This article, "The Mind is a Battlefield," originally appeared on the blog September, 2016. Check out Minda discuss losing her confidence in 2013, and how to work on becoming your greatest cheerleader. Keep scrolling for some additional tips to boost your self confidence when you feel anything but.
By: Minda Harts, Founder, The Memo
I spend a lot of time flying for work, and overhear a lot of conversations. Not long ago, I overheard a passenger talking about regret, and how it's a silent killer. That statement about regret immediately teleported me to 2013, when I had one of the toughest years in my career to date. I’d made a decision to work somewhere that paid extremely well, but no amount of money had prepared me for how difficult that year would be. When I thought back on it, I felt like I wasn't strong enough, wasn't good enough, and was clearly a bad decision maker. I prayed. I cried. I tried so many things to make myself feel better. I felt like I was the furthest thing from perfect!
When things go wrong or do not go as planned, why is our first instinct to put ourselves down?
After my 2013 flashback, and once I felt better, I made myself a promise. (My promise voice sounded a lot like Viola Davis' character in The Help.) No more self-shaming! I made a vow that I would no longer be my own worst enemy. Most of the time we don't need others to put us down, because we do a good job of that ourselves.
God-willing, we all live long lives with our minds intact. While our mind remains intact, we have to train it for success and support.
Here are three practical tips on how to train your mind to be your greatest cheerleader.
1) Meditation: This comes with time, practice, and dedication. Headspace is a great resource for mindful meditation. And you can conveniently download it on your phone for free. Try it out for a few minutes a day when you need to give your mind a recharge.1
2) Picture Perfect: Find a picture that reflects strength and power. Set it as your screensaver. Each time your mind starts to drag you to a place that isn't productive; look at that picture! A subtle yet powerful reminder of how awesome you are.2
3) Power Anthem: Music is therapeutic and not too expensive. Each week, pick a song (or a few songs) that uplifts you and trains your mind for success. It is the little things that make a big difference towards personal wellness. This week, I have three songs: Beyonce's Schoolin' Life, Chance The Rapper's Blessings, and Eddie James' House of Prayer. They put me in such a great mood, I feel like I could dance down a Soul Train line. Don't forget the happy thoughts!
These practical habits will help you with little to no self-inflicted, self-shaming. You deserve to live a peaceful and productive life, without your mind constantly terrorizing you. Make a promise to be good to yourself! It all starts in your mind.
1 If you're interested in learning more about meditation and mindfulness, check out Black Zen, a company committed to making meditation more accessible to black and brown communities. And while you're at it, check out the podcast they did on career development where we were guests!
2 Speaking of creating a picture of strength and positivity, as another option try asking a trusted friend or colleague who knows you well how they see you at work. Our friends are often our biggest cheerleaders, and you'll find that even when you're feeling at your worst, your friends see you as a rockstar.