How Having the Wrong Mindset Will Kill You


The human mind is crazy, and the things it’s capable of really blow me away. Having the right mindset when looking at the intimidatingly mountainous task of making something of yourself is everything; failing to do so can keep you stuck standing still. I myself used to be quite the negative guy, justifying my pessimism by attributing it to only being ‘realistic’.

“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”

I came across this quote the other day from the legendary Will Smith, long since my favorite celebrity since he showed the world how fresh being a prince in a rich suburb really was. First, I took these words in for what they are and internalized them. Second, I posted about it to contribute to Will Smith Wednesday (it’s a real thing, and I shouldn’t even be surprised that the internet beat me to the punch on this one).

If you follow this stud through out his career, you can see just how relentlessly hard he works in order to get to where he is- and I’ve also always admired how he never hides from his emotions or feelings, regardless of what it might make people think. As being honest and vulnerable with yourself has been a pretty big theme lately, you can see why this is a big deal.
But it made me think about placebo and how well-documented it is about how much tricking the mind can really do. From things such as people feeling stronger and more balanced when they put a rubber band on their wrist, to people literally being exposed to stuff they’re allergic to and feeling nothing because they took a pill to supposedly ‘counteract’ their allergy (when it was nothing but a capsule of sugar).

Seriously, even studies were done on placebo trials with dogs suffering from epilepsy, and found that both control groups of dogs reacted positively to the medication- and again, one group of pills was nothing. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one, but great news for the pups.

So what does that mean for us? When I heard about stuff like this I felt a burning desire to harness this in some way to really maximize what I’m capable of, plus those around me.
If someone came from the future, gave you some irrefutable evidence that they were in fact straight out of the future and McFlyin’ back only to let you know how wildly successful you were about to become in a few years- would you believe them?

This drives me wild. If there was undeniable evidence of something so definite and concrete about how we are going to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted to achieve, you have no other choice but to believe it. Making this change in your mind opens pathways in your head, and your brain sets out to work on routing the journey between where you are, and where you are told you are going.

If this sounds crazy to you- good.

But believe it or not, the visionaries and monumental innovators in this world all started as bright-eyed students of life, planning their moves that would soon change the world. Don’t think for a second that these people did not possess a grande, elaborate visual of what was to come. Thinking and visualizing all of the intricacies and tiny details about what you want out of yourself and your life is the biggest step you can take to start hiking towards that mental picture. From being the CEO of some outlandish company to fully taking control of your own happiness, whatever you want most is yours.

Allowing yourself to see the finished product before you’re done is like building a puzzle and having some of the pieces around the border put together, making it easier because you’re able to visualize the puzzle completed and whole.

Why would your dreams be any different?

Thinking of success is the first step, but it is still nothing without knowing. Converting this belief into a rock-solid knowledge is necessary and removes the doubts in your mind that might end up slowing you down. You need to let your mind know how possible what you’re doing is before you’re able to see solutions and actions to get you closer to your goal. If you think something simply cannot be done, you immediately shut down a huge chunk of your mind’s power generators that can be utilized to produce solutions to obstacles in your way. Your mind will not be creative in seeking out an answer for something you’ve already taped off as impossible. Why would it?
“I can create whatever I want to create.”

Another piece of gold from Will and I encourage you to check out the engine underneath the hood of the people that inspire you most. Understanding what makes these people tick can shed some light on how you can help yourself improve.

And for placebo- be that friend around everyone that’s always feeding people heaps of positivity. If you’re able to tell people what they’re good at, the simple reality is that they will truly become better at it. I would say to keep things realistic, but studies have even shown how placebos still work even when the group knows they are taking a placebo. This means that even when people know that the medication or aid is completely fake, it still makes them do better than the people without it. If that doesn’t tell you to always believe in yourself, I don’t know what will.

Now I’ll ask again: if someone all-knowing could tell you how wildly successful and happy you will be in the future, would you believe them?

Why can’t it be you?Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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