The Way You Think Results in the Life You Live
By Vanessa Palencia
As a mother, I want nothing but the best for my child. I hate whenever he says, “I can’t,” because I strongly believe that whatever you think, your actions will follow suit. I want my child to know that he is perfectly capable of doing anything he sets his mind to, but he can only do that with an “I can” attitude.
A few days ago, while my son and I were at the park, I saw him looking longingly at the other children swinging on the monkey bars. I told him to go and try, but he looked at me and said, “I can’t.” What really hurt was seeing the negativity of those words travel to his eyes. I could see he really believed he didn’t have the skills to swing on those monkey bars, so I made it a mission to make him practice swinging on the monkey bars. We weren’t going to leave the park until he made it across at least once. After a few trials and errors and a few exasperated sighs, he finally did it. The look of triumph on his face was magnificent and truly rewarding. However, it made me realize that so many of us today allow our fears and our mentalities to get in the way of achieving things we truly want to do.
It’s been proven that the way you feel can physically affect your body. For example, when you are nervous about a first date, you may find your hands feeling clammy and your body feeling tense. But there’s more to it than that. The way you think and the way you perceive yourself will unfold around you and reconfirm your own beliefs. As Harris O’Malley puts it in his article, “Negative beliefs and attitudes become self-fulfilling prophesies because when you give in to them, you make them come true.” In other words, you wire yourself to perpetually look for the downside to everything; thus, you impose limiting beliefs on yourself, making it more difficult to see things in a positive light and actually achieve things.
I know that just a few weeks ago, when I tried to attempt to do a front-squat (squatting with the barbell resting on your collarbone) and failed a few times, I automatically believed that I just wasn’t cut out to do front-squats. However, my gym partner (aka my boyfriend) believed in me when I didn’t and instructed me to keep practicing. But because I allowed my self-limiting beliefs to take root, I wasn’t able to perform them. It wasn’t until a week later, after a serious conversation with myself as to why I couldn’t do the moves (I realized I was mentally prohibiting myself) that I walked into the gym with a stronger and more positive mindset that I was able to do one set of 10 reps. Talk about a complete turnaround!
How you decide to change your mindset can differ from person to person. For some, it can be as easy as just switching the light on inside of you, but for others it may take some time, some affirmation chants or meditation. Whatever makes you feel better, do it. You need to believe in yourself before you can set out to do what you want to do. A negative mindset or a limited mindset will only result in a negative future. You are driving your life where you want it to go, and it all begins in your brain.