Mental health is trending. Which is good! But also not so good. Good in that it’s finally getting the recognition and respect so people start taking care of and talking about their own mental health. Bad in that, along with the influx of information and resources available to those who want to learn more and take better care of their mental health, there is a lot of confusion as to how exactly you can turn this information into useful practices in your day to day.
With any new idea that’s trending, buzzwords are thrown around like confetti. Phrases like ‘mindfulness’ and ’meditation journey’ and ‘healthy mindset’ float around without much clarity. It’s enough to make anyone get in their own head about their own mental health (had to).
I have a lot of thoughts (again, had to) about mental health as a whole but in the spirit of a clear headspace, we’re going to focus on mindset and what it means for your business.
I’ll break down my definition for you. Mindset, to me, is the very simple question of, does it feel good? If it feels good, it’s going to be efficient and productive. Mindset is the difference between a problem and a challenge. A to-do list and value system. It’s basic semantics in that when you change the way you think or feel about something, simply how you label it, you change the results you get. Mindset is an all encompassing terminology to describe all of the above.
In order to evolve, shift and improve your mindset, start with recognizing your own thought patterns, both good and bad. A thought usually starts as a feeling or a physical sensation which we then label and pair with either negative or positive judgement. Obviously, if you take an action while thinking negatively, you’re probably going to view that action negatively as well. And yet… we find ourselves in this negative space about things we don’t like to do (ahem, invoicing, accounting, bookkeeping, anyone?) and instead of trying to change our minds, we choose to lock ourselves in mentally about how much we dislike the task at hand. To which I ask, why do anything if you’re going to hate every second of it? You have to do it. There’s no way around it. So the only thing you can change here is your mind. Once you’re aware of these negative thoughts, start to consider how you can approach them with a ‘want to’ mentality. Begin to understand how you talk to yourself. What you’re saying internally and how it makes you feel is the essence of mind set.
Changing your mind from ‘have to’ to ‘want to’ starts by establishing your priorities with a value system (LINK TO PRIORITIES BLOG). When you start to frame everything as ‘this is important to me and I want to do it’, it makes you feel like you have a choice. You are then empowered by the decision as opposed to feeling helpless by it. You start to see the deeper value to completing this task. I'm not just doing this to check a box, i’m not just doing this to impress someone, it’s part of my values. It’s part of my bigger goals.
When you approach your decisions from a place of powerlessness, it’s usually because you aren’t willing to give up control on the idea that tasks you need to complete are happening ‘to you’ and it’s your responsibility to just react to them. In this, you have found a false sense of control when really, you are limiting and isolating yourself. You’re choosing to be reactive instead of proactive. By shifting your mindset to desire and purpose instead of fear and need, you’ll start to see everything as part of growth and learning. From here, you might also see opportunities to partner with others in order to find a much better outcome as opposed to taking everything on by yourself. In this way, mindset is also important because it shifts the way you engage with your entire world. It’s not just about asking for help, it’s about this deep understanding that the whole is better than the part.
One final thought (I’m shameless, I know). What negative thought patterns could you change in order to find the ‘want to’ as opposed to the ‘have to’ in unsatisfactory tasks? What kind of person would you be if you actually did so?