With my brand new Mindset Makeover 2: #RadicalResponsibility course launching this week, I think I owe you a confession:
I have been off my game a little lately.
Not with food or exercise, but with my perception and mindset. See, over the last several months, I’ve had a few challenges pop up — some in my personal life and some in my professional life, both of which I’ve had a hard time moving past.
In short, I’ve taken the victim stance more than I normal would, and way more than I have in the last several years. I’ve been quicker to blame others. I’ve been deflecting and defending more readily, and I’ve shirked my responsibilities in these scenarios.
And you wanna know what my responsibilities are?
I am responsible for my attitude, my effort, my choices, the situations in which I find myself (even when someone else’s actions may have put me there) and most importantly, I am responsible for my perception.
I’ve written this before, and for the last couple months forgotten it: MY PERCEPTION IS MY GREATEST TOOL.
Here’s an example:
A man walks into a convenience store, and while he’s at the back grabbing a soda out of the cooler, the store gets robbed. The clerk is held up at gunpoint and shots go off around the store in the ensuing scuffle. The man getting the soda drops to the ground, and he, along with the other patrons don’t end up getting hurt. The gunman runs out and ends up being chased and apprehended by nearby cops who heard the shots.
After this event, the man who was buying the soda comes out, and people have gathered. One passerby approaches him and says, “Man, what bad luck you had, being in the store at the exact time it was held up! What are the chances! Life’s a bitch!” and the man stands there, thinking on the comment for a moment and then says, “I don’t know, I’m just grateful that I got out without a gun shot wound and everyone is safe.”
Same scene. Two perspectives.
Which one serves the man more? The “life’s a bitch” attitude or the attitude of gratitude? Which one will keep him small, scared and insecure? And which one will help him be resilient, risk-taking and confident?
Your perspective is a choice, in every moment.
We can choose to let the challenges (which are inevitable, by the way) get to us and bring us down. Or we can choose to find the opportunity and bright spot in every hardship.
Lately, my ability to maintain an opportunistic mindset has wavered, and I don’t like the outcomes: helplessness, pessimism, insecurity, fear and inaction.
That’s not the person I am at my core, and I don’t want to be that moving forward.
Two things happened this past week, both of which helped reinforce to me the person I want to be in the world, and help me see that the perception I have been choosing lately is not serving me:
The first was when I was out to dinner with my brother (and best friend) Danny. We were chatting about relationships, psychology and Byron Katie (you know, usual stuff). He described to me a resolution he’d come to recently concerning a relationship of his, and he simply said:
“Relentless positivity is my only option because I don’t have time for the alternative.”
Holy shit yes.
“The alternative” being playing at a small, scared and pessimistic level. No thanks.
That’s a trap.
In order for me to move forward, I need to see possibilities, options and moves. When my perception is that an obstacle is not a curse, but instead an opportunity to find a new way to do something, a way to grow and get better, smarter, more centered as a person, how can I not welcome every challenge that comes my way???
The second was listening to the new book ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday. I listened while I was road-tripping and I knew, given my current defeatist mind state, that this message was one I needed … like ASAP.
Ryan talked about how we can train our own perception to see opportunities and not roadblocks. How we can change the way we think about discomfort and pain.
We can and should certainly feel the discomfort and pain, but the idea that holding onto those emotions helps us move forward or resolve the issue is terribly misguided.
In other words, when we can see the obstacle as the way — the way to growth, balance, transformation, centeredness, levelheadedness, learning — we won’t avoid pain, but we might even search it out??
Aaaaaah! This is SUCH a hard mindset shift! And I am telling you, struggles are never fun. They are never going to feel easy and comfortable (their nature is just the opposite, that’s why they’re struggles). But without them, we don’t grow. We don’t get better. We don’t learn.
And we get to stay small, scared and be a victim. And victims are people who things happen to; they are not people who actively create their life.
And I don’t know about you, but eff that.
I want to feel powerful in every moment.
I want to feel in control of how I see things.
I want to feel empowered to take action and make moves.
I want to see options, not barriers.
And I want to feel like I can do anything, and know that the more roadblocks I encounter, the closer I know I’m getting to my goal.
Now you try:
Pick one thing you are struggling with right now, and ask if you can find even the teeniest, tiniest something to grateful for around it. Is there a single lesson you can glean? Is there something you know now that you wouldn’t have if you hadn’t had this experience? Is there something you learned about yourself that will serve you? Can you even just be grateful for the experience because you now know you won’t die if your worst fears are realized?
Pick your perception. It’s your greatest tool. Choose one that serves you.
Right now and in every moment.
Ask, am I playing the victim, or am I searching for a solution and looking to find gratitude in this struggle?
OKAY MY ASS IS SUFFICIENTLY KICKED NOW. And I am grateful. Good talk! Xo, Jill
Want more pep talks + actual tools you can use IN REAL TIME to turn around your perspective? I am sharing a lot more stories from my own life and those of my clients, plus the strategies I have used to make changes when I find myself scared, insecure and uncertain in the Mindset Makeover 2: #RadicalResponsibility course this week.
Because experiencing those things are inevitable. But surrendering to them and throwing in the towel is not. We can alway control our responses to situations and I’m going to be doing deep into how to do just that in the Mindset Makeover 2: #RadicalResponsibility course, open now for a limited time. I can’t wait to share this education with you! GET YOUR SPOT HERE.
Some tweetables for you: