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The Origin Story I Didn't Want - How I Learned to Change My Mindset

I have a reputation for being positive, inspiring, solving problems, and getting the things I want. While that's a nice rep to have, it's not how I felt for the first half of my life.

My brain did not naturally find the positivity or opportunity in most things when I was a child and up through college. I had a series of life events that made me think it was me against the world, where I had to fight through everything with force. It was very Taylor Swift's "you're on your own kid"--if my life was going to change, it had to come from me and me only.

And I really wanted to feel better. About everything!

Ironically, the life I had after college was also full of challenges, more than I had ever dealt with before. Being unemployed while pregnant, getting underpaid in demanding jobs, my husband battling cancer, taking care of our son while on government assistance, three-hour daily commutes, a car accident that kept me from writing for three months and took a whole year before I could type without pain...just to name a few.

But once I was out of school and in what adults coin as "the real world" (hate that, by the way), I did realize that I was the only one who could change the way I interacted with the events around me.

Things got worse before they got better. It was as if the universe said "bet" and asked me to prove my new commitment to changing my life.

This hard-won origin story of challenges helped me re-wire my brain to look for anything that could help me feel better about where I was in my life.

Without realizing it, one of the first steps I followed was to bring awareness to how often I thought negatively.

Your mindset is a reflection of more common thought patterns. Thought patterns are simply habits.

You can change your habits with awareness and repetition. If you don't realize you have a pattern, changing it is harder.

As soon as a negative thought jumps into your head, recognize it as not helpful. Sometimes we need some time to honor that something sucks, but once we acknowledge and feel the emotion, it's okay to move on without saying you are bad for having or feeling the negative feeling.

We don't want to ignore that bad or inconvenient things can happen in our lives, but we don't want to stay in the space of feeling it to the point where it becomes a detriment.

Once you see the feeling, acknowledge it, then you try to combat that thought with a rebuttal statement.


  • Today has been such a bad day, but at least I had a good night’s rest.

  • I have an illness, but I know more about it now that I did before.

  • My hair looks horrible today, but at least my acne has cleared.

  • My shirt is ruined now, but I am grateful that only my shirt was stained with coffee, I could have burned myself dropping it.

  • My account overdrafted again, but I'm paying more attention to my money now and I know this will be a more rare occurrence.

The idea here is that once the thoughts come into your mind, it isn’t going to go away. Instead of trying to stifle it down (which usually makes that thought simmer and grow larger), let it come out while quickly coming up with a positive rebuttal statement.

With time, you’ll start to only see the good and the bad parts won’t come as easily.

I hope this will help you start an attitude of gratitude!

If you want to learn more about rebuttal statements, read Stronger Now by Rebecca K. Sampson.

How are you liking the more frequent updates? What mindset practices do you want me to address?


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