Updated: Apr 20, 2022
How small changes in your expectations can change everything.
The last two years have done a number on humans economically, emotionally, and mentally. As I touched on in a recent video, understanding the relationship between our thoughts and feelings is a key piece of our ability to be happy and develop resilience in the face of uncertainty.
Do you have a fixed or a growth mindset?
Constant uncertainty and instability may lead us to feeling out of control. When we feel out of control, we can over-correct by wanting to try and control EVERYTHING. This can manifest in many ways. For example, at work you may insist that something has to be done exactly as you say or you may believe someone you know needs to behave a certain way in specific settings. While your unconscious mind is telling you that doing this will make you feel more “stable and safe”, adopting this approach could lead you to feel anxious, hurt, and rageful when things don’t go exactly as you planned. These unhealthy, unpreferable emotions that can lead to more behaviors you didn’t intend to take on like anxiously awaiting something else to “go wrong”, waiting until the last minute to do anything in fear it won’t be perfect, or just avoiding things altogether. This way of behaving is an indicator of having a fixed mindset.
Life experience shows us that things do not always go the way we plan, and people don’t always behave the ways we would like them to. It’s not up to others to help us manage our emotions. So how can we set ourselves up to be flexible and adaptable in any circumstance?
Try adopting beliefs that leave the space for mistakes, mishaps, or falling short. Thinking something along the lines of, “It would be awesome if it works out this way, but isn’t like I won’t survive if it doesn’t.” Or, “I want my boss to apologize for the way they spoke to me, and I also know they may not even think about our interaction again.” Coming from a place that allows us to accept either outcome gives us the chance to try, and doesn’t feel like a loss or punishment if it doesn’t turn out exactly as we hope.
Keep Yourself Honest
A lot of what I mentioned above is related to exercising rational thought. Depending on our life experience, we can develop “stories” that encourage us to view the world one way. This can inhibit us from setting or reaching goals. If you are experiencing a moment of a less-preferable behavior or feeling, checking in with yourself on the belief that may fuel that or asking how you can view the situation differently will help you in getting to a preferred and healthy state. Remember, it’s not about what happens to us, it’s about how we think about it that matters — and as I’ve said before: your thoughts determine your feelings!
Putting some of these ideas into practice can feel like a hurdle we are hesitant to jump. At times, trying to shift out of our old thought patterns can feel impossible when we have one or two instances of slipping back into them. This is where a coach is helpful. As a coach, I help people stay aligned with their chosen future state. We outline goals and actions that get you where you want and check in every step of the way. Working with me gives you the space to talk through challenges and blocks that hold you back with someone who can encourage you to think bigger (usually bigger than you even considered).
As always -if you're ready to start kicking-ass, you can set up your complimentary kickoff below.