During times of uncertainty, many people resist change, while others embrace it. Certainty is a core human need; therefore, it is natural to resist what is unknown to us and as we navigate through lockdowns, mindset is critical. Change often makes us feel uneasy as it takes us into the unknown and moves us away from the things we feel are certain.
A powerful aspect of your mindset is how quickly it can be shifted and how impacting the consequences can be. Unlike skills that have to be practised repeatedly, mindsets sometimes show dramatic shifts in a short amount of time.
Many of you had to transition from working onsite to remotely during the pandemic. This change required you to upgrade your mindset. As much as working remotely required a physical change, it also required a psychological one. You needed to think differently and create thinking habits that kept you going in this difficult time. Your mindset mattered! Developing a strong and disciplined mindset gives you the ability and agility to own your thoughts and actions.
“The one thing we can control is our thoughts, no matter who we are, we all have this choice. This is great news when going through change or facing a challenge.”
Controlling the way you think and fostering a mindset that serves you can assist in adapting to new things, such as career transition, life changes, and even dealing with certain people and relationships.
In simple terms, your THOUGHTS create your FEELINGS and what you do or do not ACTION.
How you think
The mind is powerful, and your thoughts are the starting point to awareness and where your attention goes.
If your inner thoughts are persistently negative, try the following:
- Call out your critic: Stop and name the thought and then refer to it by that name. Someone I know named her inner talk ‘needy Ned’. She now laughs whenever she notices these thoughts – that alone changed the direction of her future conversations.
- Talk to yourself like a friend: We can be harsh on ourselves, often harsher than we would ever be with those we love. Talk to yourself as you would a friend; be light, be kind and above all, be respectful and come from a place of love.
- Flip your beliefs: We usually frame whatever we tell ourselves as beliefs that either do or do not serve us. You have the power to flip your beliefs. For instance, ‘I will never get through this challenge’ could be flipped to ‘What is the opportunity in this situation?’
- Reframe keywords: Reframing ‘I’m nervous and challenged’ to ‘I’m excited about this opportunity’ can change your energy, mindset and awareness to what can be, rather than what can’t be.
How you feel
It’s easy to confuse thoughts and feelings. Acting in accordance with your thoughts and emotions and knowing and understanding what you are feeling will help you make wise choices. Identifying your experience accurately will assist you in coping more effectively and responding with logic rather than reacting entirely with emotion.
A quick scenario, using the comment ‘I feel overwhelmed’. When you believe you are overwhelmed, any evidence is unlikely to change this thought, and you will be overloaded with the feeling that you are overwhelmed. If you reword the statement to include both thoughts and feelings, it could sound like: ‘I think I am overwhelmed because I see myself as drowning in everything’ and ‘I feel like everything is out of control’. The statement about feeling overwhelmed could also be code for other thoughts and feelings.
Both thoughts and feelings are equally important in cultivating awareness and controlling your mindset. Thoughts are things we tell ourselves, things we believe. Feelings are an emotional reaction triggered by these thoughts.
How you act
Your actions are often dependent on how you are feeling and what you are telling yourself. If your actions aren’t congruent with your values and what you want, you need to revert to your’ thoughts’‘. Examine what you are thinking and telling yourself and adjust this to achieve the outcomes, relationships and life you are looking to live.
Adopting a Gift Mindset can also help you be open to unwrap the gifts in both the challenging and positive experiences you encounter. When you embrace the learnings from everything you experience, you can use these to strengthen your mindset and progress yourself and others forward.
Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder. Your responses are anonymous, and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide insights, tools and solutions to assist you in moving up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.
Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker; She is the author of ‘Gift Mindset®‘, ‘Limitless Leadership’, and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.
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