There’s a pretty popular meme floating around the internet that explains our mindset extremely well, which features a cartoon drawing of two people sitting on either side of a bus. One person is sad because the only thing they can see out their window is a rock wall, whereas the other person, who is sitting across the aisle of the same bus, is happy and looking out at the ocean. Now, this meme obviously simplifies this whole thing a ton, and you really just need to take it as a surface-level explanation (aka, assume there isn’t more going on in the one person’s life than their inability to turn their head and look out the opposite window). But it does explain the concept of perception pretty well: when you get fixated on the not-so-great, that’s all you’re going to see.
Our perception and our mindset shape the entire world around us. Think about your drive to work when you’re happy versus when you’re tired or upset – you’ll likely feel more forgiving or calmer when you’re feeling good, to begin with. Your mindset is sort of like fancy little glasses that you can put to accentuate all of the great (or the not-so-great) things life has to offer. Our goal is to locate the glasses that show us the great things.
Being human means that we’re going to experience a wide variety of emotions and feelings on any given day, and it’s important to acknowledge that that is okay. Mindset shifts aren’t about trying to force yourself to be constantly happy all the time but rather to help you focus on the opportunities for growth and possibilities. Without even realizing it, we can quickly turn into the number one thing standing in our own way. Mindset shifts are about understanding that there is so much the world has to offer and that you deserve to live your dream life.
Also read: 10 Tips for Attracting Your Dream Life
5 Simple Mindset Shifts
Pay attention to the “I can’t’s”
Your brain is always listening to what you’re saying and files it away as the truth. When you’re constantly telling yourself that you can’t do something, such as passing a test or getting a date, you’re brain basically files that away as “got it! We can’t pass a test or get a date, got it!” Telling yourself that you can’t do something is sort of like setting yourself up for failure, and that just doesn’t feel good. Instead, try to focus on the things that you can do. You CAN study hard to give yourself the best opportunity to do well. You CAN continue to work on yourself to feel fulfilled and whole when you meet someone else. Focusing on the things we can do keeps the power in our own hands and can act as a confidence boost to achieve our dreams.
Ditch the word “should”
The word should is almost always associated with something that we’re feeling obligated to do but don’t necessarily want to. “I should do laundry,” “I should work out,” “I should go grocery shopping before the store gets busy.” Nobody likes to feel pressured or obligated to do something, even if we know it’s something that would benefit us. Try replacing the word should with could. “I could do laundry,” “I could work out,” “I could go grocery shopping before the store gets busy.” This will help you to feel empowered and improve your outlook on your decision.
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Look for opportunities to learn
Nobody will ever know everything, which is there are experts that we can go to when we need specialized knowledge. For example, when your arm is hurting, you’ll go to a doctor, when your car is making a funny sound, you’ll go to a mechanic. Admitting that you don’t know something isn’t a bad thing at all because it would be impossible to know everything. However, leaving it at that, and never striving for more can easily make us feel stuck. Instead of focusing on what you don’t know, try to shift your mindset to focus on what you could learn. For example, instead of saying, “I don’t know how to date anymore,” try shifting your focus to, “I’m learning how to date during a global pandemic.”
Add the word yet
Let’s circle back to the first point for a second to remind you that your brain is constantly listening. When you focus on the things you don’t have, your brain will look for confirmations to prove it. Adding in the word yet acknowledges that it hasn’t happened, but it keeps your faith that it will happen. This could look like “I can’t afford my dream car yet,” or “I haven’t met anyone decent to date yet.” Just remember to use mindset shift sparingly. Even though you’re adding in the word yet, your brain is still fixated on the thing you can’t do, and ultimately we’d like to focus our attention on the things we can do instead. However, the word yet can act as an amazing stepping point as you work on shifting your mindset.
Ask yourself why
We all have those thoughts that creep in and fill our heads with limiting beliefs. If you’re feeling like you aren’t good enough for something, or don’t deserve it, try to investigate those thoughts and ask yourself why. Typically, when you repeatedly ask yourself why 7 times, you uncover your true why. You can’t work on something if you aren’t sure it needs to be worked on, so by uncovering your reason why you’re able to target an area in your mindset that needs to be shifted. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your feelings, another approach is to speak with a licensed professional (such as a therapist) to help you work through these feelings. Life is so short, and you deserve to feel your best.
Also read: 10 Ways to Trust Yourself More