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Mindset: Hustle or Balance?

Mindset changes how we do, view and perceive everything.

There are countless Instagram posts out there that will tell you as much, those who favour the spiritual approach, those who want solid evidence of their achievements and those who simply want to convey just how busy they are all of the time because they hustle.

(Private jets aren’t cool anymore, we’re trying to save the Earth, not help kill it)

Newsflash: are you working hard or hardly working?

Those who approach their mindset with the belief that ‘more is more’ tend to fall into the trap in which their output doesn’t match the ridiculous amounts of hours they put in. Generally, this tends to be to influence how others perceive them, rather than being beneficial to their work.

(If you’re spending more time bragging about the work you’re doing, than you are doing the work, you might want to think about that…)

Everything around us affects our mindset.

Those who work remotely won’t have the same type of accountability those who work in a co-working space do, and those who assume they have reached perfection will be in a plateau rather than a steady incline.

Nothing keeps you humble like someone in the office giving you constructive criticism to your face.

It’s important to understand yourself and what you need to succeed. As with most things in life, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, meaning that your mindset and the way you approach it will be constantly adapting and evolving.

A lot of people will narrow mindset into fixed categories, or relate mindset to specific categories, which aren’t applicable to real life. Mindset isn’t optimism or pessimism. Of course, factors can affect the way our mindset is shaped, but they aren’t the only factor.

Plenty of pessimists think the world of their own work and plenty of optimists can only speak positively about others.

One of the key differences is the ‘inner critic’ archetypes, namely, the way we criticise ourselves and how we are affected by it.

The imposter, for example, is something many professionals deal with. Feeling like a fraud, as though you don’t belong and that eventually, someone will call you out and that everything you’ve achieved and earned is luck.

I’d say I suffer from this myself, apart from my imposter syndrome is quite hard to distinguish from my anxiety and the detrimental voice that comes along with it.

We aren’t just one of these archetypes, and some can work well together for different people. Someone who is a perfectionist type will most likely be compatible with someone who is a diminisher and struggles to find themselves as ‘good enough’.

This is where the value of connecting with others is paramount.

We all have inner critics and inner champions, and of course, one can almost always end up being louder than the other depending on the time. But if we try to get rid of our inner critic, it will never be manageable in our everyday life.

Pushing things down doesn’t remove their potential to harm you, it just removes your ability to deal with it effectively.

A perfectionist will most likely produce stellar work, but the negative aspects of the perfectionists’ archetype is the notion that they will never be ‘good enough’, so being aware of the danger of this and attempting to counter it with more positive affirmations is important.

Everyone can be propelled by negative voices when they have self-awareness. By catalysing thoughts we have that could be detrimental, we can use them to our advantage. It’s only through feedback and being challenged that we can avoid complacency.

Promoting an active cycle of thinking will mean that you can always adapt your mindset. You’re probably approaching tasks now that you struggled with a few years ago, aren’t you?

If you face your weaknesses head on, then you can then benefit from seeing how you’ve overcome them.

Growth and reflection will happen when we change the way we react to things and acknowledge challenges rather than avoiding them.

Here’s a few vital, final points:

  • Self-awareness is arguably the most important part of mindset, if we begin to acknowledge all aspects of ourselves including the negative, we can find better balance
  • Resilience will always help you carry on, and resilience can always be built upon
  • Your emotions are allowed to take up space, and need to take up space, in order for you to flourish
  • Actively thinking rather than passively avoiding is a huge change to make, but will positively impact your mindset in ways you don’t expect
  • Listen to and be aware of your inner critics, but also promote your inner champions!

This article is based on Episode 33 of the Dark Coffee Podcast, titled ‘Growing an Entrepreneurial Mindset’, in which host Alice Lyons interviews Annabell Gast, who works with entrepreneurs and helps them gain clarity around their goals in order to achieve them.

P.S – A lot of the inspired thinking in this article is taken from Annabell’s comments throughout the podcast, just so credit is given where credit is due!