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I want to talk about why it’s SO important that you care about your mindset.
So, in today’s post, that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re also going to learn how to determine what kind of mindset you have, and how you can strengthen it and live your life from an empowered, and nurturing state of mind.
Welcome to the blog & podcast, Unlocking Wellness! I’m Crystal McLain, curator of Crystal McLain Creative, an online resource that supports folks who are ready to get creative with the care of their mind, body, and mother-lovin’ soul.
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And, if you like to read along WHILE you listen, or enjoy graphics and videos, you can access all of these features through the blog version of this podcast (yes, even the audio as well). I’ll leave a direct link to this episode in the show notes below.
Alright. Let's get to it.
So, first, I just want to mention that for the entire month of January of 2023, I’m devoting all of my content to the mindset. So if you’re following along on my social media platforms, or if you’re a Patreon member, that’s what we’re focusing on. Next month, is all about self awareness, March is body consciousness, and April kicks off a six month series of self discovery where we’ll learn how to understand and care for the mental, emotional, physical, practical, social, and spiritual selves. That takes us up to October, when we’ll dive into self acceptance, then self respect in November, and finally we’ll end the year in December with self love. It’s gonna be a great year for really digging into the meat ’n potatoes of this self care stuff, so you can learn all that you need to be creative with your mind-body wellness.
Okay, let’s get to this mindset stuff.
So, as you may (or may not) know, your mindset is your attitude, beliefs or intentions. And depending on where you float on the fixed-to-growth spectrum, you’re going to experience different levels of ease or difficulty with, well…anything.
Having a fixed mindset means you’re more rigid with thoughts or beliefs about something. And having a growth mindset means you’re more curious, or open minded about stuff. And, btw, having a fixed mindset isn’t bad (in fact, it’s good to hold strong to some of your beliefs), but it’s still important to recognize where your head’s at, especially when it comes to taking care of yourself.
So, yeah, from self love, to self care, challenge, change, and the world around you, your MINDSET is what influences how you perceive it all, face it all, and- most importantly- deal with it all.
And the reason why UNDERSTANDING your mindset is so important, is because it gives you power.
When you recognize how you perceive yourself, your relationships, and your circumstances, that gives you REALLY valuable information about how you’re making choices, and how you may be reacting to certain situations.
And the thing about a mindset is, YOU get to change it. So, if you’re operating from a place of negativity, fear, or lack, you can take ownership of this and start shifting your mindset so it works more in your favor.
But first, you need to determine what kind of mindset you have.
DETERMINING YOUR MINDSET
So, the good news is, generally speaking, figuring out what kind of mindset you have is kind of easy. If your thoughts are empowering, it’s probably a growth mindset. And if they’re disempowering, it’s mostly likely fixed. But, of course, there are no hard rules here. There’s no black and white binary for the brain…and I’m wondering if that’s why they call the central nervous system “grey matter”…doubt it. Sorry, sidetracked nerd thought.
Anyway, the tricky part is actually catching yourself in the moment of action, so you can determine what your driving forces are. But, if you’re like most human beings, you’re probably cruising through life on auto-pilot, and not looking too deeply into your thoughts and feelings in regards to your daily activities. I get it. I do the same thing. BUT, when we’re noticing things like anxiety, frustration, hesitation, doubt or any other mental or emotional hurdle getting in our way, it’s time to check in.
And checking in with your thoughts and feelings can take a bit of practice. But learning how to hit pause, and figure out your mindset in the moment, or even hitting rewind, and doing a bit of reflection is totally worth your time.
So, let’s practice now.
Alright, think about an area of your life that you’ve been wanting to upgrade. It could be a habit you’d like to quit, a routine you’d like to start, a boundary you’d like to set. Maybe it’s a sense of peace or self acceptance you’d like to experience. Maybe you’d like to get through your day without wanting burning down your place of employment. Maybe, for once in your life, you’d like to put your needs before everyone else’s. Whatever it is, conjure that thing up in your brain.
Now, you’d like for this aspect of your life to be different in some way. But there’s something keeping you from getting there, and I’m willing to bet that your mindset is playing a role here.
Now, hear me loud and clear on this. I’m not saying that your mindset is going to accept or change things like capitalism or terminal illness. No. There are some things that are far too big, and gross, and, sadly, out of our control, and they’re totally getting in the way of a LOT of people living healthy, prosperous lives. BUT, that said, we can still choose how we react to our circumstances, AND, we can choose how we invest our energy.
Okay, so, you’ve got that thing you’d like to upgrade, shift, or delete. Now we’re gonna figure out what’s keeping you from doing the damn thing.
When you think about yourself, your body, your brain, your abilities, personality, worthiness, your capacity to deal with challenges, change, boundary setting, anything, there’s a bit of subconscious programming that’s influencing these thoughts. And your thoughts, or beliefs about something, will cause you to feel certain ways. And the choices you make, and the actions you take, are VERY heavily influenced by these feelings.
So it’s REALLY important that you pay attention to your thoughts. But here’s the thing, sometimes we ignore our thoughts. We can easily distract ourselves with things like cellphones, or busy work. But it’s not quite as easy to escape our feelings. We may not have a super clear definition of our emotions, but we have a general sense. Like, you may be feeling low or depressed, but with a bit of digging you may actually realize that it’s grief or loneliness that you’re experiencing. You may be feeling overwhelmed, but really it’s fear of failure or or being seen as vulnerable. See what I’m saying? By the way, I have a free feelings chart that will help you clearly identify your emotions. You can snag that chart by either visiting the blog version of this podcast, or the digital downloads section of my shop at the website. Anyway, the more clearly you identify your feelings, the easier it’s going to be to figure out the cause of these emotions, i.e. figure out your thoughts, and figure out your mindset.
Okay, so, back to that thing you wanna do…
Now, there’s a big space between where you are now, and where you’d be after you attain this thing. And within that space, there’s a lot of work, a lot of letting go, a lot of unlearning, and a lot of change. And if there’s anything I know about people, it’s that we like things to be easy, we’re stubborn, and we hate change. Even if that change is a positive thing, our subconscious likes predictability and routine. We feel safer when we have structure. Even if that structure is a broken down shit box, we’re familiar with it. And the brain likes that.
Brains are dumb.
But there is a cool feature to the brain, and that feature is neuroplasticity. And we’ll get into that more in a minute. For now I want you to sit with the idea of where you are now, and where you’d like to be. And when you think about that space between these two places, what’s coming up for you? When you think about the work, and the effort, and the sacrifices, how do you feel?
Now, take that feeling and reduce it down into all of its basic parts. Maybe it’s overwhelm. But what are the specific feelings causing that overwhelm?
This is when ideas and thoughts and beliefs, and even questions start popping up. That’s the foundation of your mindset.
Now, before you forget these thoughts and feelings, quick, stop, write them down. This is valuable information for transforming your mindset!
Now you get to question these thoughts.
Where the hell did they come from?
Are these really your thoughts, or do they belong to someone else?
Are these thoughts true? I mean, really, are they?
Now, here’s a little check list so you can determine whether or not your thoughts are empowering or disempowering. And if they feel like a kick in the shin, then we’re going to learn how to upgrade them into something more supportive.
Disempowering thoughts are:
Empowering thoughts are:
So, if you’ve got a thought, and you’re not sure where it stands, dig a little deeper.
Like, a thought might be, “this is hard.” That’s fair, most things in life are hard. But where do you and your beliefs about your abilities lie when it comes to hard things? Maybe you don’t feel you’re capable, maybe you’re afraid of failure? Whenever you find a thought, dig deeper. Keep questioning it. What’s causing you to believe you’re not capable? How did you become afraid of failure? Where do these come from?
MAKING OVER YOUR MINDSET
Alright! So, once you get a clear idea of what your mindset is, now it’s time to start upgrading it! By the way, if you sign up for my newsletter, you can score a free, basic mindset makeover kit. Or, if you want the deluxe model, you can get it on sale, for all of January, for just a dollar. You can find it at my shop in the digital downloads section along with that free feelings chart.
Alright, let’s upgrade…
So, basically your subconscious brain works like Google, and all of those social media platforms. It operates on algorithms. Meaning, whatever you engage with most, will pop up more frequently. This is that neuroplasticity thing that I mentioned earlier. It’s also how you’ve literally learned how to do EVERYTHING. Absolutely everything you can do in this present moment is because of your neuroplastic brain.
With repetition we can get better at things. And that means we can get better at believing in ourselves. And when we operate from a place of empowerment, and belonging, and love, there’s very little we can’t do.
It doesn’t mean that achieving those things we want won’t come without challenges. But it does mean we’re capable of dealing with those challenges. It means that we know that we’re worth the effort.
So how do you make the switch?
Well, you reprogram your algorithm.
You start by witnessing your thoughts and feelings. And then you start interrupting them. You start replacing your disempowering chatter with something more supportive. You practice using mantras and affirmations. You leave yourself inspiring notes around the house. You start journaling, and reflecting, and making plans for your future. You have conversations with yourself, where you cheer yourself on. You find people you trust, who will encourage and support you. And most importantly, you practice patience.
Shifting your mindset is a slow game, but one worth playing. I know, because after years of feeling like I was always losing, I totally feel like I’m winning now.
If you want a little extra support while shifting your mindset, check out that free mindset makeover kit when you sign up for the newsletter, or you can get the deluxe version for just a dollar until the end of January. Or, for as little as $3 a month, you can join the Dream Team at Patreon, and join our self care support group. OR, if none of these options feel good for you right now, you can follow along at Instagram or Facebook, we’re going to be talking about mindset all month long.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
I’ll see you soon.