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Our capacity to succeed at what we do is largely dependent upon our mindset. Whether we are fully aware of it or not, the beliefs and thoughts we hold, shape the actions we take and the results we achieve. Increasing our awareness of our thoughts and shaping them in mindful ways is therefore a key component in adopting a success mindset.
Mindfulness practice and meditation have long been understood in ancient traditions to be fundamental tools for addressing the way we think and the actions we take. In more recent times, modern day science has backed up much of what these traditions have long known.
Research has found that mindfulness and meditation can benefit us in numerous ways, such as by increasing our attention, regulating difficult emotions, decreasing stress and anxiety, and improving sleep quality. When it comes to developing a success mindset, mindfulness and meditation practices are highly effective.
Here are some of the habits you might explore to focus, expand, and make peace with your mind:
1. Mindful breathing to refocus the mind
The breath is a focal point of many mindfulness and meditation practices – and for good reason. As the breath is always with us, it acts as a reliable anchor for grounding our attention when the mind wanders. Part of what inhibits our ability to succeed is a tendency for the mind to be scattered and unfocused.
Through mindful breath awareness, we release the clutter of the mind and come back to a clear slate. Within this clarity, we find a heightened capacity to focus on the task or goal at hand.
Mindful breathing can be developed as a daily habit by consciously taking two-minute time-outs at scheduled moments in the day – or whenever it becomes difficult to focus. To practice, set a timer for two minutes, close your eyes, and ground your attention in the flow of the breath. If the mind wanders, acknowledge its movement away from the breath and then return your attention to this natural force of life.
When the timer rings, return your attention to a single task that requires your attention. As you complete the task, be observant of when the mind wanders and feel free to take a few deep, mindful breaths to refocus.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” – Thich Nhat Hahn
2. Witnessing and releasing self-limiting beliefs
Mindfulness practice also helps to increase our awareness of the subconscious thoughts and beliefs we hold. For many of us, some of our most ingrained beliefs are self-limiting ideas rooted in criticism. These thoughts inhibit us from feeling confident and worthy of achieving our dreams, and so by drawing our attention to them from a place of non-attachment, we begin to see through the illusion of them.
We can practice witnessing and releasing self-limiting beliefs by mindfully reflecting upon questions such as:
What is the story I am telling myself about who I am?
Is this story representative of the absolute truth?
What positive beliefs might I welcome into my mind?
Witnessing the self-limiting thoughts we hold requires patience and compassion because unravelling them can take time and stir up resistance or difficult emotions. By tending to our inner narratives with care and compassion, we stop fighting them – but we also find space to let them go.
As you practice this, remember that it is crucial to approach these self-limiting beliefs from a place of non-attachment. Become an outside observer of them, taking the viewpoint of a loving friend, pet, spiritual teacher, or wise elder. How does this being see you?
3. Practicing affirmation meditation
Once we have witnessed the self-limiting beliefs we hold, we can instill positive beliefs in their place to help boost our embodiment of the success mindset. Affirmation meditation is one way of doing this. It invites us to focus our attention on words of positivity that counteract whatever negative thoughts we have habitually held onto.
To practice affirmation meditation, take your time to consider what it is your highest self wants you to know or embody. Formulate this wish into a clear, powerful sentence of affirmation and then set a timer for five minutes. Close your eyes and silently repeat the affirmation to yourself until the timer rings.
Examples of affirmations that can help to cultivate a mindset of success include:
I see challenges as opportunities in disguise.
I have all that I need to succeed.
I am courageous and confident.
I am the creator of my reality.
4. Cultivating a sense of gratitude
Another way that mindfulness and meditation can help to boost the success mindset is through gratitude practice. When we are appreciative of what we have, we reaffirm a mindset of positivity. This positive outlook on life helps us to believe in our ability to succeed and enables us to see even challenges as opportunity.
To enhance our future success, we can practice gratitude daily. Whether in a journal or during meditation, gratitude invites us to make note of all that we have to be thankful for. We might consider all the resources we have to succeed – resources both internal and external. Mindful awareness of our blessings invites more of the same to enter our lives.
“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. Body scanning for stress release
In addition to practices centered around our thoughts and beliefs, mindfulness meditation helps us tap into the physical body in a caring way. When we are stressed, we often hold unconscious tension in the body, such as in tight shoulders, a stiff jaw, or a contracted belly. Through a body scan practice, we become more aware of this tension and can start to gently soften it. As we do this, our stress response lessens and we find an increased capacity to carry on peacefully and courageously in the direction of our dreams.
To practice, we can take three-minute time-outs throughout our busy days to mindfully tune into the body. By closing our eyes and scanning the body from head to toe, we enhance our awareness of where we hold unnecessary tension. Once we know it is there, it becomes easier to let go of it. In the process, the stress we hold in the mind begins to dissipate, too.
As we establish new habits of turning mindfully towards both mind and body, we become more aware of all the unconscious barriers we hold against success. Meditation and mindfulness practices empower us to gently and compassionately break through these barriers. And, as we set our sights on success, these practices continue to uplift us and propel us forward in inspired ways.
How do you practice mindfulness on a daily basis? Share your ideas and stories with us below!
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