done before. And with those chances comes discomfort. Learning to be okay with the uncomfortableness of these situations can help you think and dream bigger all the time.
Try to do something each day that feels uncomfortable to you. Maybe it’s singing in public. Perhaps it’s talking to a complete stranger about a new idea. Or, maybe it makes you uncomfortable to open up about your dreams.
Whatever it is that makes you uncomfortable, do something every day that reaches that emotion. Over time, these things will feel less scary, and your discomfort will fade. That’s when you know it’s time to go bigger. It’s about overcoming fear, which is really where discomfort originates. And daily practice helps you see that there really isn’t anything to fear, after all.
Take Time to Think
Thinking bigger requires time. You need to consider options. You need peace to explore possibilities. Taking the time needed to really formulate and think carefully through your big ideas is the only way you’ll ever really get there.
Make some “thinking” time in your schedule on a regular basis. Protect this time jealously, so that others don’t pull you from it. Use that time to explore your ideas, to brainstorm and really let your imagination go. The more you practice this, the easier it will become.
Big thinking comes in response to big problems. Problems are nothing but puzzles, and the bigger the problem, the more pieces to the puzzle. Embrace chances to solve big problems in all aspects of your life. This will help you cultivate the habit of mind to pick apart those problems to determine all the pieces, which will help you think about the great ideas that can solve them.
Big Goals Should also be Smart
One type of self-sabotage that is common when people start trying to think bigger is, they set their goals so unrealistically high that they can’t ever achieve them. This leads to nothing but disappointment, which can cause you to stop trying to think bigger. Setting goals that are smart means they are high but not so high you can’t actually reach them. Especially when starting out, setting realistic yet lofty goals is a tightrope walk, so be sure you’re not setting yourself up to fail.
Focus on Resilience
Those who think and achieve big goals have lots of strategies for overcoming obstacles and sticking with their plan, even when things get tough. Willpower and resilience are two habits of mind that can help you stick with your big dreams while you are making them come true.
Focus on solutions, not problems. Remind yourself why you chose this big dream. Stay focused on your “why,” not the reasons it’s not currently working. This goes for everything in your life, including your daily routines and tasks. Practice resilience and willpower in all that you do.
Become More Proactive
Big thinkers also understand the power of being proactive. Big dreams come true when you have a plan that thinks through what needs to happen, how to solve problems along the way, and ways to be prepared for all possibilities. Learning to be more proactive can help you sustain your big thoughts and goals over time.
Practice with Fake Problems
When you want to think big, you have to know how to solve problems. Practice this by creating artificial problems on which to practice. Creating problems gives you the chance to practice your problem-solving abilities. You can learn to stretch your imagination as you think through these scenarios, and because you are not personally invested in it, it opens up your mind to consider options you may not if it landed closer to home.
Create a Support Network
Learning to think big and dream big happens when you have others in your life who model and support this type of thinking. Without the right support system, turning your big dreams into big reality would be much more difficult. Find people for your support network who are also dreamers and problem solvers.
Find people who can give you honest feedback and aren’t afraid to tell you that you’re aiming too low (or too high).
Support doesn’t have to mean people who always agree with you, either. Surround yourself with people who have different ideas and beliefs than you, people who aren’t afraid to challenge yours. You will learn from and grow because of your connections to diverse thinkers.
Take More Calculated Risks
Big thinkers don’t just take crazy risks. They are calculated in their thinking. Big thinkers think all the way through their ideas before taking action, and they are always thinking about new possibilities. Taking calculated risks means you think through the outcomes and don’t just leap without looking. Taking chances is good, as long as you are okay with living with all the possible outcomes.
Maximize Your Time
When you start thinking big, you need all your time to carry out your dreams. Start now by making better use of your available time. Give up things that don’t add value to your life. Let go of commitments and obligations that don’t serve your needs. Simply your activities so you have more time to think big and less time to live small.
Build for Your Strengths
When you want to think big, start by building from your areas of personal strength and most potent abilities. Accomplishing goals based on what you are good at is much easier than starting where you are weakest. And when you start with strengths, you bring motivation and focus along for the ride toward your big ideas.
Become Someone Others Want to Help
When you start thinking big, you realize you can’t do it all on your own. You will need help to realize your big dreams, so be sure you are someone others will want to help. Being a positive force in others’ lives, being open to feedback and suggestions, and being a reliable presence for others will help ensure they will be willing to help you when the time comes to realize your visions.
Practice by Challenging your Time
One way to practice problem-solving and reaching more attainable goals is to decrease your timeframe. While a goal may seem easy and not much of a practice opportunity, when you cut the timetable for success in half, you are suddenly facing a whole new scenario for achieving your dreams. Practice solving problems in creative and exciting ways by changing the constraints in which you must find a solution.
Start small, with that one single idea we talked about in the beginning. What’s the thought that you can take and grow over time to create your next big idea? What’s something you’ve always wanted to do, a problem you’ve been itching to solve? Finding your single idea, and focusing on it for a time, can help you start small and grow your idea over time.
How to Think Big (Final Thoughts)
Big thinking about significant and important ideas can help you lead a better life. Only by embracing big dreams can you ever hope to achieve something significant.
But thinking big isn’t just about having one big idea. It’s about cultivating habits of mind that allow you to solve problems, see the big picture, think into the future, and find the right support for achieving your goals.
Learning to think big can help you achieve your dreams and help you change your life as well as the lives of others. Only with practice and commitment, though, will you nurture your mental habits to learn to think bigger, live better, and be the best you that you can possibly be.