In the world, there is joy and there is misery. There are troubles and there is peace. It all depends on how you see it. It all depends on your mindset.
Do you remember that time when someone told you that it is all in your mind?
Well, they were not lying! We choose what to focus on and what to believe. If we believe that this hardship we are going through is infinite then yes it is going to be infinite. However, if we face struggles with a positive attitude and with the belief that we are capable of changing the way we think, we will truly shift into a much better situation and feelings. Changing our thinking is a superpower that we yet have to explore and understand. By changing the way we think, we can make ourselves feel better and when feeling better, we can be more productive in tackling our hardships and working towards changing the situations we are struggling with. Well, I know it is not an easy task but it is doable!
Here I want to share with you some of the benefits and reasons why we should work harder on our mindset, and how working on shifting our mindset can change our views on the world and the circumstances around us. But first, let us see what is A mindset?
We have heard this word a lot and many people talk about it, but for real, what do they mean by mindset? Mindset is the set of beliefs and thoughts we have about our ability, behavior, and the world around us. It is the belief that determines the way we function in the world. Our mindset can determine whether we succeed or fail. There are two types of mindsets according to psychologists; the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. The two types are distinctly different and learning about them is so important to help us maneuver our way through hardships and life in general.
Let us imagine we have two families, Sara’s family and Jacob’s family.
Sara was raised in a loving home with caring, protective, and beautiful parents. Since her childhood, Sara was always the best in her school by achieving the best marks and doing all her class work. Moreover, Sara was praised in family gatherings and all the kids were told to be like her. Her parents taught her that to be a good student and person you need to work hard and do what everyone does, you need to fit in. Sara continued her success and her life. One day, however, she meets an old friend who tells her about an organization that is looking for a painter. The friend tells Sara to check the organization’s website and apply as she always loved painting. Sara loved the idea but said yes I love painting and art but I am not good at it and people do not care that much about Art. She continued giving excuses.
Sara is the example of a fixed mindset: the fixed mindset is the way of thinking that limits our ability and discourages us from trying new things. In fixed mindsets, people believe that their ability is fixed and unchangeable. A person is intelligent because they were born that way. A person is rich because they have a wealthy family and so on.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, is the way of thinking where people believe they can learn new skills and develop new abilities as in the end, the brain is a muscle and muscles can grow.
Jacob’s family is another lovely, supportive, and caring family. They always push him to try new activities and meet new people. When Jacob hesitates or fears failing his parents assure him that it is alright, he can always try another time as this is how we learn. Jacob grow up to become a successful businessman and raise his children with the same muscle philosophy his family raised him by.
Jacob’s family adopts the growth mindset. In the growth mindset, people believe that they can always gain new knowledge and abilities. They do not fear failure; rather they celebrate it because they know it is proof that they are trying.
Now we know about mindset and its types. Why do we care about it?
As explained above, mindset is the set of beliefs and ideas that shape our worldview. When we change our mindset, we can play a more vital role in changing our circumstances.
Allah -SWT- says in a Qudsi hadith (which is the hadith that indicates the words of Allah revealed to us by the words of the prophet -PBUH-): ( I am as My servant thinks I am (1)). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a cubit, and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. (1) Another possible rendering of the Arabic is: "I am as My servant expects Me to be".
Related by al-Buhkari (also by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah).
Allah -SWT- is teaching us to have a growth mindset. He almighty is telling us that by taking steps towards him, he takes even bigger steps. When we think good of him, good things happen to us. It is a mindset, it is the way we think that shapes our worldview.
Even in Islam, we are encouraged to think good of people and Allah -aza wjal-. Having a positive thinking attitude is a cornerstone in becoming successful. Spiritual life coach Zahra Aljabri talks about the importance of thinking good about ourselves and giving ourselves permission for mistakes. She emphasizes that people see us as we see ourselves. It is critical to have a good view of ourselves and our children. We need to teach them to accept themselves and develop new skills because it is possible and it is needed. Jacob’s family is an example of how to raise children with a growth mindset. We need to teach our children how to develop a growth mindset and the benefit it brings to them. Teaching our kids about growth mindset happens by learning it for ourselves first because kids learn by observing more than by being told and advised. We need to walk the talk and not only talk the talk.
Again, shifting our mindset can change the way we see the world around us. It also changes the way people interact with us and see us. When we have a positive view of ourselves and when we respect ourselves, we invite people to respect us and treat us well. Our relationship with ourselves is so vital in determining how we shape relationships with others around us. To learn more about how to develop a better relationship with yourself, check our Instagram live with the life coach and faith consulting provider: Soumaya Ettouji titled: Building a relationship with yourself.
Now we know what a mindset is and the importance of cultivating a growth mindset. Acknowledging how critical our beliefs is easy, however, applying is not always a straightforward path. Sometimes we cannot change our mindset not because we really cannot, rather it is because we do not have the tools and guidelines to transform our mindset as Amy Morin LCSW put it. It is ok not to know the road as long as you are asking for help. Asking for help is one of the ways to gain the tools needed for a mindset transformation. If you feel you need help in working on your mindset, visit our services providers here and book an appointment with one of our experienced and diverse faith consulting providers.
Written by Duaa Saber