When we’re in a stressful situation, how do we empower ourselves to come up with the best solution? If you find yourself irritated by people in your life, or in crisis mode over things you simply can’t control, you can still choose how you want to show up, and I’m showing you how in this episode.
The tool I’m sharing today is something I’ve been coaching with for a while, and it’s so good I decided I needed to bring it to the podcast so you can use it in your everyday life. Trust me, if you want to empower yourself, go grab a pen and a piece of paper.
Tune in this week because I’m going through the elements of both a disempowered and an empowered mindset, and giving you some examples so you can see where you are right now and where you want to go. I’m giving you the step-by-step, so you can get into an empowered mindset, showing up as the best mom you can be no matter the circumstances.
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.
Hey there. Welcome to the podcast. So glad to be here with you today. I have a few fun housekeeping items that I want to share with you before we dive in to how to empower yourself. I have a really amazing framework that I’m going to walk you through that I’ve been coaching a lot with inside Grow You. That brings me to my first announcement.
I don’t know to what extent I’ve mentioned it on the podcast, but starting last month in July and continuing on forever, for the foreseeable future at least, I am doing all of the coaching inside Grow You. I made this decision because I love the mindfulness practices that I have brought to Grow You that I have created with my work. It combines both the mindset work and the bodywork.
The coaches who I had were amazing coaches, and they were trained in the mindset work but not the body work. I decided that I wanted all of the Grow You members to have the experience of both so that all of the coaching was consistent across the board. It was really a perfect time for them and their growth as well.
So Grow You is growing. I want to make sure that you know when you come in there, I’m doing all the coaching. So that means you get the monthly topic coaching call as well as a variety of other calls, typically about one to two a week. You can attend those live, get coached by me, or you can listen to the replay on the private podcast as well as inside your portal. We’ve gotten a ton of member feedback that the Grow You members are loving it.
So if you’re not in there yet and you want to get coached by me, come on in. If you’re not sure about Grow You yet, I also have another announcement that would be specifically more for you. I am hosting a mindset call this month. It’s going to be in a couple of weeks from when this airs on August 16. It is called Motherhood Mindset Reset. If you go to nataliebacon.com/motherhood, you will get all of the information, all of the details.
It’s going to be a chance for you to come and get coached by me. We’re going to work through whatever challenge you are facing whether it’s being more mindful at home, whether it’s tantrums, whether it’s something completely different. We cover it all. So be sure to come. It’s only an hour. You do get the replay as well. It’s also free. Again, head on over to nataliebacon.com/motherhood.
I created this specifically for those of you who do listen to the podcast. So if you’re listening, that’s you. Grow You members, you will get this uploaded to your portal as a replay. So no need to attend if you don’t want to. What else? I think that’s it. Let’s dive in to how to empower yourself.
I have a five part process that I’ve been teaching in Grow You, and I’ve also been coaching with this tool. I thought I need to bring it to the podcast so you all have it and can use it in your everyday life. It is so, so good. So if you are not able to write this downright now, replay this later and write it down. It’s so good.
I’m going to go through the elements of a disempowered mindset and then in an empowered mindset, and then I’m going to talk with you about examples. So a disempowered mindset means that you are blaming someone else for how you feel. You are focusing on things that you can’t control. So what other people are doing, what other people are saying, how other people are feeling. You are rejecting reality.
You’re thinking that something has gone wrong. That it should be different. You are arguing with what is. You’re focused on the problem. You’re dwelling, you’re ruminating, you’re not making any traction, and you’re feeling stuck because you’re problem focused. Lastly, you are fueled by emotions that are fear based, such as fear, anxiety, or worry.
Those five parts to this disempowered mindset will leave you stuck, will leave you finding your challenges so much more difficult than they need to be. You’ll likely feel like you are unable to get some traction to move forward. It sort of seems like what you’re going through is the only way to experience it.
Contrast that with the five parts of an empowered mindset where you take emotional responsibility, meaning you know that how you’re feeling is caused by what you are thinking. You focus on things that you can control. So regardless of what someone says or what they do, you shift your focus back to you and focusing on your thoughts, feelings, and actions. You accept reality. That means even when it’s challenging, even when you wish that your kids were different than they are, you say back to your brain, you know what? This is who they are supposed to be.
I want to accept that because the next part of it is being solution focused. It’s saying okay, this is the way it is. This is reality. Now what? What kind of short term solutions, long term solutions, other types of solutions can I come up with here so that I’m not stuck in dwelling?
Lastly, it’s being fueled by positive emotions like confidence, openness, expansion, love, curiosity, possibility. So those are the five elements. Hopefully, you’re able to write them down. Now, I want to talk with you about some real examples because it seems so obvious and useful when I go through that, but the real power happens when you apply it to your life.
So for each of the five elements, I will walk through a short example. Example number one, I get this a lot. My husband irritates me. What do I do? How do I practice mindfulness when I’m feeling irritated about something that my husband does? If you are in emotional blame, you will think that it is your husband who’s actually creating the irritation.
This makes sense because growing up we are not taught that we create our feelings. We are taught that other people create our feelings. So you have to unlearn that because it’s just not true. So taking emotional responsibility means that you say I feel irritated when I think my husband shouldn’t say something like that, or whatever it is that your husband’s doing. But it’s you thinking the thought that’s creating the irritation.
It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel irritated. That’s a key distinction here. It doesn’t mean that you’re doing it wrong. You can’t feel irritated. The key here is just to see that you’re the one creating the feeling of irritation. The first step is really being open and curious about that. Like that’s so interesting that my brain is doing that.
Part two, focusing on what you can control. Let’s take the example of your child’s grades. So if you are in a disempowered mindset, you will be tracking that homework app and confronting the child trying to get to the bottom of why the child isn’t turning in the homework. You will be focused very much on what you can’t control, which is your child’s actions and whether your child does the homework.
What you can control, if you shift to an empowered mindset, is how you want to show up as a mom given what your child is doing. So if your child doesn’t turn in his or her homework, how do you want to show up? Do you want to have expectations? Do you want to have a conversation? Do you want to not care at all? Do you want to do something else? You can do whatever you want. You want to just make sure that you’re doing it from a place of focusing on what you can control, which is always only you.
Part three is accepting reality. I was coaching someone recently inside Grow You about her teenagers who were not listening to her. She had the thought my teenagers shouldn’t listen and respect me like I see other teenagers doing in other families. This is a terrible thought for this particular client because it was disempowering her. Why? Because her teenagers weren’t listening, and they weren’t respecting her.
So when she accepted that, she became much more empowered because that was what the reality was. So it sounded like this. My teenagers shouldn’t always listen to me and respect me because they don’t, and I choose to see that as a sign of them being really confident and independent. That’s amazing. Now, I’m also going to have some expectations and consequences, and decide what I want to tolerate in terms of how I’m spoken to. But I don’t need to make that mean anything about me as a mom.
Do you see how that’s very different than rejecting reality and kind of getting into that comparison trap? One is very empowering, and the other is very disempowering. One leaves you stuck. One leaves you very capable of moving through the challenge.
The next element is whether you’re focused on problems or solutions. So in a disempowered mindset, you are problem focused. You might say something like I don’t have time for self-care. Life seems so busy right now. It honestly always does. When is this going to end? It’s dwelling on a problem and not looking for the solution.
This is actually something that can become a little bit addictive. If you don’t have a project or something for yourself that you are working on, it can be easy for people, particularly if you identify as Type A, to always find another problem. So interesting. It’s like your brain needs a goal or something to be future focused about to let go of the little problems that you are experiencing.
Now some of them are problems that you want to be problems. Others of them are so little that you may choose this isn’t a problem at all. Either way you want to be focused on solutions and saying it’s not a problem at all is one way to look at it as a solution. Otherwise, in the example of thinking that you don’t have time for self-care and thinking that life is really busy right now and feeling like it’s always busy and you’re feeling stuck, which is disempowering.
You could shift that to the empowered mindset of I notice I’m busier than normal. Let me take a look at my schedule. Let me plan some self-care for the upcoming week or two and make sure I prioritize taking care of me so that I can show up as the woman, wife, and mom that I want to be.
It can be as simple as that where you are noticing your thoughts. Are they focused on the solution, or are they focused on the problem? It can feel very indulgent to focus on the problem, very useful, but it gets you nowhere. It just keeps you stuck in that space. It’s not energizing or inspiring at all.
The last part is the emotion fueling you. Let’s say that your toddler is having some tantrums. When your toddler experiences the tantrum, are you fueled by anger, irritation, and rage thinking that you have to have a toddler who does not have a tantrum for you to feel calm? Thinking that your toddler has to listen to you for you to feel calm? Or are you thinking that I can be calm. I can be present and open and loving and provide guidance and help for my toddler to learn the skill of emotional regulation. I know this is going to take much longer than I expect. It’s okay. I expect them to have tantrums. I can only control how I show up.
Again, this is something that if you’re not in the habit of it will seem a little bit tricky at best or impossible at worse. But I promise you, there have been so many of my clients who have gone from really quick to snap and be irritated to then feeling calm and present and a little bit more like they’re in control of their own emotions when their child is seemingly out of control. When they’re dysregulated, in other words.
So those are the five parts of a disempowered and an empowered mindset. I have one additional client example that I want to walk through with you as an example that covers all five of the parts of a disempowered and an empowered mindset.
So this client wrote into me inside Grow You. She said, “Can you please share some advice on how to relax when you’re with your kids? I have a five and seven year old, and I feel like I’m always on guard regarding their behavior when I’m with them around other people. I know I can’t control their behavior, and they have their own agency, but I’m having a hard time letting go of staying on top of their behavior, making sure they are being polite and not annoying other people. I feel embarrassed if I don’t like the behavior that occurs. Like I’m a bad parent.”
Okay. So from a disempowered place, this client would focus on the kids’ behavior and trying to get her kids to change and always be polite, and make sure that no one is ever annoyed. There would be no plan for when that doesn’t happen. There would be no clear expectations or clear consequences set ahead of time. There would be a lot of worrying about what could happen. Instead of enjoying time together out in public as a family, the client would end up almost a little neurotic. Like worrying about all of the what ifs and therefore unable to enjoy herself and relax.
So one option is if I’m not hyper focused on my kids’ behavior, then the opposite must be true. I just don’t care about their behavior, and they are rude to other people. I let them be rude and nothing happens. Those are not the two options.
So what you want to do is get to an empowered mindset where you meet yourself in the middle. It’s not that you care so much that you’re trying to control it, or you don’t care at all that you’re ignoring it. It’s somewhere in the middle where you care about it, but you also know there’s only so much you can control, which of course, is only how you show up.
You come up with some scenarios with solutions, i.e. when your kids aren’t polite, as kids sometimes aren’t, what do you want to do? How do you want to handle it? Do you want to say something to the people who they were not polite to? Do you want to ask them to say something and apologize? Do you just want to leave? These are all choices that you can make, but you don’t have to do them from a place of feeling scattered or embarrassed or like you’re a bad parent.
From an empowered mindset, this client would focus on having expectations that are clearly communicated to the kids and consequences, not from an authoritative I’m trying to control you place, but from a we’re on the same team. I know you’re a good kid and capable place.
And knowing that there aren’t going to be some times where kids don’t follow the rules, and having predetermined solutions for what you want to do as the parent when this comes up, when this happens. I.e., do you want to leave? Do you want to have one of the parents, you or your spouse if you’re married, take one of your children to the car where you talk with him about what happened and go over it and then rejoin you? There are infinite options. That gets into more of the parenting side of it that you can decide on for yourself.
Here, I want to get you into the most empowered mindset so that you take action from the most empowering place. Most people want to just know what do I do. But I’m telling you, you will know what to do when you get your mindset in the right place. When you have clear expectations, when you know truly that sometimes kids aren’t going to be polite and it means nothing about you, you can enjoy yourself.
You don’t feel embarrassed when behavior occurs from your kids because you’re not thinking their behavior is a reflection of me as a mom. You know that their behavior, it’s a reflection of what they are thinking and how they are feeling. You, as their mom, are there to help them feel their feelings. That’s a lifelong skill.
So, of course, at five and seven years old, they’re not going to have that down yet. Your options are approach this in an empowered way and not make it mean anything about you, feel disempowered and embarrassed, or just hide inside and never go out, which of course you’re not going to do.
So I recommend, of course, getting into that empowered mindset where you don’t feel embarrassed because you’re not thinking that your children’s behavior is a reflection of you as a mom, even if someone else thinks that. They’re just wrong. Their behavior is always due to what they’re thinking and feeling. You, as a mom, are helping them regulate and feel their feelings, and you’re not doing it perfectly and that’s okay. It goes back to that 50/50 mom. 50% amazing and 50% hot mess, and that’s okay.
So getting your mindset in this place before you go out with your kids will be so empowering, particularly if you’re used to feeling embarrassed or worried or unable to relax. You’re a little bit anxious. You’re a little bit worried about all the what ifs. Like, what if my child is impolite, and other people are annoyed?
Well, that’s likely going to happen at some point, and it’s totally fine. I know that I’m doing my best. Sometimes that’s not great. Sometimes it’s amazing. I’m still going to enjoy my time out with my kids as a family because that’s who I want to be. That’s how I want to show up. It takes intentionality because on default our brains do not do this.
So having an empowered mindset will help you navigate your daily challenges, as well as show up as the mom you want to be. It’s a framework that you can take with you into your real life. I hope that you will. I would love for you to join me at the Motherhood and Mindset Reset workshop so I can coach you on your specific questions. I can apply this, and we can take a look at what’s going on for you. Again, that’s at nataliebacon.com/motherhood. I’d so love to see you there. Until next week, my friend bye, bye.
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.