HI! I’m Jennifer. Coffee addict, dog mom, wife, avid reader, creator, big scary dream chaser, anxiety slayer, and chocolate lover. I am many things (blogger, handmade shop owner, social media management agency owner, biz and mindset coach – and those are just my jobs), but for many years, the only “thing” that dictated my life and most of my days was the crippling anxiety and depression I had.
It’s only in looking back that I can actually see just how bad it was… in the midst of it, I thought I was just a little bit sad. HA!
Most of my anxiety started when I was a teenager. I was sick and couldn’t get anyone to take me seriously. I also battled bullying, self-image and weight issues, but those typically took a back seat to the struggle I had with the limitations of my body and health. For 10 years I fought my body on my own, not knowing why things were the way they were or what I was doing wrong. If it wasn’t for the most amazing Physicians Assistant that finally HEARD ME, there’s a good chance the disease I was battling would have gotten the best of me.
Shortly after getting a diagnosis and finally starting to feel better, I met a cowboy, fell head over heels in love, and got engaged – all in less than a month! 5 months after that, I left everything and everyone I knew and moved to Texas.
And that’s when things got worse.
You’d think that a major life change like that would be a good thing, and in many ways, it was the beginning of the best things… but there is a reason they say, “its darkest before the dawn”. Being so far from everything I’d ever known, having no true purpose or even a job, started me on a really dark journey.
I spent a lot of time obsessing about worst-case scenarios, stressing over minute details and waiting for “the other shoe to drop”.
Then one-day things got SO BAD, that I couldn’t help but see how dark my thoughts were. I had a startling moment of clarity during one of the worst panic attacks I’d ever had. I remember clearly thinking to myself… “WHO AM I? I don’t want to be this person anymore!”
In that moment I told myself to find one thing that could fix or control or do. It didn’t even have to be related to the thing I was so anxious about… it just had to be something that was totally under my control and could be completed.
“Find one thing” became my mantra of sorts… when the anxiety or depression would hit I would tell myself to find one thing… one thing to be grateful for, one thing to be happy about, one thing I could do, one thing that was totally in my control.
This is where my mindset transformation started… and I didn’t even know it!
Every time I made a conscious decision to focus on just one thing, I was training my brain and reformatting the negative mindset habits I had developed for so many years. The more I focused on the good, the happy, the things I could manage and make happen, the more I WANTED to focus on those things!
I started journaling, at first, it was more of a “brain dump”, where I would just write out any and every thought that would cross my mind. Then I started recognizing thought patterns and writing about the things I wanted to focus on. I decided that I needed to try new things. First, it was yoga, then deep breathing exercises, then meditation. I started changing my self-talk, first, it was internal, then It became external. All of these played a big part in the mindset transformation I had.
It’s been 5 years since this journey started, and I know it’s a journey that I will be on for the rest of my life. I still have to make a daily decision to look for the happy, positive and bright. I still have to make the choice to focus on one thing when I have my moments of struggle. But, with time and practice, these choices have become almost as natural as breathing!
A mindset transformation isn’t a one-time action, it’s not a quick process or easy path. It takes time, dedication and determination to retrain your brain and develop new thought habits. It’s a lifelong journey.
And now I help other entrepreneurs create their own mindset transformations!
If you’re ready to start your own mindset transformation, these are the basic things you’re going to need to make it stick!
If you’re not fully committed to doing whatever it takes to get to where you want to be, you’re not ready for your transformation. DECIDE right now that you’re going to make this change, no matter what!
One of the best things I could have done for myself at the beginning of this journey was to hire a coach. Kelly was technically my “health coach” but she pretty much became my “all of Jennifer coach”. She’s the one that pushed me to start journaling, to try meditation and to take my lazy butt to yoga. She called me on my junk, held me accountable and encouraged/pushed me when I needed it most.
You can say you’re committed all you want, but if you’re not also WILLING to be real with yourself, try new things and push farther than you thought possible, nothing will change.
Your mindset transformation starts with a single choice, a single step towards change… Your best life is waiting for you on the other side of that first choice!
Jennifer is a Mindset and Business Strategy Coach, Blogger, Handmade Shop Owner and Maker, and operates Jayne Media – a social media management and virtual assistant agency for creative entrepreneurs. She fully believes in living her best life NOW and encourages her clients and other creatives to do the same. When she’s not occupied with her entrepreneurial dreams of world domination, you’ll usually find her on a blanket in the backyard with a good book, a cup of coffee and her 3 dogs.