Your mindset can be one of the hardest things to change. This is mainly due to the way that we arrive at our mindsets. Mindsets are often formed because of our upbringing, culture, life experiences, and beliefs. Mindsets tend to be deep seated and can often be a challenge to change.
I wanted to take a moment to discuss mindsets because you must be aware of the mindsets that you hold when considering how you respond (or not) to change. Let us explore a few mindsets.
Optimistic vs. Pessimistic. The optimist sees life through rose colored glasses. Everything is good, and if something bad happens, the belief is that things will get better. The pessimist believes that everything is always dark and bleak and if, by chance, something good does happen, they will believe that is a fluke. When the subject of making any type of change comes up, it will take more effort for person with a pessimistic mindset because the first battle will be the negative outlook on the change. You would have to get past this negative outlook before you could begin to take the steps to make the change.
Immediate success vs. Process. This is one that I am currently working on. The conflicting mindsets of a persons who wants overnight success versus the person that feels that everything is a process and success is attained one step at a time. The good thing is that no matter what the desired change is, a person with each of these mindsets will try. The person with the mindset that everything is a process will be more likely to succeed as they will understand that setbacks and bad days are a part of the process of change. The person who believes in overnight success will be more likely to quit at the first setback or if the change comes too slowly.
Hard work vs. Lucky break. There are those who believe that success comes from hard work. These individuals understand that change is a process but that it also involved hard work. Anything worth having normally involves some kind of hard work. The person who feels like success only comes by the luck of the draw will not truly try to make a change. If a half-hearted attempt at change is made and they fail, they will assume that the change was not meant for them. I see this a lot when people speak of professional goals. Some people believe in working hard to get the recognition needed to obtain a promotion. Others believe that it is all about who you know, and skills and knowledge does not really matter.
Let us consider these mindsets in the context of change. Can you really be successful with a diet if you believe all success should be immediate and that you will not have setbacks? Can you realistically begin to work towards a dream or a goal if you believe that successful people are only successful because of who they know and not because of hard work? Here are a few ways that you can change your mindset to see the change that you are working so hard for.
- Clarify what you want to change. It is important that you know the why behind your need to change your mindset. If you can identify the reason behind the change in mindset, the change is more likely to last.
- Make the decision to change. This sounds like a lot like the first point but there is a slight difference. The first point is speaking to knowing why you should change – this point is you deciding to change. Many of us can know the benefits of a change and still not decide to make the change. So, a definitive decision to make a change is necessary.
- Challenge your thoughts. Any type of change can be hard and changing a mindset is no different. When old thoughts that are connected to old habits begin to push their way in, it is imperative that you make a conscious effort to push back against those thoughts and focus on your new positive thoughts.
- Give yourself a break. Mindsets were not formed overnight, and they will be not be changed overnight. Give yourself room to have a set back if you go slip to your old mindset and ways. Just be conscious of this, reset, and move forward.
- Change actions. Operate in the actions of your new mindset even if you are still working to completely change your mindset. If you have determined that the change is your mindset is needed, begin to act as if your mindset is already changed. It may feel unnatural at first, but you will eventually begin to walk in your new mindset and habits will begin to change.
What mindset pattern or patterns do you fall into? What do you think can help you come out of it?
Join me next time where I will be discussing lifestyle changes.