At one point in time, I chose to live in a victim mentality. I can remember thinking that everyone was out to get me and that no one wanted me to be happy. I was constantly focusing on the bad side of humanity, so that was all I could see. It cast a shadow, which took the joy out of life.
It should have been obvious that I was creating my own misery, but I wasn’t able to see how my own thoughts were affecting my mood.
I had to change my entire outlook by training my mind to see things in a new light. It would have been easy to stay on the same path. After all, I had chronic fatigue, suffering with endometriosis, no money, newly divorced and dealing with emotional baggage. I had nothing to look forward to because I didn’t have a compelling vision of the future. I felt the present situation was permanent.
Eventually, after countless hours of therapy (which did help to a degree), I’d had enough and started thinking about what I could do to get out of the pit I created.
Change was slow, but a new path that wasn’t clear to me before started to come into view as I worked on my mindset. As things progressed, my goals and dreams became bigger and more ambitious. I started imagining being fit, healthy, financially sound and loving unconditionally.
These are some of the things I did to change my mindset which in turn, changed my life.
Seek positive friends.
A negative social circle will bad ideas and thoughts, yet a positive social circle will also echo, but one that supports your dreams, so choose your friends carefully.
Find people who reflect the values you want to adopt. Join groups online and go to networking or social events focused on personal growth. As your own mind starts to change, it’ll become easier to connect with more positive people.
I am in no way suggesting that you ditch friends who are going through a hard time and need your support, but rather that you evaluate whether some of your relationships are persistently draining and unhealthy.
I left my old social circle because it was an echo chamber for negativity. Instead of focusing on a great future, everyone was talking about the things they didn’t like about life in addition to talking about other people in a negative light.
It was hard to make new friends at first. The problem was that I couldn’t offer any value to people with much more positive mindsets—the kind of people who I wanted to emulate. That changed, but it took time and it took the right social circles. Once you find your clan, progress will come much more quickly because of your new influences.
Challenge your thoughts.
When old thinking comes up, as it will, it’s not enough to try and ignore it. We need to challenge our beliefs.
Is everything too expensive, or is it just that I can’t afford it? Do “people suck,” or am I just looking for things to criticize?
Weigh your thoughts against the evidence. If they crumble under scrutiny, then explore why you believe them in the first place. By challenging your thoughts, your mindset will begin to evolve.
Consume positive media.
Consuming positive media will alter your perspective through osmosis. “Positive media” is anything that emphasizes the good in life, or how to improve our standard of living and those around us.
New mindsets are exactly the same; if you immerse yourself in personal growth content every day, it will change the language of your mind. That language is your self-dialogue, the way you speak to yourself at every moment in private, and it’s habitual.
Volunteering to help other people can make a huge impact on how you feel about yourself and your view of the world.
By focusing on how you can help someone else, you’ll draw your attention away from your own worries. It becomes easy to develop a positive mindset when you’re looking for new ways to put a smile on someone else’s face and make someone else’s situation better. It’s impossible to focus on the bad while focusing on the good.
Write out your action plan.
This is about looking at the possibilities and then doing something to make it happen. Forward thinking will move your focus away from where you don’t want to be to where could be.
But it’s not enough to simply write it out, because we only grow when we take action. It’s just a thought until we do something to make it happen.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy body will support a healthy mind. During the most difficult time of my personal struggles, bad health was a major obstacle. Chronic fatigue and pain would wipe me out for days and sometimes weeks.
Nonetheless, getting into action, changing my diet, and working out set up the foundation for all other changes to happen. Slowly, my energy levels started to rise to the point that my health no longer was an issue.
Have an Attitude of Gratitude.
Big or small, the simple gesture of sending a thank you note can be empowering. Not only does it feel good, a thank you note creates goodwill in other people. Thank you notes will also strengthen your relationships and connections, because people like to feel appreciated.
Create a morning mindset routine.
A great way to start the day is by making a mental list of each thing we’re looking forward to; it creates a feeling of anticipation and excitement that creates momentum for the entire day and gives way to new goal setting.
Play personal growth videos or audio books. By focusing on the positive messages coming from this content at the beginning of the day, it’s much easier to be happy and focused. My work gets done more quickly, and it doesn’t seem so hard either because I’m starting my day off on the right foot.
A Winning Checklist.
Now that you started on good note; now finish on a great note by making a mental list of the day’s wins. It doesn’t have to be monumental; the point of the exercise is just to keep your focus on the best your day’s experience.
Keeping track of losses can help you improve, but dwelling on them will kill your motivation and momentum. Finish strong and it will be much easier to wake up feeling happy.
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha
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