Mindset is required for success in meeting life goals. You may not see the fruit from the steps you are taking action on each day, but those steps make a difference in the long run.
When I get a call to take on a new client for coaching, I know the number one thing they are looking for is to feel better. It will be worded many ways, but most will boil down to this need. A good portion of my clients want happiness all the time. Happy all the time is something I will never be able to teach or coach. I can help people heal other areas or gain skills that can lead to happiness. The problem lies in a client not becoming happy and giving up far too soon.
So how do you feel better?
The first thing you need to do is step back and discover what is happiness to you. The second thing is realizing that emotions don’t come from outside us, they come from the inside. Chasing after the new house, new clothes, or new car will only bring short term happiness. There is always something new to look at and say, “if I had that, I would be happy.”
Let’s take losing weight. You must look at what will be different if you are slimmer? What will stay the same? It will help you look at any goal.
One thing that many don’t understand is that all feelings are connected to thoughts. Ask yourself what you are thinking when you are happy? How about safe? How about secure? If you believe a thought, it will create a feeling. If you are not feeling something you want to feel, look at what you are thinking. If you want to change the feeling, you need to focus on something that will distract you or change what you are thinking. Here is the hard line. Everything you feel is a choice.
One tool you can use is called the magical question. Let’s say your want is financial security. Let’s also say you won the lottery. One of the questions I will ask my clients is what would be the first thing you noticed that next morning that was different? I may have to push for a second thing or a third. What I am looking for is an item/activity that they can start doing right now. This simple task creates change in feelings.
Another tool you can use is to write down the top three feelings you notice in your life. Next, look at what you are often thinking about for each feeling. Finally, write down the top three feelings you want to feel. What do you need to do to sort this out?
If you are in need of help working on this, reach out to me at email@example.com or through the website Creategoodliving.com
How does mushroom picking and life relate?
I used to work in Search and Rescue when I was younger. We would sometimes be called out for a mushroom picker that was hunting in the woods and hadn’t returned. The northwest woods are expansive and rugged, so searching them is not always an easy task. The mushroom picker is one of the harder people to find. Unlike other lost individuals, the mushroom picker makes an erratic path. “There’s one. Oh look, over there is another one.” They can travel deep into the forest this way. The next thing they know, they are lost and don’t know which way their vehicle lies.
This way of searching for mushrooms is not that different from individuals who are always chasing the next great idea. If I am not watchful, I too can fall victim to this thinking. If you are working to increase your income and chasing the next new thing, good ideas can get left behind.
What if we had a world with no distress? What do you think that would look like? What if you at least limited your own distress?
We need some stress for motivation. There is eustress which psychologists have discovered to be motivating. Clinical psychiatrist Dr. Michael Genovese says we rarely think of stress as a positive thing, but eustress is just that — positive stress. “Exciting or stressful events cause a chemical response in the body,” he explained.
It is the stress associated with preparing for a vacation, upcoming promotion or any endeavor that challenges us but does not use all our resources. It impacts us physically, emotionally and psychologically.
In contrast, distress is a negative form of stress. It occurs when an event causes us to feel anxiety, sorrow or pain. It is usually extreme but not long lasting. This may not be the case if you have a straight anxiety disorder.
I was putting away suitcases from holiday and work travel. As I emptied out the little odds and ends it got me to thinking about emotional baggage. According to the urban dictionary the word baggage now has additional meaning beyond a container used to travel. It states that painful memories, mistrust and hurt carried around from past sexual or emotional rejection.
All of us have baggage. But for a visual example, some of us have little paper bags and others are running around trying to pull cargo containers with them. What is your bag? Is it a backpack, a suitcase or more? A fun way to find this is to sit down with colored pencils and draw a picture of yourself chained to a container big enough to hold all your rejections, hurts and even false beliefs getting in the way of your happiness.
We need to clean out our container. If you are chained to it and it is bigger than a backpack you are not going to have a very easy time moving forward in life. It anchors you and demands your attention. Your experiences have to filter through all that. If your container is large, the reality comes out distorted.