Ever finished a yoga class in the calmest of moods, your faith in humanity up to the skies, to only get in the car, turn the radio on, listen to the first piece of news and instantly feel like your peace of mind is under attack?
With traditional and social media bombarding us with information every second, it can be challenging to develop a clear line of thought that supports our purpose and help us achieve our goals. The human mind is powerful but also fragile and manipulatable - specially when we are not living up to our values and honest desires. Which can result in being constantly affected by external influences, giving the impression life is happening at us instead of feeling we are creating it for ourselves.
While being flexible and capable to change our perspective is definitely healthy and natural, not being able to sustain a positive mindset can be detrimental to our mental health, motivation and self worth. A strong mindset does not mean having a set of ideas and being inflexible about them. It means having your core values clear so we can take actions that match them - and even if you are exposed to realities that go against them, you are able to interact with the world around you, feel a ray of emotions and still have a safe mind space to continue on your path.
So how do we maintain excitement, self belief and inspiration to be able to live our best lives when the world around us is seemingly crumbling down? How do we protect our minds and create lasting positive thinking to be able to pursue our dreams?
How can we be caring towards challenging situations and still hold our ground and mindset strongly?
Here are a few suggestions of what you can do to start being more aware about this:
1. Ask yourself: What do I really want?
This is a very important question. Yet one that a lot of us struggle with. There is so much to want, to see, to do and in this busy world, rarely do we take a moment to step back and ask ourselves wether what we are committing to goes in agreement with our ultimate goals and priorities. When we are not clear on what it is that we want our mind is unfocused, which consequently leaves room for doubt as well as demands set by others and by society. It can be a challenging task to know what we want but when we finally know and live by it, we start separating what's really important from all the noise out there.
2. There is magic in deciding
Making a decision does not mean we can't change our minds later on but when we decide, we create certainty in our mind environment, which is fundamental when it comes to being able to protect our mindset. It is important to remember that it is not necessarily what we choose that matters most, but our ability to take action towards the chosen things. It doesn't matter if you have a business or if you are employed by somebody else. What matters is what kind of attitude you carry with you in your daily activities and if your choices are aligned with your ideal life.
Take my online business as an example. My husband came across this business over 10 years ago – we had never heard of it before. It sounded amazing but honestly, too good to be true. I had just had a baby and was faced with having to make a decision about employment and career. My options were to continue working full-time, being a stay at home mum counting solely on my husband's income or trying something completely new and alien to me but that could mean excellent financial results while being home with my daughter.
Like anybody else, of course I went straight to Google to suss out this business model. There were plenty of people saying it was a scam and warning others to stay away. There were also a lot of positive reviews. So I went and commented with a few friends. And guess what? Each one had something different to say.
So, at the end of the day, it was up to us to decide. I had to ask myself: What do I really want? The answer was bold and I had no idea how things would unfold. I wanted to stay home with my baby while earning at least what I was already making as an occupational therapist before becoming a mum. It's a big desire, some might think!
If you are a parent, you probably know how challenging it is to make this decision. However, only one of my options actually supported what I wanted and you probably know which one. And here I am, fast forward 10 years, able to be a present mum while making more in a single month than I used to in a whole year. All because I asked myself what I wanted and was brave to go with the option that matched my answer.
The conclusion is there are always pros and cons in absolutely everything. Gather your options and check which ones are most supportive of what you want for your life. Having direction and living up to your values are two very important steps towards cultivating and protecting your mindset.
3. Create a supporting community
You don’t need to do life alone. In modern society things can feel very lonely, like you have to figure it all out by yourself. But remember, friends, family and people within your community are not just for sharing life’s highs and passing the time.They can also help share life’s load, brainstorm ideas and trade resources. We all have different perspectives, and when they come together, we can cover each other's blind spots.
The world tends to spotlight people’s achievements as if they achieved them alone. But that is rarely the case — every great athlete had a coach, every great business person had a team, every great relationship and family thrives from the commitment from multiple parties. As a business person myself, I must say that this is such an important aspect of my success. First my family of course but also the strong community within my business network allowed me to grow and maintain a strong mindset when doubt started to creep in.
If you don't have a supporting community right now, go look for one. Find books and resources, online groups, whatever you have access to that may serve as support and inspiration. A healthy environment you can count on when things around you aren't that supportive may be just what guarantees the sort for mindset you need to stay on track.
Mindset plays the biggest part when it comes to living a harmonious life and succeeding in what we do. Most people who live happily and also those who achieve big things will confirm this: life is as good as your mindset. Make sure you look after yours!