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A simple shift in mindset can lead to positive change
Your willingness to make changes in your life may just come down to how you think about it.
In fact, in this post I’m going to claim that a simple mindset shift could be all you need to help you make better choices, develop healthier habits, and grow into your best self.
That’s a bold statement, I know.
The truth is, sometimes adopting better habits or making healthier choices just comes down to using a different perspective.
Learning to change your angle and see your circumstances from another point of view can make all the difference.
Download this free worksheet to help you shift your mindset and start planning powerful change in your life!
I totally get it. Change is hard.
Especially if you’ve clocked 4 to 6 decades on this planet and you’re used to the way things are.
So, why even bother?
Because regrets are born in the slumber of apathy.
As humans, we tend to resist creating change in our lives because of the discomfort and disruption it can cause. (It doesn’t feel good to stop eating that bowl of Rocky Road ice cream every night!)
But, when the pain of the discomfort becomes stronger than the convenience of ignoring it, then there’s motivation to change.
It’s like being poked by a cattle prod to start moving in a different direction.
Maybe you received a negative report from your doctor and now have to change your diet. Or, you got laid off and now you can’t keep up with your credit card bills.
In these events, change is initiated by a negative, external circumstance, and you’re forced to do something uncomfortable.
But, what if nobody ever challenges you on your choices?
What if that dysfunctional relationship, that unhealthy habit, or that endless debt balance never results in a pain strong enough to force change?
You might feel the discontentment or discomfort, but you get used to it. Over time, you accept it as the way things are. Occasionally you’ll feel a little sting, but you know it will subside if you just ignore it.
The idea of facing those problems head on just sounds too hard. Too uncomfortable. You want to stay in that space where you’ve learned to accommodate the discomfort by adjusting your life around it.
But someday, when it’s too late, you may look back on your life and wish you had done things differently.
That’s why it’s important to make decisions *today* that will make your future self thankful for your past decisions.
(Read that again if you didn’t get it the first time.)
So, in the future:
- Do you want to be at peace with the choices you made today?
- Do you want to be able to look back and be thankful for the tough changes you made today?
- Do you want to be satisfied with the legacy you started building today?
Of course you do! Who wouldn’t?
And if you’re not fully content with every area of your life, then there’s room for improvement, right?
So, it’s worth it to take a good look in the mirror and determine what needs to change, so you can have the best future possible.
Here are 3 steps to a simple mindset shift that can help you get there.
Related post: A Willingness to Change: Here’s the How & the Why
Step 1: What have you had enough of?
When we think about change, we tend to focus on the inconvenience it brings. We don’t want to deny ourselves of something that has served us in some way for so long.
- if you want to lose weight, you have to give up sugar and pasta
- if you want to get out of debt, you can’t go shopping like you used to
- if you want to stop procrastinating, you’ll need to give up the excuses
For most people, the effort isn’t worth the cost.
But what if you didn’t think of change in terms of what’s being taken away? What if you approached it from a different perspective by asking yourself one question:
What have I had enough of in my lifetime?
You don’t have to think of change as some kind of loss, or sacrifice, or something you can never do again.
Instead, you can reframe the idea of change as moving on from something you’ve experienced and completed, and now you’re ready for the next thing.
We all go through different seasons in life. There’s a beginning to every season, then there’s walking and living through it, then there’s an ending. Each one is a part of your life, when you tried something for a while and you learned from it and now that part of your life is complete.
You don’t need to keep doing it because you’ve already done enough for a lifetime. Now it’s time for something new. It’s time for a new season.
For me, I’ve done enough partying in my life. I did the clubs and the dating and the drinking. I’ve had enough of that experience. It was a part of my life and I learned from it and it led me to the better life I have now.
And today, I’ve decided I’ve done enough procrastinating to last a lifetime. I’ve made enough excuses and I’ve experienced enough of the consequences. I learned what I needed to learn, and now it’s time to move on to something new, something better.
I’m not thinking I have to deny myself the convenience of being passive, or the freedom from meeting expectations. I’m not going to look at this new season as a time when I’ll have to give up making excuses.
Because, I’m at a point in my life where that experience is now complete. I did enough of it. I don’t need to do it anymore. It’s time to move on and experience the next part of my life.
So, ask yourself these questions:
- What part of my life is complete?
- What have I tried, and experienced, and now I don’t need to do anymore?
- What experience have I learned enough from, and now I am free to move on from it?
These questions could apply to habits, relationships, beliefs, and anything else you think needs to be complete and closed and not experienced anymore.
Related post: How to Meet Your Future Self
Step 2: Make a list
I would guess that there are at least 2 or 3 things in your life that come to mind right away. Those areas that make you think oh yeah – I’ve definitely done enough of that.
Maybe you’ve done enough hanging out with negative people, or eating sugar, or being lazy, or using credit cards. Maybe it’s time to close that chapter and start a new one.
A good way to start this process is to make a list of things in your life that are now complete.
Those areas that you’ve experienced, you’ve learned from, and now you’re good. You don’t need to keep doing them. You’re ready to move on to something better.
When you’ve written down everything you want to be complete with, turn your paper over and start a list of things you want more of in your life. Things you want to experience more of, and learn more from.
I want to be done using credit cards, and now I want to experience more financial freedom.
I want to be done with allowing fear to stop me from trying, and now I want to experience more courage.
As you read through your first list, look at each one as complete. You can even put a check mark next to it, or cross it out. You’ve done it, and you don’t need to do it anymore.
When you read your second list, you’re thinking of those things as replacements that will enrich your life. You should be excited about experiencing them more, and looking forward to how they’ll make your life better.
I’m done with procrastinating and not reaching my goals instead of making them a priority. And now I’m excited about getting things done and following through and I’m embracing the positive change that will bring in my life.
Put your list somewhere you’ll see it often. Remind yourself that you’re entering a new, exciting chapter and now you’re choosing things that you’re much more interested in doing.
Related post: The 5 Principles of Change
Step 3: Know your why
As humans, we each have control of our thoughts and emotions. Our decisions and actions are a result of what we think and feel.
Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t take control of our thoughts and emotions, which can lead to decisions that are unhealthy and harmful and, at the very least, not beneficial.
But, when you learn to manage your mind and take control of your thoughts, the resulting actions will reflect a more disciplined behavior.
You won’t be compulsive or passive or give in to spontaneous urges. You have full control over making decisions that will better your life.
Part of that mind management is knowing why you’re making certain choices.
When you have a deep, emotional connection to the reasons behind your decisions, your commitment to them will be stronger.
So, as you go through the process of determining what is now complete in your life, and what you want to experience more of, be sure to do the work of figuring out why.
What is that compelling emotion tied to your new decision?
If you’re a reading this blog, I assume you want greater control over your finances. Maybe you’ve chosen to be done with debt and overspending. Maybe you want to experience more financial discipline and freedom in your life.
These are great decisions that are going to benefit your life in a major way – but don’t stop there.
Ask yourself *why* you want these things. Have a strong justification in your mind for the change. Be purposeful about connecting it to a compelling reason and a strong emotion.
Use this mindset shift to choose more for yourself
Change is challenging. It will always take more effort to change than to keep doing the same thing you’ve been doing forever. So be prepared for the challenge.
This simple mindset shift can help you approach your new choices with less resistance. Instead of thinking you’re losing something, you can see the change as a way to gain more experiences in your life and thus make it more full.
You’ve had the previous experience, and now that’s complete, and so you’re moving on to a new experience, which will further you along the path to the person you’re meant to become.
You’re choosing more for your life, so you can continue to learn and grow from every experience that you add. But, you’re also choosing to better your life, so you keep making choices that lead you to your best self.
When you can make this shift in your mindset, you’ll see that letting something go isn’t losing something at all. It’s when you choose new experiences that you’re adding so much more to your life.
Don’t forget to grab this free worksheet to help you shift your mindset and create change in your life!