6 Strategies to Transform Your Thought Process7 min read

In Mind by Sarah HowardLeave a Comment

Few of us have the innate ability to feel invincible all of the time. Some days I wake up, check myself out in the mirror to make sure my stomach doesn’t look extra fluffy (I know I’m not the only one) to feel like I’m killing the game. The next day my eyes can meet the same reflection as the one the day before and I become enraged.

What happened in the last 24 hours?!

“Did I eat an entire civilization in my sleep?”
“Did I become with child without knowing it?”
“I’m so fat. *Grabs belly fat, tugs on it*

Often times we are our own toughest critic. We talk to ourselves in ways that we would never consider speaking to another human.  Self-compassion, learning to understand and calm our inner critic, is central to living a brave life-as a partner, friend, parent, and leader.

Below are six strategies that genuinely transformed my thought processes from the habitual loop of self-destruction to a more positive and accepting frame of mind.


1. Find a trait that you love about yourself

Think about that one trait, write it down, and post it somewhere where you can visibly see it several times throughout the day.


2. See yourself clearly-flaws and all

All of us have flaws; that’s no secret. Know your strengths and weaknesses and then be okay with them. Understanding who you are and how you operate can help you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. When I feel like I’m not being valued, I go on the defense. I shut down and my favorite form of retaliation is passive aggressiveness. Over the last couple years I’ve realized this and it has helped me work through those times I’m reacting out of insecurity.


3. Learn to take a compliment

We (especially women) have learned from a young age not to openly accept compliments. Shrug it off as “no big deal” or follow the compliment with a self-deprecating response like “I would have done even better if I was ten pounds lighter”. (Guilty) The next time someone compliments an achievement or success of yours –take it and run with it! Show gratitude and be vulnerable enough to own it! Don’t ever discredit yourself.


4. Chart your course to success

Make a plan. Success does not happen over night. It doesn’t fall in your lap. Having a game plan instantly puts you in a better position to continue the habit of trying, achieving goals, and maintaining the “go get it” mindset.  Create a vision board, have a coffee hour with a good friend and discuss your plan, or write them down in a journal


5. Do something ballsy

Unless you are talking about how awesome your couch is, comfort zones are a one-way ticket to living a mediocre life. Do something that scares you or makes you feel vulnerable.  Say “yes” to the blind date. Go to a networking event where you know no one. Go to the party and quit the charade of “I’m going to act like I’m on my phone so I look unapproachable and cool”. (Again…so guilty) Doing something scary is a catalyst to insurmountable growth and opportunities. In those moments you learn who you are and how you can become the best, most awesome version of yourself.


6. Have a strong squad

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people that are positive, have good energy, and genuinely want you to succeed is a key component to self-confidence. Your support system will make or break you. The cliché saying “you are the company you keep” is spot on. You aren’t happy with certain aspects of your life? The first place to look is reevaluating your inner circle.

Comfort zones are for couches, not personal growth. Get off the couch and out into the world if you want to make your mark.

Few of us have the innate ability to feel invincible all of the time. Some days I wake up, check myself out in the mirror to make sure my stomach doesn’t look extra fluffy (I know I’m not the only one) to feel like I’m killing the game. The next day my eyes can meet the same reflection as the one the day before and I become enraged.

What happened in the last 24 hours?!

“Did I eat an entire civilization in my sleep?”
“Did I become with child without knowing it?”
“I’m so fat. *Grabs belly fat, tugs on it*

Often times we are our own toughest critic. We talk to ourselves in ways that we would never consider speaking to another human.  Self-compassion, learning to understand and calm our inner critic, is central to living a brave life-as a partner, friend, parent, and leader.

Below are six strategies that genuinely transformed my thought processes from the habitual loop of self-destruction to a more positive and accepting frame of mind.

Find a trait that you love about yourself: Think about that one trait, write it down, and post it somewhere where you can visibly see it several times throughout the day.

See yourself clearly-flaws and all: All of us have flaws; that’s no secret. Know your strengths and weaknesses and then be okay with them. Understanding who you are and how you operate can help you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. When I feel like I’m not being valued, I go on the defense. I shut down and my favorite form of retaliation is passive aggressiveness. Over the last couple years I’ve realized this and it has helped me work through those times I’m reacting out of insecurity.

Learn to take a compliment: We (especially women) have learned from a young age not to openly accept compliments. Shrug it off as “no big deal” or follow the compliment with a self-deprecating response like “I would have done even better if I was ten pounds lighter”. (Guilty) The next time someone compliments an achievement or success of yours –take it and run with it! Show gratitude and be vulnerable enough to own it! Don’t ever discredit yourself.

Chart your course to success: Make a plan. Success does not happen over night. It doesn’t fall in your lap. Having a game plan instantly puts you in a better position to continue the habit of trying, achieving goals, and maintaining the “go get it” mindset.  Create a vision board, have a coffee hour with a good friend and discuss your plan, or write them down in a journal

Do something ballsy: Unless you are talking about how awesome your couch is, comfort zones are a one-way ticket to living a mediocre life. Do something that scares you or makes you feel vulnerable.  Say “yes” to the blind date. Go to a networking event where you know no one. Go to the party and quit the charade of “I’m going to act like I’m on my phone so I look unapproachable and cool”. (Again…so guilty) Doing something scary is a catylst to insurmountable growth and opportunities. In those moments you learn who you are and how you can become the best, most awesome version of yourself.

Have a strong squad: Surrounding yourself with like-minded people that are positive, have good energy, and genuinely want you to succeed is a key component to self-confidence. Your support system will make or break you. The cliché saying “you are the company you keep” is spot on. You aren’t happy with certain aspects of your life? The first place to look is reevaluating your inner circle.

Comfort zones are for couches. Not for personal growth. Get off the couch and out into the world if you want to make your mark.