CREATING A POSITIVE MINDSET
“Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.”
Have you ever stopped and really looked at your life or actions? Are you happy? Do you enjoy your days? Are you optimistic? Are you a positive person? These are questions that many people do not really stop to think about. Yes, I will most definitely admit that I am an overthinker most of the time. I probably drive my husband crazy! I am a dreamer. I am a goal setter. I am the one that pays close attention to details- all the way down to the microscopic potato chip crumb that drops to the floor when I am snacking! But in all honesty, taking time to sit down and think about how we are currently living and deciding on how we WANT to live can be a game changer in creating a positive life.
There is NOTHING we can’t do! I firmly believe that. Now, before you start arguing with me, let me elaborate. I might not be a licensed medical doctor, but I can be the best “doctor” to my kids. I might not be a schoolteacher in the school system, but I can most definitely create an awesome learning environment in my home, have awesome school supplies available, and help my kids with creating study skills. I might not be able to buy the $1 million house, but I can have pride in the home we are able to purchase and create a cozy, beautiful space.
Do you see where I am going with this? It is all in our mindset. Instead of seeing what I am not or what I don’t have, I am looking at what I can do or be. So, let’s talk a little about this positive mindset and how to start creating it.
LIVE INTENTIONALLY! I can’t stress this enough. Instead of going through our day on cruise control, start paying attention to WHAT you are doing. Are you doing things that you enjoy, that add value or joy to your life? Are you eating foods that are meeting your nutritional needs or helping with your healthy lifestyle change/journey? Ask yourself this every time you reach for food. Are you happy with where you are currently? Your job? Your relationships? You can change any of these things. Are you wasting time on social media or gaming? I know I get so mad at myself if I waste time scrolling through social media.
GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE AND BE FLEXIBLE! We all fall short and must be able to give ourselves some grace. I think this is why many of us have setbacks. We give up, feel terrible about ourselves, and the cycle starts all over. I have worked with geriatric patients for a lot of my medical career as well as college athletes. I have seen the process of aging as well as sports injuries to young people. The difference in both of these age groups- the ones who are flexible in their thinking are the ones who are successful at a positive outcome. As we age we may not be able to run, do high intensity workouts, jump rope, etc. But, if we have a positive mindset and are flexible, we can find alternative ways to get our exercise. Walking, using a stationary bike, lifting light weights, stretching, swimming, chair exercises- the list keeps going. For injured college athletes we do not let them stop training, we find ways to keep them moving so they don’t lose what they have worked so hard for.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE INDIVIDUALS! Ok, here is my motto I share with my college players all the time! YOU BECOME WHAT YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH! Yes, we do! If we surround ourselves with successful people, we will look to become successful. Why? Because we are creatures that mimic what we see. When we are surrounded by hardworking people, we start working harder. When we surround ourselves with people that have goals, we will start setting goals for ourselves. If we surround ourselves with complainers, we will start complaining. If we surround ourselves with people who blame society or others for their misfortune, we will start blaming too. So, like I tell my college athletes- go surround yourself with successful, positive people! And on the flip side, don’t be the negative person bringing others down. In our world of athletics we call these people ENERGY SUCKERS! Don’t be an energy sucker! BE AN ENERGY GIVER!
SET BOUNDARIES! Ok, this is a breakoff from who we surround ourselves with. I guarantee we all have people in our lives that we LOVE, but they are not so positive. They have more of a negative personality, they see the glass as “half empty” all the time. They don’t find positiveness in hardly anything. They allow anxiety to keep them from taking chances or enjoying activities out of fear. They go through life on “cruise control” and never step on the gas pedal! I have a few of these in my circle, and I do love them dearly. BUT, this is where I SET BOUNDARIES. I have to limit my time with this group of people in my life. I also make sure I am super aware of my goals when I am around them. I work a little harder with my positive mindset when I am in their company. I did a Runner’s Bootcamp a few years ago and one of the 6 week sessions forced me to get up at 4am to get going for class. An individual in my circle told me that this was “stupid”. Why would I get up all week at 4am to go run? Well, I was a little speechless at the time at this comment. Then I had to remember my WHY. I also had to remember that this individual lives in a pool of negativity, has a sedentary lifestyle, and is afraid to fail. So, I remembered how hard I had been working, and I prayed for them! Move on! But in all honesty, you may have to set boundaries at work, at home, with certain friends. Be upfront with people about what your goals are, why you are living a healthy lifestyle. Let them know you would appreciate their support to help keep you on track. And if someone isn’t on board, you might just have to limit your time with them. And more importantly, WORK HARDER ON YOUR MINDSET! Know your WHY!
POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS! Ok, here is where your journaling comes in handy, or you can use little post-it notes! Practicing daily positive affirmations can really help create a positive mindset. This past week was a difficult one for my college volleyball team, or I should say for our freshmen. Their bodies and minds probably wondered “what in the world did I get myself into?” They are back to being “low man on the totem pole” after being the superstar seniors in high school. They thought they had trained hard in their volleyball careers- then they came to college. To be more accurate, they came to preseason- which tests everyone’s physical and mental toughness. But at the end of the week, we gave them all a post-it note and told them to start with “I AM” and write down 3-4 things that they are great at. Then we had them place it in their locker where they can see it each day. We want them to remember what they are really good at and build on this. Positive Affirmations are small phrases/words that you use to boost your self-esteem and create positive self-talk. I AM CAPABLE. I AM WORTHY. I AM STRONG. I AM LOVED. I CAN DO ANYTHING. Start with writing down affirmations or looking in a mirror and saying them out loud. This self-talk is a tool for creating a positive mindset about yourself and your abilities. If you listen to people, you will probably here “well I can’t do that”. These people talk themselves out of trying, out of greatness that is waiting for them, usually because they are afraid to fail. So, start each morning with positive affirmations and pay attention to how you start feeling about yourself.
As we continue this MINDSET journey, keep in mind your WHY. And don’t be afraid to STEP ON THE GAS PEDAL! Get out of cruise control and start living the life you want! The life of positivity is in your grasp, you have the power and tools to create it. And along the way, you will BE the person others want to surround themselves with!
Coach Jennifer Hefner
HH Mindset Coach