Years ago, I read a wonderful book by Dr. Joan Borysenko called Inner Peace for Busy People. It became one of our first ASPIRE Success Club book picks, and I still take it off my shelf to review from time to time. I highlighted a great deal in the book but reference one section in particular rather frequently:
“One person chooses to be upset until the day she dies because her working mother rarely made dinner for the family. Another attributes her love of cooking to the exact same circumstances.”
What do you notice?
Same circumstances, completely different experiences. All due to mindset.
Maybe you thrive on change, maybe you consider yourself a creature of habit. Either way, a deliberate focus on your mindset can change everything.
At its core, your mindset is your framework of thoughts and beliefs that impact how you experience the world. Your mindset essentially determines your actions, behaviors, and outcomes. It affects how you make sense of the world, as well as how you interpret experiences.
The more I have studied mindset, particularly for my Positive Psychology Coaching certification, the more I am reminded how it underscores our entire life experience. The best part? You don’t necessarily need extensive training to shift your mindset to one that serves you and those around you better. Below, three evidence-based practices to help you begin that shift.
The above example from Borysenko is a great example of this. You may not control everything that happens to you, but you do get to decide how you handle it. You are the author of your story. You choose how you will experience this world, regardless of circumstances. No one can make you feel a certain way; you are in charge of your mindset.
Inspired Action: Think back to a situation that felt negative at the time but, with hindsight, seemed to turn out in your favor. For example, a coaching client recently shared how devastated she felt after being laid off ten years ago, but now knows she never would have started her soulful business without that ‘prompt.’ Explore what you learned, how you benefited, or what you gained. Repeat this process until you’re able to begin doing it in real-time.
2. Focus On Influence.
Essentially, this involves looking at any less-than-desirable situation through two lenses: What concerns you, and what you can influence to change. When I teach this principle to coaching clients, I essentially describe it as flipping from “Why” (Why does this always happen? Why me? Why now?) to “How” (How can I improve this? How can I bring positivity into this situation? How can I change, learn from, or impact what’s happening?). Simple and empowering.
Inspired Action: Take an area where you have been feeling stuck and write out the things that frustrate / bother / frighten you about that situation. Get those thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper. Then, make a big list of responses to the question, “How might I improve this situation and/or my mindset toward it?” Generate at least 20 responses and go from there. (If you would like a one-time coaching session on this using my Power Circles tool, let me know.)
Gratitude has become kind of a buzzword lately. (I can think of worse things!) The reason: Gratitude works. Study upon study confirms that identifying what you are thankful for has physical, mental, and emotional benefits; Dr. Robert Emmons, one of my instructors for the aforementioned Positive Psychology certification, is one of the leading researchers in this field if you seek more evidence.
Inspired Action: You’ve probably heard it before, but now I want you to put it into action: Start a gratitude journal. Each day, write three things for which you are grateful – and I suggest a ‘no repeats’ rule. Do this for a month and see what shifts you notice.
What practices help you shift your mindset to one of more purpose and positivity? Share your ideas below or on Instagram!
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