When it comes to your success, mindset is everything! Use these 5 tools for more ease, abundance, and joy.
No matter where you are on your personal development journey…
No matter what areas of your life you would love to improve, be it your physical health, relationships, career, or your time and money freedom…
The key to creating your best life lies in mastering your mindset.
This post will help you:
- Understand why the right mindset matters
- Help you explore how your mindset might be impacting your success today
- Master mindset shifts with 5 daily tips and practices
- Take your mindset work even deeper with a powerful free gift
What is a mindset and why does it matter?
The term mindset is defined as “A set of attitudes or fixed ideas that are often difficult to change.”
Think of your mindset as the collection of beliefs, assumptions, and thought patterns you’ve learned and adopted throughout your life.
The mindset you have now has been impacted by your past experiences, past trauma, cultural and societal influences, your upbringing, and even past relationships. Your mindset impacts the way you see the world, how you see yourself, and how you respond to the experiences you have.
It is the lens through which you interpret everything!
Over the years, research has identified many different ways to classify the types of mindsets that people can tend to hold.
Popular examples of mindset models include:
Scarcity Mindset vs. Abundance Mindset
Introduced by Stephen Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, scarcity and abundance mindsets indicate what people believe is available to them in the world.
Those with a scarcity mindset believe that there are limited resources, opportunities, and choices in the world. They tend to interpret challenges or failures as a limit in what’s available.
An abundance mindset, on the other hand, is based on the assumption that there are enough resources and opportunities for all. These people tend to interpret challenges and failure as a lack of alignment. In other words, when they don’t have or receive what they desire, there is something more aligned available to them.
Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset
Developed by Carol Dweck in a study originally conducted with students.
She found that the students who believed intelligence and mastery could be developed (a growth mindset) responded better to and were more likely to overcome challenges when compared to students who believed that intelligence was predetermined (a fixed mindset).
The conclusions of Dweck’s research have been extended to people of all walks of life in much the same way: When faced with failure and challenges, those who believe that they have the ability to learn and grow tend to achieve more than those who believe that failure is an indication of an inherent, personal limit.
Lean Mindset vs. Agile Mindset
Originally created as a way to understand how problem-solving was achieved in tech development, the Lean vs. Agile mindset model relates to how people approach challenges and goals.
Those with a lean mindset focus on the outcome of effort made. They value the end result and prefer the process to require as little resources as possible and avoid challenges and obstacles as much as possible. Those with an agile mindset, on the other hand, place more value the process of achieving than the end result. They tend to embrace challenges and obstacles as learning opportunities and believe whatever is needed to be successful can be developed.
Why does mindset matter?
To put it simply, your mindset dictates how you approach the rest of your life.
Your mindset impacts your thoughts and reactions. Your thoughts impact your feelings. Your feelings impact your behaviors. Your behaviors determine the actions you take toward your goal. And your actions ultimately determine your results.
More importantly, your brain is a complex, remarkable phenomenon that is designed to recognize and disseminate evidence with the goal of keeping you as safe as possible. It will use the results you experience as a way to reaffirm your mindset, creating a loop of impact you may not even be aware of!
Your mindset plays an important role in determining things like:
- The way you approach hard work
- How you respond to stressful situations
- How you handle conflict
- How you overcome challenges
- The meaning you apply to negative events
- How you use your time, money, and resources
- How you prioritize the different areas of your life
- How you respond to failure
- And so much more!
Mastering your mindset makes it more likely that you will be able to take control of your life and intentionally impact your results, instead of waiting and hoping for good things to finally happen!
How to Identify Your Mindset Challenges & Limiting Beliefs
Most likely, your mindset isn’t 100% positive or 100% negative.
All of us are carrying a collection of paradigms and beliefs that collectively make up our mindsets. Some beliefs are positive and others are neutral.
Mastering your mindset only requires you to uncover and transform the beliefs that are no longer serving you– the limiting beliefs that are keeping you from reaching your full potential.
But, how can you identify your limiting beliefs? Try this:
Step One: Get out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Divide the paper in half, vertically, so that you have two columns to work with.
Step Two: Start by identifying an area or areas of your life you would love to transform. Then, in the left-hand column, write down a single statement that you feel accurately represents each struggle. For example:
- I can’t lose weight
- I’ll never be successful
- All of my relationships are difficult
- I can’t make enough money
Step Three: Then, add “because” to the end of each of the statements you wrote in the left-hand column. For example:
- I can’t lose weight because…
- I’ll never be successful because…
- All of my relationships are difficult because…
- I can’t make enough money because…
Step Four: Now, focusing on one statement at a time, set a time for 60 seconds. In the right-hand column, write down as many endings that you can think of to finish the problem statement.
The key is to work quickly and don’t overthink or second-guess what comes to mind. Treat this like a brainstorming session. For example:
- I’ll never be successful because…
- – I’m not smart enough
- – I don’t have a graduate degree
- – I don’t have enough consistency or follow-through
- – People like me aren’t ever truly successful
- – People won’t like me
Repeat this process for each of the problem statements you wrote in the left-hand column.
Step Five: Read through the list of fill-in-the-blank endings you’ve written in the right-hand column.
Highlight or underline those that feel the most true, bring up the most emotion, or trigger specific memories and past events. These statements are a great place to start gathering information as you challenge the limiting beliefs that may be making up your mindset.
Explore your responses further by considering where you may have learned or adopted these limiting beliefs (chances are, for example, you weren’t born believing something like “I’m not smart enough”).
Then, using all of the information you’ve gathered, identify a positive belief you can practice that is more true (even if you don’t fully believe it yet!).
- Limiting belief: I’ll never be successful because I’m not smart enough.
- Past memory: I may have learned this in second grade when I was struggling with multiplication tables. My teacher called on me to recite that week’s tables, and I couldn’t remember them. The class laughed at me.
- New belief: Even though I decided back then that I wasn’t smart enough, the truth is I was smart enough to learn everything I needed to in 2nd grade. Just like multiplication, I can learn other new things now, including the things I need to be successful.
One of my favorite statements to use in this exercise is: That was then, this is now.
It works as a helpful reminder that we can validate the part of us that believed we needed our old beliefs to be safe and, at the same time, we are able to choose something different now.
After all, for most of us, it isn’t hard to see that we actually are much different than the younger versions of ourselves who helped form some of our most foundational beliefs.
We wouldn’t let a second grader make our most important life decisions, and for good reason! Our inner second grader is no exception!
5 practices to master your mindset
1. Learn to recognize your inner critic.
Your inner critic is a mechanism of your limiting beliefs and fuels your existing mindset. Most people aren’t aware of when their inner critic speaks up, but you can learn to recognize this voice for what it is.
Challenge yourself to be critical of your inner critic! Whenever you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, get into the habit of scrutinizing the validity of what your inner critic is telling you. Ask yourself:
- Who does this voice sound like or remind me of?
- Do I have any objective, tangible evidence that what this voice is saying is true right now?
- Is there a part of me that believes this voice because of something that happened in the past?
- What part of me is benefitting from this voice? Is it keeping me safe? Is there another way I can help meet that need for myself?
Remind yourself that your inner critic is, at its root, a safety strategy developed by your subconscious mind. It represents a part of you that desires safety…but that doesn’t make what it tells you true!
Acknowledge the part of you that believes it needs the safety that inner critic offers, and then choose a more true statement for yourself.
Rinse and repeat! New beliefs become easier to integrate with repetition.
Remember, you are not your thoughts!
2. Use daily positive affirmations.
Daily, positive affirmations are a great, on-going tool you can use to begin to unravel and reset your mindset and the limiting beliefs that may no longer be serving you.
You can choose any affirmations that feel most aligned for you right now. Affirmations are simply positive, present tense statements of confirmation, validity, and belief.
And they work! Researchers have found that affirmations can predict positive changes in behavior. In other words, people who use affirmations are more likely to successfully make changes leading to long term, positive life changes!
Your own affirmations are powerful tools that declare to your subconscious mind and the universe what you hold to be true and possible about yourself and the world.
3. Practice asking better questions.
Often, our limiting beliefs are most identifiable through our thoughts and emotions. But most people accept their thoughts and feelings without question!
As we practice approaching our mindset with more intention, questions can be a powerful tool to help shift our beliefs and mental attitudes.
Learning to ask yourself the right questions is an opportunity to be your own life coach- you can respond to your own limiting thoughts and negative emotions with powerful, thought-provoking questions, just like a coach would with a client.
Thought: “I always mess up. Why am I so stupid?”
Question: “What if messing up is just a sign I’m trying? What can I learn from this attempt to make next time different?”
Thought: “I can’t do this. I’ll never succeed.”
Question: “What can I do with what I have right now?
Thought: “Who am I to ask for a raise? They won’t recognize all the work I do anyway.”
Question: “What if asking for a raise is an experiment? No matter what the answer is, is it possible I could use that information to decide how to move forward?”
4. Practice visualization.
Visualization is a powerful tool used by some of the most successful people in the world to inspire success and motivate themselves to take meaningful action.
Visualization is also a tool that can help you master your mindset.
Spend time imagining the life you want to create like you’re writing a script for a movie in which you’re the main character.
Not only will this help you get clear on what you want and where you’re headed, but it will also help acclimate your mind to your vision for something bigger and better in your life. The part of you that might still be afraid of the unknown and relying on a limited mindset to keep you small and stuck will feel less triggered as you begin to take action in the direction of your vision!
Plus, spending time creating a clear image of the life you want to create has been proven to help people achieve the goals that they’ve set. A win-win!
5. Do it scared.
Sometimes, the best way to help yourself grow out of a sticky mindset is to start from the bottom and commit to taking small actions that might not align with the way you usually do things.
Imagine yourself 1 year from today. You’re living the life in which everything worked out just as you dreamed it would.
Then, ask yourself:
- In my current situation, what would that future version of me do?
- How would that future version of me react or respond to my current situation?
- What actions or decisions would that future version of me make right now?
The answers to those questions can help you begin to take small steps that can have a positive impact on your mindset while also helping you to move in the direction of your dreams!
How to deepen your mindset work
Mastering your mindset is a process that requires learning and practice. You won’t conquer it all at once, and perfection isn’t necessary to experience success!
However, if you’re committed to making real changes in your life and want to take your mindset work to the next level, I’d like to invite you to my free Dreambuilding Masterclass.
You’ll learn the 3 keys to living an extraordinary life so you can start making your dream a reality today.
Combined with your growing awareness and the exercises in this post, you’ll create a mindset primed for inevitable success!
Click here to access the masterclass right away, or sign up now and watch it later.