“It’s all in your head.”
How often have you heard that phrase? People dismiss entire phobias, mental health issues, and personal preferences with those words. To an extent, they’re right. Our brain does indeed rule our entire body, and it doesn’t always act in our best interests. But working against what our brain wants is no small task, especially if our minds are firmly entrenched in a negative mindset.
Getting into a negative mindset is shockingly easy, and it’s an idea our brain struggles to let go. We automatically think, “I can’t do this.” or, “I’m not good enough.”
So, how can you get around this? Is this a fight you can really win? Let’s talk about three mindset changes to take control of your body and your destiny.
Your Mindset: The Make or Break Element to Success
In theory, we know that our mindset has the power to make us succeed - or not. Our brains are constantly talking, filling our minds with chatter, ideas, images, and subconscious ideals. Not all of these things are positive. In fact, about 80% of our thoughts every day are negative. And ultimately, this is going to affect your outlook on life.
Childhood issues can strongly shape your mindset as well. If you grew up feeling as if you weren’t good enough, and you were never going to succeed, that feeling will carry on into adulthood. Unless, of course, you take conscious steps to change your mindset.
With a positive mindset, we’re more likely to take chances, to push ourselves further, and to tell ourselves we really do deserve that thing we want. What should we focus on to reset our mindset?
Powerful or Powerless?
Whether we have a powerful or powerless mindset depends on how active or passive we are. A passive mindset is easy - we allow things to happen to us. Other people or circumstances orchestrate our lives, and we just go with the flow. This gives the feeling of a lack of control. You might feel that your life is slipping away, that you’re living a life you don’t care for, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
People with a powerless mindset tend to blame others or external forces. You might blame your teachers, your coworkers, or your employers. You could even start blaming your friends and family for your dissatisfaction with your life.
While these factors certainly do have an impact on our lives, the point here is to take responsibility. This is your life, and you can change it as you wish. Take ownership of your problems, and create your own solutions. Accountability is key - making excuses will only hurt yourself.
Of course, this isn’t easy. Taking ownership of your life (and the problems that come along with it!) takes courage, and making changes can be scary. That’s fine. Even if you start making changes one small step at a time, that’s still progress.
A negative mindset seeps into the cracks of our minds, sticking to the corners and refusing to go away. It’s like trying to clean away a stubborn stain. Difficult, but not impossible.
Past problems and traumatic situations make negative mindsets even more difficult to remove. They’re often accompanied by mental issues, such as depression and/or anxiety. You may need to spend some time reframing your thoughts, cutting yourself off when you say or think something negative about yourself.
Harmful negative thoughts are usually along the same lines: You’re not good enough. You’re a bad person. You don’t deserve to be happy. You can’t do this.
When you become conscious of these thoughts, make an effort to turn them around. Tell yourself: I am good enough. I’m not a bad person. I deserve to be happy. I can do this.
Understand that these bad thoughts are just one of countless ideas swirling around in your brain. You don’t need to focus on them, and you certainly shouldn’t believe them.
At first, it can seem as if these are just words, and you don’t really believe them. Reframing your thoughts takes time, and it’s important to keep it up. Think of yourself as a close friend or family member. Would you tell a loved one: “You’re not good enough, you don’t deserve to be happy”? Of course not! So why should you say it to yourself?
Change Is Possible
Discouragement is going to happen. Going through life assuming that you’ll never feel down or experience setbacks is a recipe for heartbreak. The danger here is that you can start to feel paralysed. You may feel trapped, or stuck in your situation, and start believing that nothing will ever change.
Start by reassuring yourself that change is possible. However, it’s not enough to simply hope that things will be different one day. You need to take action.
Look at your situation and analyze the problem. What do you want to change? How can you do it? It may take a few tries to come up with an action plan that works.
The key here is positive reinforcement. If you’re able to make a change before, you will feel more confident in your own abilities in the future.
Can You Really Change Your Mindset?
Self belief is elusive. Growing up as a woman, you may have been taught that ambition is unattractive, that self-confidence is arrogance, and most of your dreams are out of your reach.
This isn’t true. Learning to love yourself and fighting off a negative mindset is a key element to happiness. But shifting your mindset doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work and patience, and you’re probably going to experience setbacks. You might need to constantly reassess yourself, reminding yourself of who you are and what you’ve achieved in the past. However, once you get into a positive mindset, you’ll quickly learn that nothing is beyond your reach.