I was recently coaching a client who was beginning two new part-time jobs. Her biggest worry was being overwhelmed and stressed out with the new paperwork procedures that she would need to learn. Here’s what she didn’t realize; she was generating lots of negative energy by her perspective on the paperwork.
Her mindset: “I know myself well enough to know that I will be overwhelmed and stressed out with the new paperwork.”
This mindset made her…
you guessed it…overwhelmed and stressed out.
Here’s what she wasn’t taking into account: This amazing, resourceful, talented woman had just recently and unexpectedly been let go from her former job, leaving her with a totally unplanned lack of income. In less than a month, she had put out enough resumes to snag 5 (!) job offers of which she accepted 2 part-time. So why would she even worry about being overwhelmed and stressed out about paperwork, after the stellar way she handled the previous crisis?
Our Inner Lizard Brain Loves to Keep Us Down and Out
Unfortunately we all have a tendency to focus on the negative which quickly becomes a habitual story.
Here are some examples:
- I have ADHD so I can’t focus and I’ll never be able to …
- I’ve always suffered from a lack of self-confidence…it’s just the way I am.
- I’ve tried every diet known to man and I always gain the weight back. I’m just wired to be overweight.
- I always get overwhelmed and stressed out when I have to tackle something new like unfamiliar paperwork.
These are all stories that we tell ourselves.
They are figments of our brain’s imagination.
They are not reality–unless we make them so.
You Can Write a New Story
We can get a grip on the positive energy that is at our service, just waiting to be tapped into.
- Observe your thoughts objectively. Stop letting your brain run wild like an unruly toddler racing through the house with a pair of scissors in hand. Recognize that you are in charge of your brain and your thoughts. Write down your thoughts.
- Evaluate your thoughts and decide if they are serving you. When you find yourself replaying that frustrating conversation or that aggravating situation over and over, ask yourself: Is this thought bringing me happiness? fulfillment? success? If the answer is no, it’s time to grab that toddler and redirect them into some safer and more useful pursuits.
- Create a new thought pattern that serves you. This is not a positive affirmation that is unrealistic and out of touch. Instead this is a focused thought that feels real, supportive and true to who you are. In the example listed above, my client was able to acknowledge that having been successful in handling a near crisis in her career, that paperwork could be a non-issue for someone as resourceful as she had proven to be. Here is how you might restate your stories:
- I create a daily focus plan than keeps me on track every day so I manage my diagnosis of ADHD
- When I feel lacking in self-confidence, I know it is a sign I’m about to do something new and challenging, not a sign that I am incapable. I don’t let it hold me back from growing and changing.
- I’m focused on eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that provides my body with adequate energy and nutrition.
- I’ve tackled bigger challenges than paperwork and I am capable of learning something new with confidence and calm.
- Practice your positive message by saying it out loud. Notice how often you are complaining to your partner about how stressed you are over your job? Change the story and tell him or her what you appreciate about your job instead. Do you frequently complain to your girlfriends about how you can’t lose weight no matter what? Change your story and share what you love about your new healthy lifestyle and the difference it has made in your life. While you are at it, take the next step and start a gratitude journal where you regularly affirm what is positive in your life.
Recognizing and harnessing the positive energy that we all possess will double the effect of your actions so that you can be your most successful self.
Changing your mindset is effective and rewarding but not necessarily easy. You will find lots of “reasons” or excuses for not doing it. Don’t let them hold you back.
Just as the unruly toddler needs consistent discipline and love, so your inner lizard brain needs discipline and love. Be the adult, the parent of your brain.
Of course it’s hard.
But it is so worth it.
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Carlos CastanedaNeed a coach to help you create successful mindsets?Ready to make a change in your life?Learn more here: http://lynnewatts.com/coachingforsuccess
Email me to set up a free coaching clarity call: email@example.com Let’s stop making excuses and start making a new future.I’m looking so forward to being a part of the changes in your life!
Wow! Lynne’s expertise in Personality Styles, mindset and priority management paired with Kathy Brunner’s expertise in business building and goal setting is a powerful combination. The interactive and personalized format was engaging and gave me tools I can use and actions I can take right away. ~Erin Shaw