When faced with a challenge, what do you do? What do you think? What feelings do you have?

The answers to these questions for you will depend on your mindset. Your ability to process a situation and decide how you will deal with it.Yes, you decide.Yes, you have a choice. 

What is a Mindset?

Your mindset is your knowledge and includes beliefs and thoughts about the world and where you sit in that world. It filters information and events that you take in and put out. For this reason, it is key in how you receive and react to events and challenges.

It’s often used when making key decisions and also when challenges arise and determines how you will deal with them. Having the right mindset for what you are trying to achieve is often the biggest factor as to whether you will actually be successful.

Developing the right mindset is about learning something new and stripping out the most relevant information. You then develop the beliefs that are most helpful for where you want to go or how you want to be. This belief-system is then your mindset.

Your mindset can allow you to make a positive change. That’s why your beliefs don’t necessarily have to reflect how you currently feel, after all, you may be trying to make a change or you may be trying to make sense of a difficult situation and work out how you can move forward. Of course the reality you believe you want should be possible and realistic, as changing your mindset is about making positive progress.

Here’s an example

If you believe, “I am a successful entrepreneur”, you will act like a successful entrepreneur.
If you believe, “I want to be a successful entrepreneur”, you will act in this way too; like you are not yet a successful entrepreneur.

If you adopt beliefs that seem slightly out of reach it can be very powerful, because it changes your mindset and therefore you actually behave differently. It’s amazing how much better you will feel and it will allow you to grow. It’s actually very liberating.

Many of you may say, well I don’t have a choice. This situation has happened but it wasn’t caused by me and it’s actually out of my control. What can I do about it – I didn’t choose this?

So actually we can make these statements and do one of three things.

  • Accept the situation
  • Change the situation
  • Change your mindset about the situation. 

Remember if you read any of my blogs you will know that there is no such word as ‘can’t’ and I know because my dad told me! So the secret is, how to change how you feel about something. What does that process look like? Perhaps if I give you some key things to do when you are faced with challenges, then you have a process that allows you to change your mindset.

This will work for any challenge trust me. How do I know? Because I’ve used it in connection with business challenges, and life challenges – the worst life challenges you can imagine, and I’ve read about ordinary people who have used it in their worst ever situations too. We all have this ability, but it takes practice and determination to use it.

So let’s give you some key steps to changing your mindset

You choose how to feel

This is the biggest life lesson for all of us. How many times has someone said to you ‘He made me feel ugly’ or ‘She made me feel so stupid’ or maybe ‘They make me feel like I can’t do this job’ 

What do these statements do? They give other people the power to make you feel a certain way and guess what, you can decide. No-one can make you feel anything – FACT. You choose how you let people, statements, situations make you feel.

This is fundamental in your mindset journey. I took some years to master this but it feels wonderful to be able to control how you feel about other people’s actions and we are all capable of this skill.

If you master this one, the other four steps are actually a piece of cake. This is the big one.

Break down the challenge

Like anything we deal with bite size pieces much better than we do with a whole big situation. Thinking about it all at once just makes us go off on a tangent and the challenge grows and gets harder and more distressing. We’re very good at adding, even more, challenges to it something when we try and deal with it all at once! 

Break it down into what it really means to you. How it’s going to affect you and take each bit and deal with it separately. It actually makes things easier and often puts things into perspective 

Write things down

When we transfer something from our minds onto paper it is a very powerful thing. It makes it a reality and documents it so it no longer floats around our minds. You could say it grounds our thoughts. When on paper they are tangible and more importantly no longer is our minds. Taking it one step further you can start to categorise these thoughts in writing. Many of you have probably heard of a SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When you start to put your challenge down on paper into these categories you often start to realise exactly what you’re dealing with and it is so much clearer. Often your challenge is not quite as daunting as you had thought. You have choices.

Think of it in a different way

When faced with a challenge we usually go into overdrive and before we know it we have already decided what it means and what’s going to happen! Guess what – the outcome can be driven by you. Rewind and start again with your thoughts about this challenge and imagine a different ending. What does that journey now look like? How does it make you feel? And what actions can you take to change the outcome that you were once dreading? 

Many things cause us to have a certain mindset, not least our childhood and life experiences. It’s understandable when something bad has happened to us we would then have a certain opinion and attitude towards what we deserve and what will happen. We assume a lot more than we realise, and we are afraid of the outcome, of rejection and of failure.

If the worst thing that happened was failure and rejection, then guess what, you will live to see another day. You will be able to carry on, and most important of all, you will be stronger and more determined than you realise…if you want to be.

After all, it’s up to you.

Have a great week!