BY: Janine Mitchell
Change consultant / Changing mindset
Comments: No Comments
I have recently reposted a video on social media which I recorded last year where I talk about surviving an abusive marriage and how one word completely changed the direction of my life. This was such a catalyst for me in what was a very difficult and challenging time of my life. But it allowed me to change things for the better and to enable me to move forward and create the life I want and move away from the one that was not serving me in any way.
A few years back I was in a completely different place to where I am now. I was in an abusive marriage and I was also stressed to the hilt in a very stressful job I didn’t enjoy. I worked with high risk offenders. I would typically manage lifers, sex offenders, drug dealers and violent offenders. In addition, I was silently suffering in a marriage. The whole thing put my on a downward spiral to disaster. I found myself at the lowest ebb of my life. So I went to see a therapist.
I had also just walked out of a job I couldn’t handle any more due to the stresses and demands, in addition to an awful marriage. It was 6pm on a Friday night and I had a decision to make. A big one that was to change the direction of my life forever.
As I was about to leave my first session the therapist turned and said to me, “There is one word you’ve said about 20 times today”. I couldn’t think for the life of me what it was, I was racking my brains. He then continued, “You keep saying the word ‘try’.”
He elaborated further – “If you keep saying the word ‘try’ to yourself what does it mean?”. I stared at him blankly, still puzzled. He went on to explain. “If we decided to meet for a coffee tomorrow night at 6pm, then if I said to you, Oh I will try and get there if I can, then what does that say to you? …as opposed to, I will be there for 6pm tomorrow night, I’ll look forward to seeing you then.”
It began to resonant with me what point this wonderful man was attempting to explain. “If we say we are going to try and do something, what does it really mean? It really means we are going to be late at best, or something else more important might come up. Whereas if we say we are going to do something, without the word ‘try’ in there, it is most likely we will follow through with this decision”.
It was as if a lightbulb had gone off in my head.
This point is two-fold. If we are telling ourselves something such as I will ‘try’, then this potentially gives ourselves an excuse to get out of whatever we need to (to keep ourselves safe and to not push us out of our comfort zones). What it also does is allow us to recognise what underlying subconscious patterns are running below the surface that perhaps aren’t serving us any more.
“So what are your plans now?” the therapist enquired as I was about to leave. I had just walked out of a stressful job I no longer wanted to be in, and I had big decisions to make about this marriage I was still stuck in. So I replied, “Well, I’m going to relax over the weekend and not do too much (I was physically, psychologically and emotionally exhausted) and then on Monday i’m going to tr……” as the word try automatically nearly fell out of my mouth! The therapist looked at me. As he did I quickly corrected myself. I then said “On Monday I’m going to….” And that was it there and then. I had agreed to make this decision to make the appropriate choice for me.
This conversation was about to change my life, forever.
I firmly believe if we had not had this conversation, I would have stayed on the old path. I would have returned to the ex, abusive husband, I would have most probably returned to my old job that I didn’t enjoy and was super stressful. It also made me realise I had been saying for many years, I will try and do this and try and do that, thus giving myself a cop-out or an excuse to not do something.
So notice what you say to yourself. Are you making excuses? Are you self-sabotaging? Do you use words that get out of making decisions? Are you stopping yourself from achieving the full success and potential you deserve?
As a direct result of this conversation, I created an opportunity for myself. Two days later I booked a flight. By the end of that week I had started my 3 week exploration around Vietnam as a solo traveller.
I can honestly say, it was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.
I walked right back into my life there and then. And I have never once looked back. I learnt skills, tools and techniques that would shape and change my life forever. It gave me a completely new understanding.
I am now super fortunate to be able to teach this skills and techniques now as part of my job, which I am extremely passionate about. I teach mindset strategies to clients which are absolute game changers and lead to life transformations.
I want to finish by allowing you to consider the following: –
- Notice what you say to yourself. Become aware of the unconscious. Become aware of the habitual patterns and familiar things you say to yourself. It could be ‘try’, it could be something else. Become conscious. It is only then we will start to make changes and explore at a deeper level what we say to ourselves.
- When you explore this further, notice what patterns and subconscious beliefs are underlying this. How are you stopping yourself moving forward to achieve exactly what you want?
- Most people are walking around in what I call the BS – Big Snooze. We are not conscious of our thoughts and feelings. The more we start to get off automatic, the quicker we will notice big changes and shifts.
- Make a firm intention to change the underlying thought patterns. Face challenges. Don’t give yourself an excuse to opt out. Whats the worse that can happen?
- If there are subconscious programmes and beliefs going on underneath, what are you going to do to change it? Mindset shifts can lead to massive changes. Every action is underpinned by a thought!