I am excited to have Jill Coleman of JillFit, the master of mindset, guest post today. Jill is one of my mentors and has really helped me to really understand how your mindset really makes a difference in your life. Here she is to tell us how to get what you want in life.
Thoughts Are Things: 4 Powerful Ways To Show Up in the World and Get What You Want
How we talk to ourselves and what we choose to believe about ourselves shows up in the world, unmistakably. It shows up in how deserving we feel, the degree of confidence we exude and in the outcomes we achieve.
Because here’s the thing: you matter. First and foremost for yourself. Because if you don't think you can do it, who will?
When I first got into the fitness profession, no one really understood how you "made a living." People said I was throwing away my degree and that it was a waste of time to train for a figure competition when grad school apps needed to be submitted.
I struggled with going the traditional desk-job route vs. figuring out how to make money, and (more importantly) a difference doing something I loved and following my dreams. But at some point I had to choose: put stock in myself and own my choices regardless of who "gets it" and let the consequences be mine alone, OR fold and appease.
It was scary and uncomfortable, but I gave myself many mental pep talks and eventually stood firm in my passion, even though I had no clue what it would look like. Or really, how I would make it work. I just trusted that I would work.
The amazing thing is that later on, all those who initially questioned my decisions started getting on board after seeing the drive and passion it takes to follow your dreams. I am grateful for that support, and I can fully appreciate it now because I don't need it.
Self-belief matters big time. What you think about you is everything. You have to believe in yourself first, no one else can do it for you. And then watch what happens. The universe gives you exactly what you believe you deserve.
You’ve heard it before: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” ~Henry Ford
And so, when you think about it, the outcomes we’re currently achieving, our current status, right now, is a direct reflection of how we have showed up in the world up until now. It’s a culmination of our collective energy. Have we chosen to show up with possibility? Or have we chosen to show up with a preventative and fear-based mindset?
Because your mindset matters. It drives your choices. And your choices drive your outcomes. And while you may never be able to fully control outcomes, you can always control your effort and your attitude.
Here are 4 ways to choose a mindset that serves you and as a result, create a life you love in every moment:
1. Choose which thoughts to focus on.
Byron Katie says, “Who is more hurtful: the person who wronged you once or you for reliving it over and over in your head?” When I first read that, it was an a-ha moment for me. A record-scratch moment. Because it informed me, so simply, that I had control over what I chose to continually focus on. Thoughts will come into our head (there’s no way to control that) but when they do, we can choose to hang on to them, relive them, gather our hurt and anger and ruminate. Or, we can choose to release those thoughts. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but think about it. The things that happened in the past cannot be changed. And they were hurtful then. But the choice to continue being hurt by them is 100% our own, now.
2. Your perception becomes your reality. Take things at face value.
A guaranteed way to make yourself miserable is to be constantly posturing to uncover people’s hidden agendas and ulterior motives. But this can be hard, right, because we’ve heard the phrases, “follow your gut” and “trust your instincts.” But what if you can’t ever really know? What if what’s going on in the background is not your business? What if—gasp—there’s actually no hidden agenda and what’s happening or what someone said is just what’s happening and what they are saying in this moment?
I love the book, ‘The Four Agreements’ for this. One agreement is “make no assumptions.” This is so tough to do in practice because we tend to doubt that people mean what they say. On some level, we don’t trust them or we don’t trust the situation. But one step further would be: we don’t trust ourselves. Because if we did, then it wouldn’t matter if someone was trying to pull one over on us, or they were lying or being passive-aggressive. We would feel deeply that it’s not our job to police that. We would know deeply that so long as we trust ourselves, what someone else is doing (or not) is just fine.
3. Resist the temptation to defend yourself.
Again, Byron Katie says, “Defense is the first act of war,” and I tend to agree. Why? Because just like it is not our job to police what other people do and say, it’s not our job to explain ourselves. Who can possible know what’s better for us than we do? And yet, sometimes it’s hard not to explain or defend because we get that kneejerk reaction that gives us an emotional hit. We feel insecure and want to justify our way of doing things. Totally normal response, but to me, when we start down that road, it’s almost like affirming to our higher self that we are not good enough.
Think about it. You see someone you haven’t seen for 15 years. They approach you, and are you immediately self-conscious because last time they’d seen you, you were 20 lbs. lighter and pre-children. At this point you have a choice. You can preemptively explain the why behind your weight gain before they even say anything, in an attempt to preventively justify yourself. Or, you can approach your friend with confidence, conviction and own your journey and experiences.
Which version of you is more powerful in the world? Which version of you will get more done, take more action, be less apologetic, and create the outcomes she wants? The latter, right?
As soon as you begin explaining yourself and trying to preempt judgments, you are already playing at a losing game. The beautiful thing? The more you own your unique awesomeness and resist the temptation to apologize for being you, the more you start to own it, believe it and create an amazing life based on it.
4. Drop the self-judgment.
This is always hard—giving up the negative self-talk and the knee-jerk urge to berate yourself for not being good enough. We already often feel insecure, inadequate and scared. But when working through much of those mental aerobics, you add on top of that the judgment of not being good/better/perfect at it all, it’s a struggle that will never end.
Here’s an example: eating healthy. Many of us have two things going on when it comes to eating well. First, just the choices that go into being able to do it. We work on healthy habits, we try to stay mindful, we try to eat moderately without going overboard, we try to navigate different eating situations to the best of our ability. Hard enough, right? But then the second struggle we tend to add on top of it is the judgment when we “mess up.” If we have a moment when we don’t make the healthiest choices or we “fall off the wagon,” we feel the need to harp on how bad we are at it all. We feel guilty, remorseful, shameful, disgusting. We hold onto those negative emotions ON TOP OF the struggle to eat well. And by doing so, we’ve compounded the journey.
Because could you see that using precious mental energy to feel guilty and shameful steals from the mental effort and willpower we could be using to make better choices later today? Negative motivation never works when it comes to moving forward with our goals. It’s one big distraction.
What does work is self-compassion, giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt and being resilient. These things give us our mental reserves back so that we can make better, more consistent choices later.
If you think you suck, don’t be surprised when those are the exact outcomes that show up.
That is what choosing our mindset is all about. In every moment, we get to choose our perception. So why not choose one that serves us? How we see the world is not objective. And our perspective influences our outcomes. We are more likely to be successful in anything if we think we have the capacity to be.
If you are ready to get your mind right and clear out the negativity and the fear and the insecurity, then be sure to grab your spot in the 10-Week Mindset Makeover course, which is open for enrollment now through Friday, May 22nd ONLY. Thousands of women have successfully gone through the e-course and have come to some amazing insights about their own journey, made peace with their body and improved their relationships—with others, but more importantly, with themselves! The program won’t open again until 2016!
Get all the details here!