Hello Reader. Ever find yourself feeling fixed in the way you think, respond, or act in a situation so that afterwards you wonder why did I feel so determined?
It might be a currently operating mindset.
What’s a mindset? According to dictionary.com a mindset is a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations; an inclination or a habit.
We can develop mindsets over time, sometimes through intense experiences, or sometimes while being influenced by another person or another culture. Some of these mindsets might not be helpful in strengthening or maintaining health and healthy relationships. If a mindset gets in the way of healthy spiritual, emotional, intellectual, or physical growth it might not be helpful.
It’s good news then that we can also re-develop or retrain ourselves in mindsets that are helpful. You can think, respond and act in ways that actually encourage grace and hope.
Here are 3 mindsets I’ll toss out:
- The process mindset –
When we have a mental attitude, disposition or inclination to consistently consider “it’s a process” then that changes things. We allow ourselves and others to “be in process” and to not demand an expected behavior or response.
If I see a situation “in process” and it’s not yet good, then that means there is still time for the good to come. If a decision or action has been made that impacts me then I can choose to focus on what positive process is occurring. When I do this I allow my brain to think clearly of options that provide healthy decisions.
The process mindset can be taken out of context and put into the “Pollyanna” or “positive thinking” framework which is not the core of the process mindset. The core of the process mindset is found in the real experiences of grace and of hope. Grace and Hope expect there is a process of growth.
- The growth (progress not perfection) mindset –
That leads us to the growth mindset which allows us to say #progressnotperfection, as Marie Forleo has tagged it in her recent blog. I’m a recovered perfectionist and I like this #. There were so many times I would get hung up on waiting to share something with the world until it was perfect. Perfection is the enemy of progress. If you want to help yourself receive grace and build your hope, then you will also consider adopting the growth mindset, #progressnotperfection.
Growth mindset, like the process mindset, allows us to see things in the viewpoint of it’s all a journey and we are all constantly growing, at least we hope we are.
It might be easy to let yourself go the other end of the pendulum and say “oh we are all growing” or “oh I don’t have to deliver perfection/a.k.a. it’s ok to slack on excellence”. But that swing of the pendulum will not be helpful. The growth mindset means that we keep giving 100% and we keep aiming for excellent, just not perfection.
Perfect comes through real grace and real grace gives us space to grow.
- The abundance mindset –
This one isn’t just for the rich, wealthy, or those not living paycheck to paycheck. Repeat after me, “there’s more where that came from”. Or maybe you might like, “there is enough for me to share to others”. This is what the abundance mindset is about, recognizing all the positives and the provisions in your life. Then taking that awareness into action that is filled with grace, hope and grateful generosity.
John Maxwell shared 6 ways to foster an abundance mindset on his blog a few months ago. People that foster an abundance mindset recognize the reality of limited resources but they don’t let themselves stay there.
When we practice the opposite of abundance mindset we foster fear, nervousness, and self-preservation. Learn instead to spend time reflecting regularly with gratitude. Grateful people are generous people and generous people grow grace and hope all around them. You might not have money to share, but do you have time, or skills, or words of hope to share? There’s more where that came from and there is enough for you to share.
How these 3 mindsets encourage grace & hope
Allow grace to guide – We can easily let our needs be our guide for how to navigate situations or seasons. But grace is a much better guide. Grace is both undeserved favor and empowering strength. When we practice just one of these mindsets we both receive grace and we give grace. Grace is not just a pretty word that is like a bumper sticker about doing kind deeds. No grace is powerful! Real grace comes from God to each of us and real grace can empower us to bring life, healing and hope.
Believing the best is yet to come and is still possible proclaims hope – We can easily let our minds and our emotions dictate the end of the story. Sometimes we think if we can determine the end then we know what to expect or how to act. What if the end is better than you can think or imagine? What if there really is a hope and a purpose and a future that is good for you? When we practice just one of these mindsets we both internally believe the best is yet to come and we also proclaim hope to others. Maybe you heard the verses at a wedding before about what love is and that love always believes the best, hopes, protects and never fails? Believing the best is possible because we know we are loved better than any person has shown to us before and this is hope.
So there you are, dear reader, 3 helpful mindsets that encourage grace and hope.
I fully recognize we have all had deeply painful experiences that can contradict the mindsets.
And for me, I don’t want to let those experiences define my mental attitude, disposition or inclination. Because I’ve found grace and hope to be real and tangible, then I want to let myself think, believe and act in ways that promote grace and hope.
I know you do too.
- How do you help yourself be hopeful?
- When have you received the kind of grace mentioned?
- Who has proclaimed hope to you before?
- Having trouble with all this? Connect with me and let’s help you to find healing where it’s needed so that grace and hope can grow.
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
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