You can achieve anything with the correct mindset. You Can Take control and make your life your own. This is why your mindset is so important.

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve’           – Napoleon Hill

Where are you in your life?

Recently, someone asked me where I was in life, in relation to happiness, love and health. My simple answer to that question was that all three were working together in absolute harmony.

It sounds too good to be true, I know. Not that I don’t have days where I might feel sad, flat or frustrated, but overall life is wonderful. Why? Because I’m in control of it and I have a strong belief in myself.

That question also prompted me to write this post. Not only to stress the importance of believing in yourself and being in control of your mindset but also to highlight the fact that it is us who make our lives. Own it!

So many have said of my travels — “Oh you are so lucky, I wish I was doing that.”

Lucky? No. I created this. I own it!

About six years ago, things were very different…

An Unexpected Jolt

I was on playground duty, the minutes slowly ticking by. Why do they move so slowly when you want them to speed up but whiz crazily by when you want them to slow down? Anyway, the last thing I remember was a severe jolt to my head; I thought maybe a meteorite had fallen. However, the meteorite was nothing more than a basketball that had been kicked over a classroom roof.

The result was an impressive concussion. Severe headaches and waves of vertigo plagued me for months. Life had to drastically slow down. The result of which… I had time to think. Time to reflect on how I was living my life.

I worked full-time as a teacher, had three teenage boys, a husband, two dogs, three cats and a house and garden to look after. Exercise for me was taking the dogs for a walk or running around the house with a vacuum cleaner.

Time for me? What a ridiculous notion. Like many other mums I know, I rarely even had time to think, let alone time for myself.

Stuck in a Rut

I realised I was in a rut. That old cliché. It can strike at any time, at work, in relationships and in life in general. Those ruts can drag us down so deep, that sometimes it seems just too difficult to lift ourselves back out.

You feel stressed, bored with your routine and life seems so mundane. You resign yourself to thinking that this is how it is going to be from here on in.

Life was just too busy — I was lost in all the things that I thought needed to be done and had lost myself in the process. I was feeling like I was on a constant spin cycle — with little chance to come up for air.

A Big Fat Yes!

It was at this point that I serendipitously came across a coaching program being held for women. The universe … fate, whatever, had presented it to me at the perfect time.

The questions on the flyer had me screaming a big fat “YES”, to all of them.

– Do your good intentions get hijacked by life’s demands and other people’s needs?

– Do you feel burnout, tired and exhausted and you just want to press the ‘pause’ button on life for a moment?

– Are you curious to know more about yourself, why you do what you do and are you looking for an opportunity to refocus on what is important to you?

– Have you had trouble breaking unhealthy habits that stop you from achieving good health and fitness?

The program was designed particularly for women, and even just being with other women, in the same boat, was somehow empowering. We gave each other encouragement and support.

What Did I Learn?

I learnt about:

  • Various tools which would help me to develop my mindset
  • How to replace the beliefs and habits that weren’t working for me and replace them with ones that would.
  • How I was in control of my mind and emotions.

My coach had the uncanny ability to ask the right questions so I could see the answers myself, and steer me in the right direction. I gained the confidence to believe that I could create the life that I wanted.

“The quality of your life is a reflection of the quality of the questions you ask yourself.” – Tony Robbins

What is Mindset?

There are many articles out there for you to find out more about ‘Positive Mindset’ and ‘growth mindset’, and I would encourage you to do so. But here are the main takeaways to get you started.

Your mindset covers your beliefs, attitudes and values.

One belief I had that was holding me back was that it would be ‘selfish’ if I took time out for me. This was just a belief that I had developed at some point in my life. Regardless of where it came from, I needed to change it.

Neuroscience supports the basics of mindset.

Creating neural pathways by thinking or doing something repeatedly becomes a habit. Therefore, as a result, small changes that you make every day can build a new mindset and thus result in new outcomes in your life. So there is a science behind this — it’s not just ‘in your head’.

A healthy, positive mindset enables you to change all aspects of your life.

Your thoughts are crucial to the development of your feelings, and as a result, you can control how you react. Controlling how we react is solely our responsibility. The situations we often find ourselves in are outside the remit of our control but knowing you are in control of your reactions gives you back the power.

A positive mindset changes your attitudes and consequently your outcomes.

You can fine-tune those inner doubts and create a positive inner dialogue. Studies show that what you believe is possible makes a difference in what you can achieve.

Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean you will never fail, but you learn from the situation and change something in order for you to succeed. As a result, you view setbacks as an opportunity to grow.

Developing a Positive Mindset

It’s not something that happens overnight, but in a short space of time, my life was changing for the better. Having a coach to guide me was really useful. Sometimes you already know the answer, but having someone to ask the right questions and guide your thoughts makes it easier to see the wood from the trees.

Over time, little changes grew into big ones and I was beginning to get a handle on my ‘Mindset’. I exercised regularly and took time out for me. I found my love of painting again and allowed my creative side to bloom. For me, this was a form of meditation. I read more and even took time out to relax in the hammock.

I realised that just because I spent fewer hours planning and researching brilliant lessons, this didn’t make me any less of a good teacher. Subsequently, these ‘little by little’ changes began to make a tangible difference.

I asked my sons to each make one meal a week, and as a result, I had ‘created’ more time.

Did I feel guilty? Not with my new mindset — I was a happier person to be around, and I learnt to love myself as much as I loved everyone else.

I was nailing it!

The Ultimate Test

Then something happened that rocked my world. My 20-year marriage fell apart. At the time, I was devastated, confused, and torn between what was best for someone else and what was best for me. It was a situation that seemed like a never-ending spiral of despair.

My world had turned upside down and topsy-turvy but I had my ‘mindset’ working with me. I have almost knocked off kilter but I steadied myself, took the reins and regained control.

It wasn’t easy. I had to make a decision that went against so many of my embedded beliefs. If I kept them, it would mean I would be unhappy. It was a huge challenge to keep up a positive mindset amidst the chaos, but I knew how important it was to do so.

I believed I’d be ok. I believed I could do it, and I believed that however bad things seemed at the time … there would be even better things ahead.

In the turmoil, I stayed focused and used my mind to get me through… and get me through it did. I continued to improve each little aspect of my life.

I even completed a 12km True Grit Obstacle Course with my three boys, which was one of the goals I set for myself. A few years earlier, I would have laughed in your face at the very thought!

‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve’ , Napoleon Hill

It is a work in progress, but with the most important tool in my toolbox — a positive growth mindset — life is definitely easier and I have found contentment.

Health, Love and Happiness

I have never been healthier, (though these peri-menopausal hot flushes are appearing rather often … but that’s just one of nature’s gifts to most women around my age!). I now keep up a healthy balance of regular exercise and nutritious food, with the occasional indulgence of dark chocolate! Well, maybe slightly more than the occasional indulgence…

In addition, I am deeply in love with a man who loves me to pieces and for who I am totally enough.

I have three gorgeous sons who I adore and with whom I have a fantastic relationship — even though they love to tease me incessantly!

I am lucky to have amazing friends who are very special to me.

Now, travelling the world, I am living a life I love and working on that mindset to make sure I will always be living my best life.

Yes. I am happy, healthy and surrounded by love.

Lucky? No. I created this.

I own it!

Live your life now … Believe in yourself … own it!