How To Change Mindset Habits To Become More Positive-Minded
Change mindset habits by training your brain’s natural thought patterns so that you can attract more positivity into your life.
Quite often, the way we feel about a situation comes from our perception of it. When we perceive a situation to be disappointing, we experience negative emotions and become unhappy. Yet someone else may experience exactly the same situation, but they will view it in a more positive light and see opportunities. As a result this person will experience feelings of fulfilment and happiness.
Taking this example into consideration, it is clear to see that our thoughts are fully responsible for our individual experiences in life. The mind is a powerful tool! We create our own reality based on our beliefs and our attitude. The world is a reflection of the way we think about it.
If you choose to see the beauty in all situations, the world will appear to be more beautiful.
So, whatever the situation may be, there are always two ways that you can choose to view it;
- Negatively – full of fear, barriers and doubt
- Positively – full of optimism, gratitude and faith
Of course, painful and disappointing situations are more difficult to perceive in a positive manner, but just because something is hard, it doesn’t mean it is impossible. When we learn to form positive thinking habits, we will find it easier in difficult situations to move forward, find the opportunities, and all the while become mentally stronger.
You can decide to be a victim of circumstance or a grasper of opportunities. Which do you choose?
Of course, I’m not advocating that we all go around with rose-tinted glasses pretending sorrowful events don’t affect us. However, the key point is that with a more positive outlook, the most difficult situations can become your greatest lessons in life and open the door to new opportunities and better experiences.
Thinking about a situation negatively doesn’t change the circumstances; it just makes you feel worse about them.
Accepting the reality of your situation and deciding to react positively empowers you to take charge of your life and live it on the terms you choose!
The answer then, is to become aware of our thought patterns, recognise when we are being negative and to learn how to program our brain to form a natural habit of thinking more positively.
But first, it is important to learn why we think the way we do. Once we understand how previous experiences and habits have moulded our brain, we can then start to alter the way we think and re-wire our mind so that we can consistently form more positive thoughts naturally.
This article will teach you what a mindset is and how to take control of it so that you can form good thinking habits and become more mentally stronger, healthier and happier.
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When You Should Consider A Change Of Mindset
When you have a fixed negative mindset, you end up creating limitations for yourself. You stop yourself from seeing or creating further opportunities that could have helped you grow in character, reaching you further towards your goals.
For example, you may have experienced your fixed negative mindset appearing in the following situations:
- As you approach a challenge, that voice might say to you…“Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.” “What if you fail, you’ll be a failure”
- As you hit a setback, the voice might say, “It’s not too late to back out, make excuses, and try to regain your dignity.”
- As you face criticism, you may get defensive and say, “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.” …Or you might feel yourself getting angry at the person who is giving you feedback… “Who do they think they are? I’ll put them in their place.” …Or the other person might be giving you specific, constructive feedback, but you might be hearing them say: “I’m really disappointed in you. I thought you were capable but now I see you’re not.”
If you find yourself in these situations, then it is a sign that you need to change our mindset. Learn to try and recognise when it is happening and remind yourself that how you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism your choice!
You can either choose to be:
- Positive: openminded and thankful
- Negative: defensive and angry
Let’s revisit the examples above, but this time I will show you how you can handle the situations with a positive attitude.
- As you approach a challenge: “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort.” “Most successful people had failures along the way.” “If I don’t try, I automatically fail. Where’s the dignity in that?”
- As you hit a setback: “That is so wrong. Basketball wasn’t easy for Michael Jordan and science wasn’t easy for Thomas Edison. They had a passion and put in tons of effort.”
- As you face criticism: “If I don’t take responsibility, I can’t fix it. Let me listen—however painful it is– and learn whatever I can.”
As you can see, you need to train the inner voice to support and encourage you so that you can face challenges and difficulties in life with optimism and gratitude!
Learn To Recognise When You Need A Change In Mindset
- You focus to often on what is wrong, and forget to be grateful for the good things in your life. Essentially you are training your mind to always spot negativity rather than noticing when something is good.
FIX IT: Practice gratitude every morning by writing down 1-3 things you are happy about in your life no matter how seemingly small it is.
- You get depressed about your failures and never celebrate your victories, because you believe you don’t deserve to.
FIX IT: Start congratulating yourself for the good things you do. It can be as simple as cooking dinner, tidying up, writing a to-do list. Start appreciating your qualities and small victories, and you will begin to feel that you are achieving more in life.
- You fail to accept the truth for what it is. If you find yourself relentlessly complaining about things you cannot change then this shows a refusal to accept what is, such as the weather, or a late train.
FIX IT: Remember, not everything is under your control and there is no bigger mistake than refusing to see the world for what it is, because that is the point where you can no longer tell fact from fiction. Start to see the beauty in all around you, find the small positives in a seemingly negative situation.
- Your expectations are unrealistic. Expectations lay the groundwork for our experiences. If we have unrealistically high expectations, nothing ever satisfies us.
FIX IT: It is important to adjust our mindsets to survive and thrive in an imperfect world. Therefore, learn to be grateful for what you have in life and where you are. Look at everything you have achieved, and are working on achieving rather than focusing on all the things you haven’t even began to try and succeed at yet!
- You feel dissatisfied with what you have because you are always striving for what you don’t have.
FIX IT: Instead, you must learn to be grateful and appreciate the things you do have.
- You regularly argue with those you supposedly love. If you are constantly disagreeing with the people you love, it is a good sign that your mindset may need some work. Plus your arguments with them will reflect more on you than on them.
FIX IT: Try to see where they are coming from—it could change your mind for the better.
- You look at tasks as what you ‘have to do’ rather than what you ‘want to do’
FIX IT: Remember to appreciate your work, even when it feels burdensome!
The difference between a negative fixed mindset and a positive growth mindset
Seven Steps To Change The Mindset
If you are unsure as to whether you need to adjust your mindset, ask yourself the following question: Do you feel like you are achieving your dreams and living a happy life full of positivity?
If the answer is no, then perhaps you should take the following tips into consideration to get yourself on track to feeling fulfilled and more positive.
Remember, changing your mindset doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by choice, and these 7 steps should help get you on the right track:
1 – Acceptance
We live in a world where qualifications and certification seems to define our level of success or competence. Many of us will learn new skills or enrol onto a course to make ourselves feel better and that we are moving closer to being successful. Yet too often, the underlying issue as to why we have not yet achieved our dreams isn’t in our lack of skills and experience, it is due to our mindset. Many of us, without even fully realising it, put limitations on how much we truly believe we can achieve, or deserve to achieve. Yet, it really is much faster, cheaper and easier, so to speak, to change your mindset and personal beliefs than it is to go learn a new skill. Therefore, the first step to changing the mindset is to acknowledge and accept that this is what you need to work on first before anything else.
2 – Take control of the counter-mindsets
Counter-mindsets are the little ‘nayslayers’ and ‘criticisers’ in your brain telling you all the reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t. They fill your thoughts with self-doubt, limiting beliefs and other negative thoughts. Many of us experience more ‘automatic negative thoughts’ (ANT’s) than positive ones throughout the day. All of us have different ANT’s, and, without knowing it, we’re habitually allowing them to destroy our dreams. In order to put a stop to them, we must first recognise when we are having these negative thoughts throughout the day. Do you notice patterns as to why or when they start appearing? When we can understand the triggers and themes that cause ATN’s, we can start making an effort to diminishing them by learning to stop these damaging ATN’s in their track.
3 – Turn it around!
This is my personal favourite and a good habit I learned from an early age. The key is to change all negative thoughts that pop into your brain into a positive one.
Another technique I find effective is called the “if/then” approach. Once you identify when your ANTs typically show up, apply a thought process that allows you to essentially think yourself past them. For example: Say you plan to go for a walk after dinner to get more exercise, but when dinner is over, your ANT shows up. If you start to hear the voice in your head that says you’re too tired or too full, then walk to the shoe cupboard immediately and put on your running shoes. Often, just taking one positive step in the right direction is enough to shut those ANTs up. Prepare yourself by creating a list of if/then statements ahead of time.
4 – Identify your WHY
Take the time to think about one meaningful dream that will have a huge impact and transform your life if you achieve it. This is your motivation for everything you decide to do, and every thought process you allow yourself to have. For example, it could be to provide a comfortable life for your kids, or to live a stress-free minimalistic life. Everything you do from here-onwards will be focused on achieving that big WHY. Then, whenever you need positive encouragement remind yourself of the bigger picture – your why.
5 – Don’t be so hard on yourself!
How often have you set yourself a goal, such as to regularly start attending the gym, to then find yourself after a few good weeks being tempted too often by a social activity or just to trade it in for watching TV in comfort on the sofa, to then losing complete control of your goal, losing all willpower and motivation and giving up altogether?
Successful and positive-minded people understand that simply having willpower and motivation, in reality, isn’t always enough. The truth is, you don’t need to be constantly white-knuckling your way to success, and this isn’t sustainable, especially for your mental wellbeing. Therefore, instead of mentally punishing yourself every time you stumble or fail to stick with your plan, learn to accept the times where you fall off-track, and then get yourself into the habit emotionally to be optimistic that you will simply try again tomorrow! We are only human after all, and we need to have balance.
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha
6 – Start small, finish big
Make sure that you only ever set yourself really small achievable goals towards the one big main goal, when you start off. Decide that your tiny goal is the minimum, and that you can do more if you feel up to it. For example:
- If your big goal is to get daily exercise, then your small, attainable goal is to do a single push-up each day.
- If you want to reduce stress in your life, your tiny goal might be to meditate for one minute every night.
- If you want more affection with a loved one, your mini-goal could be one extra hug or kiss.
Each of these examples requires almost no motivation or willpower to accomplish, and yet, each is a positive step. A lot of the time, you’ll do more and will feel great because you’re overachieving. Some days you may do the minimum, and you’ll still feel great because you’ve met your goal. Massive change requires small steps, repeated daily, which creates momentum and yields positive cumulative results. Over time, consistently hitting your small goals will form new mindset habits, and that’s real progress toward revamping your thinking so you can reach your biggest dreams.
7 – Get comfortable with failure
When most people hit a wall or fall off-track, they make an excuse or give up altogether. Successful and positive-minded people realise that the only thing that will keep them from their goals is to stop trying… so they don’t! They know that they’ll encounter obstacles and even fail along the way.
Therefore it is important to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for failure. Don’t be worried or scared, embrace the challenge and get ready to pick yourself up and move forward when it happens by seeking feedback and making adjustments to get back in the game.
Changing Mindset Coaching
Congratulations on getting this far! Now that you have read all the tips and advice, it is ready to put it all into action.
If you are unsure on the best way to go about this, or you would like more support to help you stay on track to becoming more positive-minded, then I can offer my positive-mindset coaching services to you. Simply get in touch to organise a free consultation phone call.
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