Our egos can totally kill our good vibes, so how can we reprogram our minds with subtle shifts to think more positively?
A user on Urban Dictionary defines good vibes as “that feeling you get in your stomach when you look around and everything is perfect. It’s a beautiful day, you are surrounded by beautiful people, and you feel beautiful.”
That feeling is the feeling we want to feel all the time, but our ego plays games on us to make us feel less than or like we’re not worthy of having “good vibes” in our lives. You know the feeling when life couldn’t be any better and you’re killin’ it and then suddenly, your mind turns to worry or doubt and you’re suddenly feeling like a mess. That negative mindset shift can break you if you let it, and a lot of us let it rule our days.
I find that I still struggle with a negative mindset frequently, but I snap out of them so much quicker since discovering these small shifts. Let’s dive deeper into the mindset funks we can improve on.
From “I am [fill in the blank with your go-to insult]” to “I made a poor choice.”
The lovely Brene Brown talks about the shift from “I am” to “I did” as a powerful way to distance yourself from shame. When you label yourself as unworthy or as a bad person, you look for experiences to confirm your negative thoughts about yourself. We hear things like “you’re a bad girl” as children instead of hearing “you made a poor decision” and we use it to define us.
If we start shifting our mindset, we take away the shame attached to our actions. We are not defined only by what we do, and we’re doing ourselves a disservice to limit our identities like that.
In the same way we can’t define ourselves by our worst actions, we can’t define ourselves by our best either. Once you attach your identity to praise, you also attach your identity to insults. All we can do is try our best and the outcome is none of our business.
From “should” to “want”
Have you ever had a project you’re really excited by and then suddenly, a few days until the deadline, you feel yourself lacking all motivation? It’s likely because of your mental framework around the project’s due date. You’re feeling obligated and stuck, because you’re thinking about how it’s required of you. A simple, but powerful shift is to say “I want to do this.”
Thinking about something as a choice or an opportunity makes us feel like we have control. And we do. We always have the option to not do something. With the exception of breathing, everything we do is a choice. Once we make that shift and realize that we get to choose, life feels a lot more enjoyable.
Stop “shoulding all over yourself” as Jess Lively of The Lively Show always says. Make a commitment to choose your life and let go of what other people want or expect from you. It’s your life, not theirs.
From “there’s not enough” to “there’s always enough”
Competition can clutter our mindset and make us believe that there are limited spots we are trying to fill. You can argue that this is our reality. But, I want to question it for a second. What if you decided that there was always enough space for you and other people? What if someone else’s success didn’t make you less successful? What if there’s room for both of us to be successful and that we could both be happy for each other?
That’s the reality I prefer to choose.
I’d rather root for other people and know that I’m also taken care of. Living with a feeling of abundance is the most miraculous mindset shift. Once you believe the universe has your back, you see the world differently and opportunities open up for you.
When you believe that there isn’t enough and that you have to fight for every little thing, you’ll see that scarcity will be your reality. Open yourself up to the idea that there is enough and that good things will happen for you.
From dwelling to staying present and moving forward
Thinking about the past can be constructive when thinking about what you want in the future, but there is a limit. We have to set our eyes in front of us and keep moving through life. Stay present and keep thinking about how you can improve. It’s easy to linger and moan about the past, but it’s so much more fulfilling to stay in the now and keep working towards your future. Put your head down and do the work.
From “never” and “always” to “for right now”
Avoid absolutes when it comes to your identity and how you live your life. There’s no need to put yourself in a box. You are changing all the time, so leave room for it. Be open and embrace the possibilities of life. You might be surprised what you end up feeling in five years or even one year. You are absolutely allowed to change your mind whenever you want.
From “I need this” to “I have what I need”
We’re so hungry for everything and it’s ingrained in our culture to want more. It’s great to want more and to strive for more, but it hurts to never feel satiated. We need to accept the place are at and remind ourselves that we have everything we need. If you have a place to sleep, food on the table, and family who support you, you have what you need.
Be excited to conquer the next thing, but it’s okay to quit feeling discontent. You don’t need it. You’ll be perfectly motivated without feeling an insatiable need to get the next thing. While you’re getting the next thing, you might just be missing the whole thing.
Life is in the process. So, don’t forget to stay grateful and happy for where you are at this very moment.
From “I’m too busy” to “It’s not a priority”
It’s the most common excuse we give when someone asks us to do something we don’t “have time for.” Is that the reality? When we make that excuse, what we really mean is: I do have time, but it means I’d have to give up something that matters more to me. Blaming our busy schedule is boring and it’s not truthful. We make time for our priorities.
From “failure” to “lesson”
While I’m far from saying I have no regrets, I firmly believe that I don’t believe in failures. Any time I hit a setback, my life steered where it was meant to go and I went with a little more wisdom than before. We can get crushed when things don’t go our way, or worse, go terribly wrong but we get to decide how to finish the story. We can choose to make something of our so-called “failures.” We can turn them into magical stories about how we triumphed in the face of hardships. That’s what makes for an interesting story.
Next time you want to dwell on something that didn’t work and label it a failure, think about what it taught you and how it will help you in your next step. You can comeback stronger, smarter, and more capable. Don’t underestimate the lessons you’ve been given. It’s part of your path.
Above all, start taking notice when you’re talking about someone or something. Do you talk about it with excitement and adventure? Catch yourself in the moments, when you can, and see if a subtle shift might bring more positivity into your day.