10 Ways to Change Your Mindset to Live Your Best Life
Calgary Life Coach and Grief Recovery Specialist
Blessings are a funny thing. Many times they come in the form of pure heartache at first, and many of our most powerful lessons are as a result of our greatest pain. I have been blessed in this life to learn so much, so young. As a result of that, I have made it my obligation to share much of what I have learned, so that others can see their own lives as less of a disappointment and more as a gift.
Every single one of us has a story and with each story comes these lessons that we learn along the way. I have learned so much that I could probably fill the pages of multiple books.
Sometimes I forget the lessons on really rough days but I always try to bring myself back to that place where I remember and that remembering empowers me every single time.
Here are some things that I ALWAYS try to remember, and I encourage you to do the same.
1. Don’t always listen to your default thinking – have a discussion with yourself about the thoughts you are having.
You can be a deliberate thinker, but this isn’t something that happens overnight. It is a skill that has to be learned. Default thinking is basically when your mind is on autopilot. You are doing the day to day things that don’t require a lot of thought, which is actually a good thing.
However, default thinking can be those negative thoughts that come to your mind like, “I am not good enough,” “I will never learn that,” “I don’t have time.”
DO NOT let your mind stick with the default thinking. Have a conversation with yourself and determine whether or not these thoughts are actually real. You must take the time to think about these thoughts because, more often than not, you will find a way to shift them into more positive, realistic truths.
The initial thoughts are meant to protect you because our brain does not like the unknown or the uncomfortable. This is just the way we are wired, and we have to learn to fight against the negative self-talk.
The #1 thing that will stop you from doing the things you want and living the way you want is the way you think. Sure there are a lot of circumstances that can become obstacles and temporary barriers, but only your thoughts will determine whether or not anything will ever change.
You can evolve from default thinking. Think about what your limiting beliefs are, and what are they costing you?
2. Stop overthinking – Your thoughts matter. The more time you spend thinking, the less time you will spend doing. I am about to share something with you that you may or may not believe in. I heard it first from Mel Robbins while reading her book, The 5 Second Rule.
One of the main reasons we overthink and never do the things we think about doing is this;
In her book, Robbins describes that moment between having the thought and hesitation. She essentially says you need to take action within 5 seconds of having the idea, or you will begin to overthink and come up with reasons why you shouldn’t do it. The longer you wait, the more reasons you come up with.
It’s that simple.
Now even though it’s that simple, like all things, it will take practice. Start by noticing the thoughts that enter your brain within five seconds of thinking something, after that, try to make small action steps within those five seconds of having an idea and see how much more you accomplish.
Listen, people who accomplish their goals, take these concepts, and implement them. Those who don’t accomplish anything are those who overthink the shit out of these concepts and debate them without even trying.
3. Other people’s results don’t affect you – just because someone is way ahead of where you are, does not mean you aren’t good enough. It doesn’t mean they are luckier than you or that they know something that you will never be able to figure out. All this means is that they are a bit further ahead, and they have worked a bit harder for a bit longer.
Your time will come, if you don’t quit.
Also, if something didn’t work for someone else does not mean it won’t work for you.
Everyone’s journey is different.
Some things don’t work out, and there are so many different factors involved in each circumstance. Do not let someone else’s story dictate yours. Do not let someone else’s “failure” create so much fear in you that you never attempt to try.
I see people do this all the time. It truly breaks my heart. When I can see so much potential in someone, and I witness them shove their dreams aside because it hasn’t worked for others so it can’t possibly work for them. Or perhaps it hasn’t worked for them thus far, so they assume it never will.
I will never ask someone to do something I haven’t been willing to do myself, and I promise you, I have been crawling through the uncomfortable and “impossible” goals for almost three years. It’s exhausting most days, but I am never going to stop because this is my ultimate goal, and I know that as long as I work hard and believe in myself, success will come.
As the saying goes, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford.
4. Other’s opinions should not affect you – As long as you worry about people judging you, you will limit yourself because you are afraid of what others will think.
I have always tried to do the right thing, even when it was at the risk of someone not liking me.
Quick reminder: not everyone is going to like you.
Even though this has caused me a lot of grief and I maybe didn’t always do myself favors, it has made me a happier person because I can go to sleep at night knowing that NO ONE can make me go against my values as a human.
No one’s opinion of me can stop me from thriving, and it shouldn’t stop you either.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t get ahead is because they aren’t willing to risk failure, and the reason they aren’t willing to risk failure is that their fear of what people will think overpowers their hunger to get what they want.
If you want to reach the success that you desire, YOU MUST cut out the noise.
The more successful you get, and the happier you become, chances are good, you will receive even more unsolicited opinions and even more haters. People love to judge those who are doing the things they wish they were doing themselves, so please don’t let this hold you back. This realization for me did not come from a place of anger or bitterness; it comes from years of observation and, unfortunately, a hard truth.
Jealousy is a fascinating thing, and it can come out in the most bizarre ways, but it’s in our human nature, and we will never be able to stop feeling jealousy or having people feel jealousy towards us. All we can do is keep ourselves in check and understand why we and others feel it.
Stop worrying about what others are thinking or doing and focus on YOU and your interpersonal growth.
For the last four years, I have been regularily putting out content that is, for the most part, about me and my life. I do this because I know that there are people out there who need to read it. How do I know that? Because I too depend on others sharing their experiences and knowledge on who they are and what they have learned. It is truly inspiring to me.
When I read other content, I take what works for me, and I leave the rest.
I genuinely believe that everyone has a story, and you never know when someone needs to hear it.
Could you imagine if everyone was too scared to share their ideas or their stories? What kind of world would this be if no one ever acted on their gifts because they were too afraid of what people might say?
Just imagine that for a moment.
Don’t lose confidence in yourself or your ideas because someone else lacks confidence in you. This is the worst thing you can do. Most people mean well, but also, most people’s opinions are based on their fears, not yours.
The moment you stop caring what other people think, and the moment you stop comparing yourself to everyone else, is the moment things will change for you.
5. The past is in the past, and it can’t be changed – Trust me, I know how easy it is to get stuck in your past and blame everything that has ever happened to you for why you are not doing the things you want to be doing or why your life isn’t “fair.”
What does a “fair” life even look like?
I know how easy it is to feel sorry for yourself, and there is a time and a place for that, but it can’t last long. You can acknowledge that things have been unfair for you, but then you must accept that bad shit happens to everyone, and you can either grow from it or remain stagnant and miserable.
I say this from a place of experience and genuine love.
Grudges will never get you ahead, and neither will holding onto things that you CAN NOT change. You are not the only one who has had hardships, and when you look at many of those people we view as the most successful people in the world, 99% of them have come from horribly tragic circumstances.
If they can do it, so can you. Don’t limit yourself by having a victim mentality. Yes, what happened to you was not okay, and it wasn’t fair, but you don’t have to live your life based on that.
Don’t be a victim of your circumstance, be a survivor in spite of them.
6. Things can always get better if you believe it – When things are hard I know how difficult it can be to think that it will ever be better again. When you have been hit with something tragic, you may not even want to believe that recovering is possible because if you recover, that means that the loss or experience you are currently going through will become your new normal. It will become part of your story and something that is now only in your past.
Today has been difficult, and it has been filled with reminders. Painful reminders. People keep telling me, don’t worry, you will be happy again. My biggest worry is the day that not having Nick with me any more becomes my normal. I know people mean well when they say things during these times, but I am here to tell you the idea of finally being able to accept that Nick is gone, and my new normal is not having him, is what I fear the most. – Written March 8, 2016, 16 days after my fiance died.
This is a harrowing realization, but it doesn’t have to last forever.
For months after I was hit with unbearable grief, I would go to bed at night, saying these words, “today was horrible, but tomorrow will be better.”
I didn’t come up with this mantra, but I was told to say it every day until I believed it.
To my surprise, I eventually believed it, and things did get better. If you hold on to even the tiniest ounce of hope, even when you don’t want to, it will get better, and you will be okay again.
Take a moment to look back on something that you thought was going to ruin your life forever; did it ever get better? If it didn’t, did you ever try telling yourself it would?
7. We ARE NOT meant to be happy all the time – when you ask someone what they want the most in life, more often than not, people respond by saying, “to be happy.” But what does this mean? Does this mean you want to be happy ALL THE TIME?
I often wonder what people mean by this response because you also hear people say it in response to, “what do you want most for your kids.”
But what happens when you’re not happy? Here is the truth, I don’t believe we are meant to be happy all of the time. If we grow up believing that the ultimate goal is to be happy, we will crumble during times of hardship and sorrow.
Please always remember that we are not meant to be happy all of the time, and that’s okay. If we were happy all of the time, how would we learn to be grateful? How are we supposed to know great joy when we haven’t experienced deep sorrow? How do we have anything to compare happiness and the feeling of content with if we haven’t ever experienced horrendous pain and extreme discomfort?
Don’t strive to be happy all of the time, strive to be courageous enough to look adversity in the face and come out of it stronger. YOU are a powerful being who can handle worst-case scenarios, as long as you have the right mindset, and when things are great; be happy.
8. Practice being with emotion – If you are always looking for another feeling instead of being with the one you have now, you will always be looking for a buffer.
When you are feeling sad, try not to look for a way to make yourself feel better immediately. Chances are really good; there is a legitimate reason for your feeling sad. Sit with it. Feel it. Allow yourself to get to know who you are with that feeling of sadness. Process it. Take as much time as you need to learn about that feeling of sadness. Learn who you are with that emotion. How do you tend to respond? What is your go-to “fix”? Notice these things and be aware of them. When you are ready, determine what you need to do to start feeling better in a healthy way.
When you learn to sit with your emotions and become comfortable with being uncomfortable, you will begin to work through hardships in a way that will help you discover real, lasting healing.
Unresolved issues and grief do not just go away. They will fester and appear at undesirable times if you haven’t worked through them. Being willing to sit through emotion is an excellent way to enhance your emotional intelligence and, ultimately, your resilience to life’s inevitable hardships.
9. Kindness should be your default – A simple smile can change someone’s life. In some cases, it may even save someone’s life. I’ve written about this before because I am so passionate about it. I don’t care how shitty your day has been or how your life looks in this current moment. It does not give you a right to take your pain out on someone else, and simply smiling instead of being irritable, unfriendly, or rude will change not only your life for the better, but it might change that person’s life in unthinkable ways.
Trust me, I worked in an environment where smiling wasn’t always comfortable, but I chose to do it anyway. This didn’t always get me ahead, but it helped me build meaningful relationships, it put me in a position to be there for others, and it allowed me to stay true to myself even though conforming would have been a lot easier in several situations.
10. Never fear failure -If you want something and it matters to you, failing should be expected, and quitting should not be an option. If you commit to allowing yourself to fail, you will eventually succeed. Without those failures, you may end up going down the wrong path. I genuinely believe the failures are what keeps us going in the right direction, even though it doesn’t feel like that when it happens.
If you desire something enough, NOTHING should be able to stop you.
You have to WANT something more than your FEAR of not getting it.
I would rather say the words, “I failed” than “what if”
The best way to live by these three principles is to have a very clear understanding of what your WHY is. If you have a strong enough WHY you will be able to persevere. One of the most essential skills is perseverance, and that skill becomes stronger every time you fail.
When you fail at something, and you find yourself becoming discouraged, remember this; there needs to be ups and downs and peaks and valleys so that when the good things happen, you can finally say, “WOW, this is what it’s all about.”
The real feeling of joy and gratefulness will not be felt if you never experience disappointment. I sometimes wonder if it is fear we are afraid of or is it pain. If it’s pain, I am here to tell you, YOU can handle the pain, my friend, and if you don’t try, you aren’t giving yourself enough credit, and you are selling yourself short.
Difficult moments build character, and if you want to be unbreakable, you must be able to endure failure.
Sometimes it can be hard to remember the lessons you have learned along this journey but the nice thing is, once you’ve genuinely learned them, it’s impossible to deny that they are true. Like I said, I have bad days too and I have to make a conscious effort on those days to see the big picture and not allow my current circumstance to destroy all of the hard work I’ve done. It’s been a long road to get to where I am, from where I was, and I refuse to let anything fuck that up.
I will not allow myself to become a victim of circumstance because if we all did that, this world would be a very dark place, in fact I am not sure our species would even survive.
Think about that.
“Meg Roberts is an experienced life coach in Calgary offering grief support and life coaching. As a Grief Recovery Method specialist and as someone who has overcome her share of grief over time, Meg is an empathetic coach with a unique perspective on love and life. Book a discovery meeting with Meg to get started on the road to healing and recovery.”