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  • Writer's pictureNgozi Ugwu


You have the mind power than you ever believed to influence your physical and mental well-being.

I can’t recall what age I was taught this indispensable lesson, but I remember being told that my mind was a powerful tool and I can use my mind to make things happen. So, as a kid, I had moments when I practiced using my mind to move a rock by gazing intensely at it because I was told my mind was powerful. Well, I never moved a rock by just looking at it, but the idea is what stuck with me.

Ralph Waldo Emerson says “What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.”

Our mindset can either make us or break us. Your mindset will determine if you live an extraordinary life while you are here on Earth. If your mindset is all negative, then your reactions and outcomes will yield negative results. But if your mindset is positive, even when you don’t see any positivity, then your reactions and outcomes will yield positive results. What you believe affects what you achieve.

You see, your attitude and your perspectives are part conscious and part unconscious and can be learned, unlearned, organized and reorganized in a variety of different ways. Your mindset is not fixed. The idea that change is difficult is simply a mindset. I have come to believe that we are the architect of our own problems by the way we think and perceive things which in turn influences our choices.

Just like I believed my mind is a powerful tool as a kid and practiced using it, I have also learnt that my mindset especially during my stressful times determines how I handle my stressors and the outcome. The mindset you have developed over time has direct implications on how you live your life. If you only choose to see only the negative things in your life, you are more likely to have negative outcomes such as feeling depressed, anxious, unhappy etc. But if you choose to focus on the positive side of things, you will find a reason to be happy even when things are not looking great.

I have heard people tell me, Ngozi, there is nothing in my life to be happy about. Then I help enlighten their perspectives into the little things in life we take for granted and should be happy about. The truth is , if we can’t appreciate the little things in our lives and take delight in them, how can we appreciate big things?.

Let’s discuss a few scenarios on the effect of mindset:

Acquaintance A: A lady in her 40’s, single and trying to live life. However, her past trauma of being sexually and emotionally abused as a child by a trusted adult holds her down in many ways, affecting relationships, her behavior and well-being. She suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because of how she allowed her mind to play the trauma, she saw herself as less than what she could be, she allowed men to treat her badly, endured disrespect and was reckless in her actions.

The truth is we can’t control what has happened to us in our past, today. Though the effect of past trauma can shape the brain you have today which affects the way your cells and genes react to certain or similar situations today. But we do have the power TODAY and GOING FORWARD to choose how we will allow our past trauma to control our brain, cells and genes. Be bold, be willing and you can change your mindset and your life.

Acquaintance A, by using her personal power of responsibility and choice, she sought for professional help, started therapy and complied with treatment recommendations. She was able to change her mindset and improve how she responded to situations in her life TODAY. It was not an easy journey for her but she kept believing in herself and the possibilities of achieving her goals, TODAY, she is in a stable relationship, working full time, making better choices and more importantly, maintaining a stable and healthy well-being.

Acquaintance B: A 20 year old college student who on the first day of her Algebra class had an assessment to determine her pre-semester knowledge of algebra. After the test, before the class received their papers, the professor announced that in his 15 years of teaching that class, that no one has gotten an A and that whatever grade that they receive on the pre-assessment test, even the best student would only be able to achieve a grade letter up or worse have the same grade or even a grade less. When she received her paper, she had a D. She became anxious and disappointed in herself. But she had a mindset that she “nothing is impossible to get if she works hard at it”. So she studied hard throughout that semester and at the end, She and one other student had an A in that class. You see, the professor said what he said to challenge his student and have them work hard to discover their potential, only those who had a positive mindset remained in his class and worked hard to prove what he had said on the first day of class wrong.

Acquaintance C: A lady in her 50’s, lost her son to substance abuse and overdose. She became devastated and started to drink. She became a functional alcoholic and did not see the negative effect drinking was having on her health, relationship and employment until her husband filed for divorce. You know, she blamed everyone but herself for everything going wrong in her life five years after her son had died.

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. Our choices during stressors determine how much the effect will be on us and how long the effect will last. If we choose to make better choices during our crisis, for instance, if acquaintance C made the decision to attend grief counseling and seek appropriate help when she felt depressed, she will not resort to becoming a functional alcoholic and will not have problems with her health, marriage or employment.

Mindsets affect your life expectancy. People with negative mindsets are less likely to proactively engage in healthy behaviors such as eating healthy, exercising, or living in the moment or making better choices.

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” Steve Maraboli

Our belief system is often picked up from our environment or taught to us as we go through life. These beliefs often influence our reactions to stressors or events in our lives, these beliefs have real consequences for our well-being. It affects the way we perceive and react to things. A simple change of mind can help you become your best self.


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