His father gave him marijuana at the age of six. Soon after, he also turned into an alcoholic.
Cops arrested him for the possession of heroin and cocaine multiple times. One night, he wandered into his neighbor’s house intoxicated and passed out on the bed. When the court ordered him to show up for drug tests, he absconded repeatedly.
The court sentenced him to a 3 years prison sentence. During parole, he was suspected of being under influence again and sent to rehab.
Today this person is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. He is none other than Robert Downey Jr.
In this article, I will share how to change your mindset and win.
Even after such drastic events, Downey pulled himself back and stood up. He reached enormous success by changing his mindset and having a new take on life.
Changing your mindset isn’t only required when you’re facing drug addiction or alcoholism. You can change your mindset to be happy, avoid negative thoughts, overcome mediocrity, face your fear, and push yourself out of the comfort zone.
How to change your mindset in 10 ways:
1. Stop complaining or blaming
When my businesses failed, I used to blame the market, my partner, or find some other excuse. I assumed I did my best and found some other reason or the other for the failure. I had failed to notice and accept my own flaws.
The first barrier to changing your mindset is believing that you’re the victim.
“I failed to complete the task because I ..”, “I am late today because …”.
The last time something went wrong, did you blame the circumstances for your actions and forget about the incident? Or did you take the opportunity to see what you could have done better?
Both successful and mediocre people face hurdles often. The subtle difference lies in the approach. Successful people overcome these difficult circumstances by changing themselves while average people blame the situation for their failures.
When you blame and criticize others, you are avoiding some truth about yourself. So stop sweeping mistakes under the rug and own up. If not, you will never manage to change your mindset for success.
2. Avoid mistakes instead of looking for brilliant ideas
When I tried building businesses, I would try to think of a product that would take the market by the storm. I failed to notice how poor our marketing and sales skills were.
You might assume that you need great ideas to grow in your career. In the quest for such ideas, you fail to notice the little mistakes you do.
Make a routine to self introspect yourself and avoid mistakes, both big and small. Avoiding mistakes will not shoot you up to fame or make you a millionaire overnight. But over time, your results compound to produce an unbelievable outcome.
“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”Charlie Munger
3. Compare against yourself
“He purchased such a fancy car while I am struggling to manage my expenses,” you whine, looking at the achievements of another person.
Comparing against other people ends up becoming a never-ending loop. No good comes out of it.
For example, if you start comparing your money with another co-worker, it won’t end there. Once you achieve a better financial status, you compare it with someone who has a higher monetary status. Your comparison never stops.
Instead, compare “the current you” vs. “the you” 3 months ago. Make it your mission to become better than the person you see in the mirror each morning.
4. Readout your goals every day
24 hours is a long time. Combine that with the number of things in your head. You can quickly lose focus on what your long term goals are.
Many people have their dreams in the corner of their head, but their daily routines take over. Your brain is like a horse that needs guidance to run in the right direction.
A Harvard Business Study has shown how 3% of people who had written down their goals achieved more than the other 97%.
When you read your goals, you remind your brain on what you should focus on. Reading your goals in the morning and before bed can help in guiding both your conscious and subconscious mind.
You can use this approach to change your mindset to lose weight, eat healthily, achieve career growth, become a better partner and so on.
Instagram and Facebook are places where people showcase the bright side of their lives. You envy how that friend of yours goes on vacation often. Another person curses his life looking at yours. The cycle keeps going on and on.
Social media is where everyone shows their fancy side. There is a dark and ordinary life looming behind which no one wants to portray.
When you evaluate your happiness based on what others at doing on social media, you will feel miserable about yourself. They can even cause you to look down upon yourself and invoke negative thoughts.
When you shun social media or use it sparingly, your peace of mind remains intact. As a bonus, it also reduces distractions, improves focus and changes your mindset to positive.
6. Use a morning routine
How you start your morning dictates how you go by your day. If you start with energy, you feel pumped throughout the day. Begin with lethargy, and the same carries through as well.
You can use any morning routine to get the adrenaline rushing in your body. Stretching, reciting your goals, reading a book, meditation, and many others can set the tone for the rest of your day.
Experiment with different morning routines and check which one makes you feel the best. I like the 6 Minute SAVERS routine from the Miracle Morning.
7. Have a gratitude journal
Often, you look at what you’re missing.
A young start-up owner wishes he had success like the business ventures which exploded. He fails to appreciate how is his situation is better than a person who is struggling to find any job.
An overweight person hates himself because he is not as lean as the next guy in the gym. He forgets how his situation is better than a person who has no food to eat.
You have a million things to be thankful for, and only 100 that aren’t in your favor. Unfortunately, the human mind prefers looking at the negative while taking the positive for granted.
Make it a habit to write a few things you are thankful for in your life. You can be grateful for having a house to live, a vehicle to drive, a family to talk to, about relationships you care for or anything else under the sun.
When you express gratitude, even when alone, you lighten up your mood.
8. Get out of the mediocrity approach
Most of the people around you will have a mediocre approach to life. Such people will believe that attaining massive levels of success is beyond their reach. Not only do they strongly believe so, but they also influence everyone around them.
To change your mindset, you must stop believing that you are constrained to a mediocre life. If you believe so, it will turn into your reality.
You can achieve mediocre goals without changing yourself. By settling for easy targets, you tell yourself, “I am the way I am, and I will live with my fixed mindset.”
Instead, change your attitude, strive for mastery and aim for the stars. Tougher goals force an improvement within yourself making a better person in the long run.
9. Read more
Books are a source of knowledge. The authors of books spend their time and energy practicing their skills and gaining experience.
Reading good books helps you learn and understand from the experience of others. If you had to gain such knowledge yourself, you would have to spend an awful lot of time and also pay the price of mistakes through the journey.
Each book adds more perspectives to your thinking. Consider each book as a dot. The dot in itself seems insignificant, but when you have many such dots, you learn to connect the dots.
10. Know your mental flaws
Your brain plays games with you whether you know it or not.
Can you think of 5 words that start with K? I am guessing that should not take you more than 15 seconds.
What about 5 words that have K as the 3rd letter? Not as easy anymore.
Are you surprised to know that English has thrice as many words which have the third letter as K than the words which begin with K?
Your brain has a hard time believing that because it believes readily available information. Such a bias is called the availability bias. You have many other flaws such as the confirmation bias, the anchoring effect, the authority bias, and more.
Learning how vulnerable your brain is to such flaws can help you avoid bad decisions.
Changing your mindset and behavior starts and ends with you. The question isn’t, “Can you?” It is, “Will you?”
What I am not:
What I am:
Continuously improving self-learner
Productivity/Time Management Obsessed