Written by: Vince Morales, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
It has been said that the most extraordinary power that a human being has is the power to change their mind. This is because our mindset and perspective towards things dictate how we live our lives. If we have a negative mindset, we will likely experience a lot of negativities in our lives. However, we will likely experience more positive events if we have a positive mindset. In this article, we will discuss why changing your mindset matters and how you can go about changing your thought patterns for the better! Ready to learn more about the extraordinary human brain? Let us get to it!
You may not realize it, but most of your thoughts daily are probably about the same things. For example, if you are stressed about work, school, finances, or relationships, your mind will likely be consumed by these worries. And this mindset will affect how you interact with people and your decisions. But there are ways to break out of these patterns so that you have more control over your life – which we will discuss in detail later in this article. For now, let us focus on what we like to refer to as ‘the loop.’
Here’s how things usually go in your mind – First, you have a thought about something. Then, that thought triggers an emotion. Then, you have a similar thought after some time, and depending on what it is, the emotion may intensify. You link these thoughts together to create a believable story for your brain.
Finally, this internal monologue leads to a specific action you take in the natural, 3D world, where your inner belief about a thing is finally made manifest.
Every Action Has a Reaction
Now, one of the things many people do not realize is that they DO have a conscious experience of most things in their everyday lives, but they are not ACTING consciously. Most of our thoughts & actions are nothing but automatic reactions.
For instance, if the cashier in your local store had a difficult day and took it out on you, in most cases, most people would not think about the reason the cashier is acting like this. They will simply get angry and respond identically without even thinking about it. So again – Just like your thoughts are pattern-based, so are the actions following those thoughts!
After Several Reactions, You Become Who You Are Because of It
All right, so picture this – you go about your daily life when something unexpected happens. Something you have not experienced before triggers a particular reaction in you. For a moment in time, that occurrence is, as you would probably call it, “a one-time thing.” “He/She was just angry,” someone close to you would say when talking about this situation. In time, however, that could happen, let us say, a couple of times per year.
“He/She is just in a mood,” someone close to you would say.
But such strong reactions usually tend to repeat themselves and become more frequent until that one-time event finally becomes part of your personality. A feature you use whenever you encounter an event of similar characteristics as the first event that triggered it.
So really, you see, a strong emotional reaction can progress from just a response to a mood to temperament and, finally, to a personality trait that permanently affects your thoughts, emotions, choices, behaviors, and experiences.
Mental Manifestations Result in Physical Manifestations
We all know someone like this, and most of us are like that too – A person who experienced a traumatic event. You know they are, mainly because that event dramatically changed their personality. And while most people may think this is “just on the mental plane,” there is more to it than just that. That is because, frankly, the mental and the physical plane are intricately connected.
When your thoughts are harmful and toxic, your body experiences stress. And stress, ladies, and gents are their biggest killers. Because it downregulates the immune system, the growth, and the overall well-being of the body and mind. Therefore, we like to refer to the mind as “the soil” and the body as “the plant” which grows in the soil.
A Change is Inevitable
Situations that had a high emotional impact on us make it feel like that was the end of some part of our true selves. But, because of such situations, many people forget that the human species is ever so capable of change. Therefore, we should all remember – No matter what traumatic situation you have been through, there is always hope for change. You may feel like the problem has ruined your life, but that is not necessarily true unless you choose for it to be your entire truth. You have the power to change your life for the better, no matter what has happened in the past. All you must do is decide to change and start working towards it.
Asking The Right Questions
All right, so regardless of whether you had a traumatic event or have just adopted a negative mindset towards things from your environment, there is one single thing you can do to help yourself. That is, asking yourself the right questions!
Essentially, you must get over the momentary feeling that swallows your entire being and just observe it from a neutral point of view. You become immune to these poisonous thought patterns when you develop that ability to be just an observer. Then, you get the chance to question their entire existence rather than letting them pass through and manifest in your belief system unchecked.
Think of it this way – Bad thoughts are like suspicious people trying to walk into your kingdom, and the questions you ask those thoughts are like the guards at the gate. Your mind is the kingdom, and your means of checking incoming thoughts are the guards.
#1 Am I Aware?
One of the primary reasons certain things affect us to such a significant extent is that we are not always aware! Whenever you catch yourself thinking about something in a negative manner, ask yourself this – “Am I truly aware?” This question will help you tap into your ability to spectate your thought process and see the other options you have.
#2 What Are My Choices?
All right, so naturally, whenever we experience a terrible thought or emotion, we are drawn to thinking about the worst possible outcome. Out of EVERYTHING that can happen, our brains pick the worst-case scenario. This is perhaps a defense mechanism because if you expect the worst, you are prepared for whatever comes your way. But nowadays, this is an ineffective thing because, in every situation, we have multiple choices.
You must broaden your spectrum by asking yourself – “What else can I do, and what else can happen in turn?”
#3 What Can I Do Better?
We are creatures of survival – We instantly assume the worst case just to be well-prepared.
This is something we just talked about, and it is also something that can be good and bad. While that may have worked for our ancestors who lived out in the open, it is probably not your best bet nowadays. In any tricky or seemingly unpleasant situation, try and ask yourself this – What can I do better?
If you are aware enough, this simple question will unlock the thought patterns that help you analyze your current actions and the experiences they lead up to. Once that process starts, you will inevitably see your faults and make conscious decisions that will bring about massive change!
Awareness & Choices – Two Key Significant Ingredients
As you just learned, mindset is everything because it largely dictates how you view the world, the events that occur within it, and, more importantly, how you react to these things. And well, if there were two main ingredients for the recipe for a good mindset, they would be awareness & conscious choices. Awareness is critical when changing your mindset – it means being aware of your thoughts, your reactions, and why you have them in the first place. Once you know your mindset and the thought patterns that drive it, you can start making conscious decisions about whether you want to keep them.
At first, these choices will naturally feel off, even if they are for your greater good, because they are something unfamiliar, with no meaning attached to them. But the more you practice them (take a conscious choice of practicing them), the closer they become to the new and improved pattern. So, remember, the power is within you – You have the luck to be a human being with complex consciousness! Observe. Evaluate. Change at will.
Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
If you want to change your mindset and thought patterns, you must practice. As with any other skill, the more you practice, the better you will become at it. And the better you become at it, the more positive changes you will see in your life.
So how do you go about practicing? It is simple. When you have a negative thought or experience, replace it with a positive one. Or at least try to view other possible outcomes rather than just the worst possible one. If that is too difficult, start by replacing negative thoughts with neutral ones. Over time, as your brain becomes more comfortable with positive reviews, they will gradually replace the negative ones on their own.
Here is an example: If you get into a situation where you are financially broke, you will naturally think things like: “What can I sell to get some $? What can I save money on? Which things do I not need that cost me money to have?” And all those questions are okay because they help you in a situation.
But besides those, there are questions like “What can I do TODAY to make money? What do I have that is valuable and can be translated into money?” These are the differentiations between the fixed, scarcity-based, and abundance-based growth mindsets.
The Choice Is Yours.
Everything in life is based on our awareness, mindsets, and choices. Mindset is everything.
We can change our mindset and, thus, our lives by becoming more aware of how we think, feel, and act—and then making conscious decisions about the things that trip us. Being mindful and intentional can train our brains to be more positive, productive, and peaceful. Of course, it is not always easy to make substantial changes overnight, but with a little effort each day, we can slowly begin to transform our lives for the better.
Now, are you ready to start taking steps toward a better future?
Vince Morales, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Vince Morales is a mindset, self-image, and resilience coach. In addition, he is skilled in leadership consultation and development. From April 2016 to June 2017, Vince was a homeless veteran in San Diego, CA. While homeless he made a powerful decision to change his thinking and mindset launching into life coaching. He developed a niche for resilience and mindset coaching. The growth of his business ultimately led to the end of his homelessness. Vince is the Founder of Validus Coaching & Consulting, formerly Zoe Transformation. His story has been featured in online articles and online news outlets all over the U.S. He is a certified John Maxwell Team Coach, Trainer, & Speaker as well as a motivational speaker. In 2021, Vince earned his Master's degree in Psychology of Leadership from Penn State University and is currently a doctoral student pursuing a Ph.D. in Performance Psychology. He is a 2020 inductee into The National Society of Leadership and Success.