Mindset Matters: Unlocking Your Potential, One Thought at a Time
I just got home from my favorite barre class. No, not THAT bar class – although I do love a good martini. This barre class is a wonderful exercise experience inspired by a mix of Pilates, ballet, stretching, and yoga. It's my favorite form of exercise other than walking with my dog, Kinsey.
There's more than just the exercise routine that makes this particular barre class fun. There's the welcoming atmosphere at the studio, the great instructors, and the community of women (ranging in age from their 20s to 70s) who come to each session to work out. Folks may chat briefly before or after class or just smile and wave, but there's always a feeling of camaraderie.
Each class ends with a 3-minute meditation. Today's was about mindset, specifically reframing worry about "what might happen" to thoughts of "what you hope will happen".
I couldn't help but smile – discussions about mindset have been front and center for me all week. Mindset came up in an interview I did for a podcast, it was a discussion point in a class I taught, some friends and I talked about it over lunch, and earlier today, I fielded a question about mindset during a coaching session. It was a natural choice as the topic for today's blog.
When most people discuss mindset, they are referring to the classic Webster's definition of a mental attitude or inclination about something in particular. The meditation from class today was a great example: the mindset being discussed was one about a particular cause for worry – focusing on what might go wrong rather than what might go right.
I like to think of mindset as a tool I can use to make conscious decisions about my thought processes, in essence, choosing my perspective. For example, I'm a natural problem-solver, and my default inclination is to fix whatever problems I see or hear. It's actually fun, and it's validating on a lot of levels. Problems for me are opportunities to make a difference and be creative; solutions provide satisfaction and forward movement.
That's all wonderful when it's my problem, but not always so great when it's someone else's problem. There are all sorts of reasons for this – maybe the other person doesn't really want a solution, or maybe the solutions that seem easy for me don't feel that way at all for them. And even more importantly, ownership of solutions is critical to problem-solving. No one is happy with a solution they don't feel is their own.
So, this is where mindset comes in. When it comes to problem-solving with others, I choose to have a mindset of listening, considering alternatives, and offering suggestions. Does it always work – nope, sometimes I jump in with both feet, solutions just bubbling. But for the most part, the awareness of shifting my mindset about problem-solving really works.
You can achieve similar results with things like gratitude – looking first for what is right and acknowledging that before looking for what's wrong. Consciously choosing to see something good every day makes a huge difference in your general sense of well-being. It helps your outlook the way chicken soup soothes a cold.
Another great example of mindset is directly related to your strengths. If you take them for granted, they don't grow. But if you choose to be aware of your strengths, you naturally begin to use them more consciously and they, in turn, grow and deepen. It's all about mindset – thinking first of what you have rather than what you might be missing.
Mindset isn't something hard and inflexible. It's a tool you can use to refine and reinforce your thought processes. With each conscious choice, each shift in perspective, you have the power to create a life that's as extraordinary as you are.
Please share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.
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About Lynda-Ross Vega
Lynda-Ross Vega is a partner at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd. She specializes in helping corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and individuals with interpersonal communications, team dynamics, personal development, and navigating change. Lynda-Ross is co-creator of Perceptual Style Theory, a revolutionary behavioral psychology theory and assessment system that teaches people how to unleash their natural strengths and build the life and career they dream of. For free information on how to succeed in business and in life doing more of what you do best, visit https://www.YourTalentAdvantage.com.
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