by Zette Harbour CPC, CBHC, NLP, ELI-MP
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4 Keys To Mindset Rejuvenation
Table of Contents
Introduction to the 4 Keys to Mindset Rejuvenation
Key 1: No obstacles except for the ones inside you
- Practice: Keep An Obstacle Journal
Key 2: Frustrating people and situations are not problems
- Practice: Bird’s Eye View
Key 3: You already have everything within you to feel fulfilled and happy
- Practice: Circle of Compassion
Key 4: There is a deep, inner wisdom that wants you to be happy
- Practice: Inner Ardent Fan Letter
Your Rejuvenated Mindset
Rejuvenating your mindset starts with 4 keys. These keys open doors in your mind and enable you to explore spaces you might have been avoiding or have been blocked from entering. Like actual, physical keys, they aren’t going to tell you what’s in the room beyond the doorway. They are the questions that lead you inside so you can discover what’s already there…waiting for you.
Rejuvenating your mindset will let you see just how resourceful and brilliant you can be. Pain and suffering will no longer block you from a life of meaning and happiness. In fact, you’ll learn the secret about their true role in you becoming who you are here to be.
You’ll learn how to free yourself from the negativity of others and you’ll believe in yourself like you never did before.
Rejuvenating your mindset will prove to you that life doesn’t have to be hard in order to be meaningful and that you have so much more power than you know. And, it will show you that believing in yourself is not only possible, it’s much easier than you think.
You Are Resourceful
I know that you’re here to do good in the world and you’re committed to making a difference. You’ve had some tough times earlier in your life but you’re determined not to let that stop you. You’ve faced and overcome many obstacles but are still hungry for greater connection and confidence.
You’ve done a lot of the right things to try to clear out self-doubt and your hidden but pervasive lack of worthiness. The things you tried, each one worked a little but none of them truly dissolved the insecurity and lack of self-acceptance you keep locked up and out of sight.
Coping Won’t Work
And so, your life feels stressful and can often seem unmanageable. You find yourself having to do things the hard way just to get around the stumbling blocks life throws in front of you. You may be doing all you can just to cope, without feeling like it will ever truly get better than it is right now.
And even though you’re devoted to making a difference in the world, you still struggle with doubts about believing in yourself and enjoying a meaningful life. You know you aren’t walking your talk as much as you’d really like to because there’s something holding you back from living up to your greatest potential.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be held back any more. You can become free of the struggle.
And now, you don’t have to wait any longer.
What if I told you that there are no obstacles except for the ones inside you…
My parents believed they were impoverished and had the bill collectors’ phone calls to prove it. They worked at jobs that punished them physically and emotionally. Then, they relied on alcohol to numb their pains which left them unavailable and volatile.
My most powerful memories are of them yelling and fighting, often with physical violence, always while under the influence of drink.
This was just one of the blocks to my own happiness that I carried with me for decades. It was very easy for me to identify what was wrong with those people and how it made me feel. I could quite easily point to the emotional and financial ditch from which I had come as a way to explain how and why living a successful, fulfilled life was eluding me.
The pain was real. The struggle was real. The stories were all true.
The only thing that I couldn’t know then was that it was all a diversion from the true source of my suffering.
It’s Not Out There
You see, it’s common to believe that whatever is keeping you from doing, having, or being what you desire is something outside of you. Often, these outer forces look like adversaries and enemies. It’s easy to perceive them as intentionally acting against you. And, it feels exactly like something or someone wants you to be stuck.
In the face of this pervasive but hidden force that keeps getting in your way, it’s easy to blame others.
That’s a natural response to feeling like you’re facing an omnipresent, powerful adversary whose sole purpose seems to be to put stumbling blocks in your path.
What I learned and want to share with you, is that there is no obstacle outside of you that does not also have a matching counterpart inside of you. This means that the only way something outside of you can stop you or hold you back is if it matches something inside you that is doing the same thing.
- If you have a story within you (and you may not even be aware of it) that you are impoverished, then a lack of financial means will feel and act like a barrier to you.
- If you have experienced a lack of respectful, nurturing love from your partner or spouse, then you will find a similar story of unworthiness hidden away somewhere within you.
There is only one way to change the unpleasant and difficult circumstances in your outer life. You must go within, discover, and recover the stories that are the source of the barriers. In the face of this pervasive but hidden force that keeps getting in your way, it’s easy to blame others.
The first key, that there are no obstacles except for the ones inside you, can be used to open a powerful door to your Mindset Rejuvenation. Try this practice to see what lies beyond this door to your inner world.
Keep an Obstacle Journal
- Make a note about each time you feel like someone or something caused you pain or suffering and kept you from doing, having, or being what you wanted.
- Keep making these notes for seven consecutive days.
- Then, take a few days off.
- When you feel called to, review your journal without judgement.
- See if anything has changed in how you view those experiences.
- The magic here is that simply being willing to be present will shift your experiences and the stories you have about them.
What if I told you that frustrating people & situations in your life are not problems at all…
When I was 15, I realized that my only chance of getting out of the chaos and danger in my home was to go to social services and ask them for help. Naively, I believed that if I showed up and was honest, as much as I could be, they would do the right thing. Instead, the social worker decided that I was a ‘spoiled brat’ who was trying to get out of doing chores. That’s the message he got from my stories of alcohol-fueled violence and child abuse.
He offered me a ride home. At a crossroads about two miles away from my house, he told me that the turn to drop me off would take him out of his way.
‘Would it be okay to leave me at the gas station there? Could I get a ride the rest of the way?’ he wanted to know.
And then, it started to rain.
So, there I was, disappointed, frustrated, and scared. My last hope of refuge seemed to be gone.
There’s A Gift
I’m sure you have stories of disappointment, betrayal, and loss. In truth, we all do.
They may be more distressing than mine or they may be as mundane as being lied to or having an annoying co-worker.
No matter how you rate them on a scale of pain and suffering, I want you to know that they are not actually problems. I realize that may be hard to accept.
I can tell you, it took me a really long time to not just see this idea but to believe it. And now, I want you to have that same opportunity.
Wired This Way
It may seem counterintuitive because our brains are wired to focus on the ‘what’s wrong’ in life as a way to keep us safe. And when we feel disappointed, betrayed, or threatened we don’t feel safe.
This is why it’s so easy to believe that frustrating people and situations are a problem and are responsible for causing us pain. Learning to shift your thinking takes time. It will be important to tap into patience, self-compassion, and whole-heartedness.
It will take learning to look at your life with new eyes and a willingness to begin to think in metaphor. This new way of seeing and thinking allows you to re-imagine your experiences in order to find the value and purpose within them.
I Want To Be Clear
I’m not telling you that everything happens for a reason because that implies that we can hope to understand or explain it all. We can’t. There’s so much that happens in life that evades reason.
On the other hand, we can be assured that there is always a purpose. That’s the first step to this new perspective. If there’s a purpose to the frustrating, disappointing, and painful experiences and people, it’s possible to transform them into gifts.
Whoa! That horrible person or experience is now not only not a problem…they’re a gift?!
This may seem like I’m taking it too far. Trust me. More importantly, trust yourself. Your life has purpose and learning to perceive it this way will allow you to be enriched by it.
The second key, that frustrating people and situations are not problems, opens a door into a new way of relating to the difficulties in your life. How you perceive and interpret them is essential to your Mindset Rejuvenation.
Bird’s Eye View
- Envision a time when you felt let down or someone caused you some grief.
- Imagine yourself sitting across from them.
- Now, let your current self rise up fifty feet above the scene of you and this other person.
- From your fifty foot point of view, write a letter to yourself about what you’re seeing.
- See if you discover anything new.
- If you find yourself feeling any pain or grief, check to see if you’re still looking down on the scene from fifty feet up.
What if I told you that you already have everything within you to feel fulfilled and happy…
When I was very young, I lost my connection to my dad and his entire family. They seemed like a large, noisy, lively tribe of people to whom I belonged. It was especially painful to suddenly and without explanation lose my dad.
I know that this made me sad about myself for many years. As I grew older, I looked to others to fill that void. Interestingly, I seemed to always be drawn to the ones who weren’t fully available to me. They were physically present, just not emotionally.
And so I believed for a long time that if I just found the right person, I could feel fulfilled and happy. I invested a lot of time, money, and energy in studying how to become happy and at some point along the way, I learned that I was the person I was seeking.
I just needed to find myself, accept myself, appreciate myself, and love myself.
Connect With Compassion
Another truth that I learned is that no amount of love from another can ever fill a void within yourself. In fact, it’s unlikely that you’ll even attract someone who can fully love you until you fully love yourself.
Once you have healed your relationship to yourself, happiness and fulfillment are natural consequences and you won’t have to seek them outside anymore.
There is a pathway to this healing that includes diving deep into the parts of yourself that were too painful to keep out in the open. Then, you reclaim the stories of these parts and allow yourself to see them with new eyes.
Once reclaimed, the stories can be re-interpreted with the awareness and compassion of your adult self. In doing so, you connect to their purpose and value. This new, rich relationship with yourself becomes the source of your happiness and fulfillment.
The third key, that you already have everything within you to feel fulfilled and happy, opens a door to self-compassion. Recreating this relationship with yourself is essential to your Mindset Rejuvenation.
Circle of Compassion
- See yourself thirty, forty, or even fifty years from now.
- Imagine your future self smiling gently, with love, as she reaches over and clasps your hands in hers.
- Together, have the two of you turn to your younger, vulnerable self. Have both your future and present selves reach out to her.
- The three of you are now joined in a peaceful, loving circle.
- There’s no need to use words.
- Practice this non-visualization everyday for at least fourteen consecutive days.
- Observe any changes in how you feel.
What if I told you that there is a deep inner wisdom within you that wants you to be happy…
As a way of managing the unhappiness of my life, I grew an active and vociferous inner critic. Her job was to keep me from making mistakes that would lead to even more suffering.
She was a demanding drill sergeant who got in my face when it looked like I might step out of line or after I already had. Knowing that she was watching my every thought, feeling, and action kept me on pins and needles.
Much of the time, I was pretty compliant but when I wasn’t the resulting criticism from within felt devastating. I would come away feeling scorched and ashamed.
I can remember one day, when I was working with my therapist who was an amazing practitioner. Suddenly, I awoke to the realization that I had taught my inner critic, that she had to yell and terrify me because otherwise I just wouldn’t listen.
It was as though I needed a Mack truck with lights glaring and horns blaring, bearing down on me at 90 miles an hour, to get me to look up.
With this awareness came the understanding that I could also teach her to speak more quietly, with compassion. In fact, she could use any voice I wanted her to. It was up to me to choose to let her know what I would listen to.
I invited her to show up in my daily writing practice, in my dreams, in my quiet, reflective moments. I assured her that I would pay attention to her messages in these quieter voices.
Along with this new understanding, came the realization that she was speaking to me from a place of love. It then became obvious that she always had been. Even when she was screaming at me to listen.
So now my story about my inner critic transformed and she became a deep, inner wisdom whose purpose was to support me in being happy.
Seeing The Truth
Your inner critic is waiting for you, too. She’s waiting for you to discover her secret identity. She isn’t the drill sergeant waiting to catch you out and punish you.
She is your deep, inner wisdom wanting you to feel loved and be happy.
The first step is to realize that whatever language she uses right now can be changed and that it’s up to you. She is ready, willing, and able to communicate with you on your terms. You just need to let her know that you are ready to show up and what that looks like. It may feel daunting to open yourself up to what may seem threatening and painful at first.
You will need to come armed with self-compassion, curiosity, and imagination.
The idea isn’t to let yourself be overrun with negativity. This is about seeing the truth so you can celebrate just how brilliant and resourceful you are. It’s an essential step in dissolving the pain and suffering that’s been in your way.
This is your chance to redesign the most powerful relationship you’ll ever have so you can thrive in a life filled with meaning and happiness.
The fourth key, that there is a deep inner wisdom within you that wants you to be happy, opens a door to a powerful partnership. Tapping into this limitless resource is essential to your Mindset Rejuvenation.
Inner Ardent Fan Letter
While your inner critic is a familiar voice in your head, your Inner Ardent Fan is probably unknown to you. Experiment with teaching your deep, inner wisdom to speak in a caring, compassionate voice.
- Write a letter to yourself from your Inner Ardent Fan.
- Tell yourself what you admire and appreciate about yourself.
- Be sure to include praise for your best qualities and talents.
- Close by saying that you make the world a better place just by being you.
- Read this letter every morning for at least fourteen consecutive days.
Your Rejuvenated Mindset
Rejuvenating your mindset by drawing on these 4 keys to unlock doors into your rich, inner world creates a more expansive and pleasing experience of life.
Like any rejuvenation process, there will be stuff that you’ll need to let go of and with that you may feel some grief. Releasing and grieving are powerful and positive processes that are essential. There is no true rejuvenation without them.
Rejuvenate your mindset and you will transform your life from painful and frustrating to fulfilling and rich. Know that you no longer have to do things the hard way because you possess secret knowledge about yourself.
You no longer have to just cope or feel like it will never get better than this because you now see your true identity as the creator of your life.
Most importantly, you experience the freedom and skill to make the difference in the world that you desire.
copyright ©Zette Harbour 2020 all rights reserved