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One thing I have learned in my life is that I can't control what others do, I can only control my own actions and thoughts. I have been in many situations that were not ideal, and I have had to choose how to react. I am sure you have too.
We can't always control our circumstances, but we can control how we think about them.
While I have always considered myself to be smart, I still choose to continue adding to my knowledge and growing my skills by constantly reading and applying for jobs I did not always believe I would get. This has allowed me to achieve more than I ever thought possible.
Regardless of how old I get, I can keep learning and growing. For example, I did not begin to take instrument lessons until my 30s! In other words, I would characterize myself as having a growth mindset.
What is Mindset?
Our mindset is everything. It shapes our reality and our actions. How we view the world and our place in it affects everything we do. The type of mindset we have often determines our level of success.
There are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth.
A fixed mindset is a belief that our abilities are set in stone and cannot be changed. This type of mindset leads people to believe that they are either born smart or not, and there is nothing they can do to change it.
People with a fixed mindset often give up easily because they don't think they can improve. They see failure as a sign that they are not smart or talented and they avoid challenges.
When we have a growth mindset, we believe our abilities can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and feedback. People with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. They view challenges as a way to become smarter and more talented.
Benefits of a Growth Mindset
Research has shown that people with a growth mindset are more successful than those with a fixed mindset. We are more likely to take risks, persevere through difficult tasks, and achieve our goals with this mindset.
A growth mindset helps us to be resilient in the face of setbacks. We are more likely to view our failures as a learning opportunity, rather than a sign that we are not smart or talented.
When I lost a full-time job during a layoff years ago, I was initially shocked but soon realized it was an opportunity to grow my own business. My growth mindset also allowed me to take the next leap and work abroad – a move that changed my life.
9 Reasons to Master Your Thoughts
Now that we understand what mindset is and the benefits of a growth mindset, let's look at some specific reasons why we should master our thoughts.
1. Greater Success
When we control our thoughts, we are more likely to achieve our goals. Our thoughts influence our actions and our reality to get to our desired level in our personal or professional lives.
For example, if we want to lose weight, we need to think about healthy food and exercise, rather than cookies and TV. If we want to save money, we need to think about our spending and saving habits, rather than buying that new purse or car.
The best inventions came to fruition because of people who had enough growth mindset to see where the world was lacking and how they could improve it. Just think about the Wright brothers, Steve Jobs, or Florence Nightingale.
The world would be a different place if certain people were not able to control their thoughts long enough to create a steam engine, microcomputer, harness electricity, etc.
2. Less Stress
The less we focus on negative thoughts, the less stress we will feel. When we are constantly worrying about things that might happen, we create stress for ourselves. If we can learn to control our thoughts and focus on the positive, we will feel happier.
Stress can impact the body in many ways, including our immune system, digestion, and sleep. The body produces more cortisone when we are stressed, which can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and other health problems. Reducing stress can improve our overall health and well-being.
The first place is to start from within by learning to control our mindset.
3. Improved Health
When we are stressed, it can impact our health in many ways. As we mentioned, stress can weaken our immune system, cause digestive problems, and disturb our sleep. All of these things can lead to more serious health problems down the road.
If we can learn to control our thoughts and reduce stress, we will be healthier overall. We will have more energy to exercise, eat right, and take care of our bodies.
You can focus your thoughts away from bad food cravings that can inhibit weight loss.
Controlling our thoughts may even help deal with pain. It has been shown that people who focus on positive thoughts heal faster from surgery or an injury.
4. Improved Relationships
Our relationships will improve when we focus on positive thoughts. If we are constantly worried about what other people think of us, we will be too stressed to enjoy our relationships. We will also be more likely to say or do things that we will later regret.
When we focus on positive thoughts, we are more likely to be kind, patient, and understanding with the people in our lives. We will also be more likely to enjoy our relationships and feel closer to the people we care about.
5. More Happiness
In general, we will be happier when we focus on positive thoughts. Happiness is a state of mind, and it is up to us to choose what we focus on. After all, between our news cycle, economy, and personal lives, there is always something to worry about if we let ourselves. If we focus on the negative, we will be unhappy.
It is not always easy to control our thoughts, but it is important to try. When we focus on positive thoughts, we will feel happier and more fulfilled.
Research has shown that happy people tend to be more successful, have better relationships, and live longer, healthier lives. Other people are more likely to approach them, and they are more likely to get promotions at work.
6. Greater Productivity
When we focus on positive thoughts, we will have more energy and motivation to get things done. We will be more likely to take action and achieve our goals. On the other hand, if we focus on negative thoughts, we will feel discouraged and unmotivated.
Let's look at final exams in school. If we only think about possibly failing or too many hours of studying, preparing for these tests can become overwhelming. It would be helpful to focus on the positive end such as showing off what you learned or finally being able to conclude your school year. This will help you push through the negative thoughts and be productive.
Your mind will also be able to hold more information when you focus on positive thoughts. This is because when we focus on negative thoughts, we are more likely to forget things.
7. Enjoy the Journey
When we go through school, a job, adolescence, or even just a typical day, it is easy to focus on the end goal. We want to graduate, get the job, be done with puberty, or just make it to bedtime.
While it is important to have goals, we should also enjoy the journey. If we only focus on the end goal, we will miss out on all of the good things that happen along the way.
Focusing and controlling our thoughts will help us make note of the smallest daily occurrences that we can miss when clouded by stress or negativity. We will also better appreciate the people and experiences we have along the way.
You may one day look back on those past experiences with fondness, instead of regretting that you did not enjoy them more when you had the chance.
8. Improved Self-esteem
Our thoughts influence how we feel about ourselves. If we focus on negative thoughts, we will have low self-esteem. We will believe that we are not good enough, and as a result, we will not try new things or take risks.
Someone with a fixed mindset would assume they can't learn French because they failed Spanish in high school. On the other hand, someone with a growth mindset would be willing to give it a try because they understand that intelligence can be developed.
When it comes to dating, a person with low self-esteem might believe that they are not attractive enough to find someone. They might settle for someone who is not right for them because they do not believe they deserve better.
However, controlling one's thoughts can help someone on the single scene think of new ways to meet people or simply understand that the right match has not come along yet.
9. Increase Intelligence
Controlling our thoughts can actually make us smarter. When we focus on positive thoughts, we will be more likely to come up with new ideas and solutions. We will be more open to new experiences, and as a result, we will learn more.
People with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is static. They think that you are either smart or you are not, and there is nothing you can do about it. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed.
When we understand that our intelligence is growth in progress, we don't hesitate to learn an instrument in adulthood, attempt to learn several languages, or take that challenging college course. We know that we will get smarter by facing these challenges and focusing on as many details as possible.
Pro Tip: Control Your Thoughts with Meditation
Controlling our thoughts can be difficult, but there are some helpful techniques that we can use such as meditation. Meditation can help us focus on the present moment and be more aware of our thoughts. It can also help us to let go of negative thoughts and cultivate positive ones.
Meditation has proven to help manage anxiety, improve sleep, and reduce stress. Ongoing meditation can help us figure out the best methods of focus and concentration for our individual needs.
Final Thoughts on Reasons to Master Your Thoughts
It is important to control our thoughts because they influence how we feel, what we believe, and how we act. Our thoughts can either hold us back or help us move forward in life.
As we go about our day, we are constantly being bombarded with media images that tell us how we should live, look, and what we should buy. Kids in school may be bullied by more popular kids.
If we are able to control our thoughts, we can avoid the pitfalls that come with letting others tell us who we are or what we should do. We can use our thoughts to improve our self-esteem, increase our intelligence, and find more happiness in life.
Sure, we may inherit certain characteristics from our parents, but we are in control of how we interpret and react to the world around us. If you find yourself dealing with thoughts of jealousy, put an end to it by reading our article on 79 Jealousy Quotes to Overcome Your Envy.