Your mindset is the motherboard for your life. It is the main circuit board and belief system that everything is attached to and it stores and sends data between all the vital components like your thoughts, opinions, feelings, and attitude about a person or experience. Your mindset also has a sub-system that processes and filters this information through your output or your interpretation and response to a situation or event. According to psychologist, Dr. Carol Dweck you either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Dweck explains that from the beginning of our lives we begin to develop one or the other through messages that we receive from a multitude of outside influences. Influences such as family, teachers, employers, friends, coaches, and society as a whole. Messages given to us over time that have been both positive and negative have had an affect on our mindset in some way. The fixed mindset is where we believe that the qualities and traits we possess are inherently at their best, and therefore we are at our best and cannot change. The growth mindset is where we look at each experience as an opportunity to learn and grow and improve upon ourselves at every level. There are various reasons why we choose to stay in one mindset over another. As with most things, we get comfortable with what we know and change can be scary. Another reason is we might not be aware of how to change, or where to even begin. The good news, is we can choose to change our mindset at anytime. While working on developing my own growth mindset, these are some of the tools that I have found to be extremely helpful.
1.) Daily Gratitude - Starting each day with gratitude might sound overly simplistic, but it has been a powerful exercise that has had a profound impact on my happiness and outlook on life. I begin each day by naming at least three things that I am grateful for and my only stipulation is that nothing is off limits. The point is, name something. It can quite literally be anything that you can imagine. The more I have practiced this exercise, the easier it has become. Happiness researcher and best selling author, Shawn Achor shares his work in linking gratitude to our overall sense of well being and the positive ripple effect it can have on many aspects of our lives.
2.) Inner Chatter Awareness- Ever hear that voice inside you that is constantly going on
and on about everything? That voice is your permanent roommate and one that cannot be evicted or removed, no matter how hard you try. Getting to know that voice is imperative to the progress of developing a growth mindset. It was one of the most insightful discoveries in my self development as it connected me to me and by simply bringing awareness to this inner dialogue it allowed me to identify the tone and the language that I was using. Once I was tuned in, I began to take note that the voice was more critical and negative than it was positive. I knew this stemmed from an outdated belief system that no longer fit me and as I began to work on reshaping it, I saw a huge difference. You can change that inner voice if it isn’t serving you well, but first you must become aware of it.
3.)Power Of Words - Understanding the power of your words and the colossal impact they have on your life is integral. Words hold enormous weight because of their ability to create as well as their ability to destroy. We use them as a tool to communicate, but often take for granted their magnitude. Words create thoughts, feelings, and emotions that tell stories, ultimately manifesting your reality. Words are used everywhere, they are spoken and heard, written and read, they say everything about you, your life, and the life you are creating. I wasn’t aware of how loosely I was throwing my words around and the narrative that I was telling about my life until I started to really pay attention. I realized the story I was telling no longer aligned with my current identity and it needed to change. Simply ask yourself this question, Are my words helping or hurting? Let your words support you by telling a new story, a story that speaks to who you are today or who you are becoming. If it is not accurate, then change it. The following words were quoted by Mahatma Ghandi.
4.) Embrace Imperfect - The truth is, perfectionism is a standard so high, that it is impossible to achieve no matter how hard you try. It is the root of self sabotage and the killer of all happiness and joy. I was tired of chasing the impossible and for this reason, I broke up with perfectionism. This gave me the freedom to create and the courage to try new things. It helped me realize that done was better than perfect, because perfect didn't get done. By embracing imperfect, I also embraced the experience of making mistakes even when I knew I might fail, because failure is a new opportunity to do something better. I like to refer to these experiences as, my “beautiful katastrophies” which are mistakes that have resulted in remarkable lessons.
5.) Celebrate Your Progress - Often times we delay celebrating our successes because we have this notion that it must be a major win in order for us to celebrate.
As a result we become discouraged, we lose motivation and in some cases, we quit altogether.
Identifying small wins along the way has helped me stay committed, consistent and motivated with plenty of momentum to keep me on track. At first, this exercise was extremely difficult for me to do because I was an expert in finding the things that had gone wrong, but the more I practiced the easier it became.
Celebrating what you have done well reminds you that progress is happening and helps to keep you committed to the process of achieving and becoming what you desire.
Your mindset can be rebooted by accepting the idea that your belief system isn't static. Awareness is the first step in the process of creating change and developing a growth mindset. Start small with one minute each day and bring awareness to you, your thoughts and an intentional action that will support your growth. One mindful minute at a time can create movement. One mindful minute done consistently over time can create change. Reboot, it only takes a minute!