I’m so excited to collaborate this week with Kelly Clark. She is an amazing woman who does not settle for the status quo and instead works on her inner life to grow with faith, passion, grace, and humility. Don’t forget to check out her blog at Budding Joy.
The Mindset Cycle: The 5 Steps of Personal Growth
I don’t know about you but sometimes it can be so damn hard to feel like you are enough. Enough for the world, enough for your friends, enough for your family, but most importantly, enough for yourself. There is a plethora of mixed messages out there. From “you are beautifully unique,” to “If you do this and this you will be accepted in society.” Most seem like they could be convincing, but the most powerful message is the one you have going on in your mind on loop. This is called your mindset, and unfortunately, most of the time it is not on your side. Why is this? There are several reasons why I believe we tend to fall into the negative mindset trap.
One reason is the pressure to be perfect. When we live life through the filter of others’ highlight reels it can be hard to accept our unfiltered life. We can’t let anyone see the messy, see the emotional, and see the real.
Since everyone works so hard to perfect their highlight reel it is especially hard to see that they are struggling with something. Everyone is struggling with something, but they don’t want it to be known. This makes it easy to think that you are the only one going through what you are going through. How incredibly isolating is that feeling?
She is prettier than me….
I wish I had her confidence….
I’ll never get over this hurt….
No one understands me…
I wish I could talk to someone about this…
How many times has your mind had one of those statements, or similar, on repeat? Well it’s time to throw away that tape, delete that recording (whatever you want to say here). The point is that there are far better messages we can be feeding our brain. It’s going to take some work, and I can’t promise that those negative thoughts won’t return time to time. If you are willing to try, then I am too.
Before we begin, I want to share a passage from one of my favorite books. It’s called Crash the Chatterbox. Steven Furtick ( https://stevenfurtick.com ), the author of the book and pastor of Elevation Church, talks in great detail about this topic. Why we have negative thoughts, how they get there and how to fight them off and replace them with positive thoughts. This is all discussed with a biblical foundation. I highly recommend this book if you need help overcoming a negative mindset.
“If we’re going to overcome the thoughts that hold us back, first we have to give up the hope that they’ll ever go away. Every second you spend wishing God would take away a struggle is a forfeited opportunity to overcome.
And even though the fight against chatter is guaranteed to be a grueling one, with no end in sight, you have to fight back. Your spiritual life depends on it. Because the voice you believe will determine the future you experience.” Steven Furtick.
The Mindset Cycle
By replacing these mindset messages with positive ones, we are going to experience some serious personal growth. You may have to go through this mindset cycle more than once, I know I have, but if you stick with it, overtime you will see that mindset shift start to happen, and that is where the growth starts to happen.
Step 1: Start from Where You Are
Before you begin to change your mindset, you have to be honest with yourself. You may be unhappy with where you are right now. It would be a disservice for you, in this process, If you aren’t completely honest with yourself here. Set your goals and dream your dreams in this step. Then you’ve got to realistically examine them and determine where you are starting and the steps and roadblocks you must go through to get to your goal/dream.
For me, my career has always been a source of pain and needing to overcome my mindset. I didn’t go straight into my chosen career field after graduating college. To say I felt defeated would be an understatement. I fell into the comparison trap of wondering why I couldn’t be in as a good of a job as all my fellow college grads seemed to be in. There were many times where I hit low points.
I had to spend some time reflecting on my situation. I needed to stop pitying myself and putting my energy wishing things were different. I knew in that moment that I couldn’t leave my current job right now but what else could I do? I decided that I would spend this time learning new skills and improving on my existing ones. I created a Udemy account to start taking some classes and I started a blog (budding-joy.com). Just because I wasn’t where I wanted to be yet, didn’t mean that I couldn’t take steps to get me there.
Take some time today to reflect on where you are and figure out what your next step is to get where you want to be.
Step 2: Surround Yourself with Positive Vibes
This step is different for everyone. You can follow inspirational people on social media, watch motivational videos, read inspirational books, or print out motivational quotes and stick them around your space, to name a few. The point is to flood your mind with positivity, so it has no room for the negative. It may take some time to find what works for you here, but just keep trying.
As much as I have tried I haven’t been able to stick with personal affirmations, but I love a good inspirational book. Some of my favorites are from Jen Sincero, Mel Robbins , and Rachel Hollis. Over the years through reading and listening to positive messages I have began to believe in myself. I know that I’m not where I want to be, but I have hope for my future.
I want this for you. That is why I am writing this. Everyone deserves to feel like they matter and they can have a life they enjoy.
Step 3: Accept (and learn from) Your Mess Ups
Through this journey you may find that negative thoughts still come in. Maybe you ate too much junk food over the weekend, got passed up for a promotion, etc. In these situations, it’s hard to automatically choose to think positive. That is okay. Take a minute to let yourself feel that disappointment, but don’t stay stuck there. Later examine your reaction and thoughts to what happened and figure out how you can do better the next time you go through a disappointment. This is where growth is going to happen.
Step 4: Celebrate Yourself
There will be times where you have a setback and revert to a negative mindset, like I talked about above, but there are other times where you are going to overcome situations with a positive mindset. These will start to happen more and more and you need to celebrate them when they happen.
Recently I applied for a job at one of my dream companies. I knew there was going to be high competition. When I got the rejection email it was disappointing yeah, but I handled it positively. I choose to be proud of myself for even applying to a big company, then I applied for the next job. Years ago that reaction would have been a lot different, so I acknowledged that growth and celebrated it.
What are the small wins in mindset that you have made recently? Take time now to acknowledge them and be proud of yourself for this progress.
Step 5: Repeat as Needed
It may take some time for a positive mindset to stick, but you now have some tools you can use to work on that. No matter how difficult it may seem, YOU CAN DO IT! Don’t give up on yourself and give yourself grace. Keep referring back to this to guide you in a better mindset.
Mindset changes everything. I blog about my weight loss journey, mental health, and personal development. That may seem like two too many topics, but they compliment each other nicely. Having a positive mindset is good for your health, all aspects of it. If I had a negative mindset most of the time, I’d never be able to get out of the funks I go through when I’m depressed, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to lose any weight.
I still have my days, weeks, and even sometimes months when those negative thoughts try to come in and erase the positive mindset I worked so hard to achieve. What is different now is that I know there is a better feeling, thought, etc. out there, and I fight for it.
As you finish reading this, I want you to do something. Take some time to think about your life. Is there an area that you keep doubting yourself in? Try going through this mindset cycle and see if that mindset shift happens for you. Remember it will take time but if you keep going positivity will follow.
Hi I’m Kelly. I love listening to music, reading personal development books, dance, fitness, and catching up on the latest celebrity news or favorite tv shows. I hope you enjoyed the post you just read. I’d love to know your takeaways! You can find me over at Budding Joy. I write about my weight loss journey, depression, and figuring out who I am and what I want out of life.