Listening is a skill. It is a sign of respect and caring. However, the listening that can have the biggest impact on your existence, is listening to your inner voice. Listen to your default thoughts. Listen to what you say to yourself about yourself. Those silent cues have a profound effect on your well-being and on how you move through the world. It is important to understand the mindset that you are operating from in order to do the work necessary for a mindset reset.
Fear Based Mindset
If your inner voice is based in fear, it will drastically limit what you will try. Opportunities will be missed, not because you are not capable, but because fear of failure blocks you from attempting something new. You can convince yourself that you are not interested, but beneath the surface, is a fear that is debilitating. Fear of failure is tightly coupled with self-worth. When you derive your value from what you have or what you accomplish, you perceive yourself as less valuable without those things or when you do not succeed.
We are so much more than what we have or what we do. But if you do not recognize that, it is too risky to do anything that would jeopardize how you see yourself today. Externally, life looks wonderful, but internally, you live in a self-created box and anything outside that box is too scary to attempt. You will do the things that keep you comfortable and where you are most skilled. There is nothing wrong with leading with your skills. You have them for a reason and using them stands to reason; however, if you do not allow yourself to try other things, simply because you do not possess that skill, you are operating out of fear.
Insecurity Based Mindset
A specific kind of fear that can be extremely debilitating is insecurity. Insecurity is basically the fear of not being good enough. When you operate from a place of insecurity, your self-esteem is very fragile. You are in a constant state of proving that you belong, that you are good enough, that you are deserving. Not only is insecurity stifling, but it is also exhausting.
It is difficult to enjoy what you are doing when you are operating with the added burden of proving yourself. Although your thoughts are externalized, the real convincing is an internal activity. Unfortunately, your life experiences, interactions and environment have culminated in a way that has taught you that you are in some way lacking. Rewriting that narrative is where your most important work lies. As you begin to truly see the value that you bring, you will process interactions with others differently. Suddenly, you will not feel judged because the judge was you all along.
Judgement Based Mindset
You have likely heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This speaks to the subjectivity of a judgement. What one person considers beautiful is unappealing to the next. Yet, we put so much concern over judgement both our own and that from others. We are limited in how we express ourselves out of fear of judgement. The confinement of judgement can only be broken when your authenticity is of more value to you than how someone might respond to you. When you know who you are, and can stand firm as your authentic self, you are free to just be. You are no longer scurrying around in an attempt to show up as someone wants to receive you, but instead, you show up as you are.
The reset is your way out of the struggle and into the life that you deserve, a life that is free from the confinement of fear, insecurity or judgement. The reset is about taking control of not only what you think, but also how you think. Let’s explore a strategy to disrupt the thinking patterns that have kept you from living a life of true freedom.
- Tune in
- Examine your inner thoughts.
- Look for patterns of negativity
- Do not judge or suppress any thought. You need to acknowledge that it is there in order to evolve it.
- Remove any thoughts that do not serve you
- Replace a negative thought with a positive one
- Say the new thought out loud
- Repeat the new positive thought every time the negative one shows up
- Meditate on the new thought (embody it)
- Learn the power of yet
- I first learned of the power of yet from Carol Dweck in her book, The Power of the Growth Mindset.
- Instead of I can’t do…, make it I have not learned to…yet
- Yet turns you from hopeless to hopeful. It removes the finality of can’t and opens you to the possibility of learning something new.
- Change the channel
- Embrace the work that you have done
- Do not allow yourself to operate out of habit
- Allow the evolved you and new thought patterns to emerge
- When the default patterns try to resurface, do not become discouraged. Change the channel. Immediately replace the old with the new. Eventually, the new thought pattern will become your default.
Remember that we are all a work in progress. Ultimately, we want to get to a place where we are operating from a growth mindset more often than not. A growth mindset is the belief that excelling is measured more by effort than talent. While each of us is talented in different areas, it is those who are willing to work at something that will reach the highest level of achievement. Do not be limited by what you know now. Allow “yet” to remind you that what you do not know is a temporary state. What I do not know now, I can master with effort. With the right mindset and the willingness to work at it, whatever you desire is within reach. Master your thoughts to master your mind!