Opening your mind can be just as important as opening your heart. When you open your mind, your life shifts from a place of limited, narrow thinking into a big, expansive thinking that is filled with unlimited opportunities.

To shift to this place, all it takes is a few simple tweaks to your mindset.

The Growth Mindset

When you operate from a growth based mindset, life takes on a whole new meaning. Every opportunity or experience that is sent your way is viewed as a potential, rather than a burden.

Even though it can be difficult to see potential when you are in the midst of a storm, having a growth based mindset allows you to think bigger and shift your awareness to a higher state of mind.

The Fixed Mindset

Living life through a fixed mindset keeps you rooted in fear and in self-doubt. It also is very difficult to see the opportunities that life throws your way when you are in a fixed mindset.

If you are looking to shift your life towards your highest path, you have to open your mind and operate from a place of growth, rather than fixity.

Here are 5 ways to shift into a growth based mindset and keep yourself out of a limited or fixed mindset:

1. Life’s Challenges

When you are in a growth mindset, all challenges that present themselves are viewed as an opportunity for growth. Even though they may seem difficult or hard, challenges are what keeps us moving forward. Challenges also allow us to explore new depths of our potential and strength.

Those operating from a fixed mindset however, avoid or shy away from challenges. They don’t embrace them as a potential point of growth and instead get caught up in victim mode. They may also find themselves complaining about the problem instead of focusing on the solution.

2. Trusting You Are Supported

When you are in a growth based mindset, you feel and know that you are supported. You are not afraid of making a wrong turn or ending up on the “wrong path” because intuitively you know that everything is simply a learning experience.

When you are in a fixed mindset, it can be very difficult to trust yourself and the world around you. You may also find yourself believing that the world is against you or that you are competing against others.

In a growth based mindset however, you know that what is yours will always come your way, and that competition is a merely an illusion.

3. Pursuing Your Dreams

When you are in a growth based mindset, the world is your oyster and there is nothing stopping you from achieving all that you want for yourself. You may understand that there are twists and turns on the road ahead, but ultimately you trust and know that whatever is yours will find you.

When operating from a fixed mindset, it can be very difficult to dream big or think outside the box. It can also be challenging to make a leap of faith towards pursuing what you really want to do. You may feel blocked, reserved or restricted in some way, but this is often just your mindset.

Operating from a growth based mindset allows you the faith and confidence to go after what you truly desire.

4. Influence of Others

When you are in a fixed mindset, it is very easy to take on other people’s opinions, criticisms and energy as if it were your own. Being in a fixed mindset turns you into a somewhat of a victim and can really hold you back from doing what it is that you really want to do.

When you are in a growth based mindset, you are open to other people’s suggestions but you don’t allow them to stand in your way. You are also able to listen and seek value in criticism, without taking it personally.

While this can be hard to do, when you operate from a growth based mindset it shifts how you allow other people to affect you.

5. Success 

When you are in a growth based mindset, you rejoice in other people’s successes and view success by your own terms. Success takes on a new meaning for you and is bigger than just financial or material gains.

When you are in a fixed mindset, the success of others can make you jealous and success is based on what other people think of you, rather than your own definition.

The easiest way to shift from a fixed mindset into a growth based mindset is awareness. When you can become aware of your thinking and how it is holding you back, that is when you can make changes.

Watch: Increase Your Conscious Awareness

In many ways, achieving a growth based mindset is simply about reminding yourself every day that life is not happening to you, but for you.

“If you are gonna make a change, you are gonna have to operate from a new belief that says life happens not to me but for me.” -Tony Robbins

This article was originally appeared at Forever Conscious and used here with permission.

These are 10 life lessons from the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Indian text dense with wisdom.

1. Change is the Law of The Universe

“What you have taken, Has been from here
What you gave has been given here

What belongs to you today
belonged to someone yesterday
and will be someone else’s tomorrow

Change is the Law of The Universe”

Nothing is constant. No-thing is permanent. True stillness comes from embracing movement – the ebb and flow of life. The earth is moving through space. Night follows day. Each moment is completely new. To be wise is to accept change. To be enlightened is to love change.

2. Everything Happens for a Reason

“Whatever happened was good
Whatever is happening is good
Whatever will happen will also be good”

This mindset empowers you. This mindset attracts more of the good. What has happened has happened. There is nothing more to be done. The future is a picture, an illusion. It will never come. It is always now. You control the present. Live it to the fullest.

Watch: Live in the Here and Now

3. Love the Process Without Depending on the Outcome

“Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward.”

Never engage in action for the sake of reward. Do your work with love. Expect nothing. You are rewarded in the present. Do from a place of joy. Create from a place of no-mind. Give from a place of love.

4. Give Without Expecting Something in Return

“A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return”

Be pure when giving. Love grows when shared. Give and you shall receive.

5. Let Go of Attachment

“You came here empty handed, and you will leave empty handed.”

Attachment to material things can weigh you down. We do not possess things, yet things can possess us. Sensory pleasures are short-lived. When they disappear they can cause suffering. The wise do not attach their happiness to such pleasures. They go beyond them. Take no possessions. Always travel light.

6. The Soul Is Eternal

“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”

Birth and death are of this realm. Birth and death are of the duality. Energy can never be created or destroyed; it transforms from one form to another. Energy is in essence non-dual. Consciousness is not of the human body.

7. We Are All One

“The man who sees me in everything
and everything within me
will not be lost to me, nor
will I ever be lost to him.
He who is rooted in oneness
realizes that I am
in every being; wherever
he goes, he remains in me.
When he sees all being as equal
in suffering or in joy
because they are like himself,
that man has grown perfect in yoga.”

Treat every being the same. Treat others as you want others to treat you. See the inherent goodness in all beings. See through labels and stories. We are all God. We are all One.

8. You Are What You Think You Are

“We behold what we are, and we are what we behold.”

“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.”

Mind over matter. Think happy thoughts and you are happier. Know you can, and you can. Look for things to be grateful for. Look for the good. You will find it.

9. Meditate

“When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.”

Meditation makes you happier. It is a timeless truth.

10. Dream Big

“We’re kept from our goal not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”

See it, feel it, become it. Have no fear when dreaming. Dream as big as you can. Let how you feel be your guide. Move your dream into the present moment to manifest it.

This post was originally published at Global Harmony Crew.

About the author

Vegard Paulsen is one of the two founders of Global Harmony Crew. Global Harmony Crew points you towards deep realization, and guides you towards powerful manifestation. For more timeless truths and life-enhancing material, join the crew by subscribing. You will get their video course on Inner Peace for free. Follow Global Harmony Crew on Facebook.

Often we hear the term self-esteem. But, what does it mean?

Self-esteem is the acceptance of oneself in its wholeness, both of our strengths and positive characteristics and our negative traits and weaknesses. It is essentially the degree to which we value, respect and accept ourselves.

How Low Self-Esteem Develops?

Low self-esteem is a very common phenomenon and one of the main reasons one needs psychotherapy in order to strengthen it. It is largely determined by the experiences one had with familiar persons (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.) from the beginning of his life.

When a baby begins to perceive that is no longer one with his mother, but a different entity, then begins to shape its self-image. This happens at about the first 12-18 months of his life and completed at the end of puberty.

If someone grows up in an environment where relationships with familiar persons are positive and empowering, the more likely it is to develop a positive self-image. Conversely, if indifference, lack of attention, affection, care, recognition and reward, comparisons, excessive expectations, disrespect, coldness, criticism, neglect, and condemnation dominate, the more likely it is that he will have a low self-esteem.

The lower self-esteem a child has, the easier it becomes an adolescent and then an adult with a negative image of himself. This happens because once this image has taken shape, the person tends to express it through his behavior into adulthood, thus accompanying in all aspects of his life, making his interpersonal relationships difficult.

Low self-esteem leads to a feeling of dissatisfaction with ourselves, a sense that we’re not entitled and not deserve to have a lot in life and in our relationships, feelings of disadvantage and inferiority, intense internal conflicts, sadness, unfulfilled needs and desires.

The self-image can be changed and it’s possible one to learn to love and respect himself and begin to see himself from another, more positive perspective.

Let’s see below in what ways one can improve his self-esteem:

1. Stop Comparisons

Do not enter the process of comparing yourself with others. Do not forget that every person is unique. The ideal is to compare yourself only with you and your accomplishments.

2. Be Realistic

Make sure you put realistic goals. Putting too high standards and unrealistic goals is the perfect way to experience frustration and disappointment. Divide each target to smaller ones. Once you conquer one, move on to the next.

3. Let Go of Perfectionism

Stop looking for and chasing perfection. Perfectionism can paralyze you from taking action because you become so afraid of not living up to some standard. And so, you procrastinate, you don’t get the results you expect, and your self-esteem lowers. Remember, the perfect does not exist and it is the enemy of confidence.

Watch: Stop Procrastination

4. Think About What You Are Proud Of

Devote every day 5-10 minutes to think about what you did in the day, and for which you feel proud of yourself. It may be something that seems very simple, however, it is significant (eg. you helped an elderly to cross the road, you collaborated very well with your colleagues etc.).

5. Learn from Your Mistakes

Do not feel bad if you do something wrong or fail on something. Mistakes are always instructive and valuable, and learning opportunities for growth and development. Learn from them and don’t give up!

6. Do the Things You Enjoy and You Are Good on Them

Sure you have talent on specific hobbies. Identify the things you enjoy doing and usually score well on them. This will give you an inner appreciation.

7. Avoid Negative People

Try to avoid people that through continuous sterile and negative criticism, devaluation and caustic comments cultivate doubts about yourself. Spend more time with supportive people that will make you feel comfortable, positive, and help you grow.

8. Do Something Positive for You

Reward and do often something positive for yourself. This may be a trip, a gift for yourself, doing an activity of your choice, such as going to a dance school or a gym.

After reading all these, you might think your own ways to improve your self-esteem. After all, you are the one who chooses which path you will follow in the course of your life. Psychotherapy also helps a lot to improve your self-esteem.

Also, through the journey of self-awareness, you have the opportunity to understand the obstacles that alienated you from yourself, the whys of your low self-esteem. Mostly, it depends on you!

H/T: marpscyhology.gr

Three important decisions you take each moment, control your future.

They define what you perceive, feel, do, and, eventually, what you contribute and what kind of person you will become. If you don’t control these three decisions, you won’t be able to control your life. Once you control them, you will begin to sculpt the experience of your existence.

The three important decisions that control your future are:

  1. What you will focus on
  2. How you will interpret the circumstances
  3. What you will do to achieve the desired result

Thus, what you will become is not determined by what’s happening to you right now or has happened in your past. Instead, your future is determined by the following factors: where you choose to focus, how you interpret things and what you do.

If someone is more successful than you in any area, this means that he takes different decisions than you in the same circumstances or in the same situation.

Obviously, Ed Roberts has chosen to focus on something completely different from those who were in the same position with him. He focused on finding a way to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The disabilities were a “challenge” for him and he chose to do whatever will help those who were in the same situation. He devoted himself entirely to the formation of an environment that would improve the quality of life of all people with disabilities.

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

– Henry David Thoreau

Most people do not consciously take most of their decisions, especially these three critical and important decisions -and pay dearly. In fact, they are experiencing the “syndrome of Niagara.” Life is like a river, and most dive into it without really decide where they want to reach. So, after a while, they drifted by the stream of events and challenges. When they are encountering places where the river branches, they don’t consciously decide where they want to go or what is the right direction for them. They just ‘follow the flow’.

Thus, they become part of the mass of people driven from their environment rather than their values. As a result, they have the illusion that they have control of their lives. They remain in this unconscious state until one day the furious sound of water awakens and they discover that they are in a boat without oars, two meters from the edge of Niagara Falls.

At that moment, they shout: “Oh no!” But it’s too late -and falling. Sometimes the fall is emotional, while other times is physical or financial. Maybe you could avoid any challenges you are facing right now in your life if you had taken better decisions when you were still in the calm area of the river.

References:

  1. enallaktikidrasi.com
  2. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!, Tony Robbins

Neither experts nor ordinary people come to a complete agreement on the definition of an existential crisis and the concepts hidden under it.

Speaking existentially, the crisis is a part of a human being. Those who are unfamiliar with the crisis are also unfamiliar with the passion for life.

But does it mean an existential crisis is something everyone must face to bring the life to a higher level?

Existential theorists recommend considering the crisis as new opportunities. Regardless how much the person is touched by the current state of affairs, there are always two sides of the coin – pain and opportunities. A positive achieved through a negative.

How We Overcome an Existential Crisis

Dealing with the crisis may be divided into 3 stages. Let’s consider each one separately.

#1 Befriend Feelings and Emotions

The crisis often causes severe and varied feelings not only when it occurs but a long time after. Grief, anger, guilt, shame, despair, anxiety and other feelings that come to the surface adjust your mind and affect your behavior. Thus, the most important thing is to realize and accept these feelings as a part of the self.

Although you may express the accumulated feelings (no matter how – there are no rules for such things), they will always be a part of you. Accept the fact that feelings and emotions are a part of your personality.

emotions

According to “Existential Counselling in Practice” by E. van Deurzen-Smith (1988),  the most common feelings are pride, envy, anger, fear, grief, guilt, desire, hope, love, and joy. Each of these feelings has both destructive and constructive side.

Feelings are an integral part of us – they do not live an independent life and are completely subordinated to our conscious and subconscious. Try to understand the effect of the currently experienced feelings on your future life, and adjust yourself to avoid feelings that bring negative consequences.

According to “Existential Foundations of Medicine and Psychology” by Boss, M. (1994), there are the following important basic human feelings:

  1. Passion: love/hate. All of us are focused on these two great passions.
  2. Restrained joyful serenity – a harmonious happy feeling of openness and enlightenment, when a person strikes up a relationship with people he meets and at the same time recognizes the existence of the subject as an individual.
  3. Anxiety – a basic feeling that the existence is endangered.
  4. Sadness – a feeling that occurs when a relationship with a loved one (or an important object/subject) is destroyed.

According to Boss, a person who recognizes these basic feelings gets the opportunity to exist openly, i.e. to be completely psychologically open to everything around.

However, the openness may be distorted, narrowed or blocked. If this happens, the mood takes a distorted form. For example, a person may experience a blind rage, instead of hating openly. Or panic when stumbling upon a mouse, instead of openly admitting the fear of death.

If to apply Bosse’s and E. van Deurzen-Smith’s theories to things happen during the crisis, we may come the conclusion that every of us needs: a) to experience many different feelings, b) to find a common language with the feelings and learn from them about the present and the future life.

Open yourself to feelings, question the basic feelings, and you’ll be able to meet freely the relationships and situations arise.

#2 Redefine Your Basic Concepts

When someone becomes the object of cruel or horrifying traumatic episode, his openness to the world cannot be saved. Some of the things going on are so desperate that our consciousness just can’t accommodate them. It usually occurs during the rape, robbery, traffic accidents, natural disasters, torture, and in other severe circumstances where good and disgust merge into one, as in the cases of incest or abuse at home.

Threats, blows, physical pain, thoughts carried in the mind, feelings and observations – much of these can’t be realized and pushed out into a subconsciousness. However, step by step, the individual must recall the details (What had happened? What were the circumstances? And so on). General experience shows that it is very important to recall the situation in details.

When a traumatic event occurs, an individual is usually faced with aspects of his personality, which are in conflict with its fundamental beliefs. It’s also called cognitive dissonance.

Thus, an important part of the recovery process is re-checking your beliefs and presuppositions. Do you really believe the only thing matters is the respect/brave/money/intelligence/etc? Answer yourself fairly and update your mindset.

Wrong deep-rooted beliefs may block not only the memories that have been rejected during a specific event but also the possibility of being able to accept important aspects of the world openly. Therefore, by coping with an existential crisis, you may come up with new basic beliefs and open a new era of self-development.

#3 Take Senselessness as a Given

A sense you see in things is deeply personal and must remind you the fact that our life is senselessness. The universe does not set goals. The existence is meaningless by definition.

Thus, the best approach is to perceive “senseless” things as something necessary, although it has brought misfortune. It may open new previously hibernated facets of your personality, which otherwise would have never developed (for instance, creative and artistic talents).

Accompanying Criticism as an Inevitable Instrument to Redefine Your Personality

Crises hurt us. But do we have to avoid them because of it? Should we strive for a life free from crises? There’s no simple answer. To some extent, it depends on how an individual deals with crises.

The existential crisis should not be held passively. It should lead to criticism that must change your attitude towards reality. It involves the adoption of an independent perspective on the course of events and validation of claims of people.

The criticism is when truth separated from falsehood and genius from stupidity. Criticism may help you to elevate yourself above the mass and becomes a free, responsible individual.

However, you can’t become more critical towards your basic beliefs only by the means of your own efforts. You do need help in the form of a fair shake from the outside. Criticism does not appear as a result of the smooth development.

Growth and fixed mindset differences

An existential crisis greatly contributes to the world progress. A critical look at what is happening in the world is paramount for the world society. The critical understanding can be achieved only by surviving an existential crisis.

With the development of the biochemistry, our brain can be freed from crises. But whether a trouble-free life will be deep and saturated enough? Will people feel that they are alive? And how will the individual be differentiated from the mass?

The existential crisis is painful, but it brings us a chance to experience the world, find ourselves, clarify our mindsets, and take responsibility for our lives.

About the author

Lucy Adams is a generalist who loves blogging. She’s an open-hearted woman waiting for your best ideas. Just send Lucy your thoughts (Buzz Essay) and get a response very soon. Don’t miss the unique chance to get a high-quality paper for free!