When it comes to making positive changes in your life, your mind can be your best friend – or your worst enemy. Our thoughts are very powerful, and they exert a surprisingly strong influence on our actions. To a large extent, what you believe about your ability to change is what will come to pass.
For example, if you believe that you just can’t lose weight or stick with a regular exercise program, you probably won’t become a woman who nurtures and cares for her body. And if you think that pursuing your goal or dream is a waste of time, you probably won’t become a woman who amazes herself by what she’s able to accomplish.
And if you think that you’ve been married too long to make any real changes in your marriage, or that your kids are too old for you to build a stronger relationship with them, then you probably won’t become a woman who thrives in her most important relationships.
And it’s not because you can’t make these changes, as challenging as they may be, but rather because you think you can’t make them. Your mindset is a map, and it’s telling you where you can and cannot go. But like a real map, your mindset can be out of date. Or incomplete. Or just flat-out wrong.
Believe me, I’m talking to myself here. I’m a pro at operating with the wrong map, aka a totally messed up mindset. If something can be blown off course (or blown up!) just by thinking about it the wrong way, I’m your girl! My mind tends to go to the worst case scenario, which can be small (“Oh stop – you’ve been trying to lose those 10 pounds for years) or big (“You’ll never be a real writer) Or just about anything in between.
And honestly, that’s natural. Those thoughts serve as a kind of protection – our minds don’t want us to be hurt or disappointed. They constantly scan our experiences and the people and things around us, looking for things that can hurt us. And then they do everything they can think of to try to protect us.
But while our minds are protecting us, they’re also sabotaging us. Because what we think we are, or what we think will happen to us, tends to come true.
For example, if I think that I’m a person who can’t stick with an exercise, it’s unlikely that I’ll take care of my body by getting up and moving every day. And if I think that I’m just not a sensual person, I probably won’t make the kinds of changes that will enable me to have an enjoyable sexual relationship with my husband. And if I think that I’m not a person who can write a book that people will want to read, I’m probably not going to even try to write a book.
What about you? Can you identify ways that your mind is trying to protect you, but in fact has become an out-of-date map that may be leading you in the wrong direction? If so (and it’s almost certainly so – at least in one or two areas!) you’ll need to change some of your thoughts and create a new mindset that will help you make the changes you want to make and become the woman you want to be this year.
Use the Tool – Over the next two days, take some time to identify any thoughts you have that may sabotage the changes you want to make this year. Really think about this and be completely honest with yourself. If you think it would help, talk to your husband or a trusted friend about it. Consider writing the thoughts down, then come back to them after a few hours or the next day and consider them again. See if any insights or additional thoughts come to mind.
Then start to create new thoughts that reflect the changes you want to make and begin to replace the old thoughts. For example –
- “I’m taking steps to feel comfortable in my body.”
- “I deserve to eat healthy meals and to take the time to prepare them.”
- “Regardless of what’s happened in the past, I’m moving forward with a new way of living and taking care of myself.”.
- “I can try out my business idea by starting small and seeing what works and what doesn’t.”
Your mind is very powerful – put it to work for you and use it to your advantage!
I’d love to know what thoughts you identified and how this works for you. Leave a note in the Comments, or email me at hello @ healthylifetoolbox.com.
You can find all of the tools in the Healthy Life Toolbox here.