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How to change your mindset

”Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”

– Rumi

 

A fresh start isn’t a new place, it’s a new mindset.

Research shows that our thoughts are 95% repetitive and 85% negative. In other words; we’re constantly repeating negative thoughts. Isn’t it convenient to start living life on autopilot, especially when life gets busy, and there are distractions of all kinds drawing our attention? In most cases we’re not even aware of the thoughts we’re having, and how they might affect us. 

To begin with; there might be many different reasons why we humans feel the need to change, however, I read somewhere that there are two main reasons that usually stand out; either our minds have been opened to something new, whether it’s a new way of thinking through facing new experiences, or meeting someone with a completely different mindset from our own. The second reason is when facing a traumatic event or experience; maybe we got our hearts broken, lost a dear friend or family member, or fell ill to a disease – something traumatic happened, and as a result triggered a change. Whatever the reason, the experience itself transformed something within, and therefore planted a seed – a seed that wanted to grow, wanted to change.

And sometimes there might not be any particular event, or experience, driving this need to change. It might simply be that you’ve become aware that the thoughts you’re having are not guiding you in the most positive direction. In a sense you feel out of control, like you’re not the one in power, and thereby, not the one in control of your state of being.

Nevertheless, you have the power to change this, to turn things around.

Neuroplasticity

When it comes to your mindset, you can literally rewire your brain by changing your thinking. Our brain is like a sponge, constantly absorbing new thoughts, beliefs and experiences. This is called neuroplasticity. It’s when the brain form new neural pathways due to certain factors like behavior, environment or neural processes. During such changes, the brain engages in synaptic pruning, deleting the neural connections that are no longer necessary or useful, and strengthening the necessary ones.

”When we learn something new, we create new connections between our neurons. We rewire our brains to adapt to new circumstances. This happens on a daily basis, but it’s also something that we can encourage and stimulate (https://positivepsychology.com/neuroplasticity/)

With this being said, it’s never too late to change and adapt to new circumstances, in other words it’s never too late to turn your mindset around. It requires a great deal of practice, and patience, however, consistency is key here. You might think, ”But they are only thoughts”, and in a way they are, however, your thoughts shape your reality.

Take it step by step

A first, crucial step is to bring awareness to your thoughts. You need to identify, and observe your thoughts. Once you start observing and being aware of your thoughts you’re able to take control, and start changing them. This is what makes being human so fascinating; that we’re the ones in control of our inner state of being; neither the actual events happening around us, nor another human being, but we ourselves. We choose how we react to the things happening for us.

How do you observe your thoughts? By separating yourself from your thoughts. If you start realizing that you don’t like the way you talk to yourself – decide how you want to think, feel, or do. Create new thoughts that support what you want to think, feel, or do. Transition your negative thoughts to neutral thoughts, and then neutral thoughts to positive thoughts.

e.g. 1 ”I hate my job.””This might not be my dream job, but I’m thankful for being able to pay my bills.” ⇒ ”This job has taught me tremendously, and everything I’ve learned thus far will help me achieve my dream job.”

e.g. 2 ”I’m not good enough.” ⇒ ”I’m open to learning more about myself.” ⇒ ”I have my unique talents, and traits. I have something special to offer to the world, just as everyone else. I’m worthy of letting my true self shine through.”

Be appreciative of where you are right now, in this moment. It might not be where you wish to be, but dwelling and focusing on the negatives won’t take you anywhere. Take action, each and every day, towards where you want to be. Since you can’t change the past, or control the future, your job should be to enjoy the journey, to enjoy the moment. The future is created in the present moment through your daily decisions, however small they might seem. Worry is such a waste of time, instead, embrace what you can control. Embrace the moment you’re in.

What can you do right now, that will take you one step closer to where you want to be?

Ask yourself how you can start believing what you want to believe. Begin by practicing neutral thoughts until you believe them. Write them down and read them everyday, repeat them in your mind. After a time you’ll realize that these neutral thoughts have become a part of your new mindset, and you can move them into positive thoughts a little at a time until you’ve made them your new beliefs.

Growth mindset

That having been said, become conscious of your thoughts, and learn how to adapt to a growth mindset. A mindset when you believe that you can get smarter, better or more skilled at something through sustained effort. It all comes down to self-care and compassion towards yourself. Know that you have the power to change your mindset – it’s up to you to decide who you would like to become (in fact, that person resides within you already, you just have to let him/her shine through).

Changing your mindset, and transforming deeply stored beliefs and limitations isn’t something that will happen within one day; you’ll have to put in both time, and effort. However, the best thing of all, through persistent work your brain will start to adapt to your new thoughts, and begin to rewire and create new connections between the neurons.

Our brains are remarkable, and capable of so much, I strongly believe that when we start using everything we got to our advantage things will start to change, for the better.

Linda

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