You Don’t Have to Get Your Mind Right to Take Action
Does this sound familiar?
You’ve spent hours journaling, sorting through limiting belief systems that don’t serve you, you’ve gone all-in on chanting mantras that are meant to change that belief, and yet you still find yourself stuck in the same place?
Journaling and working on your mind is great. But it’s not the only approach to getting what you want out of your life and business.
If personal development is something you value in life, especially if you’re a business owner, you’ve likely heard that mindset is key—hence all of the journaling. That’s why when things go awry in your life, mindset is the first place you look, examining the limiting beliefs you have and questioning if you believe you’re truly worthy.
While many people say that you have to get your mindset “right” in order to create a truly amazing life, they couldn’t be more wrong. Movement is far more important than mindset, and here’s why.
Changing your state changes your mind
Studies show that changing your mindset isn’t always something you do cerebrally—following your thought patterns and trying to rewire them. Sometimes changing the way your mind thinks, feels, or believes about a certain thing happens as a result of getting into action and allowing your body to influence your thoughts. That’s why only relying on mindset practices that keep you in your head (or trying to force you into feeling positive emotions when you don’t), won’t help you.
No matter how hard you try to think positively, to not feel fear, or to not feel anxious—you can’t escape it. We all have times when those feelings creep up. You can try to outrun those feelings, or bury them, but those things are simply bandaids that won’t actually help you in the long run. And sometimes, mindset practices that keep you in your head or try to force you out of your feelings are simply the brain gymnastics equivalent of running away or burying your feelings.
It’s better to know that no matter how you are feeling, you can still take action, and that in taking action, your emotions can naturally shift because you’ve changed your state. That means your feelings are reacting to the chemical changes in your body, shifting your emotions naturally while you make progress on your goals. That’s a win-win.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
However, getting into action doesn’t always look like crossing the next step off of your to-do list. Sometimes, you need to do something that brings you back to center so that you can move forward. If you are finding yourself paralyzed or overly anxious around something, follow the PAD method so that you can ground yourself and then get back in the game.
P – Pause and get present
Get grounded in your body and in the present moment. Our bodies can only ever be in the present moment, but our thoughts can be in any time or any place. It’s critical to be sure you are responding in the present moment and it’s difficult to do that when anxieties about the future or past are running amok in your mind.
There are a few ways to bring your focus back to the present moment and get your awareness completely back in your body. One thing you can do is use breathing exercises with visualizations to calm your sympathetic nervous system (fancy speak for getting your system out of fight or flight mode). This will help take some of the anxiety out of your body so that you can be present.
Singing has also been shown to help ground people in the present moment and calm the sympathetic nervous system.
You can also do something as simple as rubbing your hands together or along your legs to get back in touch with your physical body.
Whatever you choose to do, the idea is to do something that brings your focus to the here and now so that your mind can reorient to what’s actually happening in the moment. This will help you to make more sound decisions and know what next steps to take.
A – Acknowledge
Don’t try to fix your feelings or thoughts. Don’t judge them. All you want to do is acknowledge how you are feeling. Notice it, and name it. There is great power in naming your emotions. When you allow your feelings to be what they are, they will naturally flow in and out of your system.
Acknowledging your emotions without trying to force them away removes any shame or stigma from trapping them in your body. This also keeps your mind from making your emotions mean anything other than that’s what you’re feeling in this moment—which can help you to stay grounded and present.
D – Do
Get into action towards your goal. Do something. And if you can’t do something towards your goal, then get up and move your body. Go for a walk, have a dance party, take a shower—whatever you do, change your physical state so you can get out of your thoughts.
If you do something physical, choose something that you enjoy and requires enough attention to break the focus on what you were worrying about. Kickboxing, running, or even jumping rope are some great examples of activities that will keep you focused on the task at hand, while allowing your body to shed the feelings that kept you from being grounded.
It takes practice…
Now that you know what to do, you’ll be better equipped to move forward even when you’re not feeling the most highvibe (without forcing yourself to pretend that you’re happy). Getting your mind right isn’t necessary for taking massive action. The key is getting your body present so that you’re making powerful and positive decisions based on the here and now, instead of fears of the future. Whatever you do, remember that a grounded body creates a grounded mind—and sometimes that comes from taking action.
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