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If You Want To Lead Your Life More Effortlessly, You Should Embrace This New Mindset

If You Want To Lead Your Life More Effortlessly, You Should Embrace This New Mindset

We all have goals we’re striving for whether it’s losing weight, getting healthy, learning something new or just starting any new positive habit. We set that intention to be consistent, willing and ready to persevere but often we can get to a point when we just think “I can’t do it”.

It sounds familiar? Our mind is good for a lot of things but sometimes it can play havoc with our willpower and manages to convince us that we just can’t do something. But what if this isn’t true? What if you dare to question your mind and the belief that your goal that was once attainable is suddenly impossible?

The Power Of Admitting “I Don’t Want To Do It”

When we get to that point where we feel frustrated and unmotivated we tend to automatically assume that we are just incapable. But if we’re really being honest with ourselves it’s probably because we simply don’t want to do it. 

We often berate ourselves for the lack of effort we put in to something because we synonymize it with failure and by telling ourselves we can’t do it, we’re validating this thought pattern and mindset. By admitting that we just don’t want to do it we are no longer cutting off the possibility of achieving it – we are just simply saying that at this moment we are feeling frustrated and unmotivated but that doesn’t mean shutting down our goal altogether.

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“I Can’t Do It” vs. “I Don’t Want To Do It”

The beauty of taking each present moment as it comes is realising that how you feel now, won’t necessarily be how you feel in the future. So you’d rather binge-watch Netflix right now instead of dealing with a project you need to finish, you haven’t spent enough time putting energy into your goal lately and you feel a sense of never getting your mojo back again. In these instances of procrastination, we start to feel like a failure and the failure mindset kicks in allowing us to believe we just can’t reach that once-attainable dream.

Try switching your mindset to “I don’t want to do it” and accept that it’s perfectly okay in this moment. It’s about releasing the pressure we put on ourselves and giving ourselves a break allowing us to cultivate a mindset of “I can still achieve my goal.”

For example, say you’ve set a goal of losing weight through running – you set the goal and it feels good, you feel motivated and happy believing you will achieve the optimum weight loss you want.

Things are going great, you’re on track but a couple of weeks in you start to miss a session here and there, you start to make excuses why you can’t go for a run, you start to lose motivation and that visual you had of your slimmer self starts to wane. It’s at this point that your mind will scream I CAN’T DO IT!

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But this isn’t true – it’s simply your mind overruling sense and logic, panicking that you’re not going to ever get to your target.

It’s your mind undermining your confidence and leading you to conclude absolute failure in your capabilities.

Instead admit that your mind is detracting from the fact that you don’t want to go running. Sometimes we don’t want to face up to the possibility that we’ve lost motivation – that it was harder than we thought it was going to be and this doesn’t equal failure. This just means we didn’t set achievable goals. Perhaps you started too fast too soon, maybe you didn’t prepare yourself for slow and steady results, or maybe it could simply be a case of finding a running buddy to keep you going and help make it a regular habit.

3 Steps To Take When You Think “I Can’t Do It”

Step1: Take a step back and be honest with yourself

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When you think to yourself “I can’t do it” just stop and ask yourself why. What exactly makes you think you can’t? Assess your mood and motivation and ask yourself is it likely to be a case of “I don’t want to do it”?

Step 2: Give yourself a break

It’s important to be kind to yourself and admit that right now you’re not on track to achieving your goal and that’s okay. Each new moment and each new day is a clean slate for you to start again. Taking the pressure off yourself can help you deal with the “I can’t do it” mindset much more easily.

Step 3: See it as a chance to reassess small, attainable goals

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Don’t immediately see it as failure. By doing this, we inadvertently knock the confidence out of ourselves when really it’s a great opportunity to step back and reassess a better strategy whether that means cutting it down into smaller goals, or even finding a new way to achieve it altogether. With the weight loss example, you could draw up a new schedule that works better around your daily routines, run shorter, easier runs, find a running partner, join a local running club or find a new sport altogether.

Remember when it comes to achieving our goals – small or large –  it’s all about mindset. Self-belief is key to achieving our dreams but we need to recognise that simply saying we can’t do something is just our mind trying to give up at each hurdle. Having doubts and fears around our set tasks is only human and we can’t be expected to be motivated every step of the way. Just be honest with yourself that your mind exclaiming “I can’t do it!” is really its over-dramatic way of saying “I don’t want to do it!”. Accept it, adopt the mindset, reassess and realise you are capable of carrying on the path to achieving your dream.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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