Our brains have a natural tendency to look for danger and find solutions to this perceived danger. But sometimes this can result in us adopting a blaming and judging mindset towards others, especially when they don’t act in a way that we perceive to be right. Believing that there is something wrong or that needs to be fixed creates more separation and doesn’t get the results we want, but fortunately, there is a tool that can help with this.
Whether your husband or children aren’t doing something you want them to be, or you think someone else should be doing something in a different way, remembering that you are on the same team can change everything about the way you show up and interact in your relationships. On a team, there are lots of different personalities and viewpoints, yet there is a shared team mentality, so if you are showing up to others in a way you don’t want to be, this mindset can help.
In this episode, I’m showing you how to shift out of blaming mentality and start to approach things with a team mentality, and why doing so can yield powerful results for your family. Discover why having this mindset is so important, some thoughts you can try to adopt this mentality, and how to use it to start approaching conversations and relationships with love, curiosity, compassion, and respect.
If you’re a mom, you’re in the right place. This is a space for you to do the inner work and become more mindful. I can help you navigate the challenges of motherhood from the inside out. I’d love for you to join me inside Grow You, my mindfulness community for moms where we take this work to the next level.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- An example of how to think you’re on the same team.
- Some thoughts you can think to be on the same team as other people.
- Why it is not necessary or helpful to blame yourself or someone else for a system that isn’t working for you.
- How there is a space for love, kindness, connection and telling the truth.
- One way I’ve used this mindset in my family
- How to approach your day-to-day life with a team mentality mindset.
Listen to the Full Episode:
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- A Fun Feelings Exercise To Do As A Family (blog post)
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hi there. Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. My name is Natalie Bacon, and I’m an advanced certified mindfulness life coach as well as a wife and mom. If you’re here to do the inner work and grow, I can help. Let’s get started.
Hello, my friend. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad to be here with you today. I have a really fun episode that I want to share with you on something that I’ve been using in my life, which is having a mindset of we’re on the same team.
Before I dive into all of that goodness, I want to invite you to something brand new that I am doing in one week. I’ve never done this before I am hosting an open coaching call. What that means is I’m opening up my coaching to the public.
So if you have never been coached by me, if you’re not really sure what coaching is or how it could really benefit you or work for you, if you are a part of the Instagram community and/or the podcast community, but you’ve never tested out Grow You, and you’ve never seen what it’s like to use mindfulness practices in your life. This call is for you. It’s an open coaching call with me for about an hour.
It’s happening next week. So on November 16th, I’m going to be there live answering your questions. Let me just do a mild brag for a second. I am an amazing coach. There are a lot of things that I am bad at. I am bad at trivia, I am bad at home renovations and things that require a lot of manual labor. I’m really bad at spatial awareness. So if I am in my neighborhood on a different street, it’s very hard for me to understand where north, south, west, and east are and where my home is.
But the one thing that I am really good at is coaching. I was trained at the Life Coach School where I got my certification in how to do a lot of the mindset coaching. I went on to continue my coaching education and become certified as a deep dive coach, which required that I go through intense training in understanding how the body relates to all of the things that are happening in the world in our lives. So if you feel overwhelmed, it’s tapping into how your body reacts to that. So I’m trained in how to help you not only just understand what’s going in your mind, but also in your body.
I like to think about it like you and I are sitting on the couch together. We have something that shows your brain up in front of us. We’re on the same team, and I am showing you what’s happening inside your brain. So you get a look into what it would be like to hold a mirror up to your brain and your body. You can see the cause of so many of the challenges that you’re having, and how you can solve them permanently from the inside out.
This type of coaching is called causal coaching, where it gets to the root cause of the problem. This is how you can solve your problems permanently. At the very least, this call will help you get an understanding of what the root cause is and give you a few steps that you can take to start to solve that.
I have also been coaching women for just about five years now. I’ve coached thousands of women on a variety of topics. Some of the most popular topics that I can help you with are motherhood, time management, productivity, self-care, parenting, navigating relationships with your spouse or partner, your in-laws.
Anything going on in your marriage, with your friends, or work, or work life balance, anything related to emotion such as how to stay calm and not snap or yell, how to stay present, how to get that quality time that you’re looking for, how to stay in a place where you are present and grounded and manage any strong feelings of anger or anxiety or overwhelm or irritation or frustration. I can also help you with the challenges that your kids might be having so that you know how to show up as your best self and can help them from a place of not trying to control them but from a place of competence and feeling really empowered.
So if you have a specific question, I want to encourage you to join me. Go on over to Nataliebacon.com/opencall. That’s all one word, open call, and you will get the registration link.
I’d just like to point this out that when you join one of these calls, what happens is you show up, but no one else can see you or hear you. When I register for something like this and I don’t know how it’s gonna be an advanced, I sort of have some hesitations. Like, am I going to be on camera? Am I not? You will not be on camera unless you proactively click raise hand and volunteer to get coached. You can get coached that way, and/or you can type into the Q&A, which is something that only I will see.
So it can be really powerful to just show up and listen in and see how other people are getting coached because this is one of the most kind of powerful and impactful benefits that people tend to not realize until they’re in the room. You can get so much from hearing other people get coached.
So if you want to take the first step and just show up and listen in, just register, come live, and listen to me coach the other women on the call. If you are feeling brave, I would love to coach you. You can do that through written coaching, or you can raise your hand and I will bring you on video.
But again, it’s so easy. You just jump on Zoom, we all have Zoom, and you listen in or you ask a question, and I will apply the tools that I am trained in and all of the experience that I have with helping clients to your specific circumstance. It’s so powerful. There’s nothing that has changed my life more than the power of using these mindfulness coaching practices in my life and in my client’s lives. I want to see you there. I want to get to know you more, and I want you to see the benefits so that you can decide for yourself how to integrate these into your life, if you find them useful. All right, join me over at nataliebacon.com/opencall.
With that, let’s dive in to today’s episode on the family mindset we’re on the same team. I have been using this tool and practice in my everyday life with my family. It’s been so helpful. That’s why I’m bringing it here to you today. This practice is very simple yet it yields a very powerful results. I’ll explain why in a minute here. But just know that all it is, is you think the thought we’re on the same team. That’s it.
So let’s take an example here. Let’s say that you notice that your spouse forgets to organize the boxes in the garage after he said that he would do it last week. Before replying, you think the thought my spouse is my teammate. How would I reply to my teammate here? So that type of team mentality will lead to so much more respectful actions.
You might say something like hey, I’d like to get those boxes in the garage organized. Is there anything I can do to help to make that happen? Or is there anything kind of going on where there’s a holdup? Or let’s talk about what you think is best for those boxes, right? It’s very collaborative when you’re thinking I’m on the same team. I don’t know about you, but my brain does not default to this team mentality. If I wasn’t practicing this team mentality, my default brain might say something like husband, can you please get those boxes done like you said? It would probably be in that sort of commanding tone.
That’s just one small example. But you get the idea where anything that is going on in your house, in your family, in your life where you perceive it as wrong or needs to be fixed or changed. If you don’t approach it from a team mentality, it creates more separation, and it doesn’t get you the result that you want. Even if you somehow convince the other person to do the thing, now you’ve created more disconnection in that relationship.
So for me, this mindset is a shortcut to giving that other person the benefit of the doubt. But for me, something about the thought give them the benefit of the doubt sort of implies that they are wrong to begin with and sort of doesn’t feel as connecting to me as we’re on the same team.
I really like that thought we’re on the same team. It creates this grounded, connected, respectful energy and feeling in my body. Then that action that I take from that feeling is so much more connected and respectful and intentional. I show up in a way that I’m really a lot more proud of than what my brain likes to do on default.
So why do we even need this mindset? Well, it’s because of the human brain and the survival part of your brain that is designed to keep you safe and make sure that you stay away from danger. So on default, that survival part of your brain is always scanning your environment for danger. This is really helpful if you are in a threatening situation.
Not so helpful if you are talking about household tasks. It turns into looking for everything that’s wrong and noticing it. Your brain will automatically look for what your kids are doing wrong, what your spouse is doing wrong, what’s wrong with you, your home, your life, your family. It’s always looking for what’s wrong.
It’s this innocent function of the survival brain designed to keep you safe, make sure you stay alive, and that you are not harmed. I just want to pause and notice how comforting it can be to understand why your brain can be “critical”. There is nothing wrong with you or your brain. There’s genuinely nothing wrong. It’s not that you are nagging or being too critical. It’s just that your brain is doing what any good human brain does. It looks for what’s wrong and tries to fix it.
The problem, though, is that your brain doesn’t realize in our modern lives that this isn’t needed for survival. This is where doing the inner work of managing your mind and your body comes in. Because you can’t get rid of the part of your brain that’s scanning for danger, and you wouldn’t want to. It’s useful when you’re out in the world that you don’t just walk across a busy street. It’s useful that your brain is scanning for anything that might be harmful.
It’s just not so useful when it gets out of hand, particularly when we’re in our homes, when we’re with our families, when we’re talking about boxes in the garage, or other household tasks, dishes, laundry, kid’s homework, whatever you ran out of, or someone forgot to get at the grocery store or dinner, or any of those sort of traditional household tasks of managing a household and being under one roof with a family.
So I really want a big takeaway from this episode to be that it’s not that you are someone who nags too much or is too critical. It’s just that when you operate off of what your default brain is automatically offering you as that default mindset, it’s going to be one that is overly focused on what’s wrong. What’s wrong here is an air quotes because your brain will perceive things that are wrong in your house. But really, it’s not as bad or as much of a problem as your brain will think.
This is where you can decide on purpose to shift into this mindset of we’re on the same team. This intentional mindset will help you override that default mindset that can be very separating and disconnecting and sometimes even disrespectful or controlling. It helps you shift into a much more respectful, connected, empowered mindset.
So before taking any action, before asking for help, before kind of saying that someone is doing something wrong and blaming, remind yourself, we’re on the same team. What action should I take knowing this? Or since my child and I are on the same team, how should I ask him this question knowing what I know? Basically weave in we’re on the same team to whatever you are already thinking about, and it will shift you into a much more connected, respectful mindset and feeling, and then your actions will be so much better.
So let’s go through a couple examples. Let’s say in the morning, you’re finding it challenging to get out the door, and you who have these default thoughts like my kids aren’t listening to me. They should be doing this faster. Why is this taking so long? I always have to make sure they’re ready. All of these sort of default thoughts where your brain is looking for what’s wrong and why are we always late and all these very disempowering questions. Shift into the mindset of we’re on the same team.
So if you’re thinking in the morning, my kids and I, were on the same team. What could I try to move things along here knowing that we’re on the same team? When I think about this example, I immediately go into what is it like for them to get ready in the morning? What is it like their age? They’re just doing what they want to do. They do not care about the time or being late or getting out the door or any of those things, because they’re fill in the blank age.
When we see it, through their eyes, it can be so much more connecting, but also inspiring to see what else we might try and to bring in a little fun. Like when you think the thought we’re on the same team, how can we get ready as a team? How can we make these tasks happen as a team? It’s going to put your brain into that brainstorming mode where you come up with different ways of approaching it for your family.
Another one that I coach a lot on is one child keeps getting up from the dinner table. Instead of trying to kind of control and make sure the child’s listening, can you approach it from the place of all right, we are on the same team. I am on the same team as my child. How can I make this more fun, more collaborative, and make sure that we are sitting for most of dinner?
One example that I shared with a client recently was having moments where you get up and everyone kind of dances for 20 seconds before sitting back down. You do that every 10 or 15 minutes at the dinner table. You can adjust it based on age. But it’s not as much about the actions as it is about you having the mindset. Because I know there’s some of you listening saying that’s not going to work for me because of X, Y, Z reason. It might not. But what will work is if you have the mindset, we’re on the same team.
How would you think about your in-laws if you thought we’re on the same team? Because if you think of a team, there are lots of different personalities with lots of different viewpoints, and yet, there’s this team mentality. So if your default thought is my in-laws are doing it wrong. They’re visiting too much, or they’re not doing X, Y, Z, like I think they should be. What if you had the mindset my in-laws are on my team? They do things a little bit differently than me, and that’s okay. We’re on the same team. Then what are your next thoughts?
I think a lot of the time, particularly with our immediate and extended families, there’s so much history there. There’s this depth that sometimes can turn into mistakenly thinking that being kind doesn’t matter anymore. Because this person is my family member, I don’t need to be kind. I can just tell them what’s on my mind. I think that there’s a space for kindness and love and respect and connection and for telling the truth.
So there’s a difference between oh, this just means that I need to people please and do whatever anyone else wants. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is having the mindset of we’re on the same team and then telling your truth.
So if you know your spouse is coming home from work and complaining about his job every day, and you’ve tried to listen, and you find it very challenging for you. Instead of blaming your spouse, telling him he’s really negative and creating more disconnection and bringing more negativity, can you have the mindset okay, this is my spouse. We’re on the same team. How can I approach this conversation with love, with curiosity, with compassion, with respect and still tell my truth?
It might sound different for everyone, but one example might be hey honey, I love you so much. I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time with your job right now. For me, it’s becoming hard to listen to the examples of what’s going on at work because my brain is picking up on how hard it is, and that is putting me into a negative place. So I would love it if we could not talk about work after 20 minutes of you being home. I have the capacity to listen for 20 minutes. Then after that, I’d love to change the subject.
Or it might be that you’re asking questions, but they’re more empowered questions and more curious questions and more respectful questions like hey, I know that your brain is really focused on the negative at work, and I have no doubt that it is negative. Is there anything that is positive about your work right now or that you’re grateful for or that you want to continue to stay there for? Because it sounds to me like you’re wanting to leave?
Those might not be the questions. But the idea is that it’s genuinely coming from respect and curiosity and love. Because you’re thinking the thought we’re on the same team.
Now, if you are not thinking this thought, and your brain is scanning for danger, and your spouse comes home and he goes down this negative spiral rant about work, your brain picks up on the negativity as danger, and your brain will not like that. So then on default, you might blame your spouse. You might say you’re so negative about work. Why do you always complain? It’s such a drain to listen to.
That is actually more disconnecting and certainly doesn’t help your relationship, nor does it help you, nor does it help him. So you can still bring things up. You can still have those conversations. But when you do it from the mindset we’re on the same team. For me, at least it puts my brain into this sort of brainstorming mode of asking such better questions, approaching relationships and conversations with so much more love and kindness. Some of that kindness that we, again, sometimes let go with our families who we’ve known for our entire lives.
This mindset of we’re on the same team is not only useful for having those challenging conversations, but it can also be useful when you are dividing up tasks on what everyone needs to do at home. So if you notice that your spouse is really good at activities then maybe you have your spouse do all of the sports or after school activities when ordinarily that might have been something that you do.
Or let’s say that you start off with a two parent household where each of you is making money. You come to realize that one of you likes going out into the marketplace and creating a lot more money and is even better at it. So you give more responsibility for that particular role to one of you. Then you give more of the household tasks to the other person.
That is a big simplification of how you can divide things up. Of course, that is one of the more traditional ways. There can be a mix of it. I just want you to see that the default way that you came into your family, dividing up the roles, may not be the way that you want to continue it. I’ve coached so many women and moms on changing their role, whether it’s going from stay at home mom to working mom to part time work to any combination of that, to pausing the career, all of it.
I think always allowing yourself to read aside and come together as a family thinking we’re on the same team. Who is best at what role? Who has what responsibilities? Do we need to make any changes? I like to think of like a football team. So if you are playing quarterback, and you come together as a team and you realize oh my goodness. This isn’t my role at all. Spouse, you would be such a better quarterback. I would be great at wide receiver. Okay.
Now, that, again is not a perfect analogy. But I love the part where you think about sports and different positions. So when you think about a family and you think about the different roles that people have, is there a way for you to simplify the roles, to delegate the roles, to switch up the roles? Just noticing that it can evolve and change over time and that nothing is finite, and that it is a work in progress.
But it’s not the actions that you take. It’s not the rules that you give or delegate or change. It’s the mindset behind it. So if you have the mindset we’re on the same team, it’s not a problem if you make a switch and someone’s in the wrong role. Because you might then come back together and say all right, spouse, we’re on the same team. We tried this thing where one of us stays home and one of us goes to work. We’ve done it for a year or two. We can see it’s not really working. What are some next steps that we can try?
Maybe one of you goes part time, the other one takes a little bit more time off. Or you integrate Saturdays or Sundays for some work. Maybe you delegate or hire some of the household management tasks. Maybe you come up with different systems or patterns that you want to do and switch up who does what. I think the biggest mistake that I see around this is when something’s not working, it’s taking it personally.
So if you have a system for laundry, and it’s not working. You feel like you’re always behind with laundry. You can’t get it done, and you’re sort of blaming yourself. That is what we want to clean up. Because it’s just not necessary or helpful to blame yourself or anyone for a system that’s just not working for you. It’s just a decision that needs to be revisited.
It’s like putting on your curiosity investigator glasses and saying oh, this way of doing it, this system of laundry that we’re doing in our household isn’t really working right now. What else might we try teammate of mine? Here are some of my ideas. What ideas do you have? It might not even be that it’s resolved in one conversation, but you’re sort of opening the door, getting kind of your wheels spinning about solutions for challenges or dividing up household tasks or responsibilities or roles from a more intentional place.
Not from a place of this is bad and horrible. We need to fix it. But from a place of hey teammate, I see that this isn’t working for me, or I see that this isn’t working for you. Or I’m guessing that this isn’t working for you. What are your thoughts? Let’s talk about it. That teammate mentality, I think you can carry out through so much of the family dynamics and the challenges that we have.
In this way, it’s not so much that you’re trying to solve all the challenges so you never have one again. Because what do we know about life? There are always more challenges. So how do we want to think about mistakes, failures, challenges? Can we show up from a place of we’re on the same team. Now what?
One way that I’ve used this mindset of we’re on the same team in my family is with respect to grocery shopping. Steve does an amazing job grocery shopping, and I don’t really like to go. So Steve goes. He wants to go. He likes it. He’s good at it. But I noticed that there would be things that we would be out of that sometimes he wouldn’t get. My default brain wants to point that out and wants to think this is wrong. He forgot this. He should have got that.
That is really that blaming mentality, kind of thinking that I’m right, you’re wrong. It’s coming from my brain on default looking at what is wrong here. Very useful skill for survival, not so useful when it comes to things like grocery shopping and something that wasn’t on the list.
So I used this mindset we’re on the same team. From genuinely thinking the thought we’re on the same team, I was able to come up with other ways of thinking about it and approaching this small challenge so that we could come up with solutions. What I came up with was how can I make this easier? How can I contribute here? What can I do that I’m good at to make his experience of grocery shopping easier so that we can get all the things that we need?
What I discovered was that I’m really good at writing down things in my phone when I notice that we’re about to be out of them. So now I will make sure that I keep a list and give him my part of the list before he goes grocery shopping every week. This has been really helpful for us. So that’s just one small example. But I wouldn’t have come up with that had I not had the mindset first of we’re on the same team.
So whatever words that you speak are always going to be coming from the thoughts and the feelings that you have. So if you notice that you are harsh with your family, if you notice that you are being critical or nagging, whatever that means.
If you notice that you are showing up in a way that you don’t want to be showing up, try on the mindset we’re on the same team, and whatever variation of that that you want to apply. If I was on the same team, how would I act here? If I was thinking of my child as my teammate, how would I approach this? If I was thinking of my spouse as my teammate, how would I speak to him?
So often, we can be kind of mean or short or disrespectful to people in our family, not from a place of maliciousness, but from a place of laziness almost. We just aren’t really thinking of how we want to show up in that moment. We’re just going off that default brain which is looking for what’s wrong.
So practice this mindset we’re on the same team. If we were on the same team, how would I act? How would I show up? I promise you, you will find yourself showing up with so much more kindness and connection and respect, and it will lead to completely different actions which will lead to completely different results.
All right, I would love to hear how this goes for you. So if you test this out, head on over to Instagram @NatalieBaconCoaching, send me a DM, and let me know what your experience was like with it. I would love, love, love to hear about it. With that, I will talk with you next week. Take care my friend.
If you loved this podcast I invite you to check out Grow You my mindfulness community for moms where we do the inner work together. Head on over to nataliebacon.com/coaching to learn more.
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