Poets, philosophers, politicians, and priests have all been trying to tell you the same thing. So have authors, songwriters, therapists, life coaches, and the people who make those inspirational quotes on distressed wood that you see in stores and the ones you see with pretty backgrounds online. If you “set your mind” to it…you can do anything.
But what does setting your mind actually mean? And how the heck do you do it? My thoughtful team at UpWellness has some answers for you…
“You can do anything you set your mind to.” You’ve likely heard the common phrase and dismissed it as yet another unrealistic motivational tool quoted at high school graduates and children struggling to ditch the training wheels. The truth is, there is some merit behind the idea of “setting your mind” and resources available to help you do just that. Read on as we delve into what this quote means and how it can work wonders in your life.
How to set your mind and succeed
Persevere even in failure
The first step in conquering what you set your mind to is placing yourself on the right path. Are you chasing an achievable goal? Are you giving yourself all the tools you need for success? And how badly do you want to cross the finish line? Answer these questions and then determine that you are not going to quit, no matter what. If it is a worthy goal or cause and one that you are passionate about, failure should not knock you down, but rather should inspire you to greatness. Yes, you may fall. Yes, you may experience setbacks. But as long as you are still moving forward, you are making progress, no matter how slowly you go.
No, it’s not pseudo-science mumbo jumbo. Exercising mind over matter and visualizing your success can make it easier to accomplish your goals and become who you have determined to be. Studies looking at the brain patterns in weightlifters found that the patterns activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when they only imagined lifting.
The same concept can be applied to your daily challenges and struggles. If you are always bogged down by doubt, stress, fear, and disappointment, your body will respond negatively with an increased heart rate, brain fog, and burned out adrenal glands. On the contrary, if you picture your success and happiness, you can achieve the mental clarity needed to follow through. In a nutshell, visualizing your success gives you what you need to succeed.
Recognize the reward
Humans are reward-driven creatures. Numerous studies have examined the pleasure centers of the brain, studying dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphin, chemicals responsible for happiness. The truth is, the real reward that comes from accomplishing your goals isn’t money from a better job, or toned muscles from regular exercise, it is that feeling of achievement. The euphoria that accompanies seeing your dreams lived out in reality.
Write down your goals
While setting your mind to something might be a great start, it won’t necessarily get you out of the gate. Write down your goals and place them somewhere that you’ll see them every day. A post-it note on your mirror, a dry erase board in your office. Whatever you need to remind yourself of what you have determined to accomplish. Better yet, tell people about your goals. Get a group of friends together and encourage each of them to share something that they have set their minds to. Hold each other accountable and schedule frequent catch-ups to inspire and support. You’ll be surprised at how much more likely you are to pursue something when you know other people are watching and cheering you on.
Get rid of that discouraging voice
Each person has a little voice in their head, telling them that they’ll never be good enough, smart enough, talented enough, or attractive enough to see their dreams made a reality. One of the most critical steps towards setting your mind to something is shutting that voice down once and for all. Don’t let self-doubt and negativity keep you from changing your life, but overcome these challenges and rise in spite of your self-limiting beliefs.
So does it work?
Does setting your mind to your goals actually work? That is a question you will have to answer for yourself. It all depends on your will power, your ability to face setbacks, and your stubbornness to improve. Decide to eat a little healthier, to exercise a little more, be a little kinder, love a little deeper, and your life will change before your eyes. That is a guarantee. You may not see a change right away, but the long-term results far outweigh the immediate satisfaction of indulging your impulses. Take steps to follow your dreams and become a better person…your future self will thank you.
-The UpWellness Team