Reason #2 – Why you are stuck!

I mean who doesn’t love thinking about areas where they are stuck?! 

Trust me, I know… no one really.  That said, as people get clarity on the things that have been holding them back, I often hear them say – “I didn’t realize how stuck I was.” 

This really isn’t about assessing whether you are stuck or feel stuck as much as it is moving toward the things that matter to you.

Today is exciting to me because after identifying the mindsets that are bogging you down, it’s time to identify the mindsets that will move you toward freedom.

For many people I have coached over the years, I find this is one of the steps that when people get the hang of it, has the capability to be life changing.  And it has been for me. 

 But let’s start with YOU and the area you want to change in your life. 

From last time, you were to spend :05 each day writing down your raw thoughts on the area you want to change. Writing and capturing ALL your thoughts, the good, the bad and what you might consider right or wrong. Remember Principle 1 isRegarding where you are stuck, the root is a Flawed Mindset or way of thinking. Solution: First identify your Flawed Mindset and take it captive.

Now Principle 2 says, “Your freedom (or getting unstuck) depends on your focus. Solution: Build and develop a new narrative on which to focus your mind.”

According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of the book “Switch on Your Brain” and neuroscience expert, “It is our choice to pay attention that influences this internal chatter in a positive or negative direction.”   

Okay, let me tell you what that means for you! 

YOU can actually choose what you focus on and therefore the pathway your brain travels down.   And if you can choose the path you go down in your brain, that leads to the actions in line with how you want to live. 

I said this last time but let me remind you so you can make the connection. To create sustainable change for the long term, we have to change our mindsets leading to the behavior along with the behaviors themselves. Meaning our behaviors must have a support system, which is why behavior modification can be short lived. I am defining mindset in this process to mean a way of thinking, a thought process, value system, or set of deeply held beliefs that lead to certain feelings, actions, and the resulting fruit. 

Simply stated, in the area you are stuck, part of the solution is developing a new way of thinking. 

Often, we stay stuck because we don’t create new thoughts and tell a different story.  As a result, we don’t have anything substantial to fall back on when our thoughts, beliefs and actions start spinning down that old pathway. 

We realize our thoughts are wrong BUT we don’t do anything about it. 

In the bible there is a verse that says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  To be changed or transformed we have to renew our mind.  The word “renew” is defined as rebuilding or replacing.  

Okay so you have to rebuild and replace your old story or way of thinking which is exactly what you have spent time journaling on over the last few weeks. You should have a few pages of how you think about the area where you want to grow sitting in front of you.  (Don’t worry, if you don’t. Stop now and spend :05 today and for the next two days writing all the thoughts you have about the area you want to change.)

I like to approach principle two by asking you to answer the question, “What is more true?”  I ask it this way because often we are focused on partial truths, and those become the whole truth.  Here is an example below of what I mean. 

Flawed Mindset #1:

“I have gained 10 pounds and none of my clothes fit. I feel fat and cannot be happy or content while I feel like this.”  

Flawed Mindset #2:

“I am not where I thought I would be in my life. I haven’t made as much of myself as Joe. He started a business, made a ton of money, and seems like he has succeeded, and is just 39. I am so behind in life.”

Now I am illustrating the idea of “What is more true?” 

Flawed Mindset #1 Rebuilt to be Mindset of Truth #1:

“I have been using food to deal with my feelings in the stress of this season so naturally I am carrying 10 extra pounds. I am going to get back to some of my routines and begin dealing with my stress in healthier ways, and the weight will come off. This has been a season of stress, and unfortunately this is where I am. I don’t have to like it, but I can also have joy in the midst of it.”

Flawed Mindset #1 Rebuilt to be Mindset of Truth #2:

“I am not exactly where I thought I would be at 35, and when I look around, I see others really succeeding.  That said, I have done a lot in the last 5 years to change the direction of my life and I feel like I am on a good path that will take me where I want to go. I have identified my values and have taken steps to live them out. I have gone back and gotten a degree, which set me back a few years but ultimately this life is a journey, and it is not a race to see who gets there first. I can enjoy today knowing I have done the hard work of identifying and reorienting according to what is important to me.” 

When you are painting a new narrative, it is important to do two things: 1.) Name your specific circumstances and by the way, there are 100 different ways to rebuild any given thought.  2.) We have to say what is true. I think we often believe destructive thoughts because they have a little truth in there. They just aren’t the whole truth. 

Okay now it’s your turn! 

I want you to take your thoughts and beliefs you wrote down and I want you to create a new narrative. You are going to rewrite the script.  You have likely spent years nursing the old thoughts and it takes effort to create a new way to think about something, that IS actually true. 

That’s your homework! 

Spend :05 each day and look at your old thoughts and write out a different, MORE TRUE, story. It should be a paragraph long. I say that because you need something substantial to fall back on and you have to work at creating it!

Hang in there– you are well on your way to creating lasting change.

Look forward to being with you next time.