Mind Your Mindset

“I can’t do my homework.”  That is the cry I used to hear from my son at least 2 or 3 times during the week when I came home from work.  My son is now in his 40s but I remember it as if it was yesterday.

Because my son had struggled in school his general assumption was if he didn’t know the answer immediately, he couldn’t do it.

With such a negative mindset, no wonder he was upset.  If you think you “can’t” it is likely you won’t be able to.  Your mindset gets in the way.

This kind of thinking can keep you from being happy at work and it can keep you from seeing what is meaningful in the work that you do. You get stuck in the negative.  So it is best to change from a negative mindset to a positive one. 

Are you aware of a negative mindset?

Some people are not even aware that they have a negative mindset.  Certainly my son was not.  Pointing that out to him when he was frustrated by not being able to do his homework,  just made him angry!  In his quieter less upset moments, he did realize that his thoughts were getting in his way.

What about you?  If you are constantly giving yourself negative messages, it has an effect on you.  Those messages could be messages such as “I hate my job.” “I can’t do this.” “I can’t deal with my boss” “I am not good enough.”

The first step is to become aware of the negative messages and what they do to you.  Spend a moment periodically checking in with yourself.  Ask yourself these four questions:                                                                                             

  1.  What am I thinking about right now?
  2.  What is the energy I am putting out?
  3.  How does it feel to me?
  4.  What will the impact be on me and my work?

Change to a positive mindset

If you find you want to change your mindset after answering those questions, then the next question is how do you do that?  You must be open to change in order to do that.  My son was not when he was in the midst of trying to get his homework done.  Only when he was less upset did he understand that he needed to change.

Give yourself some quiet time and space to think about your mindset and how you could change it when necessary.  Some people find it helpful to meditate first.  Others go for a walk or listen to some relaxing music. 

When you are in a calm accepting state, develop a strategy for yourself to help you to change your mindset.  For some of my clients simply coming up with something positive and changing their thought works.  An example of that would be:

Negative mindset                   Positive mindset

“I hate my job.”                      “I like the camaraderie of my coworkers and

                                                     feel good about the special project I am on.” 

“I can’t do this”                     “Last time I had a difficult problem I actually

                                                    did find a solution pretty quickly.”

“I can’t deal with my boss.”     “Last week I gave my boss a report that he

                                                             complimented me on.”

“I am not good enough.”        “I have had several successes in this job.”

                                                          (Think of examples.)

By simply substituting a positive and focusing on that, it is possible to change your mindset from negative to positive.  Having a positive attitude goes a long way to helping you to be happy at work.

A Professional Hazard

There are some professions that focus on solving a client’s problems and helping them to avoid problems in the future.  Many in those professions get stuck in negative energy-their own and their clients’.  While those professionals are really good at what they do, they also internalize the negativity. That negativity keeps them stuck.  It is not good for attracting clients, co-workers, or managers. It will get in the way of practice development, a promotion, or a new job.  How do you balance the negative and the positive?  You need both!  If I have described your situation, I can help you.  Feel free to call (781-598-0388) or email me (asparker@asparker.com) for a consultation.


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