We’ve become obsessive about growth mindset, haven’t we? For good reason. Those with a strong growth mindset are the ones that achieve their goals the most. They’ve likely gone through the process you’re about to read, and have broken their commitment to pain and excuses.
Making excuses is easy. And boy do we love not having to be responsible for uncomfortable things in life. It’s SO much better if we can blame someone or something else for why we are miserable.
It’s like a fabulous game that you’ve won. You can totally break free from the situation, knowing that it’s not your fault. I am the winner of the blame game!!
Oh, wait. That’s not true? Are you sure?
I’m obviously messing with you because I KNOW it isn’t true. The crazy thing about assigning blame and carrying excuses is that it often does the exact opposite of what we have designed it to do.
Instead of talking about why it happened (because we know why. It was so-and-so or some other external source), we tend to stay stuck in the “why”. We aren’t satisfied with an explanation. We want a meaning attached to it.
This is what I call being committed to your trauma, bs, pain, excuses…etc. It’s not forward thinking and it’s certainly not problem solving. You aren’t going to heal or move into peace if your focus is on the negative people, places, or things that you perceive as the factors that caused your pain.
So how can you test yourself to see if you are committed to growth or blocking it?
So simple. You pay attention to your thoughts and words, and what they are aimed at. Are you thinking about what sucks? Are you talking about what sucks? Does your language indicate helplessness or a lack of power over your own feelings? If so, you’re not committed to your growth.
It’s not to say that you don’t want it. It just means you aren’t there yet. You’re not making the mental shift that is necessary to grow and heal. You may think that is contingent on someone apologizing or otherwise making up for it.
But guess what….that’s still not being committed to YOUR growth. That’s actually a commitment to someone else’s growth and a way of perpetuating your victimized state of feeling. If you can’t understand that your state of being can be controlled by yourself, you haven’t made the commitment yet.
How can you make that shift, you may ask? I hope you’re asking. I hope that this has you feeling like tossing your trauma, pain, and excuses out the window in favor of building a foundation for yourself that is unshakable.
The quickest way to shift is awareness and honesty. Make some kind of note every time during the day that you’ve spoken negatively. It can be just a chicken scratch on a paper like counting pennies. It can be more involved, where you write down the exact words, thoughts, or feelings. But either way, you’re training yourself to be aware.
With that practice comes a sense of responsibility, or it should, for your contribution to the muddy puddle we wade in. If you catch yourself saying “it’s not my fault. I shouldn’t have to shut up about it and let _______ get away with doing/saying/being that way.” Back up there, Messiah. That’s not your job, outing the wrong and putting them up on trial. Your job is to live your day in the best way possible.
You’ll start to see patterns. Maybe times of day when you are more irritable or certain feelings that get you going (feeling mocked, misunderstood, belittled), sometimes the pattern is related to a trait about yourself that you don’t like.
Either way….that awareness is where the power is. It’s where the healing begins and how the past patterns can be demolished.
After awareness, you’ll use tools that bring you toward your goals instead of being committed to your goal blockers. With my clients, I like to use opposite thinking, regrouping, grounding, and positive self talk, among other tools. Each client is unique in what works at this point but getting here is definitely more than half the battle.
So what do you think? Are you committed to your growth mindset or are you being a growth blocker by allowing your power to lie outside of you?