Whether we like it or not, change is all around us, especially in our current environment, considering all that we’ve been faced with in 2020.
While just sticking our heads in the sand, waiting for all this to pass, then returning to “normal”—and meanwhile being consumed with worry, fear, and stress—would seem easiest, I’m taking the stance that no “normal” exists. In fact, many of the changes that are happening are inviting us to look at how we had been living our lives, an examination that can prompt new, empowering, and positive ways of thinking which can be put into place easily and quickly.
All you need to do is read on with an open mind and bring a willingness to take “baby steps” to raise up your level of mind, body, and spirit. I’ve often seen that once you realize the “why” and commit, the “how” begins to appear. The goal is to retrain your brain to see change as an opportunity for growth.
Here are 3 easy steps to shift your mindset and embrace change:
- Open up space in your life to be happier.
Let’s start by setting an intention around what you want to expand into and how you would feel if it were already incorporated in your life. For example, if you’re like most of us, feeling more at peace and empowered are priorities. Can you sense what life would be like to have more of these? I’m right there with you.
What might work for you in order to achieve these feelings? You could start a mediation practice in the morning or before bed, and you might feel calmer and more relaxed. Or, a yoga or exercise practice might be what brings you feelings of strength and flexibility. Perhaps you realized during quarantine that you really enjoy spending more time with your family. And maybe you’ve found your voice around the issues that are currently at the forefront in our country, and you’re setting an intention to change your approach and expression in some area of your life or thought. Then, you might feel more peace of mind and confidence on this new path of personal development.
Picturing how you will feel happier and more peaceful (and even proud) if you accomplished these goals will motivate you to begin. Now, start by thinking how that can happen in the simplest, easiest way possible. Then, rinse and repeat! Slowly but surely, new habits will take root.
- Notice positive changes/events daily.
I’ve created a practice of noticing at least 3 positive changes or happenings daily. This has retrained my brain to see change as an opportunity for growth.
A great time for this practice is at night before bed. With a small notebook by your bed, you can jot down your realizations and reflect on your day. What do you notice when you recall your morning, afternoon, and night that makes you smile? Be specific so that when you look back over your notes in the future you can really remember what you noticed; the details will be there.
Yes, some days you may struggle with this effort but know that every day has positive aspects. The occurrences don’t have to be big. They can be so small you may not even think the change is a positive one, but you will notice over time this practice becomes easier, and you’ll recall the positives much more quickly. When someone opens the door for me, or I notice a new flower that bloomed, that goes right into my notes.
- Quiet your inner critic.
Here is a statistic that you may or may not know, and it may or may not surprise you. Ninety-two percent (92%) of people interviewed say they set goals for themselves each year that they don’t achieve. That’s a high percentage of people who are giving up on what they want because they don’t fully know how to get there or who to ask for help. Or, they’re talking themselves out of moving ahead by fearing that they can’t accomplish the intention, or that, well, why bother anyway?
Sound familiar? That’s your mind trying to resist change. Expect that.
Your mind is very crafty when embracing change is on the table. Part of your brain is concerned with survival and will feel safer when you stick to the tried and true. Yes, “the usual” would be essential if you were running from a tiger and needed to escape, but now, your mind is stuck in a setting of “Danger!” and leads you to resist change that would most likely open the way to a more fulfilling life for you. Keep going!
Changing your mindset happens by choice.
I would love to hear from you as to how those changes are working out and what you’re struggling with. Feel free to reply to this email and let me know how you’re doing and what areas of support you would be interested in. What you ask for may be the topic of an upcoming article! Also feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.