I’m on my way to Honolulu today. This trip comes right after a chilly snowstorm here in Chicago. And, I choose an empowering Moving Toward mindset. This drives you to say something like “I can enjoy the snow from my warm cozy home before I leave on this trip”. This mindset lets you experience the joy in the moment and gives you a peaceful feeling.
However, many times this is not the case. Instead, you might say “I can’t wait to get out of this cold weather.” Peace is destroyed by a Moving Away mindset. I can testify to this given my repeated usage and utter disruption of my peace. And without peace, it’s not possible to be happy.
Simple math. No peace, no happy.
How often have you heard yourself say things like this to yourself?
- I don’t want to be stressed.
- I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night in a panic.
- I don’t want to fail.
- I don’t want to be late.
- I want my anxiety to go away.
- I want the week to be over.
These all reflect Moving Away driven statements. Notice what they all have in common – a negative frame. When you only see where you don’t want to go, you’re going to get what you focus on – what you don’t want. It’s a perfect recipe for undermining your happiness.
So, feel encouraged you’ve read this far. A small mindset shift helps you find peace in the moment. If you want to be happy, the results you get will naturally lead you to use this mindset more.
4-Step Method to Shift to a Move Toward Mindset
1. Check Your Mindset
You need strong mindfulness here. Observe the conversations you’re having in your head and with other people. Notice the words you’re using. Check your emails. What are you writing in them? Initially, notice when you say or write something to move away. Say to yourself – I’m moving away.
For even better self-awareness, keep a blank piece of paper with you and write down instances as they pop up. You’ll most likely notice a theme.
2. Reframe Your Self-Talk
Empower yourself. Once you notice you’re moving away, start to subtly shift the conversation. Maybe it starts with taking a pause and that’s all. It’s a great start. Say you noticed yourself say – I don’t want to fail. Pause. Then, say – I want to succeed. Notice how it helps release the tension in your body.
When you’re Away From mindset is strong, it can bee difficult to put things in a positive frame. So, to cover some of the examples above, the positive frames could be:
- I want to be calm.
- I want to sleep peacefully through the night.
- I want to do well.
- I want to be on time.
- I want to feel at ease.
- I want to get some rest.
If you’ve kept a list in Step 1, you can get a head start by listing your common statements down and putting them in a positive frame. Just make two columns on that page, one for Away From and the other for Move Toward statements.
3. Give Yourself Choices
It’s a lot easier to work toward I want to be calm vs. I don’t want to be stressed. Just picture what choices open up when you consider how to make yourself calm. Thinking about not being stressed limits that picture and makes you feel stuck. I don’t know about you but I said that particular statement numerous times to my self and it didn’t move me anywhere. It keeps you going in the same circle and you get the same result – stress.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Understanding this intellectually is a helpful start. Putting the insight into action builds your conviction and skill. This is one of those things where you can spend little effort for a major impact. It could save you loads of time and frustration. Start small. Commit to using this 4-step method for one morning of your work week. Notice what’s working and keep doing it.
Being able to control your mind leads to an immense amount of peace. By simply being mindful of your habit for Move Away, you’re gaining power over how you experience things. Practicing Moving Toward will open up possibilities and give you a sense of relief emotionally and physically.
To make a small step, try noticing your conversations today at work (with yourself or others). And, name when a Moving Away mindset creeps up. That’s all. Please share in the comments the first conversation you paused to check your mindset and one thing you learned.
Aloha (as I’ve learned this means hello, good-bye, and love)