In my perfect world, I make Swedish pancakes in the morning. I make Swedish pancakes, and they are wholesome and lovely, and they set the tone of the day: cheery, efficient, spontaneous and meaningful. All of that, right there. Now let's talk reality: Waffles in the toaster, left-over pizza, goldfish and grapes or whatever the kids decide to tackle. And, I am out the door quick to grab an iced coffee to kick my mind into motion. I am NOT a morning person. I am not up early enough to make Swedish pancakes, even when I decide to get up early. And my mind wants to battle this out with me every morning.
Not a morning person, either? Keep reading to learn my Jedi mind trick to get out of bed in under 10 seconds.
If Only My Mind Would Behave.
The mind is so much more than a collection of neurons, dendrites, and axons. Our minds are really the element of us that composes our ideas, opinions, emotions, reflections, biases, zeal, and beliefs. The mind is a direct influencer to what you and I say and do. And nearly every morning, I have a decision to make: will my mind be in control of me today, or will I be in control of my mind?
Consider the typically unchallenged thought, "I'm not a morning person". I believe it is true and attached to that are a list of behaviors and standards I apply automatically. What thought do you accept about you as if it is an absolute truth not to be challenged or changed? The simple belief that I am not a morning person is just the starting point. My mind will lead me on a pathway of zero resistance. I will not make Swedish pancakes or develop any new routines or habits that are outside the acceptable patterns of my "non-morning-personhood". All these patterns, habits, and excuses begin inside my mind without my active consent -- and this happens for you, too!
Sometimes the beliefs we hold onto as IDENTIFYING us SHOULD be challenged. Actually, I believe that most of the beliefs we have that limit us must be challenged. When my 7th grade teacher told me that I wasn't very smart --a "D" grade for me was like other students getting a "B"-- it should have been challenged. Messages that define you, whether they come from parents, teachers, peers, or ourselves, have a way of attaching themselves and burrowing into us. They take deep root and then branch out their tangly, skinny, hairy sub-roots, touching many areas of our lives. The teacher's statement, and the message given to me from other adults, impacted many decisions, including my final decision on a college major. It wasn't until I entered graduate school that I dared to consider, "What if what I believed about my intelligence wasn't true?"
What If That Isn't True?
I'm not a morning person. What if that isn't true? What if something in that defining statement is NOT true? What would that mean? Could I start the morning differently? If that is true now, does that mean it needs to stay true tomorrow? As we dare to challenge our beliefs, one question leads us to the next one and to new discoveries. What if I find that I am not a morning person, and will remain a non-morning person. What defines me as not a morning person? Is it because I get up at 7:45 am instead of 5:00 am and don't like to make a mess of dishes right away? Now I'm getting to something.
Get curious. Get crazy curious about the beliefs that limit you. You need to have the curiosity of determined, feisty, child version of you -- like when you were younger and didn't want to accept the limits.
What if the thing you believed about yourself wasn't true? The power in this question can lead you right to the edge of your comfort zone. It can lead to a huge breakthrough. It can give you the confidence to pursue your dream. It can also shake you up, surfacing some uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Truth has a way of doing that. It's a hard question to ask ourselves. Our minds strive to keep us in safety, so it may resist the questions that bring us to the edge of the unknown. Your mind may push your limiting beliefs right in front of your face, playing out all the reasons why you can't, you won't, you shouldn't, including examples in HD and surround sound. Often, we need someone else to help us through the process as a sounding board and as a non-judgemental, impartial partner.
I'm not a morning person.
Yeah, by some people's standards, I'm not a morning person. But this question led me to understand that I want to get up a little earlier each day, but NOT because I want to make Swedish pancakes. I actually don't want to have a mess to clean up in the morning and prefer a simple, easy breakfast routine. This question also led me to understand that I am smarter than the adults of my childhood told me I was. A few years ago, it helped me discover I can create an organization from the ground up that successfully serves many families in my area. Two years ago, this question helped me discover that I can start my own business. It also helped me gain clarity on what I truly value, how to overcome my weak areas, and a better way to help my children discover their motivation to do school work. Have I convinced you yet of the power of this question? Want to work together to challene your limiting beliefs and gain clarity on what is keeping you from leading your life forward with joy? I can't wait to talk with you!
Oohh! I promised you my trick to getting out of bed in less than 10 seconds! Here it is!