How To Shape Your World, One Thought At A Time
Thousands of thoughts cross your mind every day. Each one impacts how you feel, what you do, and what kind of reality you live in.
Your thoughts form the basis of your mindset, and your mindset shapes your life.
Do you believe your thinking is balanced and rational?
Do you trust yourself to approach a problem (or current elections) with an open mind and a fair eye?
You might want to read on before you confidently say, “YES!”
What Facebook, Glavlit and your brain have in common:
Your brain and Facebook are more similar than you might imagine; both are designed to create a vision of the world that is in sync with your views, with little regard to reality or fact.
Facebook and your brain both reinforce a specific version of reality, true or not, by selectively grooming the information you’re exposed to.
Both highlight only information that matches your current beliefs and filter out competing information.
If something does get past your filter, it will automatically be minimized or dismissed (“yes, but…” is the formula for that one).
It is not long before you begin to assume your personal views are the only correct ones, and just like that, your reality is shaped not just by facts, but by facts and beliefs.
This is why cognitive roadblocks are so powerful.
Seeing red, feeling blue…
Your mindset defines what reality you live in, it also determines how you feel about it.
Feeling blue, miserable, scared, anxious, or just plain pissed? Chances are you can trace that feeling back to a single thought.
Become more aware of your thinking. Notice when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, unhappy, or disconnected. Take the time, check-in with your thoughts. Look beyond what’s happening to you, and see why you care about it.
Give yourself a chance to correct the faulty beliefs that hold you back. Take charge of your mindset and grow.
Remember, your brain can act like a powerful propaganda machine – or a Facebook feed – giving you a singular version of reality, that over time, reinforces only one set of beliefs… if that mindset is negative you are in for a rough ride.
Want to know what’s real?
“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. – Morpheus “The Matrix
Shifting your mindset to feel better is not about always staying positive or forcing happy thoughts. That’s B.S!
Trying to artificially see the world through rose-colored glasses is as much a lie as telling yourself that nothing will ever work out.
Changing your thoughts is about looking at the truth of your statements, the biases in your perception, and the extent of your scope.
Statement: Is what I am thinking even true? The thought “nothing ever works out” is a great example of a patently false statement. Just the fact that you woke up alive and in one piece this morning is proof that something’s working for you. Check your thought for accuracy first.
Bias: Am I seeing the full picture? When you look at the world, when you’re trying to figure out what to expect, are you considering all aspects of the situation? It’s about creating what I call ‘full spectrum thinking’ instead of focusing on a single type of perspective (positive or negative). Granted, the world looks pretty bleak right now, especially if you get your news from major US media sources. Between terrorism, wars, major weather catastrophes, pandemics, and politics, things sometimes seem awful enough, but not everything in your life is going to hell in a handbasket. What are you not focusing on that is also true, and acts as a counterpoint to these truths?
Scope: Am I overgeneralizing? Saying “everything’s a mess,” is a great example of overgeneralizing. Yes, part of your world is in shambles (see the example above), but is it true for every part of your life? Maybe the way you’re looking at things is actually rational and balanced, when talking about one area of life, but that doesn’t mean the same can be said about all areas of life. Are you extending the truth of a belief beyond a reasonable scope?
There is no need to go through this process with every single one of your 60,000 to 70,000 daily thoughts, but chances are, somewhere in your thinking or mindset, there are things that can be tweaked or reviewed.
There is so much you can’t change, and you have more control than you think over the way you feel and react. All it takes is paying attention to your assumptions and balancing them out.
Choose the red pill.
Our brains have evolved to help us make sense of the world in the most efficient manner possible. That efficiency has come at the cost of accuracy and bias in our thinking (aka the Facebook algorithm effect).
There are a multitude of reasons why it’s worth your time to stop, check-in, explore and sometimes challenge your thoughts; being able to change the way you feel is just one of them.
There’s a vast body of research on mindset that shows that your beliefs impact your resilience, your ability to move into action, to change, and even whether or not you thrive physically.
Ready to conquer your fears? Want to learn how to trust yourself, stop dealing with doubt or indecisiveness? Need to motivate yourself to take action? Or just trying to have a rational conversation about the elections with someone who has an opposing perspective? Then you need to know what you believe, understand your biases, practice full-spectrum thinking, and when necessary change your mindset.