As a global community, we are facing the most uncertain time of our lives. Between the health and economic challenges, we are all feeling understandably unsettled and anxious. But in these times we need to focus on what is within our control. We need to focus on our mindset and how we manage our thoughts.
Because worrying and focusing on broader issues that we can’t influence only disempowers us and can send us into a downward spiral of despair and stress.
So now, more than ever, we need to cultivate a mindset that supports us and actively choose to manage our thoughts. This will allow us to not only endure this crisis while remaining mentally well and happy but to also plan for a future beyond this.
What is your mindset?
Mindset according to the Cambridge Dictionary is ‘a person’s way of thinking and their opinions’.
It is our mentality that, whether we are aware of it or not, frames how we interpret information, handle situations and make decisions.
Dr Dweck’s work outlines there are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth. Now, it’s important to remember that we each have a combination of the two, but we should actively work to cultivate a growth mindset.
Why mindset matters in times of uncertainty
In a time when there is so much change and uncertainty, it’s easy to get consumed by feelings of fear and anxiety.
But it’s important to remember that we are all able to choose our own thoughts and way of thinking.
By accepting this, we lean into a growth mindset and assume responsibility for consciously determining our own thoughts and feelings, which ultimately provides us with control over our emotions and our outcomes.
Now, taking control of our thoughts is not easy. It is a challenging task for each of us. One that requires daily if not momentary mental reminders.
But it is necessary if we want to create positive feelings and results in our lives, particularly during uncertain times. It also allows us to see beyond our current circumstances and work towards a more exciting future. And below I’ll share with you an excellent tool for doing just that.
How to control your thoughts
Many personal development teachings focus on how to control your thoughts to achieve better outcomes and more happiness. An excellent summary of many of these teachings (including Abraham Hicks and Byron Katie ) is Brooke Castillo’s ‘The Model’.
This model simply distinguishes that circumstances in themselves do not create our feelings. Instead, it outlines that circumstances are neutral facts that are outside of our control.
These circumstances trigger our thoughts, which is how we (consciously or subconsciously) interrupt the facts or circumstance.
Our thoughts then cause our feelings, which is where our mind applies emotions to what is happening. These feelings can have a physical impact on our body.
Whatever feelings we have then drive our actions, which ultimately lead to our the results we achieve.
By distinguishing that we consciously can choose our thoughts based on the circumstances, we are able to manage and control our feelings, actions and results.
This is not an easy practice, but it is a simple one.
In every scenario where you are having negative thoughts or feelings that are not serving you, focus on your mindset and choose to manage your thoughts. Actively review the neutral facts and choose different thoughts that support and empower you to get the results you want.
Remember you can always choose your thoughts again!
Try applying this model in your own life and please share the results in the comments below.