Ep. 21: Mindset is EVERYTHING

Nothing in the world feels more true than the things that we tell ourselves in our own minds. You know what I’m talking about? These are the phrases and words that we tell ourselves over and over again as if we have our favorite song on repeat on the radio. Here’s the thing though, the things that we tell ourselves are a reflection of what’s going on in our lives. What you think you become and what you become is your new norm.

This week on The Gutsy Podcast, we’re gonna bust a lot of that shit, okay? Because you’ve got some really incredible things that you are oh so freaking capable of doing, but you have talked yourself out of being able to do them. Mindset is everything, and today we’re going to start to chip away at some of those things so we can start saying the things that we actually are.

Now you might be thinking, “Oh, here we go. Here’s another positive vibes only.” Just like any other emotion, positivity is a choice. But today, we’re not going to celebrate being a 100% positive all the freaking time because let’s just face it—it’s not realistic. Sometimes, shit is real and sometimes we feel like crap. And you know what? That’s okay. What I want to dig into today though are the repetitive things that go on in your mind when no one else is around. These are things like:

“You suck. Why would you even try this? I mean, you’re entirely too fat to wear that. So you should definitely put on something more sensible. Something that covers everything up (or) I told you we would fail so way to go. Here we are again. You’re not even good enough or worthy enough for that kind of life. So why would you even think like that? I can’t do it. I don’t have enough money. What is everyone going to think of me?”

I mean, we could spend an entire episode just saying key phrases that we tell ourselves. And while all of these things, most of the time, are not true—they are louder than anything possible. I mean, if you think of the Super Bowl stadium. Super Bowl Sunday, the crowds are going wild, there’s millions of people and they’re all half drunk and yell these profound things—that’s what it sounds like in your head, I would bet. While they may not be true to the world, they are so true to yourself and why? Because you spend the most time with yourself and I would bet that you spend a lot of time inside your own head.

Look, I can’t excuse myself from this either. I have a lot of talks with myself when no one else is around. And you know what? I have said some really cruel things to myself. Things that no one else would say to me and I most certainly would never say to anyone else, but we find it okay to talk to ourselves in such a demeaning, horrid manner. Why? Because no one else hears it, right? We have taught ourselves that these things are true and if they’re true, then we must be stuck.

I know when I’m having a good old fashioned case of the shitty fuck-it’s, I can say some pretty nasty shit to myself. Some of my go-to’s are thinking, “You know what Laura, you are. You’re just too much. You need to pull it down. The louder you get, the brighter you get, the more you put yourself out there. People are really going to start talking and they’re gonna start thinking that you’re better than everyone else and all you care about is being in front of people.” Or one of my personal favorites or favorite, we say that word lightly, but, “Here we are again. We’re stuck. Finances aren’t great or something’s going wrong or you had to fix something and you know what? Here we are again. You tried, you put yourself out there, and now you’re being faced with this and this is just the same thing that we’re used to and here it shows up.”

I have also spent a really long portion of my life convincing myself that wealth and success are for other people, not me. I’m just Laura Wallace from Greencastle, Pennsylvania and wealth and success are for bigger, bolder, more audacious people—not me. And then when I’m feeling just really stellar about myself because I have convinced myself that all of those things are completely accurate, then that’s when my body-image kicks in and I’m like, “Oh, Laura, your thighs rub together. These jeans are too tight. Everything looks stupid on you. I hate everything that I own. You’re fat and you should just wear sweatpants and yoga pants and call it a day.”

Good Heavens you guys. When I say these things out loud, I’m like, what in the actual hell is wrong with you? But here’s the thing, there is nothing wrong with me. There’s nothing wrong with you. But we have convinced ourselves that all of these things exist in our world. Sure we’ve all got our own little corks and we almost certainly have things that we can improve on. But these deep-rooted, nasty things that we say to ourselves are just absolutely unnecessary. When I say these things out loud, I think back and I want to go back through that list again.

I’m not too much. Okay? My light is bright and it’s beautiful and when I have the courage to step into that, I actually have a lot of potential and power to help shift other people. It’s one of my God given gifts and it’s one of the places where I resonate the highest. I am not too much for the right people.

No, I won’t always be stuck. Yeah, life challenges are gonna come my way, but this repeat that I’ve been playing on for, I couldn’t tell you how many years, it stopped—last week. Very particularly last week. I don’t have to continue this cycle because I chose to stop the cycle.

Wealth and success are not just for super awesome famous people because guess what? All those people used to be just quote unquote ‘regular’ people just like the rest of us. And just because you have money doesn’t mean you’re an asshole. And just because you’re successful, doesn’t make you out of reach for people. I have every single right and ability to be wealthy and successful and happy because I know what I’m going to do with all those things. I’m going to continue to impact people around me, but if I choose to continue to tell myself that story, I’m going to keep that circle really small.

And you know what? I’m not fat. Now I might have moments, particularly like one week out of the month—you ladies know what I’m talking about. But when I look at myself now, I’m like, “You know what? This body is pretty freaking awesome.” And when I wear the clothes that I feel my best in, and when I’d take the time and effort to put into myself and I work out on my Peloton and I eat the way that I’m supposed to when I say I’m supposed to because I have this myriad of frickin’ food sensitivities. When I eat the way that my body responds well to, I feel amazing. So all of that stuff that quote unquote fatness, it’s self-inflicted and it’s really not true.

These might just be a handful of things that I’ve told myself, and maybe you have some that are super similar to these and maybe you have others that are completely different, but the common denominator is: Would you tell your best friends, your kids, your neighbors, your employees, your parents—would you tell them these things that you tell yourself? Absolutely not. I mean, if your inner thoughts were on a loudspeaker at that same football game, would you be proud of yourself? Would you stand up and say, “Yep, that’s me. I’m all of those glorious things and this is what I have to offer.” No, I’m going to bet you would probably kind of shrink down in that bleacher and want to disappear.

Why do we even say these things to begin with? I think it’s really important to always get to the root of thoughts. You know, a lot of the times these are things that maybe we have heard in our life once, twice, maybe more than that. But maybe someone has crossed your path that was in a challenging situation of their own and lashed out at you and said something that they probably didn’t mean, but it became a deep-rooted belief in your own self.

The other day I was driving home and I quite literally remembered the exact moment of my childhood when I was told that I was too much and I needed to be quiet. And when I had this realization, I cranked up the radio and I just lost my ever-loving mind. I mean, I ugly cried my whole way home and I released it because you know what, I’m not too much. Maybe you were in your own challenging situation and you started to think these things about yourself and it became your habit. You’ve said it enough times for it to become true. And then when those things play out in your life, you’re just validating that your thoughts are accurate. And you know what? These are easy and familiar. “There it is again. Here, I showed you. I told you it was true. So it must be true.”

It’s easy to play a victim in your own life. My husband, Aj, for Mother’s Day, got me this book called “Stop Doing That Sh*t. End Self-Sabotage and Demand Your Life Back,” by Gary John Bishop. And I love his approach because he’s a no-nonsense, no bullshit kind of guy. The whole book is basically built around the things that we have taught ourselves is true. And in the very first chapter, he talks about that we sabotage our own lives with the bullshit that we tell ourselves. Again, certainly there are times in life and circumstances when things just are not stellar. And you know what? That’s part of being a human. It doesn’t make it any easier, but it’s sometimes in those moments where you just need to feel the feelings, whatever those are.

But he talks about if you’re tired, overwhelmed, overworked, under-loved, stopped, paused, bored, broke, too anxious, too analytical, lacking confidence. I mean, this list goes on and on and on. The root of all of that are the things that you tell yourself. I mean, if you have told yourself and convince yourself for the last five years that you’re not good enough to grow your business, then guess what? You’re not going to be able to grow your business. If you can’t believe in yourself, how on earth is anyone else going to?

Changing these thought patterns can be just as difficult as breaking any other habit in life, but the cool thing is it’s completely possible. There’s a lot of different tools and resources out there to help you shift your mindset. There’s a lot of business coaches, therapists, articles, podcasts. I mean there’s a million different things at your fingertips that you can use. But unless you believe those things yourself and you really start to make an inner shift, nothing is going to move.

The other thing is you don’t necessarily have to invest in anything. A mindset shift doesn’t have to cost a cent. My absolute favorite instructor at Peloton is Robin Arzon, and she says, “Excuses are never accepted as a form of payment.” Your new life is going to cost you your old one. Will you cash it in? So if you’re not ready or able to invest in some sort of program or 10 day retreat somewhere, you don’t have to. All you have to do is be willing to change yourself.

“So how the hell do you do that? That sounds a whole lot easier than what it actually is. Can I get an amen on that?” Well, the first thing is awareness. Over the course of the next week, I want you to carry around a notebook, a piece of paper, the notes section on your phone, and I want you to write down every single word that you say to yourself that is negative. By being aware that you’re even saying these things is really the first step because you can’t change what you don’t necessarily know that you’re doing.

So any word or phrase or thought that comes into your mind that is negative about you, yourself, your circumstances, or your life. I literally want you to write it down. After this week has passed, I want you to go back and start reading those things. Not in your mind, because that’s keeping it contained where it lives, right? That’s where it lives and breathes and grows. I want you to say them out loud and I want you to say them with the passion that you have when you say them to yourself in your head.

So this exercise is pretty bold because I don’t want you to read this list and go, “I can’t be wealthy. I’m too fat. I’m stupid and I don’t know what I’m doing.” No. You’re not a freaking robot, okay? I want you to say them like you mean them. “I’m, I’m entirely too fat. I don’t even know what the hell I’m doing. I can’t do any of this stuff because I’m not smart enough.”

The first thing that’s going to do is it’s going to start to neutralize it and you’re going to hear yourself out loud saying the things that you say to yourself in silence. And then I’m going to push you to go even one step further and go to someone that you love and trust someone that you have a great relationship, that really respects you, and I want you to read this list to them using that same emotion. And then I want you to watch their facial expressions and you’re gonna start to see that these things that you tell yourself couldn’t be more further from the truth. The next thing you can do is go down through that list and ask yourself, “Is this real? Is it true?” Most of these things are completely inaccurate, but we have convinced ourselves that they’re our reality. From there, I want you to start really just being consciously aware when these things start to pop into your head, and this is the really cool moment because awareness is everything.

Up until now, you’ve probably been running on mental autopilot. It’s become so natural to you that you don’t even realize that you’re doing it, but by being completely self-aware of, “Okay, here’s this list and they’re popping up again.” Here is the really magical spot where you get to rewrite that story.

Instead of thinking, “I’m too stupid to even try this, why would I even give it a shot?” Maybe you reroute that to say, “You know what? I have all the tools that I need to do what I need to do today.” Instead of thinking, “Oh my gosh, here I am looking in this mirror again, feeling fat and ugly. Here’s another day of that.” What if you said, “Oh my gosh, I’m incredibly grateful for this body and I can’t wait to see what we do together.” Instead of thinking, “You’re too much and you should just dim it down because that’s what makes everyone feel more comfortable around you.” What if you said, “You know what? I’m going to go out today and I’m going to be the biggest, boldest version of myself because I know by doing that I’m going to positively impact everyone around me.”

These aren’t huge exercises that it’s going to take hours of your time. These are literal in the moment, mindset shifts taking one phrase and turning it into something more positive. I want you to really start thinking about what is actually true—what is true about myself and why is that amazing?

The other really fun thing that I love to do (because I’m a creative and I’m a visual person) is I love the concept of having some sort of visual reminder of what you’re capable of. Some might call this a vision board or a mood board or an idea board. We don’t have to title it. Okay. I don’t care if you clip out pictures and lay ’em all over your desk or you could sketch words and tape them to your forehead. Whatever. Whatever works for you is what works for you.

For me, personally, I created this 11 by 17 piece of paper that has all of the things that I know that I am insanely capable of achieving. I’ve been working with this really badass business coach, her name is Kate Blake, and she has really helped me to shift my mindset and be aware of not thinking about what is in the future, but more thinking about what is possible today. All these things on my board are already on its way and I think that’s the coolest thing ever. And while I may not have all the answers or the exact plan or path on how to get there, I don’t, I don’t need to do that. I need to believe that it’s possible for it to even be possible on my board.

I have things like the dream home that Aj and I have thought of for gosh, decades, that we are going to build. I have a picture of the Bahamas because that’s our absolute favorite place in the world to be. And on the opposite corner, I have a picture of New York City because that’s where I so come alive as a creative human. I have two pictures of women role models, women that I just really look up to and I love their spirit and what they stand for. And there’s a handful of other things on there.

But you know what? If I don’t believe that any of those things are possible, and I just sit and gaze out the window thinking about, “Oh, that’s nice, that’s for other people.” Then guess what? That shit’s never going to come true. I have to believe it’s going to come true. So every morning when I wake up and I roll over, that board is literally taped to my wall. And I look at it and I think about it and I thank the universe for this incredible talent and passion that I was given. And I believe that all of those things are already on their way.

What do you need to put in front of you every single day, whether it’s at your desk, in your bedroom, or where you spend a lot of time? Get out some pictures. I love Pinterest. That’s a black hole of creative ideas, right? Whatever it is that you’ve been telling yourself that you can’t have, I want you to print out pictures and put them in front of you and start to tell yourself every day that you DO have.

And then lastly, I want you to really start noticing the terminology that you use and the perspective that you have. Instead of saying or thinking, “Someday I’ll have a successful business.” What if you shifted that to “I have a successful business.” I want you to start living those moments today. What if instead of saying, “You know it’s going to be really hard,” you said, “I can’t wait for this challenge so that I can knock it out.”

In his book, Gary Bishop says, “There’s a reason why so few make it out of the trap of their own mind. The trap all too often seems to be just fine from day to day.”

You guys, you are more than fine. You are more than the things that you have told yourself, and you are more than the circumstances that you’re in right now. Is this going to change overnight? I wish I could say that it would, but by just being more consciously aware of the way that you speak to yourself and how to reroute those to be more positive things, not only are you going to shift your mindset, but you’re most literally going to change everything around you that you touch.

Join me for this week’s power back as we extend this topic and talk about Victim Mode. When you can shift your mindset from “why me” to “why not me” and the powerful things that can follow.

Until then, follow The Gutsy Podcast on Facebook and Instagram or for more business insights, follow me on Instagram @thatlauraaura. See ya next time!

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