Are you beliefs keeping you stuck in burnout? In today's episode, Stacie teaches you how to start changing your beliefs.
Are you beliefs keeping you stuck in burnout? In today's episode, Stacie teaches you how to start changing your beliefs.
Hello my friends! So much has happened since I last recorded! We moved into our new home, and we are LOVING it so much. Our little Bodhi boy is loving the yard and honestly, we got so lucky with the weather during our move.
It was rainy, which you’d think would be terrible for a move, but it was a high of 60 and for North Carolina in June that is practically a full blown miracle. That night we had pizza, watched Mystery Science Theatre, and -- wait for it!! -- turned on the fireplace. It was MAGIC
I also found out I need a root canal -- which is why this episode is late. I actually recorded it when I had a terrible toothache, and when I was editing I realized how bad of an idea that was. I sounded like a maniac -- trust me, you did NOT want to hear it. So here I am re-recording it. And I’m actually really glad. I realized a few key points I wanted to make that I missed and I’m excited to get into it!
In last week’s episode, we talked about the 5 beliefs that are keeping you stuck in burnout. This week, we’re going to talk about how to start shifting out of those beliefs --- how to start changing your thoughts.
You may have heard this before -- the old “change your thoughts, change your life!” but my guess is that no one has ever taught you how to actually DO it.
Instead of getting it embroidered on a pillow or saving it as your phone’s wallpaper and never actually doing anything about it, we’re going to get into the nitty gritty of how to actually DO THE THING - how to actually shift your thinking
I’m going to start with a quote from Michael Singer who wrote one of my favorite books “The Untethered Soul”: “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind - you are the one who hears it.
I want you to sit with that. I’d say the large majority of my clients never stop to think about the voice in their head. That voice that never seems to stop except when you’re asleep. The one that jumps around from “what’s for breakfast?” to “do they like me?” to “I wonder when the new season of Working Moms comes out….” to “I can’t forget about that email!” in less than 30 seconds.
I want you to start paying attention to that voice before you start trying to shift it
What is this voice constantly telling you day in and day out? And is that voice actually YOU or are you the one who is just listening to the voice? I want you to really consider this.
Another way of thinking about it: Who was the you before you could think in words? REALLY - Think about it! You were still you when you were born, right, even though you had no thoughts -- or at least not in words -- So who is the you now who is listening to all the thoughts in your head?
It’s weird to think about, right? I’m going to share something I’ve literally never shared before because I thought it was a little too weird, but I think it might also help you.
When I was pretty young, sometimes I’d get quiet, and just stare in the mirror at myself and say, “That’s you.” And it always felt like the strangest moment -- like a little weird mystical moment of “OH!” I have a body...and I have thoughts...but also who is the person SEEING that body and living in it?
I know that might seem a bit woo-woo to some of you, so hang on! HA! But I want you to start looking at your mind in the same way: Where are these thoughts coming from? Who is HEARING the thoughts?
Before I go any further down my woo-woo road....there’s a reason I start here. If you’re not aware of the thoughts you’re having and that they aren’t actually YOU at all, you won’t be able to realize that you have the power to shift them.
Awareness comes first and foremost. The first task for anyone who wants to start doing this work is to be aware of what you’re thinking.I recommend keeping a notebook with you or even just use the notes function on your phone and jotting down the most common thoughts that are popping into your head.
You might be really surprised by what you’re telling yourself all day.
Start keeping track of these thoughts and consider how hearing them day-in and day-out must be making you feel.
The number of times my clients come to me and have the realization of how harsh they are towards themselves -- in ways they’d never, ever be to anyone else -- it just breaks my heart!
And then we wonder why we feel so hopeless, exhausted and burned out -- while we’re mentally accosting ourselves every day. It’s an epidemic!
Once you’ve spent a couple of weeks paying closer attention, writing down what thoughts are most common, you can decide which thoughts you want to work on shifting. There are lots of exercises for doing this -- this is what coaching is really all about -- challenging the status quo of your beliefs.
When you’re using a self-coaching model like I’m teaching you here, I recommend following The Model - created by Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School.
I’m going to take you through the basics of the model and how to use it to begin to shift your thoughts using self-coaching:The first step of the model is your circumstances -- it’s the pure facts of the situation. I’m going to use the fact “I have a job” because I think it could be really helpful to use this particular fact for those of you experiencing burnout.
Note that facts are what 99.9% of the world would say is true. I say 99.9% because let’s be real, there’s always some philosopher in the group to ask, “But is the sky blue, REALLY?” They are not included here. Circumstances are facts -- they don’t have judgements, they just are. A judgment would be, “I have a terrible job”.
The second step in the model is your thoughts about the circumstances. A really simple thought could be “I hate my job.” This is one I hear people say all of the time. But it’s not a fact -- it’s a thought. Start paying close attention to the automatic thoughts about your job, about your colleagues, about your clients, and about yourself that are making you feel awful - because let me tell you - it’s not the circumstances that are making you feeling awful -- it’s your thoughts about them.
The third step of the model is the FEELINGS that the thought causes. Pay close attention here. I’ll dig into this in future episodes but notice that your feelings are ONLY sensations in your body. It’s powerful to realize this! When you’re constantly saying to yourself, “I hate my job” or “This job isn’t right for me” or “My clients are the worst” or “My boss is way worse than Miranda Priestly” you probably experience some level of frustration, or hopelessness, or defeat. I awnt you to pay attention to the way those sensations show up in your body, because burnout is many ways is terrible feelings replaying over and over again, without you realizing you have ny control over them.
The fourth step in the model is your actions based on those feelings. When you’re feeling frustrated, or hopeless, or defeated, what actions do you typically take? In other words, what do you feel like doing when you feel hopeless? For me, I just want to lay down and watch Netflx. I want to avoid the world.
And the final and fifth step in the model is your results. Now the weird thing about the model is that your thoughts always create your results. I’m going to say it again so it sticks: Your thoughts always create your results! If we take the example of the thought “I hate my job” which causes you to feel hopeless and defeated, which leads to avoidance, which leads to, oh that’s right -- still hating your job AND not moving forward in an effective way.
But can you see that just a small shift in your thinking could’ve changed the entire situation? What if you instead thought, “I have a job”. That’s a fact and a neutral thought without all of the emotion behind it.
Most people think, “but wait, Stacie...if I don’t hate my job then why would I need to leave it? And I definitely want to leave it, so I need to hate it.” But NO YOU DON’T! In fact, feeling neutral or even satisfied with your job doesn’t mean that you can’t look for another job. It just means that you don’t have to feel miserable right now. And this is a simple example, but I want you to pay super close attention to how your thoughts are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you hate your boss, you will pay attention to every bad thing he or she does and your hatred will grow. The same can be said for almost everything in life.
You can use the model to self-coach by listening down the page the circumstance, the thoughts, the feelings, the actions you would take or did take, and the results that you’ll get from those thoughts, feelings, and actions. Always take note of how your thoughts create your results so you can figure out what thoughts would create the results you actually want.
After you’ve been paying closer attention, you can take the most common thoughts you’ve noticed and spend time taking them through the model.
Consider what thoughts you want to believe. What thoughts would cause the feelings you want to take the actions to get the results you want.
Now here’s the hard part: You can’t go from hating your job to love it overnight folks!
You need to create a thought bridge to get there. A thought bridge is a more neutral thought you can believe NOW to eventually get you to that really good-feeling thought.
When you’re self coaching, keep trying on new thoughts until you find one that you can believe today. You’ll know if you can believe it if you feel something in your body -- remember that feelings are sensations? If you try on a thought and have a little tingle of goodness inside, you know that’s a thought you can believe now. It may not be the thought you ultimately want to get to your desired result -- but it’s going to get you way closer than your current thought.
I’d focus on just a few thoughts to shift at a time and start practicing them in the moment. Practice them on purpose each day. Commit to 10 minutes a day and you’ll begin to see big shifts.
Another exercise you can do is to build evidence for the new thought.
Maybe you want to start shifting your story of not feeling good enough -- very common in burnout and impostor syndrome. An exercise to help with this is to create a list of as many reasons you can possibly come up with for why you ARE good enough. Any and all reasons apply -- maybe you’re a great singer, maybe you won an award for writing in the 5th grade, maybe you’re an absolutely amazing dog mom -- ADD IT! I recommend adding to this list every day. The reason is that you’ll keep reading the list over and over again -- and it will begin to reinforce this new way of thinking about yourself. It really works!
And because I covered a lot here today, I want to give a quick summary of how you can begin to shift your beliefs:
-Focus on your awareness first. Spend a couple of weeks just paying attention and jotting down the most common thoughts. Notice how they make you feel. Notice that you are not your thoughts, that you are the OBSERVER of your thoughts. Pretend like you’re a scientist observing yourself. Don’t judge yourself, just take notes.
-Once you’ve tracked your most common thoughts that you’d like to shift, take them through The Model for self-coaching. Choose new thoughts to believe and practice them daily.
-Remember that you need to FEEL the thought for it to start making a difference -- choose new thoughts that make you feel, even if your ultimate goal is a more positive thought, sometimes it’s easier to believe neutral thoughts when we’re growing.
-To build your belief, write out lists of evidence for why a new belief is true for you. Read the list and add to it each day until it feels true for you.
And I want to mention: while I absolutely love self-coaching, working with a coach like me will help you shift these thoughts faster. All of us have blind spots we can’t see in ourselves. We have deep rooted stories that we believe are true and that have to ripped out of our clingy little hands! I know because I’ve been coached and have these a-ha moments that might have taken me years to see on my own and I've helped others have these same revelations too.
If you’re ready to get some help with your burnout causing beliefs and thoughts, I’m currently launching my first group coaching program Spark and Soul which will start in August. I wanted to create something that would allow more clients access to me and to do this transformative work. If you want in on the very first round, with a lower beta price and lots of fun bonuses, come join the Facebook group at staciemitchell.com/group. I’d love to have you join me in this program!