Life is changing all the time, as are we. This constant cycle of change means that developing strategies to embrace a positive mindset is crucial. Finding strategies to deal with turbulence in our lives can make the difference between a period of happiness and a period of anxiety. Some periods of our lives are so enjoyable, and change can bring with it excitement. Other times the changes we face are not at all welcomed and then we dig deep to cope and flourish. In this blog we will focus on how you can effectively manage your mindset through life’s ups and downs.
What gets in the way of a positive mindset?
Our mindset changes moment to moment. We can experience high levels of resilience and in the the next moment, our mindset can be tested, due to external influences, such as people, situations or internal influences, the way we are thinking about something. Here is a common list of ways that our positive mindset can be affected:
- Making assumptions
- Blaming others
- Automatic pilot – thinking about things in the way we always have done, for example “She’s always like this in meetings” – is she really?
- Lack of self-belief
- Lack of self-awareness
- Taking things personally
- Personality preferences – If your glass is naturally half full or half empty
- Taking on too much
- Taking on too little
What would you add to the list?
Cultivating a positive mindset
Cultivating a positive mindset starts with a desire to be more positive, once you are curious about increasing your positivity then here are some strategies to consider:
Notice how you feel : Are you excited by change or scared by it? I often think excitement and fear are on the same scale, just at opposite ends. Often our body knows how we are feeling before we have articulated it. Some coaching clients tell me they feel apprehension, perhaps in a part of their body, and this is their early signal that something isn’t feeling quite right. Recognising when your mindset has shifted is the first step to being able to do something about it.
Picture the result: Being clear what you want to achieve personally and visualising it can give a sense of energy, motivation and direction.
Write it out: Journaling gets our thoughts out in the moment we are experiencing them. We can process them more quickly and rationally rather than bottling them up.
Speak it out: Find people you trust who you can talk things through with. When we feel discombobulated, sharing these thoughts with others gives us a way to let off steam. It provides us with a new sense of perspective.
Watch the stories you tell: We can all make assumptions about a situation, making our own interpretation of events when these might not be the case. For example, a person might say “he is so negative, whenever I meet him, he brings me down”. Another interpretation of this situation was that the person was confused and therefore asking lots of questions to understand, rather than literally wanting to make you feel down. The person had impacted the other person’s positive mindset simply by the interpretation put on it.
Increase your self-awareness: When our self-awareness increases so does our positive mindset. This happens as we start to recognise situations for what they are, rather than for what we think they are in our heads. This has an impact on our mindset as we can be even more robust in our thinking and approach. Consider ways to increase your self-awareness.
Be flexible like bamboo: A bamboo tree is so flexible that it bends with the wind and doesn’t break. If we become flexible in our mindset we can be open to new possibilities, new ideas, and new perspectives. This can take some practice, so I encourage you to set yourself some goals around being even more flexible in your attitude and open mindedness.
Adopt a “anything is possible” approach: When we approach new situations with a blank canvas rather than a fixed mindset this can bring about creativity. This in turn creates a positive mindset.
Seek feedback: Interestingly, those that seek feedback and listen to it decrease their blind spots. This helps our mindset as we become more realistic, gain clarity about our areas of strength and development rather than relying on hearsay.
Find a way through failure: Our mindset can be challenged the most when the going gets tough. Failures can take a bit of getting used to, particularly if you are a perfectionist. However, they really do give us an opportunity to learn and flex our resilience muscles even more than when the road is smooth. Next time a failure occurs, see what the learning is, get curious.
Work Life Balance: Create a work life balance to suit you– that includes rest, work and play. We need a healthy mix to be at our optimum mindset.
Celebrate: Take time to reflect on the progress you have made – how you have changed and what you have learnt. All too often we achieve amazing things and yet we move straight on to the next thing. Taking even a moment to pause and celebrate can bring about a positive mindset.
If you would like to boost your positive mindset, coaching can provide that much needed space to reflect and start working on it. Please get in touch to arrange a no obligation initial consultation.