It's (Not) All In Your Mind
Updated: Jan 10
I often hear that ‘its all in my mind’ – if I can just change my mind, then everything will be ok.
Although I acknowledge that mindset is a very powerful thing, I don’t acknowledge that everything is always on you!
That it’s all and always your fault
That you always somehow deserved what you got because you manifested it
That just by changing your mind, everything will be rosy.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that injustices exist and that you don't always get what you want.
That people don’t always treat each other nicely and that maybe, just maybe, it’s not always your fault.
Maybe the world is a little broken after all.
Maybe people are a little broken too?
Now that’s not to say you should lie down and play victim, that won’t get you anywhere.
Knowing what you know about yourself and the world, you still have to find a way to move forward.
To navigate your way through it in a way that is meaningful.
I think the danger in believing that it’s all in your mind is that you can find yourself dissociating yourself from reality and if you do that, you never get to dealing with the things that are in front of you.
I think it’s relatively obvious that some things exist and occur irrespective of what you might believe about them. Which to me suggests that there are some rules and some order that you do need to contend with at some level.
I’ll give you an example.
If I jump off a building and believe I will fly, I’m pretty certain I would fall at an acceleration due to gravity of about 9.81 m/s2 and eventually hit the ground - it may possibly even be fatal!
Now if I change my mindset on the way down, I still pretty sure I’m going to hit the ground.
Granted a pretty trivial and extreme example, but it does make a point.
I think most people are ok accepting some physical, measurable realities, but become more reluctant when these realities get a little more ambiguous.
Realities associated with morality and how to best conduct your self in the world.
Political and economic realities that you find yourself in the midst of.
Environmental realities and how they may contradict the optimal living conditions required for a more meaningful existence.
I believe a much more powerful way to move forward in the world is to accept these realities as some semblance of truths that you don't always have full control over.
To then be able reconcile what you know and humbly accept what you don’t.
Instead of simply just trying to change your mindset, learn instead to cultivate your character.
Build the knowledge, skills and resilience often required to overcome the challenges life will inevitably throw at you.
Parts of that process is certainly in the mind, but if you believe it’s all (exclusively) in the mind, then I think you may be selling yourself a little short.