I’ve heard the saying “where the mind goes, (wo)man will follow.” Not understanding fully what that meant, I allowed my mind to be ruled by many things, and to travel places I never truly wanted to be. Fear, anxiety, stress, imposter syndrome—oh the places my mind would go. I became afraid to fail, anxious about my future, stressed about my present and, by comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle, I lived in a constant state of feeling less than.
Somehow I figured out that my mind mattered. Your mind matters. You matter.
So what did I do? How did I get out of that mindset and pivot into believing that I was worthy enough to get out of bed? That not only was I worthy to get out of bed, but that I had something more to offer this world? I learned that my mind mattered, and how I spoke to myself carried an immense amount of weight.
The story I was telling myself each day, however, couldn’t have been further from what I wanted to create. I wanted success, but I told myself I was a failure. I wanted to be fit, but I told myself I was fat. I wanted to be free, but instead chained my hopes to a negative mind. And who was I to deserve more?
Here are a few of the things that changed (and that I’m still working on):
- The story we tell ourselves becomes our reality:Have you heard of fake it until you make it (or become it)? What we say in our mind eventually works its way out of our thoughts and into our words, actions, and lifestyles. If you want to change your life, begin in your mind. Tell yourself the story you want to live.
- You have the power to control your mind: I used to think that negative thoughts would just come to me, and I had little to no control of them. What was I feeding my mind? Reality TV, Instagram feeds, and the stories of others. I wasn’t giving myself the nourishment that I needed. It’s no wonder my thoughts would just “land” on me. I had the power to control my mind, yet sat on the sidelines hoping for something good. As I shifted from passive thinking to active thinking, my world began to change.
- Find a tribe that’s like-minded: If you are constantly around negative people, you will become negative. Regardless of how positive you are the negativity will weigh you down. It’s easier to go to the dark side than to the light. If you want to be the light, you need to find others who will brighten your world. Find a support system of people doing and wanting the things you desire.
- Create your mantra: Live your words. Find the words that resonate with you. Is it clarity, love, inspiration? When in doubt, mantra it out! Repeating the words you want to become throughout your day in moments of stress or despair can help realign your mind back to where you need it to be.
- Pay it forward: Sharing your story with others (the true story), allows others to see that it’s more than one leap to success. In being vulnerable and sharing your fears or insecurities, others are encouraged to do the same. When we help others by sharing the lessons we’ve learned, it reinforces the power of the lesson for us. Helping others can actually help you!
The mind is where we can discover and create the lives we want to live. By being intentional about how we think, what we say, and how we live, we can truly make a difference in our world. Take care of your minds, it’s where your story begins!
Daisy M. Chaffee is the Community Director South Bay, WeWork. She has a passion for wellness and has served as a corporate operations manager with fitness industry leaders such as Orangetheory Fitness, Equinox and ACTIVE Network, LLC