It can feel like an exciting adventure to start new things, dream big and imagine a better life.
Your chosen mindset can help you achieve your dreams and realize that better life.
Some people are skeptics, naysayers, critical, and find anything to negate a dream or desire. They become complacent with their own lives, accepting that it is what it is. This attitude is one type of mindset.
On the flip side, the most successful people in history have believed in themselves so deeply and profoundly that they were unstoppable. They had another type of mindset.
Why do people think differently about success and how to achieve it?
Mindset expert Carol Dweck, quoted in Entrepreneur magazine, says you can choose between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
“A fixed mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, intelligence, talents and abilities are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that,” Dweck says.
Fixed-mindset people want to know the details before saying yes, are afraid of making a mistake and make excuses—I can’t, I won’t—for themselves.
With a growth mindset, people believe that their talents and abilities can be developed over time through experience and mentorship, so they push themselves.
“They’re not always worried about how smart they are, how they’ll look or what a mistake will mean,” Dweck adds. “They challenge themselves and grow.”
People who choose a growth mindset are willing to get out of their comfort zones and try something new.
They understand that despite—or because of—the discomfort, they could well be provided with a new perspective. These people are also coachable, or willing to try suggestions. They are willing to look at and change what isn’t working in their lives. They align themselves with concepts and people who open new doors of opportunity.
The following metaphor of climbing a mountain illustrates how mindset can help us advance in life, stay stuck or even slide back down the slope. Read this and see if the habits or patterns described here reflect how you move through life.
Climb, Slip, Fall
You want to reach the top of a mountain. You have a plan and prepared your supplies, such as your backpack, food and water. You’re intelligent. What else is there to do?
You’re excited and scared. You show up with five other people. (Remember, the five people you spend the most time with have the most influence on your life.) Each person has a different level of experience, and you are the new one.
The experienced person shares tips, but you are too excited to deeply listen and instead focus on being the first one to the top. You feel you don’t need guidance and wisdom. You know your plan will work.
You proceed, faster than the rest, more excited and enthusiastic to reach the apex. You find the path and off you go. It’s exhilarating! The dirt is dry, and you slip a bit, but that doesn’t stop you. You will trudge through and achieve your goal.
Onward and upward you huff and puff as you notice that this path is steeper than you anticipated. You’ve lost sight of almost everyone else. You don’t know where they went, but you are so excited that it doesn’t matter. You try to focus.
You stop for a moment after slipping once again, bruising your knee. You decide to sip some water and look at the scenery.
The far-reaching, panoramic view is dry, lifeless, vast and empty. Your thoughts shift. This isn’t very pretty. What’s the big deal about climbing to the top to just see this view, other than getting there first? You hesitate to continue.
But you pick yourself up and continue forging ahead, because you consider yourself a go-getter.
You get distracted as you step on a rock and slip once again—except this time you slide down about 100 feet, not able to grasp your footing.
You drop your water, losing it, and you’re discouraged because this is not fun anymore. Your knee is bleeding, and your immediate thought is, I can put a Band-Aid on it.
Your mind is splintered off in several directions, wondering how the others are doing, where they are, what is at the top of the mountain, and why am I doing this? You keep going.
In the far distance, other climbers are on their own journey, taking the steps they feel are right for them. You might not understand their journeys.
The path is steeper, your breath is deeper and your mind is on overload.
You stop. You look out again at the terrain, and nothing has changed. It still looks ugly and lifeless, and now no one is in sight. It feels like you are not accomplishing what you set out to do.
If I go down the mountain now they won’t know I didn’t reach the top—so what does it matter? you think.
You consider for a moment that the person who organized the excursion didn’t take you to a good place to begin, so—ahah!—you will blame this all on them.
Do you identify with any of these patterns? Ask yourself what may have made this journey successful. (Or was it always hopeless?) What type of mindset did this individual have, in your opinion?
This person had some good, positive energy to start, and even remembered to tap into focus and gratitude along the way—but it takes more than staying fixed in your own way of doing things to climb up any mountain, real or metaphorical. Staying connected and learning from other people is a key element of a successful mindset, yet choosing these actions is a decision that only you can make.
Speaker and educator Bob Proctor, my mentor and coach, has a saying, “I am responsible for my life, my feelings and for my growth and for every result I get.”
What results will you choose?
Shift Your Mindset
You have more conversations in your head during the day than you do with anyone else. Over 70,000 thoughts float through your mind each day.
Are you willing to make a decision to say yes? That’s the very first step.
Massage business coach Gael Wood, owner of Massage and Spa Success, shared her story with me. She wanted to write her first e-book and she was stuck. She didn’t know how to get started.
The how is typically what stops us.
Gael reached out to her coach to discover she had some old beliefs about her writing abilities that were created during high school and that were not serving her.
Her coach helped her recognize her limiting beliefs and helped her reframe her pattern, and she made a choice to believe in herself.
Gael has a growth mindset. She realized that getting hung up on details could be overwhelming and self defeating. She was determined but she knew she needed to surround herself with someone who could take her to the top. Be like Gael.
This article will help you understand and implement the four key aspects of developing a growth mindset: reframing, focusing, building your willpower and making a list of what you love. Let’s go!
• Be aware of what you are aware of by spending time just noticing what you think about for 10 minutes a day.
• If you have a negative belief, discouraging thought, replace it with a positive one. Choose a mantra, perhaps like Om shanti or I am love. This will transform that thought into a more positive feeling and vibration.
• Live in gratitude. Start your day with a grateful heart you are alive. Notice things throughout the day that you can be grateful for, perhaps a smile, a hug, a sunny day, a delicious meal, your shoes.
End your day with gratitude as well. Living in gratitude creates more opportunities to be abundantly grateful. You begin to shift your focus from lack or as a friend of mine calls it scare city to abun-dance
• Be consistent. If you think it doesn’t work, keep going. If you get discouraged, keep going. Patterns take time to be reframed.
Distractions are happening all day long, but you can get past them to shift your mindset.
• Get out in nature. Take time daily, even five minutes to breathe outside. No excuses.
• Focus on you by stretching, paying attention to your breath.
• Notice something in nature, a tree, a flower a blade of grass and for a week keep noticing new things about it and appreciate it more for the insights you are receiving.
• Draw a bulls eye and in the center put the one thing you want to focus on daily or weekly. In the outer circles write the things that distract you and take you off task.
The more you are aware of your distractions you can make a choice to bring your focus back to what you can do to obtain that goal.
You must be able to identify these maneuvers so you can deploy them, just like the military learn in boot camp.
• Think of your mind as a muscle. Just like all muscles, it can build strength or atrophy. You can go one more rep to build muscle and you can tell your mind to go deeper.
3. Build your Will Power
• Voluntary attention. Take 15 minutes to focus on one thing, then take a 2 minute break. Keep increasing the amounts so you ease into building your will power to maintain your focus.
• Notice where your mind goes on break. Make a voluntary choice to focus on something calming, happy, what brings you peace.
• Do the same thing with your nutrition. Bring in 1 healthier habit each week, then each day and keep going. Build your momentum. Build your will power.
• Live in the power of now. The present moment is truly a gift. Choose to smile more.
• Notice if someone else could use a smile. Notice the sounds in your environment: are they pleasing or would you like to make a choice perhaps to change the music?
The elders in different have taught me too. No worries, they say, be happy.
Don’t think about the future, it’s not here, enjoy today.
Forget about the past, it no longer exists, so live in the joy of the moment.
There is always something that we can choose to focus on that brings us joy.
4. Make a List of What You Love
• Focus on the things you love. Write down 10 things you love.
• Then think about 10 things you would love to do and write those down.
• Write a love letter to yourself about all the awesome things about you. Dig deep and just go with it. Mail it to yourself and read it on a day you are having a challenge time.
• Make a decision to do one thing you love each week, and keep increasing the time you spend doing that.
Honor All of It
My coaching client “Candy” had a fixed mindset and struggled for many years knowing there was more to life. She knew that she would have to completely surrender her fixed, rigid, limiting beliefs and open to trust and greater possibilities.
She was scared and often kicked like a toddler.
Through guidance and coaching the door for her to see and achieve dreams greater than she previously thought possible has flown open.
“I am a successful artist, healer and entrepreneur,” Candy said. As a result of shifting my mindset I am now pursuing a patent, planning for financial investment, and creating my own publishing company. I know this is only the beginning.”
Candy is eager to continue shifting her mindset and wants to continue to grow to see else she can achieve. Candy now has a growth mindset. Be like Candy.
Take Your Power Back
In everything we do, we should honor it all, including (especially) ourselves.
Everything you love and desire is already here and as you continue to open your awareness through consistent mindset shifts, you will see more opportunities.
Honor others who support and help you, and honor yourself. Yes it’s a privilege to recognize your accomplishments, every step you take—so give thanks each day, each week and all year long.
Remember, anything that annoys you is teaching you patience. Anyone who angers you teaches you about forgiveness and compassion.
Anything that has power over you teaches you how to take your power back.
Anything you can’t control shows you how to let go and trust a greater power.
The more you love your life, the more your thoughts will be loving. The more your thoughts are loving, the more you attract what you love.
Visualizing is not enough. You must embody the process and put yourself in motion to shift your mindset and create a new purpose and a life filled with success.
About your Author:
Gloria Coppola has had a courageous journey in life, and her unstoppable nature has opened doorways of spiritual opportunity. She an author, healing arts educator, empath and naturopathic practitioner who has combined her knowledge as an intuitive mindset life coach. Gloria won a humanitarian award for starting a nonprofit to help massage colleagues after Hurricane Sandy. She was inducted into the Massage Hall of Fame in 2010.