Have you ever noticed that when you hold a concrete goal in your mind and you add in the natural enthusiasm and excitement of working toward it, it seems that nothing can stop you?

And have you ever noticed that when you are unsure of yourself and don’t know where you are headed, the path becomes muddled, and you experience confusion, doubt, and worry?

Earl Nightingale, the inspirational speaker, and author, said, “We become what we think about.” When you think positive, uplifting, appreciative thoughts, positive things come your way. Conversely, when you dwell on disappointment, frustration, and lack, that is what you get. You get what you focus on, period. No statement could be more truthful for every human being on this planet than Nightingale’s statement.

What we think about often becomes embedded in our subconscious mind and forms our mindset. You see, the subconscious mind has no filter to qualify facts from fiction or present reality from made-up reality. It just takes in what is it offered and makes it it’s truth. If you were told you were bad and would never amount to much as a child, you would likely have difficulty succeeding at what you set out to do. However, if you were raised being told that you can become whatever you choose to be through commitment, hard work, and learning, you would find it easier to succeed.

We all have mindsets that are either fixed or growth-oriented. Our mindsets develop during early childhood and become reinforced through life-experiences that match the beliefs we were taught when we were small.

A fixed mindset refers to someone who believes that their skills, abilities, and talents are limited to what they were born with. They think that there is little possibility of making a significant change in their lives.

A growth mindset is just the opposite. Those with a growth mindset believe that they can improve their intelligence, strengths, and abilities by learning new skills and information.

The good news is, you can choose to change your mindset about the things that limit you. It just takes practice! You can interrupt the negative thoughts by replacing them with brighter, lighter ones. When you think a thought over and over, it forges a neural pathway in your brain. Done often enough, that pathway becomes the go-to path for any thoughts of a similar nature. Your thoughts CAN literally change your brain-and ultimately your life. It’s up to you.

What mindset do you choose – fixed or growth?

Be sure to listen to the Emotional Self-Mastery Podcast for more information on mindsets. Next week we’ll explore the “how to” of moving from a fixed to a growth mindset.

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