How do we modify our mindset to remove negative roadblocks? We transform our mindset through belief system modification and behavior change. Sounds simple, right? Not so much. The mindset can be modified, but it is a long-term commitment. Consider your mindset as a seed for a garden of positive beliefs and behaviors, which means it needs continuous attention. Each day we make choices as to how we wish to represent ourselves, so consider your mindset as the compass and captain of your journey. Cultivating positive change will require you to address bigger issues, such as self-awareness and self-worth. You have every tool you need to create lasting change - which includes acceptance and forgiveness of past beliefs ingrained since childhood. Remember, you are the creator of your present and future circumstances, so put your captain’s hat on, and go!
Our belief system is what shapes our everyday actions and choices, but what shaped that belief system? Factors such as childhood, society, and life experience all shape our belief system. If you haven’t yet addressed why you believe what you do, or make the choices you make, take some time to address this aspect of your life with honesty and kindness.
Consider providing yourself a clean slate from which to define your own belief system. Previous experiences are helpful, but release yourself from the expectations of others. Take a moment to address aspects of your life which may hinder your personal growth, and challenge yourself to see from different perspectives.
Compose your personal mission statement: This statement includes your values and intentions. What are you passionate about, and how can you move your passion into actionable choices and behaviors? Integrate aspects of integrity, humility, gratitude, and accountability (IHGA) into your statement, as these attributes are a projection of who you are to yourself and those around you.
Realign your priorities with your passion: What is it you really want to accomplish in this lifetime? Our priorities change over time, but what we are passionate about motivates and moves us forward. If you’re passionate about something, and you’re working in the opposite direction, there will be mental and physical consequences. Direct your intentions and actions to the things which bring you joy. Incorporate your personal mission into your priorities, and put your passion into action.
Practice mindfulness: Bringing awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, is the practice of mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness is linked to higher well-being, and will assist in retraining your brain for a mindset shift. We can plan for the future, but it is essential to live in the present. If you’re moving through a difficult time, be mindful of the wonder around you. Small moments, such as a smile from your child’s face, the beauty of a neighbor’s rose garden, or the simple act of taking a walk in the sunshine are powerful. These mindful moments help shift our perspectives, and flex positive mindset muscles.
It’s one thing to decide you want a mindset shift and belief system reboot. It’s another to see them to fruition. Long-term behavior change takes time, so be prepared for those roadblocks. However, be boldly curious about why those roadblock are in place, and modify your perspective to see these simply as speed bumps.
Cultivate a positive inner dialogue: Not much growth comes from a negative inner dialogue. Negative inner dialogue can lead to rumination, anxiety, and even depression. If you’ve struggled with low self-esteem, seek professional assistance to create a positive sense of self. If you have toxic relationships, consider surrounding yourself with positive people who will encourage you to be your best, and to live authentically. Each time you hear your negative inner dialogue, immediately switch it to a positive narrative. Short and simple mantras are mindset shifting tools, so embrace a few, and use them often. Here are a few to help you get started:
- I choose an abundant life
- I am deserving of love
- I am grateful for my life
Replace reaction with pause: Too often we are in a reactive state. When our body is in a reactive (fight or flight) state, our bodies release stress hormones, which have a negative effect on our mental and physical health. Consider practicing pause to reduce reactive behavior. It can be difficult to be still or quiet when you feel the need to act or respond. However, embracing pause can benefit your mind and body. Next time you feel the need to react, ask yourself three questions:
- Am I acting or saying something out of frustration or anger?
- Am I listening with the intention to collaborate and problem-solve? Or, am I in a state of ego - needing to be heard, or right?
- Will what I do or say increase a positive outcome?
Learn from failure: Even the most powerful people have seen moments of failure. Walt Disney was fired from his first cartoonist job because he “lacked imagination and original ideas.” Attempt to reframe mistakes as solutions in suspension; they help us recognize what isn’t working, along with revealing what might work better. Stay curious and confident in what it is you wish to accomplish, but be open to unexpected experiences which help build resiliency, humility, and emotional intelligence.
Modifying your mindset through belief system and behavior change can bring past difficulties to the surface, so remember you’re not alone while moving through this change. Seek assistance from health professionals, such as a behavioral health counselor, or life coach. Take as much time as you need to shift your mindset, and remain curious about what tools work best for you. Stay mindful of how you’re perceiving the world around you, and reframe when needed. Improving your life experience has no finish line, so slow down, breathe, and keep your mindset focused on living your best life!