8 Powerful Mindset Shifts to Make for 2021
The way we choose to view ourselves and our lives determines the majority of our life experience..
It dictates how we’re going to feel, the mood we will wake up with, our thoughts and reactions, and even our very destiny. If we surround ourselves with negative thoughts, daily events won’t seem quite as positive. If we, on the other hand, choose to try and remain positive — well, that’s a whole new ballgame, isn’t it?
There is, of course, more to it than “just be positive and not negative.” That’s why I will be going into eight powerful mindset shifts you can adopt over the course of 2021. Note how I’m not saying “adopt now so that 2021 can be the best year of your life.” Changing your mindset in the slightest will require a lot of work. You’ll need to keep reminding yourself not to do certain things and to do others instead. It will take time. But, if you want it to stick, you’ll be happy to exchange that time for a better version of yourself down the line. And now for the mindset shifts!
1. Comfort Is the Enemy of Progress
We all like being comfortable. However, the annoying thing is that the more comfortable we feel, the less we are growing. There is no growth in the comfort zone. It can be quite pleasant there, and we can truly enjoy our time being comfortable. In fact, sometimes all you need in life is to retreat there to recharge your batteries before moving on. Maybe you’ve reached a point in life where you feel you don’t want to grow anymore, and there is absolutely nothing else you want to do, achieve, learn, gain. If you would be perfectly happy to live the exact same kind of life from now until you die: congratulations. You have mastered your own life, and you have earned the comfort. On the other hand, if there are still things out there you would want to achieve, own, or become: recognize the enemy within your own camp, and join in battle.
2. Kindness Is a Virtue — Especially on a Bad Day
Kindness used to be considered a virtue, and rudeness was, once upon a time, abhorrent and tedious. Today, we’ve somehow managed to equate kindness with weakness, and we sadly exhibit it less and less. Yet kindness is nothing but positive. It makes your day better, and it makes the day of the person you are being kind to better, too. This is especially true if you are having a bad day.
It doesn’t cost much, either, yet it can completely alter the course of a day. And if you believe in the butterfly effect, it can alter the fate of the world at large. So, next time you sleep late and are consequently late for work and the barista at Starbucks hands you the wrong order, don’t jump down her throat. Be kind, smile, and swallow your irritation. You’ll notice the day somehow manages to become instantly brighter.
3. Self-Care Does Not Equal Being Selfish
This is another myth propagated by modern norms. We are mistakenly lead to believe that it’s somehow selfish to take care of ourselves, put our own needs first, do something we feel like doing and avoid something we don’t feel like doing. Staying home to read a book when your friends would like you to go out is not selfish. After all, you’re not doing anything to harm them — you are just choosing to do what you feel like doing. Start prioritizing self-care over making others feel good. This might mean getting more sleep, for starters — after all, it impacts not only your physical and mental wellbeing, but your creativity too.
Self-care might also mean making healthier food choices and indulging in the pastimes you feel will benefit you. The point of self-care is to nurture your genuine needs, as opposed to doing what other people want you to do (excluding emergencies, of course).
4. What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
When faced with hardship, there are two reactions we can choose: giving up or getting back up. If you choose the former, you will likely be stuck in a perpetual state of negativity, in one way or another. Bad things happen to everyone, even horrible things. Yet some people choose to dust themselves off and embrace what they still have, while others choose to stop dead in their tracks, lamenting how they could have made something of themselves if only that one thing hadn’t happened.
A life without hardship is practically impossible, but if you choose to keep looking ahead, you can still do plenty. The power is in your hands once you choose to treat every bad event that leaves you still breathing as a chance to learn something, however small that something may be.
5. You Are Who You Spend Your Time with
If the people you choose to spend most of your time with are essentially negative people, you will feel their impact every day of your life. Part of this crowd are also people who might cause you to feel any negative emotion (self-doubt, inadequacy, irritability) or drain your energy. On the other hand, if you spend time with people who lift you up and recharge you, you’ll notice you are adopting a different worldview altogether.
Accept that the company you keep greatly influences the life you are living — even when that doesn’t seem to be the case. Choose to spend your time with people who can teach you something, people who can make you smile and laugh, people you like to be around. Even if you are currently closer to the negative bunch.
6. Mistakes Teach You More Than Wins
Most people are afraid of making mistakes. They think making a mistake is wrong or somehow bad. And this thought limits what they get to do in life. They never try many things, or they might try and give up after that first failure, disappointed that they are not instantly good at something.
The truth is, no one knows anything without having to learn it. Some people are more talented than others, there’s that. Take playing an instrument for example. There are people who have a natural ear and who will become better at it — but they still have to practice a lot. In fact, they practice for hours on end, sometimes for entire days. And they make plenty of mistakes until it comes out perfectly.
The mistakes you make can teach you more than you can learn from your successes. Successes are less frequent, after all, and every time you don’t do something right, you learn something new. Just like a baby does when taking its first steps, or a first violin when practicing their next solo.
7. The World Is More Gray Than It Is Black or White
We like to think that our world is built on opposites. Good and evil. Black and white. Darkness and light. But what the world really is is gray. If you shape your beliefs as either/or, and if you choose to approach people and problems with this attitude, chances are, you will be alienating a whole lot of people as well as experiences.
There is no just black or just white, and there is rarely just good and just evil. Everyone, and every situation, is a mixture of both. The sooner you accept that good people can do silly things and make mistakes, and that morally dubious characters can be incredibly kind, the better you will be able to adjust to living life as a human being.
8. We Are All Reading Different Manuals
Finally, accept that everyone is different and that the beliefs and truths you hold so dear will be utterly strange to someone else. So much of who we are depends on when and where we are born. Our family, our immediate surroundings while we are young, the culture we are exposed to — all of these influences shape our belief system, values, and mindset. And it can be incredibly difficult to change any of them.
When you first accept this fact as the truth, you can begin to challenge yourself and reshape the way you see and interact with the world. This realization will help you understand others, where they are coming from, and how they choose to interact with the world. Hopefully, it will also teach you to be less judgmental as well.
Think about each of the mindsets and shifts we’ve talked about here. Do you agree with them? Do you find them to be false? Have you recognized yourself in any of them? Can you see yourself altering any of the beliefs related to these mindsets? Remember: you are who you think you are. Not in the “I can fly if I imagine I can fly” kind of way, but in the more cold, hard, “my mindset determines who I am” kind of way. The way you choose to react and interact with the people and events around you is what ultimately shapes your world. And luckily, the only person who can truly shift that is yourself.
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