How to Make the Most Out of Life Even When You’re in Less Than Perfect Circumstances
I want to let you in on a little secret that has helped me shape my life into something truly beautiful. It’s called…
It sounds so simple, right? But you're probably saying to yourself, “Gee, Lexi. I wish that was true, but have you ever tried to change your thoughts? It’s like trying to get rid of a rat infestation. You kill one, but it’s already had six babies!”
Trust me. I’ve been there, but I’ve also experienced a little exercise that has helped me take a really frustrating circumstance, and turn it into something useful.
Do you want to know what it is?
Change Your Thoughts. Change Your Life.
Have you ever felt “stuck” before?
You know that icky, sticky feeling that drags you down, makes your head spin, and keeps you from your lifelong dreams because you can’t get your foot out of the mud?
That was me.
At the job I was working at, I was paid based on the work I got done versus the number of hours I worked, and at this point in my life, my husband and I weren’t making a lot.
I was trying to work really hard at my job, so I could earn more money for our family. We had bills we needed to pay, and mouths to feed. I was trying to do all the things, but I just didn’t feel like I was progressing the way I wanted to.
I felt like I was procrastinating everything, I’d beat myself up about every distraction in my day, I’d break down in tears because I had so much on my plate, and I tried to multitask to get more done, but nothing seemed to be getting done, I felt like I wasn’t good enough, and no matter what I did it just seemed to get worse.
All of these feelings felt really true to me. I really did feel like I was stuck, and not progressing.
With feelings like this, you would think I needed to make some big changes for things to get better…like uh…get a different job!
But did you know that I didn’t change anything about my situation at all, and I was able to get more done, feel more collected, and have more energy all because I changed the way I thought about everything?
Here are a couple of crazy things about our thoughts:
- Whatever thoughts we focus on, are what results we’ll get.
- Our thoughts shape our reality.
In my example above, I was first focused on that stuck feeling I was having. Even though I wanted to feel unstuck, I couldn’t get past the thought that I was stuck, so my feelings of inadequacy and stress that resulted from that feeling made me do more things to procrastinate and feel even more stuck!
Do you see how that works?
Make Your Thoughts Work For You
Let’s turn the tables around here.
When you think, “I’m stuck. I’m not progressing.” Pay attention to how it feels in your body. What actions do you take (or feel inclined to take) when you feed into that thought?
You might find yourself in a similar situation that I was in. Feelings of overwhelm may come up, you might want to scramble to try to get more done, and you may beat yourself up when you don’t get the things done that you want to…
And what results do you think this kind of thinking will lead to? More procrastinating!!!
So if you really want to change your thoughts, your behavior, and ultimately your reality this is what to do instead:
Look for evidence to support the positive things happening in your life.
For example, if you take the thought, “I’m not progressing,” you’d flip that thought to, “How might I be progressing?”
If you’ve never tried this before it’s the coolest thing ever.
When I did this with the thought, “I’m not progressing,” and switched it to, “How might I be progressing?” I found all sorts of ways that I was progressing, and the more I dug deeper to find answers, the more evidence I found.
It was amazing to experience because I changed nothing about my circumstances, but my attitude shifted and I felt so much better about the situation.
When things aren’t going right in our lives, we don’t always have to take big measures to change things around.
There are times when change is necessary (e.g., situations where you or someone you love is being abused, or your living situation isn’t safe), but we can still make the best of our circumstances wherever we are in life.
How have you seen your attitude affect the way you experience a situation? Comment Below!