2 Mindset Tips For When Life Is Out Of Your Control
We've all heard the accepting things out of your control quotes. But it's one thing to say it...and a whole different thing altogether to actually do it. When covid quarantine happened in 2020, most of us were forced to face this concept more than ever before.
There were so many things outside of your control during this time.
And, like, really outside of your control. To the point where sitting and waiting was the only option.
Just like many other careers that were halted due to not being able to leave the house, my life as a professional runner jolted to a stop. Practices were barely allowed to happen, let alone actual competitions which is the whole point of being a runner.
In conversations about "how the heck will us runners get through quarantine?!", I realized that a lot of what I was going through applies to anyone, in any situation in which things are greatly out of their control.
These are two tips for accepting things out of your control and getting through it that I thought most worthwhile to share. Read on for these mindsets you can have next time you feel as if there is nothing you can do about a situation!
1) Ask Yourself This: How Can I Come Out Of This Better?
These tips go for anyone in any situation, but since I used them in my experience as an athlete, that's the lens that I'm going to be speaking through.'
So as athletes, we're constantly pondering the question: 'How Can I Be Better?'
How can I drop my PR? How can I lift heavier weights? How can I get the school record?
If I've learned anything through sport, it's that the pursuit of "better" has:
no final result
no clear path
Some paths we take to make ourselves better fail, others work. And for someone else, it might be different.
And there is no end to the pursuit of greatness. You reach one goal, you set another.
I didn't see quarantine as an excuse to stop going for this greatness.
We may have lost access to gyms, to teammates, and so much more, but as usual, there is no end to the desire to get better.
I chose to ask myself,
"How can I come out of this better?"
I literally sat down and thought about it... and I think doing this has actually helped me find comfort in a crazy situation that was entirely out of my control.
The next time you feel the weight of a situation, try shifting your thoughts to think this way.
Instead of focusing on all the reasons you're being held back, focus on what you can do despite the fact that you're being held back from something.
Back to my athlete example.
I could have spent all of my energy ruminating on the fact that I couldn't practice with others to work on race pace. Instead, I chose to focus on what I could do, which was come out of quarantine with new body maintenance habits, specifically core and back/hip mobility.
Of course, I have always worked on these areas as a part of my fitness routine, but I wasn't happy with my level of commitment and consistency. Now was my opportunity to make it a priority.
Maybe I can't tell you exactly how to accept bad things in life, but this simple tip is a really good way to move in that direction.
2) Find a Creative Outlet
Creative outlets save lives.
I stand by that. It's such a necessity in life.
But because other wellness things are a little more obvious, like eating correctly, for example, creative outlets tend to get pushed to the side.
Oftentimes creative outlets are purely that. They're not making money or seemingly benefitting you in another way.
But there are many reasons why having a creative outlet is key to living a happy and healthy life.
Finding fun, creative ways to express ourselves gives the brain a break.
For many years, the pressure I was feeling from my financial situation and track pursuits, left me using my downtime to continue to think about the busy, stressful parts of my life.
Having a creative outlet gave me a goal outside of normal life pressures and time to partake in something enjoyable.
And what's more enjoyable than seeing a final product after working hard on it??
When things feel out of your control, find things to do that you can control. What can you create, from start to finish, with your own desires and own ideas?
A new hobby or another creative pursuit will give you something to piece together and strive towards and hopefully take your attention away from the thing that you can't control right now.
Because, after all, you can't control it right now, and wishing that you could won't change anything. Put your energy towards another creative project and you'll start to feel in control and confident again.
Redo the decor in your living room, find or create new recipes, buy a set of paintbrushes.
Give your brain a chance to do something fun and freeing.
Plus, people who prioritize creative habits, tend to see a boost in success in other parts of life... so why not.
3) Make One Promise To Yourself Every Day...And Keep It
Sometimes it's hard to separate whether something is actually out of your control or if you're just not doing what you "should" be.
You spend time wishing that you could change the reality of something that's out of your control. Or you blame yourself for not being able to "fix it."
And this can result in a lot of self-mistrust.
I didn't know that this was a thing until recently, but it is. We stop trusting ourselves for various reasons, and when you don't trust yourself you can:
focus on negative self-talk
stop trying new things
Basically, a lot of not-so-great things can happen when you don't trust yourself. And it's usually not obvious that this is happening.
That's why one thing that helps me feel more in control is this amazing tip I learned:
Promise yourself you'll do one thing each day. And keep it.
It can be as simple as:
make the bed
go for a hot girl walk
buy yourself a treat
clean the bathroom
When you see things through that you tell yourself you're going to do, you subconsciously boost your confidence.
As the promises grow into something bigger, you'll realize you're so capable of doing great things! And you know when you go for things that you can trust yourself to see it through.
Why does this help when things are out of control?
Because it reminds you that you're in control! You're in charge of making things happen. You say something, you do it.
It's baby steps, that's for sure.
But I promise it grows into something huge!