There have been many times during arguments when the only response I got from my dad was to change my “mindset”.
What does that mean? It is not as though if I change my mindset, my life is going to instantly get better.
Boy, was I wrong!
Our journey of life has been paved in such a way, where we will all experience bumps and tragedies along the way. However, It is truly up to us on how we want to interpret these experiences.
We could either let it consume us and give up every time life takes a route where we feel as though there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, or we could go through these experiences with persistence and come out stronger than what we were before.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We can’t change the way we think overnight but being aware is the first step.
This is what I term as “mindset”. The ability to realize how the negative thoughts within us are capable of change.
When we are going through one of life’s obstacles thrown at us, we have two routes.
These routes may interject in many ways.
One path is giving up, the other is not. It sounds simple, and quite frankly when putting into words it is.
The struggle, however, is to maintain the right mindset while we are mounting our way through.
One of my life awakening experiences which brought me to truly understand the importance of my mindset was when I had to move countries.
The transition was terrible. It was as though all of my nightmares had come to life at once. I had no friends, no supportive teachers, and an extremely different curriculum that I could not adjust to.
I went from being a scholarship student to a student who was barely classified as average. It was as though I was stuck in a point where no matter which direction, all I could see were barriers.
As much as I would love to tell you that I handled it perfectly and got through it all, the real truth is far from that. I gave up multiple times.
I stopped studying and I stopped trying.
My coping mechanism was to pretend as though none of my struggles existed and to just carry on with life procrastinating every moment of it.
My route problem here was my mindset. I wasn’t ready to face the challenges, nor did I care to. Instead, I was adamant about blaming all my problems on my parents and their decision to move from one half of the world to the other.
It was a couple of months later, after repeating the same cycle every day of coming home from school and just doing absolutely nothing, I realized if I kept going the way I was, I wasn’t going to end up anywhere in life.
While I did have my own goals in life, they were put on a temporary pause due to my awfully talented coping skills.
My initial step back on route was to start by being determined. It was just baby steps. My first goal was to not to fail any of my tests and exams. Just aiming to get that pass mark. It sounds vague, but when taking the first step towards the right direction I didn’t want to give myself some hard-earned goals in fear of falling back.
I wanted to pave a slow but steady path towards my destination. It was like a snowball effect, I was just gathering snow and curving it into a ball, getting myself ready for what’s there to come.
As time passed, I increased my goals by a little, so my ball was getting bigger and bigger. What’s important to keep in mind is that this was me comparing myself with what I was before.
I tried my utmost best to not compare myself to my classmates because I was still not at their level.
As fairy-tale-like “I’m finally in the path to success” sounds, from anyone else’s point of view, I was below average.
Though I was putting in a lot of effort from my side, I wasn’t labeled as a hardworking student.
I remember the moment when I finally thought I was making progress, only to then be told that I wasn’t trying hard enough, and if I were to put in minimal effort things would be different. I couldn’t reply due to the embarrassment I felt that my progress was going unnoticed.
That is when it came to my realization that sometimes it is important to work towards those little goals only for yourself.
Recognition or appreciation from others won’t always be there, in fact, sometimes it could be quite the opposite.
Here is when having a true mindset helped.
I could have easily gone back to my ways because it seemed pointless, but my goal wasn’t to impress the teachers or to compete with the students in my class. I had my own.
Your mindset that you set yourself should not be easily crushed by others; it is your foundation to what is to come.
No matter life’s obstacles it is nothing you are not capable of. Don’t be vulnerable to other opinions, have your plan laid out.
Change your mindset, take it one step at a time. Believe you can and you will.