The world outside ourselves is largely beyond our control. No matter where we are or where we go, we always have ourselves to rely on or contend with. When you get right down to the rocky core of things, our mindsets determine how we tackle the problems that arise in our lives.
You may hear people talk about mindset, but do you really know what it is? Developing the right mindset can help you attain your dreams and is crucial to your personal growth.
Let’s look at precisely what mindset is so that we can understand its connection to your success.
Mindset is your most important consideration for personal growth, wellbeing and success.~ successmystic.com
What is Mindset?
Pretend for a moment that your mind is a computer, and technically it is. Would you use your computer without first configuring various settings? Probably not. Your mindset is also a “setting” or a “set of settings”, which allow your mind to function exactly as you want it to and to deliver the results you seek.
A mindset, or mindsets, are the frameworks our psyches use to tackle problems or cope with life’s issues. Mindsets are the way we see the world and how we see ourselves interacting with the world itself.
Mindsets can be thought of as toolkits, collections of attitudes, and collections of mental shorthand codes for understanding our reality. In other words, they’re important.
Mindset can be described in many ways but is merely a way of thinking. Your mindset is your personal disposition that guides all the other habits of thought as well as your behaviors in life. Your mindset is created as a result of all your thoughts and beliefs, and these become so ingrained that they color how you view yourself, others, and life’s circumstances.
Some mindsets are geared toward solving problems and maximizing happiness and contentment; others cause problems even when things are going great, and when troubles come, they make the situation catastrophically worse.
Because your mindset is how you perceive and judge things in life, it changes how you make sense of the world and well as of yourself. Your mindset will determine how you view opportunities presented to you and how you approach and deal with challenges, both of which play a crucial role in your personal growth.
Your mindset is based upon your attitudes and beliefs, and all of these will influence your behavior. What you believe in and know to be true affects your attitude as well as your behavior, so identifying and understanding your beliefs as well as the origins of your views can help you better understand your mindset.
The connection between your thoughts, beliefs, and actions is well documented and extremely powerful. Many people walk through life believing that their lack of success is due to their abilities or luck, but in reality, the most powerful predictor of your success is actually your mindset.~successmystic.com
General Types of Mindset
Mindset is your disposition toward a way of thinking and acting. Our modern-day understanding of mindset is grounded in the work of Carol Dweck’s work on the psychology of success. Dweck categorized mindset as either fixed or growth oriented.
If you have a fixed mindset, you believe your traits and qualities are what they are, and there is no room for growth or improvement over time. A growth mindset means you believe that your qualities and talents can be developed over time and through hard work.
Those with a fixed mindset believe that you get where you are through talent alone, while a growth mindset understands you can accomplish anything if you have the right learning opportunities and are willing to be dedicated to change. With one mindset, you simply catalog your own gifts, and with the other, you work on creating new ones.
Those with a growth mindset are more likely to be able to overcome obstacles, take advantage of new opportunities, be motivated to succeed in challenging situations, and achieve higher levels of success in life.
This attitude and stance toward life make you more likely to reach your full potential. The right mindset, focused on your ability to grow and change over time, creates better resilience, perseverance, and increased effort, which can help you reach your goals.
There are actually many other types of mindset, though, beyond these two main categories. Your past experiences, struggles, emotions, and biases all inform the “slant” you take when thinking about yourself and the world. In this book, we’ll uncover the many different mindsets that drive people’s behaviors, including how to overcome those that could be holding you back from achieving your goals in life.
So, whether your mindset tends to focus on the negative, dwell on the past, blame others, or play the victim, we’ll help you learn how to change your mindset to improve yourself. Mindsets can become bogged down in emotions like greed, anger, entitlement, and fear, which can hinder how you handle obstacles and take advantage of opportunities. We’ll discuss each of these, and many more, as we delve into the many aspects of conquering the unhealthy mindset.
Mindset Drives Behavior
Because your mindset is built upon and influenced by your beliefs and attitudes, it has a significant impact on how you act and react each day. Your mindset influences your success, both professional and personal, in many important ways.
When you have a goal you want to achieve, you need determination, or drive, to reach that aim. Your mindset will influence your ability to envision your own success, engage in a sustained effort, and believe you can find solutions to problems you may encounter. Your mindset essentially controls your drive, which means the right mindset is needed to achieve your dreams.
Your mindset also guides the development of self-esteem. When you feel capable of achieving something, whether it be lofty or mundane, you are much more likely to be able to do so. Self- esteem comes from your internal thoughts about your own worth and evaluation of your abilities.
A growth mindset means you recognize you have more to learn, and you value the opportunity to do so. Healthy self-esteem is grounded in a mindset that believes you can achieve and appreciates the many ways you can work to achieve what you want in life.
Mindset is also what helps you overcome adversity in life, and no matter what you are trying to achieve, you are going to experience some amount of setback.
Your mindset tells you whether you are capable and worthy of overcoming defeat, gives you the strength to try again after failure, and helps you believe in your ability to solve problems.
23 Unhealthy Self-Defeating Mindsets
Consider if you lost all of your possessions, you would still have yourself and your mentality and psyche would remain. Our personalities, in large part, are composed of mindsets.
So, is there really such a thing as an unhealthy mindset?
- In a word, yes. An unhealthy mindset increases the pain we suffer, increases misery, and lowers our ability to problem-solve and derive happiness from life.
- Negative mindsets are so destructive they become unhealthy. An unhealthy mindset can’t lead to anything good in our lives at all. It’s just not possible for positive outcomes to arise from a toxic mentality.
- At best, toxic thinking might lead to success in one area of life, but catastrophic failure in others. For example, a perfectionist might rise high in their career, while simultaneously alienating everyone in their life life and ruining all their personal relationships. Remember, that’s the best-case scenario for a toxic mindset.
Negative mindsets get established and thrive in part because on some level, those mindsets masquerade as being somehow helpful. We rationalize that they help us from being harmed again. In reality, they guarantee our being harmed every day, just not in ways that are immediately obvious.
- A negative serves itself. Everything that happens gets twisted to serve the mindset’s existence.
- A healthy mindset serves the individual. A healthy mindset serves you. In the following pages, we’re going to examine some specific, common unhealthy mindsets and look at how we can overcome them.
A toxic mindset doesn’t have to be permanent. One of the most positive, fascinating aspects of being human is our endless ability to adjust and adapt.
All change begins with knowledge and understanding, let’s look at 23 key unhealthy mindsets and how we can change them.
The Barrier-Focused Mindset
Every important decision you make in life comes with opportunities and potential challenges. When you allow your fear of failure to stop you from trying new things, it is because you focus on the barriers that could hinder your ability to meet your goal rather than the benefits to your life when you do succeed. This type of fixed mindset is limiting your happiness and keeping you from challenging yourself in important ways.
When You See Only Obstacles, Not Opportunities
No matter what you are trying to accomplish in life, the chances are high that there will be challenges along your path. An essential part of growing and evolving as a human is tackling new challenges in order to learn, but when you see only obstacles in life, you are highly unlikely to want to face those challenges.
Every new challenge in life presents many options. While on one side is complete success, there is a whole continuum of struggle and failure that could also result. And if you have a barrier- focused mindset, you likely only see all the ways you can stumble or fail, rather than all the ways you can succeed, learn, and grow.
This mindset makes taking on new challenges frightening and unbearable. When you see obstacles, you assume you will fail, and many among us fear failure above all else. This mindset, though, can keep you inside your comfort zone for too ling, stifling your ability to learn and grow.
A barrier-focused mindset can stifle your growth, leading to discomfort, anxiety, unhappiness, and dissatisfaction with life in general. When you fear obstacles instead of seeing opportunities for growth, you live to maintain the status quo, which keeps you from enjoying so much in life.
Learning to see past obstacles to embrace opportunity doesn’t mean that the barriers no longer exist. It just says you are willing to do what it takes to get past them and enjoy the rewards. It means facing your fear to move on.
How to Overcome the Barrier-Focused Mindset
Learning to take on new challenges and embrace opportunities in life can help you to stretch, achieve your dreams, and lead the authentic life you want. Learning to accept your fears and also to accept challenges in spite of them is necessary for overcoming the barrier-focused mindset.
Taking small steps is key, and you can start by identifying some new things you would like to try but that have always scared you just a bit. Do something every day that scares you just a little. Talk to a stranger, try a new activity, spend time doing something you’ve never done. Small experiences will build your confidence that there is little to actually fear. Plus, if it doesn’t go well, you’ll see that it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme.
When you start to see obstacles in life, stop and question your thinking. Changing your perspective about what it means for something to be a true obstacle can help you understand that most things you are placing in your path are easily tackled and overcome. Take your worries to their worst-case conclusion, and you’ll soon realize that you can, indeed, overcome even the most difficult of obstacles, if you really want something.
Set goals to help you identify what it is you truly want in life. Once you are clear on your dreams, start devising a plan for making it happen. When you have something to work toward that excites you, it can help you to see that even facing obstacles is most often worth the risk.
Develop a habit of asking questions rather than passing judgments. Being curious can help you allay fears as well as find new opportunities that can excite and energize you.
Curiosity makes you ready to try new things, whereas judgment shuts down the exploration process. So, ask more questions, and you’ll start to notice how you see fewer obstacles in life.
Learning to overcome obstacles is the central reason for adopting a growth mindset and moving past one that focused solely on barriers in life. When you start to see challenges as opportunities, rather than obstacles, you can embrace the many experiences life has to offer and achieve goals you never even imagined before.
The Negative Mindset
Based on significant study and research, we now know that focusing on the negative events in your life is a significant predictor that you will suffer from mental as well as physical health issues. Regardless of the hardships or circumstances in your life, it is not what has happened to you that correlates to your success and happiness but rather how you react to and handle those events. Those who behave using a negative mindset are hindering themselves from remaining happy and achieving their dreams.
The Effects of Negative Thinking
When your mindset is focused on negative thinking, you are keeping your brain and body in a constant state of stress. This mindset tricks your brain into thinking it needs to respond to an immediate threat to things that are not really threatening to you.
Your brain is hardwired to respond to threats before all other input, which means your negative thinking is tricking your brain into thinking your life is out of control and it needs to act immediately. When you keep your mind in this constant state of concern and negativity, it has a powerful effect on your memory, your immune system, and many different aspects of your physical and mental health.
When you consistently engage in negative thinking, you may struggle with processing information, thinking clearly, and can even make it more difficult to solve your problems. In other words, negative thinking can actually make your negative situation even worse.
How To Overcome Negative Thinking
You can improve your brain, your health, and your happiness by eliminating negative thinking and creating a more positive mindset. You can train your brain to reduce negative thinking, just as you can change other aspects of your behavior. When you start to turn your mindset into a more positive one, you will notice many rewards that will make you want to continue changing the way you think.
First, start paying careful attention to your thoughts, and when notice negative ones creeping in, stop them in their tracks. Shutting shown your inner critic is critical for changing a negative mindset. When you begin having negative thoughts, counter these with positive ones instead. Sell yourself something positive about yourself or your situation. Notice what triggered your negativity so that you can change your future responses in similar situations.
Do not give in to negative thoughts and the actions they are telling you to take. Adopt a stance of self-doubt for some time, since you can’t rely on ingrained thought and behavior patterns. Do the opposite of what you would normally do to start practicing different, more positive actions.
Avoid overthinking, which can harbor dark thoughts and unleash inner fears. Don’t sit around getting lost in your thoughts, which can easily trend back toward the negative. Instead, take action in a positive way for your life. Decide on something you can do to work toward your dreams today and do that instead of focusing on your old, negative thoughts.
Banishing the negative, fearful voices in your head is the first, important step to shifting your mindset toward a more positive one. Once you can control your mindset, you will be better able to change your actions and engage in ones that are more positive, as well.
Traits and Characteristics Associated with Positivity
Changing a negative mindset can take time, but it is crucial that you learn to stifle those pessimistic thoughts and learn to think more positively. Ridding your inner voice of critical thoughts and fears can help you succeed when achieving your dreams, achieve better health, and reduce the stress your negative mindset is having on your mind and body.
The Deferred/Conditional Happiness Mindset
Once “this” happens I will be happy…
This mindset gets established early in life. Kids think they’ll be happy when they can drive. Then, happiness is shifted to graduation. Then graduation from college and a real job. On and on it goes, for decades, until life is over. People who suffer from this mindset tend to believe that they are only allowed to be happy when certain circumstances are met, but they keep moving the goal posts.
Things can always be better, which is good, but they also believe things are never quite good enough for happiness, which doesn’t work well. There’s simply no time in life for everything to become perfect. There’s not enough will or good luck in the universe for things to become perfect and stay that way.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t chronic, enduring problems we all want to go away and daydream about how good life will be when they’re gone. For example, struggling every month to pay the bills. When you’re trying to rebuild your financial state, it’s hard not to feel desperate every moment of every day, but it takes time to dig yourself out of a hole. If you deny yourself the opportunity to enjoy the good things that come your way during your journey to financial self-sufficiency, you won’t experience any joy at all.
Sometimes we must adjust our expectations of happiness, too. A beautiful day is something to be grateful for no matter our financial state. However, if we’re broke, enjoying a nice day becomes easier in one way – after all, good weather is still free. Yet, if we allow negativity to take over, our mindset can kill happiness with thoughts like, “What does it matter if it’s beautiful out? I have all these problems” – and thus some happiness.
How to Overcome Deferred Happiness Thinking
To counter this unhealthy mindset, consider cultivating gratitude and thankfulness. Those two attitudes are really hard to create when you’re beaten down and burdened with so many troubles, but things really can always get worse. Remember, it’s possible to lose what we have, no matter how little it seems, at any given time.
If you’re waiting for a new job to come along, and just know you’ll be happy only when you find it, imagine getting laid off. The job you would have lost may look pretty great. Everything in life is a matter of context and perspective. Yes, wanting a new job and going for it is a great idea. However, basing your happiness today on events that haven’t happened means suffering when you don’t have to.
The Blaming Mindset
If your mindset is one that seeks to place blame on others or the world for your misfortunes, then you may have a blaming mindset that is keeping you from realizing your dreams. Refusing to take responsibility, shifting blame away from yourself, and never believing anything could be your fault indicate that your mindset is not one of acceptance and responsibility.
Understanding the Blaming Mindset
How often do you hear yourself saying, “Well, if HE hadn’t…” or “It’s not my fault that I…”? These types of statements indicate that you are
known to shift blame away from yourself and, most likely, onto others that you believe are the real cause of your problems. If your unhappiness is caused, in your mind, by the actions and intentions of others, you have a blaming mindset.
Whether you blame your spouse, a complete stranger, God, or your colleague, shifting responsibility away from yourself and onto others is likely to cause problems for both you as well as for those who you blame. So, why do we blame others? There are several important reasons why you may act this way.
The most common reason we blame others is so that we ourselves do not have to accept responsibility. It’s a lot easier to blame someone else for your shortcomings than it is to work hard to overcome your faults and learn from your mistakes. If it’s not your fault, then you don’t really need to try hard in the future.
Blame is also a defense mechanism. You can preserve your self-esteem when you choose to ignore your own failings and shift fault for your inadequacies onto others. Some call this reason “saving face,” and it can be a powerful motivator you may not even be aware of.
You may blame others in order to hurt them. If you have a negative mindset that also longs for others to be just as unhappy as you, then blaming others is a way to make them hurt, just as you are hurting.
The unfortunate part of having a blaming mindset is, the more you blame others in your life, the more likely you are to lose. You can lose loved ones and close friends, you can lose respect for yourself, and you can miss out of the opportunity to learn and become a happier, more successful person.
How to Overcome The Blaming Mindset
To improve your mindset, you first need to recognize when you are blaming others for your mistakes. If you use a lot of excuses that include absolutes (“you never…. “you always”), or if you consistently focus on expectations for others’ behaviors, then you likely engage in blaming behaviors. Becoming aware of your own patterns of behavior is the first step to adopting healthier habits.
Focus on empathy, not judgment. If you want to place responsibility on someone else, first make sure you understand that person. You are not perfect, so you should not expect that others will be either. Instead, focus on the situation, the intent of the other person (if they genuinely wronged you), and what you can collectively do to learn from the situation and move forward.
Own your role in whatever the circumstances are that created the negative outcome. What did you do that played a role in the failure or setback? What decisions could you have made differently? How are you responsible, and what will you do with this knowledge moving forward?
Continuing to blame others for your own issues and problems could signal a deeper psychological trauma. If your blaming behavior is harming your relationship with others, you may want to seek guidance from a mental health professional to help you let go of this negative behavior.
Blaming others is something we do to protect ourselves. Once you recognize this behavior in yourself, it’s essential to identify the roots of your actions as well as develop more positive responses. Learning to accept responsibility for yourself, including the positive and negative aspects of your life, means you embrace the person you are becoming and are ready to achieve happiness.
The Low-Self-Worth Mindset
Having a low sense of self-worth can affect nearly every aspect of your mental health, your decisions, and your overall well-being and happiness. If you don’t believe you are worthy, if you lack the confidence to improve your life and achieve your goals, then you are ready to change your mindset. Let’s explore how the low-self-worth mindset affects you and how you can overcome this negative way of thinking.
How low Self-Worth affects you…
If you journey through life lacking confidence, feeling bad about yourself, or always feeling incompetent, awkward, or unloved, you suffer from low self-worth. Most people with a low-self- worth mindset are very sensitive, many overly so, and others’ words or actions can easily wound their sense of their own capabilities.
If this describes your mindset, you may always be ready for someone to reject you or make you feel inadequate. In fact, you may perceive rejection or failure even when that is not the case. You likely see nearly everything in life as a possible threat to your self-esteem, which can leave you stressed and anxious all the time.
Most with low self-esteem are the harshest critics of themselves. When you make a mistake, are you the first and loudest voice to tell you what you did wrong, to berate you for your error? This inability to see the positive in yourself can lead you to treat yourself very poorly, to act impulsively to cover up your mistake, or to behave in even more harmful ways.
Low self-worth can lead you to isolate yourself from others, to lash out when you feel criticized, to reject the love and affection of others who see you in a positive way, and to lower your expectations for yourself concerning achieving goals and living happily.
How to overcome your low Self-Worth
Learning to practice self-compassion and to grow your self-confidence will help you overcome a mindset controlled by low self-worth. Because your thought patterns and mindset are likely highly ingrained, it is essential to be patient while you work toward positive change, though. Your low self-worth will take come to repair.
First, you need to acknowledge your internal suffering and notice how it is affecting your life. You can’t change your mindset until you are aware of how this negative way of thinking influences your own self-talk, actions, and decisions. Use intentional focus to become mindful of your thoughts, words, and behaviors.
When you hear your inner critic start to voice its usual concerns, stop it in its tracks. Refuse to listen to the criticisms and negativity of your inner voice. Every time you start to say something negative about yourself, stop and rethink what you’d like to tell yourself.
You also need to stop comparing yourself to others. The only person you need to compare yourself to is you. Instead of worrying about what others have accomplished or are doing, focus only on how you are gaining control of your life and building new happiness. It doesn’t even matter what others are doing because they have no power over or say in your life, anyway.
Overcoming a low-self-worth mindset also means learning to respect yourself. Get to know your own beliefs and values, so that your decisions and goals can be aligned with those. Explore your strengths, which can serve as a foundation for change and growth. Have integrity in all you do, and you can learn to feel good about all of your accomplishments, big and small.
Overcoming a low sense of self-worth is possible, and when you learn to think more positively about yourself, you will find you are better able to overcome obstacles, that you set higher goals for yourself, and that you form closer relationships with loved ones. So, why not stop listening to that inner critic today and start caring for yourself, nurturing your self-esteem, and living a happier, healthier life
The Perfectionism Mindset
You hear people say, “I’m a perfectionist!” as if that’s an achievement. We can hope they simply mean they pay attention to details because perfectionism is a highly destructive personality trait.
It damages lives, ruins relationships and eventually destroys careers. Perfectionism is always more destructive than constructive. True perfectionism is unobtainable because the universe doesn’t allow for it, time and time again.
In essence, perfectionism is not part of an excellent work ethic. It’s a hedge on an attempt to control everything so that nothing may harm the individual.
Ask yourself the following questions. Do they apply to you or someone you love?
- Do you have polarized thinking? In polarized thinking, anything that’s not perfect is terrible. Anything that’s not an unqualified success is a failure. Anything less than a 100% on a test is as bad as failing.
- If something you do or create, even something you say isn’t 100% right, do you discount the rest of it as worthless or even embarrassing?
- Do you look at everything regarding winning or losing, a victory or defeat?
- You have trouble meeting deadlines because you can’t stop tweaking projects?
- Do you endlessly revise work?
- Does your self-worth depend on the outcome of the work you do or the “flawlessness” of your endeavors?
- Do you obsess over errors to the exclusion of every else?
- Do you attach your feelings of worthiness to how much people praise your work?
- Does the feeling of accomplishment you get after a big success fade quickly?
- Do you procrastinate starting work?
Outcomes Of Perfectionism
Perfectionism does bring some successes, but it does so at a terribly high price. Perfectionists never know contentment. They’re difficult to be within relationships as they extend their perfectionism onto their partners. Perfectionism leads to:
Here are just a few of the problems rigid perfectionism leads to:
- Constant feelings of discontentment
- Fluctuating feelings of worthiness
- Anxiety, depression, or panic disorders.
- Dissatisfaction in relationships
- Physical issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is heavily affected by anxiety. Muscle tension and soreness is common for perfectionists, as is high blood pressure.
The most challenging part of overcoming perfectionism is admitting it’s a problem. Typically, perfectionists think its other people and the rest of the world with the problem. It sometimes takes the loss of a valuable relationship or the onset of depression before a perfectionist starts to understand that they are really the owner of the issue. So, once a person gets past admitting they have a problem, we follow these steps for improvement.
- Fine-tune your standards for success, not perfection. A perfectionist has to become familiar with what’s acceptable for success. Your mile-high standards are actually getting in the way of your successes. Are your exacting standards worth the cost regarding time, negative emotions and adding new members to the already long list of people who can’t stand dealing with your expectations?
- Relaxing your sky-high standards, a tiny bit. Did the world end? No. No doubt you felt strange by not fretting, but like all bad habits, perfectionism gets easier to give up the longer you abstain from it.
- Challenge your perfectionist mindset. Are your beliefs about how things should be done rationally? Ask yourself how is it that other people are successful without being perfectionists. Consider how you can do that too.
The Jealous Mindset
If you are chronically jealous of loved ones or others in your life, this is a sign that your mindset is preventing you from forming healthy relationships and is likely holding you back from achieving real success in life.
How Chronic Jealousy Affects You
Being overly jealous over time can influence how you view the world, yourself, and others. There are many reasons why living with a jealous mindset is not a healthy way to live, and if you think your jealous emotions are holding you back, you are right.
Jealously comes from anger, worry, and fear. You live in constant fear of rejection, worry about being inferior or alone, and angry at others for their lack of devotion to you. While it may seem natural to have jealous emotions, it is how you react to these feelings that can have a negative impact on your life.
The constant negative mindset that accompanies jealousy places your mind and body in a consistent state of stress, which can have physical, mental, and emotional outcomes. It also perpetuates a focus on other negative aspects of your mind, keeping you in a negative mindset. You may feel inadequate when you are jealous, worrying you are not enough for others or are unworthy of the love you think you deserve.
A jealous mindset can lead you to act in negative ways, including obsessing over others’ actions, questioning the intentions of others, inappropriately berating others’ deeds, or questioning others’ motives.
Your jealous mindset is a sign that you lack a positive sense of yourself and that you are insecure about your own abilities or worthiness. Others can learn to resent you for your jealous actions, and undoubtedly, a jealous mindset can cause significant problems in your relationship, both personal and professional.
How To Overcome Chronic Jealousy
Learning to control your jealous mindset and to stop acting on your feelings of jealousy can help you feel less anxious, trust others and yourself more, and improve your life. Here are a few ways to overcome this negative mindset.
Examine carefully those things that cause you to feel jealous. Write it down. The key to beating a jealous mindset is to understand it. Recognizing the triggers of your jealousy can help you devise a plan for dealing with those feelings in the future.
Comparing yourself to others can make you feel insecure. Don’t worry about what others are doing, have, or have accomplished. Your insecurities have their root in past relationships or events, so learning more about those origins can help you learn to deal with our jealous mindset and actions.
When jealous feelings creep in, be sure to give your partner or the target of your envy their space and freedom. Allow them the freedom to live their life, and they will show you how much they deserve your trust. Be mindful of not only how your jealous feelings are making you feel and act but also how it causes others to feel and perceive you.
If someone has indeed violated your trust in some way, you should deal with this circumstance head-on. Addressing violations of trust by a loved one or trusted friend can help you cope with your feelings in a healthy way as well as allow you to move on instead of holding onto these negative feelings.
Is jealousy controlling your mindset, forcing you to spiral into a negative way of thinking that affects your actions? Learning to identify the source of your jealousy is critical, as is reigning in your jealous emotions’ control over your behavior. When you learn to let go of chronic jealousy, you will experience less stress, a healthier sense of self, and closer relationships with yourself and others.
The Resentful Mindset
Resentment has been nicely defined by many wise wits over the years as “taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Resentment is a mix of disappointment, anger, fear and a sense of injustice. It’s a very personal feeling of being
wronged, even betrayed, and it festers over time. Unlike anger, which displays itself outwardly, bitterness stays deeply inside a person until it starts seeping out. If we think of anger as a furious fire, resentment is acid, eating away at its container.
While anger is very visible, dramatic, even peculiarly energizing, resentment is hurtful and sharp at the onset, then becomes an ache. Unlike anger, resentment doesn’t need a specific event to generate its toxins from
Resentful people add every small disappointment to a big, heavy sack of bitterness they carry around, so to speak. Resentment includes pain over many small events that get blown out of proportion. It involves a sense of false righteousness. It’s also exhausting.
To overcome resentment, we have to understand that it’s doing nothing good for us. It’s not helping us in any way. Hanging onto memories of bad treatment and keeping hold of feelings of being mistreated hurts. It makes us feel lessened.
Consider the following steps to let go of resentment:
- Step One. Identify everyone you have a resentment towards. The list will be long because let’s face it: most of us have a fair amount of resentments.
- Step Two. Write down what happened with that person that caused your resentment. What happened? This may be aggravating. Just thinking about resentment can cause anger to flare. Write down anything that built the resentment. Nothing is too trivial. Remember, resentment is an emotion and logic doesn’t play a part.
- Step Three. Write down how your resentment affects you now in the present. Don’t minimize and don’t hold back.
- Step Four. This is a hard step. Consider what you’ve done to keep the resentment alive. Have you tried to resolve the problem with the person you resent? If you have, what happened? How did that make things worse (or better)? Have you tried to resolve the resentment with that other person? It’s hard to be totally honest in this step but do it anyway.
There’s no magic here. This doesn’t cause your resentments to fly away. It does, however, bring them into the light of day. Now that you can see what you’re feeling, now that it’s at the level of cognitive thought, try some of the following methods to let resentment go.
For each resentment, do the following.
- Imagine that feeling of anger and hurt. Hold on to it, and then imagine yourself releasing that emotion. Imagine the relief you feel from the negative emotions draining away.
- Resentment grows in darkness. Share your feelings with a safe friend or confidante, who’ll hear you out with no judgment.
- Learn and practice means of self-calming. Deep, intentional breathing exercises are ideal, as is mindful awareness.
- When we have active resentment towards people in our lives right now, we may unconsciously be feeding our own resentments. With this in mind, try to show the object of your resentment some kindness, if that person is still in your life.
Forgiveness is a powerful tool in removing resentment and anger from your life. It’s such a big topic of its own, we will cover it elsewhere later. For now, understand that forgiveness is never saying that being wronged was ok, and it’s not an offer of reconciliation. Forgiveness removes our emotional energy from a bad situation, closes the door on it, and allows us to move forward.
The Entitled Mindset
When you believe that life somehow owes you something, anything, just because you are you, then you have an entitled mindset. When you use this type of justification to explain your poor or selfish behavior, your mindset is negatively influencing your life and, likely, the lives of those around you. Learning to control your entitled mentality, and to stop making excuses for why you don’t have the things you want in life, is the first step toward fulfilling your dreams.
How Feeling Entitled Affects Your Life
What exactly does it me to feel entitled? In short, entitlement is the belief that your needs and wants should be met in life, and if they are not, you are allowed to engage in poor behavior to get your way. The simplest form of this is a toddler throwing a tantrum for not getting an ice cream cone, but many adults regularly engage in entitled behavior when they don’t get their way, as well.
Those who feel entitled believe that they are somehow so special, unique, or deserving that their needs are more important than anyone else’s. This type of narcissistic thinking is a form of self- love that ultimately can have negative effects on the life of the entitled as well as everyone for whom they care. No one exists to serve your needs, and you are not any more special than the next person. If you did not learn this as a child or adolescent, you are likely to grow into an adult with an entitled mindset.
Signs You Have An Entitled Mindset
Here are a few behaviors that could indicate that you struggle with this way of thinking.
- Do you tend to feel sorry for yourself when things don’t go your way?
- Do you try to gain attention from others for your misfortunes?
- Has anyone ever accused you of being a bully or manipulative?
- Do you believe you deserve to be happy, even at the expense of others?
- Has someone you care about accused you of making unrealistic demands upon them?
- Do you think that others are threats or somehow in competition with you?
- Do you exhibit behaviors yourself that you deem as wrong in other people?
- In a given day, do you think about yourself and your needs a vast proportion of the time?
- Do you feel good when you assert your authority or dominance over someone else?
The behaviors described above may indicate that you feel entitled to success or happiness. An entitled mindset can lead you to act in selfish and hurtful ways, to treat others poorly, to focus on what is missing from your life, and to dwell on the negative.
How To Overcome the Entitled Mindset
The first thing you need to start telling yourself every day is that you are, in fact, not any more special than every other person on the planet. Yes, you deserve happiness. So, does everyone else. The only way you can achieve that happiness is through your effort and determination, not because you are somehow “owed” a happy ending.
Start being a cheerleader for other people. Learning to recognize the accomplishments and gifts of others is a great way to stop thinking so much about yourself and start considering others. For the next month, focus on propping up the others in your life and don’t do anything to promote your own accomplishments.
Practice listening to and paying attention to other people. When you are entitled, you often care more about talking than listening, about getting what you need than helping others. Every day, focus on at least one person in your life and help them by listening, supporting, and encouraging their hard work.
When you start focusing more on others, what happens to your relationships? Pay attention to how others act and react differently when your attention is not focused so squarely upon yourself. Knowing how your entitled mindset is affecting others can help you change to more positive habits.
When you find yourself justifying your entitled behavior, catch yourself and try to stop it. Turn your entitled behavior into something more productive and selfless. Becoming aware of your behavior is the first step, but changing it is the most important thing you can do.
If you have an entitled mindset, you are likely holding yourself back from achieving success as well as straining the relationships in your life. Learning to accept that your happiness will depend on your talent, hard work, and dedication, rather than occur as something owed to you, will help you learn to appreciate your accomplishments even more.
The Failure Mindset
Your mindset has a powerful influence on what you do and can achieve in this world. When your mindset focuses too much on failure, then you are more likely not to succeed or achieve your goals. Learning to overcome a failure mindset can put you on the track to well-being and living the life you have always wanted.
How Dwelling on Failure Affects Your Life
A failure mindset means that you have an irrational fear of not succeeding, and this fear can pertain to just about anything in your life, from decisions to relationships to jobs and more.
This mindset is a reaction of your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors to what you perceive are the negative consequences of not achieving a goal. But what are you really afraid of?
These are the most common fears associated with failure:
- I’ll embarrass myself.
- I’m not good/smart enough
- I might lose control of what happens next.
- I might disappoint others.
- I have too much to lose.
Living with a failure mindset can cause many problems. Living in this type of fear limits the goals you chose to pursue, how you actually go about tackling a problem, how well you recover from setbacks, and how you define “success” and “happiness” for yourself. You focus more on preventing losses than achieving goals, and you will likely try to avoid situations where will be judged or evaluated.
Fear of failure can lead to self-sabotaging behaviors, setting the bar too low for yourself, a lack of motivation, and not living up to your full potential. Being constantly afraid of failing can cause you to lack energy and feel fatigued and produces high levels of stress from chronic worry about failing. To avoid these adverse outcomes, you need to push past your failure mindset to embrace a growth-oriented mentality that values challenges.
How To Overcome The Failure Mindset
Similar to the all-or-nothing mindset and the fixed mindset, overcoming a fear of failure is all about embracing other possibilities and challenges in life. Learning to tackle problems head-on and deal with the repercussions of your choices is the sign of a healthy, proactive mindset, and there are many things you can do to overcome your fear of failure and embrace these new ways of thinking.
What you define as failure can help determine how to change your mindset. For example, if you deem yourself a failure because you have not lived up to someone else’s expectations or accomplished the same as others, then you need to work on ending your need to compare yourself to others. If you deem failure as not being the absolute best at something, then you are falling victim to more of an all-or-nothing mindset, which is also addressed in this book.
Learning from your mistakes is perhaps the best way to overcome a failure mindset. Instead of looking at missteps and stumbles negatively, instead turn it around to find out what you can learn from the situation. Now that you’ve failed, you have more information than you did before about what does and doesn’t work. How can you apply this new knowledge in the future? After all, you’re smarter now than you were before.
Many times, our focus on failure is not based on rational thought. Try imagining what would happen, exactly, if you did fail at a particular goal. Think about the worst possible outcome. If that occurred, what would you do? How would you handle it? How likely is that to happen?
Most of us spend way too much time worrying about things that will never actually happen in life. How about you use that time and energy to instead focus on what you can gain from taking this chance?
It’s not the failure that is threatening but instead your worry and fear about what that failure really means. Build up your confidence by engaging in activities in which you excel, and then build upon those successes by taking new chances. Start to embrace possibilities instead of fearing outcomes, and soon you’ll start to see that you can accomplish anything to which you set your mind.
Comparing Yourself To Others Mindset
There’s only one case of comparing to others that can help us aspire to greatness. For example, having a person who’s achieved great accomplishments as a personal inspiration or role model can be good for us. But that’s not how most of us compare ourselves to others. It’s human nature to compare just about everything to everything else. The human psyche is a judging psyche, constantly evaluating all aspects of the environment. However, when we compare ourselves to other people, constant disappointment is going to be the outcome. There’ll always be those with more or less than us.
Still, the tendency to judge ourselves using other people as our measuring stick is destructive. Consider this: no two people are the same. No matter how similar they are in character, intelligence, and circumstances, they are not identical, ever. Even identical twins have some genetic variances.
Young people, especially teenagers, compare themselves to each other to get a sense of normalcy. They want to figure out where they “rank” among their peers. This is a fallacy of the young, as there’s really no such thing as “normal,” just a series of averages and only for the things that can be counted.
For people of all ages, consider:
- A fair comparison would require an objective unit of measure. However, there’s no such thing when we are talking about human beings. Is a person’s income a measure of their worth? Of course not. Number of cars? No. Facebook friends? Again, no. These aren’t valid measures.
- The self-minimizing fallacy defeats us. We tend to use the worst about ourselves and compare it to the imagined best of someone else.
- Comparisons tend to nullify our unique nature. We can’t compare ourselves to people we can never be, who likewise could never be us.
- Comparisons cause worry and worry is the thief of both time and mental energy.
- People are unique. Even though you might not see how unique you are, a comparison between you and others can never ever be accurate.
- Comparing ourselves to others prevents us from learning to take joy and pleasure in our own accomplishments.
How To Overcome Comparing Yourself To Others
- Consider how comparing yourself to others has harmed you. It’s probably a long list. Make a list of anything good that all this comparing has done. Is it a long list? No! Comparing yourself to others doesn’t inspire us to do great things.
- Give yourself credit for all your successes. Success isn’t simply something huge like winning a Nobel Prize. It’s everything
you do that you work for. People are
typically much tougher on themselves than others, so give yourself the credit that you deserve.
- Develop gratitude. Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so work on it. Count what you have, not what you don’t.
- Be kind to yourself and others. Comparing yourself unfavorably to others can create resentment.
- If you must compare, compare yourself to yourself. Like we noted above, making progress towards goals is enjoyable if we give ourselves the credit we deserve.
The Greedy Mindset
Living with greed may seem like the ideal way to get what you want in life, but a greedy mindset is a surefire way to lose what really matters most in life, which is your own happiness and well- being. The greedy mentality, which seeks always to have “more,” can have a significant negative impact on you.
What Is Greed?
When you excessively desire to have more than you need or deserve in life, you have a greedy mindset. While greed is most often associated with money and wealth, you can also be greedy for love, power, status, attention, affection, food, sex, and just about anything that makes you feel pleasure. Each of us has specific things that make us feel good, and when you want these to the extreme, you may believe or act in greedy ways.
For most people, a greedy mindset stems from negative experiences early in your life. If your parents abused or neglected you, if their presence was inconsistent in your life, or if you lacked for basic needs, this could lead you to feel the need to “hoard” possessions, money, or wealth
later in life. Many times, the things we covet and collect are substitutes for those things we missed out on early in life.
Your greed also helps comfort and reassure you when you are stressed, when you experience a loss, or when you are trying to fill an emptiness within yourself. We compensate for other negative emotions and longings in our lives by coveting and collecting things or experiences that distract us. This is the very nature of greed.
The Drawbacks Of A Greedy Mindset
While greed is often valued in economics and capitalism, it is not something that will likely help you achieve personal happiness and well-being. Greed is a form of fixation, and when you focus on one aspect of your life, others will naturally become neglected.
When you have a greedy mindset, you may recognize that this behavior is not healthy and resort to hiding your actions and desires from others. Greed can also lead you to engage in all types of negative behaviors to attain that which you most want. These behaviors can be harmful to you or to others. Many people with a greedy mindset use deception and spite to mask their disposition and behaviors.
When you have a mindset run by greed, you will also likely experience stress, despair, and depression or engage in negative behaviors like gambling, stealing, or hoarding. Your reasoning and logical processes shut down in the face of attaining your heart’s desire, and you’ll do just about anything to get what you want.
You can never become truly self-actualized and reach your full potential when your life is run by feelings of greed. If you want to attain true happiness, you have to overcome the greed mindset.
How To Overcome The Greedy Mindset
Regardless of what it is you crave the most, it’s your intention that matters most. No matter what you are trying to amass, you must tackle the intention that drives your greed if you wish to overcome it. Your mind is what is driving your actions to collect your trophies.
To change your mindset from one of greed to one of generosity, you first have to distinguish between selfish thought and greedy action. You can still WANT something without actually taking it for yourself. The first step, then, is recognition of your greed, your actions related to your greedy mindset, and how these affect yourself and others.
Once you have a better handle on this, you can start practicing letting go of the selfishness and choosing options that are good for others rather than yourself. When you see the greed arising, see that it’s there, move past it, and make a different choice that doesn’t benefit just you.
There are always choices, in every situation, and the longer you practice selflessness, the easier it will be to say goodbye to your greedy mindset. Doing a kindness for others and seeing how much your generosity can benefit someone else’s life, is another excellent way to stop thinking and behaving in a greedy way.
Letting go of greed is an excellent way to find peace, satisfaction, and happiness in your life. When you surrender the need to amass things or experiences in life, you can start to enjoy all the other aspects of being alive. Learning to overcome a greedy mindset is, indeed, the path to better abundance in life.
The Angry Mindset
The angry mindset is not one that describes the occasional angry outburst or yelling episode. No, this mindset occurs when your general reaction to most things in your life is anger and angry behaviors.
An angry mindset usually indicates you are hiding from or coping with some deeper emotions and learning to control your anger and live with a more positive mindset can transform your life for the better.
Understanding The Angry Mindset
There are generally three triggers that commonly evoke angry behaviors in those with this mindset. The first is when your sense of justice or fairness has been wronged. In these instances, you may hear yourself reacting in frustration or rage when you perceive that someone else was able to “get away” with something or that they are acting in ways they are not entitled to behave.
It is also common to react angrily when what you need or want to do is being slowed or stopped by someone else. Road rage is an extreme example of this type of angry mindset reaction. The other most common reason you may become angry or feel angry often is that you perceive that things are not happening in the way the “should.” Reality is not meeting your expectations, so you react with anger.
Becoming angry at trivial or important things in life has its drawbacks. You persist in your angry mindset because it gets you what you want, either by motivating you to take action or by intimidating others with your rage. But, beyond this stimulus/response relationship, your angry mindset is also harming your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Being angry is a form of stress and living in a chronic state of anger can cause cardiovascular damage, raise your blood pressure, and lead to other physical problems. When you are angry, you are more likely to do risky things, like driving too quickly or drinking, which can also cause harm to you and others.
Anger has a severe impact on your relationships with others. When your partner, children, and friends don’t know how you’ll react to things, they may become reluctant to spend time with you. When you are angry all the time, you drive people away, as they don’t want to spend time around someone in this mindset.
The emotional toll on you for feeling angry all the time is also large. You stop being able to enjoy your life and live in the present, as you are always worried about past injustices or the possible threat from others. A well-known saying sums up the emotional cost of the angry mindset. “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Anger harms you far more than anyone else.
How To Overcome The Angry Mindset
Stress tends to make it easier to fly off the handle and give into angry thoughts. Lowering your overall stress level, through exercise, meditation, healthy eating, and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel less stressed and more able to cope with your anger issues.
Become aware of what makes you angry. Listen to your self-talk and pay attention to that triggers you as well as how you respond to those triggers. This can help you avoid situations that invoke anger, diffuse angry thoughts when they emerge, and stay in touch with your anger.
Recognize the impact that your angry behavior has on you and others. Is it helping you (or anyone else) for you to get angry and create a scene? What benefit will come from your fuming over this incident for the remainder of your day?
Turn your angry thoughts toward something more positive. Instead of focusing on the jerk in line in front of you, listen to your favorite song or think about your plans for tonight with your family. Turn your attention away from the situation causing you anger toward something more pleasant.
Learn to practice mindful breathing, which can lower your stress and diffuse angry outbursts. Practice relaxation techniques whenever you start to feel anger creeping in to keep your emotions under control.
When you chronically respond to life and people with anger, you are giving in to a negative mindset that is preventing you from achieving your dreams. An angry mindset means you are focusing more on what is wrong in life than what is right and good. Learning to control your anger will put you back in control of your life, allow you to use your logic and reasoning to attain your goals, and bring you closer to those you love.
The Procrastination Mindset
Many people may not believe that having a procrastination mindset can actually impact their life and happiness. But, willingly procrastinating in major aspects of your life can not only cause you to lose out on achieving your dreams but can even damage your health and relationships. If you find that you’re constantly putting off until tomorrow what you could do today, you may have a procrastination mindset that needs some attention.
How Procrastination Affects Your Well-Being
There many ways that your habits of procrastination could be affecting your life. It’s important first to understand why you choose to procrastinate. Are you avoiding unwanted outcomes? Have you set the wrong goals for yourself and are therefore uninterested? Are you fearful of a certain outcome and are consequently unwilling to see it realized? Recognizing the source or sources of your procrastination will be helpful when wanting to change these behaviors. But why is procrastination so harmful?
Most people with a procrastination mindset will experience health problems in their life. Putting off regular check-ups, routine tests, and preventative care can lead to missed diagnoses and learning too late about serious illnesses. Plus, putting off simple care such as dental visits and eye exams can cause you to lose the use of your teeth or vision when major problems go undetected.
When you procrastinate, you also tend to live in a state of constant stress. You feel anxiety, regret, and guilt over the things you are delaying doing, which results in higher levels of stress. This releases more stress hormones into your body, which raises blood pressure, reduces inhibitions for unhealthy habits, and affects your physical and mental health in innumerable ways.
Procrastination is a sign that you lack self-control, which translates into your lost productivity and vitality. All of these traits mean you are less likely to work hard toward achieving a goal. It also says you probably set your sights on very low aims, leading to less need to effort. Your procrastinating mindset is, therefore, holding you back from achieving great things in life.
Your habit of putting things off means you are not realizing your full potential, which will ultimately lead to less satisfaction and happiness in your life. Those who procrastinate are less likely to be fulfilled or report true joy in life, with many reporting mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
How To Overcome A Procrastination Mindset
You can change the way you think and therefore transform your mindset from one of procrastination to one or being proactive in your own life. When you learn to recognize your avoidance behaviors, you can start choosing discipline over pleasure to help you achieve what you want in life. Here are a few tips for avoiding this mindset.
Considering how your actions will affect your future and overall happiness is one way to avoid procrastinating. If you keep the bigger picture in mind, it will help you see the significance of the tasks you are avoiding.
Getting started can often be the most difficult step and one that keeps many of us procrastinating forever. Instead, build the time to be confused and figure it out into your action plan. Step 1: Figure out what my plan is. Step 2: Feel confused that I don’t know what I’m doing. Step 3: Ask for help or get feedback from someone you trust. Having a plan for getting through the hard part will make it possible to get moving.
Change how you feel about failure. Rather than something to avoid, failure should be viewed as an opportunity to learn. When you fail, you walk away with so much more information than you had before to inform your skills. You now know one way NOT to do something, which is more than you knew before.
If you find your procrastination mindset is helpful, because you work better under some amount of pressure, then use that to your advantage. Active procrastination, when you strategically wait to generate the type of intense focus you need, can be helpful, and in that case, is okay. If you are just procrastinating to avoid work, though, that’s unhealthy and should be addressed. Bottom line- know what works for you and why.
Whether your procrastination stems from the avoidance of negative outcomes, fear, lack of motivation, or something else, it can definitely have a negative impact on your life. Learning to identify then curtail this negative mindset will be critical if you want to truly achieve your dreams in life.
The People-Pleasing Mindset
You may find it odd to declare that pleasing others could be considered a negative mindset. But, the people-pleasing mindset is not just about making others happy. When you have are a people pleaser, you try to be all things to everyone and regularly place others’ needs and wishes before your own. When you embrace this mindset, you will never be able to effectively reach your goals and please the most important person in your life, which is yourself.
The Drawbacks of Being a People Pleaser
The desire to please other people is often a symptom of other issues. For example, when you focus on others’ needs, you may not feel that your own needs are worthy of attention. The need for acceptance and admiration may also be driving your chronic people-pleasing behavior. If you have been poorly treated in the past, whether by abuse or neglect, you may turn to this type of maladaptive behavior as a way to stop being mistreated by others.
Being kind to others is not the same as a people-pleasing mindset. A people pleaser will nearly always say yes when asked for a favor (and feel guilty when they have to say no), will pretend to agree with opinions or ideas they don’t support, and will feel responsible for the emotions and reactions of other people.
How can you tell if you have a people-pleasing mindset? Here are some signs for which to watch out. If you often apologize for your behavior, even when you are not at fault for anything, you may have this mindset. Another sign is if your schedule is crammed with activities that benefit only other people, not yourself.
If you can’t say “no” to others, are uncomfortable with someone is mad at you, or if you adopt the behaviors of others in your life, you are trying very hard to make others happy. But where in all of this are you and your needs?
People pleaser have lost sight of their own priorities, personality, and dreams. This can lead to feelings of resentment and anger as well as frustration over unrealized goals. Need the constant approval and recognition of others to be fulfilled means you lack the self-worth to love yourself. Pleasing others often comes at the expense of you and your needs, which is not a healthy way to live.
How To Overcome A People-Pleasing Mindset
To shift your people-pleasing mindset, you must consider what emotional need is being met by engaging in these behaviors. Perhaps you enjoy that people rely on you or consider you very capable, which is why they keep asking for your help. But what other emotions are you experiencing because of your behavior? Are you really happy, does this mindset bring you gratification? Or are you drained and disappointed most of the time? Get in touch with your emotions to determine if being a people pleaser is all you want in life.
You can still do good deeds for others and not be a people pleaser. Volunteering, donation, and helping others can still be a mission in your life without sacrificing your identity. Find healthier ways to give to others without giving away too much of yourself.
Focus on establishing goals for yourself that help meet your needs. For a portion of every day, you should dedicate time and energy toward these goals, with no thought to how others are doing or how they view you. Set aside time for yourself every day to get back in touch with your needs and dreams.
Before you say “yes” the next time someone asks you to do something, stop and think carefully. Is this something you really want to do? How will doing this benefit you? Will doing this stop you from doing something else that you want to do?
Instead of denying help to everyone, start by focusing only on giving support to those you really love. Giving to people is a noble goal, so you don’t have to stop this priority, but be choosier about those whom you allow to occupy your time and energy.
Learning to please yourself before others may be a new mindset for you, but it is one that can lead to more happiness, better balance, and the fulfillment of your own demands and desires.
You are not responsible for anyone’s happiness but your own and learning to say no to guilt and obligation for others will allow you the perspective to understand this. Learn to value yourself and you will find new ways to help others in ways that respect both you and them.
The Excuse Mindset
While it may be necessary from time to time to explain your behavior or decisions to others, if you find that you are constantly engaged in this type of behavior, you may be making excuses for yourself. If you need to explain your unhealthy or unwanted behaviors to others by making excuses, it may be time to make a change.
Why We Make Excuses
There are many reasons you may try to justify your decisions or actions to someone else, but when these explanations come from a negative place or are meant just to rationalize your poor choices, your excuse-making could be harming your life.
Among the many reasons people make excuses, fear and a lack of self-worth are among the top. Fear that others will judge your bad choices or see that you are making decisions that are harmful to yourself or others can lead to all sorts of excuses. When you lack the self-esteem to make better decisions for yourself, you may turn to making excuses for your poor performance or the self-handicapping behaviors you choose over attaining the success you desire.
Many people want to excuse their lack of motivation for sustaining an effort. No one wants to admit they failed at something, after all. When you are doubtful of your own abilities, when you change your mind about what you are trying to achieve, or when you are afraid of how others will view you in light of your setbacks, excuses become a way to save face.
Making excuses may seem like a harmless coping mechanism, but this behavior can harm your life in many ways. When you feel you have to give reasons for unhealthy choices and self- sabotaging behaviors, you can damage your health as well as your relationships with others. When you excuse away dishonest or illegal behavior, others can lose trust in you, as well.
Excuses become a way to blame your bad choices on others or life’s circumstances, which keeps you from having to accept responsibility for or learn from your mistakes. Over time, making excuses just increases your own insecurities and wreaks havoc on your relationships with other people, both personally and professionally.
If your excuses are holding you back from reaching your goals or achieving the happiness you want in life, you can change your mindset and start accepting responsibility for your life. Here are a few ways to improve your mindset from one of making excuses to one of taking responsibility.
Changing Your Excuse Mindset
When you are ready to stop making excuses and start taking responsibility in your life, there are many things you can do to change your mindset. Start with letting go of your need to compare yourself to others. Your strengths and gifts are yours and no one else’s, and it doesn’t matter what others have accomplished in their lives.
Acknowledge your fears. Decide what is making you so afraid that you must make excuses to others and yourself. And what would happen in your life if those fears became a reality? Often, the anticipation is worse than the actual outcome. Confront your fears so you can move past them and stop avoiding them with excuses.
If you want to stop making excuses, set a goal for yourself and create a plan for how you will accomplish it, including how you will make better choices when things get difficult. How can you plan for avoiding your normal behavior of making excuses? Start today by doing something that will make your dream a reality.
Work on admitting your mistakes and faults. Be willing to accept your flaws as well as openly admit them to others in your life. No one is perfect, and when you start to recognize that it is okay that you aren’t either, you can stop making excuses when things go wrong.
Most of all, you need to stop blaming others and start accepting responsibility for your life. No one got you where you are but yourself. No matter what, you made decisions that led to your present circumstances. Acknowledge your role, and stop placing blame on others, or you’ll never get rid of your excuse mindset.
Learning to accept responsibility and stop making excuses will take time, but it is worth it in the end. When you stop making excuses, you can start to achieve your goals and attain the happiness you deserve. Once you’re ready to be finished with excuses and start taking action, you’ll see how quickly your life becomes what you want it to be.
The Risk-Averse Mindset
Learning to avoid risks is an evolutionary trait, but when you spend your life following a risk- averse mindset, you can find that you are missing out on many opportunities for happiness and success. Always playing it safe isn’t necessarily the best choice in life and learning how to change your risk-averse mindset can help you learn to appreciate when risks are a positive thing.
In many ways, you can view the risk-averse mindset as a type of fixed mindset. Conversely, having a risk-ready mindset could be analogous to a growth mindset. Let’s examine these more closely to see how they compare.
Understanding The Risk-Averse Mindset
When you consider your mindset, you need to ask yourself how comfortable you are with taking chances and risking failure in life. If you have a fixed mindset, you likely don’t see much benefit in taking chances, as your abilities and talents will help you succeed in life. But, if you have embraced a growth mindset, then you are more likely to embrace risks and understand that you can learn a great deal from making mistakes.
Risk aversion is something our brains naturally do, as our minds seek to keep us safe from danger and avoid physical harm. However, our brains are not really capable of differentiating between certain types of risk at this primeval level. They just know that you are feeling stressed and sense possible problems, so you should get ready to run away to avoid the problem.
Avoiding risks is excellent if you’re talking about an encounter with a deadly animal, an armed assailant, or a possible car accident. But avoiding all dangers in life means you never really grow or thrive. Learning to adapt to change, try new things, and learn from our mistakes is what makes us most unique among the animal kingdom and masters of our own destiny.
Becoming more open to risk means that you see the benefit in making changes in your life, allowing yourself to be vulnerable to other people, and to taking chances on reaching new levels of success and happiness. When you have a risk-averse mindset, you allow your fear of failure, rejection, making a mistake, or exposing your faults to others rule your decisions in life.
How To Overcome A Risk-Averse Mindset
To shift away from a risk-averse mindset, you should start by questioning your unwillingness to take chances. What are you afraid of? If your worst fears came true, what exactly would happen? Is there another way to think about this risk and how it might actually benefit your life?
Take your worst-case scenario and carry it out to its logical conclusion.
Take each fear you experience along this path and consider what would really happen if it came true?
Would that be the end of the world?
Could you overcome these obstacles and still be able to succeed? Confronting your fears often sheds light on the unknown and makes it less daunting.
Often, the anticipation is worse than the actual thing you are avoiding. Instead of sitting around worrying about it and talking yourself out of doing something, just dive in and do it.
Start by taking smaller risks. Do one thing today that scares you just a little. Learning to accept the consequences of risk, and to actually experience both success and failure after taking smaller risks will help learn to take larger ones later on.
Becoming less risk-averse and learning to embrace the challenges and possible setbacks in life is the hallmark of embracing the growth mindset. Learning to be more risk-ready can help you set higher goals, accomplish what you want in life, and be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. Set your sights today on conquering your fear and taking some risks.
The Victim Mindset
Living with a victim mindset means you are consistently blaming others or abdicating responsibility for the negative things that happen in your life. This mindset is a sign that you have a psychological need to avoid personal responsibility and leads to many negative outcomes.
Understanding The Victim Mentality
Do you know someone who focuses a great deal of time worrying about how others are trying to harm them, that life just isn’t fair, that nothing seems to ever go their way? This is the epitome of the victim mindset. Those with this disposition generally believe that life is out of their personal control, that it is something that seems to happen to them (usually in negative ways), and so they, therefore, have no real active role in what they do.
The victim mindset usually results in pointing fingers and placing blame on others. Most people who feel they are the victim in life engage in angry and pessimistic behaviors and often feel very sorry for themselves. They also often refuse to accept responsibility for their actions, mistakes, or the consequences of their decisions.
Those with a victim mindset often take a passive approach to life, as they think that their effort doesn’t really matter all that much when life is going to treat them unfairly anyway. They also refuse to accept their own role in their mistakes or misfortunes, which often leads to them blaming others, including those for whom they care most.
When you are a victim, you lack resiliency to overcome obstacles or recover from setbacks, which can limit your ability to achieve what you want in life. Most people who live with a victim mindset are overly angry or act in very selfish ways throughout their life, which can affect their relationships, as well.
How To Avoid The Victim Mentality
To avoid the victim mindset, you must first stop blaming others for your misfortunes. Look carefully for and accept your role in your situation. You made choices along the way to get you to this point. What were those choices, and how will you make different ones in the future?
Forgiveness may be necessary for you to stop feeling like a victim, as well. Whether it is forgiving yourself for past mistakes or others for their transgressions, it may be impossible to move on until you have forgiven. Talk with the person who wronged you. Even if you don’t get an apology, the act of sharing your hurt can help you let go of your anger and sadness.
You need to also to focus on your own sense of self. Loving yourself can help you begin to accept responsibility and take control over your life. You can also stop playing the victim when you focus on gratitude instead of the negative aspects of your life. It’s hard to feel like a victim when your mind is focused on what is good and right in life. Cultivate gratitude, and you’ll soon stop blaming others.
You are not a victim, you are a survivor. You have persisted despite what has happened in your life, you are still standing, and you are ready to tackle the future. Shift your mindset to focus on what you have learned that has brought you to this point, then actively use that to make a plan for your future.
When you feel like the world is out to get you are isn’t giving you a fair shake, turn it around by doing something nice for others. When you engage in acts of kindness toward others, you will notice how kindnesses are often given to you, as well.
Those who lack self-confidence are also likely to hold on to the victim mindset. If you feel unworthy of love or success, then your misfortunes are the world’s way of confirming that to you. Work on boosting your confidence and project self-worth, and soon you’ll start to believe just how much you deserve happiness.
When you decide to play an active, positive role in your own life, you will stop playing the victim and start achieving your goals. Releasing your victim mentality is critical for attaining happiness and well-being. Learn to become the master of your own destiny and take responsibility for your life, and you can reach whatever heights you set your sights on.
The Ungrateful Mindset
If you look closely at the happiest people you know in life, there is one trait they are all very likely to share. Being grateful for your life, the people in it, and what you have accomplished, can help you achieve success and live the life you’ve always imagined. Learning to become grateful, and shed your ungrateful mindset, is the key to attaining all you want and need.
Understanding The Ungrateful Mindset
Being ungrateful fosters other negative thoughts and actions. When you don’t feel as though what you have is good enough or that you aren’t getting what you “deserve” in life, you tend to focus more on yourself and less on others. This leads to more selfish behaviors and a lack of empathy for others’ needs.
When you practice gratitude, others are more likely to be grateful for you and to help when you are in need. That means that living with an ungrateful mindset is more likely to mean you receive less help from others, even when you truly need it.
When you harbor negative thoughts and selfishness, your mind stays focused on the negative, dwelling on what is wrong in your life. This negativity spiral can leave you feeling angry, resentful, and unfulfilled. When you are consistently focused on what is missing or wrong, you can start making poor decisions based on what you perceive is lacking rather than your strengths.
When you live with an ungrateful mindset, you are focused on the hurt, fear, and anger that create your doubt. Learning to focus instead on your blessings can fuel your inspiration and help create a more positive mindset.
How To Overcome The Ungrateful Mindset
If you want to learn to be more grateful for what you have in life, there are many activities you can regularly do that can help you rid yourself of your ungrateful mindset. Start by keeping a daily gratitude journal. Each day, write down all the things that happened in the day that helped you, made you happy, or were otherwise positive contributions in your life. Writing these down is an excellent way to focus your mind on these positive aspects.
Consider how your life has improved over time. Look back on harder times in your life to remind yourself of how far you have come or what you have learned from those negative experiences. Remembering worse times can help you appreciate what you currently have.
Learn to pay attention to all aspects of life, including the simple pleasures that make life worth living. Become more mindful of the sounds, smells, and tastes that make life vibrant and exciting. Focus your attention on these gifts to remind yourself how beautiful the world can be.
Create some visual reminders to place in areas of prominence that remind you to check your gratefulness throughout the day. Place visual cues in your office and around your home to trigger your mind to stop and focus throughout your day on your gratitude.
Listen to your language, and make an effort to banish negative talk, both in how you talk to others as well as yourself. When you hear yourself complaining or grumbling, stop it immediately. Instead, change your words to focus on all the abundance and positivity you can in your life.
Learning to shift your ungrateful mindset toward one of gratitude will help you learn to appreciate your life and those in it more. When you are ungrateful, everything in your life is a problem to be solved or an obstacle to overcome. But with gratitude, you will start to see opportunities to embrace and goals to reach. Shifting your mindset can help you achieve your dreams and become the person you have always wanted.
All Or Nothing Thinking Mindset
Those who see the world as black-or-white and right-or-wrong have an all-or-nothing mindset. This mentality is a very negative thinking pattern that is common in those with certain types of mental health disorders.
This distorted way of thinking leads to a false belief that there is no room for error or improvement in life and focusing on the downside of most situations. First, we’ll examine the details of this mindset, then discuss ways to overcome this way of thinking.
Understanding the All-Or-Nothing Mindset
Those with anxiety or depression are more likely to have an all-or-nothing mindset. This mentality is what is known as a cognitive distortion, which means your thoughts patterns are irrational or exaggerated. Those with this mindset separate most of their perceptions into two extremes, leaving little room in the middle for possibilities.
If you find yourself thinking in absolute terms, like never and always, you may have an all-or- nothing mindset. This way of thinking hinders you from seeing alternatives or solutions, and if you also have depression, this mindset very often focuses solely on the negative side.
When you have an all-or-nothing mindset, you are either a rock star or a complete failure; you are either the best or the worst. Minor setbacks can cause you to think you will never be happy or prosperous, which can lead to reduced motivation and effort.
Because there is no in-between, all-or-nothing mindsets don’t allow you to develop resiliency, to learn from past mistakes, to willingly take many risks, or to thrive in your life. When you are bound to exist only at the extremes, you are setting yourself up for sadness and failure.
How To Overcome All-Or-Nothing Thinking
Seeing only one side of a situation means you don’t have all the information you need to make the best decisions. When you recognize your all-or-nothing mindset is hindering you, here are some things you can do the break free.
Start by asking those you trust to help you see alternatives and other perspectives. When you can’t come up with these on your own, ask for help from those who know you best.
When considering a situation, avoid thinking about “or” and instead focus on “and.” Very few things in this world are one thing or the other. Most can be both. When you make a mistake, you can think about how you are a good person with many good qualities, AND you also make mistakes from time to time. It’s not one or the other. It’s both. “And” makes you more willing to accept that you can be many things at once, that many different realities are possible and exist together.
To practice being comfortable with multiple possibilities, consider the following questions. As you do, think carefully about how numerous things can be real at the same time, and what this means for other parts of your life.
- Can I be smart and sill do something dumb now and then?
- Can I love someone and still be disappointed in them occasionally?
- Can I love my job but still not feel like going to work sometimes?
- Can something be hard now but become easier in the future? When you start to realize that nothing is ever ALL or NOTHING, you can envision that those “disasters” you are fretting over could have other outcomes, too.
When trying to make a decision, work hard to consider all the possibilities. Make a list, brainstorm as many options as you can, and keep adding until you can’t think of any more. This is where asking for help can come in handy, as others may think of options you had never considered.
All-or-nothing mindsets can become very rigid and are rarely helpful or healthy. When you expand your perspective, you can become inspired and encouraged rather than afraid and depressed. By opening your thinking to other possibilities, you can better connect with others and can start to experience a more vibrant, more abundant life that leads to your fulfilment.
When Your Mindset Is Stuck In The Past Or Fixated On The Future
People typically lose themselves in the past or future due to their unhappiness with the present. People also look to the past when they’re unsure about how to proceed in their present. They feel nostalgia for the good times and regret that those times passed.
There’s a strong urge to somehow reclaim those moments by keeping them alive—and keeping the past alive in our memory is just fine. However, memory is just that—a memory. The here and now requires us to think, to plan, but primarily, to do. Living in the future brings in that kind of “deferred happiness” we’ll discuss a little later.
However, there’s something to establish about the past and future: they don’t exist now. Yes, the past once existed. We arrived in the present by following every moment from those rosy days gone by, but you’re in the present. In a sense, all of the past has been a kind of training to prepare you for this present you’re living in.
Living for the future causes a kind of deferred happiness. Maybe we tell ourselves “I’ll be happy when I have a better job,” or “I’ll be happy when I have a family,” and so forth. Living for the future isn’t the same as planning for it. Living in the past isn’t the same as appreciating it. There’s only one place you can live with any degree of success, and that’s the here and now.
When your mindset keeps you stuck in the past, ruminating over past hurts or wrongs, reliving failures or disappointments, you are choosing not to live in your present and engage in the creation of your future.
Moving on from the past can be difficult, especially if you have been deeply hurt, but the only way to achieve a healthier and happier self is to learn to put it where it belongs, which is behind you.
How A Mindset Stuck In The Past Is Affecting You Now
While it is legitimate to be hurt by something wrong done to you in the past or to regret past mistakes or failures, what is more important is what you do with this knowledge and these emotions as you live your present life.
You can even be stuck in the past when it comes to positive things, as well. Ever met someone who can’t stop talking about how great it was when their kids were little or a retiree who does nothing but reminisce about their former career? While you can be proud of your past accomplishments, as well, living in the past means you are neglecting your present and, possibly, your future.
Letting go of the past means you accept what happened to you, you are engaged fully in your present, and you are playing an active role in creating the future you want. By focusing solely on past events, you are limiting yourself in the present, and you are preventing yourself from moving on.
More important than holding on to past events, whether they be positive or negative, is how you are using the knowledge today to inform your decisions now and for the future.
What lessons did you learn that you can use right now? How can that experience help you achieve what you want tomorrow, next month, or next year? It’s what you do with your knowledge of the past that is the most important, not the constant revisiting of that experience.
How To Overcome A Mindset Stuck In The Past
Letting go of the past doesn’t mean you forget what happened but that you chose to live in the present and accept that you cannot change or relive what has already occurred. It also means you embrace the possibilities that the future offers and use your past to help you create a life you want. Here are some ways to live for today and let go of the past.
Once you recognize that your thinking is stuck in the past, you need to make the conscious decision to let go. Think of this like making a commitment to yourself. Do it purposefully and with intention.
You are going to let go of the hurt or disappointment or whatever it is keeping you in the past. Once you have done this, you can accept that you have a choice to let go.
To truly let go, especially of trauma or sadness from your past, you must acknowledge the negative emotions, then purposefully express how those events affected you so that you can say good-bye to this part of your life and move on.
Get it all out, write it down or talk with a friend, but rid your system of the emotions that these memories are causing you. Then you will be able to acknowledge that you are no longer allowing the past to influence your present.
Accepting responsibility is essential to letting go of the past. You cannot simply blame others or play the victim. You made choices, and part of those choices led to those events. You have also made choices since then to continue to allow the past to control your life.
Today is another day you can make decisions, and when you choose to live in the present and let go of the past, you are opting to no longer allow the past to control your life. You have the ability to make a change, and you need to accept responsibility for that.
Learn to practice mindfulness and gratitude. Be present in your daily life. Learn to appreciate what you have, what is good and right in your world. Keep a gratitude journal, engage in mindfulness exercises, and become more connected with the bounty and beauty of your present life.
Learning to let go often means practicing forgiveness for yourself as well as for others. It also means accepting responsibility for your life and recognizing that only you can make your life what you want it to be.
Letting go of past trauma can be especially hard, so you may want to seek professional help to help you move on from particularly hard past events. But don’t give up. It is possible to learn to let go of the past and live in the future. But only you can make the choice to do that.
Next, be grateful for the day you’re in right now. You can accomplish great things every day when you free yourself from being controlled by the past or held back by fears or dreams of the future.
Appreciate everything around you right now, because it’s as alive and vital as any other moment you’ve ever lived—or will live. Focus on what you can do today to make your tomorrow brighter. Stay focused in action you can take now.
When Your Mindset Is Fixed
It’s time to dig a little deeper into the fixed mindset, which fundamentally believes that you cannot change yourself. When you think you are incapable of real change, you find that changing the circumstances in which you find yourself or achieving true happiness is impossible. Learning to “un-fix” your mindset, therefore, is crucial for achieving true happiness
Understanding The Fixed-Mindset
Your mindset is the key to being willing and able to create meaningful change in your life. When your beliefs tell you that you cannot change yourself or that you are incapable of having true influence over life’s circumstances, then you are likely to remain stuck and unhappy.
Your fixed mindset tells you that change is impossible, that your actions have no real influence over the outcome, that you were born with all the talent you’ll ever possess in life. Seeing life this way is guaranteed to stifle your goals, keep your stuck in negative situations, and prevent you from growing and evolving over time.
When you believe that you cannot change yourself or your life, you doubt your own capabilities, which stifles your resolve and resilience. You lack the motivation to learn, which prevents you from accepting challenges or risking failure.
A fixed mindset causes stress, leads to feelings of helplessness and possibly depression, and can even make you last out at others when you resent their success and attitude toward life. If you find yourself unwilling to try, avoiding difficult situations, or feeling hopeless in your life, your fixed mindset could be holding you back.
Signs Of A Fixed Mindset
Reflect upon these questions to help you determine if you need to consider how your mindset is affecting you.
- In the past, how have you handled unexpected changes in your life? How easily (or not) were you able to adapt when faced with obstacles?
- How often do you try new experiences? When was the last time you tried a new activity?
- When was the last time you were able to quit an unwanted habit or establish a positive behavior?
- How often do you accomplish goals you set for yourself?
- When you think about failing, what comes to mind? How does the thought of failure make you feel?
Understanding your mindset toward change can help you determine where you need to work to move towards a more growth-oriented way of thinking.
How To Overcome A Fixed Mindset
The first step to overcoming a fixed mindset is to stop making excuses for avoiding change. There are likely all kinds of things you tell yourself to avoid change or deny its possibility. “I’m too old.” “I’m not smart enough.” “I can’t start over at this point in my life.” “I have to worry about others as well as myself.” Sound familiar?
Sometimes, it’s difficult to change your mindset, so you must first change your behavior. Once you see the results of new actions, your beliefs will start to follow suit. For one week, practice saying “yes” to every opportunity, suggestion, or invitation you receive. No matter what people ask you to do, say yes (unless it will harm you or someone else, obviously). When you engage in these new activities, how do you feel? What are the results of your experiences?
Saying yes can lead to great things. First, it gives you a chance to see new possibilities. Second, if you don’t do well or fail completely, who cares? It wasn’t even your idea in the first place! And you can experience setbacks and flops without worry of long-term impact.
You also need to work on your attitude towards change. Ask yourself what it is you are most bothered by when you think about what it means to change. Are you afraid? Do you lack confidence in your abilities? Are you unclear about your priorities and values?
Get to know the reasons you are fixed in place, and you’ll be able to tackle those in a more effective manner. This book’s many chapters can help you identify other strategies for overcoming your fixed mindset, once you identify its real cause.
If you really want to achieve happiness, you must learn to embrace change and the possibilities it holds. Commit to yourself that you will uncover what bothers you most about change, then you can find the courage to invest in yourself and make the changes you need to live the life you want.
Fixed Versus Growth Mindset
So, we know that our dispositions or attitudes guide our behavior in life. These mindsets are what govern your decisions, how you perceive others, and your reactions to life’s many variables.
One theory of mindset divides everyone into one of two categories when it comes to mindset. According to scholar Carol Dweck, among many others, you either have a fixed or a growth mindset. And depending on which of these you embrace will determine how well you succeed in life.
Let’s dig a little deeper into the differences between a growth and fixed mindset, how these influence your decisions and behaviors, and how to change this mindset if you are unhappy with where it is currently.
The Fixed Mindset
If you have a fixed mindset, you believe that your traits are fixed, and you are not really able to change much in life. People with this mindset believe that qualities such as talent or intelligence are things you are born with (or not), and your life should be spent cataloging and showcasing that talent rather than trying to improve your capabilities.
People with this mindset believe they succeed in life because of their talent, not because of any significant effort on their part.
People with this type of mindset are usually focused on showing off how smart or capable they are, as many with a fixed mindset suffer from a fear that others will see them as less than.
Because they believe their abilities are fixed, many think they cannot redeem themselves if they make a mistake or if someone else is better at something. Many with a fixed mindset live in fear of failure.
The Growth Mindset
The opposite of this way of thinking is a growth mindset. Those with a growth-oriented approach to life believe that intelligence and other talents continue to develop throughout life, growing over time and through experience. When you have a growth mindset, you see the value in effort. You are more likely to try harder and achieve higher levels of success when you think that your dedication and hard work will make a difference.
Those with a growth mindset are more likely to bounce back from upsets and succeed despite failure, as they embrace the learning that comes from even hard circumstances. Those with a growth mindset are also more likely to explore new goals and change directions in life, as they see their paths as limitless rather than predefined.
How To Become More Growth-Oriented
If you are interested in developing a growth mindset, there are many things you can do to begin to change how you think. The following are just a few suggestions, but as you will see in many other chapters, there are many things you can do to change your mindset to one that is more positive and focused on change. Here are just a few suggestions.
Start by acknowledging your areas for growth. Don’t ignore your faults but instead recognize them so you can set goals for yourself. Next, start by embracing opportunities that challenge you or place you outside your comfort zone. Start by taking small risks and chances until your confidence grows.
Your brain continues to grow and change as you age. Find something that interests you and learn more about it. Start a new hobby, pick up a new area of study, or learn a new skill. Embrace how learning can change your life in positive ways and find fun new ways to continue to learn as you age.
Stop worrying about what others think, can do, or have accomplished. The only person you need to impress is yourself. You will only be truly happy when you learn to please yourself and no one else.
Focus on the learning process and the journey of life rather than a product or finish line. Life is a series of experiences that, when combined, equal your existence. It’s not about where you end up but how you get there. Start living in the moment rather than worrying about the future.
Becoming more growth-oriented will allow you to take advantage of the many learning experiences and adventures life has to offer.
When you continue to learn and grow over time, you can set new goals for yourself, open your mind to new perspectives, and learn to appreciate even the stumbles that will inevitably occur.
Open your mind to new perspectives and learn to appreciate your growth potential. Get started today!
Challenging Your Negative Mindsets
Negative mindsets don’t always seem like they’re at fault, at least not at first. We get used to framing our thoughts in a particular way, and that feels natural to us. A mindset is nothing more than a particular kind of cognitive framework that helps us slot the world into our perception. However, if our perception or interpretation aren’t congruent with reality, we get stuck with that negative mindset.
Challenging a mindset that’s gone wrong requires honesty. We have to make no excuses and admit that our thinking causes us problems.
That’s the first step: acknowledging the problem. Next, we have to take ownership of our negativity. What’s to blame in the situation? Which of the negative ways of thinking we’ve discussed here do you own up to?
Positive Healthy Mindsets You Can Embrace To Change Your Life
Changing your mindset from one of the many negative ones we discussed here to a more positive mentality can help you alter your behavior and reach your goals in life. When you turn your mindset away from thoughts of failure, fear, and pain toward ones that focus on gratitude, responsibility, and purpose, your behaviors will soon change to more positive ones, as well.
Just as there are many types of negative mindsets so too are there multiple ways to think in a positive way. The following are just a few of the mindsets identified in those with high degrees of happiness, mental health, and success in life.
Having the desire to change and grow to continue to improve yourself and your life. Embracing change, challenge, and opportunities to further your happiness.
Choosing to focus on the positive aspects of life, embracing a positive attitude along with an active approach to solving problems and making dreams a reality.
Believing in your own capabilities and trusting that you can rely on yourself in life. Having the confidence to accomplish goals and persist in the face of adversity.
The Purpose-driven Mindset
Knowing what you need and want in life and being willing to put in the effort to achieve it. Having a strong sense of purpose and being motivated by achieving goals.
Being able and willing to wait when it is necessary to achieve your goals, recognizing that sometimes it is prudent to pause instead of pushing ahead.
Being able to think and dream big, believing that anything is possible and create fantastic visions for the future.
Focusing on the blessings and gifts of your life instead of the deficits, being able to recognize the importance of what you have and can do.
Accepting responsibility for your actions and decisions, refusing to cast blame on others for your misfortunes or mistakes.
Having the confidence in yourself and your abilities to believe that you can achieve what you want in life. Being happy with yourself and understanding that you can and deserve to reach your goals.
Being willing to change direction, make adjustments, and respond to new information when necessary, recognizing that nothing is set in stone.
Understanding how to use time efficiently and effectively to make the most of your time and achieve your purpose in life. Using your purpose to motivate yourself through obstacles and persist to achieve your dreams.
Prioritizing your mental, physical, and emotional health in life and using this as guiding principles for your goals and behaviors.
Combining a focus on growth as well as positivity to accomplish your goals and achieve what you want in life. Your view of success motivates and guides your behaviors.
Thinking for yourself, willing to go against the tide to accomplish your dreams, being creative about finding solutions or alternatives. Embracing your uniqueness.
Facing your fears and taking action in spite of being scared, having the tenacity to proceed in the face of adversity or doubt.
Staying disciplined and exercising concentration to accomplish your goals. Avoiding distractions and procrastination in order to attain your dreams.
Which positive mindset will you start embracing today?
Using Your Mindset to Achieve Success
Regardless of your current mindset, the good news is that you can change it! Our brains continue to develop as we age, and you can reshape and hone your mindset no matter your stage in life. Forming new neural networks, which allows you to create new associations with stimuli, is known as neuroplasticity, and it is never too late to engage in this process.
The right mindset allows you to set goals that are loftier because you believe that you can reach them through hard work and determination. A growth-focused mindset means you reach further and have the potential to achieve more in your life.
The key to changing or refining your mindset is practicing new thoughts and associating them with behaviors you want to cultivate. Over time, these new ways of thinking and acting will become more permanent in your brain’s pathways, and you will start to notice a more ingrained way of thinking and behaving.
While you may currently have a mindset that sometimes tells you that you are not capable of something, you can alter that way of thinking by adding one simple word- yet. You may not be able to do something right now, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do so in the future. You just aren’t capable yet. By embracing the power of possibility, you acknowledge that you can still learn and achieve things that are outside your current reach.
Your mindset is essential for learning new skills as well as how you think about everything in your life. Not only can the right mindset help you achieve your professional and personal goals, but it can also help you overcome illness, reach personal bests in fitness or health, develop lasting and healthy relationships, and reach financial goals for your future.
Start Practicing A New Mindset Today
If you are tired of not reaching for the dreams that are important to you, your mindset can be changed. Like changing any other habit, changing your mindset requires consistent practice. Start by saying yes more often to opportunities and possibilities. Be open to new challenges and embrace any new learning experience.
Some of the best advice you can listen to when trying to adopt your new mindset is to “fake it until you make it.” When you adopt this stance, you start to experience small successes that, over time, will give you the confidence to take even bigger chances.
Doing hard things for even short amounts of time will give you the
practice you need and strengthen your esteem and capacity to achieve large and small goals. This practice also embraces the foundation of the growth mindset, which is to learn from every experience and use it to better yourself.
Your mindset is the foundation of your actions and attitudes, and when you embrace a positive, growth-oriented mindset, you can begin to achieve your dreams and fulfill your personal potential.
Changing your mindset in order to achieve happiness and success can be difficult, but it is the most worthwhile thing you can do for yourself. If you are ready to say goodbye to your negative mentality and embrace a more positive approach to life, then here are some tips that can help you ditch that negative mindset for good.
#1. Make a promise to yourself.
You have to commit to yourself that you are worth the effort, that you deserve a happier and healthier life, and that you can achieve whatever goals you set for yourself. It’s easier to stick with changes when you have made a promise to others, so why not make the promise to yourself? When things get hard, and you start to slip back into old habits, you can remember your commitment and use it to stay motivated.
#2. Get rid of the negative influences in your life.
Whether its toxic people, wasteful distractions, or bad influences, rid your life of things that will keep you in your negative mindset. Surround yourself with positive people, positive images, and proactive activities. The more positive things you have in your life, the more likely you are to remain positive.
#3. Tell yourself good things every day.
Whether you write a list or just say them aloud, be sure you focus each day on at least three good things you have accomplished, experienced, or witnessed. When this becomes a habit, start looking for even more good things each day.
#4. Do something.
When you start to feel or think negatively, take action. Don’t wallow in your thoughts, do get bogged down in the critical voices. Get up and do something to change your situation. Become an active participant in your life instead of a passive observer.
#5. Banish negative self-talk.
Do not say anything to yourself that you would not want someone else to say to you or that you would not say to someone else. It’s not okay to degrade others, so why do it to yourself? You wouldn’t blame others for a mistake that was outside their control, so why blame yourself? Start paying attention to these inner voices if you want to control your mindset and actions.
#6. Be patient.
Change takes time. You will have setbacks. You need to practice every day, then practice again the next day, too. Nothing will be accomplished overnight, and you will need to stick with your efforts to change your mindset for quite a while. But remember your commitment to yourself, know that it is worth it, and show up again tomorrow to do your best for yourself.
Changing your mindset to a more positive outlook is the single healthiest and most proactive thing you can do to transform your life and achieve your goals.
Remember that you are worth the effort, that you are doing all this so you can live the life you’ve always wanted, and that changing your mindset means changing your life.
Stay well and take care!