We all want to be successful in life. But the fact is attaining success is not at all easy. At the same time, we know it’s also not impossible because all of us do achieve success in one aspect of life or the other. When we fail in life, obviously there are reasons for our failure. There must be certain things which we did wrong and that lead to failure. May be, our approach to tackling the situation was not appropriate. Or our reaction to the situation was not correct.
And these are the time, we get words of wisdom from our elders, professors, seniors in office or well wisher friends that “you need to change your mind-set to be successful in life”. Then the obvious question is what is mind-set, how and when is our mind-set formed? Is mind-set so important that it decides success or failure for a person? And above all can we change our mind-sets? Let’s try to find our answers.
What is mind-set?
Mind-set is a mixture of our belief system, values, knowledge, attitude, goals and experience gained in life. And all this forms part of our personality. And it is through this mind-set that we look at events and circumstances and also choose our response. Mind-sets are the glasses through which we try to see events and also devise our response. Since these are our pre conceived notions about the situation, which at times are totally different from actual ground situation, we limit ourselves in the way we respond to the situation. This may also lead to failures in life.
When and how are mind-sets formed?
Mind-set formation process starts from the day we are born. Our parents sow the first seed in the fertile land which is our mind. So we start looking at this world through the mind-sets of our parents. They teach us based on their experiences of life and their belief system. They tell us what is good and what is bad for us. They teach us values which they believe are correct. They tell us if we touch hot objects, our fingers will be burnt. And when we don’t trust and touch hot objects, we actually suffer burns. So our parent’s lessons followed by our real life experience reaffirm the thought that we should avoid touching hot objects.
And then we have our grandparents, teachers, relatives and friends who shape up our belief system over years. Their belief system is based on the area of influence they were exposed to. And this is how our mind-set, our personality develops.
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All this while when we experience any real life situation which is in alignment with our thought process, then our belief system further strengthens and starts accepting it as absolutely correct. On the other hand when certain experiences are contrary to our belief system, we slightly modify our mind-set. However it is rare, when real life experience is so dramatic, that we completely take a totally different view from what we were taught. Otherwise we are resistant to change.
What is the need for change in mind-set?
Success cannot be achieved unless we develop a correct mind-set .There is no doubt that the people who played a key role in developing our mind-set are our well wishers and they taught us what they felt was correct approach to life. But they may not be experts is all walks of life.
For example, you may be afraid of talking to people. You may be an introvert. You are not street smart and you find it very difficult to get your work done through others. The reason could be you were under influence of your father who was also an introvert. Since this was not his area of strength, he could not guide you in this aspect of life. Further there was no other influence in your life to correct this behaviour. And the result is you envy with your extrovert friends.
Similarly you could be conservative in the upbringing of your daughter. The roots of the same may go back to your grandmother who used to discriminate while ushering her love and affection between you and your sister. Just because she did it that way doesn’t mean this was the right approach.
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You may lack positive attitude while dealing with difficult and uncertain situations. You are happy living in a complacent zone where you are not willing to change job or are not ready to start your own business. And if one peeps into your mind-set, he find that your lack of positive attitude in life is because your father suffered mid life crisis in his career. When he was at the peak of his career, he lost his job and later on, he could not get a respectable job despite his best efforts. And hence fear of failure has shattered your self confidence. Whenever you think of taking bold steps for professional growth, this fear takes control of your mind and stops you from taking any rational decision.
How can we change our mind-set?
We fail to realize the true potential of mind power. Have you ever imagined that for most of the people, mind-set develops in an auto mode? Isn’t it strange that since childhood we allow only others to shape up our mind? Initially it was fine that we learn from other’s experiences and value system. But over years, our mind gets so used to nurturing from outside world that it completely forgets that god has given us the unique power and ability to shape up, groom and develop our mind power exactly the way we want.
The first step in changing our mind-set is the realization that there could be certain short comings in our personality that we need to rectify. This should be followed by identification of specific shortcomings in our personality. Few of them we can identify on our own. For others we should be open to accepting constructive feedback from our well-wishers. Few common shortcomings could be lack of self confidence, negative mind-set, lack of trust, selfish attitude, mind-set dominated by fear of failure etc.
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The most important thing we need to realize is that we can bring positive changes in our mind-set over time. We should have the desire to change for the betterment.
“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat” – Napoleon Hill
We have the power to shape up our fate. Just because we failed in the past doesn’t mean that we will fail again in future. However chances of failure increases if we face challenges with a preconceived mind-set of fear of failure. We just need to develop self confidence. It is one of the keys to success. We should have firm belief in our capabilities. We need to visualize the changes we want to bring in our lives. We need to tell our mind clearly, these are the goals we need to achieve and this is the time frame. Once we start executing our plans with a positive mind-set, all the holy forces in this Mother Nature come together to help us achieve our dreams. Hundreds of options open up.
“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude” – Oprah Winfrey
We need to have the courage and determination to take charge of our mind. Failures are part of life and they are stepping stones for success. It is up to us to learn lessons from our failure and improvise in life. Otherwise the easy option is to remain in a complacent zone blaming everybody else except us for our failures. We should have the perseverance to fight in adverse circumstances and overcome failures and shortcomings.
“A man is like a parachute, it doesn’t work if it isn’t open” – Frank Zappa
I am sure you will have your own experiences to share on how you brought positive change in your life by changing your mind-set. I will love to learn from your experiences.
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