In the heart of the love month, I thought it would be appropriate to explore our fantasies. As children, we fantasize about what we want to be when we grow up. Some wanted to be doctors while others wanted to be farmers. I personally wanted to be a famous dancer and vocalist. I remember typing (on a typewriter) all the words to "You Give Love a Bad Name" and singing to all my friends on a corded phone thinking I was going to be the next Bon Jovi.
We learn from the adults who we see each day whether at home, at school, dressed up in uniforms, or on our television sets. Some children dream of the wedding they want to have while others dream of the cars they want to drive. We even fantasize about the partners we want to be with based on our crushes/relationships or how relationships should work based on what we see daily with the people that surround us. As adults, we learn from our mentors and leaders of those who we respect and who inspire us to be better people.
Have you ever heard the saying, "don't make faces, unless you want your face to stay that way?" or "you are what you eat"? What if I said, "You are what you think about". Does this resonate?
Our mind is a very powerful part of us. We control our thoughts whether we know it or not. I should have a family by now. Nobody likes me. I inspire many. I look fat. I look beautiful. I am weak. I am strong. I gain weight if I even look at food. Food is my energy. I'm a failure. I'm a success. I'm a monster. I'm a good person. I can't do that. Watch me!
Any of these sound familiar? These are just some examples of the thoughts I've had throughout my personal fitness journey. In this blog post, I am going to share ways to conquer our thoughts by exploring the following: fantasies vs visions; perceptions vs. realities; ways to build positive energy through our minds; commitment; setting boundaries; and adapting to change.
Fantasies vs. Visions
I look at fantasies as unobtainable dreams. As a child, I would fantasize about being the girlfriend of Ricky Schroder from Silver Spoons. He was pretty hot (cute was the term back then) as a young girl, just saying. I fantasized about being a famous Broadway Dancer and Singer even though I couldn't hold up a pirouette for very long. At the end of the day, these were fantasies of ideas that most likely would not come true.
Visions, on the other hand, are what we see and envision for ourselves whether building short-term and/or long-term goals. Visions are similar to fantasies; however, our dreams are more realistically obtainable. Have you heard the following questions "Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?", "What do you want to accomplish by next year?", "Where do you want to travel?", "When are you getting married/having children?" These visions, unlike fantasies, are what we see in ourselves and what we want to become a reality.
When we create a vision, it is an obtainable plan for ourselves in which we want to achieve. So, how do we bring visions of ourselves to reality?
Perceptions vs. Realities
Perceptions are judgments whether our thoughts of other people or of ourselves. Perceptions, at times can be confused with reality, if focused on too much. Perceptions are not always real. I say that because sometimes perceptions are true based on our personal intuition; but most perceptions are created through our minds of what others think of us and how we view other people vs. the truth. For example, I may think someone looks at me and thinks I talk too much. I might look at someone and think they are unapproachable because they're always in a bad mood. What is dangerous about perceptions, is if the perception is not true, we might change our behaviors to meet the perception of what we want people to see in us vs. being our authentic selves.
In the example where I perceived that someone thought I talked too much, I might have changed my behavior to not talk around that person. I might have quieted my thoughts and ideas; however, what if that person really enjoyed learning from me and was inspired by what I was able to bring to the table from my words and past experiences? How might the actions in what I perceived change the reality of the situation?
Realities are just that, they are what is real in the moment. By bringing our authentic selves to the table, we are shaping who we are in the moment. Our lives are developed from each minute we live our lives. We can be that loyal employee who wakes up and makes it to work on time each day. We can be a mother who is committed to making sure there is food on the table for her family. We can be a father who doesn't always need to be strong but can show some vulnerability when things aren't going his way. We can be a friend that is there to listen and help when someone is in need. We can be the successful leader we envisioned ourselves to be.
So how do perceptions and realities play a role in building out our visions? How do we envision ourselves? Where do we want to go is based on how we live our lives in the real world. We need to remove the false negative perceptions of what people think and lessons we have learned throughout our lives, and build the realities that will help us to move forward in the present based on our individual values and beliefs we have created for ourselves. How do we want to represent ourselves? Who do we want to be? Who will be there to support us? What will bring value to our lives we are building for ourselves? How will we show up to be the best version of ourselves daily?
Building a Positive Mind: