How to achieve a Positive Mindset
Having a Positive Mindset
We hear it a lot these days… how we all need a positive mindset. It can repel some. For others it feels like a nice to have, but how? To the first group, there are exceptionally good reasons why it shouldn’t. To the second, bear with me and I’ll give you some of my tricks!
What is Mindset?
Firstly, mindset is a huge and wide topic for discussions. Way too big for this blog. We’ll touch on the subject at a basic level today and then I will build up a library of blogs focused on Mindset, as it is such an important element to success. Many say it is 80% or 90% of what you need to do to be successful. For me it simply incredibly important. And quite frankly I am fascinated about the subject
Why should we work on our Mindset?
Firstly, mindset is free. It costs nothing. Secondly and a very basic reason, is that it makes you happier and life easier. I am guessing that those reasons will get you to work on your mindset. If they don’t, then feel free to leave now, I wish you the best, as quite frankly you are going to need it!
Athletes do it…
Changing your mindset may sound too good to be true, but it is the exception that proves the rule! “Positive Mental Attitude” has been around for a while. Look at how much athletes use it to improve their success. However, just as an athlete needs to be good at running or jumping, or whatever their specialism is, mindset alone is not going to make business and life easy. Just because you think you would be an amazing brain surgeon; I think patients would appreciate some skill too! However, by making it your foundation on which to build, you have a strong start.
The science bit
As much as I love the concept of the Universe working for our better good, there is science behind all of this too. Your brain in an amazing machine, but if it processed everything your eyes see, then it would be overwhelmed. Imagine smoke coming out of your ears! The clever bit you have is the Reticular Activating System (RAS) behind your eyes that filters what the brain processes from your eyes. I’ve mentioned my Mum (she is a big part of my life!) and her keys before in my blogs. She is just such a good example! When she loses her keys, she now repeats the word “keys”. This activates the RAS to filter out other items her eyes may see in her search. Meaning that she can find her keys quicker. If I am honest, I would love her just to change her mindset that she didn’t lose her keys in the first place, but I guess this is a compromise!
So how do we change our Mindset?
It might seem awfully simple, but the first step is for you to make the decision to be positive. Don’t get me wrong, that in itself is not going to make dreams come true. You will need to do more work on it, than just that, but it is the first step. And the first step is always the important one.
Try it and see!
What have you got to lose? By deciding to be positive, you will activate the RAS, so that you start to see things more positively. That in itself is impactful. You will start to see smiles, not frustration. Excitement, not fear. Opportunities, not problems. This is where life gets easier. By focusing on good things rather than bad, life seems that bit easier. Your computer goes wrong and instead of panic over what are you going to do without it and all the work you need that is on it. Your thoughts go to how you get it fixed or replacing it. You work out the way around the problem sooner, quicker, simpler… and easier!
How it makes a difference
Being positive really can make the difference between success and failure. It is not just about seeing opportunities, it is more than that. Life and running a business are a bumpy road. Things don’t always go to plan and challenges happen. It is how you decide to deal with them, that makes the difference. Often the natural reaction when things are not what we planned, is fear. Fear paralyzes. It stops us in our tracks. This is a natural reaction because our bodies see that as keeping us safe. Keeping us in our comfort zone. But that is not what we want from life. We want to move forward; we want to achieve our dreams. We need to step out of our comfort zone and step up. In order to do that we need to be brave. We need to be positive. By being positive, when the unexpected happens, you can see the positive and instead of paralyzing fear, you take action. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that has its challenges. But by being positive, you can deal with the situation and by doing so sooner and not being paralysed means you move forward quicker.
It is as simple as deciding
There is scientific research that the body has the same reactions and actions when it feels fear and when it feels excitement. The only differentiator is the brain and how it decides to interpret the reactions and feeling. Experiments have been done and have proven that we can decide how to interpret those feelings. So, when you are standing ready to make that bungee jump, you can decide whether it is fear or excitement you feel! YOU can make the decision. You can programme your brain.
How you do it
Activating your RAS is the first step and works on the conscious mind. But the other part of your brain, the subconscious can often talk back. When I first “made the decision”, I would hear a little voice answer back. I would think, “I can do this”, followed by “really? Haa haa in your dreams!”. It was so frustrating and made me think that mindset wasn’t going to work for me. I was obviously the one who couldn’t do it! How would I ever be positive? Did I need some special thing to get into my brain to reset my subconscious? But the thing is, the brain believes what you tell it. So, when you say, “I can do this”, you may get an answer back of “Yeah right” the first few times. But slowly your words will infiltrate those negatives in your subconscious and replace them with positives. You won’t notice the change at first, but suddenly something will happen, and you will be realising how far you have come!
Things you can do
There are a few things that you can do to programme both your conscious and subconscious.
These are positive statements that you can write and read regularly. But the secret is to “feel” them too. By feeling how they make you feel, you’ll programme your body on how you want to feel. Write these statements and put them in places where you’ll see them regularly. Read and feel how they make you feel. I put mine around my mirror, so I can read them morning and night. Denise Duffield Thomas recommends putting them as reminders in your phone, so they pop up at unexpected times. You may have heard “JFDI… Just F**king Do It”, but when I was stuck in inaction, I changed it to “JFDS… Just F**king Do Something”! Make ones that work for you.
No, I haven’t repeated myself. Afformations are questions that create a positive response. Use these if you feel doubt when using affirmations. I used these a lot initially, as I felt it was a great way to overcome the “yeah right” voice in my head. My favourite was “How do I make myself successful?” The brain does’nt try to contradict you, instead it searches for answers to your question! Setting your brain and body ready for what you want to achieve… in my case success.
Another favourite of mine, but one that is met with the most resistance. Turn things into a positive. Simple to do, not so easy to believe. Also, when doing it for others, you can get the insult of “you’re so bloody annoying, being positive all the time”, but if the statement is true, you can be proud! An example of this is that you are in a rush and you hit a red light. You can get annoyed. You’re in a rush, this red light is slowing you down. Or you can think about the fact that you are not able to do anything about the light. It will only be a few minutes. You may be in a rush, but you need to breath. You need to slow down. The red light is giving you the opportunity to do so. It is the art of making the sh*t feel better.
There are so many different therapies available these days. Each have their own benefits and like anything different ones work better for some than others. If this is something you are interested in, research. Find one that resonates with you, then research some more.
There is so much more!
This is the very basics of mindset and I will follow with more on the subject, but I wanted to start with the basics. Creating the foundations for the continuous work on mindset. And it is continuous. It is like the onion, when you peel back a layer, you reveal more.
Stick with it
It does take work and determination, just as building a business does. It is free and has so much potential. What have you got to lose? And just like a business, if you start now, imagine how much further forward you will be next year, than if you wait…
This is not about being perfect. Even with a brilliantly positive mindset, you will still have days where things don’t go right, and you are low. When that happens, accept them. Give yourself some space, some love. Whatever you do, please do not beat yourself up about not being positive. We have the bad days, to show us how good the good days are.