By: Eduardo Amorim | Mentor & Coach Life, Health and Wellness
Everyone wishes a successful life, but only a few live the life they really want as most people just watch life pass by. In this post, we are going to look into how the mindset runs our lives and what we can do to shape and sharpen it.
Have you ever stopped and thought for a second why you think, behave and act the way you do? Do you ever question yourself what drives your life and how you got to where you are now? That’s right. Most people don’t realize that life is a consequence of how our mindset is programed. As a result, they end up living a miserable life because they think that is simply their destiny and they are doomed to it.
However, that is far from the truth. When you have the right mindset you are able to shift from being a victim of the world to being the creator of your reality. You’ll learn more about how mindset works and how to build one to thrive at work and life. After all, we no longer can separate work and personal life anymore.
What is this so-called “Mindset”?
Mindset, according to Carol Dweck, a psychologist from Stanford University, is a self-perception or “self-theory” that people hold about themselves. In other words, it’s a combination of beliefs, values and ideas we incorporate throughout our life which make up how we perceive and interpret the events and world around us.
Let me give you a great example: a footwear sales executive is sent to a city. Upon arrival, he calls the office and says, “Why did you send me here? Nobody here wears shoes, I’m going back”. A second sales executive is sent, and when he arrives he calls the office saying “we are going to make a fortune here, nobody wears shoes…yet!”. Same situation with two very different outcomes. It’s all about how your mind interprets the event.
How mindsets are built and work
Our mindset starts being built long before we are born. Not only do the mother share nutrients with the fetus when pregnant, she also shares everything else like hormones, toxins, emotions, energy, words, etc. babies can perceive things like mother’s stress, anxiety, happiness, fear and joy. Babies are learning machines. What you and others tell them and do, as well as what happens in the environment they are in, helps shape the mind and personality – the mindset. If you tell a child he or she is dumb, especially in a constant basis, they will hold it to be true for life.
There are two types of mindset – fixed and growth. In the fixed one, the person believes his personality is unchangeable and will be always that way. People with this type of mindset tend to be more negative and insecure, e.g.: if a person somehow believes they are dumb and they have a hard time learning something, they usually say thinks like “I’ll never be good at this” or “I’m so stupid, I knew I wouldn’t understand it”.
On the other hand, the growth mindset show an individual who is aware that he is in constant development and can always learn and improve. They also tend to accept they don’t know everything. They seek ways to change what they find to be limiting them to get where they want. Resilience is also a prevalent characteristic in people with growth mindset.
How to develop a better mindset
First and foremost, you must open your mind to the unknown. Remember, we have a set of limiting beliefs that blind us to foreign concepts, different opinions and positions. You are going to be challenged by your mind all the time. Remember, we have been programmed since before birth through our entire life. After being well aware of that, check out some further tips:
• Knowledge: forget the idea that after college or university there is no more studying. It doesn’t mean going back to the classroom, but learning from books, videos, courses, etc. knowledge is potential power.
• Put what you learn into practice: that’s why knowledge is potential power. It only turns into real power if you use it. Don’t be an intellectual obese.
• Be resilient: some say there are good days and bad days. I would rather say there are always good days and bad moments – don’t let bad moments ruin your day. Life is always going to challenge you and very often you will be the one going to the ground. Just make sure you get back up and carry on.
• Don’t believe everything you mind tells you: always apply self-questioning. The mind is always trying to trick us based on our programing. Question yourself toward the changes you want to make.
• Instead of asking “why is this happening to me?” ask “what is this teaching me?”
• Think of failure as a learning opportunity: you will always make more mistakes than scores, and failure more than succeed. We call it life.
• Have a healthy lifestyle: no need to be a health paranoid. Eat well, rest well, exercise, manage stress and avoid complaining as much as possible.
• Develop emotional intelligence: managing emotions are crucial for having a healthy and successful mindset.
We have seen why most people don’t live the lives they desire, who is to blame and who is the responsible for that. We may blame our upbringing, the environment and life events. Though, we are the only ones to be held accountable for dealing with it. Never outsource your responsibility.
Working on building a great mindset requires time, discipline and patience. It doesn’t happen overnight. Just make sure you are going to bed a little better than when you woke up.
Overtime, you’ll naturally changes that have been making you a better person – at work and life.