In the past year, I’ve learned the importance of mindset. The thoughts you allow to percolate in your mind affect your perspective, and your perspective is how you experience the world. What you feed your mind shapes your reality.
Staying in the right mindset on a daily basis is more challenging some days than others. Most of the time, I’m feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to take on the world. But there are also those days when anxiety, fear, and self-doubt creep in. For a while, I struggled to stay in that positive zone. I’d do well for a while and then, like a vicious cycle I could set a clock to, I’d slip back under the spell of negative, toxic beliefs. It affected my writing and every other aspect of my life.
The thing is, our fears will always be hard at work trying to chip away at our beliefs and self-worth. That little voice never goes away. But it’s a passenger in the car, not the driver (that’s you), so you can choose to do as they say or say “thank you, but I’m going somewhere different today.”
It’s a lot easier in concept than in practice. Even knowing that I was in control, that all the fears I was experiencing were normal, that growth couldn’t happen without it, I still kept falling into the same trap of letting them control me. I wouldn’t even realize it was happening. I’d just start procrastinating, making excuses that sounded totally valid as to why I couldn’t do that thing that scared me, or even worse, that I wasn’t really scared at all, it just wasn’t the right time or wasn’t the right thing. You know all the bullshit we tell ourselves to keep from doing whatever it is that scares us to our core.
One of the biggest shifts for me occurred when I began incorporating the content of positive, successful people into my daily life.
From Gabrielle Bernstein’s life-changing book, The Universe Has Your Back
you are what you consume
I’d always feel pumped after watching one of Marie Forleo‘s insightful interviews or one of Gary V‘s fiery pep talks. I’d scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and occasionally see meaningful quotes that lit a spark in me. All of these things were in small, infrequent doses, though, which left a lot of room for less healthy ideas to sneak in and multiply, even if it was just feeling like I was in a rut.
So, a few months ago, I started to make it a point to keep the positive influences in front of me as often as possible. The people and accounts that I responded to most strongly were ones I incorporated into my daily life, religiously feeding my mind and soul with their positive energy on a consistent basis.
Something really cool happened. The mindset that for years I strived to live in but struggled to make mine for more than a few days or weeks began to become part of who I am. The more I fed myself with messages, ideas, and beliefs that came from a place of love and possibility, the more natural it felt to remain in that mindset when fear, self-doubt, and setbacks popped up. Or, even if I when I do feel sad or disappointed, I don’t get as lost in it as I used to.
Because the words and energy you surround yourself with become a part of you. If you are surrounded by negative people who view life as rigged against them and believe it is a constant struggle, then you’ll absorb that belief into your DNA. If you stay in your own head for too long, your fears and self-doubts will feed on themselves and multiply. But when you surround yourself (even if it’s just virtually) with people who focus on gratitude, who believe anything is possible, who are pursuing and living their dreams, who pick themselves back up when they fail and treat it as a lesson rather than an ending, then you absorb that into your DNA instead.
If you constantly keep positive, inspiring messages in your ear from people who not only believe it but LIVE that mindset, you will internalize those beliefs and habits and they will gradually become second nature to you. Plus, success will not only feel possible, but inevitable because you are seeing it happen on a daily basis.
Now, sometimes, you can only control who you’re surrounded by in your physical life to an extent. You may have family members you love but who don’t exactly share your same views on life, or your coworkers have bad attitudes and limiting beliefs. Thankfully, we’re in an age where we can reach people all over the world and engage in their lives and messages all day long through social media, podcasts, blogs, and videos. They’re just a click away. And the more you absorb their energy and high vibration, the easier it will be to deal with those who don’t match it.
One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is Cara Alwill Leyba’s Style Your Mind
what you tell yourself is powerful, too
Don’t forget that the person you hear from more than anyone else in the world is yourself. Your thoughts and language hold power. Think about how different these two statements feel when you say them out loud: “I’ll never be as talented as the people I admire” versus “what I bring to the table is special and worthy.”
They have a completely different effect on you, don’t they? Negative talk doesn’t serve us in any way. It doesn’t protect us by keeping our expectations low. It just holds you back from having the best experience you are capable of having.
Daily affirmations are a great way to start changing the way you speak to yourself, such as: Whatever comes, I can handle it. I have everything I need to be confident and to succeed. It will probably feel silly and pointless at first, but I promise you, it DOES make a difference. You have nothing to lose by trying it. Start your day with a few while you’re laying in bed or brushing your teeth. Say them throughout the day when you start to feel scared, negative, stressed, unworthy, or simply need a little pick-me-up.
Your language will change from listening to positive, focused people, too. You’ll pick up on their healthy patterns and find yourself catching yourself and changing your own language.
Remember that you’re human. You’re going to feel like shit sometimes. It’s okay to feel sad, scared, disappointed, angry. Let yourself feel those things, but the important thing is not to dwell on them and allow them to absorb you. Focus on gratitude for what you do have above all else. The choice to shift from fear to love is always there.
where to find your tribe and how to fit their messages into a busy schedule
With the incredible world of social media and free digital platforms like YouTube and podcasts, it’s easier than ever to instantly connect with inspiring people at your fingertips through a variety of mediums.
Personally, I like a mixture based on what I can fit into my schedule. If I’m doing my makeup or driving, I’ll often put on a podcast. If I have a free minute while I’m waiting for something, such as standing in line at the grocery store, I’ll scroll through Instagram to soak in some positive vibes. If I’m eating at home or working on something that allows me to multi-task, I’ll put on a YouTube video.
Rather than blocking out time in your schedule, fit these things in wherever you can so they become a natural part of your day. If you find yourself with a free moment, listen, scroll, or watch. Make it a habit to fill in some of that available time with something positive and inspiring. If you’re doing your makeup, working out, or driving, you could make that time extra useful by doubling it up with something inspirational or educational in the background.
Below are some of my favorite people to follow (with links to their Instagrams). Some will speak to you and some won’t. As you seek out life coaches, spiritual gurus, and entrepreneurs, you’ll find your own “tribe” of people that resonate with you.
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Marie Forleo
- Cara Alwill Leyba
- Gabby Bernstein
- Alex Beadon
- Angie Lee
- Manifestation Babe
- Mark Groves
Making an effort to keep uplifting, empowering people in my ear and in front of me on a daily basis has been one of the best (and easiest) things I’ve ever done to positively affect every aspect of my life. It’s amazing the shift that has taken place in my emotional stability, productivity, and overall experience of life. I can’t recommend it enough. Try it for just one week and see what happens. I promise, it will shift things for you, too.