Mindset 101

Where are your thoughts (and why are they there)? Plus a super powerful set of questions!

A short but powerful one for the weekend and something that lies at the heart of any work that you want to do on yourself - its mindset.

This term, like many others, is so popular that people throw it about without really understanding what it is and what they can do about it. 

Have you ever said (or heard anybody say) I want to improve my mindset and the next thing you know it is all about positivity.  While its good to generally is optimistic about stuff, positive thinking can just be another form of denial, if things are crap, they are crap - it's about how you respond to them, meet them face to face and choose what to do.

So what is mindset then???

Mindset is a set of assumptions and beliefs that are so powerful that your behaviour conforms.

That is quite different than simply thinking a bit more positively. The issue is that those assumptions and beliefs have kept you going for (depending on your age) many decades.

Do you find yourself saying 'they' always do this or that, whether 'they' are a person or a group? I do and if you are human then you do too.

That thinking is based on your beliefs. Many of your beliefs are great and many of them serve you well but what are the ones that cause you some degree of stress?

Not wanting to leave you hanging I'll give you some questions that might help you with identifying and challenging your beliefs. This is inspired by the work of Byron Katie (she has some really cool free worksheets on her site). The key here is to keep the answers as simple as possible - the more complex you make them the more chance you have of making up stories.

1. What's your belief? e.g. John hates me

2. Is this true? Yes, he argues with me in every meeting.

3. Can you be absolutely sure that it's true? Well, no - I don't know what he is thinking

4. How do you react? What happens when you believe that thought? Well, I need to stand my ground so I argue back

5. Does that thought bring peace or stress into your life? Stress

6. What images do you see, past present and future and what physical sensations do you experience? I did seem to argue with my parents - all the time when I was growing up. When this happens I get tense and hot.

7. What emotions arise when you believe that thought? Anger, rage, frustration

8. Do any obsessions or addictions begin to appear when you believe that thought? I quite often go for a pint after those meetings and I can be quite short with my wife and kids...

9. How do you treat the person in the situation? Like a challenger, someone that I need to beat.

10. Who would you be without that thought? Hmmm, I might ask them why they are challenging me, I might try more to understand where they are coming from more...

This is now where the magic happens - we do some turnarounds on the original belief to the self, to the other and to the opposite as follows:

To the self - I hate John

To the other - John doesn't hate me

To the opposite - John likes me

Consider each of those statements, are any of them truer than the original statement (or could they be)? Then think about how it could put you in a way that doesn't cause stress.

This is hard work - the question is whether or not you are willing to do the work, or are you willing to stay the same?

Phew, that was intense. Using this thinking w

It'll help you identify and challenge some of the beliefs that could be holding you back or causing you stress.

If you found this useful then pass on to others that you think might need some help too.

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