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What you think, you become. Heard that quote before? In a world of instant gratification, everyone wants to change but no one wants to change themselves.

Think about something in your life that you have wanted to change or didn't like. Do you hate living in the north where there are long cold winters and little sun? Do you hate your job with a passion and wish that you could do something else? Are you unhappy with the way you look?

If you are dwelling in unfavorable circumstances right now, what specific choices put you there? Or what choices have you not made that are leaving you stuck there?

You can either choose your life or life will choose you. It all comes down to locus of control: internal versus external. Locus of control refers to how much control you feel that you have over the events and situations that take place around you. You may not be able to control certain circumstances that happen to you in your life like illness, cancer, job layoffs etc. but you have control of how you react to it.

With an external locus of control, life happens to you. You take no control over anything that happens and find every reason not to be held accountable to the circumstances in your life. It is always someone else's fault. You don’t have money because the economy is bad, you can't find a better job because they all require experience, you are overweight because of genetics or slow metabolism. All of the reasons are external to you therefore suffocating your personal responsibility by your own prison of excuses.

If you resonate with any of this, that’s ok. The first step to change is awareness. Think about social media. How many posts do you see daily about someone complaining about life circumstances? Or maybe it is you that is always complaining. If so, that is ok. How many of those people are doing something to change the situation? That's a scarcity mindset. Thinking one has no control over their life (and projecting it onto others).

So the question stands: how do you shift from having an external locus of control (aka scarcity or fixed mindset) to having an internal locus of control (abundance mindset)?

1. Focus on what you have and what is going well. If you keep saying you are broke and can't afford things, sit back and take a look at your bank account. Swallow your pride and take a hard look at all of the things you may be spending money on that are considered non essential. Eating out, fast food, food delivery, clothes, things on amazon that you may not absolutely need, trips to target, subscriptions that you may not even use. Think about the fact that you have a pillow to lay your head on at night and a roof over your head. When you focus on these things you will notice there is much that you do have control over and perhaps your situation may not be so doom and gloom.

2. Surround yourself with those who have an abundance mindset and internal locus of control. It is rare that you will see me complaining on social media. Why? Because it does not serve me any good and only perpetuates negative energy and the victim mentality; all of which is scarcity mindset. Does it mean that I don't have personal struggles in my life? Of course not. We all have struggles. I choose to handle those struggles in the confines of mentors, my husband, close friends and God. You are the sum of the five closest people around you so choose your friends wisely. Are they building you up? Are your friends allowing you space to learn and grow as a person? Do the habits of your friends align with who you are and the habits you would like to have? Take some time to reflect on these questions.

3. Create win-win situations. Someone with a scarcity mindset believes that if one person wins, another loses. Try to create win-win conditions in your life to combat this manner of thinking. Look for ways for both parties to leave with a sense of accomplishment and a better feeling about the relationship. Consider practicing this in both your personal and professional life. This often means listening without judgment, fully understanding what a win-win means for both of you, and brainstorming solutions until you find one that satisfies both parties. The following is a really simple example of a [retrospective] win- win situation. You go to get a haircut and your usual stylist is out. You agree for someone new to cut your hair. You tell them what you would like and when they finish with your hair you realize it is about six inches shorter than you asked. Your initial reaction may be to get very upset that you are having to pay for a service that was not performed correctly. You tell the hairstylist and she apologizes for the mistake and tells you that she just graduated from cosmetology school and is still learning. Heres the win-win: you helped her get more experience and because of your honesty with her, she realizes the mistake she made and learns from it. You walk away with shorter hair than you are used to but realize it is summer and shorter hair is actually easier to manage. Who knows, you may grow tho love this new shorter length! Win-win!

4. Incorporate gratitudes daily. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough”(Oprah Winfrey). It’s very difficult to feel fear or sadness while feeling grateful at the same time. Practicing gratitude is one of the best ways to improve well-being. The easiest way to do this is to make a routine of writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for every day. If you struggle in the beginning, focus on the most basic things like air to breath and the ability to have sight. To get you started, you can download your free gratitude journal here.

5. Allow your mind space to get creative and think about best case scenarios. Where your focus goes, energy flows. If you have tried and failed to lose weight more times than you can count, it may feel next to impossible to imagine the best case scenario of how you would look and feel once you reach your goals. But this truly is the key to success. Once you can envision it, you can create action steps. Create a plan and start moving towards that person you want to become.

The next time something happens to you and you feel helpless or hopeless, zoom out from the situation. What are the facts? What can you change about the situation? If you can't change anything at all, you must accept what is and move on. Allow your mind to shift focus on things in your life that you can change and pursue that.

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