Do you have a dream? A goal you’d like to reach but you can’t quite seem to get there? Do you wonder what’s standing in your way? Chances are it’s your mindset.
In this age of distraction, many of us find it difficult to life lives of peak potential. With worries centered around finances, families, anxiety, fear, and distractions coming at us from all directions it’s hard to focus on improving ourselves. We get carried on the wave of stress that our lives bring and can’t figure out how to live the lives we dream of.
The good news is you don’t have to stay stuck on the hamster wheel of life. You can achieve your goals once you shift your focus to self-improvement instead of survival–and it can be easier than you think. You can transform your life with joy, and it’s a shift we believe is worth making.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha.
Many people don’t try to change their lives until they’re in a desperate situation—and inevitably that’s why they fail. It’s not because they’re wrong or broken. It’s because they’re in the wrong frame of mind. We all go through life with the intention of living life to the fullest, but we allow thoughts and obstacles to hold us back. Learning simple ways to overcome these obstacles can help us achieve peak potential in our lives.
The first step is changing the way we think. Do you find yourself having thoughts such as:
- This is impossible
- I’ll never figure this out
- I can’t stand this
- I hate this
- I can’t live like this
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Our brains think 70,000 thoughts a day and many times these thoughts are negative. Learning to reframe our thoughts positively is the first step to self-improvement.
Once we recognize our limiting behaviors and start reframing our thoughts, there are other steps we can take on our path to self-improvement.
Activities to Try:
- Self-exploration – Our mindset influences how we feel and how we react to situations. There are several negative patterns we fall into and easy ways to change them. Unless we change the way we think about a situation, we can’t change the situation. See the chart below for common negative patterns and ideas for changing them.
- Identify Mindset – Identify your personal problem patterns and how you might change them. Create examples of how each mindset is holding you back and how changing them can be applied in your everyday life. Write these out as goals.
- Take Action – Once you have a goal, do something about it. Starting something new is the hardest step. We like our patterns. Stepping out of our comfort zone is important to growth. Trying things you’ve never considered before is a great way to change a stuck mindset.
- Reflect – Once you’ve completed the steps above consider where you were, where you are, and what skills you need to reach your ultimate goal. This can help put the pieces of the puzzle together to create the big picture. It also helps you realize that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first, but with time and practice new ways of thinking and growing are possible.
- Remember Neuroplasticity – Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to form or reorganize synapses and how it’s ability to adapt to the environment and experiences in our lives. Regardless of our age or circumstances we can grow and learn new things. The more we go through the steps, the more our brains build new pathways, which keeps our brains healthy long into old age.
Negative Patterns and Ways to Reframe Them
Stewing-Dwelling on negative thoughts or events is common. But repeating negatives over and over in your mind causes us to forget there are positives in every situation. To change this behavior, recognize when you’re stuck on a negative thought. Intentionally stop yourself and replace that thought with a positive one. It takes practice at first, but eventually you’ll find that you become more positive than negative overall.
Magnifying-Sometimes we have a habit of making more out of a situation than it needs to be. We call it, “making a mountain out of a molehill.” Overreacting is common. One way to get over this is to focus on the big picture. Move on and realize that not everything needs to be a mountain.
All or Nothing-Sometimes it’s difficult to see the gray areas in situations. Everything is either 100% right or 100% wrong, a complete success or a complete failure. As humans, this is rarely the case. Learning to be flexible is key to alleviating this behavior.
Assuming-This is the case when we think we know the outcome of a situation before it happens or we think we know what someone else is thinking about a situation. We react based on those assumptions. We are not mind readers and we’re frequently wrong about what’s going on. If you are going to assume, assume the positives. Assume success in every situation. Assume the other person is thinking positively about you. Then you’re more likely to get the outcome you’re looking for.
Personalization-This is a big one for a lot of us. Humans are ego driven. We tend to think everything that is happening around us is happening because of us. This can be unhealthy because we can blame ourselves for others’ actions or assume things happen for reasons they don’t, causing conflict where there isn’t any. Remembering that things happening near you don’t necessarily have anything to do with you is key to overcoming this habit. We are not the center of the universe and realizing that can be very freeing.
Changing your mindset doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are some easy tips to try:
- Believe in yourself—remind yourself daily how awesome you are
- Empower yourself – remind yourself you always have choices
- Believe in the impossible—remind yourself anything is possible
- Look for the good—remind yourself to reframe situations using the tools above
- Live in the moment—remind yourself life is a journey
- Leave behind doubt—remind yourself to change the “what ifs” to “the best thing that can happen is”
- Be uniquely you—remind yourself to stay authentic
- Be grateful—remind yourself to stop focusing on what you don’t have and shift to being grateful for what you do have
Choosing helpful tools like BrainTap can help make these steps easy and fun. Simply sit back, relax and let BrainTap do the work for you. Each audio session is uniquely encoded to speak to your brain to help you reach your best self and our positive guided visualizations will help you change your mindset to a positive one, effortlessly. BrainTap also increases neuroplasticity making our brains more resilient. Check out more about how BrainTap can help HERE.
The key to self-improvement is finding what works for you and sticking with it. When you go into any task with distractions and a negative mindset, you’re limiting yourself. Experiment and see what you like and what helps you change from a negative mindset to a positive one to encourage growth. Reality isn’t what shapes our experience, how we think about reality does. That means our happiness is not shaped by the external world, but our mindset about the world. Let’s change our minds to change our lives.