As we spring forward again into a new season, we take time to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).
“My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.” __ Sara Blakely
What Are You Thinking?
We can’t live a self-empowered life if we constantly allow negative and unproductive thoughts to monopolize our thinking. Soldiers don’t look for their weapons when the bullets are flying all around them. They are prepared ahead of time and have their heads on “swivel” to anticipate what’s ahead. Self-empowerment includes putting our minds to capture and control thoughts that hold us back instead of engaging in negative thoughts. We must continually be filling our minds with things that bring light into our lives. When we look for the good, we will find it. When we focus on the bad, we will find that also.
Reframing Negative Thoughts
What kind of reframing does your mind need? Do you find yourself fixated on the things that are going wrong or could go wrong in your life? Do you feel overwhelmed and defeated by how you view the direction your life is taking? With all the challenging things happening to women particularly at this moment in time, it is easy to focus on the glass being half empty.
“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” ― Germany Kent
Whether we usually have a positive outlook on life or we struggle holding things together every day with what our minds obsess over, we can all benefit from some guidance when it comes to our thoughts. While we will never be able to adjust every thought that enters our minds throughout the day, we can certainly work on reframing toxic thinking that is depleting our energy, causing inner turmoil, and getting in the way of us being at our best authentic self. We want to spend our mental energy on the thoughts that build us up instead of tearing us down.
What is True or False?
Many false self-perceptions and toxic thoughts are too deeply rooted to be corrected with positive self-talk alone. We must identify the falsehoods that control our thoughts in order to reset our mindsets if lasting change is to take place.
Committing yourself to reframe your thoughts will redirect the course of your life. One of the ways we can use the technique of reframing the thoughts we carry around is to ask ourselves, “Are they true?” Often times our thoughts are not based on facts and are not lined up with what is true. Below are reflection questions to help you reset your mindset.
7 Steps to Resetting Your Mindset
- Discover Your Current Mindset: Describe how you currently see yourself?
- What words do you use to describe yourself, are they uplifting or do they lower your self-esteem?
- How does this perception of yourself differ from the person you want to be?
- Pinpoint Your Story? Write down a negative story you carry around in your head that is not serving you well.
- What is the situation you experienced that was the basis of this story?
- What are the thoughts that tend to be in a loop? (Thoughts like: “I’m not smart enough.” Or “I’m too old.”)
- Determine Thoughts You Want to Control: What is a recurring thought or thoughts that you want to gain control over?
- Identify Impact and Consequences: What has this story or thought cost you up to this point in your life? (Such as: “My unwillingness to take risks.”)
- Get Leverage: What could that story or thought cost you moving forward if you don’t change it?
- Reality Test: What have you done that helps to prove this thought or story is not true?
- Reframe the Thought or Feeling: Replace the negative feeling or thought with a more positive meaning (ie. Instead of thinking I am not smart enough. “I am experiencing discomfort because I am in the process of learning something new, I am convinced it will get easier.”
The more we engage in this process of reflection, the more we begin to experience a shift in mindset. There is no shame or blame regarding the need to reset your mindset. Among all the feelings that warp our perceptions, fear is particularly devastating because it attacks not only our behavior but our identity as well. Taking time to reflect and do a little self-analysis regarding how we cope with thoughts, and the words we attach to feelings is necessary. Such reflection may make you uncomfortable, but, when we take uncomfortable action, we are enlightened and self-empowered to control our thoughts and the actions we take. Resetting your mindset requires the ability to connect with and name your true feelings, needs and desires….Name it, and Reframe It!
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” _ Maya Angelou
“Stay Tapped In to the wonderful things life has to offer.”
Dr. Myra Hubbard is available for Presentations, Conferences, Training, and Consulting engagements. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-481-2268.