As the seasons change and we are in the Fall and headed toward winter, how do you typically transition? And throw in a pandemic that looks like it could be possibly transitioning into an endemic? How does anyone cope with these changes? For some, the change of the seasons is something they welcome. For others, it can be dreaded, especially during these unusual times. Besides personal preferences, what tends to make some look forward to change and others dread change?
The short answer is mindset.
The longer answer is that the way in which we view anything in life will strongly determine whether or not we have anxiety, stress, or joy. The lens through which we look at relationships, work, others, the seasons, politics, the pandemic, or even ourselves influences our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
If you haven’t read the book called “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, do yourself a favor and read it. She addresses the differences between what she calls a ‘fixed mindset’ and a ‘growth mindset’. In other words, when we have a fixed mindset about the way life is, or is going to be (are you psychic?) it limits us. On the other hand, when we have a growth mindset, we are open to learning, evolving, and growing. She offers many tips on ways to develop the latter if it doesn’t come natural to you.
Depending on your mindset, you are either one who dreads the changes in the future or one who invites, encourages and creates opportunities for change. Nothing is black and white; so maybe in some areas of your life you are open to growth and other areas of your life you are set on the way you see things. The purpose of this article is not to judge yourself on which mindset you are but instead to be mindful of where you may have a fixed mindset in your life and ask yourself if it is something you’d be open to changing, even if it is about the seasons.
Nowadays many of us have seemingly fixed mindsets about politics, and the way the pandemic is being managed. I ask you to challenge yourself to see the other side-regardless of what side you may be on. Try and put yourself in others’ shoes-even for just a minute. This exercise can actually help you to make any type of transition in your life go more smoothly. Be curious about the other side-why do you think others feel/view a particular situation differently than you do? What do you think they value and might they even have similar values to you?
Despite the transition we are talking about, whether it is seasons changing, politics, the pandemic or going from having one child to two, transitions can be stressful, especially when we are in a fixed mindset. Challenge yourself to have a more fluid view about the world around you and watch your stress level decrease significantly.
Last, remind yourself that you have made numerous transitions in your life thus far, so you are more than capable!