The number one reason clients work with me is to change some aspect of their lives to create a better quality of life. Most of them first looked for answers by trying to change facts and circumstances, but could not achieve the change they desired. The reason – they were looking in the wrong direction.
Your ability to transform your life in a lasting, meaningful way is determined by your ability to create an empowered mindset.
Yep, it’s true. In 3 steps, you can unlock and harness the power of your mind to create an empowered mindset from which anything is possible.
“In order to change external conditions, you must first change the internal. Most people try to change conditions and circumstances by working directly with those conditions and circumstances. This always proves futile, or at the very best – temporary, unless it is accompanied by a change of thoughts and beliefs.” John Kehoe
According to Marci Shimoff, author of Happy for No Reason, we have about 60,000 thoughts a day: one thought per second during every waking hour. Of those 60,000 thoughts, 95% are the same thoughts you had yesterday, and the day before and the day before that.
Your mind is like an audio recording set on a perpetual repeat. Sadly, for the average person, 80% of those habitual thoughts are negative. That’s a daily dose of more than 45,000 negative thoughts!
Importantly, there is a direct connection between what you allow in your mind and how you show up in life. Imagine how you show up with 45,000 negative thoughts racing through your mind!
If you want to change your circumstances, you have to start by changing your thought process and developing an empowered mindset.
We cannot get to where we want to go in life with the same thoughts that got us to where we are now. As Albert Einstein observed: it’s insanity to do things the same way and expect different results.
The first step is to ask yourself: Do you know what plays in your mind throughout the day?
Here’s one obvious way to find the answer: take a look at your life. Our external life is a reflection of what we think about on a daily basis.
Stop right now and take an honest assessment of your life. Do you struggle making money, finding quality relationships and moving up the career ladder? Or do you create wealth with ease, enjoy nourishing relationships and have a fulfilling career? Does life feel abundant and safe or do you run on scarcity and fear?
The above examples show a contrast in diverse mindsets. One mindset produces thoughts that view life through the lens of being hard, fearful and scarce so that’s how life shows up. The other mindset generates thoughts of ease, security and satisfaction; a belief that life will abundantly provide in fulfilling ways and life unfolds in full alignment.
If you’re looking at these examples and wondering how you can leave struggle and fear behind to move into an abundant, satisfying lifestyle, it’s time to change your internal programming to support the shift.
“The quality of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts and ideas.” John Kehoe
If you are ready to shift your life, then it’s time to become aware of the thoughts and stories currently playing in your mind so you can upgrade to an empowered mindset.
Start paying close attention to the thoughts running through your mind.
Slow down and listen: What are your thoughts telling you? How often? When? Is there a particular time of the day they are more or less supportive? If you are new to this practice, you will probably be surprised at how much that little voice inside your head talks to you and how negative or defeatist it can be.
When I started down the personal development path decades ago, I was shocked to discover what was running on automatic pilot in my mind. I was recently reminded of this initial journey as I coached a young man who had never noticed his mind chatter. When I asked him to spend the next week closely monitoring what was going on in his mind, he returned shocked at the discoveries. He got off automatic pilot and became the conscious driver of what he allowed into his mind. Which leads us to the next step.
The second step is to immediately stop the disempowering thought.
Once you become aware of any negative or disempowering thoughts running through your mind, it’s imperative that you immediately STOP the thought. Interrupt it and refuse to let it finish its sentence. You MUST stop the voice, stop the thought and start recognizing what it feels like to be the one in charge of what you allow in your mind.
Warning – some of these thoughts may feel good even with their roots in disempowerment. You may feel justified being angry, hurt, frustrated or upset and there’s a certain deceitful comfort in ruminating on these thoughts. They are sneaky. But this is where the rubber hits the road – ask yourself if the thought is moving you closer to or further from a desired outcome in your life. Your life depends on the honesty of your answer, so dig deep and allow your integrity to respond.
I still remember some of my toughest life experiences, such as my divorce, when my mindset was flooded with disempowering thoughts. During those dark days, it took all my energy just to STOP the the thoughts of defeat, victimhood, anger, sadness, loss and loneliness. I felt justified in clinging to these thoughts, yet I knew they would be reflected in my outer circumstances which would only keep me from the life I truly desired – happy, alive, free, connected and grateful. I refer to these tough moments as training ground to practice and become disciplined in developing an empowered mindset.
If you can practice and master these lessons, you can master your life!
The third step is to shift the disempowering thought to one of empowerment.
After you stop the disempowering thought, it’s time to replace it with an empowering thought that moves you closer to the life you desire. Now that you have a list of the negative thoughts that most regularly bombard your mind, take each one of them and convert it to an empowering thought. Reframe the negative to the positive; the disempowering to the empowering; scarcity to abundance – you get the idea. You are planting the seeds to grow an empowered mindset.
As you create your empowerment statements, write them down in present tense which affirms their power in the here and now and then say them out loud – give them a voice! Get into the daily practice of nourishing these empowering thoughts until they become your automatic, predominant thoughts. Then, witness your life unfolding in sync with your thoughts and new beliefs. Here’s an example of what’s possible with an award winning, empowered mindset: Do you have an Oscar Award Winning Mindset?
Now, let’s get creative and start the empowerment shift!
Journal Prompt. Pull out your journal and favorite pens, or download the Converting Negative Thoughts to Empowering Thoughts Worksheet. Create a sacred space in your home, in your office, out in nature or in an inspiring location to connect with yourself. It’s time to be open and honest with yourself and take a look at what is playing in your mind.
As you go through this exercise, I want you to be kind to yourself. Please do not judge yourself as you start to discover what’s playing in your mind. Sometimes, our initial reaction is to become self-critical when we discover we’ve been thinking unproductive or disempowering thoughts. There is no need for judgment as you learn more about yourself. Be compassionate, gentle and open minded as you explore and make new discoveries.
After you’ve spent some time paying attention to your mind, create a list of the predominant negative thoughts that fill your head. The ones that say:
I’ll never be able to _______________________
I’m horrible at __________________________
It’s hard to _____________________________
I don’t know how to_______________________
It’s impossible to _________________________
There is no way I can_______________________
Now, create a second list with a new thought to support your desired life, dream or goal. You can reverse of the above list or create a brand new, more empowering belief.
Keep it simple – use a few words, stay in present tense and make sure they are fully supportive, such as:
I can easily _______________________________
I excel at _________________________________
I’m increasing my skills to ________________________________
I know how to ______________________________
It’s not only possible but joyful to__________________
I embrace _____________________________
Here are some real-world examples of converting disempowering thoughts to empowering thoughts:
“I’m a klutz.” to “I move with grace and confidence.”
“I am not creative.” to “I embrace the artist within me.”
“I can’t run a marathon.” to “I can walk a mile.”
“It’s hard to make money.” to “Abundance flows with ease into my life.”
“I never know what to say.” to “I speak with ease and clarity.”
“I’m overwhelmed.” to “I’m blessed with opportunities.”
Ongoing step: Continue to monitor your mind and when a disempowering thought appears, immediately replace it with one of your new empowered thoughts.
When practiced with commitment, regularity and true desire, you can “[t]rain your conscious mind to think thoughts of success, happiness, health, prosperity, and to weed out fear and worry. Keep you conscious mind busy with the expectation of the best, and make sure the thoughts you habitually think are based upon what you want to see happen in your life.” John Kehoe
Where can your empowered mindset take you? Imagine the possibilities and then plant them in your mind!
p.s. What’s your biggest takeaway from this exercise? Please share in the comments below.