“I can’t believe I ate that WHOLE thing!” Ever said those words? I know I have. It’s a moment that occurs usually about the time that your belly tells your brains, ‘we’ve had ENTIRELY too much!’ There is nothing you can do about it now. 1500 calories, down your gullet. Gone. And now you are mad at yourself. You think, ‘All that hard work on the diet and gym training this week has been obliterated.’ It something you can’t take back. That Sucks. Fortunately, it’s a short-term regret, and with some work, you can correct it.
Now, think about the long term. Gary Vaynerchuck talks about going into a nursing home to visit with patients there. Look into the eyes of someone that has done or not done something they wish they would have. They worked too much and missed out on their kids lives, they didn’t take care of themselves physically and now they are dependent on others to take care of themselves because they have developed a chronic disease that defines their lives. There is a deep level of regret, a long term regret that they can’t take back or change now. They have to live with it. That Really Sucks.
We spend so much time now living to SURVIVE the day. Too many of us go to a job that we hate, but continue to do it because it pays the bills. We stay in bed longer because we don’t want to start the day that leads to the mundane. We come home at the end of the day and veg in front of the couch because we are exhausted by the frustration that we endured all day. We run ragged with kids schedules, meetings, all trying to keep up with everyone else.
We often live a mindless life, because, that’s the way it is.
Have you ever looked in the mirror, evaluated your job or life and thought, “How did I get here?”
Ever have that gut feeling that says, this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be?
If so, you’re not alone. What you’re experiencing generally comes out of a mindset that is limited by the here and now. You say, things like;
“I was just born that way.”
“I’ve tried that before and it didn’t work.”
“I can’t do that.”
Mindset is the key to everything. The way you think about things will impact the things you think about and your opinion on whether your can achieve goals, conquer fear and live the life you REALLY want. The good news is, you can change your mindset. Dr. Carol Dweck found out through 25 years of research, we are capable of changing almost everything, if we have the right mindset.
Mindset will determine everything. It will determine if this is the year that you will lose the weight, change your career to do something you love and are passionate about, transform the way you parent your children, learn a new language, or develop a skill you didn’t previously have.
If you can change the way you think, to believe, actually believe that you can get better, your life will be substantially better. But it will require some thinking and dedicated practice.
Fortunately, it requires small steps that lead us in the direction of daily growth. Coach John Wooden said, “By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day, over a period of time you will become a lot better.”
Here are the steps to begin to change your mindset.
1. Embrace that you have a Fixed Mindset in some areas
You are human
You are not perfect
You will never be perfect, that’s ok
2. Identify your Fixed Mindset
Where is your mindset limited?
What thoughts do you have that sabotage your growth and ability to change.
3. Give your Fixed Mindset a Name
For Example: When you think about losing weight, making a lifestyle change, you have the thought “you can’t do this.”
Name that thought like it’s a different person. “When I start thinking about losing weight, Sally shows up and ruins everything. She tells me I’m not good enough, invites me to eat foods that don’t match my goals and encourages me to sleep in and not go to my morning workout.”
Give those thoughts a name, because truly, it is not someone that you want to be. Make it a character, or perhaps someone that you don’t like. Either way, naming these thoughts brings recognition and an awareness to you that the thoughts don’t define who you want to be.
4. Educate Your Fixed Mindset.
Now that your fixed mindset has a persona, talk through these thoughts like a person.
You know that when you are trying to make a physical change, there are going to be difficulties along the way. “Sharon” is going to show up and tell you that you don’t have what it takes to really make a change. Talk her through it with statements like, “I know I haven’t always stayed with the plans I made, but, i am going to succeed at this change, because I am taking a different approach.”
This may feel a little weird. In fact typing this out myself, it seems REALLY uncomfortable. But the fact is, I know that I have “characters” that mess me up in different ways. I need to identify them, name them and walk them through why change is going to be different this time. Because, if I don’t and if you don’t, you are going to eventually have a regret. You are not going to follow through on something or achieve your fullest potential and that would be a shame.
Don’t be afraid to take a step because it is uncomfortable. It is not necessary to see the entire path to get to a destination. All you need is to shine your lights on the path that is in front of your next step. If you do that, every single day, you can make a significant change, which will prevent you from having so many regrets and that’s a good thing, because: