I remember once watching a mom with her child in the mall. She stood in front of a candy store, her child in a stroller, looking at all the various confections. It was an overwhelming array of attractive colors and shapes.
At once, the little girl stood up in her stroller, reached into her soul, and proclaimed at the top of her lungs, “I want SOMETHING!”. She didn’t know what or how or even if it was true. She just knew she had an incredible feeling inside that needed expression.
This sounds to me like our general feeling at the turn of each year. We get inundated with attractive colors and shapes and encouraged to do something new, to make changes in our lives…despite the fact we can do something new and make changes at any time of year. We are sold the idea that this is the only time to do it, but I call bullshit.
I invite you to buck the trend. Fuck the trend. Try something different by asking yourself first, “What am I grateful for? What’s good in my life? What’s working here?” Know where you stand before you start off on someone else’s path of fairy tale ideas for your life.
I put together four mindset shifts for you to consider:
First Mindset Shift: Know the feeling you want to move towards.
All the pictures we see of big houses, shiny cars, and perfect bodies are signs triggering feelings of inadequacy. They are meant to evoke powerful energy inside us, motivating us to action.
Why? Because feelings are a strong driving force in the human animal. They are also easily swayed if you don’t know what yours are. I suggest you have a more clear image of what YOU want to feel not based on what you are told you SHOULD want.
That’s why I first have to ask, what are you grateful for now? Find what’s good and what’s working before you try and make adjustments. This gives you ground to stand on before you venture out into unfamiliar territory.
Then you can consider what you want to feel in the future. Not what you want to avoid, but what you want to move towards. Moving into the pull of what you want takes a lot less energy and stress than running away from something you hate. It’s more sustainable and less destructive.
Also, jumping outside your zone of familiarity without a plan or support will evoke fear and anxiety that will have you scrambling back to what’s predictable…even if you hate it.
If you don’t know what you stand for (or on), you’ll fall for anything. And you’ll fall right into what you’re already used to.
Second Mindset Shift: Harmony over balance.
Balance implies a see-saw effect of 2 forces. Life ain’t like that. Life has several moving parts. Some are in our field of vision, some are in our blind spots, some come from out of the blue. 3 may be up, 2 in the middle, 2 in the toilet, 1 around the corner having pizza and beer.
Working for harmony shows you know this to be true. You know you’re not strong in every area every day. You know when and where to ask for help. Read more here on this mindset shift.
Third Mindset Shift: Excellence over perfection.
Perfection is an ideal, not a state of being. Life is a verb and is always in motion. Even if the ideal of perfection were attained, it wouldn’t last. Excellence is something we can strive for in everything we do in every day. If we miss the mark, there’s always room for improvement. Read more here on this mindset shift
Fourth Mindset Shift: Sustainability over security.
Security is a lie embedded in all the other mindset shifts. Our DNA screams for predictability so we honestly come by this need. The quality to strive for, the one that will last, is sustainability. Sustainability is the frame of mind that has learned to adapt to the ever changing situation that is life. Sustainability won’t let you down, it will just learn what it needs to do to continue. Read more here on this mindset shift.
It’s ok to WANT SOMETHING but knowing what that something is and putting it into the real context of your life is essential.