What is a Mindset?
Often we hear that change needs to be done in our mindset.
“You’ve got a wrong mindset.”
“With an abundance mindset, you can achieve anything.”
“Just changed your mindset and it will be all right.”
But what does that actually mean?
What is a mindset to begin with?
In short, a definition I like is: ‘a mindset is the dominant and consistent focus of your mind.’
But that’s not the whole story.
Our mind is still a lot more than just a term. In our mind we create thoughts, and from our brain, we’re connected to our body (our eyes and our spine are the physical connection to the brain and are often seen as part of the brain).
Our body has a whole network of nerves and receptors, to feel the emotions that come from our mind.
So that’s why you can feel a certain way (you experience fear with the body type symptoms) and the thoughts are created to support that feeling. Or the thoughts popped up, and the feeling is the response.
Feeling and thinking in deeply connected to each other.
Feelings also create our emotions. A feeling often just lasts seconds, the emotion we connect to the feeling becomes a state and that can last longer, up to hours or days even.
Being in a state is a self-fulfilling prophecy where it keeps reigniting the right type of thoughts to support the feeling, the emotion, and the state.
Having these repeating thoughts, that lead to emotions and your state is what is called the mindset. You have set your mind into a loop, a way of thinking that supports your feelings, emotions and therefore creates your state.
So, changing your mindset boils down to breaking the pattern in your thinking, which leads to feeling, emotions, and state.
And since feelings have to follow thoughts, changing these thoughts will change the way we feel. That is the easiest way to change the way you feel, done by conscious thoughts.
When the feeling is the signaling function for the body, that’s where your awareness comes at hand. We don’t always realize we think in a certain way, but we do notice a change in how we feel.
Use that loop.
When you feel anxiety, your mind starts to think certain thoughts. Anchor this process to the awareness that that’s happening. So you feel anxious, and right after that feeling you intercept your automatic thoughts and change the thoughts into something that will give you a better feeling. Something real enough you can imagine and know it will make you feel better.
That is where the power of daily gratitude comes in handy because if you’ve done that regularly, you know exactly what thought will help you feel good. One of the things you’re grateful for.
Now, lasting change needs repetition.
So it’s not likely to happen at once.
But if you train yourself to recognize the pattern, change the thought and change the feeling, you can change the mindset, the dominant focus of thoughts.
If you want to do this very specifically to a certain mindset, make sure you change the certain focus of thoughts you want to change, into the new thought focus.
Make this a habit throughout the day. It’s no use to do this for just 15 minutes in your morning meditation and spend all other 16 waking hours not practicing this. It has to happen throughout the whole day whenever an unwanted feeling comes up: Bam! You know what to do.
Change the thought, to change the feeling, emotion, and state.
Do that often enough and you will see your world will change.