To thrive in motherhood, you have to manage your mindset; your inner self talk that either empowers you or keeps you stuck, feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and defeated. Mindset tools help you become the mom you were made to be, instead of looking to social media, your neighbor, or your sister-in-law where the comparison trap becomes all too familiar.

You matter. Your life matters. How you show up as a mom matters. In this podcast, you’ll get 15 tools to add to your “mindset tool belt” to help you become the mom you were made to be. Whether you’re new to mindset work or an advanced student, there’s a tool for you included in this episode. 

Say goodbye to living on default. Say hello to more confidence, connection, love, and joy. That’s what this mindset in motherhood podcast is all about. 

If you’re a mom, you’re in the right place. This is a space designed to help you overcome challenges and live your best life. I’d love for you to join me inside the Mom On Purpose Membership where we take this work to the next level.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Hi there. Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. My name is Natalie Bacon and I’m an Advanced Certified Mndfulness Life Coach as well as a wife and mom, if you’re here to do the inner work and grow, I can help. Let’s get started.

Motherhood Mindset 1 0 1, that is what I wanna talk with you about today. If you want to change your life, if you want to feel a little bit happier, if you want to have more self-confidence, if you want to stop feeling like you’re failing as a mom, drop the mom guilt. Be able to manage and reduce mom rage, be able to pause and play and laugh and enjoy this season. Whatever season you’re in, whether it’s little ones or you are an empty nester mindset is the way the inner self-talk that you have is the foundation for everything that you do in your life.

Because behind every action or inaction is a feeling. And behind that feeling is a thought. So starting with managing your mindset is the best way to change because it also is the most long lasting. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight by jumping on the bandwagon of the next popular fad diet, you know that this doesn’t work long term. And the reason why is because it focuses on changing the actions without the mindset work. When you change your identity first, when you change who you are being, that is when you take completely different action. So today I thought it would be really fun to outline the most foundational practices and tools that I can offer you for having an intentional and an empowered mindset. And I was thinking about how valuable this is going to be for you if you are brand new and you just found me.

And also, if you have been around forever, since the beginning, if you’ve been with me for years, both the beginner and the advanced student, you are going to benefit so much from this episode because here’s why, as a beginner, you are just learning these tools for the first time. So you might not even know these are tools that can help you. So there’s the value of knowing what these tools are and being able to start working on them. As the advanced student, you get a refresher of what these tools are and you can look and see if you are applying these tools in your life. And if you’re not, it’s definitely not an invitation to beat yourself up. I do not want to do that. Um, but instead it’s an invitation to, you know, reset and refocus knowing that these are the tools that will make such a huge impact in your life.

I like to think of mindset, particularly as it relates to motherhood, as something that is so crucial and essential for navigating daily life, insofar as it doesn’t remove your challenges, but it helps you show up in a completely different way. So I can’t control the world, I can’t control other people, so I have no way of completely eliminating the challenges that you have. But I have tools and practices that when you use, you will show up completely differently, navigating them and making different decisions and feeling differently so that your entire life is a different experience insofar as you want it to be. Meaning you can apply this to the areas that you want to. I live these tools and it’s an ongoing practice that I truly don’t think there is anything more important. So if you are not inside Grow You, I wanna invite you to join me in the upcoming week at Ask Natalie Anything.

This is where you can learn how to take the tools that I’m gonna talk about with you to the next level and apply it to a specific area of your life. You can ask me anything on the call and learn how to kind of overcome that negative mindset, that challenging mindset that you have so that you can create the life that you want to. This is what mindset work is all about, my friend. It is so powerful and I would love for you to join me at Ask Natalie Anything. Come on, register over at, I would love to see you there. So why is it that having an intentional mindset in motherhood is so valuable and so critical? It’s not just like this fun, um, thing to do on the side, although I do think it can be fun and I encourage you to make it fun, but it’s not fun insofar as it’s something that I would even ever consider cutting from my life.

Like it is up there with paying for my mortgage. It is up there with, um, paying for my groceries, it is up there with paying for the internet. My time, energy and financial budget go towards my mental and emotional wellness. And because of that, I have the life that I want to have. And I don’t say that in a way that, um, I want to come across as, um, something to be like envious of. This is not about me at all. This is so much about you. I want you to have these tools so that you can create the life you want. And again, trust me, I have challenges and it is hard, but I’m able to navigate the challenges so much more easily and thoughtfully and intentionally. What used to rock me to my core and be so extreme and problematic isn’t such a problem anymore.

I think that because motherhood doesn’t relent it sort of sink or swim and with an empowered intentional mindset, there will be challenges in every season of motherhood. But you won’t beat yourself up. You won’t doubt yourself so much. You won’t be fueled by mom guilt or the societal pressure to do it all. You will consciously and intentionally choose your identity and your values and feel good about that. You kind of drop this need and desire for control, control of your kids, control of your home, control of your spouse, control of everyone in your life. And you have more confidence stepping into leading your life, which is what you can control you, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, and of course your kids and your family benefit from this mindset work as well. I think it’s obvious that you do because you’re the primary beneficiary of it, but second to that is your kids and your family.

So in a real practical example, without doing this work, if you yell at your kids, you might have some shame and enormous mom guilt about it. So much so that it might be hard for you to repair in an effective way. It might feel embarrassing and your kids kind of pick up on that. Even if you do kind of say sorry and try to repair it, it doesn’t feel as connected and genuine. Contrast that with if you are doing this work and practicing having an empowered mindset, you will be much more fueled by connection and be willing to be vulnerable and embrace your humanness. And therefore the result of that is you take action to repair that relationship by apologizing in a really different and connected way. So whether it’s yelling for you or it’s something else, there’s always something that we want to work on in our own lives and change about our own lives.

And I think that’s a beautiful thing. And having practices and tools to change your mindset in a powerful, effective way really is the way to create the life you want as a mom, as a woman, as any other role that you are in. So with that, I wanna go over 15 of the foundational tools to have in your tool belt. As an empowered mom, I like to think about personal development practices and tools with the visual of an actual tool belt and how whether and to what extent you use each tool depends on the project, depends on the circumstance. So just like if you were building a home or building a piece of furniture, there are different tools for different parts of the project in the same way. That’s how I want you to think about these tools. You’re not gonna use all of them at once, you’re not gonna use all of them for every circumstance, but for the entirety of of your life.

You will from time to time wanna pull out these tools. So if you are new, welcome, I’m glad you’re here. Just start to notice what these tools are. Write them down or save this episode to the extent that you want to work on including these tools in your tool belt. If you are an intermediate and or advanced student, you’ve been doing this work for a while, um, pay attention to these tools and practices and notice specifically if you are applying them. So it’s great to have tools, but it’s, it’s, you know, way more important that you’re applying them. I’ll never forget the analogy I read in a book once. It’s like, are you collecting all of the ingredients to make a cake and then bragging and talking about all of those ingredients. Like you have 10 different types of butter, and sugar and flour and um, sprinkles, but you don’t have a cake, right?

You haven’t actually made a cake. And again, not an invitation to beat yourself up, but an invitation to be honest with yourself. And just notice if you’re applying any of the tools, right? There’s sort of extremes where we’re going to be a tool collector and not do any of the work or we’re gonna try and do all the work at once and neither is useful. Instead think about it as um, having a tool belt, wanting to put tool in there and utilizing those tools whenever that particular challenge comes up.

All right, number one thought awareness. This is the difference between facts and thoughts. Knowing that your thoughts create your feelings and being able to identify your thoughts. This is one of the tools that has profoundly changed my life. It continues to change my life because I don’t care how long you’ve been doing this work, whether it’s one day or um, your 1000th day, there will be sentences in your brain that on default you think are fact and they’re not fact, they are thoughts.

And that is because of the human brain. The way that it is designed is to think really quickly and that’s important. We can’t slowly think about everything or else we wouldn’t be able to function. Can you imagine needing to slowly think about getting into your car and driving to the store and how to do it or even how to get dressed? It’s good that we have this subconscious. It’s good that we can do things really quickly where we want to slow it down and pay attention to our thoughts and continuously practice The difference between thoughts and facts and identifying our thoughts is when our thoughts aren’t serving us.

So if you think the thought, my husband just isn’t supportive and you don’t realize that, that’s a thought and it’s creating a lot of tension for you in your marriage, no matter how many different ways you try to solve it by taking different actions until you examine your mindset around it and choose on purpose, if you want to keep that thought or not, you will keep creating the same result in your marriage. And that’s not ever to say that you need to change your thoughts. A lot of times when I’m teaching this, people think, okay, so I’m just supposed to let my husband off the hook and think positively. That is absolutely never what I would suggest. I am not teaching you what to think. I am teaching you how to think and empowering you to decide for your yourself by showing you the impact of the way that you are thinking.

And oftentimes when we first learn this work, we go to extremes where it’s that all or nothing thinking. Either husband is supportive or husband isn’t supportive, but there are thousands of different ways that you could think about it that would validate your experience and help you feel more connected in your marriage. So number one, the tool is thought awareness.

Number two, processing feelings. This is a big one. This is not just about noticing the feeling, it’s about being in your body, naming the emotion when you feel it in one word and then allowing it without resistance or avoidance. It sounds so simple and practiced repeatedly. It becomes a habit. And yet to get to that point, it takes a lot of repetition, it takes some help, some assistance in Grow You. We have the Processing Feelings course that helps you do this. It is a game changer. So if you are feeling overwhelmed and you’re with your kids instead of going into your mind and thinking about your to-do list or the stimulation that’s around you or everything that’s kind of not going right, when the overwhelm comes up, it’s being in your body, naming the emotion, allowing it, breathing through it in your body. This is so much harder to do in practice, um, because the primitive brain wants to focus externally as a protective mechanism. But once you’re onto your brain and you understand that, it becomes so much easier.

Number three, intentional thought creation. How to access your brilliant brain and choose new thoughts and practice believing them. I am all for getting around people who think more how you want to think. Whether that be by listening to podcasts, joining a program like Grow You listening to audio books or if there are people in your life who you admire and respect for the thoughts that they have, that is useful, right? It it would be more useful than kind of binging reality tv, um, 24 7 or, or kind of listening to the people who are not having the most positive mindset and yet neither of those are going to get you the best results for you. You have so much potential in that brilliant brain of yours. I promise you. Your brain is so smart. Your brain. I remember how long it took me to learn this because I used to think, yeah, but my teacher’s brain or my coach’s brain really knows what’s best. And it wasn’t until I practiced daily intentional thought creation that I realized that yes, other people’s brains have some nice thoughts that I can borrow, but my brain has so many more incredible thoughts than I ever would have guessed, and that only came from practicing my own intentional thought creation.

Number four, self-validation and self-compassion. This means knowing your value and your worth regardless of anything that you do. So it’s separating out your actions from who you are. And this actually leads to being able to repair so much more effectively because you don’t take on your actions, you don’t feel as much shame, you validate yourself and you have compassion for yourself for being a human being. It doesn’t mean you excuse your actions. You still can show up in a way where you want to apologize for your actions, but you’re separating out your actions from who you are and you’re giving yourself the validation that you so want from other people. As someone who is definitely a recovering people pleaser and would love all of the external validation, um, that I could possibly get, this one has been such a game changer for me because it works, it’s so interesting, like when you do these tools, they work. When I validate myself it works, I feel better because thoughts always create feelings. So when someone else gives me praise, the only reason I feel good is because of what I make it mean is because of that thought in my mind.

Number five, self-confidence. Having your own back no matter what. This does not mean that you think you’re always right. It means that even when you’re wrong or you make a mistake, you have an inner dialogue of approval and self-respect. Again, it doesn’t mean that you’re not making mistakes, you’re not failing, you’re not apologizing. It just means that you don’t make that mean something about you. You embrace your humanness. You may have heard me say before 50% amazing, 50% messy. I like to say I’m a human mom, not a robot mom. That is self-confidence. It’s not holding myself up to the standard that I am perfect. It’s holding myself to the standard that yep, I do a lot of things amazing and I do a lot of things that are not so amazing and I’ll continue to grow, but I’m always going to be human. I’m a human mom, not a robot mom. It really grounds me and enables me to be so much more connected to my family, to um, my life, to everyone else in my life as well.

Number six, decision making skills. How to make decisions from abundance instead of from scarcity. So when we were moving across the country, this was so valuable for me deciding whether to stay in Charleston or move back to Chicago. The brain on default wants to look for the cons of each. And when you learn how to make decisions from abundance, you can balance that so much with all of the good things. I coach a lot of women about this with respect to school with their kids and different school options. And oftentimes, you know, it sounds useful to sort of mitigate the risk by focusing on what could go wrong. And yet it’s actually really powerful to make a decision from abundance because if you also marry that with self-confidence, you know that you can always redecide, you have your own back and you’re able to make quick decisions because you know that if it turns out different than you thought, okay, you’ll go from there. You won’t make it mean something bad about you.

Number seven, soft love and hard love. I have been playing around a lot with these concepts recently in my own life and I just absolutely love them. It’s knowing when to push yourself and knowing when to slow down and be still and give yourself that gentleness. Two types of love most often individually we gravitate towards one or the other. So just know yourself and check in with yourself. And if you’re gravitating towards one, you probably need to balance it out with more of the other.

Number eight, yourself. Self-identity. This means choosing on purpose, what you want your identity to be based on who you want to be, not based on who you’ve been in the past, not based on your kids’ performance and how well they’re doing. So not based on, okay, I have a kid who’s excelling, that means I’m a good mom. Not based on how clean your house is, not based on how much you do, but instead based on internal values that you’ve decided for your yourself. Whatever comes after I am becomes who you will be and continue to be. So it’s deciding on purpose instead of looking to your past. It’s a much more intentional way to think about yourself.

Number nine, emotional choice. Did you know that you can choose your top emotions? If you name your top three emotions and they are all negative, it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with negative emotion, but some of them are likely not negative emotion that you want to be experiencing regularly. So for example, if you have an animal die, you probably want to feel some sadness and some grief. Contrast that with if there’s nothing out of the ordinary going on in your life and your top three emotions are resentment, overwhelm, and anxiety. There are negative emotions that are more useful than other negative emotions that are not as useful. And processing emotions and learning how to be in your body is step one. But then learning how to change your emotions, particularly in a normal season where nothing outta the ordinary has happened and you want to include and swap out one of those negative emotions for a better feeling emotion to feel happier, to feel more fulfilled, to feel more excited, whatever it is for you, emotional choice is available to you.

Number 10, intentional relationships. That starts with the relationship you have with yourself. How to love yourself and then extends to others. How to love other people, how to set boundaries, how to set boundaries from love. How to let other people be themselves and stop being so bothered and triggered by what other people do. I always like to say that I would love to be able to control other people for you than I could control people in my life. But as someone who has been down that road and seen that it doesn’t work, this is something that I’m continuously applying to my life to let other people be them and choose how I want to show up because that’s what I have control over.

Number 11, your primitive brain. Red flags. This means having awareness of your primitive brain. Sometimes I call it the toddler brain as opposed to the parent brain, the adult brain, the prefrontal cortex. You will always have a primitive brain, but noticing it and accepting it allows you to put it in the back seat so it’s not in the driver’s seat. So for example, if you have something happen and it’s challenging for you on default, your primitive brain might go into fear and worry and overwhelm. If you are aware that this is just your primitive brain, you can process fear, you can process overwhelm, you can allow anxiety to be there in the back seat without it being the driver. You can choose on purpose how you want to think and feel about the challenge. Other primitive brain red flags include all or nothing thinking catastrophic thinking, making decisions from fear, not doing what you say you’re going to do repeatedly and not understanding why. It’s because of the primitive brain. So if you wanna start getting up at 5:00 AM and you continue to snooze, it’s because of the primitive brain. So understanding that and how that works doesn’t mean you’re gonna love getting up at 5:00 AM but it does mean you’ll be able to override that primitive brain and make a different decision so you have a completely different outcome.

Number 12, calming down your nervous system as a recovering type A overachiever, this has been a game changer for me and I know a lot of you and a lot of my clients and members of Grow, You are high achievers and being able to calm down and just chill and rest for your sake. Sometimes this can be done, I think particularly to get in the practice of it through a meditation or 10 minutes of silence. But kinda the the test to know if, if you’ve nailed it is just on an average day, do you feel comfortable just hanging out, resting, doing nothing. So I think that getting started with it through meditation or a 10 minutes of silence can be really helpful to help your body relax and get calm. And then integrating it more into your everyday life where you just have pockets where you do nothing. I always think of the type A achiever. A real ambitious goal for her would be to just take a nap in the middle of a Monday, right? It’s so interesting because when we say that out loud, it doesn’t seem like anything to brag about, which is of course a product of our western productive culture, which has amazing benefits to it. And I love productivity and ambition and goal setting, and yet we don’t go around bragging about the nap we took today. So if you are someone who struggles to calm down and rest and needs everything to be perfect and done and checked off the list before you give yourself five minutes of space, this would be a tool for you to definitely work on.

Number 13, future focus. Thinking about what you want for your life and giving yourself permission to dream big, your goals, your desires, they matter. Knowing that they matter is a tool in and of itself because then it allows you to give those dreams and desires space, knowing how to access them, how to live into them without rush, without scarcity. Just because you want to, just because you want to see what you can do with this one life.

Number 14, how to do what you say you’re going to do. This one consistently surprises me. Um, particularly with home renovations. I don’t know what it is, but I’m always surprised when other people who own businesses like contractors and things like that don’t do what they say they’re going to do because this is a tool that I have been using for years. So I am just someone who does what they say they’re going to do. It’s just part of my identity now. So oftentimes I’m projecting that unto other people and when they don’t do what they say they’re going to do, I get very confused. Like, I don’t get it. You said you’re gonna do this, then I remember. Oh yeah, not everyone has that tool that they’re using. So is this one for you to use? Do you do what you say or gonna do? We’re not going for a hundred percent of the time. There’s always gonna be that one time out of a thousand or a hundred where you don’t. But generally overall, when you say something, do you do that thing that you say you’re going to do and be honest with yourself not to shame yourself just to become that next best version of yourself.

And number 15, your value system. What does it mean to be successful for you as a mom? What does it mean to fail? Can’t tell you how many times I coach on feeling like I’m failing as a mom. Failure hasn’t been defined, success hasn’t been defined. It’s just this overwhelming sense of never doing enough. And it’s coming from the mindset that I need to be somehow this super robot mom. So there’s no awareness of the thoughts of the mindset or any intentionality behind the value system. Inside Grow You, we have a Motherhood Toolkit where I teach you how to create a value system, a North Star so you know where you’re headed, you know what the values that you want to have in your life as a mom. With these tools, I want you to know that the list is not exhaustive. There will always be more tools, hundreds of tools. And again, it’s sort of like spices and ingredients. And if you think about cooking, there are thousands of different tools.

There are thousands of different spices. There are so many, maybe an infinite number of ways to cook, just like there are an infinite number of ways to apply these tools to your life. I say that because often in the cooking analogy, we don’t get overwhelmed. But with something like this, I wanna use that to show your brain that this too isn’t something to get overwhelmed by, but instead to use to fuel you. Mental and emotional wellness. Using these tools is the way I am living it. And I can tell you it is worth the multiple thousands of dollars and thousands of hours I’ve invested in myself to get it. I have a beautiful family and marriage. And again, it doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges, but it does mean that I’m so much better equipped to navigate them, to pivot, to make changes, to have that self-confidence, to live more deliberately and purposefully. It is so worth it my friends. So join me inside Grow You. If you wanna learn more about it, come to Ask Natalie Anything over at, I will see you there. Take care.

If you loved this podcast, I invite you to check out Grow You my mindfulness community for moms where we do the inner work together. Head on over to to learn more.

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