Ep. 113: Mindset Part 2: Learning How To Manage Your Mind For Success

    Show Transcript:
    Hey friends, welcome back. Thank you so much for joining me. How are we all? I hope everybody is well, if this is your first episode, listening to the podcast, welcome, but I would suggest maybe listening to the last episode first, it was part one of this series. This is part two because we are going to dive all into mindset. And I think it's important to really understand why mindset is so important. I talked a lot about it in the last episode, how it really is everything it is in every aspect of your life. It is what sabotages us, what trips us up, what holds us back pretty much with everything we do. If we could fix our mindset, figuring out the steps of how to build a business or how to save money and pay off debt, or how to get on an exercise regimen that you love, whatever all of that stuff is very figureoutable.
    But what jumps in our way is our own limiting beliefs, our own stories that we've had programmed for decades and decades. All of the thoughts about how hard it is, how impossible it is, how you're not that type of a person, how lazy you are, all that good stuff that we tend to think over and over again. And in the last episode, I mentioned how we have up to 60,000 thoughts a day. The vast majority of those are subconscious. So we don't really even realize what we're thinking over and over again. And 80% of our thoughts are negative. And as if that wasn't bad enough, 95% of them are repetitive. We all know this. We all experience it. We have the same thoughts about the same things we all have. Really, when you boil it down, it comes down to one or two limiting beliefs that just replay themselves in every aspect of our lives.
    If you view yourself as a lazy person, you're going to see that come up in everything you do. If you view yourself as not motivated or not smart enough or not, what are the enough or not lovable enough or whatever that enoughness is, you're going to see that creep up in your relationships, in your work, in your self-care, in everything that you do. And so that is why it's so important to talk about it. And the really mind-blowing thing is like, we're never taught how to deal with this. So many of us just assume that this is just what it is. And so we try to manage it as best we can. And that's why I really want to focus on this. I know that this podcast is mostly about career and I do use a lot of this work to help you get unstuck from a career that you hate.
    But I also think that this is just really relevant to every aspect of your life. So here's how I started using it. A couple of years ago, I had forced my way out of law through sheer willpower and determination to try to be happier, but I didn't know how to manage my mind. And so it was a very wild rollercoaster of really high highs and really low lows, constant questioning of whether I was insane, whether I'd made the wrong choice, how I was going to make any of this work. I found myself really at the mercy of this monkey mind that we have, and I felt so out of control. And I started really just diving into psychology and mindset. I have a degree in psychology. I've always been really interested and I was just very intrigued by the fact of like, why can't I just be happy?
    Why, what makes somebody happy? How are other people happier than I am? Why can't I figure this out? And that kind of led me on this road of using thought work and specifically this type of thought work that has changed my life. And I want to use it to help other people now. And so here's the thing. There are two things in this world, right? There are things that occur outside of us. There are people, there are facts, there are occurrences in the world. And then there's how we react to them. And what's funny is that we always try to do it backward. We try to control all of the things out in the world. We try to control our bosses or our husbands or spouses. We constantly have thoughts of like, if my boss would just do this or behave like this, then I could be happy.
    If my husband would just listen to me and do it the right way, then I wouldn't have to get upset. If I just had X, Y, and Z fill in the blank, then I could just be satisfied with my life. And we all know how that goes. It doesn't work. What's the problem with this one is that you can't control other people as much as we would love to. You cannot control the things out in the world. And that's what we spend most of our time getting super upset about that. We can't just get everybody else to go about their lives, the way that we think they should go about their lives so that our life could be easier. The second problem is that you would need to then constantly control everybody else in order for you to feel happy or to feel okay, everybody else would have to go along with your directions or your manual of how they should live their lives.
    And that's the only way that you would feel happy. And that is not only a recipe for disaster and impossible. It's also giving away all of your power. You have no control then, right? Unless everybody else falls in line, then you have no control over how you feel or how you react to the world. And you're at the mercy of everybody else. And that is a quintessential definition of a victim mentality. And I think oftentimes we don't see ourselves as being victims, but that is how we were reacting. If everybody... It's, everybody else's fault. If everybody else has to do things one way before I can feel loved or feel happy or feel worthy enough, then it's everyone else's fault. And there's nothing I can do about it. I want to offer another way. We have to learn to control our own reactions. It's the only thing you have control over.
    And it's the thing that we never actually tried to change, which is funny because we don't know how we've never been taught, how to process an emotion, how to think about our own thoughts and how our brain works, how our thoughts and our emotions are related. And so we're at this mercy of the thing that I do know how to control is maybe somebody else's behavior. So I'll try to manipulate them. I'll yell at them. I'll give them the cold shoulder. I'll plead with them. I'll do all these things that they can change so that I can feel a certain way.
    So here's the problem that I think because so many of us haven't been taught the two biggest errors in thinking or faulty thinking that we have is one. So many of us just think that our thoughts are facts. Like we think that we are observing reality as it is, right? It's just a narration of what is actually happening in the world. And I probably don't have to explain too much for you to see that that's literally the furthest thing from the truth. Our brain is a pattern-seeking machine. It has to find patterns in order to conserve energy and be able to survive. We get so many bits of information every single day. It can't be brand new all the time. So we developed these things called heuristics, which are just patterns and we stereotype, which can lead to a whole host of other problems.
    But for the most part, it's actually a great thing. When you see a cup, you know what to do with it, you don't have to like reinvent your brain. Doesn't have to figure out what a cup is every time one, or when you're driving, you know what you're supposed to do when that light turns a certain color. Cause if you had to learn all of the stuff every time, it would be a disaster. And so this, but because of that, because of this programming and because of the societies that we live in and where you're born and the, that you practice and how you were showed love as a child and all of that stuff creates patterns for us. And it colors the way that we see the world. This is very obvious. I'm sure everyone in us has had these experiences where two people can see the same exact fact in two different ways, right?
    So the rain let's talk about the rain. Rain is just rain. It's not good. It's not bad. It is what it is. And there could be somebody when it rains that is super excited about it loves the rain feels super cozy. He loves to put on warm sweaters and stay inside and it looks forward to it. It could be somebody else that hates the rain feels super depressed, gets really gloomy. The circumstance didn't change. It's just the way they think about it. And we all see this in all aspects of our lives. Like when you see a situation where maybe someone gets super upset about something and you're looking at it and you're like that, wasn't that big of a deal. What are you so mad about? It's just because the way you're looking at that fact is different, that's it. And we do this with every single thing in our lives.
    The second problem that we have is that we assume, like I said, that we're at the mercy of our thoughts, that there's nothing you can do. Maybe you see that you have some shortcomings, maybe you have some anger problems or you get really anxious all the time, or you tend to get depressed more quickly and things look at the negative side. Maybe you're even really aware that you have these and other people don't have it as much. And you're wondering, why is my brain like this? But even if you can recognize it, you realize that, I don't know how to control it. It is what it is. And so often we just chalk it up to the fact that like, this is just the way my brain is. This is the way I was made. And so I guess that's my lot in life.
    And I just want you to know that all of that is insane because there are absolute ways to help deal with the way that our minds are programmed to be and how to start using it to your advantage and how to work on it slowly to bring more awareness and figure out how you can actually control this unmanaged mind of yours today. I want to talk to you about how you can start actively working on those thoughts. The type of thought work that I do is based on cognitive behavioral therapy. And it is a tool to bring awareness to your thoughts. It does not in and of itself change anything. And we'll talk about that. The reason why, like the goal, is not to change everything and I'll get into that in a minute, but in order to change anything, the first step is to become aware of what you're actually even thinking.
    Right? I just said that most of our thoughts are subconscious. And so the tool that I'm going to describe just lets you become an observer of those thoughts. So often we don't even know we're having so that you can decide, is this something I'm going to work on or is it not? Does it serve me or does it not? Carl Young, who is the father of analytical psychology says until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. I love that quote so much. It's one of my favorite quotes. It's so profound. So many of us are walking around thinking that, why am I so unlucky? Or I don't know if this is just your lot in life. And we don't see our own patterns. It's very easy to observe other people, right? Have you ever had a friend who maybe makes terrible decisions in dating constantly dates the wrong person and ignores red flags and is constantly dating people that are bad for them?
    And you're constantly telling them, listen, this seems like a bad idea. Don't go down this relationship. And then they do and it ends up horribly. And then that person is like, I don't understand why I have such bad luck with relationships. It's like, you don't have bad luck. You're making bad choices because you're choosing to ignore things. Those are just their thoughts, right? We all do this to some extent, whether that's with our goals, whether it's like procrastination, whether it's distracting ourselves with social media and numbing ourselves, whether it's very serious habits like overeating, bingeing, alcohol, all of these things that we do to numb the negative emotions that we have. We can't understand why we're doing them until we make that unconscious conscious until we realize like, what is the story that is driving my actions that I'm not even aware of. So that is the first step is really just becoming an observer, looking at your thoughts and understanding that it's not just a narration of the world.
    It is not just an objective truth. It is a very subjective tainted view of the world. And in order to be able to work on it, you have to see it. So the way this model works is it's actually very simple. Again, not easy but simple. And it's this, there are facts in the world. There are things that happen, right? Your boss sends you an email on Friday night at 5:00 PM. You are a spouse. Doesn't put the dishes in the dishwasher. Your kid needs new shoes. All those are just neutral facts that happened in the world. Okay? You have a thought about that fact. You probably have many thoughts about it, but let's just say you have one thought about that fact, that thought causes your feelings and then your feelings lead to your actions and your actions be get whatever results you have in your life.
    Okay? So again, it's very simple. It's five things. There's a fact in the world, your thought caused your feelings, cause your actions and your actions lead to your results. But like I said, just because it's simple, it's not easy to uncover it because oftentimes a fact occurs and we feel something. We don't even know what we're thinking. And because I said like your thoughts, a lot of times, our subconscious. And so you feel this thing first you're feeling anxiety. How many of us have had a feeling? We don't even know why we're feeling it. Like, why do I have this general sense of dread? Why am I feeling angry right now? Why do I feel so depressed? And we don't know why we're like in Islam or we're unmotivated or why we're even procrastinating. I hear this all the time with my clients. I like, I know I want to do this thing and I don't even understand why I keep procrastinating.
    I just keep doing other things, clean my room. I scroll Instagram. Even though I have this on my calendar and I want to be doing these things is because they're not conscious of the thoughts that they're having that lead to negative feelings that make them want to procrastinate and what this model does. It just lets you start exploring. The biggest thing to understand is that the fact out in the world, like your boss, sending you an email or your spouse, not putting the dishes in the dishwasher, that's not causing your feelings. Your own thought about that fact is causing your feelings. And this is a really hard concept to accept at first because we have spent our whole lives, believing that other people are making us feel a certain way, that they're responsible, that they made us angry. They made us sad. They hurt our feelings.
    But once you can really start grasping this tool and using it, it is the most liberating thing you will ever do in your life because you take back your power. You understand that like no one is making you feel anything. You are thinking of something in order to feel something. So let's take an example. Let's just say the death of somebody, right? Because this obviously is going to bring up a lot of negative emotions. Let's say somebody dies on Monday and you don't find out until Wednesday, right? So you're living your life with a lot of different thoughts between Monday and Wednesday. You're not sad because you didn't, you don't have anything to think about right about their death. And when you find out on Wednesday that they've died, then you have a whole host of painful thoughts that lead to a lot of negative feelings, right?
    It wasn't the fact that they died. That caused those feelings. It was your thoughts. You didn't have any thoughts like when they actually died, it didn't cause you sadness because you had no thoughts about their death. Cause you didn't know about it. It wasn't until you started thinking about something that you started feeling those feelings. And in fact, as happens, often, someone else could have very different thoughts about that person dying. They could be happy that that person died. And so they could have a lot of different feelings around the death of this person. So it's not the death. It is the thoughts that you have about that death that caused your feelings. Now I want to make a huge point before we move forward because I think what a lot of people have a hard time with this kind of thought work is that they misuse it.
    The point of this is to become aware of your thoughts. It is not so that you can always change them to always think positively that's insanity. Okay. So in this scenario, when we talked about this person dying, you're likely going to want to keep the negative thoughts that you have with grief and sadness and depression. There are often times where you want to feel sad. If something horrible is happening in the world or something is happening that you think is horrible, you're going to want to keep those. Here's the thing, negative emotions are a part of our life. And then in the next episode, I will talk about emotions and we would be crazy to want to be positive all the time, even when horrible things happen. Even when we think that we should feel grief or sadness, but we just have to be positive. That's toxic positivity.
    And nobody wants that. That's literally a mental illness and we're not trying to advocate for that. Okay. So the point isn't that you become aware and because you think, okay, my thoughts control my feelings.