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Have you ever felt like a burden?
A burden to the people around you. Maybe even to the world.
I grew up feeling like a burden and eventually began treating others like burdens.
For example, the way I talk about money might make my son feel like a burden.
Saying I only have $175 left after bills, and that $40 of it will have to go to his school pictures, might’ve made him unconsciously feel like a burden.
As you can see, this burden mindset can easily spread from generation to generation. But where did this mindset come from?
Maybe overhearing my own parents argue about money made me feel like I was a burden to them?
And I know what I put them through financially by playing a band instrument and everything else (hobbies, fundraisers, basketball, glasses, losing contact lenses) they had to pay for burdened them.
The costs of my colleges and housing burdened them.
And now that I’m disabled with vision disabilities, I’m a burden to the government and all those who pay taxes on it.
I even feel like a burden to my fiancé, since she spends more money on our family than I can afford to.
But I don’t want my kids to grow up feeling like burdens. Nor do I want to continue feeling this way or seeing others that way.
Realization: The burden mindset could be the root of low self-worth and a lack of self-confidence in so many of us.The burden mindset could be the root of low self-worth and a lack of self-confidence in so many of us. Click To Tweet
Once I realized what had been plaguing me and the potential damage it could cause (to myself and others) if left unchecked, I decided I needed to change it right away.
I made a commitment to do whatever it took to change from a burden mindset to a mindset that’s more positive and beneficial to others.
But to do that, first I had to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a burden.
What is a Burden?
A burden is similar to a liability.
In other words, something that takes from you. And keeps costing you more and more. In this case, more of yourself and your relationships. A burden can cause you to lose something of value over time.
A burden also weighs you down and makes life more difficult. Which means you have less to give to others or use for other things.
Therefore, the opposite of “burden” is to lighten the load. Something that gives instead of takes. Something that adds value to you, leaving you better off … and with more to give to others.
Another way to look at it is something that puts ‘money’ into your pocket instead of taking it out. Like an asset.
The opposite of a burden is an asset!
So that’s what I decided to do. Become an asset instead of a burden.
And you can become an asset too!
Strive to be an asset and to treat others like assets. Add value wherever you go and whenever you can so that you always leave people better off than how you found them.Strive to be an asset and to treat others like assets. Add value wherever you go and whenever you can so that you always leave people better off than how you found them. Click To Tweet
You can be an emotional asset, a spiritual asset, a mindfulness asset, a mindset asset…
And if you have the means, a financial asset, through charity and generosity.
They are all ways you can help others grow and impact the world in a positive way.
Sounds amazing, right? But how do you make the transition from a burden to an asset?
Coincidentally enough, all of these mindset shifts can be achieved by developing a BENEFIT MINDSET.
The purpose of this article is to teach you about the benefit mindset and how to develop it.
This little-known cousin of the growth mindset is the key to becoming the kind of person that leaves the world a better place just by existing.
What is a Benefit Mindset?
To effectively define the benefit mindset, first, we have to talk about the growth mindset.
As you may know, a growth mindset is a remedy prescribed by most personal growth gurus and life coaches to overcome the limiting beliefs locked into place by a fixed or scarcity mindset.
A growth mindset promotes the belief that your attitudes, talents, and capabilities aren’t “fixed” for life. You have the ability to learn new information, develop your talents, and grow into a better version of yourself.
A growth mindset can mean:
- Becoming more confident by using confidence-boosting activities
- Developing new skills and talents through passion and practice
- Transitioning to a new career in an area that you never had interest or aptitude in before
- Learning how to learn better, read faster, or remember more
Developing a growth mindset is the first step towards becoming a person who can impact and empower the world. But the problem is, your focus is usually only on making YOU a better person … and not necessarily on bettering those around you.
And that’s perfectly fine. Any type of personal growth is commendable.
Self-improvement is a full-time job with plenty of hurdles to jump over and obstacles to overcome.
But once you do get the hang of it and have made a few noticeable transformations in your life, you might begin to think about how you can help others make those same (or similar) transformations themselves. As well as other ways you can be of benefit and improve the well-being of the people around you.
And that’s where the benefit mindset comes in.
“In a Benefit Mindset, we not only seek to fulfill our potential but choose to do it in a way that contributes to the wellbeing of others and society as a whole. We question ‘why’ we do what we do, and believe in doing good things for good reasons.”
Going beyond a growth mindset
In my blog’s tagline …
Find your purpose, upgrade your mindset, and make a difference in the world
… The last part happens by developing a benefit mindset.
A benefit mindset builds onto the foundational elements of a growth mindset by adding concern for the wellbeing of others.A benefit mindset builds onto the foundational elements of a growth mindset by adding concern for the wellbeing of others. Click To Tweet
Your motivation shifts from merely bettering your own life to becoming the best version of yourself in order to impact the world.
“It is called “benefit” mindset because it is concerned with the life-long process of learning how we can be the transformation and realize our unique potential in a way that serves the wellbeing of all.”
Another way of phrasing the transition from growth mindset to benefit mindset, which might make it easier to remember, is going from a ‘me’ mindset to a ‘we’ mindset.
What does a benefit mindset look like?
The benefit mindset is exhibited by the everyday leader who cares more about the wellbeing of others than putting money in his own pockets.
You can also recognize the benefit mindset in kind, open-hearted people whose main focus is on helping others grow, heal, and reach their fullest potential.
Life coaches, entrepreneurs, and lightworkers of all niches and varieties can fall under this category.
“People who positively impact the world not only obtain amazing results in their work, but their process of obtaining these results – how they operate in life — is also inspiring and uplifting. They are happy to help and support others, and have an overflow of positive energy that enriches the lives of everyone they work with and connect with.
Some other examples of the benefit mindset in action are socially conscious and purpose-driven businesses. The types of businesses that only use materials that are safe for the environment or who donate a fixed percentage of their profits to a cause they feel strongly about.
Many times, the amount they donate and causes they support are printed on their product’s packaging. That way the consumers can feel like part of the mission as well.
Ash Buchanan of BenefitMindset.com calls the benefit mindset the “psychology of contribution” and describes it as “a purpose-driven mindset that is redefining success from being the best in the world, to being the best for the world.”
Hopefully, in the coming years, more and more leaders will adopt his philosophies when it comes to managing their businesses in socially conscious ways.
Why a Benefit Mindset is Important
When you feel like a burden as a child, it can lead to feeling like an outsider throughout childhood and during your adult life. In turn, you start pushing others away, making them feel rejected as well.
You might tell yourself that you’re protecting them and don’t want to burden them with your problems. But this self-defeating pattern has the potential to ruin your relationships and destroy your sense of self-worth.
The more you feel like a burden, the more likely you are to start seeing the world and everything in it as a burden.
Even the parts of your life that used to give you happiness and pleasure, like your passions and hobbies, could eventually feel like burdens to you. Meaning, they’re not worth the effort.
Your inner world corrupts your outer world. So you risk making your kids and loved ones feel like burdens when you complain about the people and problems that burden you.
But by developing your mindset from fixed/burden to growth to benefit, you have the opportunity to heal not only yourself but your relationships as well.
The more people who have benefit mindsets, the less harm being caused and generational traumas being passed down. In other words, the world will become a better place.
If you’re more of a visual learner, this video helps to illustrate what a benefit mindset is and why it’s important.
How to Develop a Benefit Mindset
As I said before, developing a benefit mindset involves going beyond a growth mindset. Therefore, it could be said to be a growth mindset that includes the wellbeing of everyone else.
Wanting what’s best for everyone is an empowering motivator.
Once you come through the other side of your own problems, you’ll naturally feel a sense of gratitude, and an urge to help others make it through similar problems.Once you come through the other side of your own problems, you'll naturally feel a sense of gratitude, and an urge to help others make it through similar problems. Click To Tweet
But you might not feel confident (or worthy) enough to start helping.
That’s where benefit mindset activities and practices come in. They’ll help you get the social-impact ball rolling and your self-love levels rising.
Below are five ways to start seeing yourself as an asset and begin practicing a benefit mindset.
1) Learn to See Your Problems as Opportunities
One way to stop seeing problems as burdens is to practice looking at problems and challenges as opportunities.
Meaning, opportunities to learn something new, overcome something (which builds confidence and resilience), and develop a more growth-oriented mindset.
It also sets a better example for the kids; observing adults treating problems as opportunities instead of treating them as frustrating, unwanted burdens.
Hopefully, this mindset will pass on to them and influence their outlook on life.
2) A Benefit Mindset is a Generous Mindset
Develop a habit of generosity by giving more, being more helpful, or by donating your time or money to causes that you believe in. Giving even a little bit creates a new habit.
This is especially important if you have debts (or feel indebted in some way to others) which adds to feeling like a burden.
Giving generously helps you break free from a scarcity mindset and feel like you’re ‘paying back’ some of what you owe the world.
Even though you aren’t paying back the same people, you’re paying it forward in some way. Creating a positive ripple effect in the world.
3) Daily Mindset Work to Boost Self-Worth
This is probably the easiest place to start when it comes to developing a more benefit-oriented mindset. It doesn’t involve facing your immediate problems or interacting with other people. All you need is some paper (or a .doc) and some time alone. Here are two ways to get started.
Daily success journaling
Keeping a daily success journal helps you focus on the things you did right throughout the day and the impact you made.
This confidence-building activity will help you develop a deeper respect for yourself, giving a boost to your self-esteem in the process.
And trust me, it’s easy to get started and way more productive than laying in bed dwelling on what you didn’t accomplish, how much you f@cked up today, or what you don’t have in your life.
Self-love and self-worth affirmations
An affirmation is a short, specific positive statement repeated daily, aloud, in thought, or in writing, to turn negative thought patterns into a more positive mindset and change your life in a desirable way.
Through daily practice, positive affirmations help turn your self-defeating thoughts of how you don’t want to be into self-empowering, healing thoughts that help you change your life for the better.Through daily practice, positive affirmations help turn your self-defeating thoughts of how you don’t want to be into self-empowering, healing thoughts that help you change your life for the better. Click To Tweet
Which affirmations should you use to help increase your self-worth and develop a benefit mindset?
You can search either Google (or Pinterest) for lists of self-worth and self-love affirmations to copy or you can learn how to write affirmations for yourself.
When you write your own positive affirmations, you can customize them to help dissolve your specific limiting beliefs, which speeds up the process.
4) Realize People Enjoy Helping Each Other!
This may come as a surprise, but people actually enjoy helping each other. It makes them feel good about themselves and useful. Especially when it comes to helping people who don’t normally ask for help.
People help each other out of love, kindness, belief systems, and even just to reciprocate the help that someone has given them. It doesn’t have to be personal. I’ve helped out complete strangers and strangers have offered me help as well.
It happened just a few weeks ago. My car’s battery died at the gym late at night and my jump-starter died when I tried to use it.
I was tempted to call my insurance company’s roadside assistance to come to give me a jump since I’m extremely introverted and normally avoid asking for help. But then I had two people offer to jump my car.
Of course, not everyone is helpful in that way or will care enough to go out of their way, but some will. A big reason why you probably don’t ask for help (or why you feel like you don’t deserve help) is that “I am a burden” belief.
If asking for help is too awkward or difficult at first, offer other people help instead. Then when they reciprocate the help, you won’t feel as bad about accepting it. Since you will be more likely to feel that you’ve “earned” their help.
“The benefit mindset is not only about others. When we help to make someone else’s life better, we automatically feel good, special, and useful. Both the giver and the receiver always equally benefit from acts of kindness and support.”
The goal is to realize that help is freely given and doesn’t require giving anything in return. The act of generosity collectively benefits both parties on a deeper level.Help is freely given and doesn't require giving anything in return. The act of generosity collectively benefits both parties on a deeper level. Click To Tweet
Just accept the help and be grateful for it. That’s it.
5) Discover Your Life Purpose
My personal favorite way to develop a benefit mindset is to find your life’s purpose. This is because it’ll show you how much intrinsic value you already have, where you naturally fit in the universe, and how you can uniquely contribute to the betterment of the world.
“The benefit mindset adds purpose and meaning to our lives because we feel more connected to others. We also feel like our lives matter and that we truly make a difference.”
Discovering your life purpose is the first step towards experiencing more passion and meaning in life. But I’ve noticed that not feeling worthy of having a purpose is the biggest roadblock that those searching for their purpose run into.
Hopefully, after reading this article and practicing the exercises you will realize that it was only a limiting belief. And you are worthy of having a purpose and capable of discovering it.
In this article, you’ve learned that the key to going from being a burden to being an asset is by developing a benefit mindset. A benefit mindset not only encourages positive self-belief, personal growth, and self-empowerment, it takes it a step further, seeking to positively impact the wellbeing of everyone around you.
“Our efforts to remedy any form of pain, injustice, and harm can have wide-reaching impacts that make the world safer, more peaceful, and more prosperous for all.”
Now that you’ve begun developing your new benefit mindset, using the exercises and practices suggested in this article, you’re on your way to feeling better about yourself and making a bigger difference in the world.
Here are some other articles to help you upgrade your mindset: