Changing Your Mindset
Whenever you feel “stuck” at any point in life it’s usually due to a pattern of thinking that’s holding you hostage in your current situation. Breaking free of your situation requires a new way of thinking or a change in mindset. Recall the story of Aron Ralston, the young man who was hiking alone in a slot canyon when a large boulder dislodged and trapped his arm against the canyon wall. He remained stuck for days while making every effort to free his arm. I can only imagine how grim the situation appeared with no immediate solutions in sight. In that scenario, it would be easy to maintain the same pattern of thinking, which is that the boulder has to be lifted, broken, or moved in order to break free. The unfortunate thing is that anyone who found themselves in this scenario and they maintained this way of thinking, they would remain stuck and would ultimately perish while pinned by that boulder. The human body cannot live longer than 3 days without water. In this scenario, Aron adopted a new way of thinking, which would be unacceptable to most people, but critical for his survival. This new way of thinking was solely responsible for his freedom and for saving his life. He decided that in order to break free, he would have to amputate his trapped arm. He made a few attempts at cutting his arm before he ultimately concluded that he did not have a tool sufficient enough to cut through his bone. Once again, STUCK. Staying in this thought process would hinder any progress of moving forward. But as more time passed, he decided to make an attempt at breaking his arm while using considerable force against the boulder. He was successful and proceeded with performing the amputation. After freeing himself, he was able to go get help, and live to see his family and friends again.
This is an amazing story which demonstrates the four key elements needed to change your mindset in any situation in your life that’s holding you back. You must first:
IDENTIFY FEARS AND/OR OBSTACLES
In this story, Aron had to identify that the main obstacle holding him back was his inability to break free from the boulder. He made attempts to lift the rock, break the rock, shift the rock, all to no avail. You have to size up exactly what you’re up against. You must full assess what is holding you back from moving forward. In this case, the obstacle was obvious, but for a lot of scenarios in our life, the thing holding us back is not so easy to identify. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help figure out what’s holding you back.
--What are you most afraid of in your situation?
--What is the worst thing that you think will happen if you attempt to do things a different way?
--What thoughts consistently pop into your head every time you think about your situation?
--What are your beliefs about why other people have been able to accomplish the thing that you’re unable to accomplish?
There’s an old saying that states “what you feed, will grow”. The opposite is also true, what you do not feed, will not grow. In that sense, you can starve the obstacle and feed the new mindset.
STARVE THE OBSTACLE
In this scenario, the boulder could’ve become larger than life in his mind and been insurmountable, but by continuing to brainstorm about ways to move past the boulder, he fed it none of his mental energy and by result, starved his obstacle until it became of no importance to his situation.
FEED THE NEW MINDSET
Once you’ve brainstormed and come up with ways out of your situation, you will need to feed your new thought process so that it will continue to grow and that you will gain enough courage to proceed forward out of your situation. There are many ways to feed a new mindset. Here are a few to get you started:
--Visualization – visualize your desired outcome to your situation and try to feel the emotions and feel the joy of it actually happening.
--Mind re-programming – daily affirmations can help with this by repetitively imprinting empowering statements deep into your psyche.
--Reading books on the topic – you can find a number of resources to help you gain additional knowledge about whatever you need to accomplish or break free from.
--Change the company you keep – if you find that you are surrounded by negative people who are further adding to your fears or life obstacles, then you need to find people who will support you with moving forward.
--Gain new experiences – sometimes getting unstuck is as simple as doing something new like zip-lining or bungee jumping.
--Be appreciative of what you have – being grateful for the things you currently have in life is a great way to put your situation into perspective, showing that things may not be as bad as it seems.
Finally, we see in this story that Aron actually moved forward with performing the amputation. Once you’ve gained a new mindset, you must take action. Jump in with both feet and take one step at a time, towards your goal, and don’t stop until you get there!