I have a really great topic this week. In my many years of personal development, I’ve learned a lot of different ways of looking at the world and about how our thought patterns can change our lives. The tip that I’m sharing today might be the single most impactful thing I’ve learned. This is the one mindset shift you can make that can change everything: Start to believe that life is happening FOR you, not TO you. Sounds simple right?
Most of us go through life thinking that our life circumstances and events are happening TO us. This causes us to feel like we are at the mercy of our circumstances. We look at difficult circumstances as roadblocks, or things that stop us from getting to where we want to go. We think we need to rise above challenging times, and find a way to succeed despite them. By looking at life in this way, we make ourselves victims of our circumstances.
Learning to shift out of this victim mentality affords us the opportunity to become the co-creators of our lives.
What if instead of thinking that life is happening TO us, we start to truly believe that it is happening FOR us? For our growth, our betterment, our greater good? What if every single aspect of our lives is designed to teach us something that we need to know, something that we wouldn’t be able to learn without having that particular experience? What if instead of looking at our challenges as roadblocks, we start to look at them as roadmaps guiding us in the right direction?
When I look back on my life now, I can see clearly that some of the most difficult times in my life were the times in which I’ve changed and grown the most. I am willing to bet that the same is true for you.
Here are some examples from my own life experience that demonstrate how my biggest challenges were my biggest opportunities for growth:
Losing my mother early in life gave me the ability to learn to mother myself from a young age and gave me a strong belief that there is more to life than just the physical world.
Battling addiction forced me to find a better way to heal my depression and lead me to a healthy and holistic lifestyle.
Struggling with anxiety has helped me create more inner peace than I ever dreamed of.
Being in a dysfunctional relationship taught me to appreciate a good man once I found him.
Taking responsibility for my life has allowed me to become the woman I am today. I spent many years with a “poor me” attitude, but the second I started to believe that I was not a victim of my circumstances, and that my life challenges were in fact, opportunities to evolve, grow, and detour into a better life direction, that’s when everything started to change for me. At times, it’s still easy for me to revert back to a negative mindset. But now I know better so I can easily shift out of it.
I now know that being challenged by my toddler is an opportunity to show up everyday with peace and presence, as the mother I most want to be.
I know that watching my elderly grandparents grow old lets me experience the circle of life on a personal level and gives me an opportunity to express gratitude for the magnitude of the impact that their lives have had on my own.
I trust that an argument with my husband is an opportunity to assess what’s not working in our relationship, to get to know each other on a deeper level, and to open up to loving each other even more.
I believe that an illness is an opportunity to rest and learn to take better care of myself.
I know that a never ending to do list is a reminder of the positive changes I want to make at home and out in the world, and is my motivation to get to work.
It’s all a learning opportunity; a chance at change and growth. All of it.
It’s all good.
Start to look for the good in everything, even the challenging parts of life, and the world will reward you for doing so. Instead of complaining about difficult times, start to look for the lessons in them and seek their guidance. Once you make this mindset shift your entire experience of life will start to change.
Life is happening FOR you, not TO you. What is your life trying to tell you? What change is it encouraging you to make? In what ways is it asking you to evolve? What opportunities are you being given to grow? What lessons are you being asked to learn?
Wishing you a week of radical self responsibility. I know you have it in you.