Post Updated on March 28, 2020
Your mindset plays a huge part in how you view yourself and the world. With thousands of thoughts floating around in your head every day, you essentially talk to yourself more than anybody else.
The mind houses our emotions, judgments, worries, and secrets, and many of us don’t even realize that our own thoughts can be holding us back from reaching our full potential.
Because the mind is such a powerful place, it’s important to constantly grow and adapt your ways of thinking. You have to continuously work on shifting your mindset to embrace new perspectives if you want to become a more accepting person.
In this post, I’m sharing some ways that I’ve adapted and shifted my mindset over the years to improve my life in a positive way. Keep in mind that I am no master of these things. There are times when I do none of the following and wallow in self-pity, but I can usually pick myself up from a bad situation and turn it around with the help of these mindset shifts.
5 Life-Changing Mindset Shifts
1. Trusting that better things are coming
I’m lucky that I’m naturally quite an optimistic person. No matter what happens to me, I’ve always been able to keep moving forward. Part of this is my belief that better things will always come to me if I work hard and don’t give up.
When I was at a job that frustrated me on a daily basis, I found other ways to keep myself sane. I went for walks on my lunch breaks and listened to music or podcasts. I started a blog. I also made an effort to try harder at work so that I spent less time complaining about it.
I knew that I wasn’t going to be there forever, and even though I was uncertain where I was going to end up, I knew I should try to find ways to make myself happy in the meantime. In the end, things fell into place and I was given the opportunity to create my dream job. Better things always come along if you’re open to the possibilities.
2. Enjoying the process while working toward goals
Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment, but how do you focus on the present while you’re busy working toward your goals for the future? It’s an interesting paradox that I struggled with for a while. Over time, I realized that you can set goals for the future, but you have to be present and focused while you’re working to accomplish them.
I used to always rush through projects just to get them “over with,” but I realized that’s not a good way to live my life. Instead, I told myself to enjoy the process a little bit more.
When you’re always rushing through things in order to move on to the next project, you miss opportunities to be creative and produce your best work.
These days, I try to be more present when I’m working on something. Reflection is important, so I’ve started doing weekly and monthly check-ins with myself to stop myself from charging ahead into the future.
3. Focusing on my strengths over my weaknesses
We all have our weaknesses and things that make us question our worthiness as humans. I know that I can be distant. I don’t share a lot of what I think or feel with those closest to me. I use sarcasm and humor to disguise my feelings. I’m a hypocrite. I’m lazy. I get distracted easily.
These are all parts of myself that I wish were different. But over the years, I’ve found that it’s much more productive and beneficial to truly focus on leveling up my strengths than trying to overhaul all of my weaknesses. Though I may be distant, I’m loyal to those I love. I’m lazy sometimes, but I do work really hard on the things I’m passionate about.
Of course you should try to be a better person in every way that you can, but there are parts of you that you simply don’t have to worry about so much about changing. Once I realized that I could focus my energy on taking my strengths to the next level instead of worrying about my weaknesses, my relationship with myself became a lot better.
4. Spending less time worrying about the past
I’ve come to genuinely accept that the past is the past and there’s nothing I can do about it. I can speculate about how things might be different in my life if I’d have chosen to do things another way, but there is literally nothing productive about wishing I could change the past.
Sometimes I remind myself that even if I could go back in time and change things, there’s no saying that it would alter my life or make me a happier person. All I can do is move forward and use past mistakes to drive me closer to a better future.
5. Optimizing what’s in my control
I’ll admit that I spend more time thinking about the future than I do the past. I get anxious not knowing what my life will look like in a few years, and I worry that I’m further behind than others (the good ol’ comparison trap).
No matter how much I think about it, I cannot control exactly what my future will look like. I can take certain actions that will shape the course of my future, but there’s no telling what the future will hold.
Since there are actions I can take right now, I try to focus my energy, thoughts, and time on doing those actions instead of worrying about the future.
I’ve learned that it’s 100 times more productive to take action in the current moment than spend time overthinking what hasn’t even happened yet.
What Mindset Shifts Have Changed Your Life?
After reading this post, I hope you feel empowered to change any negative thought patterns you may have fallen into. We’re all human and it’s not possible to be positive or optimistic all the time, but you always have the power to make huge changes in your life by simply reframing your thoughts.