Taking Control of Your Mindset

Taking Control of Your Mindset

January has begun and it is the month of aspired change, hope, and of course – goals!

Whether you make a goal in January or any other time of the year, we all know that sometimes it isn’t easy to stick to a goal you have set for yourself. Today I want to talk about what I believe is the driving force behind not just achieving the goals you set for yourself, but overall improving the quality of your life:

Taking control of your mindset.

 

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We are our thoughts. Our thoughts become our energy. What is your energy like? We all know the patterns of either positive or negative thinking. If you allow yourself to remain in a negative frame of thinking, always assuming the worst of yourself, others, and the world, you tend to attract exactly what you believe to be true: you’re awful, they’re awful and the world is awful.

In contrast to this, if you practice a positive outlook, respecting and being empathetic with yourself, others and the world. Choosing to see the good (and universally “human” characteristics) in yourself, others and the world, you will attract more of what you believe to be true: belief in yourself, belief in others, and a hopeful outlook on the world.

For example, we all know that our environment is in danger and we need to all be taking steps to lessen our carbon footprint.

You could look at it as humans are awful destructive beings that are going to end the planet! which naturally will result in feelings of anxiety and anger towards yourself and others.

Or you could look at it as I’m thankful that I have access to information on how to decrease my carbon footprint and I’m thankful that other people care as well. Together we can make a change. This positive outlook on yourself and others makes you feel hopeful and eager to do more good. Because doing more good is what your belief attracts.

A valid question in all this is, how do you change your mindset if you’ve been conditioned to thinking the same way for many years, maybe even your whole life?

Well, of course, requires self-reflection and hard work. But I promise you, it is always worth it to invest in yourself. I heard a podcast today ofOprah with Bishop T.D Jakes, and he said something that shook me with its truth:

The most amazing thing is we will study everyone but ourselves! We know everything about the people we admire and nothing about ourselves.

If having a positive or optimistic outlook does not come naturally to you, as it doesn’t for most of us myself included, ask yourself why. Who were your caretakers growing up? What was their outlook on life and how did they handle conflict and struggle?
Whatever the answer is, is what was modeled to you.  This is not intended to shame anyone. This is simply an honest reality of parenting and cycles being left unbroken.
Like the term, “actions speak louder than words”, as parents we tend to teach our children one thing but ourselves do things that contradict what we are hoping to teach. The habits that we learn are (almost always) modeled after our parents’ actual behavior, not the lessons they preach.

But the beauty of being human is that we always have the opportunity to grow.

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Every single day we can wake up and make a change. If you have spent years of your life feeling pessimistic because it is all you have ever known you can change that by beginning to change your mindset, your thoughts. It all leads back to this same concept:

What we believe we become.

Changing your thought process can feel strange at first but it becomes natural with time and practice.

First: you have to affirm to yourself  and believe this true statement:

negative thoughts breed negative thoughts and positive thoughts breed positive thoughts.

Our thoughts have an energetic currency that attracts things into our life.

Pay

attention

to

your

thoughts.

When you catch yourself getting into a spiral such as one we all know too well, “I’m late/ This is the worst day/ I’m going to get written up/ I hate this job/ I’m sick of my life/ etc” STOP yourself. This is especially important when it comes to non-factual things about yourself like “I’m so (enter negative adjective) / No one will ever love me because of (x) / etc”. It is so important to stop yourself in your tracks and tell yourself:
“That is not a fact – only a belief – which I can change”
and replace the non-factual thought about your worth with one that affirms you rather than degrades you.

I know this is easier said than done but it is essential to stop yourself in the tracks of your negative thoughts, even if you’re in a difficult situation such as the example I gave about being late for work.

Yes, it is unfortunate that you’re late but your day does not have to be bad because of it. Instead of entering the negative thought spiral tell yourself, I’m late but I’m on my way and I will make sure that I set my alarm earlier tomorrow. It’s ok to recognize and accept consequences for your actions without tearing yourself to shreds over them.

Recognize what triggered the thought

Understand what you are capable of choosing a positive next thought

Affirm to yourself that good still awaits you in your day

 

How does this all relate to your goals for the year?

The best first step to any plan of action for a goal is to believe fully in your capabilities. Get your mindset right. You ARE going to do this!  Tell yourself every day that you ARE going to succeed. Find applicable affirmations online, or write them down on index cards or in a journal and repeat them to yourself every single day. Make a habit of this. Remember our talk about neuroplasticity in my post about future self journaling? The same concept applies here.

“Neuroplasticity is an umbrella term referring to the ability of your brain to reorganize itself, both physically and functionally, throughout your life due to your environment, behavior, thinking, and emotions. Science used to believe that the brain only changed significantly during critical periods in childhood. While it is true that the brain is much more plastic in youth and capacity declines with age, plasticity happens from birth until death. “- (Source)

Let me be clear, It’s normal to have difficult feelings and self-doubt! It’s the nature of being human – we are complex beings. But the key is to recognize that while we all feel doubtful of ourselves at times, we are capable of reframing our these thoughts.

We can either to fall deeper into the hole of negativity or we can recognize both:

1. Our humanness which is at times prone to error and misjudgment but, but also capable of so much good.

2. The power we have OVER and OF our thoughts. We can adjust our thoughts, which in turn will begin to adjust our reality. We are not prisoners to our thoughts.

I think we can easily recognize that no one who has ever achieved their goals walked around saying that they couldn’t do it and weren’t worthy of it.
Of course not because if they really believed that, how would their success be possible? It wouldn’t.

Here is an example of what is possible:

A great recent reminder of the power of self-belief was found in a book my husband gifted me recently “Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice”. This book is a compilation of journal entries from before and after the release of Jeff Buckley’s, (one of my most loved songwriters and musicians) now iconic album, Grace.

Something struck me in this book – his earliest entries. The entries he wrote before he got signed by a record label, the entries from when he was still living in California (he was California born and raised but was after the New York music scene and it was his goal to get there). In those entries, he was working a dead-end hotel secretary job, but his heart was still clutched tight to his dream of New York. In his entries, he affirmed himself consistently, he wrote about his (future) success as though it was already written in the cards. His mindset was one of self-belief.

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Jeff Buckley, Photo (c) Merri Cyr

For me this book, in his early entries especially,  I found a well-timed reminder.

The one I’m sharing with you today,

MINDSET is everything.

SELF BELIEF is everything.

It’s not naive or foolish to believe yourself to be capable great things.

____

Jeff believed he was going to get out of his dead-end job and make his way across the country to New York where he would play shows and find success, and guess what? He did. He believed in this dream of his and he made it a reality. His hard work got him there just as much as his consistent, self-affirming, belief in his abilities. 

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Readers, friends, when I say in my posts that I believe in you, I seriously mean that. We are capable of so much that it is literally mind-blowing to think about. And I think in 2020 we all need a reminder of that.

We should never tell ourselves (or others! we all know that person) that we don’t have time for our goals, or that our dreams are silly and unrealistic, we don’t have to accept or create that kind of reality.

We can choose to be self-affirming, friend supporting, hope-for-humanity believing bearers of our dreams.

That’s the kind of reality I want to create.

What about you?

 

Sending love & light,

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