“Every thought we think and every word we speak is creating our future.” – Louise L. Hay
A year ago, I came to a huge realisation through my studies that mind set is everything. Our brain is programmed to think a certain way, but the crazy thing is individuals have the power to re-program their brain to think a certain way.
I remember how I used to think; it was always, “People suck”. I was constantly focusing on the bad side of humanity, so that was all I could see. It cast a shadow, which took the joy out of life. It should have been obvious that I was creating my own misery, but I wasn’t able to see how my own thoughts affected my mood.
We all know there are certain situations in life that we are not going to be able to control; the only thing we can control is our mind set. I have reprogrammed my limited beliefs and rebooted my old mind set, and I cannot emphasise more on the incredible positive change that happened in my personal and professional life.
In fact negative impact of setbacks in your work is three times more powerful in affecting motivation than positive progress. It’s just easier to remember the bad stuff that has happened to you during the day than the good. So why is it, that our brains have such a negativity bias? The reason is quite simple: They’re actually wired to pay more attention to negative experiences. It’s a self-protective characteristic. We are scanning for threats from when we used to be hunter and gatherers. But such vigilance for negative information can cause a narrowing, downward spiral and a negative feedback loop that doesn’t reflect reality.
These are some of the things I did to change my mind set and my life:
- Challenge your thoughts
When old thinking comes up, as it will, it’s not enough to try and ignore it. We need to challenge our beliefs.
Is everything too expensive, or is it just that I can’t afford it? Did “your boss suck,” or am I just looking for things to criticize?
Weigh your thoughts against the evidence. If they crumble under scrutiny, then explore why you believe them in the first place. By challenging your thoughts, your mind set will begin to evolve.
- Seek positive friends
A negative social circle will act as an echo chamber for bad ideas. A positive social circle will also act as an echo chamber, but one that supports your dreams, so choose your friends carefully.
Find people who reflect the values you want to adopt. Join groups online and go to networking or social events focused on personal growth. As your own mind starts to change, it’ll become easier to connect with more positive people.
Volunteering to help other people can make a huge impact on how you feel about yourself and your view of the world.
By focusing on how you can help someone else, you’ll draw your attention away from your own woes. It becomes easy to develop a positive mind set when you’re looking for new ways to make someone else’s situation better.
You can’t focus on the bad while focusing on the good.
- Write out your action plan
This is about looking at possibilities and then doing something to make it happen. Forward thinking will move your focus away from where you don’t want to be to where could be.
But it’s not enough to simply write it out, because we only grow when we take action. It’s just a thought until we do something to make it happen.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy body will support a healthy mind. During the most difficult time of my personal struggles, bad health was a major obstacle. Chronic fatigue could wipe me out for whole days.
Look at how you sleep, what you eat, and your activity levels to identify anything that could be sapping your energy. Sometimes laziness is just fatigue.
Lastly, I believe and I practice that if you are able to train your mind to see the good in every situation then this is what will determine your happiness.
“Happiness is a work ethic . . . . It’s something that requires our brains to train just like an athlete has to train.”