Category Archives for "Week Ten – A Summary to the Mind TRACK to Happiness Process"

Week Ten / Day One – The Mind TRACK to Happiness Process. Why does it work?

 

Click here for the audio version of the lesson

When my children were just two years old and six months old, I was at my lowest, desperate to try anything that would stop me from feeling like the failure I thought I was.

Everyday became about how bad, wrong or stupid I was and how I was hurting, neglecting the needs of my child or how I was wrecking their life.

Those thoughts that rolled around in my head time and time again were bound to lead me to ultimate destruction.

So how did this situation change? How did I change from being that sad, miserable mummy who hated motherhood, to a calm (well most of the time), happy and inspired parenting coach who now helps mums with their motherhood stress and postnatal depression?

I worked hard at my mindset. That’s what I did.  It didn’t matter what situations were going to come up in my life. If I continued to live with the same mindset that I had, I was bound to revisit depression in my life over and over and over again. The reality of life is, you cannot always get things to go the way you would like and everyone experiences periods of struggle and problems. I was no different.

The five step Mind TRACK to Happiness process you’ve just learnt is your tool to changing your mindset too.

There will be no relief to your pain by continuing to wallow in what is wrong with your life, what you are missing out on, hanging onto the coulds and shoulds of your past and feeling like you are a failure. This will undoubtedly keep you fixed in that horrible place that I know you do not want to be in.

By the same token, it is popular amongst many helping fields to continually roll around in your muddy past, rehashing your stories about what happened to you and how it made you feel. While this can be insightful and helpful for the therapist to get an understanding of where you are at and why you are there, it often does not teach you how to stop thinking this way.

You need the tools to stop thinking this way and because the past only exists when you create it in the now, you need the tools to work on the thoughts happening now. Why would you deliberately recreate all those stories about your past in your present thinking? Goodness knows the repurcussions of those thoughts linger around long enough, you don’t want to deliberately create them.

You want to start where you are at right now. Address the thoughts that you are having as they come up and interfere with your happiness NOW.

The TRACK process is your answer for doing that. It is your answer to retraining your brain to view life differently and being able to let go of your thoughts about your past.

Every time you find yourself feeling low, down, stressed, angry, guilty or any other emotion that makes you feel bad, tune into your thoughts and your opinions on the situation. Tune into how you are attaching your self worth incorrectly to the situation, and tune into those memes that are repeating themselves in your mind, for this is what is causing those feelings to occur. This is step one of the process – Thoughts

Once you have identified this thinking, you must then change your perspective. This thinking is not true. It is conditioned, it’s habitual and it has been ingrained within you by the minds of others who also don’t know any better. These thoughts are not who you are.

Detach from these thoughts with the knowing that it is simply incorrect conditioning that has come from your life thus far, and start to focus on thoughts that align with the reality thinking model.   Start challenging these thoughts, reassessing the situation through your new eyes and deliberately making the effort to change how you would normally view things.

Take charge of your life by taking charge of your mind. Repetition of this conscious process will be your saving grace. Constantly being aware of the language you use in your mind and when you talk to others so that you can consciously change it.

When you do this over and over again, you will find that you will begin to form new habits of thinking over time. You will begin to let go of that old, stress inducing way of thinking and embrace more empowering, more reality-based thoughts that are going to completely change the way you feel about your life, and most importantly, how you feel about the challenges you encounter in your life.  This is step two of the process – Reality.
 

Why the Mind TRACK to Happiness Process works

The five step TRACK process takes you on a journey. You begin stuck in conflict with reality. You feel stressed from believing that it should be different, you are in denial about the present situation and you are holding onto beliefs that are simply not serving you well at all.

As you begin to align your thinking with reality and establish a new pathway of thinking, you then position yourself to being able to do something about your situation (steps three to five: aim, choices, know your plan).

By accepting the reality that you are currently experiencing and being able to look at it with a healthy sense of self-worth and the reality of life’s ups and downs, you are able to move your attention towards what you want and how to get it.

Remember this quote that I love from Wayne Dyer – American spiritual teacher / psychologist. He says:
 

“When you change what you think about, what you think about changes.”

 
Have a think about that statement for a minute. When you shift your focus onto the reality of a challenging situation, parenting, life and your self-worth and then you focus on the solutions to your problems, you find more evidence of this new thinking being true.

This is the process of enlightenment.  When you become awakened to a different way of viewing your life and an understanding of your real self-worth, you start to think differently about every area of your life.  What you also find is that your relationship with yourself and others changes and your life experiences change.  All of a sudden you are moving towards the life that you want.

The Mind TRACK to Happiness process helps you to remember how to do this. I regularly catch myself starting to feel bad and then quickly remember the steps to changing how I feel.  This process was designed so that you can remember what you need to do when you come across challenges without having to re-read numerous books again.

When I was searching for answers myself, I would read a book, be completely inspired and then think ‘so what do I do now’.  I wanted to give you a resource that taught you exactly what to do to avoid stress and then teach you the 5-step process to do it.

After applying this method repeatedly, you will start to get quicker and better at it and it will end up becoming a way of life.  Feeling bad about things becomes either non-existent where before it was a big deal, or the amount of time you initially spend feeling bad about your unwanted events, is dramatically reduced.

Conversations in your mind end up become more like this:

“Argh, I’m sick of my children not behaving. I’m sick of being the slave in this house and never having any time to myself.  Okay hang on a second, look at how this is making me feel.  This talk is not helping. The reality is that my kids are learning how to form proper behaviour habits and I am the one that has agreed with my partner to do the housework. I’m not a slave, this is just part of my role in the family, right now.  So what am I going to do about this?  How can I teach my kids, or reinforce good behaviour? What can I do to plan for myself to take a break?”

With your conversation travelling up the ladder towards the solutions, you leave behind the anger that would surely have led to an explosive outburst from you, most probably directed at your children, your husband or another loved one.

Do you remember back to week one where you were taught about how the brain learns through a youtube video?  The Mind TRACK to Happiness process works because it is easy to remember and is a tool that will help your brain to learn how to view life in a healthy, stress-free way.  The more you use this process, the more you will be literally forming new, physical pathways in the brain, and allowing the old, destructive, stressful and depressive thinking to die off.

Repetition and consistency is how new habits are formed and old habits are thrown away.  Think about how you learnt to walk, talk, use a spoon etc.  This didn’t happen overnight. It happened with practice.  The same will apply to changing the mindset that leads you to depression.  Unfortunately there is no quick fix.  You will have to put the hard work in and the time to correcting your mindset in order to make dramatic changes to how you feel about life.

The good news is that you can begin to see changes almost straight away.  Because, as Wayne Dyer says, when you change what you think about, what you think about changes.  And you will notice this quite quickly as you begin to use this process.

Because repetition of this 5-step process is critical to being able to start creating those new pathways, I want to spend this week going through a complete summary of each step of the Mind TRACK to Happiness process.  This is to ensure that you have a clear understanding of each step of the process so you can automatically start using it as you go through your life.

This week is going to summarise all of the information you have been given so that you do know exactly what to do next. I don’t want you to walk away from this course and feel like you don’t know what to do.  That is also why you have access to the Q&A Forum too.

In tomorrow’s lesson I will begin to summarise step one of the Mind TRACK to Happiness Process – Thoughts.

 

 

 

Week Ten / Day Two – Summary of Step One: Thoughts

 

Click here for the audio version of the lesson

Step One of the Mind TRACK to happiness process is Thoughts.  The essential agenda of this step is to develop awareness and detachment.

The way you view the world is largely made up of habit, unless you take concious and deliberate control over your thoughts. Furthermore this habit of thinking is responsible for how you feel about your life.

If you feel sad, miserable, depressed, anxious, stressed, or any other emotion (good or bad), then it is because of the way you are interpreting the situations within your life, and how you have your self-worth tied up into these situations.

Events do not cause stress!  Thoughts do.

Most of your thoughts were created at a time where you didn’t know any better.  You were just a child, innocent to the way the world works and vulnerable to learning from the people in your environment who only knew what they were taught.

You naively took on the beliefs that you were exposed to and formed other beliefs as you interpreted your situations through this inexperienced mind.

What’s more, is that by taking on these beliefs and repetitively perceiving life through these lenses, you created physical neural pathways in the brain that has helped you to form this habit of thinking.

This thinking is the cause of your emotions.  Emotions are always triggered by a belief.

What makes you laugh?  Your beliefs about what is funny.
What makes you love? Your judgements about another person and whether they align with what you believe to be admirable traits in a person.
What makes you cry?  Your perception of what is sad.
What makes you happy?  The situation has aligned with the way you believe it ‘should’.

All of the emotions that you feel come from the beliefs that you hold and the habitual way you perceive life’s ups and downs.

Let’s have a specific look at a few common emotions:

Anger

Anger occurs because you are in conflict with the reality of what is actually happening. You believe that it ‘should’ be different and it is not.  You are holding onto the picture you held in your mind of how things were supposed to unfold and you are holding onto this picture.  You are in denial that it did not happen and you converse with yourself over this conflict.

Statements like, “I can’t believe [this is happening]”, “How could he/she do this to me“, “It wasn’t supposed to be this way“, etc.

A conversation in your mind always expands in the direction you send it, unless you deliberately stop it, so if your thinking is in conflict with the reality of an event, and you are holding onto what was supposed to happen, then this path of thinking will get progressively worse.

All thinking creates a physical reaction in the body, just like what happens if a spider was to crawl down the wall beside you or you feel afraid of the dark.  With anger, there is a progressive accumulation of pent up energy that generates as the conversation in your mind accelerates along this pathway of thinking that is in conflict with reality, until at some point, it needs a release. This is when annoyance turns to anger.

Guilt

Guilt occurs because you believe that you should be doing something different than what you are.  You hold certain beliefs about how life ‘should’ be and if you do not feel like you are living up to the expectations you have which you believe proves you are a worthy person, then guilt kicks in.

It occurs very commonly with mums who believe that they can ‘have it all’, but then realise that it comes at a price. Usually mums feel like they are jeopardising their child’s life experience.

However, it is your perception of the events that is causing the guilt, not what you are doing.  It also comes down to priorities and looking at why you are doing what you are doing, instead of what you believe you are ‘supposed’ to be doing.

In next week’s lessons we are going to explore all of these common types of emotions and I will show you how to apply the Mind TRACK to Happiness process to help you with these emotions.

Self-Criticism

We learn how to view ourselves at a very young age and quite often take this self-perception through life with us.  If you’re anything like me you are constantly reviewing your performance and how people are perceiving you to check whether you are being accepted or approved of in order to validate your self-worth.

This is definitely a learnt response and in conflict with the reality that you are 100% worthy no matter what you are doing.

It is interesting when you first become aware of this self-criticism, just how destructive it is.  I was shocked at the way I spoke to myself when I first became aware of my own thinking.

Blame & Resentment

We blame when we believe that someone ‘should’ have done something different than what they did. It’s somone else’s fault.  Sometimes it’s not a person, sometimes it’s an event that we blame for happening and being the cause of our current problem. For example, an unplanned c-section.

We look for answers and find minimal comfort in being able to point our fingers at someone or something else.  Once again blame comes from our beliefs about ‘right and wrong’ and believing that this wrong thing has interfered with our self-worth or quality of life.

Once we have blamed, we often progress into resentment where we are now resisting (in conflict with) what has happened and silently seethe about it, causing further pain and stress for ourselves.

All of these emotions mentioned above have thoughts that are in conflict with reality and are pereciving life to be wrong, meaning that we’ve missed out on something valuable for our lives, and fundamentally believing that this event means something negative about you or your life.

An emotion is just the outcome of the way you have perceived (thought about) your life.

 

Awareness is the 1st key to the Thoughts Step

The first step on the Mind TRACK to Happiness process is to become aware of your thoughts.  Because we are often using habitual thoughts to interpret life’s events, you must start to deliberately take notice of the thoughts going on inside your mind, so you can become aware of these habits of thinking and become aware of how they are directly responsible for how you feel.

The commentary that occurs inside your mind often goes on unconsciously, and we are unaware of just how destructive this thinking is.  It can be a very enlightening exercise to listen to your thoughts on an ongoing basis.

Let your emotions be your guide. Whenever you are feeling low, down or stressed, put your attention upstairs to your mind and begin looking curiously at what thoughts are generating this feeling within you. How are you interpreting this situation?  You will start to see a pattern emerging between the way you feel and the way you think.

Detachment is the 2nd key to the thoughts step

When you start to become aware of your thoughts, the next thing to do is to try and detach from these thoughts.  Thoughts are often not a realistic perception of the situation and do not define who you are.

It is often your memes; thinking that has been handed down to you from society or your childhood environment that has caused you to think this way, not because it is actually true.  Your brain doesn’t know any different than what it has been taught over time.

You have new information now though.  When you can see your thoughts as the memes that are physically within your mind and not a representation of truth (especially when they are leading you to feeling bad about yourself or life), you learn to become more detached from these thoughts.  You learn to see how it couldn’t have been any different considering your background and your parents beliefs and you start to understand that your feelings are a result of untruthful perceptions of life that can be changed.

It becomes interesting to watch what you say to yourself and how you react to circumstances and in a lot of cases, this step alone can be enough to make you realise how unreasonable or how irrelevant these thoughts are.

Many times, how you are now thinking is quite possibly redundant and certain not useful for obtaining a happy life.  By becoming aware and detached by the thoughts that lead you to stress, you are then ready to move up the ladder to the next step of the Mind TRACK to Happiness process – Reality.

In tomorrow’s lesson we will summarise what this step is all about.

Week Ten / Day Three – Summary of Step Two: Reality

 

Click here for the audio version of the lesson

 

Step Two of the Mind TRACK to Happiness Process is all about expanding your perception of what is happening in your life to a healthier and realistic understanding of it.

When you’re feeling low, stressed and depression, you are stuck in this limited mindset that is in denial of the reality that you are facing. Your perception of the situation is all about how it is wrong, how you are missing out, how it should have been different and how worth-less you and your life is now that you have experienced these events.

Remaining in this kind of thinking will keep you feeling bad about the situation and about life.

You need to shift the direction of your attention and begin looking at the situation differently. The reality thinking model reminds you of how to do this.

As you can see, in the centre of this model, this is where you have the thoughts that create stress, depression and anxiety. This is what you might call the small picture. It is a limited view of the situation.

In order to begin expanding this perspective, you need to first learn to accept:

 
 

The reality of the situation

When stressed our attention is focussed on what’s NOT happening, how we are missing out and what should have happened that didn’t. We are in denial about what actually is.

Once you’ve come aware of this thinking, you first need to accept the reality of the situation by recognising that it is here in your life. This is the experience you are having, like it or not.

If your child is misbehaving, then they are misbehaving. If your relationship with your partner is not in a good place, then this is where you are at.

It is like this because of how everything has unfolded leading up to this event occurring RIGHT NOW. This is reality. You cannot change the past, and every present event is occurring the way it is because of what happened in the past.

All you can do is accept that it is here and work on how you are going to handle this situation (which of course is where the next three steps of the TRACK Process come in).

After accepting the current situation, you then have to change your view on it, so we expand our mind even further by looking at:

The reality of being a parent

It is a very new and completely different stage of your life when you become a parent. Every area of your life is affected and changed. This can be difficult to come to terms with.

Nonetheless, you must come to terms with the changes that it does make. You do this by holding an accurate view of situations that pertain to parenting (and even some that don’t).

In terms of raising your children, you need to understand that there are going to be a lot of ups and downs. There are going to be times where you feel an enormous amount of love for them and times where you could just throttle them for their behaviour. But isn’t this true for almost anything that we encounter in our lives? Our work? Our relationship with our partner? Our friendships? Projects, hobbies etc?  Why is parenting any different?

Parenting has somehow been construed by society as being all ‘warm and fuzzy’, so when we aren’t experiencing things this way, we feel like something is wrong. However we need to look at our parenting experience as no difference to any other experience that we have. Full of highs and lows and lots and lots of learning taking place.

Remember to think about parenting, just like a job. Over time you get better at your job with practice, new information, mentoring and learning. You don’t just start your career knowing everything there is to know about your field.  You develop this knowledge over time.

Being a parent is no different. You need to let go of this idea that you need to get parenting right in order to be a good parent. You will never get it right because there will always be something to learn.

Likewise, your children won’t always get it right either. By aligning with this reality, you will see that what you are experiencing is not wrong.  It’s an opportunity to learn. Accept what is currently happening and then work on the solutions to the situation by using the following three steps of the TRACK process (aim, choices & know your plan).

The next step to expanding your mindset is to accept:

The reality of life

When you are looking at the small picture, you start to feel like this event defines your life somehow. You become consumed and overwhelmed by what is happening, because all you see is this bad, wrong event interfering with your happiness.

You’re not looking at what else this situation has to offer. This part of the reality thinking model gets you to start looking at this event in the bigger picture. What does this event really mean about your life?

To answer that we need to expand our mindset.

The whole purpose of life is to learn, grow and contribute. Through EVERY experience you have, you learn something, grow as a person and then contribute what you know to other people around you through your behaviour, choices and advice that you give. You play a very important part to how the world’s collective journey unfolds and how you personally grow as a person.

You are on a journey through life and on that journey there will be highs and there will be lows. Reflect back on your entire life. Has it all been bad? Haven’t there been some good times too? Every event that we experience leads to either an enjoyable experience or a non-enjoyable experience.

If you are going through an unenjoyable experience, then this will undoubtedly lead you to an enjoyable experience and vice versa. Everything rises and passes away, EVERYTHING!

When you are going through those rough times, know that they are not forever and could just lead to something incredibly fulfilling. The direction your adversities take you on is just another part of your unique story through life. It doesn’t mean your life has failed. It is just one small event of moments in time from when you are born to when you die.

Along the way you will keep learning, growing and contributing.

The reality of self-worth

There is a self-worth component that lies in all human conflict, stress, emotional disorder and undesirable behaviour.

Everyone behaves out of the best interest of themselves and the preservation of self-worth. All of our decisions and actions are all derived from the same agenda to survive and thrive.

Understanding why you are worthy just the way you are can dramatically change your actions and your reactions because you start avoiding the need for approval, or the need to defend your worth to other people.

Why you are worthy just the way you are!

You being alive makes you automatically 100% worthy. Why? Because your existence has an effect on how life unfolds for everyone you come into contact with. You are an influencer in life’s journey as a whole. Everything you do contributes a part of who you are to the world and the world is the way it is, partly because you are in it living, behaving, thinking, speaking and doing.

Without you the dynamics in the world shift ever so slightly and you no longer provide your knowledge to other people. You contribute to your partner, your kids, your friends, your family and even strangers on the street.

You see each of us are learning off one another and helping each other to grow, learn and experience what we do in our lives. Every single one of us contributes to another’s journey, just by being alive.

You are enough, right now for this reason alone. There is nothing you need to do, or need to be that is more important than what you are right now. What you are right now is enough to provide others what they need for their development. Because by being alive you are contributing what you are supposed to in the world. Right now.

When you truly get this concept and are able to apply it to your life, everything about your life will change and you will find yourself in a very happy place.

What makes you believe that you are not worthy?

How did you learn to believe that you were not worthy? Where does it come from? Why do some people have self-confidence and others don’t?

The answers, again lie in your conditioning – the pathways that have been formed in your brain through repetitive exposure to the same information. That’s all. It’s not because you are not worthy, but because you have been taught to believe you are not worthy.

Worthiness is intrinsic. It cannot be added to. It cannot be taken away. You are ALWAYS 100% valuable 100% of the time.

What changes though, is our self-esteem. Esteem means to rate, or regard something. We learn to regard ourselves in either high or low esteem based on our beliefs.

How you feel about yourself in any given situation will always depened on how you are rating yourself and what beliefs have been triggered by this event. Continually staying aware of your thinking and changing it to be in alignment with the reality of self-worth (that is, you are always 100% worthy because you are learning, growing and contributing) will be how to lessen the severity of your rating of yourself.

You will always go through life feeling good or bad about yourself because of your rating system, based on your beliefs. This does not mean you are not worthy. Again, let your feelings be your guide to what is going on inside you and continue to change your thinking and gain a different perspective of the situation as much as you can, for this will be what stops you feeling so bad about yourself and the unwanted situations in your life.

Attaching your self-worth to labels and other things

Everyone in society is exposed to the concept that you have to be, do or have particular things in order to be deemed valuable or successful amongst your family and peers. Depending on the environment we grew up in, the details of this concept will differ.

However the underlying danger will be the belief that there is something that you have to live up to in order to have or maintain your worth, so you begin to attach your worth to living this way and feel like a failure or worth-less to some degree when you can’t get there.

You could attach your self-worth to money, identity (being a ‘good parent, being the career woman), labels that you have been taught define you (organised, caring, self-less, dependable, funny) and having certain possessions. Even certain things like feeling the emotion of happiness 24/7 can be attached to your self-worth, so that everytime you feel disappointed or down about an outcome that you wanted to be different, you punish yourself for this feeling.

This can be particularly common in people who practice spirituality, because they believe in order to be ‘enlightened’ they have to walk around with this zen like persona all the time. This is not only unrealistic but it is near impossible. I say near impossible only because we are capable of achieving anything and if you put enough time, effort and consistency into the practice of zen-like behaviour 24/7, then you probably would achieve it.

But for most of us, we have a lot more going on in our lives and do not practice this mindset 24/7. For the most part you won’t feel the emotion of happiness every single minute of your life because the reality is, some things don’t make you happy. When life doesn’t go to plan, it does not make you feel happy. You feel disappointed, annoyed, angry, sad etc. There is nothing wrong with this.

The problem comes when we get overly stressed or depressed by these events, because we are unable to align with the new reality that has just occurred.

No matter what is happening in your life, you are always worthwhile. Attaching happiness, identity, labels or anything else to your self-worth is incorrect. Your worth stays the same because no matter what you are doing in your life, you are of value to someone else’s life because you are contributing to their devlopment and influencing how their lives unfold. This happens whether happy or sad, angry or calm, doing or not doing, achieving or not achieiving. We all play a unique and important part in life, period.
 

Extra tips on how to change your perspective in alignment with The Reality Thinking Model

Understanding the concept of the reality thinking model is the easy part. Applying it to your life can be somewhat more challenging. Here is a summary of a few ways that you can keep applying this thinking to your life.

Finding the hidden good in the bad

Often we spend so much time on what’s wrong, what’s missing and how life isn’t going the way it’s should be going, we often neglect to find what’s good about this new unwanted situation.

Finding the hidden good in the bad is working out how this situation is valuable to you or to the experiences of someone else. There is value in everything. It all depends on how you look at it.

For example, being bored at home helps you to step outside your comfort zones and meet new people, or start a new project. Having a chaotic, messy house can help you to learn how to be more organised. Having your children misbehave, gives you an opportunity to teach appropriate behaviour and helps you to learn how to remain calm under demanding situations.

Once you begin to search for what’s good about a situation, guess what your mind will find?

Practice an attitude of gratitude

This is another way of looking at the hidden good in the bad, except you are not looking for how this situation benefits you, you are also looking for what you are thankful for.

Being grateful keeps your attention focused on what you do have instead of what you are missing out on. This is a great little exercise for those who are notoriously focussed on what their lives are lacking (for example, missing out on love, approval, people being kind to you, not having enough money, not getting the opportunities you are looking for).

The more you put your attention on something, the more it expands in that direction and you find more and more to be grateful about.

Here’s a reminder of some questions to ask yourself that will help you to expand your mindset in alignment with the reality thinking model.

  • What am I getting? (not what am I missing out on). What am I gaining from this situation?
  • Is this situation just one of the low times that form my ups and downs?
  • Is my entire life really only about everything going wrong? Or are there some good things in my life? Are there times that I sometimes laugh, or have things go my way? Have I ever received good news? Have I had great things happen to me?
  • What am I grateful for in my life? What do I really appreciate?

A word on forgiveness

One of the most important parts of doing this reality step can often be to forgive.  It is common to hold onto blame and resentment for what has occurred and for what it has brought to your life, but doing this is still in conflict with reality.

What has occurred in your life has happened. There is no mistaking it and there is no turning back. It’s done now. You have a choice to either accept it and move on by dealing with this new set of circumstances or you can continue resenting and wishing it didn’t happen. As always, the choice is yours.

Forgiveness is not about the other person, nor is it about condoning someone’s behaviour. It is about acceptance and letting go in order to free yourself from pain.

Start by using the reality thinking model to expand your thinking on your new reality. How has it benefited your life, what has this experience taught you, what can you be grateful for. Align your thoughts with the reality of life’s ups and downs and the fact that this event is just one of many on your life’s journey.

Also, it can be helpful in your quest for forgiveness to look at one of the basic instincts of human beings and that is to survive and thrive. Every decision we make and action we take is in the best interests of ourselves, every single time.

Understand that you do this and everyone else does this too. If someone did something to you that was abusive, nasty, hurtful, demeaning, deceitful or any othe undesirable behaviour, know that their behaviour was not about you and all about them and their desire to feel worthy.

Everyone interprets life differently through the beliefs that they have. If they’ve been given incorrect beliefs about their self-worth, just like you have in order to do stress or depression so well, then that is what underlies their behaviour too.

It’s important to remember what you learnt about what drives behaviour. In every moment we are analysing situations against what we believe and determining what the response should be, also deciphered from our beliefs. In every situation, every belief that is accessed is weighted with importance and only one belief can be selected at one time in order to influence the appropriate response.

The decisions we make and the actions we take depends on the priority belief that was selected IN THAT MOMENT. Whichever belief was accessed in that moment, will be why the behaviour occurred.

Let’s take a cheating husband for example. Perhaps he had been feeling unloved (for whatever reason. This would be his legitimate assessment of the situation from his perspective, not necessarily because of your neglect), or perhaps he craves the attention of women in order to validate his appearance, and thus his worth. Let’s say that one day a work colleague came onto him when he was feeling particularly low because of the thoughts that were going on in his mind and his lack of self-worth.  One thing led to another and he cheated on you. IN THAT MOMENT, his need to feel worthy (due to his beliefs about being worth-less to begin with), drove his behaviour to cheat and overrode the beliefs he had to stay faithful to his wife, regardless that neither you or him would have thought in a million years he would ever cheat.

What he did was not about you, it was all about him and the beliefs he had about his self-worth and the desire to make himself feel worthy

Being able to assess the self-worth component to behaviour is not condoning that behaviour, it is merely understanding it. Understanding someone’s behaviour can make it easier for you to free yourself from it. You may still feel the hurt and the sadness over their behaviour, but you will be able to forgive that behaviour because we all behave in the same way. Not necesarily when it comes to cheating, but in other areas where we feel like we either have to defend our self-worth (when arguing with someone), or attempting to increase our self-worth (boasting, preening ourselves when around the opposite sex, attention seeking behaviour).

It doesn’t matter what the behaviour is, desirable or not, it will always be about self-worth (or more so our perception of our self-worth: that is, our self-esteem).

When you really get that, then it becomes simply disappointing when someone behaves the way they do and you don’t like it, rather than soul crushing and leaving you holding onto resentment that only hurts you.

Forgiveness is about letting go of the resentment you have to the way your life has unfolded, being about to accept what is here now, and understanding human behaviour in order to realise that you cannot control someone else’s behaviour and that you are NOT responsible for how another person perceives life and chooses to respond to it.

This applies to your relationship, family, friends, strangers and your children.

All we can do when presented with an unwanted, unexpected situation is learn to accept. Is it what we desired for our lives? No. Is it the plan we had in mind? No. But it is here now and we cannot go back and change it.

There is indeed value in everything that we experience and when you can retrain your brain to stop entering into the stressful thinking of how wrong something is, how you are missing out and how it should be different, and instead send it in the direction of finding the value, being grateful and seeing how it benefits your life, even though it’s not what you originally wanted, you will stop yourself from feeling completely overcome with stress or depression.

Will you still feel emotional about it? Possibly, depending on the issue that you are dealing with. This is okay. This process is not about trying to stop emotions, it’s about trying to stop these emotions turning into stress or depression.

We will probably sit in denial, blame, resentment, anger and guilt sometimes, but when we decide that we have done that for long enough, then it is time to apply the reality thinking model and use the next three steps to decide what you are going to do about the situation.

Which is exactly what we are going to discuss in tomorrow’s lesson – Step Three: Aim – What do I want?

Week Ten / Day Four – Summary of Step Three: Aim

 

Click here for the audio version of the lesson

 
Now that you have aligned your thinking with the reality of your situation and what it really means about your life and your self-worth, we now move onto become solution focussed about your issue.

Just because you are aligned with reality, it doesn’t mean that you have to just live with the current issue. In this step we want to turn our attention towards what you want now that you have been presented with this unwanted scenario.

It’s time to shift your attention towards action. We spend a lot of time focusing on what we don’t want and what we aren’t getting, and where does that get us? Further entrenched in our stress.

When we shift our attention towards acceptance first, and then solutions second, we start to find ways of getting ourselves out of these challenging situations so we can get back to enjoying life again.
 

The true purpose of goals

 
Before moving onto how to set your aims, it is extremely critical that I remind you of the true purpose of setting goals. Obviously we set goals in order to achieve them, or we wouldn’t set them in the first place. While this is the agenda of setting goals, it is not, however the true purpose of setting goals.
 

The true purpose of setting goals is to set life in motion

 
From the moment we decide to work on a goal we start doing things that effect the way life unfolds. We may talk to someone about our goals, put plans into action, do some research that adds to our knowledge, and create experiences that contribute to our life and that of those around us.

 

Don’t attach your goals to your self-worth

Just setting and working towards a goal is the important part of getting the goal. While achieving it is fantastic and gives us a great feeling, it is not the true essence of goal setting.

It doesn’t matter if we get the goal or don’t get the goal, there is always value in just going for the goal and setting life in motion because of what it gives you through experience and knowledge, and in tunr, because of what how this contributes to the knowledge and experience of those around you.

Of course you will always continue to set goals and aim to achieve them, but you musn’t attach your self-worth to the achievement of your goals as they are not what define your worth.

Remember? You are always 100% worthy no matter what is going on in your life because you are always contributing to yours and some one else’s development just by being alive. That makes you important right now, not when you achieve some aim that you or someone else has ‘rated’ (self-esteem) as making you worth more.

You cannot be worth more than you currently are because you are always 100% worthy.
 

Setting & assessing your goals

When setting your aims, you need to be very specific about what you want. It’s no good saying, “I want money”, but not knowing exactly how much money you want. How would you know if you got there? Your goals must be measurable and specific so that you know exactly what you are going for.

The next thing you need to do once you have set your goals, is to test them. It is a continual process to keep checking your thoughts against reality, as your habitual thinking can very easily send you back into feeling stressed about situations, particularly when it comes to setting goals.

We live in a ‘get your life right world’ where we are taught that achievement defines us, whether it’s achievement of something tangible like money, house etc or whether it’s simply the achievement of being the perfect person (calm, funny, organised etc).

With this in mind we need to be conscious of what we are doing and saying to ourselves and in terms of this aim step, we need to check that our goals are not in conflict with reality.

We do this by asking ourselves two questions:
1. Why do I want it?
2. Is what I want in conflict with reality?

 

Why do I want my aim?

The answer to this question will help you to highlight if you have your self-worth attached to this aim. How would you feel if you couldn’t achieve this goal? Identify any thoughts that are in conflict with the reality of self-worth.

Think about the reality thinking model, specifically the reality of being a parent, the reality of life and the reality of self-worth. Do your answers to this question align with this line of thinking?

Perhaps your goals needs to be adjusted if it doesn’t, or perhaps you know it’s misaligned, but you still want the goal anyway, and can upgrade the fact that your worth is not pinned on the achievement of this goal or not.
 

Is my aim in conflict with reality?

With this question, you want to check if you are setting a goal that is unachieveable, not relevant to your current circumstances or whether you are relying on the actions of others in order to obtain it.

For example, you may be relying on your child’s behaviour to improve in order to meet the aim of creating a harmonious relationship between you and him/her. This is an okay aim to have, as long as you know that you cannot control how another person behaves. As the child’s mother you do have a certain amount of influence over your child, but you cannot control them. Their behaviour is ultimately their choice and if you set the aim of them behaving, then you don’t really have much control over the fruition of that aim, so you need to be very conscious of that when setting a goal like this.

Perhaps if you had set a goal like this, it may be more productive to set your aim around you learning how to communicate better behaviour and good relations with your child. This is a much better goal that relies on you and your efforts for achievement.

Another example is if you were to set a goal to be a millionaire by next week. It’s not an entirely impossible goal if you already had the means, knowledge and plan to achieve it, but chances are having the aim to become a millionaire would probably take some more time than just a week and require a lot more planning and action to get you there.

So you want to set your aims in accordance with the reality of where you are at right now and what relies on you and your efforts to achieve it.
 

Activity goals vs Objective goals

We have talked about two sets of goals when using this aim step. One of them is activity goals and the other is objective goals.

Activity goals are where you become solution focussed about your specific situation that you’re finding challenging, like your child’s behaviour, an issue with your partner etc.

Objective goals are your bigger picture goals. They are goals that you don’t necessarily ever obtain, they are not tangible and are always works in progress.

When we spoke about these two types of goals, we used the reality thinking model to help you to start thinking about what you wanted and how to set your unique goals that applied to your life. We did this by first setting your objective goals (the bigger picture goals), so that when it came to setting your situation goals (that is your activity goals), then you could measure them against your bigger intention for your life.

For example:

Aim for being a parent

You first want to look at the type of parent you would like to be. What is the vision you have for how you would like to raise your children?  These aims are what you are continually working towards and it’s important for you to consciously set these goals so that you have a clear direction that you want to head in when it comes to parenting.

When you put pen to paper and actually write these aims down, like we did in the exercises I gave you in Week Seven, it installs more of a committment within your mindset. It’s like you make an agreement with yourself about how you would like to be in the area of parenting.
 

Aim for your life

Similarly we asked you to look at what you wanted for your life, both generally and through the experiences you wished to have.

By generally we mean what you would like for your life; happy, fulfilling relationship with your partner, great relationship with your children etc.

By experiencing what you wish to have, we are talking about the more tangible goals you might like to set, like our ‘things I’d like to to do before I die’ list we created. This list will continually be added to and gives you are more bigger picture list of the things that you want to experience. They could be holidays, careers, money that you wish to have, a specific lifestyle or house that you want etc.

By setting the bigger picture aims for your life, you are expanding your mindset to having a bigger picture plan to continue to work on. This is really valuable because when you are challenged by a situation, having created this list of the life you would like, you have something to keep working towards, and you know what you want.

You can focus on this list and remind yourself of these aims whenever you are finding yourself consumed by a situation.
 

Aims for your self-worth

Setting bigger picture aims in the way of your self-worth reminds you of the person you would like to be. We all have weaknesses that we feel inhibit us in some way, and even though you know that your worth is not lessened because of these weaknesses, you may still want to work on them so that you can enjoy your life more and not feel trapped by any insecurities or lack of abilities that are important to you.
 

Aims for your situation

Even though looking at your situation is the first thing we do on the reality thinking model, it is the last thing we do when looking at and setting your aims. This is because you want your situation aims to be in alignment with your bigger picture aims.

Once you have set your aims for being a parent, aims for your life and aims for your self-worth, this becomes the continual reference point for your whole life. When you are dealing with the ups and downs that you come across in your journey, you want to keep these bigger picture aims close by so that you can use them to guide you towards the life you want to have.

For example, when dealing with breastfeeding issues, remembering the goals you have for your self-worth would be pertinent here, especially if you have self-worth goals around being kind to yourself and allowing yourself to learn and try new things.

Sure you might always want these things goals, but when you specifically write these self-worth aims down as specific aims that you are working on, you remember things like that when you come across difficult situations, such as getting frustrated over breastfeeding.

The bigger picture aims give you a bigger reference point, a bigger focus than just concentrating on the small picture. That is why your situation aims are your activity goals – the things you do to get you through the challenging times that are directly before you. You see, the bigger picture objective goals are aims for your life. Your situation aims are activities that you wish to pursue to address a current problem.

So your next step after you have set your objective, bigger picture goals about parenting, life and self-worth, is to set your situation goals, using your bigger picture goals as a guide and then testing them with our two questions above: Why do I want it? and Is my aim in conflict with reality?
 

Watch out for those pesky memes

Always be conscious of what you are saying to yourself when setting your aims. Those little habitual thoughts of your ‘not good enough’ thinking, will often creep up if when you are unaware, making you think that you can’t or won’t achieve your goals.

Feel the fear and do it anyway is a great saying that I love. Acknowledge this kind of thinking when you can and just recognise that it is merely the conditioning of your habitual mind that you are working on changing.

These kinds of beliefs are not truth and you can get past them with action and planning (the next two steps on the TRACK process). Remember, perhaps it’s not that you can’t, it’s just that you haven’t learnt how to yet.
 

The Power of affirmations

There is a lot of information and hype about setting affirmations. Some people agree with them and live by them, others think they are a fallacy and don’t work.

In Week seven I showed you scientific evidence of why they do work in the video of Rebecca the gymnast. There is a very physical process that occurs as you repeatedly say the same affirmations to yourself on a regular basis.

Just think of all the other good (and bad) habits you have. How did they get there? Through repetition; doing it over and over and over again.

It’s just that you did that unconsciously over time and now we are getting you to do it consciously in order to override your unproductive thinking and help you to obtain a happy life.
 

Mirror Affirmations

An enormously powerful way that I taught you to add affirmations into your life, is to do mirror affirmations.

Speaking your affirmations while looking at yourself right in the eye is like drilling that information into your brain. You also find that you will hear your brain accessing all those memes, those reasons and objections as to why that affirmation is not true and as you continue to repeat your affirmations to yourself in the mirror, you will feel more and more conviction over these statements.

If you haven’t tried it yet, I urge you to do so. I think you will be quite surprised. The full explanation of how to create and practice affirmations is in Week Seven / Day Seven.

In summary to the third step on the Mind TRACK to Happiness process, I want you to get serious about what you want for your life. It is possible that you have spent way too much time thinking about what you are missing out on and how your life has gone wrong. Or perhaps you’ve spent too much time thinking about what someone else did wrong, or judging yourself for doing everything wrong.

If you have not done the exercises in week seven on setting aims, I cannot stress how important this is in overcoming your stress or depression. Particularly if you have been doing depression, it is important to be able to set goals again without attaching them to your self-worth and feeling like a failure if they don’t come to fruition.

You are the only one who can change your life. You are the only one who can change your thinking about your life and you won’t do that by wallowing in your past, or entertaining the same mindset that is causing you to feel so bad or stressed about your life.  It’s time to do something different, don’t you think? It’s time to start recreating your life to be the kind of life that you want it to be.

In tomorrow’s lesson we recap the ‘how to’ step of the Mind TRACK to Happiness Process – Step Four: Choices.

Week Ten / Day Five – Summary of Step Four: Choices

 

Click here for the audio version of the lesson

This step gets you focussing on the ‘how to’ part of getting to your aim.

Attention on solutions = finding solutions to your problems.
Attention on problems = finding more evidence of your problems
What you put your attention on expands, so if you want to meet your aims, then you must put your attention on how to find the solutions to your problems.

Remember the analogy of a business. What strategy does a business implement in order to achieve success and longevity? It has aims. It has strategy meetings and consultants and it has an action plan.

Without these three things, the business will not succeed in reaching its aims.

You don’t see successful businesses sitting around moaning and complaining about their lack of clients and sales. Also, you don’t see businesses who have never come across their ups and downs.

But what differentiates a successful, healthy business is ones that learn from their mistakes, gets back up, keeps their eyes on their goals and create bigger and better plans for getting what they want.

If you want to live a healthy, happy life, then the same rules must apply to your life too.
 

How am I going to achieve my aim?

The fourth step on the Mind TRACK to Happiness process is where you begin actively seeking out the information that you need to get you where you want to go.

Remember the story of my work colleague Wayne Parrot and his cancer? Nothing was going to get in the way of his recovery from secondary lung cancer and overcoming the odds of his 12 week sentence to the grave. Nothing.

There are two parts to this step to master. The first part is where you start resourcing potential solutions to your problem and the second part gets you to analyse your choices, using your conscious understanding of what beliefs are driving the decisions you make and the actions you take.

The first part of this step is looking at where you might resource the solutions to your problems and the ‘how to’ part of achieving your aims. Here is how you do this:
 

Brainstorming

Write a list of all the ideas you have that could be a potential solution. It doesn’t matter at this stage whether you are willing to pursue this idea or not. Write it down anyway. This could just end up being the very option you choose after we go through the analysis part of this step.
 

Resource other information

Educate yourself. Seek out the information that you need from as many different resources as you can. Internet, libraries, books, magazines, expert articles, forums etc. When you begin searching for the information you need, you are bound to get it sooner or later.

You want to arm yourself with as much information as you can for dealing with this issue and getting to your aim. Remember again Wayne’s search for health? He was doing about 80 different things and working with doctors all over the world in order to reach his successful outcome. You may not find your answer in just one solution. Also, you may not find your information in main stream society either. Keep your mind open when seeking answers, because you never know what information you might stumble upon.
 

What are other people doing?

Seeking out the information you need from other people who have ‘been there’ and experienced your problem, can be a valuable resource. They will have tricks and tips that you may never have thought of, or that are not published in any normal type of resource.

If you have a problem with your child, seek out someone who has had that problem and ask them how they’ve overcome it. Seek out famous celebrities who have similar stories to yours and read their biographies to learn what things they did. Join support groups so that you can listen to the stories of others and be inspired by their success. Be careful though, if you do join one of these groups, that they are not spending most of their time ‘rolling in the mud’. While it can be supportive to listen to each other’s struggles and to relate to other people’s stories, you don’t want to get sucked into focussing too much on what has happened in the past or the problems the past has caused.

You want solutions. You want information that will change your life and meet your aims. Sitting around talking about this problem and that problem is not going to get you that!
 

What drives the decisions you make and the actions you take?

The next part of this Choices step is to analyse the information that you have just resourced, but before you do that, I’d like to remind of what drives you to make decisions and take the specific action that you choose.

In other words, what is it that governs your choices?

The answer is beliefs. Your beliefs and values will always come into play when making a decisions. This is not a bad thing, nor is it a good thing. It just is. You just want to be aware of the decision making process when you are making your choices, which is why we go through a little bit of an analysis of these decisions in order to determine what you believe.

Remember the priority triangles that I showed you? Here is one again to remind you.
 

Every belief you have will be rated between a high level of importance and a low level of importance and this can fluctuate depending on what situation or topic is causing the belief to be triggered.

Even though it can seem as if you have conflicting beliefs with equal importance, only one belief can ever win out, and that belief will have your self-worth attached to it somehow.

There is a self-worth component behind every decision we make and action we take because we are always working in the best interests of ourselves 100% of the time.

With that in mind, we then move onto analysing your options by asking specific questions to identify the beliefs governing your choices.
 
 

Analysing the information found

So once you have resourced all you can for now, create a list of all the information you have that constitutes as a potential solution or action towards your aim.

Now split that list up even further into two – choices that you might like to try and choices that you are ready to throw in the bin. Answer the following questions in regards to each list:
 

Assessing List One (options that I would like to use)

  1. Do all of these options align with my bigger picture aims?
  2. What reservations do you have about any of your aims? What are your ‘buts’ when it comes to the thought of implementing these options into your life? Does this option align with my bigger picture aims?
  3. What can you do to overcome this ‘but’?
  4. What is your payoff (motive, priority) for choosing these options?
  5. Do these options motivate, excite me and/or encourage me?

Assessing List Two (options that I would not like to use)

  1. What are your opinions/beliefs about why these options won’t work?
  2. What is the payoff (motive, priority) for not choosing these options?
  3.  
    In summary, the choices step is pretty simple: Seek out the information you need that will educate you on how to get what you want, and then follow it.

    We can’t know everything and you are not a failure for going through this issue or whenever you have a problem in your life. All it means is that you have something to learn. So learn it. Don’t spend a lot of time remorseful over the life that you were ‘supposed to have’.

    It’s happened the way it’s happened because it was supposed to happen that way. How do I know this? Because it happened. So what are you going to do about it?

    Learn the lessons that you need to from this moment by seeking out the information you need that is going to educate you on how to proceed from here. When you put it like that, it’s not really rocket science, but it may take some work.

    These steps on the Mind TRACK to Happiness process are very simple in theory, but may be more difficult to practice, however keep practicing them and they become easier to apply.

    Be mindful as you are using step four on the Mind TRACK to Happiness process: choices, that what you are putting together is information to create an action plan FOR NOW. As you continue implementing your strategy for handling this situation you may find that you receive new information or experiences that make you want to deviate from this plan.

    That’s okay. Life is full of twists and turns and just because you have tried something or started something, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay with it if it is no longer right for you. This often happens when people believe they have to stay in a career because they studied for 10 years to get into it. Or it often happens to mums who decided that they would be the full-time, dutiful stay at home mother and wife and then find themselves going insane not being able to work.

    Whatever is going on in your life, it is an experience that you are learning from and receiving new information from and this could very well lead you to want to change direction from your current planned path.

    Just follow the steps in the Mind TRACK to Happiness process to continually assess where you are at, what your beliefs are, how to align them with reality and then create some new aims and plans. Nothing is set in stone and there are no rules saying that just because you make a plan, you have to stick with it, especially if it doesn’t meet with your bigger picture aims.

    Keep measuring your life against your bigger picture aims and set situation aims that align with them, so you can lead the most fulfilling life you can.

    In tomorrow’s final lesson of the week (before exercise day) I will give you a recap of the final step on The Mind TRACK to Happiness Process: Know your Plan & action it.

Week Ten / Day Six – Summary of Step Five: Know your Plan & Action it

 

Click here for the audio version of the lesson

As we have just spent last week going over all the elements that make up this last step of the Mind TRACK to Happiness process, I won’t spend a lot of time going over it here again.

Suffice to say that this final step is your road map to the life you really want to live.

It not only includes a plan for how you want to tackle the present challenges in your life, but it also keeps you aligned with the bigger picture aims. What you really want for the rest of your life.

Now, of course, as mentioned yesterday, this plan is not set in stone, but it is something that can guide you right now. Some of the aims that you’ve set will stay with you as progressive aims, but with new experiences and new information, many of the aims that you set in life will come to you and then be thrown away in place of something else more exciting to you, or you simply won’t achieve the aims you set out for when an opportunity has been missed.

This is why it is really important to remain flexible about the goals that you wish to obtain. Life doesn’t always go to plan, so you need to continue being conscious of whether you have your self-worth attached to the achievement of your goals.

We cannot control how life unfolds, but we can find the value and the benefits in whatever does unfold in our life.  This is something that most of us have to train our minds to do, which is exactly what the Mind TRACK to Happiness Process helps you to do.

This final step in this process: Know your plan and action it, keeps you on track to creating the life that you want to experience.

Something that I found when I was starting to use this process, was that I would feel empowered just by having a plan of action for tackling the issues that I had come across. For example, there was a time where one of my children were throwing a tantrum.  I had found a technique in a parenting book that I wanted to try. I wrote down each step that I needed to do and memorised it, and then found myself almost willing my son to throw a tantrum so I could begin using it.

This was a very different reaction to the person who was feeling drained, tired and defeated by the endless tantrums going on from moment to moment.  Finding a way of dealing with this problem made me feel so much better about the problem.

Another example was when my second son was born and we were trying to get him into a sleep routine.  I had learnt a great technique for getting him to learn how to sleep independantly, so when it was the middle of the night and he woke up crying, or was unsettled, even though I was still ridiculously tired, having an action plan to implement for when this happened, helped me to get through it without the usual pointless thinking:  “I’m so tired. Why won’t he sleep? What am I doing wrong…….”.

I was entirely focussed on the solution and implementing my action plan instead.

The reality of motherhood is that there are many demands that are placed on us.  At the beginning we are also extremely tired on top of that too.  If you do not have a plan of how you are going to tackle these demands and your habitual thinking likes to roll around in what’s wrong (or how you are doing it all wrong), how you/your child is missing out, how it should be like this or that (in conflict with reality), how bad your life is, or how bad a mother you are, then you can easily keep slipping into major stress, depression or anxiety.

Focus on the solution, not the problem.  Don’t allow your thinking to go down the ladder towards feeling like this event represents your entire life.  It is only one moment in time and it, too will rise and pass away, just like everything else does.  So research the solutions, create and implement a plan for dealing with it and get on with creating the life you want and deserve.

So let’s go over the final summary of this step: Know your plan & action it:
 

Set yourself up for success:

First thing’s first is to surround yourself with reminders of what you want. When you physically write down your goals and your action steps to achieving it, you psychologically commit to working towards that goal, more than you would if you just mentally decided that that was what you were going to do.

You want to do something everyday that contributes to the achievement of your goals, even if that is just doing some mirror affirmations.  It can be helpful to keep track of your progress by writing down what you do and being accountable for doing something everyday. Perhaps you could even ask your partner or a friend to ask you daily ‘What have you done towards your goal today?‘  That way you have to answer to someone else and make ‘excuses’ when you haven’t done anything, which will make you more inclined to keep going with it.

Repetition is the way to change a habit and get towards your aims, so whether you are working on a situation (activity) goal or an bigger picture (objective goals), repeatedly working at it will get you the results you are looking for.

Here are some ways to support this repetition:

  • Creating affirmations – Look at your aims and create affirmations in regards to your aims. Also create affirmations that change the beliefs you have about yourself or any limiting beliefs you have about how you live your life. For example, if you find yourself habitually thinking about how useless or hopeless you are, you may want to create an affirmation that says ‘I am 100% worthy just the way I am because I am always learning and contributing.’ Or another one may be, ‘I am playing a unique role in life that no one else can contribute, because there is no one else like me.’ Either of these two affirmations replace your ‘worth-less’ beliefs with something that aligns with the reality of your self-worth.

    Affirmations that contradict your habitual stress-inducing thoughts, are useful for creating new pathways in the brain for you to access when dealing with challenging situations, rather than the current way you react to them.

  • Vision boards – Inspirational words, visual images and any other information that reminds you of what you are aiming can be arranged on large cardboard and stuck on your wall to keep you on track with your aims. The more you look at this visual representation of the life you want, the more believable it will become to you. There is a lot of power in imagining, dreaming and visualising you getting the things that you want. It helps you to grow those neural connections in the brain quicker, for the brain does not know the difference between what’s real and what is not. It only knows beliefs. Vision boards are a great tool for helping you to accelerate the process of creating new beliefs in your brain.
  • Reminder notes – spread any reminders you can in the way of little sticky notes around your house, in your car or anywhere else that you regularly are. Again, this will help your brain to learn new habits of thoughts and can help you to replace those unproductive memes that come up. Even though after a while it doesn’t seem like you even notice these notes, the brain is still taking in this information unconsciously, helping to cement these thoughts with the action steps you are also taking.

The action steps to creating your plan

 

Prioritise your list of options

After going through your options in step four and selecting which ones you’re going to use to get your to your goal, you now need to prioritise this list in order to determine what steps come first. What you want to do is to start organising your options into a step-by-step approach that you can follow to get to your aim.
 

Create a timeline

The next step is to organised your prioritised list into a timeline. Work out when we you will implement each action step and how long it will take.
 

Set up phase

Before you get to your final stage of this planning step, you now just need to organise anything that you will need to implement the plan. Do you need any materials or supplies (For example, if you were creating a plan to get more energy by eating healthier you would need to buy healthy food and clean out your refrigerator)? Do you need to align your action plan with anyone else (other care givers for example)?
 

Create your physical, documented action plan

Last week I got you to create a full plan that incorporated your current situation’s aim and action steps and what you wanted for your role as a parent, your life and your self-worth.

Now that you have created your bigger picture plan, for here on in, you can use this final step on the Mind TRACK to Happiness process to simply concentrate on your situation aims and the steps that are required to reach them, keeping in mind your bigger picture aims.

You can have many plans for many areas of your life if you like and you don’t need to keep everything all on the one piece of paper or cardboard. It is completely up to you how you present your plan to yourself. The main aim though is to make it clear, do-able and easy to follow so you always know exactly what steps you are taking and where you are at on your journey towards your goals.

Keep measuring your progress, your experiences and your aims against your bigger picture aims to keep you aligned with the overall life that you aiming to have.

Take some time out to acknowledge your progress too and see where you have been. Particularly if you are working towards a major goal, it is important to look at where you have been sometimes so you don’t get discouraged by how far you have to go.

 
Having gotten to the final step on the Mind TRACK to Happiness process you will undoubtedly be feeling a whole lot more encouraged to deal with what is presently happening in your life, instead of feeling like this situation is defeating you.

It is normal, however, to slide up and down the ladder of the Mind TRACK to Happiness process and it’s really important that you don’t begin to attach your self-worth to being solution-focussed all the time. That’s not what this process is about.

Your beliefs are directly responsible for how you feel and because we are constantly rating our lives and our experiences in accordance with our beliefs, there will continue to be times where you feel great about your life and when you feel terrible about your life. This is normal for everyone.

The reality of life is that it’s full of ups and downs. The down times do not define you as being worth-less. This is just the conditioning of your mind. What’s important is that you keep recognising how your are feeling and then keep implementing the Mind TRACK to Happiness Process.

The more that you do this, the better you will become at managing your beliefs and stopping that cycle of challenging times ending in stress or depression.

In the last ten weeks you have hopefully come a long way in understanding how you came to do postnatal depression and what it will take for you to change that physical chemical reaction going on inside your brain.

Hold onto that analogy of the spider and how the chemical of adrenaline is created from the fear which came from your beliefs. Everything that occurs in the body, first appears from the brain and how it thinks.

As you begin to change your mindset and apply what you have learnt over the last ten weeks you begin to feel better too – both in physcial energy and emotionally.

Always remember, you are always 100% worthy no matter what is happening and that there is value in everything.

In tomorrow’s exercise day, I’d like you to take some time and just reflect on what has changed for you and write down any ‘aha moments’ that you have had in the last 10 weeks.

Next week we are going to use the Mind TRACK to Happiness process on the specific mental issues of Stress, Depression and anxiety and I’ll show you how to upgrade your beliefs and put action into place for stopping these disorders. We’ll also be looking more closely at anger, guilt, fear and your relationships.

Week Ten / Day Seven – Exercise Day! A moment to reflect

 

There is no audio available for this lesson

Congratulations on getting to the end of your tenth week. You are only two weeks away from completing the entire Postpartum Depression Recovery Program.

This week you have been reading a complete summary of the Mind TRACK to Happiness process in order to remind you of exactly how to do each step.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t want you to feel confused about what you need to do when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. There are way too many books and resources out there that give you generalised tools for helping you, but leave you wondering how to apply them to your specific circumstances.

So if I have not been clear, please make sure you head over to the Q&A Forum or send me an email at support@postnataldepressionrecovery.com and ask me your questions. I am always here to support your journey.

Today’s exercise is about pausing to reflect on the your journey through the last ten weeks of this program. It is time to think about what your wins have been, what you have learnt and how your life has changed since beginning this program.

This exercise is for no one else but you, so feel free to write whatever you want to.

The steps for this exercise are quite straight forward. In your notebook, simply answer the following questions:

  1. What have you learnt about your postnatal depression?
  2. What has been your biggest insight over the past ten weeks?
  3. How do you think this information has benefited your children?
  4. What changes have been made to your life from using the TRACK process?
  5. What have you learnt about your self-worth?
  6. How do you think this information will change the way you interact with others (your partner, your kids, family or friends)?
  7. Is there anything that you now feel is possible, where before you did not?
  8. Think back to where you were at before commencing this program. How are you different to ten week ago? What has changed?

Take some time to reflect and answer these questions. This exercise is important for showing you how far you have come. It can be really easy sometimes to be discouraged by how far we have to go, especially when we are changing our thinking, which quite often keeps reverting back to old habits. It often feels like you are not making any progress, when you actually are.

Self-reflection helps you to think about your journey. Regularly doing this along the way can be extremely beneficial and encouraging, especially when you are feeling discouraged.

Finally, if you desire, I would love to hear some of your comments on the Testimonials section of the Q&A Forum. By posting your comments here, you give us permission to use these testimonials to help others to realise how much this program can help them. We will use your first initial and last name after your quote.

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