Your Mindset Matters

Your inside voice matters. You know that little voice inside our heads? The one where we carry on a conversation with ourselves. What does yours sound like? Do you speak kindly to yourself? Or are you one of those who says things like “I can’t believe I just did that!” or “I can’t believe how stupid I was!”

“Don’t speak negatively about yourself, even as a joke. Your body doesn’t know the difference.” ~ Bruce Lee

If this quote by Bruce Lee sounds like new age thinking, or woo-woo magic, it’s not. There is actual science behind this. Think about the placebo effect. Countless studies show when patients are given a sugar pill and told that it will alleviate a specific symptom, it often does, sometimes as effectively as the actual drug. In a New York Times article entitled “Placebos Prove So Powerful Even Experts Are Surprised” doctors describe numerous positive results from placebos. One study referenced in the article described a hair product placebo actually grew hair on participants balding heads! Multiple studies have shown that placebos are 55 to 60% as effective as the actual drug like aspirin or codeine when controlling pain.

The simple change in mindset, in these examples where the patients believed they were taking an actual drug, was powerful enough to make the symptoms disappear. Our mindset, beliefs, and thoughts about what will happen can actually change what does happen. How is that possible? Our brains are organized in a way to act on what we believe is going to happen next. Our expectations create brain patterns that can be just as effective as reacting to real world events around us.

If there is something that you don’t like about yourself or about your career, or your life, it is highly unlikely it is going to change all by itself. It is even more unlikely that it will change if you don’t change your thoughts and beliefs about it. The more you believe in your ability to succeed, the more likely you will. Studies show that simply believing we can bring about positive change in our lives increases motivation and job performance. Studies have also shown that belief in your own ability is an even stronger predictor of job performance than the actual level of skill or training that you have.

So, where is your mindset today? Are you imagining all the things that could go wrong? Or are you envisioning all the reasons why you are going to be able to succeed in this task? Remind yourself of all the relevant skills that you have. Also, think about a time when you were in a similar situation, and you performed well. When you focus on your strengths during a difficult task, you were much more likely to produce the best results.

“What you’re not changing, you are also choosing.” ~ Bruce Lee

So what mindset are you choosing today? Because the mindset you choose will have a direct impact on your results. So choose wisely.

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