The Power of Mindset: Choosing What Will Define You in 2020
The mind is a powerful tool that is often underutilized and underestimated. Our mindset is the most important factor determining the trajectory of how we move forward. Strategy, structure, planning -- all of these things are critical to the ability to navigate and succeed in the future. But without the right mindset hurdles become more intimidating than they need to be, the choice of perspective gets forfeited, intentions get jumbled, miscommunications are given more influential freedom than they should be.
With the right frame of mind comes a clarity and stability that can remain present even in the midst of chaotic or unforeseen circumstances. As a company we have seen this more than ever over the past few months. We have also learned that maximizing a positive mindset requires intentionality and awareness. A few things our team has zeroed in on as we recognize the power of the mind are:
Mindset Matters. It defines perspective and shapes every response and action.
Perspective is the lens we see life through. There are two major lenses we gravitate towards. One is the stance of “life happens TO me.” The other is “life happens THROUGH and BECAUSE of me.” When we consciously choose the latter lens, we access a level of control we already have but often forget to tap into.
Mindset is Contagious. It creates two effects on us: limits or liberates our potential.
Limitation holds us back; liberation moves us forward. A limited mindset focuses on scarcity -- “what we don’t have” and “why this won’t work.” It produces roadblocks like jealousy, fear and speculation, confirmation bias, self-pity and the blame game. It also tends to default towards “no,” rejecting new ideas due to uncertainty. A liberated mindset on the other hand, opens many doors. It is characterized by learning and curiosity, openness to other opinions, ownership of actions and a focus on progress. It is future-oriented, able to lean in and create and embrace innovation. It chooses courage over comfort, encourages unity and focuses on abundance.
Mindset is a Muscle. Repetition builds strength and creates habits.
Just like a muscle, we can exercise our mindset regularly. The more we do this, the more natural it will become to gravitate towards focusing on choosing perspective rather than succumbing to the chaos of constant reactivity.
Your New Mindset Workout: 10 Quick and Easy Mental Exercises
- Daily gratitude sprint: take 30 seconds to list things you are grateful for. It can be helpful to write these things down so you have a growing list you can look back on when you are feeling down.
- Pay it forward: weekly act of kindness
- Accountability: define a routine and share it with someone
- Ask “How can I work smarter instead of harder?”
- Start the day with reflection, meditation or a devotional period: take a few minutes to get in a healthy headspace before you tackle the day.
- Share “favorite part of the day” with your family, friends or coworkers after hours.
- Stay connected digitally: share and receive ideas, updates, tips, personal victories and struggles with people you trust.
- Listen to positive, upbeat music: this may sound cliché, but give it a try. It gives your brain a break from thinking!
- Stay active: make a point to move. This could be breaking up your day by going for a walk, setting aside specific times to exercise a few times a week, joining a virtual workout class, whatever you prefer. Our bodies need a break from rigidity too.
- Control frequency and volume of news from reputable sources: it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole when it comes to news updates, especially right now. There is a difference in staying informed and overwhelming yourself with things that may or may not be accurate. Choose your sources wisely and set boundaries for yourself based on what is helpful for you versus what weighs you down with fear.
As Mike Tyson says, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” We have all been figuratively punched in the mouth this year. But we don’t have to stay knocked down. We can get up. There are many things outside of our control, but each one of us has a continuous opportunity to influence our individual frame of mind.