Learn the five elements of a disempowered mindset and the five elements of an empowered mindset so you can get unstuck and move forward in any challenge.
Whether you’re struggling with littles, fighting with teenagers, or feeling irritated by your spouse, the Empowered Mindset formula will help you feel better so you can show up as the mom you want to be.
Welcome to Mom On Purpose, where it’s all about helping moms overcome challenges and live their best lives. My hope is by being here, you are more inspired to become the mom you are made to be. I’m Natalie, your host, a wife, boy, mom, dog, mama, Chicagoan, and former lawyer turned professionally certified coach. If you’re here to grow, I can help. Let’s go.
Hello my beautiful friend. I am so happy to be here with you today and I’m so happy to be doing this work with you. I was just noticing that I’ve been applying these tools so much in my personal life. I really cannot imagine living without them, particularly doing motherhood without them. It is one of the most incredible growth journeys and like all growth journeys, there are ups and downs and having the right tools and feeling really empowered to navigate those challenges is what makes it possible without losing your mind, it really does make everyday life more manageable, easier, more fun, more enjoyable, and really gets you unstuck.
So I just have gratitude on my heart. Thank you for being here today. I want to talk with you about one of my favorite tools. It is a five part process that I teach inside the Mom On Purpose membership, and I also have been really using it personally in my own life and I thought that I want to bring it to you here on the podcast so that you can use it as well. So I recommend writing this down, or you can head on over to the show notes, click on the link and you can download the transcript and you’ll get the five steps of a disempowered mindset and of an empowered mindset because the more that you’re able to kind of, um, have these memorized, the better you’ll be equipped to use this tool.
So I’m going to go over what the elements are and then also go through some examples so you can really see how you would apply this in your everyday life. So there’s the disempowered mindset and then the empowered mindset is the inverse of it. So I’ll go through the five elements of a disempowered mindset. First. The first element of a disempowered mindset is that you are in emotional blame. You think that how you are feeling is someone else’s fault. The reason that you feel resentful is because of your husband or the reason that you feel frustrated is because of your mother-in-law. And all we’re doing here with these elements is noticing that these are going to keep you disempowered for your sake. It is of course, normal that your human brain that’s healthy is going to first blame your emotions on someone else. But you know from listening to this podcast that thoughts create feelings.
So what happens in your life, what happens in your circumstance does not create how you feel. You create how you feel, but your brain is wicked smart as I like to say. And that means that it creates these feelings automatically on default. And just knowing that is really helpful because then you can question it for your sake and really change. So emotional blame is the first element of a disempowered mindset. You’re blaming someone else for how you feel. The second element is you focus on things that are outside of your control. Specifically you’re trying to control mother-in-law so you can feel better. Mother-in-law is outside of your control or you’re trying to control your spouse and of course spouse is outside of your control or maybe your kids are struggling in school and so you’re trying to control what’s going on at school and kind of get to the bottom of things.
Anytime that your brain is focused on things that you can’t control, which is everything that other people are doing and saying and feeling, all of those things, you will feel very disempowered. This can even come up in really seemingly positive ways. So for example, if your child is feeling sad, how often do we try to make them feel better? We try to fix their feelings. And then sometimes what they do, because they sense that is they make their feelings bigger, what they’re saying is, you’re not seeing me mom, so I’m going to make this feeling bigger. That’s because you’re focusing on things you can’t control. You can’t control if your child is feeling sad. I am able to handle my strong-willed son’s tantrums so much more effectively because I don’t try to control his frustration. I just allow him to be frustrated, which of course he’s going to be frustrated anyways.
That doesn’t mean I don’t care about it. Of course I care and of course I validate him. But there’s a huge difference between validating him and trying to change him. So if you are focused on things you can’t control, like trying to change how your kids feel or trying to change what’s going on in the neighborhood or something just outside of what you can control, then you will feel very disempowered. The third element of a disempowered mindset is rejecting reality. You are thinking that something has gone wrong, that things should be different. You are arguing with what is that is what happens when you are really rejecting reality. The fourth element is when you are problem focused. So instead of coming up with solutions, you are just dwelling on the problem. You might be venting to your husband about your sister-in-law and you’re just going over and over and over everything that happened again and again and again and it’s making the problem bigger and more dramatic and it’s really seemingly useful, but it’s actually not useful and it really keeps you stuck in that disempowered place.
And the fifth and final element is that when you check in with your body, the emotion fueling you is something like fear, anxiety, worry, resistance. It’s a negative emotion that isn’t useful. So kind of a side note, there are negative emotions that are useful. So my dog was sick recently and I was sad. I want to feel sad when my dog is sick. I don’t want to feel happy about that. That’s a useful negative emotion. But here I’m talking about when you are fueled by something like fear or anxiety or worry, that leads to all of that ruminating and and stuckness that keeps you disempowered. So those are the five elements of a disempowered mindset. Number one, emotional blame. Number two, focusing on things you can’t control. Number three, rejecting reality. Number four being problem focused. And number five, being fueled by fear or other negative emotion that isn’t useful.
The reason that a disempowered mindset is so harmful for you is that it disempowers you. And what I mean by that is it keeps you stuck. It will create, um, kind of this low grade misery for you and it will feel like it’s impossible to navigate the challenge that you are currently facing. Whether that is something as small as your husband keeps eating your favorite snacks, or it’s something that is much bigger and more important in your life, it doesn’t matter if you are doing any of these five elements, then you will feel disempowered and you won’t be able to move forward. You’ll probably think it’s because of the circumstance, but really it’s because of one of these elements. So contrast that with the five parts of an empowered mindset where you take emotional responsibility. This means that you know that how you’re feeling is caused by what you are thinking.
You are witnessing your kids fighting at bedtime and you say to yourself, I’m feeling really frustrated and I know it’s because of what I’m thinking. And that’s okay. I can feel frustration. It doesn’t mean that you never feel frustrated or that you’re all of a sudden this robot, but instead you just take responsibility for how you feel. This is a game changer. The second element is that you focus on things that you can control. So regardless of what someone else says or what someone else does, you shift your focus back to you and you focus on who you want to be, your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. So for example, if your mother-in-law says, I really think you should be disciplining and punishing your kids, it’s not trying to correct mother-in-law. It’s not trying to, um, make her know that she’s wrong. It’s not trying to get her to be different and understand your way.
Instead it’s just focusing on who you want to be. And it might take you a minute to come up with who you want to be in that scenario when Mother-in-Law says those things. But when you focus your attention back on you and showing up as the daughter-in-law that you want to be, it is life changing because it allows you to really let go of what you can’t control. I promise you, and you probably know this, if you are a control enthusiast like myself, when you try to focus on things you can’t control, you really will feel a little bit crazy because it never works. And this goes not just for Mother-in-laws for your own kids. And this can sound very lovely as well. It’s trying to, you know, um, help your kids behave in a better way when they’re in public. Maybe you’re out to eat and you’re thinking, if I could just get them to be polite and say please and thank you and not throw food at each other and trying to control them really will leave you feeling disempowered.
Now, people often think that when I say this, what I’m saying is you should just not care and let your kids throw food at each other. That is not what I’m saying. But what I am saying is that when your kids throw food at each other, you don’t try to get them to be different. You don’t think thoughts like something’s gone wrong, they know better. Instead, you focus on who you want to be when your kids behave in that way. You probably want to be a mom who maybe removes what they’re throwing or takes them outside and talks with them about what’s going on for them. But the best parenting strategies where you show up connected and sturdy and strong and compassionate and whatever other emotion you want to feel are going to come from you controlling you when you feel frustrated and out of control, that is when you feel disempowered.
Like you can’t figure out how to get someone else to behave differently. I call it like get my child mode or get my husband mode. Whenever you’re trying to get someone to do something, you feel disempowered because you’re focusing on things that you can’t control. When you are in an empowered mindset, you focus on what you can control. So you ask yourself, okay, given what’s happening in my circumstances, who do I want to be? How do I want to think about this? How do I want to feel about this? And then what do I want to do? Okay, the next element is that you accept reality. This means that even when it’s challenging, even when you have this tendency to wish your kids were different than they were, you say back to your brain, you know what, this is exactly how it’s supposed to be. I didn’t anticipate this, but this is who my kids are supposed to be.
This is exactly what is supposed to be happening. How do I know? Because it is what’s happening. This doesn’t mean you’re glad it’s happening, but it does mean that you accept what’s happening. It’s sort of like, okay, this isn’t my favorite thing, but I accept it. This really removes any resistance almost immediately can be really, really powerful for um, any kind of challenge that you are going through that you didn’t anticipate. Maybe your kids are struggling at school and you really didn’t see this coming. Instead of having a thought that rejects reality like this shouldn’t be happening, instead it’s, oh yeah, of course this is happening. This is supposed to be happening. How do I know? Because it is happening. And now what? That is a much more accepting place to be in and you’ll be so much more empowered when you kind of really do accept exactly what is.
The fourth element of an empowered mindset is that you are solution focused. it’s saying, okay, given what’s happening now, what, where do we go from here? So often when you are feeling really disempowered, you will have default thoughts like, I don’t know. I don’t know what to do next. I don’t know how to solve this. There’s no way out. It can feel very stuck. This is again, a normal part of the human brain, but when you kind of take a look at it through this framework, you can catch your brain, you can catch yourself, and you can shift from I’m stuck. There’s no way out. I don’t know what to do. Just ever so slightly. And it will help you move forward. For example, instead of thinking, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to get out of this, you can just add the word yet, I haven’t figured this out yet, but I’m working on it.
I’m going to put my brain to work on some solutions. That slight shift in your thinking will completely change your experience. It will keep you from feeling disempowered. You will feel much more empowered and capable because you are capable, my friend. No one is coming. You are the one. And that is a beautiful thing. And the last element of an empowered mindset is that you are fueled by useful positive emotions like self-confidence. So those are the five elements of an empowered mindset. You take emotional responsibility, you focus on things you can control, you accept reality, you’re solution focused and you’re fueled by useful positive emotions like self-confidence. Now let’s go through a client example from the Mom On Purpose membership platform. Just so you know, there is a 24 7 written coaching forum, which means that you can come in anytime day or night and write in to get coaching.
And the answers are published publicly within the site, but they’re published anonymously. And I cannot tell you how helpful and connecting it is to read through some of the coaching submissions. So number one, you don’t feel like you’re so alone because you’re not. But this is just so incredibly validating. And number two, so you can see how these tools are applied to different scenarios and you can use them in your life, even if the example is slightly different. It’s really, really powerful. So here is one of the submissions that I think is a really good example for using this framework. The submission reads, can you please share some advice on how to relax when you are with your kids? I have a five and 7-year-old and I feel like I’m always on guard regarding their behavior when I’m with them around other people I know I can’t control their behavior and they have their own agency, but I’m having a hard time letting go of staying on top of their behavior, making sure they are going to be polite and not annoying other people, I feel embarrassed if I don’t like their behavior that occurs like I’m a bad parent.
Okay? So I can totally relate to this because on default that human brain of ours, the healthy human brain really caress about what other people think. And that means it’s going to look outside of us for approval because approval means we’re doing a good job, but for obvious reasons that you can quite clearly see that really leads to us getting our own validation for our goodness from things we can’t control. So it really will leave you feeling disempowered. And I want to go through the elements. So if this was a challenge that you were facing, this is how you would do it. You would go through each of the elements like we’re going to do here from a disempowered place. This client would focus on the kids’ behavior and trying to get her kids to change and always be polite and then make sure that no one is ever annoyed.
There would be no plan for when that doesn’t happen. There would be no clear expectations or consequences set ahead of time. There would be a lot of worrying about what could happen. Instead of enjoying time together out in public as a family, the client would end up almost a little bit neurotic, trying to control what’s outside of her control, like worrying about all of what ifs and therefore unable to enjoy herself and relax. So one option is if I’m not hyper-focused on my kids’ behavior, then the opposite must be true. I just don’t care about their behavior and they are rude to other people. I let them be rude and nothing happens. But what I want you to see is that those are not the two options. So what you want to do is get to an empowered mindset where you meet yourself in the middle.
It’s not that you care so much that you’re trying to control it because it’s outside of your control or that you don’t care at all that you’re ignoring it. So if you think of a spectrum, those are two opposite ends. It’s a little bit of all or nothing thinking there where you are either trying to control their behavior and obsessing over it or you’re just completely ignoring it. In the middle is where you care about their behavior, but you also know that it’s outside of your control. And your job as mom is to control yourself and to teach them and to hold boundaries. You also get to decide what you make their behavior mean about you. And on default you will make their actions mean whether you are a good or bad mom. This is not advisable for obvious reasons. You are an amazing mom.
Their behavior has nothing to do with it because you can’t control their behavior. You are doing a really great job and you can continue to teach them without making it mean that you’re doing good or bad. Now, let’s take a look at this exact example from an empowered mindset. From an empowered mindset, this client would focus on having expectations that are clearly communicated to her kids as well as the consequences. But not from an authoritative, I’m trying to control you place, but just from a place of I’m on the same team as my kids and this is how I want to show up. I want to teach them what I want to teach them, and I have confidence that they’ll do their best even when their best is pretty bad. And I don’t need to make that mean anything about me as a mom. And I know that there are going to be sometimes when my kids don’t follow the rules, they don’t do what I teach them, and that’s okay.
I can validate their feelings and hold boundaries. I know that they are learning and growing and they’re not supposed to be perfect. And that means that sometimes people might get annoyed and that’s okay. I know that that’s coming from what they’re making it mean about them and about the world and about how kids should be in public. And that’s okay. I don’t have to try to be a certain way or be perfect or turn my kids into robots. So other people never get annoyed. I don’t have to feel embarrassed. I can just let other people feel how they want to feel. Out of the momen, when you are doing your own self coaching, you can ask yourself, do I want to feel embarrassed when my kids act like kids? If the answer is no, then you can create intentional thoughts that you can practice so that you don’t feel embarrassed.
Remember that embarrassment isn’t coming from what your kids do. That’s emotional blame. You’re delegating your emotions to your kids. Instead, feeling embarrassed is coming from what you’re making. It mean I’m a bad mom. Other people think I’m a bad mom. I can’t believe they’re doing this in public, whatever. It’s so the story that you tell yourself creates the emotions that you feel. So taking an example like this, you can go through each of the five elements and see how if you’re creating disempowerment for yourself, it would be really unhelpful versus if you get to an empowered mindset, you’re going to feel so much more capable and you’ll have a completely different experience, even if your kids act exactly the same. That is the power of using a framework like this. So the next time that you are experiencing a challenge, ask yourself, am I in emotional blame?
Am I focused on things I can’t control? Am I rejecting reality? Am I problem focused? Am I fueled by unhelpful emotions? And if the answers are yes to any of those, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or you’re doing it wrong or you should judge yourself or anything like that. It just means that there’s an opportunity for you to increase your capacity to grow. And you can shift into how can I take emotional responsibility for what’s happening right now? Or how can I focus on things that I can control? Or what would accepting reality look like in this situation? Or what are some solutions that I can come up with for what’s going on right now? Or what do I want to feel with respect to this challenge? Again, it’s like if my kids are having a hard time, I probably don’t want to feel happy.
But worrying also isn’t useful. Feeling fuel as I like to call it. Instead, I might want to feel confident or supportive or connected or strong. Choosing emotions on purpose is managing your mind and your body. And it will help you navigate challenges with your kids for the rest of your life, whether they are little ones or they are adults. Because the default brain is wired for survival. That means it’s wired to worry, it’s wired to get anxious, it’s wired for fear. And in modern motherhood in this day and age, it’s just not useful because 99% of the time, it’s not life or death like your brain thinks it is. And so using a tool like the Empowered Mindset, you can get your prefrontal brain back online making the decisions so that you can be fueled by much more helpful emotions and taking responsibility for how you feel and being solution-focused, accepting reality, focusing on what you can control.
And this is how you navigate challenges. My work is never to try to get you to avoid and never experience challenges. I’m not trying to prevent challenges from ever happening. I am trying to help you feel so much more prepared for those challenges. And I think that is how we get stronger and more capable of navigating everyday life. And then our capacity expands. And before you know it, what was once a huge challenge for you is something that you’ve really worked through, overcome and are stronger for. That is my hope for you, my friend. So go through these elements whenever you are having a challenge shift from a disempowered mindset to an empowered mindset. And I promise you it will be life changing. And of course, if you want more help on this, I would love to coach you inside the Mom On Purpose membership. I will talk with you next week, my friend. Take care.
Thank you for being here and listening. Now, head on over to momonpurpose.com/coaching to learn more about the Mom On Purpose membership, where we take all of this work to the next level.