If you asked me four years ago about mindset, I really wouldn't have had a clue. I've learned a lot in the past four years, about myself, about the world, about healing. And one of the most important areas that keeps coming up, and interweaving all of these other things together, is mindset. But what is mindset, and really, why does it matter so much? And maybe most importantly, what can you do to improve your mindset?
Simply put, mindset is your beliefs about yourself and your personal qualities and abilities. It is also your beliefs about whether you can grow and change those qualities and abilities, or if you are "stuck with what you've got". Truthfully, whichever camp you fall into, growth mindset or not, it's true. Because if you believe you are stuck with what you've got, why would you put any effort into improving? But I am living proof, and have seen hundreds of others as proof too, that if you believe you can change and grow, you will. Even if you are somewhat skeptical, but have a deep desire for growth, great things can happen. But how?
First, let me take you back four years. I was plagued with anxiety and suicidal thoughts, having daily panic attacks at work, feeling like a failure as a mother, wife, and child, feeling like a burden to everyone around me. Somewhere deep down, I knew where this pain was rooted. It was rooted in my mother's death, and the fallout that happened as a result. My panic attacks manifested as rage, and sometimes I would get violent. One time I even threw a toddle chair across the room. I knew I needed help. I felt so hopeless that I was on the verge of asking my husband to check me in to an in-patient clinic so I could just be locked away until I could get better. It was that bad.
At the time, I was also trying to grow a network marketing business, and my upline was heavily promoting this business coach and her seminars. I was desperate to get out of the toxic environment of my job, knowing that my supervisor was a huge trigger for my panic attacks, though not the true cause. When the coach scheduled an event within 3 hours of my home, I knew I needed to go. I was failing miserably in my business, and this was really my only hope of changing that. Little did I know that this coach taught about much more than business. It was a game changer.
I also found a good therapist (after finding a bad one, who shamed me for cutting myself), and between the seminar and my therapy, I started to peel back the layers of pain. It took time, but things started to improve, and the weight on my chest started to get a little lighter. I started to have a glimmer of hope for the future again. Since then, with the help of the "business" coach, my therapist, amazing friends, essential oils, AFT sessions, a new business coach, tons of personal development books, a gratitude practice, and the love and support of my husband and son, I've healed myself, my relationship with my son, and we as a couple have healed our marriage, from the brink of separation.
Fast forward to this weekend. Another seminar, more mindset work, more digging into thoughts and beliefs buried deep inside that may no longer be serving me. To be honest, this one wrecked me. Things I thought I'd healed and forgiven long ago started bubbling up again. And the reason I've been struggling to show up online these past few months, despite the incredible direction from an amazing coach, telling me basically exactly what I'm supposed to do. By the way, if you are looking for the easy 1, 2, 3's of how to start an online business from nothing, from not even an inkling maybe, and growing it to a full-time income in just 6 months, check out Livin' the Dream Life with Martha on Facebook. She will help you find direction, your personal giftings, and teach you how to easily monetize those gifts in a non-icky non-salesy kind of way. Just make sure you tell her Natalie Rodriguez sent you!
So why have I been struggling so much? The truth is, I hadn't fully healed. Have I now? I don't know. I am learning that pain has many layers, and forgiveness and healing are on-going efforts. Sometimes you can think you are over something, only to have it rear it's ugly head months later because something random triggered you.
The bottom line is that I've been scared to show up as authentically me. I desperately want to be seen and known, but at the same time I've been terrified of showing up as true self. Someone I love and respect put expectations on me that, at the time with all the emotional baggage I was dealing with, were impossibly hard to achieve. As an adult, I know without a doubt, this person did it out of love, out of seeing my potential, out of wanting a better life for me, free of struggle. But as a young teen, dealing with all the normal teen stuff, plus the shame of losing my mom, I chose to take on those expectations as a measure of my worth, and my worthiness for love.
And now we've come to the epiphany I had this weekend. Still after all these years, I've been measuring my worth by my achievements, by the achievements of that 14 year old, by the expectations from 25+ years ago. But when our worth is tied to our achievements, we can't show up authentically. Because the truth is, we are all humans, and we make mistakes. If you are worried about what others think of you, if you are worried about the image you are showing the world, if you are worried about looking like you have it all together, you won't show up as your true self. You will always show up as a filtered version of yourself. And that doesn't help anyone.
If you feel like you might have some mindset shifts that are needed in your own life, I highly encourage you to look into some of the resources listed here. You don't have to face your struggles alone. And you ARE worthy and capable of inner healing and growth.
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