“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Are you struggling to live your best each day?
Are you treading through life with the same mindset that no longer serve you today?
Mindset or belief system – call it what you may – is something that can motivate you forward and prevents you from looping in a lifestyle that you are fed up with. A wrong mindset eventually becomes a “stuck pattern” because it will impede your growth and prevent you from changing for the better.
Beliefs are like a double-edged sword. They have the power to create and the power to destroy. They are the thoughts in your head that influence your behavior, attitude, and actions.
And these are thoughts that you would believe to be the absolute truth. Beliefs are a reflection of your inner being.
Your mindset is the sum of all your beliefs, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. Hence, your view of the world and everything in it are a culmination of your subconscious belief system.
This is the core of who you are.
You can have empowering beliefs that will elevate your life and help you thrive. You can also have limiting beliefs that will prevent you from achieving your goals.
Limiting beliefs tend to stop you from moving forward and growing on both a personal and professional level.
Your attitude has an impact on your life and the decisions you make. Make sure you’re in the right frame of mind to get where you want to go.
Of course, you’d have to know where you’re going in the first place.
Before you make any changes, let’s look at some beliefs that may have a major influence on your daily life.
Here are seven prevalent beliefs/mindsets that may be preventing you from progressing in your life:
This one frequently stems from a low sense of self-worth and the belief that success is destined for someone else, not you.
Despite the fact that having this mindset is never a good thing, many people are trapped in it for years.
Unfortunately, many people are not fortunate enough to wake up from this mental conditioning. This mindset most probably took place during their childhood years.
But who decides what you deserve?
Who is responsible for your happiness?
Look in the mirror and you will find your answer there.
That’s right. It is up to you. You are as deserving as the next person of having the dream life that you desire.
But in order to get into a “deserving” mode, you would need to make a mindset shift.
You would need to believe that you are deserving of all the good fortune, happiness, and success in the world.
If you’ve been burdened by guilt, hurt, or trauma in the past, it’s time to let it go.
There will always be circumstances beyond your control. But this does not mean that you can point a finger at something or someone in your situation.
In order for things to get better, you must be able to accept responsibility for events in your life. Whether these events are positive or negative, the first thing you need to do is assume responsibility for them.
This doesn’t mean you assume that it is your fault. First of all, make sure you do not shift the blame away from you onto others. It’s all too easy to point the finger at your parents, teachers, and friends for why your life is the way it is.
Playing the victim and blaming life’s circumstances for your situation will not help. It might make it more difficult, if not impossible, to make the positive changes in your life.
Once you are able to break free from this mindset, you can begin to change for the better.
Renowned self-help guru, Tony Robbins, would probably give someone looking to make a positive change the following advice:
“Your past is NOT equal to your future”
Yet many people are stuck in the past with the “this is who I am” mental state. The past is just a place for you to revisit to learn from your past mistakes and experiences.
However, the future is a place where you can create anything you want based on your current decisions and actions.
Most people who are trapped in this attitude believe that how they were in the past is how they are now. They would believe that everything was set in stone and that nothing could be changed.
However, this is as far away from the truth as you can ever get. Your future does not have to look like your past.
Unless you allow it to.
Your Past ≠ Your Future
(I know I just mentioned it, but I really want you to think about it).
Change is the only thing constant and people change all the time.
Robbins also said that:
“The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.”
The fastest way to growth and self-improvement is to embrace the fact that you are an ever-changing being.
When you empower yourself to make positive changes, you’ll be on your way to greener pastures and a brighter future.
“The mind is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones.”
Negative events and experiences get quickly stored in memory. Positive events and experiences, on the other hand, take a longer time to move from short-term memory to long-term storage.
This is known as negativity bias. You are more likely to focus on things that go wrong than on those that go right.
This often leads to the “nothing ever works out my way” mindset.
Negativity bias has been hardwired into the human brain because negative stimuli play a useful role in survival. Without this bias, our cave-dwelling ancestors would not have survived threats such as saber-toothed tigers and natural disasters.
Negativity is already “implanted” in our consciousness. So, the next logical step is to be mindful of it. Only then will new and effective mindsets develop.
To overcome this bias, you must deliberately focus your attention on the positive things that are present in your life. And reinforce the positives in your life by celebrating small wins.
Big goals don’t often happen overnight. Hence, celebrating the seemingly small (but significant) victories triggers the reward circuitry in your brain.
The celebration also keeps you focused on your ultimate prize.
Another way to feel more positive emotions is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. When you express gratitude frequently, it promotes positive emotions, helps you sleep better, and may even strengthen your immune system.
The truth is, there is no such thing as the “right moment”. Those stuck in this mindset are typically hesitant to act because they believe the time is not yet right.
The “waiting for the right moment” mindset is common among compulsive perfectionists. Striving to be perfect often leads to unproductive habits and unrealistic expectations.
When you are always striving for perfection, you often end up on a never-ending path of procrastination.
This mindset of perfectionism is not about striving to be your best. Instead, it is a fear-driven train of thought that stems from a lack of self-confidence.
Because if you strive for perfection, you will never feel accomplished.
Fortunately, perfectionism is not a death sentence. You can work slowly towards a mindset of excellence.
While perfectionism says “nothing but perfect is good enough,” excellence says “do the best you can with what you have.”
Stop beating yourself up if things don’t work out “perfectly” as you would expect them to be. Work towards excellence, for it is something that can be attained.
Although achieving excellence involves a willingness to do whatever it takes, it is attainable. All it takes is dedication, persistence, and the right focus.
This way of thinking happens when you are stuck in a comfort zone. You are satisfied with the status quo but fear the unknown.
While staying in your comfort zone is safe and easy, your personal growth will be stifled. According to neuroscientists, the learning center of the brain shuts down when you engage in repeated and predictable tasks.
So how do you prevent this mindset from stifling your personal and professional growth?
Try changing your daily routine. Even an activity as simple as taking another route to work can jolt your brain into learning mode.
The fastest way to get out of your comfort zone is to “ease” yourself into some new experiences. Learning a new skill, starting a new project, or starting a fitness regimen can all expand your life’s possibilities.
Thinking that you don’t know enough or are not good enough is a result of your own self-talk. It is your self-belief that determines who you are and what you are good at.
You often think that nothing you do will ever be good enough. This leads to self-doubts, which will limit your capacity to believe in yourself.
It will also keep you from reaching your full potential. you might inevitably suffer from a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.
To prevent this destructive mindset from taking your life into a downward spiral, pay more attention to your self-dialogue.
Becoming aware of your internal dialogues is a great first step towards regaining control of your life. Take note of the language being used in your negative self-dialogue.
When you begin to replace those negative dialogues with positive affirmations, positive change will begin to happen in your life.
Besides a negative internal dialogue, self-doubt is another mindset that can bring you down. This usually occurs when you lack confidence or feel incapable of doing the things you need to do.
To overcome doubts about your ability and self-worth, turn your attention to your uniqueness. Start to recognize what makes you unique and look at the qualities you have that make you who you are.
As no two people on the planet are alike, this makes you a special person. So, start by accepting who you are and giving yourself unconditional love.
In your quest to pursue happiness, satisfaction, and the life that you desire, be aware of a common misconception:
The belief that your source of happiness is outside you.
You can’t control what’s going on in the world, and you can’t influence external situations that are beyond your control.
In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master, spiritual leader, poet and peace activist:
“What you are looking for is already in you…You already are everything you are seeking.”
Now that you are able to identify seven common disempowering mindsets, it’s time to have a mindset shift.
Mindsets are just something within you that can be altered by shifting your thoughts.
What is within your control are your thoughts. And that is all you need in order to create a positive change in your life.
So, start taking action today.
For action comes after behavior, and behavior comes after thought.