If you feel like a mindset novice, before reading this article, you might find value in reading these two articles:

These articles lay the groundwork for why we need to focus on developing more of an outward mindset.

Inward and Outward Mindsets

We possess an outward mindset when we are seeing others as people. Their needs and wants matter just as much as our own.

We possess an inward mindset when we see ourselves as more important than others, causing us to see them as objects.

I believe that it is impossible to live up to our ideal self and have the positive influence we want to have if we have an inward mindset.

Developing More of an Outward Mindset

To understand how to develop more of an outward mindset, we must understand what exactly mindsets are. They are neural networks in our prefrontal cortex.

You see, our senses (e.g., sight, taste, sound) send their signals to our prefrontal cortex. Because our senses send more information to our prefrontal cortex than we can effectively process, we rely upon our mindsets, or specific neural networks, to filter out information that our mindsets deem to be most important. The information that our mindsets absorb is then interpreted in ways unique to our mindsets (e.g., different ideas are a threat vs. different ideas are an opportunity to see more optimally). Once the select cues are interpreted, it activates different elements of who we are (e.g., personality, goals, self-regulation) for further processing and action.

This means that when we talk about developing more of an outward mindset, we are actually talking about strengthening the neural connection in our prefrontal cortex associated with an outward mindset.

Strengthening Our Outward Mindset Neural Connection

Our neural connections in our prefrontal cortex are not too different from muscles. The more they get exercised, the stronger they become. And, the stronger they are, the more we rely upon them when filtering information.

So, if we can exercise and strengthen our outward mindset neural connections, we will rely upon them more when filtering the information our senses absorb.

But, just as going to the gym once doesn’t make one strong, exercising our neural connections intermittently will not lead to us consistently relying upon our positive mindset neural connections. If we want long-term improvements in our mindsets, we have to intentionally and consistently work out our more positive mindset neural connections.

We should expect that as we strengthen our outward mindset neural connection that we will naturally see people more and more as people, and value them as such.

Exercises for Our Outward Mindset Neural Connection

Global Exercises

Swimming is one exercise that strengthens a number of different muscle groups in our body.

One global exercise for developing an outward mindset through meditation, as it is an exercise that strengthens our different positive mindset neural connections.

Meditation, over time, improves our (1) cognitive flexibility to move away from our more dominant negative mindset neural connections, and (2) cognitive capacity to explore relying more upon our less dominant positive mindset neural connections.

If you are a meditation novice, I think the best tool to get you started is the Headspace app, which comes with a great free introductory series.

Specific Exercises

The following are various examples of specific exercises that have been proven to improve our mindsets:

The more you regularly engage in these activities, the more you will exercise and strengthen your outward mindset neural connection, and improve your ability to see, interpret, and respond to your world in more successful ways.

If you haven’t gotten my book yet, now is a perfect chance. Click below:

Success Mindsets: Your Keys to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership

Success Mindsets Book