How To Change Your Mindset
In theory the advice we get from well-meaning self-help teachings to change our mindset, to be more positive, and to have more faith, is all well and good, but how practical is it really in our day-to-day lives? When we are in the grips of fear and doubt, how realistic or even possible is it to change our frame of mind? And if it is possible, how do we do it in a way that is practical and grounded in reality?
If we are really being honest, most of us self-sabotage more often than we would like to admit. We might make excuses, we might blame other people, and we might tell ourselves that life is not fair, but in reality much of our failure comes from our own way of thinking.
We cannot ignore that the world is filled with possibilities. This is evident in all of the examples we see of people succeeding from nothing and all of the miraculous advancements we see in society as we know it today. So what truly separates those who get things done from those who appear to fail time after time? Well, sure, circumstances, choices, and opportunities certainly play a role, but so do faith, optimism, and belief. So when we really break it down I would hypothesize that most, if not all if it, ultimately comes down to mindset.
So how do we cultivate this mindset of success (in whatever interpretation we choose)?
Instead of asking "Why?" ask "Why not?"
Instead of saying it can't be done, ask, "How can it be done?"
Instead of saying it is not possible, ask, "How can it be made possible?" or even, "What's another option?"
Instead of focusing on failure, focus on success (whether it is yours or it belongs to another).
Instead of telling yourself you are not good enough, list all of the reasons why you actually might be.
Instead of finding excuses, look for solutions.
Instead of thinking "What if the worse happens?" think, "What if the best happens?"
Instead of worrying about negative "What ifs?" list all the positive "What ifs?" you can think of. (E.g. "What if I can't do this?" turns into "What if I am more than capable of doing this?" "What if I am not good enough?" turns into "What if I am good enough?" "What if I don't succeed?" turns into "What if I do succeed?" "What if I get hurt in this new relationship?" turns into "What if I am ultimately fulfilled?" And so on.) Either way we are talking in terms of probabilities and hypotheses. So since neither is actually true or real yet, then why not focus on the positive over the negative? If we indeed create self-fulfilling prophecies then we might as well create ones that we are actually going to enjoy. And whatever we do get as a result, we need to know that we can make the best of that too if we look hard enough for new perspectives.
There are many other ways we can choose to change our mindset, but most if not all of them have something to do with changing the way we perceive ourselves, others, and life as we know it. Regardless of the method, though, the constant variable is always ourselves; we are the ones living our lives, thinking our thoughts, and taking our actions. So if we are going to see any changes in our lives, we are the ones who are going to have to change something. Why not, then, start with how we think?