Ever feel like your insecurities are hijacking your rationality? I have. In the throws of emotion, I’ve felt like a legitimate crazy person, just like Mugatu:
It’s funny. When we are caught up in our emotions—our insecurities—it is difficult to see outside of that cloud. It’s difficult to pull back and see that in perhaps other circumstances, we may not have gotten as riled up or defensive.
I used to take everything personally. Someone could tell me it was raining outside, and I would feel like I needed to defend myself by saying, “Well! I did check the weather and it was SUPPOSED to be sunny!!” Perhaps that’s a little extreme :) But, it certainly was as if I felt I was always doing something wrong, was at fault or was not good enough—even when no one was telling me that—my sense of self-worth was not developed enough to handle confrontation, disagreement or challenges.
In other words, I had zero resiliency. I couldn’t take the idea that I didn’t have everything figured out. All I knew was how to defend.
And that’s no way to live :)
I began an in-depth journey into my introspection and mindset about 2 years ago. If you have been reading JillFit for a while, you may have noticed that our conversation has shifted over time. We certainly love fat loss, fitness and healthy lifestyle, but we believe that physique accomplishment, in order to last, needs to start in the mind.
The outside begins on the inside.
For me, I endured a tough few months a couple years ago, where all of my old tactics of coping–defending, blaming and deflecting–no longer worked. Life was giving me a swift kick in the ass, and I was forced to stop looking outside myself, and take a hard look at my own BS.
And it was hard! Ha!
But, what I’ve learned is that the toughest moments and the shittiest situations are always the most transformative. And in knowing that, I can feel GRATEFUL for the opportunity that challenges give me to learn, grow and get better.
We can cultivate a “growth mindset” instead of doing what I did for 30 years–deflecting, staying small and defending myself in a world I perceived to be “out to get me.”
Here are 3 key insights I have used to cultivate a GROWTH mindset, after life forced me to give up my old way:
Have the courage to ask yourself, “How might I be responsible for what’s going on?” It is hard when we feel “wronged” to think that we might have played a part in it. Besides, we might feel hurt and angry. I get that. But the alternative is to continue blaming other people for our unhappiness. Which, is a losing battle–because it takes away our own power to create happiness for ourselves.
Take 100% responsibility for everything. Yes, everything. How you feel, how you act, and even how other people interact with you. One of the most impactful things my mentor, Rachel Cosgrove said to me was, “If someone is treating you in a way that you don’t like, it’s your fault.” In other words, we teach people how to treat us. And here’s the secret…if you want to be treated with kindness and respect, you have to treat others with kindness and respect. It begins with you. And yes, that means a bit of pride-swallowing and giving other people the benefit of the doubt. But, once again, the alternative is wait for them to change–a tactic with a terrible track record!
Make the CHOICE to take action. We’ve talked in the past about complaining–and you know it’s one of my biggest pet peeves. Complaining and action are mutually exclusive. When you are complaining, you are actively choosing to remain the victim, instead of taking action to change your circumstances or happiness. When you choose action, you are able to immediately improve your circumstances and see possibilities. For many reasons, we choose inaction, and I get that. It can feel good to sit tight, stay small and blame others. But I can tell you this: It really does feel a whole lot better to take action and make stuff happen for yourself :)