Update: This post was originally posted on 6th September 2020 but after changing my website this post had to be re-published due to technical issues.
(Note: there are links in this post but I do not receive any commission or any form of income from them.)
I've written before about tips to help with motivation and tips to help with productivity, but how can you be motivated or productive if your mind is telling you that you're going to fail or that your no good. It's very hard to have any sort of motivation when your fighting your own mind or be in any way productive.
I know what I am talking about as ten years ago I finally won my battle with depression but it took a further 9 years to change my mindset from a negative one to a positive one. And even now I have days where old habits and thoughts creep back in. It is hard to beat habits that you've had your entire life and with myself being in my 30's that's 3 decades I had to tackle. However, believe me when I say it can be done, although it won't be a straight forward journey but one that it worth while.
I'm not sure who said this quote but I read it recently and it really struck a cord with me as it is so true. If you are told something often enough you will in the end believe it is true, and it doesn't matter if it's told to you by another person or by your mind. So if your mind is always telling you that you aren't good enough, in the end you are going to believe it.
If you're lucky enough to have always had a positive mindset then you might not fully get what I'm talking about. If that's you then here are some examples of what I'm talking about.
"I'm not good enough"
"I'm a bad person"
"I deserve all the bad things in my life"
"I don't deserve to be happy"
"I can't do this, I'm going to fail"
During my depths of my depression I thought many of those frequently, and even when I had won my battle I still thought some of them. Although not quite so frequently. It is only now that I have managed to change my mindset that I am more positive in my thoughts.
So what are positive mindsets that turn the above on their head? Well here are some.
"I am enough"
"I am worthy"
"I made a mistake but I'm still learning"
"I've learnt a way that doesn't work"
"I did something wrong, it doesn't mean I'm bad"
"I might get this wrong but I'm going to try it anyway"
"Things can only get better"
As you can see from this list things can be seen in a more positive light.
How to Change Your Mindset?
I know if you're reading this and your stuck in a negative mindset you may well be thinking that this is all very good for others but it'll never work for you. I was that person once after all, that didn't think I was worthy enough to even try to change my life or thoughts. I also never thought working on my mindset would help me become a more confident person. But I swear to you it has and that has meant that for me I am a more confident and happier mum, and I feel more capable of taking on the challenges that life throw in my way.
I was very lucky to end up meeting through social media the amazing Anita Smith who is a coach and I did one of her free courses. She gets you to really look at yourself, and this woke something up in me. And if you take one thing away from this post I would want it to be to join Anita's Facebook group Champagne Universe, it really could help you change your outlook on life.
But what if you don't want to join a mindset group, well I have found one simple exercise a massive help to me. And I still do this even now when I'm feeling the negativity creeping back in. I list everything positive about what is making me feel negative.
An example of this is the place I live, as I have touched on before in 2019 my daughter and I were two hours away from being homeless. The council offered us a flat that was in the town we needed to be in for my daughters school but we didn't realize until after we were in that the family below us are drug users. As well as this they have a certain type of reputation in the town which not being from this town I didn't know about until after we moved in.
When the negativity is creeping in my list for my flat looks something like this.
I live above drug users
The close stinks of their drugs
The police are frequently in the building
I've no garden for my daughter or cat
It's in the one part of the town I didn't want to be in
I'm almost as far away from my partner and friends as it is possible to be in the town
I feel like a failure of a mum because my daughter has to live here
And that really was my list. Not very nice to have all that in your head. But then one day I forced myself to list the positives about my home.
The neighbors don't bother us and we don't bother them
The police coming means things are never getting massively out of hand
It's in the same town as my daughters school so she hasn't had the upheaval of changing school
It's in the same town as our support network
Not having a garden means that there is one less thing for me to look after which at the moment is a good thing as I work, run a business, help my elderly gran who has dementia and raise my daughter by myself (although her dad is an active part of her life)
Being an upstairs flat means that the only people that go past our door are the family that live opposite us
Being higher up means we get a view over the roofs of the houses opposite
Out the back there are no buildings and we can see the River Forth through the trees
We can decorate the flat how we like as it is social housing not private
We are able to have our cat with us as if we were in homeless we would've had to give him up for adoption
We have a beautiful walk along the shore of the River Forth less than a 5 minute walk away
It's a great spring board to plan the rest of our lives from, because as they say when you hit the bottom the only way is up
I'm not a failure of a mum as I have secured a roof over my daughters head, I have clothes on her back and food on the table
So as you can see once I started looking at the positives I could find a lot more positives about where I live then negatives.
Why don't you give it a try? Grab a pen and paper and write down your negative thoughts about something and then force yourself to think about the positives. You might struggle to begin with but in time you'll gain momentum. Maybe even get a loved one to help you.
Other Ways to Help Change Your Mindset
Of course that exercise isn't the only way to change your mindset and just because that works for me doesn't mean it will work for you. Other ways that could help are;
Listening to Podcasts (I've found The Mindset Goddess a great podcast and would highly recommend checking out her Facebook page and podcast. I listen to them via Spotify but you can listen to it on Apple Podcast. What I love about her podcasts is that they generally are only about 10 minutes in length on average, meaning that it is easy to find time to listen to them.)
Reading self improvement books
This list is by no means exhaustive and it's not meant to be, you might need to try some or all of these to find what works for you. But I truly believe that working on your mindset can have a massive impact on your life and help improve all aspects of it. The reason I believe this is because by starting to work on mine I have seen improvements in my life. And I'm still working on mine although I don't think is something I'll ever stop working on.
I hope this post has been helpful to you, and please feel free to share it with those you feel may benefit from it as well.