The term “mindset” has become quite popular in recent years and tends to show up all over the place from self-help books, job interviews, dating apps, social media to daily conversation. Mindset can be “fixed” or “growth,” it can be “self-limiting” or “expansive.” Regardless, knowing the trendy buzz words doesn’t mean you know how to actually change or reprogram your default mindset, even if doing so can elevate your life in ways you’ve never imagined.
Today I’m breaking down the awarenesses, techniques, and concepts involved in doing so.
Subconscious vs. Conscious
You’re probably familiar with how the subconscious mind sometimes sets out to sabotage the conscious mind. Don’t misunderstand; this isn’t to say you have a split personality, but the subconscious does play a role in our everyday interactions. How often do you find yourself on autopilot throughout the day? Remember that time you snapped on that person with no real good reason, just because you needed a release of stress?
Through recent years’ research and advancements in the study of the mind, we know that the subconscious tends to overreact every now & again. After all, it’s largely made of perceptions of events and occurrences from the past and can be the only thing we have to rely on to make current and future choices- unless we make a conscientious effort.
The subconscious is made up of events and stories from the past while the conscious mind is completely present to the moment… however, living in the conscious mind is where you’re truly awake.
There are a few good ways to stay in the moment and live in your conscious mind that aren’t terribly hard or taxing:
1. Live in the Moment
How many times have you found yourself thinking about an altercation that occurred yesterday while switching over to worrying about something next week? When you live in the moment, whether you are driving your teen somewhere or washing a dish, you are truly present to your conscious mind.
If you are driving with your teen, for example, be present to him or her. Notice the way her hair falls or how he has a little bit of a crooked smile when he grins. Be present to the person right in front of you in the moment.
If you are washing dishes, feel the warmth of the water, smell the scent of the soap. Focus on the motions you’re making and the feast for the senses that’s there for the taking if you’d only notice it.
2. Take on Meditation
If you want to program your mindset, assume the art of meditation. Meditating will help you differentiate between the subconscious and the conscious mind, and you’ll learn about the different levels of brain waves such as beta, alpha, theta, and delta while researching techniques. Side note: Scientific American has a great intro piece called What is the Function of the Various Brainwaves? if you’re interested.
You’ll learn that you have more control of your conscious mind, as well, the longer you’re a meditator. Meditation teaches you that you are not your body, you are not your emotions, you are not even your mind. It allows you to draw from an endless well of what I can only describe as the essence of who you really are at your core.
3. Make a Choice
No matter what, you always have a choice as to how you feel, and you also have a choice as to how long to feel that particular way.
You can choose to look at an ending as a new beginning and a closed door as an open window. Choosing your thoughts is a great way to program your conscious mind.
One of the ways I work choice into my day constantly is to ensure I’m constantly reframing my own experiences in my mind. For instance, if I find myself stuck in traffic feeling annoyed, I’ll reframe the situation and give thanks that I have a few extra minutes to finish the podcast I’ve got playing or time to call a friend.
This leads us right into our next topic…
Develop the Right Mindset to Elevate Your Life
Have you ever noticed anyone in your life that has a sunny disposition, all the time? Have you also noticed that this individual seems to sail through life, as well? Well, perhaps the right mindset is the key to real and lasting happiness.
At the end of the day, no matter what happens, we have the power to choose our thoughts about and reaction to that event. Developing the right mindset will help you reach what you desire in life.
There’s Real Work Involved
Just like anything else in life that is worth having, developing the right mindset has a little bit of work involved. However, this work isn’t too painful and can actually be fun. It really is a matter of training your brain and resetting it to a program you want to replay over and over again.
Make an effort every single day to listen to how often the voice of negativity comes to visit. When you hear that voice of negativity that wants to sabotage your success, keep you safe, and makes you fearful, you have to put the effort in to evolve it into something positive. Because, you can’t get rid of energy, right? You can only change it, evolve it, or transfer it.
Give that voice of negativity a minute to set in, look deeply into that thought and see if there is anything useful in it for you. For example, if you are feeling fearful about a new endeavor, listen deeply and see if there is any validity to that fear. If not, then chalk it up to self-sabotaging talk, reframe it as excitement, and move forward.
Retrain your Brain
Once you have recognized the negative talk and realize it isn’t valid, move on to the next step, which is to retrain your brain. Take that thought of, “What if I fail?” and change it to “What if I succeed?” Reframe, reframe, reframe… this applies not only to situations like we discussed earlier but also to emotions.
Retraining your brain takes practice every day. The use of positive affirmations is an amazingly effective way to retrain and reframe. Although it might feel a bit awkward at first, positive affirmations really do work.
Luckily, we’re blessed with the internet in this day & age- use it! There are so many great sources of affirmations for every topic and personality. Personally, I love short and simple affirmations. RELATED: 15 Short & Powerful Money Affirmations That Work
Align Yourself with Success
We all have goals. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail are the ones who succeed are willing to put the effort and persistence into trying. If you are afraid of failure, see how you can turn that around. Maybe failure is a way of learning, but never trying will not equate success.
Align yourself with success by taking on new things. Network in different places, join workshops, take classes to boost your skill set and your confidence. Try something new you’ve never done before – even if it’s not something that other people would think requires much courage. Doing something that stretches yourself doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else.
Reprogram Your Mindset to Elevate Your Life
Live in the moment, consider meditation, and make the choice on how you’re going to react to situations or indulge your emotions. Set yourself up for success, put yourself in places where you are bound to succeed, and learn to recognize that even if you fail once or twice, the mere fact that you are trying aligns you with success and brings you closer to elevating your life closer to your targets.