Your mindset is everything. It has the power to determine your life’s outcomes, either creating success and happiness or affecting negative change. Our beliefs and thoughts, therefore, play a critical role in shaping our behaviors and actions, even subconsciously. But you can shift your mindset to improve your life and make you more resilient to any stressors you face. Here’s how to change your mindset and upgrade your life to the one you desire.
How to Change Your Mindset
1. Increase your awareness
The first step to changing your mindset is accepting that it needs to improve in the first place. Spend time reflecting on yours and increasing your self-awareness. How do you view yourself and the world around you? For example, do you view everything as black and white; people are either good or bad? Does the world support everyone except for you? When you learn what lens you use to view yourself and the world, you have more power to change it.
2. Define your motivation
Before we dive into deeper tricks and techniques, ask yourself, “What is my motivation for change?” and “What do I want to achieve?” When you define your purpose and motivator, you have more information to create a plan to change your mindset to reflect that goal. Having this answer will also help you build more emotional resilience when you experience setbacks. Reflect on the life you want to live and the mindset you think you need to make your dreams a reality.
3. What are your beliefs?
Our beliefs create our mindsets. They are the drivers that lead to actions. If we have poor beliefs, they impact our behaviors and reflect poorly on our lives. For example, if you believe you’re not good enough, you may stay in relationships past their due dates and never go for opportunities outside your comfort zone. Therefore, it’s important to examine your life from a third-party perspective and identify your beliefs that prevent you from changing your life for the better and how the positive ones are helping you. You’ll have a stronger foundation of what you need to change.
4. Challenge it all
Now that you have more information, challenge the cognitive distortions (unwanted thoughts) and beliefs you want to change. This step takes a lot of effort, especially if yours are ingrained and a part of your identity. A helpful tip is to become an observer of your thoughts. To start, practice being in the present moment and building your mindfulness. For example, while meditating, observe what thoughts are coming up for you. Do you notice any patterns? Jot those down and reflect on the reasons.
5. Adopt new beliefs
After journaling and becoming more aware of your patterns, find ways to adopt new beliefs. For example, if you have a poor mindset about wealth and believe you’ll never succeed, begin inserting new thoughts every time you hear that belief pop up. To start, practice affirmations, like “I deserve and accept financial wealth”. They will target your current beliefs and help you improve the beliefs holding you back. The trick with affirmations is that you need to be diligent about them. You can’t expect your mindset to change overnight. It needs to be a daily habit.
6. Reflect on your childhood
Think about the first time you heard a belief. Did it come from your parents, peers, or friends? For example, if you heard money doesn’t grow on trees from your parents, begin examining why they said that. Our beliefs are passed down from generation to generation. Most likely, your parents gained that belief from their parents, and so forth. Therefore, they didn’t realize the impact that statement had on their life or yours, for that matter. So, investigate the source of your beliefs from a place of love, compassion, and empathy. When you explore why someone had those beliefs, you learn to decrease the power that way of thinking has on you.
7. Review how you assign meaning
How do you view challenges in your life? Do you see them as roadblocks or opportunities? One powerful way to learn how to change your mindset is to examine how you assign meaning to situations and experiences. Instead of becoming angry or upset about an uncontrollable situation, you can take the time to decide how you want to respond. For example, if you’re mad at a friend, instead of letting that situation define how you view all future relationships, assign a different meaning. You could say, “While this situation is hurtful, it’s also an experience that informs me of the people I don’t want in my life”.
8. Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?
Carol Dweck, a famous psychologist, coined growth mindset and fixed mindset to show how our mindsets impact our lives. Someone with a fixed mindset believes their qualities are fixed and cannot change, whereas someone with a growth mindset believes their skills and talent improve with time and experience. Yet it is possible to have a fixed mindset in one area and a growth mindset in another. For example, you may believe your relationships improve with effort, but you may give up before you excel at a new skill. Learning the differences between these two mindsets and where you fall can help you recognize how your mindset impacts your life.
9. Know that your mindset can change
A mindset is the sum of your beliefs, opinions, and thoughts you have about yourself and the world around you. Through your experiences, childhood, education, and culture, you form a lens that embodies these thoughts and beliefs to observe the world. But if you’re not currently happy with your life and realize your mindset is affecting you from achieving what you deserve, the good news is you can change your mindset. While our mindsets are deeply engrained and require patience and consistency, you can transform yours to reflect the life you want to live. It’s important to remember that change is possible.
What mindsets are currently helping you, and which ones negatively affect your life? Learning how to change your mindset is not an overnight shift. It takes effort, time, and consistency. But it is possible. You have the power to upgrade yours to create the life you want. Remember that you matter and that you can change anything that doesn’t serve your best interest.
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