Have you been feeling stuck? Are you struggling to see how you can shift and implement the necessary changes in your life? This may have to do with your mindset. In a previous article, we explored how a mindset change may help shift our approach to challenges. We talked about the benefits of adopting a growth mindset, leading to greater psychological resilience and personal growth. This week we will explore how a mindset change can help us overcome our limiting beliefs.
What do we mean by mindset?
Often associated with words like mentality or outlook on life, the definition of mindset varies greatly. At Aura & Meta, we call “mindset” the system of beliefs that influence our perception of life’s events and the way we respond to them. Our mindset is responsible for a big chunk of our mental and spiritual identity. As our beliefs may be deeply anchored in our subconscious, kinesiology can help bypass deeply-rooted beliefs.
When we dedicate time to introspection, we come to examine what makes us tick. Looking at our mindset may help us better understand how we create our internal environment from core beliefs and an accumulation of interpretations of experiences. Building on our practice of mindfulness, upon which we focused last week, we may identify how our limiting beliefs may be standing in the way of our growth or the changes we wish to make.
Identifying our limiting beliefs
As opposed to the mindset, limiting beliefs are easy to explain: they are thoughts and concepts that we hold as true and in turn, hinder or completely block our progress in life. Limiting beliefs often form at a young age or may also arise from negative experiences. They may arise in several areas of our lives: family (what your parents tell you to be true), school (what teachers and education system instil in you), the workplace, friendships and romantic relationships. A few occurrences may be enough to consolidate a limiting belief.
How can a mindset change undo our limiting beliefs? We develop limiting beliefs to keep us safe from the negative experiences we encounter in life, this contributes to a fixed mindset. When we adopt a growth mindset, everything we hold as true about ourselves or the way life unfolds has the potential to change. Identifying limiting beliefs may be difficult at first, you may start by writing down the things you believe about yourself. For example, you are not skilled in public speaking or that you are lazy and are incapable of keeping an exercise routine. Intimately linked to our mental health, overcoming limiting beliefs is crucial to our growth.
Limiting beliefs may arise and solidify from a succession of repeated failures or painful situations from our past. With a mindset change, we may become aware of the way our limiting beliefs influence our inner narrative. This can be done through spending time with yourself, settling into stillness and becoming aware of our thought process towards the difficulties we encounter. We may also tap into our curiosity and wonder why we think the way we do. Inevitably a mindset change impacts the way events unfold once we choose to put our limiting beliefs aside.
Seeing challenges as opportunities
Once we understand how our limiting beliefs came to be, we can find tools to help us overcome them. Limiting beliefs come with a host of negative thoughts which in turn create unhealthy behavioural patterns. We can set to work turning negatives into positives, shifting your frame of reference by challenging ourselves to do things differently. To restructure the way we think about a situation, we have to change the system of beliefs which determines our interaction with the world.
The psychological technique of cognitive reframing helps shift our thinking by deconstructing our negative thought patterns. In cognitive restructuring, a therapeutic technique within executive coaching, we focus on developing constructive interpretations of a situation. When we solely focus on what is blocking our way, we are likely to either shift into confrontation, breaking this blockage, or avoidance by running away from it. When we choose to see all obstacles as learning experiences to build upon, our focus shifts to identifying possibilities. This is only possible with a growth mindset that is at once true to ourselves but also sufficiently open.
When we adopt a mindset that centres around growth, rather than playing it safe at all costs, we accept to become a student of our experiences, and at the same time, the captain of our own life, ready to change course to remain true to reaching our dreams.
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