Welcome to the Guild of Growth blog! We will be posting our original articles but also blog posts from guest bloggers like this one! Julie is talking about the mindset work everyone should do in order to speed up their results. Hope you enjoy it!
Mindset Work - More Than Just Fluff
So often mindset work is seen as woo-woo, fluffy and ethereal. Meaning it is hard to get a grasp on, intangible, or even silly. However, mindset work is far from silly or intangible. So what is mindset anyways? Why should we be doing mindset work daily? Plus, why, it is essential in order to keep us grounded.
I remember the first time I was asked to do mindset work. I was in therapy for anxiety. The goal of the mindset work was to help me see what whether or not the thoughts were rational. I remember scoffing at the idea. The therapist wanted me to write out my anxious thoughts then reframe them. I thought he was nuts. What the heck was that going to do for me anyways. I knew my thoughts were not rational. I assumed that if I thought about it differently that it would not make a difference. Or so I thought.
I had yet to actually try it. To actually put my words on paper. I had only just thought about it in my head. It seemed silly to write it on paper, what good would it do anyways? I let it slide. I did not do the work. Why should I? I knew I was crazy. I understood my mind did not process things rationally that's why I was in therapy. When was the magic going to happen, so that my brain functioned normal?
What I would come to learn is that the magic was in the pen to paper and pulling it out of my head and out in front of my eyes.
You see behind my eyes and in my head, I was not getting the full effect of what was actually going on. However, when I wrote it on paper and saw with my actual eyes what was being said in my head, it was like an awakening. I felt lighter getting it out of my head. I realized that all of the things I had been afraid of were not as bad as I thought they were. Irrational yes, but worthy of stealing my sanity, myself worth, and self confidence, NO!
So after weeks of showing up to my counseling session saying no, I had not done the task I had been asked to do, I finally walked in and had a productive session. What changed? My mindset around doing the work that would help to clear my mind.
It was a simple exercise, when I would think of something that would make me worry or give me anxiety, I would write it down. I would then ask myself how true the statement was. You see with anxiety, there is always a grain of truth to what you are fearing. However the magnitude to which we perceive the fear is much greater than the actual truth.
The more I started to talk back and re-frame my thinking the easier it was for me to start beating my anxiety. Much of my anxiety was fear around not being good enough. That I was incapable of doing anything but worry and that I was dumb enough to believe everything I told myself. These were not truths these were lies that my mind had created to make me feel this way.
The way that I felt about myself. How I perceived myself and my abilities was what I came to learn is my mindset.
Mindset is basically what we believe to be true about ourselves, our inherent abilities and how we perceive ourselves in relation to the world. In my early to mid twenties, when I first started to explore the idea of counseling as a tool to manage my anxiety, my mindset was far from positive. I did not see myself or my abilities as anything worthy of success.
My hesitation to do the work, because of my innate belief that it was not going to work for me, was also my mindset. Once I had exhausted all my excuses, and I was not making any progress, and I was still experiencing extreme fear, I knew something had to change. That change had to be me. Finally I put pen to paper and I tried what I had been asked for so long to start doing. Face my fears.
When I began to face the fears head on, instead of being so loud and obnoxious, my mind was quiet. I liked this quiet mind. It was like a weight had been taken off my shoulders. I felt I was given my power back. The magic happened.
Why did this happen? Because a shift in my belief about my inherent ability changed. Rather than seeing myself as helpless and succumbing to fear, I had the power to fight back and reclaim who I truly was. That shift from being stuck and stagnant to powerful and capable of change was me moving from what I would learn was a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset.
Did you know that there are two types of mindset?
Fixed Mindset & Growth Mindset!
A Fixed Mindset believes that you have no power to change your situation. That you are stuck with what ever smarts you have and you can not get better or learn more. What you have is what you've got.
A Growth Mindset is one where you believe that anything is possible. The skies the limit. You thrive on learning from your mistakes, you love to learn and take that knowledge to develop and expand your potential.
In order to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset we need to constantly be examining our thoughts and how they make us feel. The more we do this regularly, the better we will be at detecting when we are holding ourselves back and take action. When we start to bring to our conscious attention our fixed thinking, negative thoughts or fear based thinking which tends to run on autopilot, we now become aware of how it is stopping us. Once we are aware we can either start to make changes and see growth or we can continue down our path staying stuck.
Ideally, we want to move towards a growth mindset. I knew that I was tired of always being nervous and having that anxious feeling. They were hovering over me like a dark rain cloud. The breaking point for me was that I was that I was not seeing results. To see results I had to put in the work. Take that pen to paper and start becoming AWARE, step one!
In my case, the good news was that I was already aware of my thinking. So that made getting to the second step much easier.
Step two was all about RECOGNIZING if my thinking was fixed or growth mindset. Many of my thoughts were most definitely fixed. That needed to change.
Probably the hardest part of the work came in step three which was TALKING BACK or reframing my thoughts and shifting my perspective. Why? Because for so long, I had allowed my mind to take the easy way out. I no longer fought the anxious thoughts. I just allowed them to happen. It was automatic for me the fixed thoughts flew on autopilot. That meant I had to go through each thought and begin fighting the urge to allow it to make decisions for me.
The last step, was TAKING ACTION . This was all about making decisions based from a non-fear mindset. I had to start putting my growth mindset to work. I had to challenge old thoughts. Again, like talking back, taking action was no easy feat, but it had to be done.
I am grateful for the realization that a growth mindset needed to happen!
There is really nothing woo-woo or silly about doing mindset work. Actually it's quite practical and necessary. Doing daily mindset work keeps me grounded. Why? Because it is a daily reminder to put my fixed mindset away. I know that going back to having a fixed mindset, and allowing fear to control me is the easy way out. However, when I am in that place I feel completely disconnected from myself and the world around me.
When I am in this disconnected space that is when the fears come full force. I have allowed myself to slip back into unconscious thinking. Putting pen to paper reconnects me. I am able to see with my physical eyes, not my minds eye, which allows me to get to the root of the issue at hand. I become aware and that awareness brings light, stability and solid ground for me to establish truth. It is from this truth that I am able to live my life fully and with a sense of purpose. No longer am I held helpless by worry and fear that I am not good enough. I now know I have the ability to learn, grow and succeed.
So What Are You Waiting For?
Connect with your true self. Set a solid foundation from which you too can shift your mindset and start to see changes happen before your eyes. The magic is in doing the work. Pulling the fears and the worry out from between the ears and out in front of your physical eyes. When you recognize that these thoughts are not serving your highest good you can start to talk back and reframe them.
It will not be easy at first, you will probably resist it. But keep in mind that this is your fixed mindset, the one that wants to keep you playing small, keep you safe, stop you from growing. If you are aware of this mindset, you are on your way to shifting to a growth mindset. It is from this place of growth that you will be able to connect with your true self, because this is who you were meant to be all along.
Each day, take 5 minutes to analyze and bring to the light what you are feeling. Awareness is the first step. Ask yourself is this helping me to grow or keeping me at a stand still. That's step two, recognize. Then reframe those thoughts. rewrite them to promote a growth mindset. That's step three, talk back. Lastly take action, repeat the new thoughts and do one thing that will allow you to step forward and reach your goals. That's step four.
Just in case you needed to read or hear this today, YOU GOT THIS! I believe in you!
Need help with shifting your mindset? Do you feel like you need some accountability in making mindset work a daily practice? Come on over to my free facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/yogaforprosperity where we talk all things mindset, yoga, making yourself a priority and living your best life every day!