Have you ever really given much thought to your mindset?
What is a mindset? Well, the dictionary defines it as the established set of attitudes held by someone. These attitudes are generally composed of experiences throughout our lives and how we were brought up. As we age and have more experiences, our mindsets can be tweaked and changed. Having a healthy mindset can be the difference between a productive and successful life, and one where you are just existing and taking what comes to you.
While there are some specific mindsets that have been labeled and given definitions, such as Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset, there are those we hear of much more often in today’s world, like the Victim’s Mindset or Entitlement.
I would like to focus on the Victim Mindset. What is it exactly? Essentially it means you blame your challenges in life on other’s negative actions around you or on circumstances. In other words, you do not have control of your life.
It was a recent conversation with two friends that made me really start thinking about this idea and just how differently people can see the same situation. We were sitting down to lunch and catching up as we had not seen each other in a while. Each person was sharing their last few years and it was my turn. Now, without going into too much detail, my life of the last few years had been filled with a number of challenges. Things such as a loss of a parent, loss of two fur babies (dogs) to cancer, being away from my spouse for extended periods of time, car accidents (yes, that is plural), and two storms from Mother Nature. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of good things going on in there as well, but these events had been the main focus of our lives the last few years for sure. While I expected them to be somewhat shocked and feel for me, it was the other reaction that I just didn’t expect.
For days and weeks following, both kept in touch with me and again told me how sorry they were for me. However, it was where it went from there that really troubled me. Both made comments to the fact that I wouldn’t have any luck at all if I didn’t have bad luck, that my life was so out of control they didn’t know what they would do in my place, or if they could even handle it. Now, I will be the first to admit that those few years were not easy. In fact, I can probably say it ranks right up there at the top of the most difficult times I have ever had. However, while most of these things happening were out of my control, my life in itself was never out of control. I’m sure there were moments and even days in there were I had those thoughts, but they were just thoughts. Once I got past that bad moment, I would sit down, take a few deep breaths and figure out what to do. In other words, take back control of the situation.
As for the nothing but bad luck statement, I actually don’t happen to be one that believes in luck. It’s not that I don’t think people can be lucky, but I think it comes in a direct relation to something they have done to create that luck. It didn’t just fall into their lap, they did something to make the luck.
I was disturbed by their mindset, that they felt sorry for me and thought my life was nothing but a bad circumstance where I had no control. That is not how I saw my life at all. In fact, I think I have a pretty good life. True, I had some bad things happen in a short period of time, but honestly it wasn’t anything that I did not expect. Children lose their parents, I was just thankful that I had a fantastic father as long as I did. Pets don’t live as long as we do. If you have a house in a coastal area, hurricanes happen. That’s what insurance is for. And if you live in a populated area with heavy traffic, there is always the chance of a car accident.
My mindset is one where I have control of things in my life. Do I have some mindsets that need to be changed, of course! I have some that I know need to be changed. I’m sure I have some that I am unaware of as well, that will someday present themselves to me to start working on. That is the whole point… you can always change your mindset. The saying about an old dog can’t learn new tricks is just not true. You just have to be willing to open up and look around, listen to those around you as well. Often, they can see things in you that you cannot see yourself. Listen and be open minded. Like they say, knowing is half the battle.
I challenge you to look at yourself and how you deal with certain situations. Do you feel like there are things you don’t have control of in your life? If so, why do you feel that way? Are you giving your power away? If so, it’s time to take it back!
Other articles you may be interested in:
- Gratitude As An Attitude: Looking On The Bright Side For A More Peaceful, Happier World by Nagia E. Moharram
- What’s Holding You Back? by Judy Hoberman
- 3 Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up by Kristina Fortune
- You Are NOT Your Story by Elizabeth Lions