Diversify Your Life: Overcoming Closed Mindedness

Diversify Your Life. Overcoming Our Closed Mindedness, Megan Hall, Women's Empowerment Coach, Motivational Speaker

I grew up in a small town in Upstate New York. Diversity wasn’t really something that existed in my life as a child. This was before internet was easily accessible and social media was not a thing. Everyone around me seemed to have a relatively similar mindset and agreed on majority of things. It wasn’t until as an adult I married my husband and moved hundreds of miles away that I started to realize that I had a very closed minded way of thinking.

One of the biggest problems was I didn’t have a whole lot of diversity in my life as a child. We didn’t travel much and being raised in a predominantly white/christian area of the country there wasn’t much diversity. Many of the people my parents surrounded themselves with were like them and thought like them. This meant I saw those opinions, beliefs, and feelings as “right” not realizing until much later in life how wrong some of them could really be.

How did I overcome the closed mindedness of my upbringing? It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t easy. It’s something I am working on every, single day. I mean that was over 20 years of my life. That kind of closed mindedness takes time to overcome. There have been a few things that have helped me along the way.

How to overcome your closed Mindedness

1) Don’t only surround yourself with people like you. That’s the problem because if we surround ourselves with people who think, act, and look like us it’s impossible to see other perspectives. 

2) Realize there are many ways to get to the same solution. We are brought up in a one right way society where there is only one way to get to the answer. Well 5+5= 10 and 7+3= 10 too!

3) Identify your inherited prejudices. Did you learn growing up to judge or discriminate against a certain group of people? Were you ever taught to stereotype certain groups of people? Identifying these prejudices will help you overcome them. You may not even realize they are there!

4) Understand that you don’t know what it’s like to be someone unless you have been in their exact shoes. Often times we misunderstand or misinterpret things because we don’t know what it’s like. Why would __________ do ____________? That makes no sense. It makes not sense to us because we don’t know what it’s like to be them.

5) Check yourself often. Ask Am I coming from a place of kindness, empathy, and compassion? or Am I coming from a place of negativity, condemnation and judgement? We often don’t even see our prejudice and judgement when it’s occurring. 

Diversity is what gives life it’s flavor. It would be such a boring world if we were all cookie cutter versions of each other. Many times we don’t even truly realize our own closed mindedness because we have been that way OUR ENTIRE LIVES. Don’t be too hard on yourself during this process. It’s not perfect and it takes time.

We are automatically drawn to people like us because it makes us feel “normal” and more connected. I want to challenge you to actively seek out people who aren’t like you. Maybe they are of a different race, sexual orientation, employment status, lifestyle, religious belief, etc… Instead of trying to change them, convert them or make them feel like their opinions aren’t valid try understanding their perspective. Listen to what they have to say and open your mind a little bit at a time. That doesn’t always mean you will change what your think, feel or act but you can learn to respect how they do

It’s going to take time to overcome something like this that has been developing over many years. The key is to always be mindful of what we say, post, or think in our every day lives. For example:: I would always say I hated Wal-Mart and talk about the type of people who shop there. It wasn’t until my husband pointed out my prejudice that I realized I was stereotyping a group of people because of where they shopped. It seems pretty silly now but that was only a couple of months ago.

Immerse yourself in new information. Allow yourself the opportunity to get to know people different than you. That doesn’t mean you have to change who your best friend is but it does mean allowing yourself the opportunity to get to know new perspectives. Help be the change in a world that desperately needs it. Remember as always YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

 

Think Before You Speak

Think Before You Speak, Megan Hall, The Inspired Women Podcast

Communication issues is one of the top reasons relationships fail according to Psychology Today.  Our words can be used as weapons against each other. So often we don’t think before we speak instead we speak from pure emotion. Words can also be very wonderful tools in conveying love and empathy even soothing someone when they have experienced pain or heartache.  Word don’t have to be the bad guy.

Many of the problems I see on social media and in society stem from piss poor communication. Instead of taking time to think through what we are going to say we just say whatever comes to mind. Now in no way am I saying we shouldn’t speak our truth. I’m all for speaking your truth. We need to take time to properly articulate what we want to say so it’s aligned with what we mean. Basically take some time to think before you speak. There is a time, place, and word for everything.

We never know how our seemingly innocent comments might effect another person. Recently I posted on Facebook about the comments I recieve about my overflowing cart at the grocery store. To this day despite the massive amounts of personal development I have done it still bothers me. It’s not as bad as four or five years ago when I was barely holding it together and a comment like that would have completely unraveled me. We just don’t know what another person is going through and sometimes it’s best that we just keep our comments to ourselves.

How you can think before you speak

1) Always keep judgement out of your mouth. No one has the right to place judgement on another person.  Our judgments could dramatically impact another person and not in a good way.

2) Ask yourself ” Do I really need to say this?” or “Is this really necessary?” Most of the comments that cause problems are completely unnecessary. 

3) Is what you are going to say authentic to you? Many times we get ourselves in trouble by saying things that are completely not aligned with who we are. 

4) Avoid saying things from an emotional place. When we angry, sad, or frustrated we often say things we don’t really mean. 

5) Remember you can’t take words back. Once they are out there they are out there. Do you really want to be remembered for saying that? Even a social media post will stay alive after you delete it due to people’s memories and screen shots. 

Now like I always say don’t beat yourself up when you say something you shouldn’t have. We all make mistakes. The best thing is to apologize for it and do your best not to make that mistake again. People’s perceptions often dictate how they take what we say. I’ve both offended and inspired people with the same words.  At that point in time all we can say is “That’s not how I intended that and I am sorry that I hurt you with what I said” The rest is up to them.

This world could be a much better place if we all just took the time to think before we speak. On multiple occasions I have posted on social media out of hurt or frustration and that never turns out well. By checking what I am going to say with the steps up above I am far less likely to negatively impact others with what I say. I want the same for you. Let’s aim to convey kindness, empathy, and compassion .

If you need support on this please reach out. I have helped many of my clients with their communication not only to other but with themselves as well. Remember as always YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

 

Success is a Journey Not a Destination

Success is a journey not a destination, Megan Hall, The Inspired Women Podcast

We’ve all thought it… when I am successful i will _______. We often see success as an end point vs an on going pursuit. Success is a journey not a destination. There will never be a time that we get to a point and say “Here is success and I am done” . As humans we are always striving for something new, it’s what makes life so exciting and wonderful.

Instead of enjoying the journey of success we get caught up in the hustle trying to reach it. Through all the hustle we miss out on some of the most amazing parts of our journey. Ever seen someone “successful” that is completely unhappy with their lives? I have!  There are many I have envied for their success. I’ve even thought “Someday I will be just like them.”  It took me awhile to realize I really don’t ever want to not enjoy the journey of success.

How Can We see success is a journey not a destination?

1) Never stop pursuing new goals and dreams. When you achieve something then that leaves room for you to achieve something new. 

2) Give yourself a break. We cannot always be on the go, go, go, go. That leads to burn out, panic attacks, physical ailments, and exhaustion. 

3) Learn from the twists and turns in your journey. The path won’t always be smooth, straight, and paved. Some days it will be bumpy, some days it will be turning this way and that, and some days you’ll be tripping over roots.  There’s a lesson in all of it.

4) Don’t be afraid to take the path less traveled.  We often think we have to do everything the way everyone else is doing it.  We often assume that must be THE way because everyone else is doing it that way. Just because it’s everyone else’s path that doesn’t mean it’s YOUR path.

5) Leave room for change.  As a journey not a destination there will be change along the way. Maybe a new path opens up, maybe the old one closes down, or maybe a different path looks more interesting than the one you’re on. 

When we think of success as a journey it makes pursuing it more exciting. We release the pressures to “achieve” success by a certain deadline. Instead we are more willing to explore and expand. We also avoid the let down after achieving our goals. The exasperated “what’s next?” so to speak. Instead we excitedly wonder “Where Can I go next?”

Enjoy the journey. Remember your success is defined by you and not those around you. Joyfully pursue what sets your soul on fire. Don’t let others dictate what path you need to take or where you need to go next. Only you know where you want to go. The possibilities are endless.

Need help on your journey? Grab a spot in my the next Inspired Women Mini Group. Remember as always YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

Create Your Reality

Create Your Reality, Megan Hall

There are many times in my life I have felt helpless. I thought there was nothing I could do about my life. Those sort of thoughts quickly had me tumbling into a bout of depression. I would literally shut down and tune out the worl. I didn’t realize there was anything I could do. At the time “Create Your Reality” wasn’t even in my vocabulary.

There are definitely things we cannot control like the weather, other people, or time. But creating our reality doesn’t mean we control everything it means we control ourselves.  Our decisions, our actions, and our words create our reality. They may not always create immediate change  but with time they can effect our life.

Many times we don’t want to make decisions or take action because it’s difficult. I always tell my coaching clients the decisions they need to make and actions they need to take are simple but not always easy. It’s not always action that can effect our reality but inaction as well.

What can you do to create your reality?

1) Decide what kind of life you want to live. What does your ideal life look like? 

2) Ask yourself what is standing between you and that reality. It can be people, careers, your mindset, etc…

3) Identify the actions or decisions that you have made or not made that have created your currently reality. This is helpful so you can avoid repeating the same mistakes.

4) Ask yourself what you need to do differently to create your new reality. What steps do you need to take to achieve your ideal life?

5) Enlist help and take the first step towards your new reality. Continue to move forward  and be mindful of your decisions, thoughts, words, and actions along the way. 

As adults we have a certain amount of control over our reality.  Many times we give up on pursuing a new reality because we find the journey too hard or it takes too long or we don’t believe we can create  a new one. Yes it will take time and that may be a long time. Results don’t often happen overnight. Instead of focusing how far you have to go focus on how far you’ve come. Every step is a step closer to your ideal life.

This might require hard decisions because nothing worth it is ever super easy. You might have to let go of some people. You might have to make some major life changes. Would you rather be hoping ten years from now that your life was better or would you rather be ten years closer to your ideal life? The choice is up to you.

Remember every words, actions, decision or thought will take you one step closer or one step further from your ideal life. But don’t be hard on yourself. We all make mistakes. Sometimes it’s a two steps forward one step back kind of deal. The key is you learn, grow, and continue to push forward.

As always never forget YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall

Dear Beautiful Soul Shut Up And Love Yourself Already

Dear Beautiful Soul Shut Up and Start Loving Yourself, Megan Hall

Do you ever hear it? That loud voice inside your head that tells you that you’re not good enough? Me too! After over 30 years of developing that voice it’s sure hard to rid myself of it. I don’t think I ever will.

That negative self-talk is something EVERY woman struggles with at some point in time or another. Even the most confident, well put together woman has a negative voice that speaks up sometimes. I know it’s  so hard to believe especially when we are so talented at looking like we have our sh*t together all the time. We don’t. No of us do.

We are our own biggest critics because we have spent our entire lives together. No one knows us like we do. We know the inner workings of our own minds; the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Every judgment we’ve placed without ever saying it out loud. Each lie we’ve told and never shared with others. All of the not so awesome thoughts and actions we have had in our ENTIRE lives are bouncing around in our minds. It makes it diffcult not to judge ourselves.

How in the world do we combat this voice then?

Retrain Your Thoughts
  • Identify your negative thoughts. Ex: I am a bad mom
  • Reframe them into something positive. Make sure the reframe isn’t something totally unbelievable to you Ex: I am a good Mom
  • Look for evidence that your reframe is true. Ex: Look for all the evidence that you’re a good mom
Fill Your Mind with More Positive Thoughts
  • Unfollow & unfriend those on social media who’s posts fill your with negativity
  • Limit your time with people who feed into your negative thoughts
  • Say affirmations every morning. You can grab your free positive affirmation recording HERE.
Shut Up And Just Love Yourself Already
  • Forgive yourself for all the things you have done in the past. It’s the past, you can’t go back and change it.
  • Make a list of all the things you love about yourself and look at it frequently
  • Invest in things that help you learn, grow, and love yourself more

That sure is a lot right? Take it one step at a time. These are the very things  I have utilized to combat our negative inner voices. Do the easiest things for you first and then move onto the more difficult ones. Remember you have spent your entire lifetime feeding into this voice so it will take quite some time until it’s no longer loud and demanding all your attention.

Need more guidance on positivity and self-love? Check out these blog posts:  My Inner Critic Is A Mean B*tch,  Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself , & The Best Relationship You Can Have.   You can also join us in the most positive, supportive, community on Facebook THE INSPIRED WOMEN COMMUNITY for more support. 

Always remember YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!

XoXo

Megan Hall