Here’s a question for you: Is this what you want to be doing? Can you ask yourself this question consistently throughout the day today and see what happens? What do you think would happen if you did ask that question and stayed mindful to what you found out about yourself? The initial question, from Martha Beck, is designed to get you started on the path toward change.

Change is a slow process and one that can’t be rushed, no matter how much we may wish for it to happen sooner. Changing a behavior, such as drinking water rather than soda, is only effective over the long haul if it’s a change we want to make otherwise we spend our time saying, “this is OK but I’d really rather have that soda…that soda looks so good!” Psychologist call it making a shift from an external locus of control to an internal locus of control; once we choose something the process of shifting is much easier!

When we begin to ask the question “Is this…” we begin to actually slow down enough to make different decisions or gain insights. In turn this allows us to start on the process of shifting our mindset. So how is this important to you? Shifting mindsets is how changes are made!

Many of our personal and professional behaviors were born from any number of influencing factors; we likely buy the same toilet paper our parents did because we’re most familiar with it, we return phone calls quickly because we once lost out on an opportunity when we neglected to do so. In beginning to ask how or where these behaviors came from we allow ourselves to be open to making a different decision.

In pulling this question out further we can also start to look at our Thriving Practices and, perhaps, make different decisions about how we operate within that frame. In looking for my own office space I asked if being in a suite with other Independent Mental Health Practitioners was what I wanted. Turned out it wasn’t! I wanted to socialize with professionals from different backgrounds, access to business-oriented products such as high-speed copiers and technology and a waiting area that didn’t scream, “mental health issues treated here!” What did I end up getting? Space I share with lawyers, e-commerce gurus, event planners and stock brokers, a waiting area with an amazing fish tank and no hint of mental health services provided within. I love it. It works for me. It works for my clients.

So I’ll ask you again, is this what you want to be doing? In reading this newsletter post you’re already beginning to shift your mindset. Where will you head to next?