Changing the way you think – your mindset can change your life. And the exciting thing is you have the choice to do this.
Every day life dishes up all sorts of Events (E), but however good or bad these events are, it’s the way we Act (A) and Think (T) about them that makes all the difference. Life is 5% about what happens to us and 95% how we choose to respond to what is happening to us.
Learn from Role Models
Think about the role models in your life – people who are important to you, have made a difference, people you believe in and people you really aspire to be more like. They may not be famous people but ordinary members of your family, friends or community who inspire you.
- What has shaped them to be who they are?
- What positive thoughts do they use to overcome challenging events?
- What words of advice would they give you?
- It may also be work taking a look at some iCan Phrases in this section which summarise what other people have said as they have gone through their lives. You may wish to circle the ones that you feel could be particularly helpful to you as you try to develop a healthy mindset or perhaps make a note of them in the Think It section of your iCan Poster.
Learn from experience
Now take a look at the different Plate Images that may represent aspects of your life and think which two or three have played a significant part in your life up to this point. In what way have these been significant? Consider which two or three you feel are particularly current at the moment. What can you do to think and act positively to deal with these just now?
Develop a habit
Finally think again about the Week of Your Life and imagine you are on a different day – perhaps Wednesday midday – you are 30 yrs. old – which two or three images do you feel you would want to choose now? What positive thinking habits do you feel you would need to develop to help make these images a reality?
Again, make a note of the images you have chosen and any actions you may need to take in the Think It section of your iCan Poster. Remember it is not the event that is the issue but rather the way you act and think about it.
Remember it is not the event that is the issue but rather the way you act and think about it.
Why this session is important
To help your group or individual to:
- Explore how a positive mindset can help build resilience and enable them to be resourceful in getting closer to their aspirations
- Explore what support a role model could offer and identify what kind of role model would help raise aspirations during the iCan process
- Reflect on their learning and set a small action to work on
What you will need
- Copies of the Think It Activity for each individual(s)
- Think It Resources
- Newspapers, Facebook/Twitter feeds
- If working with a group then split the group into teams of 4-5 people
- 30 minutes dependent on time availability
How to do it
Introduce this session by asking individuals to think about roles models – people who have made a difference, people who they believe to be successful and people who they really aspire to be like.
They may be famous people, but they may also be ordinary members of their families/communities who inspire them, such as a brother who has overcome a disability, an auntie who helps their neighbour, or a friend who has achieved something special in their life. You may wish to use newspapers/Twitter and Facebook feeds to stimulate some of the discussions.
Share who your own role models are as an example too.
Encourage the individual or group to discuss:
- What they think have been the things that have shaped the role models they have thought of to become the people they are?
- What positive thoughts/actions do they think these role models have used to overcome challenging events?
- What words of advice would their role models give?
You can also refer to the iCan phrases which provide a cross section of issues that previous iCan participants have encountered and overcome. Get the group to pick one or two of these that they feel have a particular connection with them – discuss which ones and why?
Talk about the importance of a positive mindset and how the way we think about ourselves will have dramatic effects on our future. Explain the concept of life dishing up various things for us all every day. Some things are not in our control, others are. Some things are really positive, some things more challenging. Some we choose, others we have given to us whether we like them or not. You can use the Plate Images included in the activity or print and laminate the A4 Individual Plates to ask:
- Which two or three plates have played a significant part in your life up to this point – Monday/Tuesday of the Week of your Life and in what way have they played a part.
- Which two or three plates are particularly relevant to you now and how are you responding to these at the moment?
- Which two or three plates do you think will be important over the next few years? Time intervals could be the next 6 months, 2 years or when they are on Wednesday lunchtime of the week of their lives (30 years old)
Discuss here the impact of live events and EAT.
It is not the event that determines what happens next in our lives, but rather it is the way we act and think about the event. Provide an example e.g. job loss – one person loses confidence, feels unable to get another role and worries about how they are going to pay their bills and what they can do next.
Another person asks friends, family, University tutors, employers, the Job centre about any jobs/roles they may have, they update their CV online and send it on to job search sites and within a few weeks they are working again. Provide other examples or ask the group for their stories.
Ask what positive thinking habits do they feel they would need to develop to make sure that the plates they have picked for the future actually happen? What do they need to do? What help do they need from others to make these plates real?
Encourage them to make a note of all the plates they have chosen and the habits they feel they would need to develop in the Think It section of their iCan Poster. They may also wish to make a note of any of the iCan Phrases that have a particular connection for them here on the poster too.
Agree one action (or way of thinking) they are going to commit to which will help them develop a healthy mindset and again encourage them to make a note of it on their iCan Poster.
What other questions to ask/points to make
Be prepared to share some of your story, if it is appropriate. Perhaps identifying plates that have been important to you and what you are doing to try to make these happen.