My Daily Mantra Practice To Change My Thoughts
Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm talking about my daily practice of sharing a phrase or mantra on Instagram. If you've been following me over there (click here to check it out), you know that each morning I post a phrase on Instagram Stories that speaks to me that day. Many of you resonate with the phrases I post, so I thought I'd share a little more about this practice.
For example, today - a Monday - I posted, "I'm excited about all the possibilities this week holds." There are far too many people who dread Mondays. We can choose to dread them like everyone else or we can choose differently for ourselves - we can focus instead on all the good things that might happen to us this week. Revolutionary, huh? You see, the storylines that run through our minds really do help shape our reality. We can choose to repeat negative ideas and thoughts all day long, or we can repeat positive ones. And those ideas and thoughts create stories about what we believe is going to happen. In other words, they shape our perspective, and perspective is everything. Perspective helps you reframe the story in your head. Perspective is the ability to look at something "negative" and focus on the important lesson it taught you rather than the negative thing itself. And when you have perspective, it becomes easier to manage life and to "roll with the punches" sorta speak. Negative things no longer hold the extreme power they once did. Sure, we all have to deal with negative things and that's a part of life, but we can become more stable and even-keeled and "bounce back" sooner when we have the right perspective. Maybe we spend one day crying in bed about a negative event rather than 8 or 9 or 10. You feel me?
When you start to use mantras for the small things (like how you feel about Mondays) it becomes easier to use mantras for the big things. For example, I used daily mantras as a helpful tool in quitting my lawyer job and starting my own business. When I wanted to make this big career change, I became very aware of the powerful negative stories that were holding me back and I started to change them by using mantras. This didn't happen overnight because, let me tell you, I had some pretty powerful negative stories about career and money running through my head. But slowly and surely, my beliefs and my stories changed. For example, one of the thoughts I had running through my mind was that I will never be able to make as much money selling jewelry as I did as a lawyer. When I became aware of that belief, I realized how much it was creating my reality. If you believe you can't make a living selling jewelry, you won't. If you believe on the other hand that you can make even more money selling jewelry than you ever did as a lawyer, you will. It really is that simple. Don't believe me? I have concrete evidence of this. I had a jewelry business ten years ago, in 2010, and it failed after about 12 months and I had to go back to being a lawyer. Why? I didn't believe I deserved to earn a living doing something I love. I didn't believe that a job could or should be fun. I didn't believe I could earn enough money to support myself making jewelry. But this time around, with grace + hudson, I do believe I deserve to earn a living doing something I love. I do believe that work can and should be fun. I do believe I can earn more money than I did as a lawyer. And you know what? That's exactly what's shown up for me this time around. (Side note: I did a TON of self-development work on myself in the intervening period between these two businesses. And it was hard. It brought up a lot of tears and caused me to examine a lot of things about myself, some of which I didn't particularly like. But it was 100% worth it. Some storylines take a lot of work to reframe.)
If this resonates with you, what comes next? The first step is becoming aware of the stories, beliefs, thoughts, and ideas that are ruling your life. Journal each day, send yourself voice memos when you notice a storyline, jot them down on the notepad on your phone - whatever works for you. You'll start to notice repeated patterns after doing this for a week or two. Some will be positive, but many will be negative. This is the hardest part. It's hard to be honest with ourselves about the storylines running through our head. And we also have a lot of blindspots. You might think you're a positive person but upon further examination you might realize that you actually have a lot of negative storylines running through your head each day. This is where the personal, self-development works comes into play. It takes a lot of courage to admit where we can do better, and to ask for help in making changes if we need it.
Once you've identified your negative storylines, the rest is (comparatively speaking) easy. Switch those negative stories into positive ones. Change your perspective. And start repeating them to yourself whenever the negative ones try to creep back in (and they will!). For example:
- If the storyline you hear in your head all week long is "I hate this job and I'm never going to be able to break out of it and pursue my dreams" change it to "I wouldn't have been given this dream if I didn't have the power to make it happen. I might not be happy at this job right now, but it's paying the bills and teaching me things I might need to know down the road. I'm saving a little more money each week so that I can one day leave this job and do what I've been put on this earth to do."
- If the storyline you hear in your head all week long is "I'm overweight and I'll never feel good in this body" change it to "I am releasing excess weight that is holding me back. I am grateful that my body can move and support me and it's only a matter of time before I feel healthier in this skin."
- If the storyline you hear in your head all week long is "I am not smart enough to start my own business" change it to "I may not have any experience with business ownership but there are online courses available to me and so much free information on the Internet. I know I'll be guided to what I need to learn."
In time, you'll begin to change your beliefs around that subject and they'll completely drown out the negative storyline. Can you see that from my examples above? Once this happens, new and different things will start to show up for you. Your reality will gradually shift. Try it with something small to start!
I hope you've found this week's journal entry enlightening. If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. I hope you're able to learn something from my experience and also my mistakes!
P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. I have a few weekly journal entries on the board right now, and I'm adding more on a weekly basis. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to read the entries that resonate most!
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