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Developing a Mindset for Growth

Melissa Ricker

Posted on October 13 2017

Developing a Mindset for Growth

Your mind is such a powerful tool. It can create a life you love, or it can keep you stuck in one you don't enjoy. 

The good news is that you can control your mind. You can use it to create a powerful mindset that will allow you to live a life on your terms.

If you can unleash the power of your mind, you can turn your life around. You can, without a doubt, reach your goals. 

Have you ever known people who have come out of difficult childhoods or traumatic situations and do amazing things with their lives? I know several women from my own life that have overcome terrible things. I have worked with women who have left the past in the past. They have developed a growth mindset instead of a circumstantial mindset. Let’s look at example we should all be familiar with.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is worth around $2.9 billion and has captured the hearts of thousands of people. She is one of the most successful and wealthiest people in the world. But did you know that she overcame a tragic past to become who she is today? She was repeatedly molested by her cousin, uncle and a family friend. She ran away from home and gave birth to a baby boy who passed away shortly after.

Those events could have been enough to send her life into a spiraling mess. What happened to her shouldn’t happen to anyone. But she didn’t let her past stop her from becoming the massive success she is today. She went on to achieve honors in high school and received a full scholarship to college. And we all know where she is today.

What makes Oprah (and the other people who overcome tragedy) different from those who never quite get over it?

I believe it boils down to a person’s thoughts.

Oprah remained focused on what she wanted to accomplish. She didn’t let her past circumstances stand in her way. She persevered. She kept a growth mindset that wouldn’t be conquered by the things that happened to her. She couldn’t control her circumstances, but she could control her thoughts and her actions.

However, those who dwell on the negative thoughts regarding their past can never move forward in life. They will never grow because they lack the growth mindset. They tend to use their past as an excuse as to why they can’t live the life they want to live. They remain victims to their circumstances.

Our Thoughts Create our Feelings

Most people who feel “stuck” in life have chosen to stay limited by their past. They may not be aware of it, but it was a choice that they made. Perhaps they didn’t want to feel the fear and uncertainty that comes with stepping outside their comfort zone. So they unconsciously make a choice to stay right where they are even though consciously they want more out of life.

The actions we take are based on how we want to feel, and our actions create our results.

A person who wants to feel smart may study hard in order to ace an exam.

A person who wants to feel successful may work long hours to prepare for a chance at a promotion.

A person who wants to feel valuable may volunteer on the weekends with the local shelter.

So…

if all of our feelings are based on a thought in our mind, then it makes sense that we need to look deeper inside our minds and be aware of our thoughts. 

The Power of a Thought

What is a thought? Is it simply a sentence that we happen to think?

It happens all too often that we get stuck in thought patterns that continue on autopilot when we aren’t even aware of them. It all happens in our subconscious mind. Those thoughts run around in our heads like unsupervised children unless we start to pay attention to them and grab the reins. We have to take control of our thoughts.

Can you take a step back and pretend that you are an observer of your mind? Can you separate the events of your life from the feelings you have about your life?

For example:

  • Why are you feeling angry?
  • Why are you feeling anxious?
  • Why are you feeling happy?

If you are feeling overwhelmed, why do you feel that way? Is it because you have a lot of things on your task list? Is it because you are approaching a deadline? Is it because you failed to plan? Is it because you have too much on your plate? It is important to know your why.

If you can get into the habit of asking yourself why you feel a certain emotion, you can start to see the situation for what it is. You will be able to get rid of all the noise and chaos and see the real issue at hand. Just make a simple list of the facts – without any thoughts or feelings about the situation.

Your Actions

Everything we do (or don’t do) is the result of a choice you made – whether you are aware that you ever made the choice or not. In order to take control of our actions, we have to take control of the thoughts that create them. Remember – your thoughts create your actions (or inactions).

  • Why am I eating this entire pizza?
  • Why do I keep skipping my yoga class?
  • Why am I procrastinating?
  • Why am I not starting the business I am so passionate about?
  • Why am I not going after the promotion?

If you notice that you are procrastinating for a big project by watching TV, ask yourself “why am I procrastinating?” Get in touch with your why…and be honest with yourself.

  • Is it because you wanted some time to relax?
  • Is it because you are afraid?
  • Is it because you are distracting yourself from something?
  • Is it because you need help?

If you can really stop to ask yourself why you are feeling what you are feeling and why you are doing what you are doing, you will notice that it all comes back to a thought in your head.

That small little thought has tremendous power over the results you see in your life.

And if you can start becoming aware of your thoughts, you will be able to take control of them….which means you take control of your actions. If you take control of your actions, you take control of your life.

You will be able to:

  • make a conscious decision on which thoughts to keep and which to get rid of
  • shed all of your self limiting beliefs that do nothing but hold you back
  • realize that every thought you think is a choice

It is Simple but not Easy

The moment this concept clicked for me, I unleashed this inner beast woman who upheaved her entire life. I created new and dramatically improved thoughts that empowered me to make better decisions and take better actions.

I am now insanely picky about which thoughts I let enter into my mind because I am aware how powerful thoughts are. I don’t hesitate for a second to kick an unwelcome thought to the curb. Of course I still get them. The difference is that now I recognize them. I make a choice on whether I will allow them to stay.

I became the boss of my own life by becoming the boss of my mind. By doing so, I have tapped into an immense power source. I developed my own growth mindset.

You can do it too, but it won’t be easy.

It will take practice. It will take dedication. But it will be worth it on a level you can’t even begin to understand right now.

Don’t let the battle between you and your subconscious mind stand in the way of turning your life around.

Do you want to merely survive? Or do you want to thrive? The choice is all yours. Decide to develop a growth mindset. Make the choice.

Take Action to Create your own Growth Mindset

I want you to set aside some quiet time to reflect on this information. Do you buy into it? Do you think that becoming aware of your feelings and actions will allow you take control of your thoughts? Do you believe that your thoughts are your choice? Do you believe you need a growth mindset to succeed in life?

This is your choice.

You can choose to do something.

Or you can choose to do nothing.

But I promise to you that by choosing your thoughts carefully, you can create an intentional life where you will thrive instead of survive.

 

 

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