Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

“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!

Advertising

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

Advertising

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

Advertising

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.

More by this author

Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

How to Be More Knowledgeable Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’ Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset How to Save a Bunch of Money Easily With This Simple Challenge 11 Killer Ways To Get Rid Of Roaches Without Harming You

Trending in Communication

1 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way 2 How to Break Free From Negative Thinking for Good 3 15 Simple Things You Can Do to Boost Your Daily Motivation 4 How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often 5 Feeling Super Stressed? Do This Daily Routine Every Day

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

Advertising

2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

Advertising

Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

Advertising

12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

Read Next