Mindset is incredibly powerful. A positive mindset can help you get through the toughest of challenges, while a negative mindset has the power to turn a good situation into a bad one.
To learn about how to cultivate a positive mindset, I spoke with Peter Crone, a mindset coach best known as a mind architect for the work he does to help people completely transform their mindset and move beyond limiting beliefs and fears. Here’s his advice:
There’s one main reason why a positive mindset is so powerful according to Crone. “A proposed future is just as real as the one that you’re worried about,” he says, meaning that no one truly knows what will happen next. The very thing you’re worried about is truly only a possibility, but it’s easy to convince yourself that it’s already set in stone. It takes a lot of conscious effort to remind yourself that everything is just a possibility, and to instead focus on the positive instead of letting the negative take over.
The power of positive thinking.
Positive thinking is one of the most powerful tools out there when it comes to mindset. What you think becomes your reality, explains Crone. One of his clients is a basketball player who was struggling to meet the league average. He was just as skilled as the other players on the team, so the issue wasn’t physical. Instead, it was a mental block causing his performance to decline. When the player would go to take his shot, his thoughts were focused on trying not to miss, causing him to feel anxious. Crone offered one small swap – change the negative thoughts for something more positive. He had the player visualize his success by imagining that he was in line with the league average now and to keep that thought in his mind when he was on the court. The player saw improvement immediately, and those improvements lasted the rest of the season, all from adopting a more positive mindset.
Overcome limiting beliefs.
Everyone has limiting beliefs, but to cultivate a positive mindset you need to overcome those beliefs and create new ones in their place. To uncover your limiting beliefs, Crone advises asking “what are the limiting constructs in the way that you speak about yourself?”
One way you might find limiting beliefs manifesting in your own life is in the way you approach situations when you’re nervous or afraid. For example, before a big presentation you might tell yourself something like ‘watch me bomb that presentation’ as a way to diffuse tension, rather than ‘watch me knock this presentation out of the park’, just in case you do, in fact, bomb the presentation. However, all this does is increase the likelihood that the presentation won’t go well because you’re heading into it with a negative mindset. Go into it with confidence and a positive mindset, and you’ve just increased the likelihood that it will be a success.
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Change your narrative.
Just like mindset, your inner narrative has the power to influence your behaviors and actions. “Changing your narrative gives rise to a different person and consequently a different perspective, which then gives rise to different thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and consequently outcomes,” explains Crone.
One key thing to do to begin to rewrite your narrative is to examine how you approach different situations. “It’s about recognizing where you’re coming from. You’re either coming from a position of fear or excitement, so you need to understand which aspect of you is perceiving this future,” says Crone. If you’re in a position of fear, take the time to get to the root cause of it, and try to change it to a position of excitement instead. One way to do this is to redirect your focus to imagine the best-case scenario instead of the worst. Channel your nervous energy into creating a positive outcome for yourself.
Fear is a big driver of a negative mindset, so overcoming your fears is instrumental in cultivating a positive mindset. A major step to overcoming your fears is to bring awareness to them. “You want to bring awareness to your fear, make space to be with it and acknowledge that it’s okay,” says Crone. From this place of acknowledgment, you can start to take action to overcome your fears.