How you see the world determines what you’ll get from it. This may seem like magical thinking, but how you see the world does help you make better choices. A simple mindset shift can open up a new world and opportunities.
We all are different with varying viewpoints and experience. These experiences are stories conjured to comprehend the world better. If we choose a different story, we change not only how we see the world but also what we get out of it.
Mindset Shift: From Fixed Mindset to Growth Mindset
Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? If you have a fixed mindset, you may believe that your talent and abilities are limited. People with fixed mindsets often confuse hard work with good luck in others. They don’t see the hours of hard work many people put into achieving their dreams.
If you have a growth mindset, you believe in your ability to grow. Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success describes the growth mindset as this:
What you can do
- Don’t compare yourself to others. The comparison is unfair to yourself and the other person. It’s okay to admire someone’s hard work and dedication. It’s also okay to use people as inspiration. If you’re demeaning yourself or someone else based on that comparison, it’s unfair to everyone.
- Think of all the reasons why you can do it, instead of why you can’t. Then act on it. It doesn’t have to be a huge move; a tiny step will help.
- Learn from your mistakes. Reframe setbacks as growth and learning opportunities.
- Concentrate on the things you can control and improve. If you’re trying to improve your body, you can’t alter your DNA so that fat accumulates in your breast instead of your thighs and arms. You can focus on building muscle or losing overall body fat.
Mindset Shift: From Pessimism to Optimism
I’ll admit that optimism doesn’t naturally come to me. When I’m not mindful, my negative thoughts spiral out of control. Optimists are less likely to experience this negative spiral. They focus on the positive aspects. Realistic optimists see the negative and don’t dwell on it. They do something about it.
On the surface, the optimist/pessimist debate may seem superficial or a little woo. But, there are benefits for adding more optimism into your life. Optimists are happier and healthier. They’re more likely to stick to their goals and meet them. Think about it: If you’re more focused on what’s going wrong, would you be more likely to keep going or give up?
What you can do.
- Rather than ignore the bad, try to find the good in each situation.
- Take note of persistent pessimistic thoughts. Dispute them using the ABCDE method Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D. suggests in his book, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life.
A stands for adversity. This is the problem.
B stands for belief. What do you feel or believe about the problem?
C stands for the consequences of those beliefs. Are you less likely to try? Do you lose your motivation? Do you lash out? Do you feel sad or defeated? Do you procrastinate?
D stands for disputation. Argue with yourself. Is the thought true? What’s the evidence? If it is true, does it hurt or hinder you to hold on to it?
E stands for energization. Notice the shift in energy when your mindset shift. Do you feel better? Do you feel more motivated?
- Train yourself to see multiple viewpoints. Feelings follow thoughts. If you’re feeling down, tune into what you’re thinking. Ask yourself: Is there another way of seeing this? Hint: Usually, there is.
Mindset Shift: From Disenchantment to Gratitude
Do you take life for granted? Shift your mindset. Recognize the unsung gifts, and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll grow and how many opportunities pop up.
When you’re grateful, you see the positives that life has to offer, even when times are hard. You’ll handle stressful events better. Smaller blessings will have a larger influence. When your goal’s progress slow, gratefulness allows you to see those continuing yet small wins. This is what helps push you forward.
What you can do.
- Practice gratitude daily. Bookend your day by thinking of at least ten things you are grateful for in a journal, a piece of paper, a phone app, whatever you have handy.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Wake up in the morning and write about all the things you are grateful for at least 15 minutes.
- Savor and share the good times. Take pictures. Make an album. Turn your good memories into gratitude posters or collages.
- Practice Thanksgiving more than once a year. Make it a monthly or weekly ritual for your friends and family.
- Thank everyone. Thank yourself.
Mindset Shift: From External Motivation to Intrinsic Motivation
Use intrinsic motivation. When you tap into intrinsic motivation, you rely on personal values to move your forward. This type of motivation lasts longer and feels better. When you lean in the other direction, you are more likely to look outside yourself for motivation. This good for a temporary push. Extrinsic motivation helps when you don’t like a task or can’t muster up enough enthusiasm to do it. But, this type of motivation burns out fast, and it’s hard to keep it going.
Take weight loss, for example, people with intrinsic motivation may want to feel more energetic. People with extrinsic motivation want to look good for their high school reunion. Nothing is wrong with that. If you want to make lifelong changes, use internal motivators as well.
What you can do.
Think of the reasons why you want to do something. Don’t base your motivation on what your friends, family or society thinks.
- How will you feel when you lose weight?
- How will your health improve after you’ve cut your salt intake?
- What will you be able to do after you worked your way up to running 30 minutes nonstop?
- What are your reasons? Family? Learning? Health? Personal Growth? Mastery?