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Today, you have the opportunity to transcend from a disempowered mindset of existence to an empowered reality of purpose-driven living. Today is a new day that has been handed to you for shaping. You have the tools, now get out there and create a masterpiece.
Steve Maraboli, The Power of One
At the heart of this quote, you will find that regardless of what is currently happening in your life, the way you perceive your life is what makes you happy or unhappy.
If negative assumptions or beliefs are consuming you, then you will be unhappy. On the other hand, if you have a positive mindset (even when navigating tough times), you will be happy.
Ultimately, perception is your reality, so changing how you look at your life can make a difference. But how can you know when your mindset is faulty?
It can be hard to tell when the negative thoughts are outside yourself or inside your psyche. That’s part of the problem with a negative mindset—it clouds your judgment.
Thankfully there are some red flags to alert you when it might be time to improve your thoughts and mindset.
Mindset Type: Fixed vs Growth
If you have a growth mindset, you most likely view intelligence and talents as learnable and something that can be improved upon. However, if you have a fixed mindset view, you view these traits as unstable and not something that can be changed with time.
Psychologist Carol Dweck brought about the growth and fixed mindset concepts in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, published in 2006. Carol Dweck says that challenging situations can be significant and catastrophic for someone with a fixed mindset because they fail to see any chance of improvement in the future.
It is almost impossible to change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset in just a day. It will take time and practice. To get started, reflect on what you have failed and pull lessons from each failure, stop seeking approval from others, identify opportunities to celebrate success, and focus more on rewarding actions.
Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts.
Now let’s look at some signs showing it is time to change mindsets.
Signs It’s Time to Change Your Mindset
Are you more focused on failure than success? Do you have more negative days than positive? Do you feel hopeless and anxious? These are just some ways to tell if you need a mindset change. Read on for more detailed info.
1. You are constantly focusing on what’s wrong
Do you always find yourself fixating on your worries and disappointments but never thinking about the things that are actually going your way? This is a sure sign that your mindset is contaminated with negativity.
Many bad things may be happening right now, but odds are at least some aspects of your life are in good shape.
Taking time to be thankful for those things is important because it helps to keep the bad from completely overwhelming your perspective. If you become blind to the good things, you may lose them or not use them to your advantage.
Also read our 10 Secrets of a Millionaire Mindset to see what you should focus on and how to direct your thoughts to better areas.
2. You mourn your failures but forget to celebrate your victories
The difficulties and struggles of today are but the price we must pay for the accomplishments and victories of tomorrow.
William J. H. Boetcker, Motivational Speaker
This is closely related to the sign above. Do you feel angry and despondent whenever you suffer a loss but gloss over your victories and personal growth?
When you do not take the time to celebrate the moment when something goes your way, it is because, on a conscious or unconscious level, you do not believe in your victory. You believe underneath it is concealing the seeds of failure, and you let those negative emotions take over.
When you do this, you continuously send yourself a very negative message. You believe that you will always fail and cannot celebrate victories because they are all just future failures in disguise. This is a really poor way to live your life because not only do you miss out on all of life’s precious, beautiful moments, but you spit on life itself and your own ingenuity, luck, and achievements.
“But I don’t want to take anything for granted,” you might reply. That is a good thing, but there is a third path: gratitude. Remember, constantly casting doubts on your victories is as ungrateful as taking them for granted because it isn’t a real acknowledgment of them.
Believe you are capable of real victory. Some things do last.
3. You don’t want to face the truth
Complaining about reality is not going to change it. You can rage all day about the rain clouds, but it will not bring out the sun. It is good to have a sense of justice, to appreciate what things should be.
But in a way, relentlessly complaining is a refusal to acknowledge and accept the truth. There are simply some things you cannot change. Not everything is under your control. And there is no bigger mistake than refusing to see the world for what it is because that is the point where you can no longer tell fact from fiction.
Take action to change the things that you can. Speak the truth when you see an injustice, but accept that the world will never be fair, as much as maybe it should be. Until you can accept that fact and change your mindset, it will never be realistic, and you will always be plagued by resentment that your expectations are not being met.
4. You feel angry when your expectations are not met
This leads directly to another red flag. If you are constantly finding the world, people in your life, or even you are not meeting your expectations, it most likely means your expectations are unrealistic. Our expectations are a huge part of our mindset. They are what we believe to be possible or necessary.
Expectations lay the groundwork for our experiences. If we have unrealistically high expectations, nothing ever satisfies us. For example, if you set out after college expecting to be a millionaire by age 30 and find yourself nowhere near that benchmark by age 25, you will probably be pretty miserable.
But are you miserable because you are not a millionaire or have not achieved what you expected by that age?
This all comes back to seeing the world as it truly is. Maybe you are gifted and ambitious, and maybe in a perfect world, you would “have your first million by now.”
But we do not live in a perfect world, and with all the gifts and ambition in the world, you cannot control every factor. That is why adjusting our mindsets to survive and thrive in such a world is important.
5. You feel unsatisfied and unhappy with everything you have (or don’t have)
The downside of ambition is that it often blinds us to the wonderful things and people we already have in our life. Maybe you want a bigger home or a more expensive car, but can you remember when you didn’t even have the home or car you have now? Maybe you wish you had more friends while disregarding the value of the friends you have now.
There is always more to strive for, but for this reason, more can never truly satisfy us. It always leaves a hole that is impossible to fill.
You will never stop wanting more until you allow yourself to have what you already have. To take it in. Savor it. Now is a good time to do that.
Geneen Roth, Author
6. You find yourself regularly coming to blows with the people you care about
If you constantly disagree with the people you love, it is a good sign that your mindset may need work, especially if you trust those people and respect and value their opinions.
Your arguments with them may reflect more on you than on them. Try to see where they are coming from—it could change your mind for the better.
7. You think about what you “have to” do instead of what you “get to” do
When you find yourself viewing everything as an inconvenience instead of as a welcome opportunity, it usually means that you are no longer appreciating what you have. “I have to do all this work” is a tempting statement when you are tired, but you get to do all that work. Not everyone does!
Work feeds you, keeps you alive, and makes the enjoyable things in your life accessible. So remember to appreciate your work, even when it feels burdensome!
8. You see yourself as a victim
The problem with seeing yourself as a victim doesn’t come from the fact that it is necessarily inaccurate—sometimes, you really have been victimized by bad people or unfortunate circumstances.
However, constantly viewing yourself as the victim does not empower you to change or build a better life for yourself. Even if you were the victim, overcome this low self-esteem by deciding to reject that role and start creating something better. You deserve it!
9. You hold onto the dramas of other people
Sometimes, the negative mindset we find ourselves struggling with does not reflect us so much as it reflects the messages we have received throughout our lives. Maybe your parents told you that you shouldn’t pursue your passions, or maybe you had a negative partner in your past who made you feel you were never good enough.
If the dramas inside your head sound familiar and you catch echoes of voices that are not yours, it may be time to let them go. Those dramas belong to those other people and reflect their judgments and perceptions, not yours.
How To Change Your Mindset
Ready to make some changes? Once you shift your perspective, you will start feeling better, and you can continue onto the path toward a successful and happy life.
1. Develop A Routine
Start by developing a more intentional routine. The morning is the time of the day that can significantly impact you. If you have free time in the morning, make a good breakfast and get in a quick meditation session if possible.
2. Change Self-Talk
When learning how to change your mindset, do you have negative thoughts? Instead of negative emotions, focus on the language you use to change your mindset. This, again, comes back to how you start your day. Rid your life of negative self talk.
When you wake up, start planting positive affirmations and language into your head. It will help you feel more focused and energized for the day. Mantras are also effective and can be changed to suit your current feelings and needs.
Positive self talk can improve self-esteem, help with stress management, and can improve overall well-being. If you need some ideas to get started, check out our 101 Words of Encouragement to find a mantra that works best for you.
Positive self talk results in a mindset shift. Positive thoughts and personal development in your daily life help to dispel negative thinking and can even result in an improvement in your decision making skills overall.
3. Challenge Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs are a roadblock preventing many from achieving their dreams and changing their mindset. If you can challenge those limiting beliefs, you can dispel negative patterns and move forward toward achieving your goals.
Limiting beliefs are just stories we tell ourselves that hold no truth or value.
Build a positive set of habits, and you will find you can reach new heights in your professional and personal life while gaining confidence in everything you do.
4. Face Your Fears Head On
How do you look at your future? Is it from a place of fear? To change your mindset, you must alter your perception. Identify your biggest fears and learn how to identify what limits you.
Are you afraid of failure? Instead of dwelling on that fear, embrace opportunities that may come to you in disguise. Leave your place of fear and face new opportunities that have been in front of you the whole time.
Fear is considered a destructive emotion and is something you simply don’t have to accept. Changing your mindset for success includes facing your fears head-on, challenging them, and finding the best way to overcome them.
5. Find A Support System
When learning how to change your mindset, you will also discover the power of having the right support system on your side.
To change, you have to want the change. A professional coach, a mentor, or a therapist can help you find the best and most effective ways to change your mindset.
How Long Does It Take To Change Your Mindset?
When changing your mindset, you are reprogramming your subconscious mind. This can take time. On average, people spend three to four weeks changing their mindset. However, the actual length of time varies depending on your own behavior, limiting beliefs, and how willing you are to make the changes.
Start by choosing happiness, step out of your comfort zone to try new things, dedicate more time to activities you are passionate about, make small, positive changes in your daily life, and acknowledge and understand the lesson as you smile, face your fears, and keep moving forward with positive thinking.
A negative mindset can cause one to feel lethargic and feel as if nothing positive is going their way. However, to overcome this and be a more successful person, you simply have to change mindsets and harness the power of positive thinking to feel better on a daily basis.
A gratitude journal and the right growth mindset quote are good places to start when finding a different mindset. Start believing you have control over your mindset, and don’t allow frustration and negativity to take over your thoughts.
To change your mindset is not easy—but it is one of the most powerful things you can do. Learning how to recognize a negative mindset is the first step. Once you do, you will be empowered to make those changes and start seeking out the positive. Doing this can often turn your entire life around!