Usually I try to keep my personal thoughts and life stories off of the internet but today I feel inclined to share because I think it could help somebody, somewhere…maybe. If you’re not familiar with me all you need to know right now is that I’m an aspiring artist/writer trying to make a career out of my crafts. (Aren't we all?) Now that being said, you don't have to be working on anything like that to relate to this particular problem…
Both anyone who is into self-help strategies and anyone who has tried turning their craft into a career know that research is a crucial part of the process. Whenever I’ve read books/blogs/articles to help me figure out how to turn my dreams into my reality, the very first thing that is mentioned almost every single time is attitude!
A lot of the successful people I have learned from emphasize on how important it is to have the right attitude. Now, having the right attitude doesn’t necessarily mean always having a positive one, just a more productive one. A “let’s see what we can do here” kind of attitude.
Having the right mindset is crucial, not only to success, but to handling all aspects of life. And, honestly, I’ve always hated that advice. Which I know is certainly not the best attitude to have on the matter but hear me out.
The Mind is a Battlefield
I’ve always hated that topic of advice because having a manageable attitude is one of my biggest struggles and I battle with it every single day, for literally every single situation that pops up. It seems like it doesn’t take much at all before I start thinking that it’s the end of the world, that I should give up on my dreams, or that I should burn all of my artwork and supplies in a glorious blaze. I suppose I can be a little dramatic at times…but the mind can also be a very brutal battlefield.
Almost every time I am presented with an obstacle, no matter how big or small, I immediately run to the "This is the final straw!"
“I can’t do this anymore!” or
“I just don’t have what it takes!” way of thinking instead of something more useful like “What can I do to work around this?”. The first example, my friends, is the wrong attitude to have and it is absolutely draining and anti-productive.
And it’s not just with my art/writing career either, I’m like this with everything! Personal situations, financial situations, business opportunities, you name it. I can’t remember if I’ve always been like this or if it’s something I’ve developed in my early years of adulthood, but quite frankly, I am tired of it!
BUT! Big but here… I have come to understand that those help articles are absolutely right. Attitude is everything. And having a manageable attitude can help navigate every single aspect of life, no matter how big or small it may seem at the time.
Listen, I am working on it. I have been actively working on adjusting my attitude daily. I’m trying to make my thought process shift to problem-solving, understanding, and adapting rather than having mental meltdowns and preparing to give up over things that aren’t even a big deal. Sound relatable?
I will be completely honest with you right now. It’s a really hard thing to do... To change the way your mind reacts to problems and difficult situations. Especially without access to a therapist or mental health professional. But it’s not impossible! Yes, it’s work, a lot of work. It takes daily active steps to change the way your mind works. But it absolutely can be done!
Recently, I managed to give myself what I consider to be a successful attitude readjustment after an opportunity didn’t go how I thought it would. After a much shorter round of despair for my future, I managed to snap myself out of it this time. And the thing is… I’ve actually been able to kind of keep it going. And I am really proud of myself for it! However, I do know that overcoming my own negative thoughts will be a consistent battle. But it will certainly be a worthy one!
Now don’t get me wrong, my immediate reaction to unforeseen obstacles has still been defeat. But if I actively take a step back and take my mind out of that situation for a few minutes or even just for a few seconds, breathe deeply, and readjust to thinking “There’s a better way to handle this. What can I do to work around this problem?” I almost immediately let go of the weight from that initial negativity. Then I have a clearer view of what solutions lay ahead...And it stops my heart from racing like it’s preparing for me to run a marathon.
If this seems like a silly problem to you, then know that I am truly happy for you! I’m certain you have other things that you’re dealing with, but I’m glad that having a “defeated” attitude isn’t one of them. But I do know that I’m not alone in this struggle. I know I’m not the only one who battles with this way of thinking.
If you’re reading this and feel like you can totally relate, you are not alone either. And you are not helpless to your thoughts.
Steps to Change Your Mindset (That Work for Me)
My advice to anyone facing this same struggle is:
First, take a minute or 2 to step back and think before reacting or responding to a situation. Any situation. ALL situations. Especially if you feel like you’re about to break out in a rage or a panic.
If you feel like you’re about to lose it, start by simply thinking to yourself “Wait!”. Once you stop your immediate reaction, you’ve got a little bit more time to think “How can I handle this BETTER?”
If you need to, walk away. Usually you can come back to it shortly, if you even decide that particular situation is worth any more of your time.
In confrontational situations it can be useful to stop yourself from reacting and think:
“What kind of reaction will actually help solve this issue?”
“How will my reaction affect the future of my relationship with this person?”
“How can I handle this better for my own well-being?”
It’s also extremely helpful to surround yourself with as many people as possible who have the kind of attitude you admire. Take notes!
Not a people person? That’s ok. Social media allows us to learn from others from afar.
There isn’t always a clear answer or solution to everything. That is just the way life goes. But practicing/having a “let’s see what we can do” attitude can help you better navigate life and help find the solutions to get you where you want to be.
If I Can Do It, You Can Do It
I hope someone out there will benefit from hearing that they are not alone in the struggle of constantly battling their own mind. I hope I’ve helped in sharing about how I personally am handling this problem and working actively not to succumb to my own thoughts.
If that’s you too, I hope I’ve given you something to work with here. Just know that you are not alone and there are steps you can take to change the way you react and think about things. I know you can do it! If this is not you, thanks for sharing some of your time to listen to me anyway.
Good luck out there, be kind, and stay spooky, folks!
(Psst...keep reading for a few reading recommendations and photo credits)
Photo Credit and Recommendations
Love the background photos I used for these inspirational quotes??? All of these photos are the work of my sweet Asher and you can get prints on our website here: https://www.ashesartshoppe.com/photography
If you would like a copy of one of these photo prints with the inspirational quote on it, message me here: https://www.ashesartshoppe.com/contact
Here are a few other blogs/books to check out:
Kat Boogaard/ https://katboogaard.com/ -for freelance tips and advice
Punk Rock Entrepreneur by Caroline Moore - for anyone wondering if they should go on that business venture, or anyone who just likes Punk Rock and wants to know a little more about behind the scenes stuff for their favorite bands
Making Stuff & Doing Things (Revised & Updated 4th Edition) edited by Kyle Bravo - I recommend this book for adults who love DIY and How-To projects. This book goes over a very wide range of topics including sexual topics so it is not for the kiddos.