What is a healthy mindset? It can mean different things to different people. A religious person may interpret it as having a mind free from, what they call, sinful thoughts. A health and fitness fanatic might see it as conditioning yourself to think in terms of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
Whichever your angle on life, it will probably mean something unique to you. If you want to run a marathon you need to be fit, so you have to get into the strict routine of practising. In order to guarantee a place upstairs when you die, if you’re religious, you’ll be sure to follow the rules of that religion while you’re alive.
Both these examples require having a healthy mindset towards the respective interest. There is a tendency though, when you see the word “healthy”, to immediately associate it with physical health and fitness. While that’s often what it’s about, it goes deeper than that.
What is a Mindset?
The answer to the question may be obvious, but it was explained by Carol S Dweck in her 2007 book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She describes that whatever we want to achieve, it is influenced by what we think about our talents and abilities.
If you have a fixed mindset, it is self-limiting because it doesn’t allow space to change and grow. A growth mindset, on the other hand, means you have the belief you can develop your abilities and are more likely to achieve.
A growth mindset isn’t necessarily always a healthy one. If you have the belief you can grow, but push yourself too much and are tough on yourself, that can’t be described as a healthy mindset. Resilience and perseverance after difficulties or failure can motivate towards achievement if they are seen as helpful lessons and not reasons to beat yourself up.
Developing a Healthy Mindset
The Indian author and spiritual master, Amit Ray said: “Mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it, to see a better world.” How would you interpret that? I think it says that if you look for (think about) negative things, that’s what you’ll find, but look for positive things and that’s what you’ll see.
You have the power to think what you want and that has an impact on the world around you. At the same time, your mind reacts to what is happening in the world around you.
If you think of yourself as separate from your mind, as explained in Thoughts Become Things, you should see how you’re able to control your thoughts. The impact of them on your world, is from your control and therefore the reaction in your mind has been instigated by you and not the world around you.
Watch Out for That Little Voice
You know that little voice, the one inside that says, “You don’t want to be doing that, you know you don’t really believe in this stuff and you’re not good enough anyway.” Yes, that little voice. It will do it’s best to stop you taking control, because it feels safer when it’s in control.
Well you know what? It might feel safe by being in control, but all it does is keep things as they are. Safe isn’t good if it prevents you from doing what you want to do, or making a change. All you have to do is make the decision that you’re taking control, then act on it.
Now that might be scary, but it really isn’t that difficult. Put the thoughts into your mind that you want, rather than letting your mind put them there for you. Keep doing it, even when it doesn’t seem to be making any difference. That’s when that little voice will say, “It’s not working, you may as well give up.” Ignore it. Replace those thoughts with positive ones, that’s taking control.
Let Go of the Past
Whatever it is that has brought you to where you are won’t change. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. You might not be to blame, but you can (and should) take responsibility for it. Once you do, then you’re putting yourself in control and you have the power to make a change.
Using thought processes and words to change your life sounds like something from Fairyland, but it really is very powerful. Once you see it’s you, rather than your mind controlling your thinking, you’ll come to see how much power you really do have.
When you do this, you’ll slowly begin to act differently, you may speak differently, and people will begin to see you differently. The world around you will gradually begin to change and all this from developing a healthy mindset. You’ll need to be constantly doing this to stay in control because that little voice hates you being the boss. Keep it in its place, where it belongs.