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3 Powerful Mind Reframing Shifts that Can Drastically Improve Your Life

3 Powerful Mind Reframing Shifts that Can Drastically Improve Your Life

Most of us have probably heard the phrase “Change is an inside job”, but how many of us actually do it?

A lot of people want their lives to change for the better but not everyone pulls it off mainly because they feel chained to their present circumstances. And while external factors do play a role in how your life shapes out, the fact is, most of the things holding you back are living inside your head.

Kick those ideas and mindsets out, and you’ll start seeing the world in a more positive light. Doors will open up, great ideas will come to you more often, and you’ll have a much better life in general. The big positive changes that you want your life to have can actually be achieved by making small adjustments to how you think.

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And the best part is it’s not even that hard. You just have to train yourself to think and look at life a little differently.

Not sure where or how to begin? Below are a few mind shifts that you can try right now to reframe your problems in order to start feeling more positive:

“I need to spend less.” vs. “I need to earn more.”

I’m all up for saving money, but if you’re sitting there feeling sorry for yourself because you don’t have enough money or resources, then perhaps it’s time to start thinking about how to GET MORE of what you need. Instead of depriving yourself from the things that you want, open your mind and find ways to earn more money so you can afford the finer things in life.

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The “spend less” mindset is very restrictive and can make you feel stuck to your current situation. It tells you that you have to limit yourself in terms of what to spend or how to act. On the other hand, the “earn more” way of thinking opens you up for ideas and opportunities, thus allowing you to aim higher and reach your potential.

“I can’t” vs. “I won’t.”

As the fabulous Marie Forleo put it, saying that we “can’t” is just one of those BS excuses standing between us and what we want. And 99% of the time, “can’t” is just a euphemism for the word “won’t.”

Can’t afford that self-development course? Nope. The truth is if you really wanted to, you would find a way to come up with the money for it. Can’t attend that seminar because you “don’t have time”? Wrong again. Because if you were really determined to go, you would MAKE time.

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In reality, there’s hardly any situation in which you LITERALLY can’t do something. Most of the time, the only person holding you back is you.

Whenever you find yourself saying you can’t do something, ask yourself: are you really powerless to take action or are you just using the “can’t” excuse because you don’t want to work harder or you just don’t want something bad enough?

Do yourself a favor and free yourself from the “can’t” mindset and own up to your decisions. You’ll feel more empowered for it because unlike the word “can’t” which puts you in the victim’s position, the word “won’t” puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to be completely honest and responsible for your choices and actions.

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“I failed.” vs. “I learned.”

A lot of people refuse to take risks or try new things because they’re scared of failure. What’s ironic though is that doing so actually sets you up for even greater failure because it puts you in a situation where you fail by default. (Hat tip to JK Rowling.)

And while I do agree that facing your fear helps you get rid of it, I’ve found that a more practical way to deal with fear of failure is to think of failing as a learning experience instead.

Seeing failure as a learning opportunity immediately converts the former into something positive. After all, the more you learn the better and smarter you’ll become, and the higher your chances of succeeding in the future. After a failure has occurred, reframe it to think about what lessons can be learned so that you reduce the chances of repeating the same mistakes.

So go ahead and fail learn. Do it quickly, and do it often. Keep trying. Your future, more successful self, will thank you for it.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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