Having come out on the other side of a season of hard times and even poverty, I feel I understand mindset even better. When you’re in a stressful situation, your mindset really takes a hit.
Not only do you deal with the stress of the situation itself — whether finances, health, relationships, whatever — but you have the added stress of a mindset in freefall, whether you realize it or not. I’ve written more about this hit our mindsets take in hard times.
For example, some days when you’re just treading water, it’s hard to find the energy and focus to have your head screwed on right, for lack of better word. We can’t feel guilty about taking a moment to embrace whatever form of self-care and therapy helps us cope. For me, it’s usually music or certain movies, or going for a walk, or even hanging out in a little neighborhood coffeehouse. Here are some more thoughts on being overwhelmed you may find helpful. (treading)
In the case of dealing with financial issues, I don’t think many people fully grasp the effect poverty and financial issues have on your brain. I wrote a post a few years ago called, “This is Your Brain on Poverty” that seems to resonate with many readers. (https://www.thoughtsanddesigns.com/this-is-your-brain-on-poverty/) Poverty and financial stress (as well as any other kind of stress) can mess with your head. Taking the time to care for yourself in the thick of it will help you get out of the hole in the long run. Easier said than done, right?
Sometimes mindset is a simple as changing how we think of simple things. For a long while, you’d frequently hear me say, “Oh, I can’t afford that.” Maybe you battle that too. It’s frustrating to want something, or know something will help, but then realizing it’s out of reach.
And you know what, it’s true. I couldn’t afford that. Simple facts, right?
But after a while, with the encouragement of a friend who had been there and done that, I changed how I phrased it.
Instead of saying, “I can’t afford that,” I’d switch it around and ask, “Hmm, how can I afford this?”
Sometimes I came to realize that whatever “it” happened to be was just not that important at the time, relative to other expenses and needs. Other times, I figured out a suitable alternative for the time being. And yet other times, putting my mind to work, I came up with a way to make it happen.
In some cases, I have to tell you, it was nothing short of miraculous how things came to be. Would it have still happened if I was whining about not being able to afford things? Maybe, maybe not.