Change Your Thoughts and You Change Your World
Mindset is a term that has gained a lot of popular attention in the last few decades amongst the average masses. But what exactly is it? Why should we care? Is it just thinking? Are we born with one mindset or does it change? Are we capable of changing our mindset? How does it affect our lives and our decisions or habits?
And, what do we need to do to change it?
After reading this article you will have a great understanding of the real meaning of the concept and how you can literally apply the saying “change your thoughts and you change your world.”
What is Mindset?
There are many definitions of the term Mindset, such as this one by vocabulary.com: ” mindset is a mental state i.e., how we are thinking or processing “the ” world around us.”
It is the mental framework you approach the world with, including how you view yourself, your relationships, and the things happening around you.
Everyone’s mindset is unique, and it’s something you develop throughout your life based on your experiences and your reactions to those experiences!
It’s essentially the thoughts, beliefs, feelings, fears, background, culture, and ideas all rolled into one that gives context to how you go about living your life.
And while everyone has some kind of mindset and set of personal beliefs about the world, we also have different kinds of thoughts that influence our mindset.
Do we need to care about our Mindset?
Before we dive deeper, I would like to share why I think this is such an important subject.
Like millions of other people around the world, I have dealt with what can be termed mental health issues. Others might relate to these times in their lives as the dark night of the soul. So my apologies if this introduction is a bit more “personal” but I feel by relating my own experience I can relay my passion and experience with this subject.
So here goes……
For decades I thought and behaved in ways I did not understand. My erratic behavior was even more surprising to those around me. I took legal drugs on advice from well-meaning therapists and I abused other substances of my own free will.
I spent far too much time on way too many, caring counselors’ couches, crying my eyes out, begging for an understanding of why I was “programmed differently to others”. Why couldn’t I get a grip on my life? What was the meaning of life? Where was real joy hiding?
Truth be told I didn’t really care for living at times. Many times.
I spent time in clinics, rehabs, and hospitals. I even earned degrees in Psychology and certifications in coaching in an attempt to understand myself.
Are You Doomed to Suffer?
Not one stand-alone treatment helped – but all of it helped, in bits. As I’m not the type to willingly buy into the I’m sick and need drugs story there was a burning desire to figure it out.
Truth be told – I had to sort it out. I had used up all my free passes in life.
I have walked a very long hurtful and negative path, always hiding behind a smile ….but I was sick of it!
Sick of living in that desperate and negative place, of not understanding why I couldn’t seem to feel connected to life; of trying to find answers from well-intentioned people that try as they may aren’t able to give you the answers you need.
I wanted to feel real joy.
Not the temporary “high” feeling you get from material things, or fleeting relationships with people who treat you right for a few moments in time.
Being extremely logical and analytical I guess I needed far more “facts” and proof of what was being suggested to me as a way to “heal”. Maybe more than others do.
So I set about learning all I could about the power of the mind and how mindset shapes our lives.
Therapy helped the left side of my brain accept that thoughts are not things and spirituality helped me embrace the temporary nature of this life.
I wish I could tell you there is an instant cure or “one” right way. There is not.
Rather, it is a slow understanding of how our minds are programmed and our own burning desire to make positive changes in our life.
But ultimately it boils down to – Changing your Mindset about Life.
Nothing external needs to change for this to happen.
I hope this inspires those who are still searching. – so, let’s dig deeper into the above-mentioned questions:
Are you born with a Fixed Mindset?
Research points to the idea that all our ideas, beliefs, and traits are programmed into us before the age of 6 years old. At this early age, we are not able to do our own critical thinking. Our brains get imprinted with everything that is going on around us. At this age, it’s primarily the child’s parents’ or caregivers’ views that have the most influence.
This ultimately becomes our fixed mindset – how we view and relate to the world.
Is our Mindset just our thinking?
Based on the above explanation, it can be said that our mindset is merely just our thinking for a large part of life.
So when young, what we think is what we have been taught to think. We are not aware of the fact that we are capable of thinking differently about things. A young child has no opinions of his/her own. Thoughts have been programmed – as has all of our thinking been influenced.
When you become aware of the fact that not only can you make your own decisions, and express your own opinions about what you want to think, you realize that you are in control of your own mindset. This usually happens as a child gets older and has developed critical thinking abilities. Think of why it is that the teenage years can be so turbulent.
At this point personal opinions develop. However, the person’s deep-seated mindset (in the subconscious) still governs much of the growing person’s thinking.
How does it affect your decisions, habits, and life in general?
Mindset “rules” your life; it is the reason you make the decisions you do.
It’s the reason you have the habits you have.
It is also the reason you stay stuck in negative habits and behaviors even though you know they are not serving you well.
Your life is a reflection of your mindset. If you are experiencing problems in life – be they mild or extreme -you have been taken hostage by your mind.
Two people can have the exact same event occur in their lives – but each person will react differently to the same situation. An example would be a divorce; one person might never get over the event whereas another might celebrate it as if it’s the best thing that has ever happened for them.
Are you capable of changing your mindset?
Wikipedia has a far more comprehensive definition of the term Mindset:
In decision theory and general systems theory, a mindset is a set of assumptions, methods, or notions held by one or more people or groups of people. A mindset can also be seen as arising out of a person’s world view or philosophy of life.
So here mindset is a collection of, amongst other things, sets of assumptions.
But, assumptions are not facts.
We learn these assumptions from everybody and everything we have come into contact with up to that point in our lives.
It is, therefore, logical to conclude that our mindsets are not rigid and unchangeable. Rather, mindsets are changeable. This is great news!
If and what you decide to change it to, is however up to you.
How to Create a New Mindset
If your choice is to create a more “Abundant”, “Healthy”, or “Positive” mindset, you have to recognize that this has nothing to do with your outward perception of your reality.
You need to cultivate these thoughts (along with feelings) – no matter what circumstance you find yourself in presently.
It is a process that can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it.
However, as with any new way of thinking it will take a bit of time and practice to rewire your thought processes.
There are various tools such as meditation, visualization, affirmations, journaling, etc that can be used to assist you with this transition.
Do You have a Growth Mindset?
To sum up
My intention with this post is to convey that if you are struggling with any negative situations or feelings in your life, you are capable of turning them around.
Having eventually climbed out of that dark hole myself I know the magnitude of the task.
It takes a lot of tries, a lot of courage, and a lot of forgiving, but I can attest to the fact that – Change Your Thoughts and You Change Your World – but is oh so worth it on the other side.
Remember, there are no mistakes in the universe and you are here on purpose and exactly who and where you need to be right now.
Mindset is an important part of what makes us “human”.
Take the time to understand what it actually is, how it developed, and how to change it and consequently your life.
Not only is this interesting but if you want to change anything in your current life, it is very worthwhile.
Too often we spend more time taking more care of our outer appearance than we do our mental health. The real irony is that if you cultivate the correct mindset, your perception of your outer appearance will automatically be taken care of.
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Change Your Thoughts and You Change Your World