Let’s talk about Mantras again. Today’s post is a follow up to last year‘s post about my favorite mantras.
If you haven’t read it yet (or recently) I shared the ways that I come up with my mantras and some of the ways that I use mantras in my everyday life. Last year’s post isn’t a pre requisite to what I’m sharing today. You can finish reading this, then read that post next.
When I re-visited that topic, I was pleasantly surprised at the outline the four different ways that I usually come up with mantras. That explanation made me wonder is that how I came up with these most current mantras that I have been using lately? The answer is no, not really. Everything has shifted slightly. Seasons change. Mantras change.
Last year, as I considered my favorite mantras, I noticed I used them more as affirmations. This year, as I think about the phrases that readily come to mind for me that I’m now categorizing as mantras, I think of these phrases, more of answers to questions that I frequently ask myself.
Changes in Mantras from Previous Years
My mantras have evolved a little since last year. I do still notice myself using my old tried and true mantras pretty reflexively. The reason for this mantra update episode is that I am noticing these new answers popping up for me so regularly. I am noticing that they come to me differently than before. In fact, one of these mantras specifically isn’t so much like an affirmative mantra statement, as it is a theme or a concept that I frequently remind myself of and try to put into practice.
How I Use Mantras Differently Now
The mantras I told you about last year seemed to be a little more intentionally decided upon and thoughtfully repeated either due to a specific circumstance or event or because I specifically wanted to feel a certain way. The phrases I’m sharing with you today seemed to have bubbled up for me as I’ve been living my life this year. One of the reasons they’ve come into my awareness and now I’m labeling them as mantras is because of how often I find myself thinking about them and using them, usually in response to my own inner dialogues.
Live My Life
The first one is a three word expression. And sometimes I change the pronoun, depending on how I’m using it, but the most basic version of it is: live my life. This one came to me as an answer to a frequent question that I remember contemplating, so often in the beginning of 2021 when I was reconsidering and contemplating what I wanted for myself.
I was thinking about what I wanted for my business, how I wanted my life to be, and what I should be doing.
I would frequently ask myself “if I’m not overtly trying to grow my business, how will I be spending my time?” I would wonder to myself “if I’m not going to focus on this thing that used to be important to me, what am I going to be focusing on?
The answer that often came to me, most likely from my inner wisdom, is live your life. See, there’s an example of how the pronoun changes depending on who is speaking (even though it’s always me speaking). Sometimes, when the answer is coming from my inner wisdom, the pronoun becomes “you.”
When I remind myself of that mantra, and I tell myself at a more surface level, not quite as deep as going deep into my inner wisdom, then the mantra becomes live my life.
This mantra has been so reassuring for me. It’s been an invitation to slow down. Let go. Allow. Release. Not worry. Not try to control. Not try to predict the future. Remembering this mantra has definitely helped me to not have quite as many expectations for myself and not have quite as many judgments, as I might have in previous years.
Using This Mantra Now
As I’m thinking about how I use this mantra now, I’m remembering different snippets of conversations and discussions where things that I used to be completely interested in, and motivated by such as goal setting, or strategic planning, or coming up with an outline for something and then following it to the letter aren’t quite as important or don’t need to be quite as specific as I used to think they needed to be.
This year, 2021, has really showed me that I don’t need those planning and control implements as much as maybe I relied on them in the past. This mantra gives me the freedom and space to experiment a little bit more and to notice and slow down and observe a little bit more than, maybe, I had ever allowed myself to before.
Live your life has been the answer to a question, both to myself when I ask myself: “What am I going to do? What should I be doing right now? How will I spend my time? How do I want to spend my time?”
The answer to all of those questions in my internal dialogue is live your life. It’s been an answer that I can readily call up in conversation with friends and family, when people ask me: “What are you doing? What are you up to? What are your plans coming up here?” A previous version, of me who was more concerned with goals and plans and achievements and numbers, that person would have needed to show that I am making progress or am in the process of making progress. She would want to prove that I’m reaching my goals that I’m hitting my targets.
I’m Living My Life
But doing the surrender work that I’ve been doing, allowing and letting go, now, with this new mantra, I love just to answer “I’m living my life.”
That is 100% a complete answer. I don’t need to justify it, I don’t need to attach outcomes to it. I don’t need to show how worthy that answer is because of number of clients, or episode downloads or bank account balance or the number of hours worked. I really can just give myself and anyone who’s curious the answer: I’m living my life.
Set For Life
The second mantra also has the word life in it so maybe there’s a little bit of a theme here. This one has been a mantra for me for quite a while now and, again, this one usually comes to me in the form of an answer.
When I’m having some doubtful or worrisome questions that sometimes pop up in my mind, this mantra is my reassurance.
I may have referred to or alluded to this mantra last year when I was talking about how I repeat to myself frequently that I have plenty of time, plenty of money and plenty of energy so this mantra is right in alignment with that belief system.
I think I really solidified this as a mantra for myself in the early months of 2021. I was making little art project for my new office that I had just moved into and the art project involved using some of my favorite phrases, expressions and words. And so this mantra made it to the art project and it is: Set for Life.
The reason that this comes up as an answer to some worrisome or doubtful questions is, sometimes, like I’m sure we all do, I have some less than helpful suggestions from the judgy part of my brain. It says things like, “you’re not doing enough, you should be doing more, you should have more. Your business should be further along than it is by now. You should have more money in your account by now. You should have made different investments. You shouldn’t have left corporate. You shouldn’t be running your business the way that you are right now.” Uggh! Annoying, right?
All of these kinds of thoughts, the worrisome questions or suggestions also come up when we get unexpected news about our household or our lifestyle, such as needing a new roof, or when the air conditioning needs to be repaired or replaced or an unplanned for tax bill.
Whenever I notice those worrisome or judgy suggestions, the answer that I’ve trained myself to give is “I’m set for life.”
I can remind myself “I’ve got this.” I don’t need to worry about money. I don’t need to worry about the future. I’m set for life.
And I really believe that I really am set for life. I intentionally choose to really truly believe that.
I want to point out here that it would be equally possible for me not to believe that. It would be equally possible for me to believe the opposite which is, I’m doomed for life, or I’ll never have enough.
I think there are people in this world who consistently think those thoughts in answer to the judgy or fearful questions that might creep into their minds in the darkest moments.
I just really consider myself lucky. Having this belief as a mantra is further proof that I am set for life because I have intentionally programmed my brain to answer that way and believe it.
That belief reassures me and keeps me thinking the way that I want to think. It keeps me acting the way that I want to act from a place of abundance and possibility instead of fear and scarcity.
Money Keeps Coming
One fun note to add on to the I’m set for life mantra is the delightful phrase I say to myself whenever I receive any type of payment or refund or whenever I find even the smallest amount of money. I tell myself: Money keeps coming to me. I write that on the top page of my calendar at the beginning of a new month. I mentally repeat it to myself when I see an interest payment on one of my accounts. I love to find and create and point out evidence for myself that money does keep coming to me and I am set for life.
So Many Options
The next mantra is probably my most used, both internally in my own dialogues with myself and externally, as I talk with friends, family, and I would guess my clients are probably really accustomed to hearing this mantra. I probably say this multiple times in every coaching conversation. This mantra is: I have so many options.
This one is so fun for me because it is also a departure from the former me’s belief system.
In the past, I probably believed that there was a right answer. My past self was very concerned with finding the smartest answer or at least the most efficient solution.
You could call this dichotomous thinking. It’s very binary. I was probably thinking: there’s a good and a bad. There’s a right and a wrong. It works or it doesn’t work.
Now I see that there are so many variables besides just those polar opposite pairs. I now see that yes, maybe there’s a “right” answer but maybe it’s not only one right answer. Maybe there are 100 or 1000 or 1 million right answers.
Abundance of Possibility
Giving myself that opening, and that abundance of possibility is also liberating and freeing. Believing the mantra, I have so many options, helps me to get out of the mindset of worrying about choosing the right one or the wrong one.
Believing in endless options eliminates the fear of missing out on the best solution or the most efficient option. When I think to myself “there are so many options,” it really removes my own internal resistance of being afraid to choose or being afraid to experiment. Thinking there’s only one right way keeps me from going all in on something, for fear that it’s not the right thing.
Knowing I do have so many options removes the necessity to have the smartest answer.
What do you think? Can you feel the openness and possibility of believing there are so many options for you?
Give What I Want
The last mantra that I want to tell you about today is the one that is not fully formed into a mantra. It’s more of a concept that I rephrase that I repeat to myself and I pull up often in a lot of different scenarios.
This is more of a way that I like to act versus an exact set of words that I use in answer to my own questions.
This concept does stem from an expression that I heard earlier in the year that really struck me and I couldn’t get it out of my head.
I just kept on finding ways to bring it up and use it and I even mentioned it earlier this year when in the Odds and Ends episode.
The phrase is “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.”
I found that phrase to be so true and such a great reminder. It is so applicable in all kinds of different situations.
Does Snacking Solve Boredom?
Here’s how that works: If someone is snacking out of boredom, they can never get enough handfuls of chips or popcorn or whatever it is. They can never get enough of that food to cause them to not be bored. That’s the expression: you can never get enough of what you don’t really need. What our snacking friend needs is not food. They need something to engage them or entertain them or activate their own thinking. They don’t need food. So, the more food that they shovel into their mouth is not going to solve the “problem” that they might not even be aware that they have.
That’s an example of how that phrase plays out. You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.
This works with a lot of different things. In relationships, if you’re looking for validation from other people and so you’re people pleasing and you’re trying to get people to like you, and you want admiration or adoration from other people, that is not really what you need. What you really need is belief in yourself and self love and self worth. Even if the entire population of this planet told you:
You are worth it.
You are good.
You are great.
You are beautiful.
You are talented.
You are smart.
If you do not personally believe those statements about yourself, all those sentences are just like putting those chips in your mouth when you’re feeling bored.
The thing that you need is your own belief in yourself. As much as you try to get from other people, that is still not answering what is missing.
You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.
The Opposite Concept
That whole explanation and example is just background information to set up the actual mantra that I am using and loving. It’s the opposite of the concept I just shared. I can give what I want and need.
When I notice that I want something, let’s say that I want appreciation, I try to look for where I can give appreciation. Yes to myself, sure why not? I can look for ways I can appreciate myself.
But more specifically, I try to look for where I can give appreciation to others. How can I give what I want and need?
When I’m thinking I want or need to feel appreciated, I know it’s time to think about who am I appreciating so much lately? Who am I so grateful for?
Maybe it’s time that I send a text, or write a card, or even just make an entry in my gratitude list. I can give outwardly what I want inwardly.
A Precise Example
Here’s something a little bit more precise. If I want people to recommend my podcast more, I can consider how I can give that.
I can decide to give more podcast recommendations of other podcasts to my friends and family since that’s something that I want. I want people to recommend mine so let me do that for others. I use this concept in so many different ways.
I use this in relationships. I use it in my business and networking. I use this in doing favors. If I wish people would do me favors, I try to think “what favors can I do for other people.
I don’t have any statistics or data to show you that this results in me getting what I want or need. I haven’t even really tried to track that or notice if that happens or not.
What I do know is that this concept makes me feel like I am doing something instead of nothing. If I notice myself wanting or needing something, when I give that thing that I want or need, It puts me in a position of feeling like I’m taking action.
It shows me that this thing that I want is possible.
It reminds me that if I’m able to do this for someone else, then, of course, someone else is able to do it as well.
Understanding the User Experience
Sometimes giving what I want more of even illuminates for me why I might not be getting what I want or need.
Maybe what I want is more potential coaching clients. I know there are people out there listening or aware of me and they’re thinking about having a coaching relationship with me but they just haven’t started yet or they’re just not sure.
I really want them to reach out and have a sample coaching call with me or take the next step or schedule coaching.
If that’s what I want, then I can think to myself: how can I give that to someone else? Is there a service or a product that I’ve been watching from the sidelines? Is there something I’ve been thinking about? Am I curious about a service that I haven’t taken the step to reach out or figured out how to get started?
When I realize that, I can actually take that step and then I learn so much. I might learn that someone else’s process is so easy. That causes me to think, is my process that easy? Or, I might find their process confusing or hard to get to? Is my process confusing or hard to get to? By taking that action of giving someone else something that I want, I benefit by getting a great exercise in user experience.
Would you ever consider giving what you want? Can you see how this could apply in your life, and at work? Or in your relationships? Or in business?
Do you have any resistance to giving what you want more of to someone else?
Resistance to New Mantras
What about any resistance to any of the other mantra examples I shared today.
Do you tell yourself to just live your life?
Do you know that you are set for life?
Do you agree that there are so many options?
Or, what mantras have been meaningful to you lately?
Are there any mantras you would love to see on a notebook or journal?
I’m working on designing my own planner and calendar for 2022 and think I’ll put the Live Your Life mantra on the cover.
Let me know if you want to be planner buddies with me and get one for yourself.
I also have a few notebooks with various mantras already created, for example:
I already have a prompted workbook called Love your Life (which is also based on a podcast episode from last year too).
There are also notebooks that say:
Happy, Thank You, More Please.
Whenever possible, be kind – and it’s always possible.
Go get it, Wild Child!
Plus, there’s one called “I am Magnetic” which is a wonderful mantra to frequently remind you how attractive you are!
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If you have an idea for a mantra that you would love to see on a notebook, let me know in the comments below.