For many (me included), mindset has been the most challenging aspect of 2020. The lockdown has brought a multitude of psychological challenges along with it. Perhaps the challenges were already there and being confined and alone just exacerbated the situation. Who knows? That is not what we are here to discuss though, we are here to learn how we can backtrack and finish 2020 strong by addressing our mindset and limiting beliefs.
What Is Mindset?
Here is a definition according to Wikipedia:
In decision theory and general systems theory, a mindset is a set of assumptions, methods, or notions held by one or more people or groups of people. A mindset can also be seen as arising out of a person’s world view or philosophy of life.
So, in short, a mindset is what we believe. The root of our mindsets is found in our view of the world and any philosophy we make have.
I wrote a detailed article about mindset which you are welcome to read, it is called Mindset Mastery. I hope you don’t mind being referred over there to have a look-see.
Since writing Mindset Mastery we have experienced 2020.
We have all had our personal experiences of this year, of course, but I believe it’s fair to say that 2020 has had a profound effect on everyone:
- Some folks have been in lockdown for months on end, confined to their homes
- These days working from home
- Also became overnight home school parents
- Not to mention having to navigate uncharted territories of all being together 24/7
- Or maybe even alone 24/7
- Some folks have been stuck in countries far away from their homes and loved ones
- Many people have closed their business or been retrenched
- No more life as we have known it, no commute to work, no catching up with colleagues at the water fountain, no early morning gym routines, cycling or running as we did before
- Our social lives have changed dramatically
The above list is by no means complete, this is just a glimpse at how lives may have been affected in 2020.
Would this have impacted our mindsets? Absolutely!
If we revert to the definition, “a mindset is a set of assumptions, methods, or notions held by one or more people” we can say without a doubt that 2020 has changed a lot about assumptions, methods, and notions.
Where does that leave us? Are you feeling strong and courageous as you face the future?
I have my moments, other times my life right now is quite surreal.
So, it is safe to say that 2020 has impacted our mindsets. We need to work within that understanding, right?
What Are Limiting Beliefs?
According to Lifehack.org
A limiting belief is a state of mind, conviction, or belief that you think to be true that limits you in some way. This limiting belief could be about you, your interactions with other people, or with the world and how it works.
Limiting beliefs can have a number of negative effects on you. They could keep you from making good choices, taking new opportunities, or reaching your potential. Ultimately, limiting beliefs can keep you stuck in a negative state of mind and hinder you from living the life you truly desire.
Thanks to Lifehack.org, we have a very detailed understanding of what limiting beliefs are.
What Are The Typical Causes Of Limiting Beliefs?
Again, taken from the same Lifehack.org article, there are three major causes of limiting beliefs, as follows:
- Family beliefs
- Education, and
As with mindsets, I believe that our experience of 2020 could well have introduced more limiting beliefs than we have ever had in our lives!
So, addressing where we are with our beliefs and challenging whether they are limiting us or not, is absolutely key to finishing 2020 strong!
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How To Change Or Work On Our Mindsets & Limiting Beliefs
Perhaps your plans this year were to spend quality time with your family and loved ones. Only to find that you have not been able to see them at all – unless you include online time together that is.
Right now focusing your mindset on a future filled with success and international travel (or even local travel!) may be somewhat jaded. This is understandable.
However, what are our options? Are we going to allow 2020 to drag us through the mire as far into the future as possible or are we going to actively campaign against it?
Yeah, sounds like a political speech, it isn’t at all of course. What this is though, is me appealing to you to take stock of where your mindset is right now and make a conscious effort to change what needs to be changed.
We can do this!
If you have read any of my other blogs in this Finish 2020 Strong! Series, you will know that I started this year out with some really powerful hashtags in place. Let’s go over what they are:
There are two ways to look at the above hashtags in relation to how 2020 has played out so far. This is where mindset comes into the game:
#2020Plenty – we could laugh at the irony and say there certainly has been plenty in 2020, plenty change, unpredictability, disruption, uncertainty, and much more!
Or, we could hang onto the original thought and say 2020 is going to be a year of plenty and just apply a growth mindset rather than a fixed one. Now, #2020Plenty means lots of growth and development, plenty of adjustment and (oh heaven help me, I am so over this word!) pivoting our businesses or the way we generate an income, and our mindsets.
#Breakthrough – another irony and another opportunity to reapply the hashtag to a more positive and attractive notion. We are going to break through the clutter and chaos that 2020 has wrecked on us! We are stronger, remember!
#Conquerfromwithin and #Knownolimits – little did I realize that these hashtags were actually made for 2020! There has never been a year in my life that I have had to face my own inertia or self-imposed limitations than this one. Just to get out of bed during lockdown had challenges. I would be lying if I said I never worked from my bed, still in my PJs.
The upside is this: I still worked and I still delivered! Even within constraints like lowered energy levels, limited access to the online world, financial uncertainty, the threat of ill health for not only me but also my daughter who is high risk!
That’s where #Faithassmallasamustardseed comes in! I have prayed harder, spent more time learning about my Heavenly Father. My faith, as small as it is, has been rewarded in ways that I cannot even begin to explain! My faith has grown and expanded, 2020 has been an exceptionally positive year when it comes to spiritual growth!
How Did You Start 2020 Out?
Did you have plans for this new decade? Were you excited about what was in store for you? Think back to new year’s eve. Did you have resolutions for this year? What were they? How do you feel and think about them now?
I encourage you to ask yourself the above questions and write them down, together with your answers.
Once you have asked the questions and written down the answers. Give some thought to what is left of 2020.
Knowing what you know now, what are you going to focus on for the remainder of 2020? Write that down too.
Then take the time to examine your mindset about what you have just written. Do you believe you can achieve what you are aiming for?
Here are some wise words from Margaret Thatcher, I shared these in the Mindset Mastery article:
“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become…habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think we become.” Jul 20, 2012, Margaret Thatcher
I encourage you to write these words down, put them somewhere visible so they can be a constant reminder that your mindset is affected by your thoughts, words, actions, and habits.
Apply this strategy to your thought life. Make a conscious effort to find that examine your thoughts. You will find that your thoughts reveal your mindset.
Jot down the thoughts that surprise you … I am sure there will be some. Start out by becoming very conscious of your thoughts. When a thought pops into your head which is not congruent with what you believe about yourself, challenge that thought. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where does that come from?
- Why do I think or believe that?
- Is it true?
- What am I going to do about it?
- What do I need to do to change this? (if you decide the thought is untrue of course)
Before moving on to Limiting Beliefs, I would like to quickly cover a very important aspect of mindset. that is the two different types of mindset, fixed and growth. Let’s explore that now.
Fixed Mindset versus Growth Mindset
According to Carol Dweck, a researcher at Stanford University, there are two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
“In a fixed mindset, people believe their qualities are fixed traits and therefore cannot change.”
“In a growth mindset, people have an underlying belief that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience.”
Given the experiences 2020 has brought us, a growth mindset is definitely preferable. If you find that your mindset is fixed, i encourage you to take advantage of the next section where we are covering Limiting Beliefs. The work we will do in that area will impact our Mindsets and visa versa.
Limiting beliefs often affect us without any awareness of our part. It is possible for us to avoid opportunities and not reach our potential, due to limiting beliefs. Yes, they are that powerful!
Limiting beliefs can keep us stuck in the same place for our entire lives. They can prevent us from living a fulfilling and happy life! I am a voice of experience when it comes to limiting beliefs, you may not know me, but you can trust me on this one!
Here is an example of a limiting belief “I am just an average Joe or Jill”.
Who said that? Why do you believe that you are just average and your life is going to be just average?
What if you were born to do great things? Have you ever given that a moment’s thought?
What if the world needs what you have to offer, but you do not believe you have anything to offer. There is your limiting belief!
People who achieve great things do so because they believe they can. Now, a great thing may be building the next galactic form of transport like Richard Branson or Elon Musk; or it may be spending time in the local children’s home making a difference in the lives of those children by teaching them to read.
Your great thing could be raising your own children to become the best they can be. It could be building the biggest and most successful business the world has ever seen. Become a world-renown actor or actress. An animal rescue & shelter organization.
If could be anything!
Think back to when you were little …
- what did you want to become, do or achieve?
- have you become, done or achieved that?
- why or why not?
- how did the surrounding people respond to what you wanted to become, do, or achieve?
- did you receive a positive response like “you can do that!” or did the influencers in your life not show too much confidence in you, or maybe even laugh at your dreams?
- do you think their response has anything to do with the outcome?
The above exercise should have revealed any limiting beliefs you have about yourself which stemmed from your childhood.
Limiting beliefs aren’t necessarily “inflicted” on us by others, they can also be a product of what we believe about ourselves.
Some of my limiting beliefs are as a result of my own life, no childhood experiences necessary. Allow me to give you an example:
- I started my working life as a secretary and then moved into becoming a PA
- I was very good at administration
- my organizational skills were great
- I happily took instructions and followed them through
- I moved into sales, now focus changed
- my key function was to bring in business
- I was great at dealing with clients
- I was great on the phone, particularly strong at cold calling and bringing in new business
- I worked independently, within a sales team, but I was responsible for my own sales
What do you think happened to my admin, organizational skills, and ability to take and follow through on instructions?
They shifted, of course! I spent less time on admin and more time on research, cold calling, client visits, etc., the key functions to successfully bringing in business. I became what is known as a “hunter” in sales.
Do you know you get “hunters” and “farmers”? The hunters are those people who are able to bring in new clients and sales. Whereas farmers are those who manage existing clients. So, in the exhibition space, I brought the signed deals in and the project managers took over from there.
Here we are years later and just the other day I was thinking about my website this thought popped into my mind “I am a better initiator than builder”. Say what? Where did that thought come from?
If we look back over my career as described above (a very abbreviated version), my key skills changed. Initially, I was the one who supported the team members who were the doers. I then became a doer and relied on a support team.
So, my belief in myself was limited because I shifted from one skill base to another. Does it mean I cannot do both? Absolutely not, it just means I may have to work harder in some areas to re-hone those skills.
Limiting beliefs are like a lens we see the world through. If the lens is distorted, we are not seeing the truth, we are seeing what we are able to see. We need to learn to refocus the lens so we see what is true.
Another way to view limited beliefs is to see that they are habits that we have either been taught or developed ourselves. They are just habits which we have accepted as the way things are.
Being human, we like things to be easily understood so we accept these habits as fact.
Everyone faces limiting beliefs in their lives. It is knowing how to identify them and correct them that counts.
Our limiting beliefs can prevent us from happiness and success in our lives. We can change this though. All we need to do it create new behaviours (and beliefs) and repeat them until they become a better habit.
We can learn our way out of old limiting beliefs (habits) into new more accurate beliefs (habits).
Let’s consider a few more examples:
- If you were raised to be polite and with the idea that “children are seen and not heard” as I was. It may be challenging for you to be assertive and outspoken (as it as been for me through the years)
- If you grew up with a sibling who was exceptional at something and you weren’t. It may be challenging for you to believe that you could be exceptional too.
- What if your sister was seen as “the creative one”. How would that make you feel about your creative skills?
I encourage you to examine what you believe about yourself and test those beliefs. It is incredibly liberating to release the limiting beliefs that hold us back from so much – happiness, success, great relationships and more!
To put things in perspective, you are in control. Any limiting beliefs you may have are just bad habits you can change.
Here are some examples of limiting beliefs and words to help you change them:
|LIMITING BELIEF||REPLACE WITH|
|I am just not good enough||I am worthy and can do anything I put my mind to|
|I don't have enough (time, money, love etc)||I always have enough of what I need|
|I am not creative enough||I have loads of incredible ideas and am able to do what I need to|
|I will never have ............ (fill in the gap)||I can have anything I want|
|My mother / father / sibling / spouse / child does not think i can do it||My opinion is the one that matters and I know I can do it|
|This is too hard for me||I face challenges and can do anything I set my mind to|
|I don't know how or what to do!||I am resourceful and will find a way to do this|
Mindset & Limiting Beliefs Resources:
There are loads of resources to help us with our limiting beliefs and mindset. I am a Christian so I lean toward what my Heavenly Father says about me and practice Christian affirmations. Here is a resource that looks totally amazing!
Perhaps we don’t share the same beliefs, and maybe you are not even into the “self-help type” stuff. I have found the perfect package for you too. Have a look:
Nearing The End Of This Series
I mentioned earlier that this Finish 2020 Strong is actually a series of articles I am writing. We are now nearing the end of the series, but you are welcome to sign up and see every article via email too.
If you would like access to every article in this series, please click on the image below and share your details with me. It will be my pleasure to share!
Here are is a list with links to the articles written so far:
- How To BackTrack & Finish Strong! [Habits & Goals]
- How To BackTrack & Finish 2020 Strong! [Daily Morning Routine Checklist]
- How To BackTrack & Finish Strong! [Night Time Habits]
- How To BackTrack & Finish Strong [Self Care]
I hope this information helps you as much as it is helping me to finish 2020 on a high note. Please let me know you have anything you would like to contribute or comment on in this series by dropping a comment in the section below.
Blessings as always