Reading through some comments on an article this morning got me thinking. The commenter, let’s call him Mr. P, was saying how it just wasn’t possible to ever be out of debt. No matter how many positive peers shared their story about how they did it, Mr. P was adamant that he would never achieve that no matter how much he wanted it, it just wasn’t possible in his situation. Now not knowing Mr. P’s personal situation, I’m not going to pass judgement here, but rather talk about the importance of mindset and how it plays a major role in achieving a successful balanced life.
What is mindset?
You mindset is an every changing facet of your life made up of a combination of your attitude and current emotional state and is heavily influenced by your values, beliefs and regular thought processes.
Being aware of, monitoring and ultimately influencing your mindset is important in being able to achieve your goals and overcome problems and difficulties with ease.
Why is it important?
Research shows that what you think about your ability to take control of a situation is what really matters. If you don’t believe it is possible to achieve something, then you are unlikely to work towards it and will most likely never succeed. However if you are optimistic and believe that you can make a change you have taken the first step in the right direction and will start to notice your plans falling into place around you.
External Factors vs Taking Control
In this situation Mr. P truly felt that it was out of his control, he was ‘fixed’ in the mindset that debt just happened to be the hand he was dealt and there is nothing he could do about it. The external factors were forced upon him and because he didn’t believe he could make a difference, so he made no progress towards the goal and was possibly even going backwards.
Imagine instead if he had a success or ‘growth’ mindset and believed that he deserved it and that he was in control and had the ability to learn and improve over time. Just having this small glimmer of hope might have led him to take one step toward making a difference, once step towards tackling debt and who knows, in the future maybe taking that final step to becoming financially independent.
What to do?
It can be hard when you are making every effort to be positive and work towards a goal only to be influenced by those around you, especially if they are close family or friends, but don’t give up on them just yet. It is possible to influence your mindset, or help someone else to realise how their negative beliefs are influencing their life (and yours).
They may be discouraged by setbacks or become uninterested; however it is proven that if you celebrate the small wins on a regular basis, engagement will increase and slowly over time there will be a mindset shift once they see the real difference being made.
As humans we all have bad days, I’m not sure it is possible to be 100% positive and optimistic at all times (if you are let me know, I want to tap into your superpowers!). However with a growth mindset you will look to learn from challenges and setbacks and make a plan to overcome them, or look at them from a new perspective.
If the negative mindsets is around debt or money, set small goals in this area and celebrate them. Saved all of your coins into a jar this week? Taken your lunch to work instead of buying takeout? Count all the savings and use an online calculator to show what difference it would make if this money was instead put towards paying down credit card or mortgage debt.
Mindset Makeover level 2.0
Even better than just trying to save money, look out for ways you can make money as well to reach your goals faster and really make a shift in mindset. Have you got things around the house you would happily part with for a few crisp tenners? Are you crafty, or handy in the garden? Do you have an abundance of fruit, vegetables and herbs in the garden you could sell to friends and neighbours?
It is unlikely someone will change from a fixed mindset overnight though with each small step you take towards a shared goal will help the Mr.P in your life see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and as they start to move into a more positive growth mindset you may start to notice the momentum pick up.
Keeping a positive growth mindset and believing that your future is your hands is of utmost importance to focus on your goals and work hard toward achieving them. This is not just when it comes to saving money and getting out of debt, it can also affect the way you view all aspects of the world. Having a growth mindset and believing you have an impact on what happens to you can help you to grow and develop personal relationships, overcome illness and adversity, achieve greater heights at work, or learn a new skillset.
Do you agree? Share your thoughts below to get the conversation flowing.