It's the beginning of the new academic year in medicine. So, I thought this was the perfect time to write a blog series about a fundamental strategy of coaching – optimizing the mindset. Over the next few weeks, I will walk you through one method I use with those I coach.
Mindset is a mental inclination, a way of thinking. It's essentially the lens through which you view things, a frame of mind. It's also one of the best places to focus effort as it can improve how you experience the world, make decisions, and take action to become the person you want to be. You can leverage your frame of mind to improve your journey even when circumstances are outside of your control.
Mindsets can be lumped into various categories: fixed vs. growth, scarcity vs. abundance, performative vs. mastery, and perfectionistic vs. iterative, as examples.
There are plenty of studies about the importance of your way of thinking and shifting your mindset.
In an interesting small study, Dr. Alia Crum and Dr. Ellen Langer, Harvard psychologists, studied female room attendants in hotels. Some were informed that their housekeeping duties meet and exceed the criteria for an active, healthy lifestyle. They were also given the number of calories burned by each task. The control group was not provided this information. Both were given information about healthy lifestyles and happiness. Four weeks later, the informed group perceived they were getting more exercise. They also significantly decreased weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and BMI.
There is a growing body of evidence of the power of the way we think. It's been shown that individuals who perceived that stress negatively affects their health and experienced much stress had an increased risk of premature death compared to those who did not perceive it as harmful.
Let's think about our thoughts, as odd as they may sound. Some writings suggest that we have anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 thoughts daily. Most of them fly under the radar. And the interesting thing is that we assume our thoughts are true by default. We rarely question their veracity.
To shift a mindset to one that will serve you better, you must be aware of what you are thinking, including what you say to yourself throughout the day.
Step 1 of optimizing your mindset then is to become more fully aware by utilizing the following process:
Take advantage of Step 1 this upcoming week. Just 3-5 minutes a day. I can't wait to hear what you learn about yourself. Tune in next week for Step 2 on learning to leverage your mindset.
Have a joy-filled week! Tonya
Download the first three key steps I recommend to increase your joy now in your life and career. Click here