Change your Thinking
Changing your mindset is no easy task, but having an open and positive mindset is a game-changer. Your personal growth is what propels the choices you make for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Just something as simple as changing your thinking can change your life.
Article by Akina Chargualaf, an entrepreneur, writer, and the content creator of travel and personal development blog Finding Fifth.
Importance of Mindset Work
There’s great importance in spending time doing mindset work. Within this period, we begin to understand ourselves, and through that understanding, we become more compassionate and patient with ourselves.
Our society and culture thrive on the busyness that life brings not only into our lives but even to our dinner table. With that comes some consequences of using “band-aid” solutions and quick remedies to get through particular blocks in our lives. Those solutions never last long and it’s about committing the time and effort to slow down, ground ourselves, and reshift our focus.
Changing your thinking is not only to be more optimistic but to give your mind the breathing room it needs to grow and expand. It’s about looking at everything that hasn’t worked for you and being open to other ways that might.
How to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life
Here are 7 practical ways to change your thinking:
1. Show up
Not feeling the gym? Go anyway. Don’t feel like playing the piano after making a commitment to practice every day? Do it and play.
The payout of showing up and committing goes a long way. It builds confidence, and with that growth, your mindset begins to change.
Of course, showing up may not always be fun but meeting these small goals on your list allows you to tackle the bigger ones that may seem far out of reach.
2. Find an Anchor
We all need an anchor, or in other words, we all need something to believe in when our thoughts are wavering. Whether you are religious, have a spiritual connection with a higher power, or have someone who grounds you – hold onto it.
My dad first introduced me to the Law of Attraction when I was 17 and to be completely honest, I thought it was silly and never gave it much thought. Fast forward ten years and the Law of Attraction has become so integrated into my daily life that it’s become the anchor in my belief system. That anchor is also what propels me to be a better version of myself. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel when I have convinced myself that light does not exist.
The purpose of an anchor is to ground you when your mind and/or external factors come weighing you down. It’s about having faith and trust in that one thing or power when everything else seems to go dark. This is one of the most important things you need to have if you want to begin to change your mindset.
3. Ask Why
It’s really that simple. In order to change your thinking, you have to dig deeper into what it is that’s causing a reaction.
- Why does it bother me that another person took the parking slot that I was waiting for?
- Why do I feel uneasy when I dine at a restaurant alone?
- Why do I feel happy after I purchase a new outfit?
We ask “why” to a lot of external factors, but very rarely we ask that about ourselves. It’s also a way to get to know yourself as if getting to know a friend.
As we begin to answer these questions, we realize that it’s not the external factors that bring happiness, sadness, guilt, or joy, and it’s more about understanding our own values.
Now, have a conversation with yourself and reflect on your answers when you do ask these “whys.”
The reason why I’m irritated at this person for taking my parking slot is that I’m busy and have endless errands to run. I don’t have time to be looking for another slot.
Reflection: how am I managing my time and are these time restrictions causing me unnecessary stress? I should prioritize my errands so I don’t feel overwhelmed.
The reason why I feel uneasy when I dine in at a restaurant alone is that I don’t want people to think I have no friends.
Reflection: I care a lot of what people think of me including strangers and it affects my emotional well-being. I don’t have these thoughts when I see another person eating alone, so why and when did I start having this opinion about myself? I should start dining out alone so I can learn how to step out of my comfort zone.
The reason why I feel great after purchasing a new outfit is is that I feel confident.
Confidence is key because it determines how I show up when I meet strangers, clients, and overall how I carry myself. How do I maintain this confidence without splurging on a new outfit every time I need that extra boost? I could wear my glasses or carry a book with me to help me play that part.
Having these mindful yet straightforward conversations with yourself are simple ways you can change your thinking. Reflection is the key to understanding your strong and weak points.
Here is also a great article on the power of self-reflection and ten questions you should ask yourself.
4. Step out of Your Comfort Zone
As mentioned above, we all have a comfort zone. Like a turtle, we feel cozy and safe inside our shell, but to change your thinking, one must be willing to step out of that shell no matter how much that shell feels like home.
Our mindset will only begin to change if we allow ourselves to be exposed to the possibilities of change. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be one of the hardest things you can do, but it all goes back to building your confidence.
Some of the most significant friendships I have to date is all thanks to the five seconds I decided to step out of my comfort zone, introduce myself, and carry a conversation.
Strive to learn something new every day – even if it makes you feel a bit uncomfortable at first.
Still wondering how to step out of your comfort zone? Take a look at this article:
Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?
5. Look at Things from a Different View
I once asked a friend what self-love meant to her. She answered, “self-love means being a parent to yourself.”
I was never expecting that answer, but it got me the wheels in my mind exploring other definitions of what self-love could mean to others and myself.
Changing your thinking also means being open to other opinions, especially if it challenges your own. You’ll begin to realize that the more mindset work you dive into, the more you will be approaching new opinions and ideas from a grounding and calming place. Things that used to have you on your defense will slowly turn into a question of curiosity instead.
6. Slow Down
Here’s the thing. You take the same route to work and leave your house at the same time. While on you are getting off the highway, you stop by your favorite coffee shop to order your daily brew, then you’re out the door and heading straight to the office.
During this daily routine, have you ever noticed the color of the corner building right before you get off the highway? Or have you noticed whether your barista is left-handed or right-handed?
Probably not, because most of the time we tend to live our lives on auto-pilot.
Science says we make about 35,000 decisions a day; therefore it makes sense that half the time our minds are on auto-pilot. There are great setbacks that come from having this “auto switch” including having those feelings of mindlessly scrolling through your phone or being so deep in your thoughts that you are mentally checked out.
One way to change your mindset is by slowing down. When you slow down, you begin to find yourself in the same tune and vibrations as the world around you. You begin to become aware of what resonates with you and what doesn’t. You start becoming present.
If you want to change your life, you must be present in the life you are currently living in. By being present, you begin to shift to a state of gratitude.
7. Eliminate the Excuses and Create Solutions
How often do we use the word “but?”
For instance, “I want to eat healthier but I’m so busy that I can’t meal prep,” “I want to buy a new car but I’m still paying off some of my debt,” “I would like to start my own business but I don’t have the time or finances for that.”
Now eliminate the “but” and imagine how you would feel if these external factors weren’t much of an issue.
This is a simple but powerful technique in changing your thinking. It’s all about tapping into those emotions and eliminating the roadblocks that we spend so much energy focusing on. Instead, begin shifting your focus from the but’s and toward the “how’s.”
Here’s some nice advice for you:
The Bottom Line
Changing your mindset is a work in progress and one that should be eye-opening as it is rewarding. It’s about getting to know yourself on a deeper level and creating a friendship with yourself along the way.
There’s no one solution fits all, but it all comes down to taking that first step.