Are your mindsets working for you or against you?
Your whole experience of life originates from your thinking. The mindsets you have formed are central to how you interact, respond and view life as they create the lens through which you see and perceive the world. It makes sense therefore to try to adopt mindsets that improve your quality of life rather than diminish it.
Here are ten powerful and positive ways of thinking that you can start right away that which will make your life easier and more rewarding.
1. Put it down and let it go.
So often we carry things for hours, days, weeks, months and even years longer than we need to. We can even carry stuff that doesn’t belong to us. Get into the habit of checking in with your mind, pay attention to what you’re thinking about. The moment you realise that you need to put a thought down then simply focus on your breath or focus your awareness on a task for a few mindful moments. If you keep doing this you will soon re-train your mind and stop the habit of dwelling on things.
Forgiveness is about your well-being. It is not about condoning someone else’s behaviour. It is the process by which you set yourself free from:
- not knowing what you know now
- giving away your power
- having poor boundaries
- poor or disastrous choices
- who you became and what you did in order to survive
- trauma and pain
- hurting other’s
- past behaviour you might feel guilty or ashamed of
- what you suffered at the hands of another or others
As Maya Angelou’s beautiful quote says, ‘forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learnt it.’ Practicing forgiveness enables you to set yourself free to unshackle yourself from chains that bind and restrict you. Sitting and writing out your feelings is a great start to forgiving yourself as it clarifies your thoughts as is cathartic in itself. Then there are specialist books on the subject by Colin Tippin, Barbara. J. Hunt and Louise Hay.
3. Flow with the way of things
Buddha said attachment is the root of all suffering. We see attachment playing out in our lives whenever we get into the tussle between ‘how it is,’ versus ‘how you want it to be.’ If you can start to practice the mindset of flowing with ‘how it is,’ regardless of your opinion you will free yourself from a great deal of mental and emotional anguish. Whenever you become aware of any resistance with ‘how it is say to yourself, ‘I am going to flow with this.’ Often what we resist persists so adopting the mindset of surrender also has a profound effect in not creating more consequences unfolding. It’s also worth mentioning that not getting what you want often turns out to be a positive. Often when we are able to lookback with the power of hindsight we can see that NOT getting what we wanted was the best result.
4. Your words and thoughts have creative power.
Every book on abundance or the law of attraction will repeat the phrase, ‘where thought flows energy goes.” It is one of the laws of the universe. Basically what you focus on is what you move towards and what you will get more of.
So the important question then is what are you giving your attention and energy to? Are you focused on abundance or scarcity. Ironically we often spend more time thinking about what is wrong than what is right, on what we don’t have rather than what we do – viewed through the lens of the law of attraction this is going to perpetuate everything you don’t want!
Become an observer of your mind. Notice what you are thinking and recognise that your words and thoughts have creative power and are frequencies of energy that your body and the universe is listening and responding to.
Set your intention and energy on what you want, focus on the good stuff, dwell on the positives. You can tell you mind what you want it to focus on – and the more you do it the easier this becomes.
5. You can’t please everyone.
So many of us want others to be happy for us and for those around us to understand and support the choices we make. Maybe it’s time to question who you go to for approval, how supportive they are and whether this is still working for you? It is a life skill to be able to stand in your own power and make the decisions that are right for you regardless of what those around you think. You will never please everyone and maybe now is the time to stop trying.
6. You create your happiness
Many of us are under the illusion that happiness pops up like a Spring bulb when in truth, for the most part, we have to cultivate our own happiness. Like a garden it has to be nurtured and tended. We have to make time for our well-being, we have to create the space for happiness. What makes your soul sing? Who makes you smile? What hobbies and activities restore your spirits? This is where happiness can be found – are you giving these things enough of your time? When you look after yourself in this way and honour your needs you will naturally feel more contented which in turn helps you to enjoy a more positive mindset.
7. Count your blessings
Much has been written about the benefits of practising gratitude but we can’t look at mindsets and not cover this important topic. Research has shown that practising gratitude can re-wire the brain to actively seek out the good. An easy way to begin is to start by noticing new things you are grateful for each and every day. You can write them out in a gratitude journal. Smile more often. Notice the beauty in nature each day. Nurture the friendships you have. Tell those you love how much appreciate them. Dedicate one day a week to not complaining or moaning. Anything that empowers you to see the good and be the change you want to see in the world.
8. Pain is your greatest teacher
Negative emotions and challenging times are your greatest teachers. If you start to consider that there are no failures, no errors only the opportunity for self-discovery and learning you can flip your mindset immediately. Replace, “why is this happening to me,” with, “what is this teaching me” and you immediately have a very empowering mindset.
9. The bigger picture
It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of life and lose perspective so it is very important to expand your vision and see the bigger picture. Stepping into nature, walking in the woods, looking up at the stars even sitting in your garden or the park with your feet on the grass are all great ways to connect with the universe. When you do this you expands your consciousness and mindset. Practising meditation and mindfulness does the same. Modern life tends to pull us away from magic and mystery of life and we can forget that we are one with the amazing cosmos and power of the universe. Plugging yourself into the source, whatever you conceive this to be, is a powerful way to connect heaven with earth as well as remember that you are mind, body and spirit. It is useful sometimes to remember that the universe is unfolding as it should and that handing over your trust to the bigger forces at hand can be a huge comfort.
Cultivating a mindset of compassion is one of the most powerful tools available to you. You can begin simply by noticing when you are judgemental, critical and unkind not only to others but also to yourself. Practising compassion is not about being foolish or foolhardy, it is not about allowing people to abuse you. It is about having your eyes wide open, seeing the world clearly but choosing to respond with compassion. Tolerance, kindness, patience, tenderness and being heart centred are all expressions of compassion – it is after all an aspect of love.
Most people who hurt others and are destructive or toxic are actually deeply damaged souls (whether they realise this or not). It is vital that you can keep your boundaries firm and are wise in all your dealings with them – we are not suggesting you behave in such a way that you get yourself wounded. Such people require you to have firm and healthy boundaries but you can put these in place with compassion in your heart rather than bitterness. Compassion can be a tangible gesture audibly or visibly delivered, it can also be a private internal practice or intention.
Your mindsets dictate your quality of life including your happiness and well-being. Once you realise a certain mindset you have isn’t helpful you can begin the process of changing it. We hope that you like the ten mindsets set out here and that they help you to start making the changes you’d like to see in your life.
It’s worth mentioning that we build most, if not all, of our mindsets and belief systems as children. Looking at your childhood can be incredibly revealing, so too can looking at the patterns and behaviour of those who were around you! Are you mirroring a parent? Did school, an event or a period of life create a certain way of thinking that then established a mindset?
Most of us, at some point, will come across a really unhelpful mindset, some can even be very counterproductive! For example the young version of you might have felt let down and decided, ‘I can’t trust people,’ the mindset that then emerged was, ‘I will keep myself safe by not allowing people close to me.’ Whilst this worked for you as a child or a teenager it’s likely this does not serve you as an adult. If that’s the case additional work on healing your past will be very liberating.
This is all a journey of self discovery so we hope that you can embrace yourself with compassion and curiosity as you explore how you tick. Try to avoid guilt, remorse and regret. Focus instead on growth and transformation so that you can be the best version of yourself.
We wish you the very best.
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Fiona and Gavin