Updated: Dec 19, 2021
What is the secret of many individuals to engage themselves in an empowering journey where everything seems to be easy, allowing you to flow through life?
How do they start creating that shield mindset that help them to thrive even amidst the turmoil and external noise?
In order to be able to sustain a powerful mindset, to encourage your journey for the following endeavors, you need to expand your vision towards what you want to achieve, you need to also design a cognitive system to allow you to be more aware of the disrupting situations or environments that can throw you out of course!
Additionally, your physical stamina and energy have to be taken care of, as you will need to sustain also a healthy body in order to surpass the possible struggles or obstacles!
Therefore, the sustainability of your journey can be divided into two big sections:
Cognitive Pathways and Behavioral Pathways (1).
Let’s begin to unfold how the cognitive pathways that are comprised of two subcategories: Emotion Regulation & Cognitive Training, those two will enhance your journey! It shouldn’t be as hard as it sounds to start creating those shields that will protect your entire journey and will allow you to overcome the possible scenarios that you might have.
And the first big block that we need to work on, as you probably are guessing it, is your Emotional Regulation. What are the specific strategies that you can use to lower the load of the emotions that probably will challenge the journey?
Well, in order to do that we’ll need to start training our minds to face those emotions that we can anticipate due to past experiences or even a blockage that you might have from an earlier experience! In this process, I’m referring to start labeling, allowing and processing the feelings that you’re having!
That will be the first step in order to be able to move along the ladder of shielding your mind!
Start writing the goals, start describing what you will have to do in order to get to that place where you want to be! The more you also can anticipate what could be the challenging scenarios, the better it will be for your brain to start creating that image in your head! In that way, when the situation starts presenting, you will be ready it won’t be a surprise, you will be ready, you won’t feel unexpected emotions and even if you feel some challenging emotion you will know what to do!
Moreover, you will be able to analyze the thoughts that you’re allowing to trigger certain kind of emotions as soon as you’re exposed to the vision of the challenging situations, that will start to also waking up your medial and low prefrontal cortex that will regulate your amygdala to diminish the burden of emotions that you can probably be feeling!
Cognitive Training. It is not only about preparing intellectually and documenting what you need to know about a certain topic, it is also about constructing new scenarios, starting with reappraisal of your experiences, learning how to take out the best of certain situations that might seem discouraging, frustrating or simply that can drag you down through the emotional spiral is the challenge! Detaching from the emotional drama and becoming an observer, is the idea to give you a much more objective point of view of what is happening in your life and how you can start shifting from the victim mode to learning how to cope with the situation and taking the most out of it!
For instance, when something that you planned doesn’t go as it should, and you don’t detach from the emotions that might be overwhelming, you can dangerously make the situation worse! Let’s depict a simple example, imagine that you are going to have a very important meeting with our boss to show up the results of a big project and even the vice-president of the area will be present! You’re already in the meeting room, everything is set, the team, your boss and the VP are already gathered and eager to see your results! When suddenly, something goes wrong with the projector, the image appears to be blurry, you start becoming anxious, you start changing some settings when things start getting worse! You lose the presentation, there’s a message from your computer that says “we’re sorry for the inconvenience the file appears to be damaged”. In those moments, if you keep the anxiety spiral going, things might end up really bad with even you putting in danger your position in the company! However, as you already performed the previous step of visualizing the emotions, you ask for a delay of 3 minutes, you go to the bathroom wash your face, breathe and start refocusing your mind to think what you can do!
You return to the meeting and you come up with an idea of just speaking the strategy of how you solve the issues, how you came up with the rough numbers of the results that you already know by heart because you really prepared for the meeting and you end up saving your work!
The more you train your mind to face those kinds of challenging scenarios, the better response your brain will have! All those simple steps of taking a break if something fails, breathing, being in contact with water and asking your brain to provide you with a clear picture of what do you have to do are the things that will save you from falling into the default mode and letting anxiety or frustration to overwhelm you and end up failing in the important moments of your life!
Having practices of breathing exercises, mindfulness and visualization are the key ingredients to shield that cognitive block! As much as people might think that successful leaders and geniuses are just about the knowledge, there's a hidden realm of traits, rituals and aces under the sleeve that have installed for the moments of pressure!
Therefore, don't underestimate the power of meditation, breathing and being in contact with nature, because those techniques and mindful moments are the ones that can save you from stressful moments and technical issues that happen throughout your life!
Additionally, there's another very important Block of Behavioral Pathways which is composed of three main subcategories: Reducing Fear & Stress, Boosting Physical Health and Connecting Socially (1).
Those three subcategories can be summarized into the kind of behaviors that will sustain your journey by performing the following behaviors:
- Reduce Fear & Stress. As much as possible before you're going to face any kind of event that has a relevant importance in your life prepare yourself for the moment, create some expectancy for the event, predict the possible struggles that might happen, design a vision of success!
- When dealing with the possible complications or past experiences, feel ok if you start to raise your levels of stress, because that's exactly what your brain needs to experience to give more reality to the situation! Nevertheless, don't overwhelm with a myriad of scenarios, just list one to three possible struggles and add a quick solution for them!
- Boost your Physical Health. All successful people have a primary shield in their stamina and physical performance! Therefore, be also aware of the type of physical activity that you're going to have in your life, design a safe ritual to sleep better and restfully, avoid overloading your system with several meals and instead install a practice of intermittent fasting in order to have more energy for the important cognitive processes!
- Connecting Socially. Yes, you're reading accurately, your social life is also an important pillar in your overall health that can give you a leverage in terms of creating a emotional resilience and propel you to succeed in terms of your professional life!
Having a strong social circle of support is what many of the successful people and emotionally stable people can rely upon!
If you have a strong network of people, there's a much higher percentage that your life can become easier, more balanced and of course full of joyful experiences! We all are social beings and a very high amount of our lives is composed of relationships, whether they're intimate, social or professional.
Therefore, to completely shield your journey, you can also start envisioning the type of friendships that you want to cultivate, the type of interactions that you want to have and of course the type of intimate relationships that you want to attract in your life!
This subcategory probably is the one underestimated in terms of really paying attention to how your social influence is permeating your mind with disempowering messages, limiting beliefs and toxic patterns that without even paying enough attention to them can lead you towards living a life in automatic pilot! Suddenly placing yourself with the herd in the victim mindset that will only replicate the drama in your life!
One important ingredient that here can make a big difference is installing a gratitude ritual in your life, where you have some moments to list the things that you’re grateful for, the people that you appreciate, the experiences that you have been able to live, the places that you have been able to visit and reliving the memories, letting your positive emotions and imagination to take you to that beautiful place where you can bathe in those chemical neurotransmitters that will foster your creativity, will renew your resilience and will give you hope for every future experience in your life!
Finally, the dessert or cherry on the cake will be three mindset factors: positive expectation, growth mindset and self-affirmation! (1).
The more positive expectation you create for the future endeavors that you want to have in your life, the better it will be to pave the road in your brain and create a scenario that can now attract the experiences in your life that you want!
Having always an attitude of student in your life, developing a growing mindset is the ultimate goal that will lead you to see your life from a different perspective, instead of just letting life hit you with random events, struggles and challenging scenarios! When you aim for that kind of growing mindset, there’s no fear to failure, but instead there’s expectancy for the future!
And to end the journey of shielding your mind, just develop some simple short words, phrases or visuals that allow you to develop a self-affirmation dialogue internally that can help you every day to cope with the external negativity and with any kind of social influence that might derail you from your clear goals!
1. Tabibnia, G., & Radecki, D. (2018). Resilience training that can change the brain. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 70(1), 59–88.
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