Map Your Mindset

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I’ve completed my radiation treatments. Wohoo! I’m now a breast cancer survivor so all the treatments are done - chemotherapy and radiation is done. Celebrate with me and give me a high five!

You can watch the video or read the post (note: the homework is not in the video)

I want to share with you an idea that came across as I was driving into my radiation treatments every day. I’d drive into the city for an hour to receive a treatment that lasted about 10 to 15 minutes, and then drive back home for another hour. This made me realize that I was motivated to do this because it was important to me and my health, so I could get better. I was willing to drive in every day, for a month, for only 15 minutes of treatment!

Why is it that we can’t have this same mindset for simple things that are important to us or good for us, yet we don’t do it because we’re too busy, too exhausted or feeling lazy? I did some research in my NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) books and found there’s a process where we can map our mindset!

When the pain is there, we are motivated, but when the pain is not there, we dismiss the idea and tell ourselves that it can wait.

Take exercise, for example. There are many people I come across that have difficulty with taking the time to become more active. Yet, I’ve come across people who love to exercise, because it’s a part of their identity and therefore, they make it a priority.

Now, I’m not preaching about exercise. I’m using this analogy to show you that you can map your mindset to make something challenging, easy to do.

I was motivated to go for treatments and it’s easy to drive in and get it done, therefore, could I use this same mindset for things that I procrastinate on?


Here’s another example - if you have an appointment with a physician, you just get in the car and go. You do that because it’s important to you. Therefore, couldn’t you use the same motivation and mindset to say to yourself, “Today, I’m going to go for a walk, today I’m going to a Zumba class, today I’m going to get that thing done that’s sitting on my desk.”

I like what my colleague and recent breast cancer survivor, Cindy Troast, said when she viewed the video (she explains it so well):

“My takeaway is - we all have things that we are committed to. For example, cancer treatment. We go to our treatment even though it may be annoying or inconvenient, because if we don't keep that commitment, the consequences could be severe. And we all have things in our lives that we commit to, not just medical treatment. So we have evidence that we CAN follow through if we are motivated. We need to take that mindset of follow through and apply it to exercise, healthy eating, etc.”

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Here’s your homework

1. Take 2 pieces of paper. Labe one “EASY” and label the other “CURRENT”

2. Place both papers on the floor

3. Find 3 examples ( a great one is brushing your teeth or a hobby) of things that are easy to do and for each one fully imagine yourself doing the thing that feels easy.

4. Step on the paper labeled “EASY” and repeat step 3.

5. Notice all the good feelings and really get your whole mind and body into the state of how easy that thing feels to do.

6. Now map across these “easy feelings and state” to the thing that you find challenging to do. Say to yourself, “Take this easy way of thinking into my current state”.

7. Now step on the paper labeled “CURRENT”. You may seem a little confused, but that’s okay as your mind is getting used to this new way of thinking.

8. As you stand on the “CURRENT” paper feel the new way of doing things that are now easy because you have the resources. Imagine doing the activity that you found challenging to do. Imagine doing it tomorrow, in a week, in a month. Notice how it feels to do that activity now.

9. Step out of the paper and wait for 30 seconds.

10. Step back on the “CURRENT” paper and test again by repeating step 8. If it works great! If not repeat all the steps because you have to ensure that you mapped the same feelings for “EASY” into “CURRENT”

The idea behind this strategy is to re-pattern your thinking by taking the feeling you get when you do something really well and mapping those feelings over into something that feels challenging. Let me know your results!

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