You hear all the time just how important your mindset is when it comes to anything in life. It is something that can get so repetitive that it becomes boring noise that no longer carries any value. It starts to become something that feels like nonsensical, magic BS that doesn't work.
I am sure you can think of a multitude of times that you really had your mind set on doing something and still failed to do it.
So where does that leave us? Does your mindset really work and if I am set on changing why do I still fail?
Let's start where everything begins; the mind. Let's not only start with the mind and the typical path people use to explain this, let's take a different path, a path less commonly used to show how powerful our minds are. I could tell you about the most successful athletes in the world and how they vividly imagine and play out every situation, scenario or goal down to the very second and minute detail but you know that story.
So, let's go a different direction.
Our mind is so powerful that it can look at numbers and equations and make sense of them. It is so powerful that it can think of something that has never existed and figure out just how to make it exist. It is so powerful that in can create whole situations and worlds that may only exist in our mind but are more real than others know or understand.
If you have ever experienced a panic attack you know how real the effect on the body becomes when it senses a threat. You feel your whole body respond as if you are about to die; you sweat, your breathing increases, your heart rate jumps up, it becomes hard to breathe and you begin to feel lightheaded and as if death is near. Though that threat may only be in our mind, our body responds as if it is real, because in our mind, it is.
Our minds can do and create some incredible things and they can also do and create some terrible things. The difference is in the direction that we guide them.
Meditation is something I hammer away at a lot. I am a strong believer in its benefits and the science that is there to back it up. So, why is mediation so powerful?
Because it teaches the body to relax and it teaches you to gain control over the mind. You teach the mind to focus, to be present, you are able to grab the reigns and take control and guide the mind where you want it to go.
This is the power of meditation.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a huge proponent of this school of thinking and sums it up nicely, "Where the mind goes, the body will follow."
We must learn to gain control over our thoughts because our thoughts are what produce our actions.
Now, am I saying that people with disease just need to think their way out of it? No, absolutely not, but does mindset help with the success of treatment and recovery? Yes. If we think something will work, it is much more likely to work and vice versa.
The reality is, whatever we think our reality is. It doesn't have to be real to others to be real to us.
So, if I am constantly putting myself down, telling myself I am never going to get my life together or eat or workout like I should, if I am in my mind always believing I am going to fail, these are all very true things. They are my reality because I have chosen to make them my reality.
In the bible it is said you just need the faith the size of a mustard seed. A tiny little seed is all you need to move mountains. A little bit of faith in yourself, a little bit of belief that the time, effort and energy you put into something will work and you will reap tremendous benefits of that belief, work and effort.
I am sure you don't realize how often you may talk down or negatively to yourself, how often you doubt your own abilities. These are the ticks against us, this is us working against ourselves and this is where we must make a shift if we want to see real change.
My mom was an addict most of her life. I watched her go in and out of being clean and having her life together. From a very young age, my grandparents told me, "Hita, your mom is sick, she has an addiction and this makes her do things that aren't good for her." I quickly understood that her addiction was something that was very powerful and not very simple. Throughout my childhood, I never once had an ounce of bad feeling or hate for her because of it. I empathized with her. I watched her try and fail and try and fail but all I cared about was that she tried and that she loved me.
As I grew older I began to get bits of her story. I began to understand her more, and where she came from and ultimately why she was the way she was.
I began to unfold all the trauma, loss and pain. She would always apologize and tell me she wish she could have been a mother like so and so and given me this and that and I always told her the same thing, "Mom, you are perfect to me, I would never trade you for another mother, you have loved me for a thousand mothers and that is all I could ask for and I don't want you to be like anyone else, I just want you to be you, just a healthy and happy you."
She would always appear shocked as if she was hearing it for the first time, every time. This is something she could never wrap her head around, she never believed me. She didn't understand how it was possible for me to believe that about her. Unfortunately, that lack of trust and belief in my words was a part of the fuel that drove her addiction and ultimately her death. She never saw herself as worthy, she never trusted that I thought she a great mom so she always believed she was disposable and unnecessary to me and everyone who loved her. She created a narrative that fueled her pain and her poor decisions.
She allowed her negative and self defeating thoughts to guide her actions to her demise.
I never stopped believing in my mom, I never stopped believing she could change or get better and I have never stopped looking up to her. She carried with her demons that weighted on her till they crushed her. I only wish she learned to harness those demons a lot earlier in life, it would have made all the difference for her and everyone around her. It would have completely changed the direction of her life.
She told herself a story that only existed to her, she fed herself lies, and she allowed her self-defeating thoughts to guide her into dark places that she didn't have to live in anymore.
I am a big believer in people, I believe that everyone is one thought away from bettering themselves and their lives. If we realize just how much we control our own narrative and take the steps to change it, well we have opened up the greatest power we could possibly ask for, the power that has all along been residing right inside us.
Our potential is tapped into when we allow ourselves to accept and embrace it.
Whatever demon or thing you are trying to wrestle and conquer, you must remember it starts with your mind. You must do what it takes to heal your mind by eliminating the obstacles that others have conditioned in you and the ones that you have placed for yourself, calm your mind and last but not least, guide it in the direction you are aching for it go.
Step by step you will get there.