Your Mindset Can Make or Break Your Healing
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
You've likely heard the term 'mindset' in your travels these days. This powerful word is gaining more traction every time I look around, and there's a reason. As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, mindset is: a mental attitude or inclination, or: a fixed state of mind.
Mindset can either set you up to succeed, or set you up to fail. As Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right."
What you think and believe creates your mindset. You need both, which is why positive thinking to accomplish a goal doesn't always work. It's not the worst thing to try, but when deep down our inner beliefs are actually stuck in opposite feelings, then we may not see the outcomes we were hoping for.
When your mind says one thing but your body and beliefs say another thing, you're getting mixed messages, which create confusion and uncertainty.
So take a quick scan: what is your current mental attitude- not what you want to think and believe, but what you actually do think and believe? If you could choose two words to describe your current perspective, what would they be? Now narrow in on food, what do you believe and think about your struggle with food and your ability to overcome it?
For many people, their mindset around food is one of powerlessness and self-doubt. They wonder if they'll ever be able to change, ever be able to overcome their good/bad labelling of food, ever be able to find peace and follow their inner guidance, or find their natural weight without turning to another diet. Consider how thinking "I'll never be able to overcome this" ignites a different feeling than "One day I'll be at peace with food".
Those thoughts we think under the surface, those deep beliefs we carry around as to what we deserve, what we're capable of, our worthiness- they impact all of our actions. Changing your mindset to one that serves you can take some time to feel it in both perspective and thoughts, and also more deeply as an inner belief and congruency. To start this change, decide right now what you would need to believe in order to take more actions that serve you. Here are some examples:
I can do this. If anyone can do this, than so can I.
I'm a good person and I deserve to feel good.
I know I'll overcome this one day.
I'm willing to do hard work.
I'm up for the challenge. I'm worthy of attention and love. I'm worthy of self-care.
I deserve to have time for myself. It's important to put myself first.
Asking for help is valuable.
Everything I learn helps me grow. I accept where I currently am. I'm ready for change. My future is bright.
Now take that one of those thoughts and notice how it actually feels on a deeper level. Does it feel true or false? When it feels true, you'll find yourself taking actions that support that thought. If you find it false, then whatever actions you take from that new thought likely won't last and that's because your mindset and beliefs haven't changed.
The thoughts you believe impact the mindset you move through the world with, and those mindsets will dictate what actions you take and ultimately what outcomes you get.
So if you want to believe new things, you have to familiarize yourself with the thoughts of those beliefs. At first they'll feel awkward and you won't believe them. But over time, in the same way that new fashion tends can feel jarring and odd and then turn cool and desirable in our mind, your brain and belief systems will start accepting these new thoughts as true. After turning to these thoughts that serve you again and again, you'll soon find yourself believing them too. And that's where lasting change starts. If you've been trying to change your habits and actions with food without understanding the thoughts and beliefs that initiated the original actions, then you'll end up going in circles. When your thoughts change, so do your beliefs, and when your beliefs change, so do your actions, and when your actions change, you'll get the results you've always wanted.
Think you need some help with this? Understanding your thoughts and beliefs is a big part of the work I do with clients in my program for overcoming binge eating and overeating. You can learn more here.