How to Become the Master of Your Mindset
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
I’ve been talking a lot lately about how to overcome obstacles, so I decided to explore this topic a bit further by breaking down what I consider three of the top strategies for tackling those tough problems.
In this post, I want to talk more about mindset and the critical role it plays in navigating through the roadblocks of life.
A Tale of Two Minds
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to reach their full potential (and keep on striving higher), while others who may be just as talented don’t?
One thing I’ve observed is the people who tend to accomplish a great deal are the people who tend not to take things personally. Things happen and rather than dwelling on why things happen, they refocus and instead dwell on how they can take advantage of things as they are.
An HBR article addressed just this question in an interview with Carol Dweck, Stanford University professor and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Dweck explained the difference between a “fixed” mindset and a “growth” mindset, saying that in contrast to people with a fixed mindset, those with a growth mindset believe that even basic talents and abilities can be advanced over time.
People with a fixed mindset tend to feel that their basic qualities, talents, and abilities are simply fixed traits. In other words – what you see is what you get – at least from the perspective of people with a fixed mindset.
More importantly, suggests Dweck, people with a growth mindset aren’t always fixating on how intelligent they are, what others might think of them, etc. They’re up for a challenge, and they use the experience to grow.
Master Your Mindset, Master Your Life
There’s another way to look at the mindset concept – what happens when you’re powerful beyond measure, but you still don’t have what you want? You may know someone like this, or you may be that person.
Some people blame fate – that their lives are somehow “meant to be” the way they are. Others argue that the concept of fate negates free will.
Who’s right? Does the traditional concept of fate – or free will – really exist for most people? A concept called self-fate may explain why so many people don’t have what they really want – even if they are otherwise powerful, intelligent, and talented.
Self-fate is the idea that suggests:
- Your past dominates your thought processes, and because most of us are not consciously living in the moment, your past actually creates your future.
- When you make choices based on your past experiences, you can’t change your future unless the programming of the past is removed, and you begin to choose consciously, in the now.
- When you’re operating from the past, your experience will be that fate does exist, and you do not have free will. You actually create your fate, self-fate, restrained by the past.
How to Polish Your Mindset
- Be aware – do you see obstacles as opportunities for learning and growth, or just another problem in a l-o-n-g line of things you have to “deal with”?
- Stay focused on the process. When you feel yourself start to worry about how you’ll overcome a challenge or dreading what the outcome will be, do what people with a growth mindset do – focus on the process that you engage in to bring about your desired outcome.
- Be open to stepping outside your comfort zone. You can choose to keep doing the same things you normally do over and over, play it safe, and never peek outside your comfort zone. Or, you can take a risk, step out of your zone, and maybe, step up to a big reward.
- Practice acceptance. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back once in a while, and reward yourself for trying. Not everything will turn out exactly the way you hope or plan. Honor yourself for engaging fully, no matter what the outcome.
- Live in the moment. Don’t sabotage your efforts by returning to the past. What you dwell upon will eventually manifest in some way in your life. Create a bright future by embracing life’s inevitable obstacles as opportunities for new progress.
As always, reinforce the changes you are making by surrounding yourself with people who are already living out those changes. Find others who have embraced a positive mindset and absorb their outlook on life and challenges.
Stay tuned next week for an in-depth look into how staying focused can help you conquer obstacles.
What’s your #1 tip for creating a positive, balanced mindset? Share your thoughts with us!