• Darrell & Robin MacLearn

Set Your Mind to Achieve

A previous article, Live Your Dream Life, ended with this sentence – “Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.” Do you believe that? Or are you stuck in overwhelm? I didn’t used to believe that statement but now I do. Over the last couple of years I’ve done tons of reading and listening to thought leaders in the personal growth and development world. And I have personally grown and developed in that time. Hmmm, interesting. I have changed. I’ve changed many things in my life, including my habits, my work style, how I spend my leisure time, how I eat and exercise. But the most important change for me has been my mindset.

I believe our mindset is the biggest factor in whether or not we succeed in life. Mindset is the beliefs and thoughts we have about ourselves, others and the world, that determine our attitudes and inclinations and how we make decisions. It is our mindset that determines our choices and actions then our actions determine our future.

One of the most revealing concepts in my personal growth journey has been discovering my limiting beliefs. Before I started learning about personal growth I didn’t even know they existed. Well, I knew I was limiting myself and not living into my full potential, but I didn’t know what was causing that or what to call it. It’s limiting beliefs, which is the beliefs we have about ourself, often initiated in childhood, that hold us back or keep us from the life we deserve. It is the negative self tapes we play in our head that keep us from believing in ourselves or keep us paralyzed in fear.

I have struggled with a high level of fear of failure. This has kept me paralyzed at times. At other times, it kept me living below my potential as I was not willing to “try” new things because I didn’t want to risk failure. Then, I realized at some point, that not trying guarantees failure! Which made me feel like more of a failure. This cycle of negative feelings will continue unless and until I decide to stop it. So I decided to break that cycle and make some changes.

Not trying guarantees failure!

How we think about ourselves, the narrative we tell ourselves, is the key to making changes. I must stop the habit of telling myself “I can’t do that,” or “I don’t know how to do that,” or “I’m not good enough.” These are limiting beliefs that will do just that…limit me. But it is not enough just to stop the negative thoughts and beliefs. I must replace the negative with positive.

This is where affirmation statements helped me. An affirmation statement is something you choose to believe about yourself that is positive and encouraging. Here’s a list of some affirmations:

Now, when you first start saying these statements, it may feel awkward or not true. But as you continue each day, repeating these positive words, your brain will begin to accept them.

Consistency over time = belief in yourself. Push through the awkward stage and you will find yourself with new attitudes and beliefs about yourself. I suggest writing the affirmations down. I use sticky notes so I can place them around the house, on my bathroom mirror, on my computer monitor, on the refrigerator. The idea is to use them to change your current negative thoughts to positive thoughts by inundating your mind with the new thoughts, thereby replacing the old with the new. Keep in mind that this is a process. It took years to accumulate your limiting beliefs so it takes time to get rid of them. The journey is not always easy but it is definitely worth it!

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