Sept 2022

I came across this episode of The Hidden Brain podcast, where they talked about how the mindset we use to approach life affects our perception of reality. That is something I've heard before but was more in the realm of prep-talk or motivational speech than an actual tool, "think big", "cheer up", "if you put your mind into something..." etc., etc. I couldn't stop thinking that it was closer to denial than actually solving problems. Saying: "I just have to try harder, and this problem will be gone." 

I've learned we approach problem-solving with more than just the details of the problem, but with a specific mindset that helps us think about solutions or not. When we see stress as debilitating, something to avoid at all costs, then in stressful times, we feel bad about it, in addition to the stressor itself. Some people see stress as an opportunity to shine, a moment to put their training into practice, or a learning experience. The problem remains the same, but our minds help us to see different solutions depending on the mindset. Furthermore, even if we don't have a problem to solve, our body reacts as well; that's why the placebo effect even exists because sometimes thinking of getting better gets you better. Even exercise that should be as objective as it could (you do the pushup or don't), is affected by the mindset. Of course, is important to avoid falling into a Toxic Positivity state where everything can be magically solved, there are things beyond our control and we shouldn't disregard them.

What is almost life-changing for me is to learn not all stress is bad, sometimes things stress us because we care about them and that stress could help us to get things in motion. Also, something that I already knew, is how we perceive ourselves defines how we act, and now these studies close a gap I had between "faith" or "wishful thinking" and "hard science", because now the science shows "faith" has an actual effect.

I've been trying to put this knowledge in practice every time I face a new challenge (as little as it might be), by thinking: Is this something I can learn from or something I'm prepared for? Or is this something I should avoid? Most of the time is the former, and most of the time that helps me to just do it. Just like this coach says here, is not that things get easier with time, is that you get better at handling hard. Then you're ready for the next level and the next level. This is exactly how we learn to do things as babies, I can't remember but I bet it was really hard to learn to walk, talk, read, or throw a ball.

Level up!

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