There’s a lot of talk about mindset and if you understand its power and how to utilise it, you will be able to harness so much of your potential.
Mindset isn’t about intelligence nor about information retention. It’s about understanding how you work and giving yourself the opportunity to excel in that which you wish to focus on. And that could be something small like creating a daily exercise task to something big such as competing in a challenge.
So, when it comes to mindset, what can you do to start yourself off?
The starting point to anything is being aware. We tend to do a lot of our daily tasks through habit and routine. We don’t think about them, they just happen. When you get up of a morning and start off your day, chances are you do the same thing each day. In the same order. And that is so you don’t have to think about it.
The trouble with this is because you don’t need to think about it, your mind has the opportunity to think on other things……and that is exactly what it does. Random things. Negative things. Useless things. Destructive things. Stressful things. Worrying things.
When you step into AWARENESS you have the opportunity to understand what you are thinking. You become aware of where your thoughts wander to. You become aware of what you focus on, who you focus on. You become aware of whether you live in the past or fret about the future. You become aware of what things you say to yourself.
Start with awareness. Notice where your thoughts go. Notice how those thoughts make you feel. Notice where those thoughts sit in your physical body. Notice if those thoughts make you feel light or heavy, good or bad.
Once you notice what you are thinking about then you have a CHOICE. To continue with your line of thought or to change it. That is powerful. This is important if your thought is negative or self-destructive.
Sometimes you will choose to continue with your thought because it is comforting and familiar, but in the act of choosing you are becoming aware of your thoughts. The next time you are aware of the same thought you have empowered yourself to choose your next thought rather than have it just come about out of habit.
2. Morning Ritual
When you understand that you can choose your thoughts rather than have your thoughts choose you, you have the opportunity to start your day with INTENTION. Your intention can be all about what you want to feel, how you want to show up for the day, the type of energy you wish to share, what goals you wish to achieve.
By framing this as a statement of intent they give a directive to the mind. The mind can be a little unruly unless you frame your thoughts so be clear about what it is you are focusing on.
For example, try ‘I am joyful and excited’ rather than ‘I’d like to be joyful and excited.’ Then add some feels to that. Reconnect to a past event where you felt joyful and excited. Feel those same feelings as you set your intention. Bring yourself into your body and notice where those joyful feelings are in your body. Really feel them.
Focus on this thought throughout your normal morning routine. Keep bringing your awareness back into the body, into the feels. Notice when your mind wanders off to something else and bring it back. If you don’t feel the feelings behind the words, just keep practicing until you do.
Give yourself two or three intentions for the day that you can keep coming back to.
3. Free Range Thinking
So Free Range Thinking is what we do when we are not in the flow state, not focused on a task. It might happen when you are waiting in line, commuting to work, sitting in a meeting, preparing a meal……any time when your mind just wanders off on any random thought.
Sometimes we need this to ‘empty the trash’ of the mind, to let things go, to filter through events and pick out what we need to keep and what we need to discard.
Again, with awareness and intent this can become a fruitful and useful activity. Rather than just letting your thoughts wander, focus on them. See what they are telling you. See what you need to learn from your thoughts. Notice what they are bringing up in you to heal or resolve. Notice what you feel. Notice if these thoughts sit with the truth of who you are or if they are thoughts you have accrued throughout your lifetime and are just re-enacting.
4. Evening Ritual
The end of the day is the opportunity to reflect on how you maintained your awareness, how focused you were on your intentions and what you did with your free-range thinking. This is not a time to be judgemental towards yourself about how well you did, but as an opportunity for reflection and growth. It is a chance to celebrate your new relationship with your mindset.
You should always be your best cheerleader, so if your find yourself reflecting on a day of negative thinking or destructive thoughts, be gentle with yourself. The fact that you are noticing your thoughts means you are aware. And that is worth celebrating. Start fresh again tomorrow.