Changing your mindset: ‘it’s the only way to grow’

Changing your mindset: ‘it’s the only way to grow’

“Today or should I say tonight is the night I’ve decided to take a toll on my life and start to actually turn my life around. I will change my old ways and habits because I am tired of saying “I’m going to do it, but I’ll start tomorrow.” I am fed up with feeling sorry for myself when I know nothing will be different unless I make change.” — Aug. 4, 2019

The type of change I’m referring to is my approach on mental mindset. Let me explain a little. Growing up was never the easiest. My parents separated when I was eleven years old and let’s just say that ever since then, my mindset has mainly been filled with negative thoughts. I won’t get too in depth about specifics. During that time, I blamed myself for many things thinking everything was my fault or I could never please anyone with my presence. Around the age of fifteen, body image became an issue for me. I created this other person in my mind that made me fully believe that I will always be “fat” or looking at the mirror thinking I couldn’t be anything else but ugly. Now, I don’t want you to feel bad for me as you read this because I don’t want a pity party, but I need you to know a little about my past so I can tell you how I got out of what I call my “rock bottom” phase.

Changing your mindset requires understanding your own mind. Looking back at myself in my rock bottom phase, I now realize that I didn’t understand my mind at all. Maybe it was because I was young or because I didn’t want to understand it. To tell you the truth, I don’t even really know. I ask myself all the time, was it because I didn’t want to understand my own mind? But quite honestly, I think I just didn’t know how to.

Fast forward a few years, I’m now eighteen years old. The summer before my senior year of high school, I decided that I wanted to be more physically fit. Growing up, I was always active because I played softball my whole life, but I felt like it wasn’t enough for the goals I wanted to achieve. Little did I know once I started to workout in the gym consistently, I grew a passion for lifting. With the passion I found, I also created a strong mindset for motivation, which helped develop positive thoughts. I had found something other than sports that made me feel good about myself, and it has taught me a few things on how it can affect your personal mindset. A quote I will always stand by is, “the mind always fails first, not the body. The secret is to make your mind work for you, not against you.” This quote is so accurate because when you tell yourself “I can’t,” you won’t. You have already told yourself otherwise, and that is exactly what you are going to do. It’s the same outcome even if you tell yourself “I can or I will do this,” as they say you can do anything you set your mind to. 

Now it doesn’t stop here. Although I created a stronger mindset than I once had, I still had many downs and doubts. These doubts involved body image, food intake, my personal life, school work, softball, and, honestly, I could keep going. It seemed like my mindset was 50% positive and 50% negative all the time. This 50/50 mindset continued for the next couple of years, and I wasn’t sure how to take the next step to grow out of it. I felt stuck and had no idea what to do.

Now let’s go back to Aug. 4, 2019. That was a bad day. I was spinning in circles inside my head just wondering why I wasted so much time complaining and feeling sorry for myself. I asked myself that day, “Is this how I want to live the rest of my life? A life full of doubts and negative self talk?” No is definitely the answer. No one should have time for negative self talk because all you’re doing is hurting yourself. When we continue to get in our own heads and repeat or create negative comments about ourselves, we don’t realize how much it can destroy us or even how difficult it is to get out of that negative mindset.

Changing your mindset can surely happen overnight, but it will be a challenge to keep your frequency high and consistent. It is doable, but you have to be fully committed to making change. In a sense, it’s almost like rewiring your brain because for many years, days or months you’ve continuously told yourself these negative comments and now you have to learn to teach and fill your mind with positive thoughts and comments. Whether it is about bad body image or thinking you’ll never get the job, always remember you are what you attract, bad or good. If you’re serious about change you have to go through uncomfortable situations. Don’t try to dodge the process, it’s the only way to grow.

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Written by Rayna Moraga

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