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Four misunderstandings about the (positive) mindset

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Why do others succeed and you not?
Why do you feel bad and don’t bother others?
Why are you unable to fulfill your dreams and achieve your goals?
Your mindset is extremely important, we have learned that by now. But it is sometimes still unclear what exactly you should do with it.

We live in a society in which there are quite a few misunderstandings about mindset, behavior and what is good for you. Of course everyone has their own view on this, and I would like to share my view with you.

You have to think positive

The trend these days is that you should always be positive. You have to think again, see the beauty of every rotten situation. Get over adversity as quickly as possible. A positive mindset is what you need to have.

The positivity gurus and mindset coaches are popping up like mushrooms. If you can see the positive in everything, then happiness and success are guaranteed… Right?!

Not quite, because sometimes life just sucks. Then you are really disappointed, then you are sad, very angry or afraid. And that’s totally okay! Those feelings can also be there.

Hiding ‘negative’ emotions such as anger, fear and sadness causes many (mental) health problems. So it’s just as important to learn to make room for your ‘negative’ emotions, but you don’t have to get caught up in them or drown in them.

A positive mindset is important, but when you start using it to suppress the less pleasant feelings, it can be harmful in the long run.

So it’s all about balance. As is the case with almost everything in life.

You have to give more than take

Because if you give enough, it will come back to you. However?

Yes, and then you sat on the couch with a burnout. Because you kept on giving, cannot receive and do not have a clear picture of where your limits actually lie.

Setting boundaries, taking care of yourself… it’s not selfish. It is very necessary to stay healthy and to stay in your power. The rule on the plane – first your own oxygen mask and then the one for your children – is there for a reason. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can be much less good for others. It is very important for your (mental) health that you know where your limits are, that you know how to stay in balance. And that you act accordingly. Here too, the following applies: giving and taking must be in balance.

If I can’t do it alone, then I’m not strong enough

the mindsetAsking for help is seen as a sign of weakness. Like giving up or failing. If you can do it all alone, then you are strong and successful. That’s what you’re aiming for.

But humans are originally social beings. We are not made to do everything alone. That’s against our nature.

In fact, you probably enjoy helping others. That’s satisfying. That you can be there for others. That the other person expresses his or her gratitude because you are there for him or her. As a result, the bond between you grows. You feel connected and closer together.

But why not allow someone else to do the same for you? To mean something to you, to be able to feel that satisfaction after they have helped you. To feel that connection with you and to let your bond grow and deepen.

A bit crooked actually when you look at it that way. And also quite a sin. Because that connection and that deeper bond with the other, that’s what you want. But why do you feel that asking for help or accepting help is weak? You are doing yourself and the other a huge favor with it.
There’s nothing weak about that, right? That’s something very beautiful.

There is a pill or a patch for everything

the mindsetWe live in a makeable world. If you’re not happy, we think you’ve probably done something wrong or haven’t worked hard enough. So on the one hand, we are extremely strict with ourselves and carry the responsibility and burden of the world on our shoulders.

But on the other hand… as soon as we get sick or feel bad, we start pointing to the outside world. Then it is the fault of society, of that person who did something to you or of your family system. We play the victim role or we go looking for solutions in the outside world. A pill, a treatment, symptom control. As long as we get rid of it as soon as possible.

But what we really need is: the courage to take responsibility. Dare to look at yourself honestly. Dare to explore without judgement. Why do I feel this way? What is being touched in me? Where does that come from? What old pain do I still have to heal in myself?

If someone makes a comment that you are too fat, it only hurts if you are insecure about your body deep down or already have the conviction that you can lose a few kilos. If you were completely happy with your body, then such a comment would not come in at all. Everything that touches you from the outside world is therefore a mirror to your inner world.

And how do you change that mindset?

The first step is to become aware of your current situation. What are your limiting thoughts or beliefs? Where are your pitfalls? Where could it be done differently/better in your case? Be curious about yourself, without judgment, just observe and investigate.

This can be quite tricky because it’s so normal to you that you don’t notice it anymore. Those are blind spots, everyone has them. It can therefore help to call in a coach to become aware of your (thinking) patterns, your mindset.

I also tried everything myself first because I felt that I had to be able to do it alone, that asking for help was weak. I had searched all over Google, read dozens of books, did exercises I found during my search, tried to meditate, visualize, affirmations, writing exercises, etc., but I couldn’t.

Only when I asked for help and was presented with a mirror did I gain momentum. Only then did I really understand why it didn’t work before and where it went wrong. I was so busy with all the tools while my foundation was not yet laid.

Shooting hail around me hoping I’d hit something. But what I needed was to look inside, look at myself, create clarity about where I stood, about my goal and what I had to do to hit that goal. You also cannot build a house with only tools, without a plan, location or foundation. You should start at the root of the problem, not the solution.

Then when you have a clear picture of your current situation and your goal, you can decide that you want to get started. What works for you is personal and a matter of trying it out (a coach can help you with this too). But realize that a mindset that you have had all your life does not change in one day.

You will have to work on that every day. That will go with trial and error. And if you give up the first time you fall, you better not start. Because you will fall, that’s part of the process. Allow yourself a learning process, give yourself room to practice and give yourself time to learn and experiment.

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