Life, in all of its glory, can come with its fair share of ups and downs.
As a result, sometimes we tend to retreat into ourselves, questioning the soundness of our choices, the quality of our abilities, and the depth of our passions, desires, and even our intuition.
On those days when we feel like we just can’t get anything right, like we have no idea what we’re passionate about anymore (even though we were sure of it only a few hours ago), and we feel the need to look for a new path because we suck at everything, our mental critic goes into overdrive.
But we’ve no doubt noticed that if we can push our way through the noise, beyond the limitations of our seemingly runaway mind, inevitably, we will come to the other side. The side where the grasses are greener, where the hills are alive with the sweet sounds of positivity and triumph.
But for the days when things are just not flowing, no matter what we do—what then?
How do we conquer the limitations of our minds?
Listen, Houston, we need to shut that brain down because it’s over-thinking. Over-thinking tends to only lead to more over-thinking, and it’s likely not going to lead to happy places. So shut her down. Tap into your third eye center, and try to find some peace and quiet.
2. Talk to ourselves.
Tell ourselves nice things. “You’re awesome!” “You are the best writer/manager/entrepreneur/(insert-your-profession-here) in the world!” “You are tapped into the universe and you rock!” Whatever floats your boat, makes you smile, and boosts your confidence. Go ahead, let those compliments get to your head! And proceed from there.
3. Compare ourselves…
In a good way, to others who have risen from defeat to success. When we’re in a self deprecating mood, it may help to think of someone we admire who may be successful now but wasn’t always this way.
Like Jim Carey and his infamous story about how he, a struggling comedian who hadn’t hit it big yet, drove his old Toyota up Mulholland Drive and wrote himself a check for $10 million, dated for five years later. Where is that old Toyota now? It’s probably not sitting in the driveway of his million dollar home.
Or think of an athlete—perhaps an Olympian. Imagine all the work they had to put in to get where they are. Their talent may have been innate, but the work they had to put into cultivating and maintaining it was no joy ride! They had to work harder than most people ever would.
We don’t just decide to be something and then ‘get it’ right away. We have to build up our expertise. It’s a delicate balance of practicing, learning, practicing, learning, repeat, repeat, repeat. Getting to the top of one mountain and then setting our sights on the next.
Find a person who inspires you, who has defeated the odds and succeeded the way you want to succeed. Let their story be your compass during rough and calm seas.
If our minds can see it, we can achieve it. So close your eyes and see yourself achieving that goal, that dream that you want so badly, that sentence you so desperately want to turn into a best selling book! See the praise in your audience’s eyes, looking at you adoringly and shouting, “Bravo! Bravo!” as they clap their hands with delight. Or something like that…
5. Shift our perspectives.
Like, physically shift it. Get up and go for a walk. Go for a run. Read. Cook. Watch a show. Whatever it is, do something completely different than what we are currently doing. This will help to jolt ourselves into a new perspective.
George Bernard Shaw once said:
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.
So if we need a little help finding those perfect circumstances but we’re stuck in negative head space that’s keeping us down, stop, drop, and roll ourselves into something different, if only for 20 minutes. It will likely help to breathe new life into a perspective that will work much better for us and those crazy minds of ours.
Remember: the limitations created by our minds are entirely false. They only become real if we start to believe them. And when we do, we cannot get to those gloriously green, grassy fields of our minds where success surely lives.
So break out that whip, show off your best wonder woman/superman stance you’ve ever done, and destroy those limitations in one fell swoop.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Karissa Kneeland / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo credit: Flickr