Mindset is how we’ve set up our mind to think. It is how we see the world and, more importantly, ourselves.
Mindset works like this: whenever we have a thought, we have feelings towards that thought, then our feelings trigger a behaviour, then that behaviour produces a consequence, and repeated behaviours produce long-term consequences. These consequences are what give us the results in all areas of our lives.
Mindset is our greatest asset because nothing can be more valuable than our own mind, it is something that we have total control over and something that no one can take away from us.
Mindset affects how we think, feel, behave, and have the results we are currently getting. This is good news because it also means that we can change our mindset to get different results.
1. Cultivate awareness.
It all starts with being more aware of what mindset we currently have. The more we notice what we have been thinking about, the more often we can interrupt the thought process and redirect it. If the mindset serves us, then reinforce it. Otherwise, redirect it, shift our mindset, and choose what we want to focus on.
We need to train ourselves to be more aware of our self-talk and our language, and the story we are telling ourselves. For example, are we telling ourselves that “Change is scary” instead of “Change is exciting and positive.” If we tell ourselves that change is scary, then unconsciously we will create a sense of anxiety whenever we are expecting new changes and we will spend energy to avoid and resist change.
Also, we need to be aware of how we talk to others. Are we always complaining instead of trying to come up with solutions to our problems?
There are a few strategies to cultivate our awareness. We can journal and write down your thoughts and feelings, our conversations with others, and we can meditate, and we can ask others to keep us in check. We might be surprised to find out how often our mind is thinking about thoughts that are not entirely true, productive, or beneficial to us.
2. Embrace a new IDENTITY.
Once you are aware of what mindset you have and decide on what mindset to reinforce and what mindset needs an upgrade, the best way to shift our mindset is to embrace a new IDENTITY, to visualize and more importantly, to act as if we were already the person we want to be.
So take a moment, do a visualization exercise with me. Think REALLY hard about this better version of ourselves. What lifestyle do I have? Where am I? What am I doing right now? What am I wearing? Who am I with? How am I feeling? Go into as much detail as possible and make it as real as it can be.
If a situation arises, ask, “What would the new me say or do?” and say that or do that exact thing. For example, to quit smoking, instead of saying “I’m trying to quit”, say “I am not a smoker”. I have embraced this new identity so I am acting like a non-smoker. This is much more effective because remember,
“It is easier to act our way into a new way of thinking, then to think our way into a new way of acting. — Jerry Sternie”
3. Read, apply, and repeat.
Leaders are readers. If someone can condense decades of their life or their work into one book and share their wisdom with us, I can’t think of a reason why we would not want to read it.
For example, one of the most important mindset shifts that I personally experienced was through reading the book about The Growth Mindset.
People with a growth mindset believe that intelligence and skills can be developed with effort. They value learning over failure, process over results. On the contrary, people with a fixed mindset believe that everything is fixed. They see failure as an insult and challenges as potential threats to their intelligence.
After reading this mind-opening book, I started to believe that my brain is not fixed but is in fact very malleable, and that I can change, learn, and grow in all areas of my life anytime I want, and that there is no failure, only learning opportunities.
4. Create a community of like-minded people.
This is a very simple and effective strategy but not many people are using it. It is to surround ourselves with people that match our desired mindset.
We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. So in order to improve and grow, we need to make intentional effort to surround ourselves with the right people. Notice how I mentioned “intentional effort” here. That is the crucial part and that is where a lot of people fail. It is common sense that we need to constantly upgrade our network, but a lot of us just wait for smart people to show up in our lives, or we just think that successful people will never care to spend time with us. That is why the title of this episode is to “CREATE a community of like-minded people”.
Pay attention to how they think, talk, and behave. What is the mindset that they have that has made them more successful than us. We will be more motivated to adopt a new mindset when we see it working for someone else.
Do not take amazing people in our lives for granted, also do not feel afraid to reach out to them and turn them into our ally. More strategies on building friendships in a future post. Stay tuned!
5. Take actions
Good things come to those who take actions, not those who wait. So Take actions and start creating new habits to match the new mindset and support the mindset change.
We have already discussed quite a few actionable steps, so together, let’s try journaling and meditating, visualizing and acting like a new person, reading a chapter a day and learning about the correct mindset, reaching out to people we admire and forming our own support system, or whatever works for you.
Remember, in order to have things that others don’t, we must be willing to do things that others won’t. Take actions and take actions now!
This blog post is based on my video series on MINDSET. You can watch them on your preferred social media platform: