Mind-Shift: Ideas That Catapult Us Forward In Our Thinking & Growth

Mind-ShiftWhat is a mind-shift? A mind-shift occurs when our thinking moves from one perspective or viewpoint to another. For example, look at the picture in this blog. Most people initially see a woman in profile. On closer examination, you see half of a face of a woman looking straight forward. Why is this important? A different perspective affects how we see the world. A new perspective changes how we process what we see and the implications of how we interpret those events. It also affects how we expect life events to play out. It significantly changes the decisions we make on a daily basis.

A mind-shift occurs suddenly, and once it happens, it is difficult to “un-know” what you now know. Which do you see now — a profile or a woman looking face forward?

How does a mind-shift occur? How do you recognize it and what does it feel like?

  1. A mind-shift occurs when something you read or was said suddenly changes your thinking from one way of looking at something to another piece of knowledge or perspective.
  2. You might recognize it in the moment because you suddenly see something a different way than you did before the mind-shift. My experience is that a mind-shift is “in the moment”.
  3. It can feel as if something that was hazy or unclear becomes crystal clear. You are able to better understand or interpret past or current events or concepts. You can often feel more hope about a particular situation. Some describe it as if a light bulb just went on.

What are the effects of a mind-shift?

  1. New possibilities open up to our thinking and decision-making which leads to new choices available that we did not see before.
  2. A mind-shift can provide hope and possibilities where before we saw none or only limitations.
  3. It can expand our “comfort zone” that frames our current beliefs and expectations about how the world works and how good our life can be.

Examples of a Mind-Shift in our Thinking – From the negative or limiting view to the more positive or open view:

  1. “All men or (women) cheat”: This is statistically and realistically impossible. The more accurate thinking is that our beliefs come from our experiences and what we already “know” or believe we know. Believing that everyone cheats in relationships protects us from getting hurt or being too vulnerable. The more accurate belief is that some people are unfaithful in relationships and others are not and have never been.
  2. “My view of my self-worth is shared by all”: This is one of the biggest mind-shifts I see. The reality is that our closest and emotionally safe friends – those who really value us – have a more accurate view of us than we do of ourselves. Why? Because it is human nature to be more critical of ourselves than we are of others. Those people most judging of others are even more judging of themselves, though they are not likely to express that. Once you understand that you may have a distorted, negative view of yourself, and you recognize you have friends who value you, you are more able to begin to see yourself through their eyes. Go ahead and ask them and see for yourself.
  3. “No one likes a “cocky” person” (self-confident and appreciates their own talents). The truth is that it is healthy to identify and appreciate our talents and positive attributes. That is not being “cocky”. One who is “cocky” sees themselves or portrays themselves to be better than others. That is not the same as being “confident”, which is healthy.
  4. “Our past determines our future”. One of my favorite mind-shifts comes from Tony Robbins, an amazing author and inspirational speaker who said “We are not our past”.
    Many people, if not most people, believe that we have a set path in our life of how it is going to be. That our past predicts our future. The only way this is even remotely possible is if we continue to do the same actions as we have in our past. This would mean that we either have a very small comfort zone, or are stubborn and unwilling to admit we have been wrong. Most likely, we just don’t know there is another way to look at something, or we let fear of the unknown prevent change.
  5. “Life is so hard!” (Or some other negative belief). Tony Robbins says: “Be aware of the words you use because they absolutely affect your thinking and expectations”. When you say “Life is so hard!” you are setting a context of how your life will be. And in turn you will need to look for those experiences that fit that expectation. This also affects your emotional balance and your mood because you continue to notice negative experiences.
  6. “No one approaches me when I am out socially” (especially in dating). Or, “I am not good enough”. A person with this view probably does not have an accurate view of him or herself. This person likely holds back the positive attributes that their closest friends know and love about them and get to see often.
  7. “There is only one answer”. Here’s the “kicker”: “We don’t know what we don’t know”! This is one of the more life-changing mind-shifts that I can think of. Once you really understand this concept it opens your mind to a new way of evaluating the many possibilities of your experiences. It can give hope to people who had none previously. It raises our awareness that sometimes we need to seek out guidance because we don’t – and can’t – know everything.
  8. “People define my self-worth”. This is incredibly inaccurate. The truth is that our self-esteem is an internal process. It is about how we view ourselves and then project this out into the world. This is especially important in the dating world. We often believe that our value is determined by the number of people who like us. In fact, we would not like most the of the people we often try so hard to attract or impress. And trying to impress others so we feel better about ourselves never works because our self-esteem is truly an internal process.

Action Items:

  1. Can you recognize those beliefs that significantly changed and affected your decisions or how you see your life? Did your thinking become more open to possibilities?
  2. Can you recognize those moments when you were truly yourself and forgot to try to impress others and people were attracted to you anyway?
  3. What are those beliefs or ways of thinking that close down and limit your possibilities?
  4. Do you still evaluate yourself through your early childhood experiences, especially if they were negative? You would need to re-evaluate those childhood experiences through your adult mind for a more accurate interpretation.

Next Blog: Create an Anchor Page: Capture Accurate Thoughts to Survive Difficult Emotional Times

About Susan Saint-Welch

Susan Saint-Welch LMFT has counseled couples and individuals for many years on issues such as dating, marriage, family drama, coping with difficult times, improving self-image and living the life you love. She provides psychotherapy for clients in California and Couples and Life Coaching for clients outside California through secure video conferencing. She has published numerous articles regarding these issues on her website, on YourTango.com and on MSN.com.

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