Motivation and Mindset: Shifting from Limitations to Possibilities


  Motivation and Mindset: Shifting from Limitations to Possibilities

Many people have a difficult time maintaining motivation and practicing self-care because they are afraid to fail. They worry that any effort they make will be wasted and their work will not pan out, so it's not worth the trouble. However, failure is a necessary step in the progress of trying new things, so these individuals should view this as an opportunity for growth instead of dwelling on the consequences of being unsuccessful. And if they really want to take their goals seriously and are ready to take some risks with their actions, then there are ways that can help them like mental coaching sessions or other treatment options such as hypnotherapy.

There are many techniques that people can use to get the most out of their motivation and strengthen their self-care. One way is to identify what they really want and then decide how they will benefit from achieving these goals. Deciding what steps will help them reach their goals can help boost their motivation, since now they have a clearer idea of what they want to be working towards. The more time individuals invest in practicing self-care, the more likely that it will become a habit for them. But if individuals feel like every change or improvement they make does not bring about noticeable results, then this could cause them to lose interest in practicing self-care altogether.


Motivation and Mindset: Shifting from Limitations to Possibilities
By Lisa J Fetterman, MSW, LCSW and Shannon Clark, Ph.D. (adapted)
In the U.S., nearly 40 million adults are affected by depression. A diagnosis can be devastating, both for the individual and their family.[i] Depression typically comes on gradually over time and is often treated with medication; however, it is important to recognize that for many people with this condition psychological factors are a contributing factor to their symptoms. Life experience, stressful events, and our thoughts can all play a role in the onset of depression.

For many people, negative thinking patterns are an important part of their experience with depression. In fact, research suggests that unrealistic pessimistic expectations are associated with increased risk for developing depression.[ii] Unrealistic negative expectations may also play a role in a person's recovery from depression.[iii] If we allow ourselves to be caught up in the stories we tell ourselves about our experiences then it is easy to fall into a cycle that fuels our negative thinking.


It is important to understand how certain beliefs and assumptions about what is possible can affect your mindset. The mindset you have determines how you will act and react in any given situation. It can impact your behavior, relationships, your performance at work, and your physical health. Your mindset will affect the quality of your life and ultimately how long you will live.[iv] In this article we will look at hopeful and hopeless thinking patterns. We will also examine how cognitive behavioral therapy can help you change these patterns of thinking.

What are Hopeful Thinking Patterns?

According to Martin Seligman,[v] optimistic people tend to have a positive outlook on their lives. They think about the good things in their life more often than the bad things. Optimistic people believe that they are in control of what happens in their lives and they tend to have a sense of control over events instead of seeing themselves as victims.

The optimistic way of thinking tends to make people happy and successful in life. However, there are situations where we find ourselves in difficult situations with little or no control over the outcome. At these times we can feel very helpless and hopeless about our situation. Hopeless thinking patterns are those mental processes that occur when a person feels helpless about their circumstances.[vi]


If you think you're not going to be able to do something, it's pretty hard to do it. Doing anything is hard, when you don't think you're capable of doing anything in particular! Just because we don't know what will happen doesn't mean nothing will happen. Not knowing what will happen is a huge opportunity.

You have to think to yourself, "alright, I'm not sure what's going to happen, but I'm going to try this." You can't know where you're going unless you do something. Even if you know the outcome is going to be bad, and it probably will be bad, at least you tried. That's doing something positive; it's taking action; it's creating motion in your life; it's making a change. There are very few people that are completely motionless in their lives. It's impossible.


The more you do things the more you get used to doing them. If you're just sitting there and not doing anything, it's really hard for you to get motivated. You start feeling like nothing is worth it, because that feeling of being hopeless is always in the back of your mind. Everybody has those days where they don't want to do anything but lay still on the couch all day. That's a bad thing! What is it that they're doing? They're just not getting anything done!

Get up and get something started. Go out and get some exercise. Do something for yourself. You can't rely on your partner to do everything for you or take care of you; that just won't work. You have to go out and take care of yourself; you have to work out. Go to the gym, go to a restaurant, go somewhere. Someone's going to be there with all those hot people working out; then go into those places and see if they'll help motivate you a little bit!


The more likely we are to achieve our goals, the more likely we are to keep our momentum going. We need to keep the fire in our bellies ready to burn our boats. If you have everything you want and no challenges, then what are you going to do? You might as well be dead.

My World is Falling Apart - Why?
The way we think about things shapes what happens in our lives. Not only does it shape what happens; it also shapes how we feel about what happens in our lives. The way we reflect on events and circumstances creates a lasting impression of whether they were good or bad, positive or negative. We can either choose to look for silver linings or focus on the negative aspects of any situation.

Conclusion - What Becomes of Hopeless People?
The more we focus on the negative, the more likely we are to see the bad and focus on it. If you have a pessimistic view of life, and you make that a habit, then your mind will be focused on how bad things really are. We all need positive reinforcement from time to time; just don't make it a habit to dwell on the negative!

If you think things are going to be a certain way but they aren't, then that's not really good. Try not to worry so much about things that might not happen; just work hard at what is happening now.

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