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Step 3: Mindset Matters

Updated: Jan 2

I can think, "This is too hard", or "I don't know where to start", or a more reassuring mindset, "One step at a time."
Your Mindset determines your results


As I have shared in the last two posts, the Action Cycle begins with your Awareness and Acceptance of an issue you have. Now you’ve come to the third step, Mindset, which is the way you perceive your world and the lens through which you view your options. By consciously choosing how you want to think about the issue, rather than reacting instinctively to the circumstances, you have a distinct advantage.

Here are three examples of Mindsets, two from the news and one from a client:

1.    “Failure is OK, keep striving for greatness.” Jesse Green, artist and motivational speaker for elementary school children.

2.    “I’m going to do this rehearsal and hope for the best. If it’s not great, that’s OK.” Unity Phelan, principal dancer in the New York City Ballet

3.    “I’m going to figure out all my options and then pick one. It’s OK to explore.” Anonymous

All these examples reveal ways of making life an easier mental journey; a frame of mind that promotes moving forward when life deals a difficult hand.

“…a mindset is a set of assumptions, methods, or notions held by one or more people or groups of people. A mindset can also be seen as arising out of a person’s world view or philosophy of life.” Wikipedia

Our mindset (our inner thoughts) are the key to our success

If you focus on the problems and challenges surrounding an issue, along with an unhealthy mixture of regrets and fears, you feel discouraged, unable to focus or function effectively. With a negative mindset, you have deflated your confidence and motivation.

Rather than sitting in doubt or beating yourself up, use your thoughts as a helpful tool. If you think positively, you feel better and live more effectively. You are able to focus on what is going well, what is possible, and what you want. Your mind opens up to all the possibilities, which is the next step in the Action Cycle:  Assessing your options.

Thoughts become our mindset, so let’s use them wisely.

A mindset can be boiled down to a phrase or mantra:

·        “I can do this, one step at a time.”

·        “No time like the present, no day like today.”

·        “Perfection is the enemy of progress.”

Shirzad Shamine, founder of the Positive Intelligence movement, shares his “Sage Perspective” in his book, Positive Intelligence. “Any issue or challenge can be converted into a gift or an opportunity.” What have you converted already?

·        When did a “failure” become an opportunity for you to learn or grow?

·         What struggles during the COVID shut-down became an opportunity for you? Examples:

                o   What new technology did you learn? (Zoom, Teams, or Discord?)

                o   What creative ways did you use to connect with family, friends, or co-workers?

                o   What new home improvement project did you finally tackle?

Your mindset is your opportunity to positively deal with life, love, work, finances, home projects, friends, family, personal growth, or any other issue - every day.

Here is what I do when I am struggling with a project that is meaningful to me but feels hard. I focus on my “why” - the reason I want something, and I remember that I am “creative, resourceful, and whole”, one of the cornerstones of professional coaching. I remind myself that “I can figure it out”, and that “hard work is worth it.”

Now it’s your turn using all the steps we’ve covered so far:

·        Name your issue.

·        Be AWARE of what is going on; what’s working and not working, what’s important, what default habits are getting in the way, why this and why now?

·        ACCEPT that now is the time to address it and define what you want.

·        Choose a decisive and empowering MINDSET that will inspire you and sustain you through your Action Cycle. “Just do it!”

Next time I’ll talk about the fourth step – ASSESSING your options.

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