Practical Ways To Strengthen or Reprogram Mindset
I preach all the time about this. It’s okay to feel down, challenged or generally, not okay at times. Awareness is the number one step toward change and for sure, acceptance can support us more than anything in a challenging situation or thought process. Once we recognise how we naturally cope or build ourselves back up after the fact, then building and strengthening a healthy mindset is important for our future resilience.
As I’ve worked with some strong coaches, mentors, managers and friends over the years, there are a number of common factors that have emerged that lead to an (evidently) stronger mindset.
For sure, it comes through a couple of avenues – practice and experience. While when it does build, a number of common characteristics can be identified in the strong mindset parties.
Mindset is not a one size fits all. The outside doesn’t always match the insides and it’s a good reminder that mindset can vary and can also be channelled in ways that are less than obvious. Confidence is quiet, insecurity is very loud. Mindset can often be identified more in the actions we take. Words used matter however alignment is significant.
- In order to know where you are going, first you need to identify where you are at. A question to ask is ‘how do I cope in situations and what are the responses I experience?’ Assess topics such as the latest challenge you’ve had (big or small). What was your initial response and what was the response once the news settled? Take note of this and what you did. For example, did you go into yourself, binge eat or want to run away? Or, did you sit calmly and work to understand the situation at hand? There is always going to be an initial emotional response – give yourself this grace. Pay attention to your natural response.
- When it comes to coping, there are natural reactive actions that can be taken. Sometimes, a big pause in pursuit of the next step will mean you don’t regret something later. For example, if mad at someone, take some time away and wait until your body feels relaxed so you respond calmly.
- Then, think of a time when you coped really well. What were the actions you took that helped you cope better? What worked well and what were the thoughts you had or you overcame? Take note of these as a winning formula. Matthew Mc Conaughy talks about this in his book ‘Green Lights’. Take note of what you are thinking and doing when things are going well or when you’ve exceeded. Be aware of how this looks and repeat the formula. Taking note also builds validation and confidence for yourself which greatly impacts mindset.
- When mindset is weak or generally not what you’d like it to be, there are actions that can be taken physiologically. These include exercise (release of endorphins), meditation (calming of the pre-frontal cortex in order to encourage calm and planning). The latter (planning) is important as it means that you are taking action and control in your own right as opposed to looking at external factors.
- Finally, be aware of your blockers to a healthy mindset. These include self-sabotaging techniques such as blame, addictions and the people around you. One of the most significant influences on mindset is who we spend time with. Ensure that bring out the best in you, support and speak positively.
Be kind to yourself and note, when the best time is to take action. Not doing anything can have a hindering impact on mindset. Mindfulness, moving forward and general healthy direction will bring you to a more healthy place. Like anything, it is always a work in progress – show yourself grace.