6 Mental Shifts that Will Radically Improve Your Life

“You’re in charge of your mind. You can help it grow by using it in the right way.”- Carol Dweck

Are you a “glass half-full” or “glass half-empty” type of person?

Are you a “can” or “can’t” person?

As Henry Ford put it, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

What we think and believe shapes our reality –  our reality about what’s possible, who we can become, and what we can accomplish.

If you feel powerfulness and stuck right now, you don’t have to stay that way.

You can upgrade your mental software by shifting your perspective.

You can create a new reality – a reality with greater confidence, hope, grit, and courage.

Here are 6 mental shifts that will help you change your life.

1. Victim to Creator

“Leadership is a mindset that shifts from being a victim to creating results. Any one of us can demonstrate leadership in our work and within our lives.” – Robin S. Sharma

No matter what circumstances you face today don’t get stuck in a victim mentality.

Even when it feels like life is “happening to you,” you’re not at the mercy of your circumstances.

You can take “response-ability” and step into the role of a creator!

A creator doesn’t blame and point fingers. They don’t sit around waiting and hoping to feel better, or be more motivated, or more appreciated.

They create new ideas, new solutions, new ways of thinking, and new choices!

You have everything you need as a person to create a great day, despite the people, problems, and predicaments you encounter.

2. Perfection to excellence

“Improve by 1% a day, and in just 70 days, you’re twice as good.”- Alan Weiss

You won’t always have a flawless performance and be up to par. So don’t expect perfection.

Expecting perfection will backfire. It will keeps you stuck and afraid to make mistakes. You’ll hold back and limit yourself to what you know you can do.

To move to a new level of mastery it takes moving beyond our current competence or ability. I have to make mistakes to get better at drums. A chess player has to play against a greater opponent to keep improving.

You WILL mess up at some point, so focus on progress and improvement instead of perfection.

3. Should to could

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

If you want to drop some emotional baggage, drop the word “should” from your vocabulary.

It’s hard to stay focused and keep a positive frame of mind when we’re living with tension and constant contradiction between what we “should” and “shouldn’t” do.

I still struggle with this affliction at times, thinking I should be doing more, be more productive, or have more clients.

I use to think I was keeping myself in check with this strict thinking, but I always ended up feeling guilty and trapped.

Instead of saying “I should,” say “I could” or “I choose.” This gives you greater possibilities, and is more accurate and empowering.

“I should be more productive…” to “I could be more productive,… if…”

From here you can create solutions.

4. Play not to lose, to play to win

“If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.” – Kobe Bryant

It’s the bottom of the 9th inning. You’re up to bat with 2 outs and a runner on third. The pressure is on and the outcome of the games is up to you.

What are you thinking?

“I hope I don’t screw-up and strike out.”

Or, “I can do this,” “I want to be a champion!”?

The “don’t screw-up” mindset leads to choking, and is called playing not to lose.

Playing to win on the other hand, is when we focus on the result we want to have.

Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.

Keep the image of your accomplishments in mind. (Insert cheesy motivational saying here) Focus on a victory and keep your game face on!

5. Medication to meditation

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell

There’s a saying that meditation is medication.

According to the Mayo Clinic meditation leads to numerous health benefits like stress relief, and other studies show improved brain health in meditators. 

When we slow down, clear our head, and train our attention, we’ll be more able to deal with problems, regulate emotions, and shift away from unhelpful thinking.

What we give our attention to grows. We need to train our mind to think successfully and build healthy habits.

Instead me “self-medicating” through binge watching Stranger Things, (I know it’s hard), or using drugs and alcohol, turn your attention to your senses and take a few deep breaths. Take 10 minutes to meditate on positive affirmations and gratitude.

6. Reactionary to visionary

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward

As much planning as we do, life is more often about making choices in the moment.

There will be unexpected changes, people will push our buttons, and we’ll fail miserably.

If we’re not intentional we’re going to emotionally react. We’re going to make choices out of fear and discouragement, instead of focused attention. 

Be visionary, not reactionary.

A visionary knows what they want, and are able to make decisions based on this.

They think, “How can this experience help me achieve my dream?” “What can I learn?”

A visionary keeps the big picture in mind. They don’t react to small daily problems and get thrown off course.

They instead respond based on how they want their day or week or month to go.

These are six mental shifts that can help you create a life with more accountability, courage, and freedom.

Put these into practice today and see what emerges for you.

With practice and intention you can show up as your best self, feel more expansive, and start to create the results you want.

Photo credit: Sarah

  • Love the post Joe – I love ‘play to win’ – I remember Napoleon was asked how he always won his battles. He replied ‘I only fight battles i know I can win’. smart man:)

    • Hi Laura,

      Thanks for the comment! I have a feeling Napoleon believed he would always win! Hard to keep that mentality but a good reminder to try.