Mindset. Perception. I know, I know. Roll your eyes because who has time to work on that??
I said the same. Here I am unable to take a shower or sit down to eat so how in the hell do I have time to work on my mind?
But here’s the thing. It wasn’t UNTIL I started working on my “head” and what was going on between the ears that things started to change.
Everything became easier. I was no longer defending everything. I was no longer taking comments personally. My husband and I had a better relationship. Fat loss became effortless. I was able to start and build a business of my dreams.
Things started to happen.
They started to happen not because I figured out what to do (I already knew that!) but because I understood myself and developed a sense of trust.
Today I am super excited because I am letting my coach, friend, mentor, and creator of the Mindset Makeover course Jill Coleman take over my blog to give you a little tough love.
Because I work with moms everyday who are stuck. Not stuck because they don’t have a plan but stuck in their own heads. Literally trapped and cannot move forward because they will not allow themselves to. I truly believe this is all about mindset and until we “get our minds right” there is only so much a plan or program can do for us.
Jill is what I call the “mindset queen” and I am honored to have her here today. Take it away Jill!
A big thank-you to Shira for letting me take over her blog today and share with you something I am super passionate about: mindset.
I kind of hate the word “mindset”—it feels vague and intangible and also trite: we’re like, yeah, yeah, mindset, whatever. No one knows what it means!
Which is unfortunate, considering your mindset—or literally, just your perception of the world—impacts everything that you do, say, your outcomes and even how other people show up to you.
Your mindset determines your actions. And your actions determine your outcomes.
And the really good news is that we get to choose our mindset.
Today I want to talk about trust, control and how to start choosing a mindset (ahem: a perception) that serves you.
Many of us end up needing to address our mindset because on some level, we continue to latch on to solutions that don’t produce: things like strict meal plans, coaches and plans that eventually let us down, negative motivators like guilt and shame that don’t actually work for long-term compliance and general ineffectiveness in our relationships, boundaries or self-love.
These Band-aids are perpetuated by the need to control stuff: outcomes, other people, what happens, results, etc.
It’s natural to want to control—we all do it. It feels safe and secure and predictable and organized to live and die by a plan.
The only problems with that is that:
a) it’s impossible to predict outcomes, and when things don’t go to plan, we end up disappointed and defeated, and
b) when we have a strict picture of what success or happiness needs to look like, we close ourselves off from other potential,
At the core of your mindset is your ability to trust yourself. When you begin to trust yourself, there’s nothing you can’t handle because YOU have got your own back.
This applies to everything – how you think about your eating, how you interact in your relationships, your sense of self-efficacy and your ability to take action.
When you trust you, you stop being scared and finally start really living.
But this can be scary. Because even though we really never actually have control of what happens, doing things like holding others to certain standards and maintaining expectations for others and trying to police what other people should be doing or “what’s right” feels like control.
It feels good because then we can predict what will happen. And if we know what will happen, then we are safe. We don’t have to deal with discomfort or pain or struggle or change.
But what looks like control is actually just manipulation.
Think about it: it’s wanting others to do what you would do. It’s trying to control the uncontrollable. It’s what Byron Katie calls a dictatorship. Wouldn’t that be nice? Everyone does exactly what you deem they should do, so that you get to stay stress-free?
We’d love that!
Except that it’s not the reality of what happens.
Whether you try to control things or not, life happens. You get blindsided. People do things you don’t expect. People don’t show up like you think they “should.” Sometimes even YOU don’t show up like you expect!
So there’s a disconnect between what we think should happen, and what actually does. And this gap can create all sorts of negative emotions in us: disappointment, resentment, fear,anger, sadness, annoyance, confusion, etc.
While that’s all normal—besides, emotions can never be wrong—how can we not only come to understand that struggle is inevitable, but actually—dare I say it—expect for it to happen? Plan for it? Mitigate the fear around it?
Today, I want to introduce you to a tool I use to help me not only not be caught off guard by difficulties, but ready myself for them: pre-mortem.
I read about this concept in the book, ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday, and have actually practiced it in a different format called Practical Pessimism.
You know what a post-mortem is. It’s evaluating the cause of death after a person/thing has gone.
A pre-mortem is anticipating potential “deaths” or worst case scenarios for something, so that you can mentally prepare for it.
I’m not talking about death of a person, I’m talking about scenarios. Mentally thinking about what might go wrong so that you can anticipate it and handle it, instead of being blindsided by it.
You are going to a friend’s house for dinner, and you are unsure what they are going to be serving. You are scared because you normally eat “your food” and there are several things that you are scared you will overeat if you don’t have a plan.
Perfect, so let’s go to worst-case scenario, let’s do a pre-mortem BEFORE the event. Let’s say that all the things you are terrified of happening happen:
The host offers you a cocktail the second you walk in the door, it feels rude to turn it down.
They have zero protein foods available – it’s all starch, sugar and dietary fats.
Everything is covered in sauces, butter, marinades, sodium and fried.
They even have your favorite dessert! What are the chances!
Everyone is asking about your diet and making comments about how you eat, making you feel self-conscious and annoyed.
You start eating the food and drinking to your heart’s desire because everyone else is, and you say “what the hell” and once you start, you find it hard to stop. So you end up eating way more than you wanted, foods you didn’t want to eat and now you feel awful—physically and mentally.
You feel like you let yourself down.
This might feel depressing, thinking about all the things that can go wrong. You might feel a little bit like a pessimist. And you might even feel like you don’t want to think about everything that can go wrong because you feel like on an energetic level you will be inviting it to happen!
I get you.
But here’s the power of pre-mortem: once you know what worst-case scenario looks like, you can prepare for it.
You can visualize what you would do if it happened. You get a stab at navigating it ahead of time. This is the closest you’ll get to actually controlling.
So, for our example, knowing that all that can possibly happen (even though I really hope it doesn’t), how can I get myself ready?
The keys here are introspection and action.
Remember, complaining about how you binged (again) and berating yourself for it is not a solution. What’s done is done. So your play here is not to whine, but to learn and grow from it.
If what might happen happens, how can you use it to grow and get better?
Here are some questions to ask:
“Okay, that happened, what did I learn from it?”
“What happened kind of sucks, but what can I do now?”
“How can I be grateful for this experience?”
“How has having this experience helped me get stronger?”
You might never be able to control outcomes, but you always ALWAYS get to control how you move forward, your actions and your attitude.
Berating yourself and calling it a day is not a solution. That’s lazy, and frankly, victim shit.
And in the interest of taking responsibility, wallowing in self-pity and calling upon negative motivators like guilt, shame and self-disgust only keeps us struggling.
- You might want to blame the event (“I mean, who has a party with no protein!”).
- You might want to blame the party-goers (“WHY were they so interested in what I was eating?! Mind your own business, people!”)
- You might even want to blame yourself (“Ugh, I can’t believe how little self-control I have! I’m the worst! People must think I’m so weak and disgusting!”).
Now I ask: how does any of that actually serve you? How do any of those thoughts make you better? Do they actually make you motivated to do better?
Complaining, blaming, defending and attaching to how you’ve felt wronged or betrayed are not solutions. They are excuses to stay stuck in your own misery.
Shira told me that you ladies could handle some tough love, so I’m dishing it a little. I only can because I spent the majority my my adult years playing the victim role.
I am grateful for your willingness to go deeper and look at their own BS. It is rare. You are rare.
And if you have taken the step to join the JillFit 10-Week Mindset Makeover course this week (register HERE), then I want you to know that I commend your courage, it takes ladyballs, ha!
You are strong and you want to get stronger. I am humbled by that reality.
Getting out of your mental comfort zone is not easy. It’s often terrifying and ugly and uncomfortable and uncertain.
And the 10-Week Mindset Makeover course is not for those unwilling to completely strip down all attachments to what “should” happen in life. It’s not for those not ready to get clinical, get objective and then take action. It is not for those who aren’t mentally ready to go all-in on mental transformation.
And so, there are going to be some ouchys!
It’s up to you how you respond and how open you want to be. You are perfect regardless. You are powerful regardless. I know that you are enough regardless. But only through intense introspection can YOU fully realize that.
Get your spot in the 10-Week Mindset Makeover course HERE, enrollment is closed on Friday!