Why Adopt an Abundance Mindset?
We all have days when the mundane tasks of work and home seem purposeless, overwhelming, or undervalued. As mamas you work behind the scenes juggling the demands of many different roles. And even sometimes wondering if your actually having a positive impact on anything?
As moms we often carry a heavy load. AND we have little ones watching our every move as they try to understand the world around them. Trying to learn ways to manage it.
I don’t know about you but many days I feel like I am just screwing it up!
ps. If you feel like stress is taking over you need to read this – Stressed Out Mom? The Ultimate Guide for Stress Relief
I want to be a mom who is patient, calm, kind with her words, and slow to anger. In order to do this well, especially when we are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and under appreciated, we need to cultivate a mindset of abundance & gratitude.
It is only through this mindset that we can begin to find calm and ground ourselves in the midst of a storm.
In this blog post, I am going to walk you through a couple important steps we need to journey through in order to choose an abundance mindset.
“…practice gratitude to honour what’s ordinary about our lives, because that is what’s truly extraordinary! ~Brene Brown
The first step in making change in our lives is to become aware. To become aware of our thoughts, reactions, judgements, values, and emotions.
To be the change we wish to see in the world, we need to be aware of our awareness, to hold within this place of knowing our own unfolding sense of being awake. It requires that we hold our own intention in the front of our minds—that we pay attention to our intention. ~Daniel Siegel
Our Thoughts & Emotions
In CBT we believe that our thoughts are largely responsible for our emotions. An event on its own doesn’t cause an emotion. Instead, it’s our interpretation of that even that does.
And unfortunately, our thoughts aren’t always the most accurate. Although our thoughts are very real to us, they aren’t always true or fact.
However, the neat thing is that we can learn to manage our emotions and behaviours by learning how to interpret situations in different ways.
In order to help make this information come to life and for you to better understand the power of our thoughts, I would like us to try the 5 factor model together – it’s like a 5 piece puzzle.
The puzzle looks at a situation in connection to our thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and sensations. As I work through an example feel free to write your own example on paper – one which applies to your life.
Real Mom Example
Situation: you are in a rush to get yourself and your 5 yr-old child out the door to school.
Your child is supposed to get dressed (you already laid out the clothes) and brush their teeth. You tell them that when you get back in 7 mins you will go downstairs together to get your coats on.
However, when you come back you find your child still in their pyjama bottoms playing with their toys. And no teeth brushed.
What is a negative thought you might have?
They are being defiant.
Why can’t they just listen?!
They are making me late on purpose!
I am such a hot mess mom. Why can’t I get my Sh*t together?
The school is going to think I am such a crappy mom – always rushing.
How might these thoughts make you feel?
What might you do as a result?
Yell/Raise your voice
Punish them with a consequence
Take it out on someone else.
When that happens what sensations in your body might you feel?
Hot, tense muscles, racing heart, or shortness of breath.
On a side note: my stress response system is likely triggered by these emotions and the feeling of being rushed or late. And my child is also likely experiencing all these sensations as their stress response system may be triggered by my reaction
Let's change this picture
Now let’s imagine you had a different thought or perspective. What else might you say to yourself or what other interpretation are possible?
“shoot, my child looks like they got distracted. I likely gave them too many tasks to do on their own”. (Keeping in mind a 5 yr old doesn’t have task initiation along with other executive functioning skills needed)
And how may that make you feel? Less frustrated, more impatient, and empathy.
What might you do differently as a result? Say “hun you look like you got distracted by your toys. What can we do first to get dressed? Walk over and help them put on their clothes and brush their teeth.
You may also recognize that next time you need a little more time to get your child ready as these teachable moments are important.
Even though in situation B you spent more time helping your child… In which situation do you think you got out of the house first? And which child learned something positive from that experience?
Isn’t it interesting how different those two situations look and feel, just by changing the thought?
Learning how to be able to monitor and alter our thoughts towards a situation is a very powerful tool to have in our toolbox.
Mindset is Everything
Now many of the thoughts we were talking about earlier are called automatic thoughts. The thoughts that just pop into your head. Automatic thoughts are constant and can dictate our mood and behaviours, however they aren’t as intense or deep as core beliefs.
On the other hand, core beliefs are central beliefs that people hold about the self, others, and the world. Core beliefs are often formed at an early age and can refer to a cognitive construct such as “I am unlovable” or “people can’t be trusted” (Counseling Dictionary UK).
Mindset struggles are often rooted in a faulty core belief.
Limiting Beliefs (Not an abundance mindset)
I really want to highlight that mindsets are socially created by someone else. And faulty mindsets are based on someone else’s expectations of you and of your roles. Unfortunately, some of those expectations have formed your own core beliefs.
Some of the mindset struggles include scarcity, perfectionism, not good enough, fear, and mistrust.
Now we are going to begin to “retrain our brain to see the good already there” through 2 writing exercises.
Writing Activity: I am... and I am...
Many of us feel like we are defined by a one-sided view of who we are. Or we take our automatic thoughts from a difficult situation and make them truth. We hold on to them.
This exercise is meant to help you hold two things in tension that may seem opposite. Or to see a more full picture when we are focused on a one-sided view.
On the left side, of your paper, you are going to write any negative thoughts or beliefs you have about your self or motherhood. Then on the right side you are going to write a positive contrast or affirmation that matches.
- I am a mom who sometimes yells and I am a mom who loves her kids dearly
- I am a person who responds towards hurt with yelling and I am working at managing my emotions better
- I am a person who sometimes makes mistakes and I am created in the image of God
- I am always feeling overwhelmed in my work, like I never have enough time and I am trying to use the time I have as best I can.
Take some time now to journal your own I AM list then complete the journal questions below. These journal questions are meant to help you take what you have learned and apply it to your own life – to give it meaning.
Abundance Mindset Journal Questions
- What mindset are you struggling with the most?
- My limiting beliefs about my ____ (role, work), life, and circumstances are:
- If I had an abundance mindset – what would that look or feel like?
- How would it affect your children (and marriage) if they saw you living with a mindset of purpose & abundance, instead of your current mindset?
- The truths (affirmations, scripture, quotes) I am going to speak over myself regarding these mindset struggles are:
- Grace, dear mama… what is one small change you can make right now to set yourself on a new path today.
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ~ Brene Brown
Yes, we have the power to change our mindset. To live in abundance, joy, and gratitude. And yes, some days we will struggle and make mistakes.
But we are all worthy of love and belonging – and that includes loving yourself! You can do this!
Actively Foster an Abundance Mindset (with Gratitude)
Research shows us that by focusing on the positive and what we are thankful for, can make a significant difference in how we feel, think, and therefore react/behave.
Two researchers who are passionate about this topic are Shawn Achor and Brene Brown. Although they are very different in their approaches and personality, their message is similar and it’s very powerful.
Research tells us that when we find ways for our brains to work more positively in the present, we will be more resilient and successful.
Thus, when we are positive, dopamine floods into our system and not only are we happier, but it turns on all the learning centres in our brain. It’s helping us to adapt to the world in a different way and cope better with life’s challenges.
By practicing Shawn’s 5 strategies for only a few minutes a day for 21 days you can actually rewire your brain to become more positive.
At the end of 21 days your brain starts to retain a pattern of scanning not for the negative, but for the positive first
Brene Brown shares with us how we can’t fully experience joy without gratitude which has become so clear through her research.
“When we lose our tolerance to be vulnerable joy becomes foreboding”. What does this mean to you, in your life?
I want to end with a final reflection based on Brene’s video content.
Gratitude & Joy | Abundance Mindset Reflection
When we lose our tolerance to be vulnerable joy becomes foreboding. What does this mean to you, in your life?
How can you implement a practice of gratitude into your daily life?
What are the small moments in your motherhood that you are thankful for?
Abundance Mindset Affirmations
We already learned just how powerful our thoughts are. One of the easiest ways to fill our mind with positivity is to create a dialogue of positive self-talk. We can do this by using daily affirmations.
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. ~Mind Tools
I encourage you to create a list of abundance mindset affirmations for when you start to lean into those limiting beliefs. I started one for you…
- I am making a difference in my children’ lives.
- The work I do matters.
- I am calm and will get through this.
- Today’s is a gift from God.
- I am in control of my thoughts and behaviours.
- God loves us and he has a plan.
- I am thankful to have a challenging and fulfilling job.
- I’m thankful for the opportunity to struggle through motherhood. I know others long to be moms.
- I am doing my best.
- I am enough. I have enough. I am doing enough.