Do you sometimes get the feeling that you are not keeping up with everything that is said in the world of great self-development? So many tactics, so many strategies and coaching programmes out there, that it is becoming overwhelming. The truth is that we all want better lives, so we are trying and trying, we are putting ourselves in some mind wrecking theories or woo-woo practices. But I tell you one thing; you can make significant changes in your life without reading each book on how to be happy, or without ten years of therapy with a Zen master. And it doesn’t matter if you are at the beginning your self-development trip, or you already walked a few miles this road. There are three things that you have to realise to achieve what you want in life. Interested? Please, be my guest.
I. There are two kinds of mindset; fixed and growth, and you better own the second one.
When you admire successful people it is not easy to escape the thought that all they have achieved is due to their innate talent. Admit how often you look at your favourite writers, musicians, singers and think, “I wish I had their skills, their talents, then I could do what they do.” Well, the truth is, talent isn’t everything. Sure, each of us is born with a certain set of innate flairs, but practically every success is based on work and practice.
People with a growth mindset believe that during their life they can change, evolve and learn; that they’re not a finished ‘product’, the characteristics of which are fixed once and for all. And this approach makes achieving whatever thing they want possible.
On the flipside, people with a fixed mindset stick to what they believe about themselves and never change their mind. If they were shy in the second grade or felt that they were not fit to be scientists (because one bitter teacher said so), they carry this image of themselves all their lives. They don’t believe that they can change anything about their personality and skills. How wrong they are!
The truth is that we, as human beings, are so flexible both in terms of our physicality, mental and character traits. By working on ourselves, on the qualities that we want to develop in ourselves, we can achieve amazing results.
I’m not saying that everyone can be anyone, but everyone can become a better self.
By cultivating a growth mindset you can get closer to your goals and dreams faster than you think.
So, answer to yourself: What is the thing or a feature that you admire in others, but you don’t believe that you could own it? Is it confidence, ability to sing, or play an instrument? Or maybe the skill to design cool clothes, or write an interesting blog? The good news is that you can learn it all! Both skills and personality traits can change as we work on them.
II. Acknowledge your limiting believes
Our mind works like a program. This human software is full of useful things as well as outdated applications and viruses that inhabit our proper functioning. The most tricky part of it is that very often we are not aware of these software bugs.
These are beliefs so deeply rooted in our subconscious mind that we perceive them as something natural, part of ourselves. But they’re nothing more than boundaries and limitations that holds you from a wonderful life you could have. They concern every sphere of life: finances, sexuality, self-worth, self-image as well as the more abstract concepts we create about ourselves.
For instance, one of my limiting beliefs is ( I wish to write was, but can’t do it yet) the one that I am too old and don’t have enough time to achieve all intended goals. I have that feeling that I’m running out of time, getting older and older and there are still so many things that I can’t do. The other one is that I am too shy. Now, I do realise that my behaviour depends on so many aspects and I can be an outgoing and confident person. Yes, I know I can, yet this mean whisper in my head is still there. Is this voice the voice of my parents who kept saying she is shy?
So how to overcome limiting believes?
First, you need to recognize them and it usually takes a lot of time and a lot of staring inside yourself. But that’s the basis of the work you can do to eliminate them. Once you know your limiting believe start to be aware of it in everyday situations. Begin to catch them in your thoughts and behaviour. Then strongly contradict them – with your words and behaviour. Stand up to them, show yourself that they are not real, that you choose what you want to believe about yourself.
Let me use a simple example here:
Limiting belief: I am not good around people.
Recognizing in behaviour: shadowing during a group conversation at a party
1. Remember a situation where you could get along with people – friends, parents, siblings. Now, you see – it’s not true that you are always not good around people.
2. Join the talk, even if you feel uncomfortable at first. Don’t bother with a sublime conversation – just throw one sentence on the topic, praise someone’s opinion, ask something.
III. You ALWAYS have a choice
This is very important, so stop here for a longer time. No matter what happens to you, no matter what the circumstances of your life, you always have a choice. Choice how you will react.
How we react to what happens in our life is our choice.
You can’t choose the social and background you were born into, but you can choose your reaction to possible judgment or even racism.
You can’t choose an economical background where you grew up, but you can choose to do whatever it takes to earn big money.
You can’t choose how people will treat you, but you can choose to forgive.
You can’t choose what bad happened to you, but you can choose how to live now.
It’s not a choice when some trauma has caused emotional havoc on you, but you can choose to not use drugs and alcohol to deal with it.
When you realize that so many things are a matter of your own choice, you will feel that you are in control of what happens in your life.
I strongly believe that working on these three things can bring amazing positive changes to everyone’s life. Starting from working on the cultivation of growth mindset, limiting beliefs and our own choices, we get closer to the place where we want to be. Our happy place.