How do you see the world?
How do you see your day?
How do you see this very moment?
Or how about the events that happen in your life you? Do they have to you or for you?
Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person?
The answers to these questions and many more help to define your mindset.
Have you ever noticed how one person can look at an event and do nothing but gripe and complain, while another looks at it with wide eyes – full of opportunity and promise?
Is the one person seeing something the other is not? Does the wide eyed person have more information about the event than the others.
99% of the time, it comes down to who choses to have the better mindset.
Because at the end of the day, events aren’t good or bad… they just are.
What makes them good or bad is our own mindset – our own perspectives, biases and interpretations.
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli
So how can we choose to see more of the events in our lives as opportunities versus challenges or struggles?
What can be possible if we choose to build, strengthen and foster a positive mindset?
In my humble opinion, the answer is more than we can imagine.
This past week I had my own mindset challenged at work as our team found out our leader is leaving for another opportunity.
Despite the challenges of the past, this leader was turning around the group’s morale, and in my mind, epitomized many of the qualities that I would strive to develop as a leader in my own right.
He had years of institutional knowledge and background, political capital, and was helping to align the team to the organization’s future vision.
He valued being of service to his team more than anything else.
It was tough not to see (and feel) this as a huge gut punch.
Because what are the odds we would get another leader of this caliber?
Well, that’s one way to look at it… That’s one mindset.
And what type of a future would that mindset create over time? Feels pretty bleak to me.
So what else could be true?
We could end up with as good as or an even better leader… One with fresh ideas and a new perspective.
And how about everyone seeing this as their opportunity to step up and step into their own version of leadership while the organization conducts its candidate search?
Now that feels like a much more powerful mindset – full of possibilities and opportunities. It’s a much better place to show up to each day.
For many of us, maintaining and cultivating a positive mindset is difficult. Simply put, there are so many external voices telling us how bad things are out there. Turn on the news and you will see crisis after crisis or one tragedy after another.
If we choose to listen and see things through their lens, it becomes tough to see a different present and future.
However, if we want to create our ideal future, then we must toss that negative lens aside and see the world differently. We must see ourselves and the events around us differently. We need to create a new story.
Here are three of my approaches to start shifting our mindset towards something that can create a powerful and inspiring future:
Ask yourself: “What do you know to be true?”
Negative mindsets are often built upon negative beliefs and biases. Perhaps we believe that we aren’t good enough to do or accomplish something, so we don’t expect anything to change because things have always happened that way.
Rather than believe the negative voice in our head, we need to begin to challenge it.
Do we know that what we are telling ourselves is true?
Are we absolutely certain it is true?
What else could be possible?
It’s when we begin to question what we’ve always blindly believed that we can begin to see new possibilities right there in front of us.
Reframe the stories we tell ourselves
Once we give ourselves the chance to see what other truths are out there, we can begin the process of creating new stories… stories that can begin to paint the future we want for ourselves and others.
What stories do you tell yourself on a daily basis? What kind of future are those stories creating? Do you like what you see?
Instead of telling yourself all the reasons you can’t do something, reframe and start writing down all the reasons you can!
Rather than dwelling on all the difficult things going on in your life, take a few minutes to reflect on all the great moments, events, relationships, and opportunities you currently have.
We have far more to be grateful for than we realize.
Let’s put an end to the stories that hold us back and instead flip them on their head and create something new. The only person stopping you, is you!
Choose a growth vs. fixed mindset
A huge piece of shifting towards a positive mindset is making the transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
I’m sure there are a variety of variations on the definition of these two terms, so I’ll try to be succinct in my understanding:
Fixed Mindset – things are the way they are and always will be; I’m stuck where I am because of external factors; there is never enough to go around. No matter how hard I try, I won’t get any better than I am right now.
Growth Mindset – opportunity for growth and development is everywhere if we are willing to invest the time and hard work to achieve the new skills, outcomes or future that we desire.
For those who are intrigued and want to learn more, Carol Dweck wrote the iconic book, Mindset, which focuses on the Fixed vs. Growth Mindset. It’s come highly recommended by several people in my personal circle, and it’s next on my list of personal development books.
Creating Your New Mindset is One Intentional Thought Away…
There may be plenty of difficult stuff going on in our lives. However, what I want everyone to take away from today is that no matter what is going on around us, it is entirely up to each of us to shape how we process it in our minds.
We can choose to see how bad something is and throw up our arms in defeat.
Or we can see how great something is and map out all the exciting possibilities that we can explore as a result.
All it takes is each of us making the choice to see things differently – to see the opportunity for growth instead of another reason why we are stuck where we are.
So my friends, what is your mindset going to be?
Discussion Question: What is keeping you from building a positive mindset? What is one thing you can do today to begin to overcome that challenge?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”