Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…Moving Beyond Useless Mindsets

The typical game with mindsets: Ruminating about your past, worrying about your future, and being fearful of missing out are all symptoms of the same problem. When you live your life focused on the past or the future, instead of relishing every second of the present, you are squandering the precious gift of life.

Learning to let go of the shoulda, coulda, woulda mindsets and embrace living in the here and now can help you enjoy your life, achieve your goals, and feel more at peace in the world.

Guilt poison negative mindset

Mindfulness is a habit that teaches you to focus on the present and ignore the worrying, regret, and anxiety your thoughts create about your unknown future or mistake-filled past. Living in the moment allows you to appreciate what you have when you have it, as well as how to be more aware of how your thoughts affect your life.

While it’s important to realize that living mindfully and in the present is healthy and beneficial, it is equally important that you learn how to accomplish this goal. Here are a few strategies for moving beyond the useless mindsets of living in the past or future and learning to live in the present.

Strategies for Moving Beyond Unhelpful Mindsets

#1. Let Yourself Be Free in the Moment

You inhibit your own performance when you worry about who is watching, what others might think, and if you’ll be good enough. All that worrying about how well you’ll do something actually makes you perform worse than if you just let go and stop thinking about it. If you are feeling anxious about a situation and are too focused on the shouldas, then your attention to your anxiety just makes you more anxious.

Instead of focusing on what is going on in your head, focus instead on your movements, your actions, and yourself as you perform. Mindfulness allows you to focus on yourself as well being a part of a collective “other,” but you need to reduce your self-consciousness to really engage in this process. Just focus on your immediate experience, not how you feel about that experience, and you’ll start teaching your brain to better engage in the present.

#2. Lose Track of Time.

Becoming so absorbed in what you are doing that you lose track of time is a perfect example of mindfulness and living in the now. Letting go of the worries and fears means you enjoy what you are doing right now, and you become so intensely focused on it that you forget the rest of the world around you. This depth of engagement is impossible when you are multi-tasking or when your mind consistently wanders to thoughts about other times and other worries.

Create the right conditions, and this type of engagement can occur. Set a goal for yourself that is challenging yet attainable but that you can accomplish without the help of others. This will allow you to rise to the challenge without relying on or worrying about other people.
While setting a goal may seem like living in the future, in reality, it’s just providing a backdrop for you to focus on what you are doing in each moment that will help you reach your aim.

Dive in, learn from each step of the process, inform your effort, and tune out anything else that is happening. Focus only on your performance, and your awareness will merge with your actions as you work toward your goal.

#3. Savor The Moment.

Spend one whole day just relishing in every experience you have. Don’t compare your morning coffee to other coffees you’ve had but instead notice the subtle flavors and how the warmth affects your body. Instead of worrying about when you’ll be back to see an amazing view again, sit and enjoy the view right now. Savor each moment by actually living in it, noticing it, observing and participating in it.

Make every moment for one whole day about savoring. Involve all your senses as much as possible to really notice your world, your life, your activities. Savoring brings joy into your world. You learn to appreciate small moments and things in your life, and you develop new perspectives about others.

This mindset leaves no space for worry over unrealized possibilities or regrets over the past. It’s just about enjoying all parts of your life for what they really are.

Final Thoughts

Moving beyond useless mindsets is an intention to focus more on what is currently happening. It is becoming more aware of your thoughts and their impact on your actions, and it is making purposeful steps toward lessening their influence on what you do and how you do it.

Your Next Steps

Presenting Emotional Mastery and Work Life Balance workshop mindsetOur new series of Work-Life Balance seminars and workshops are starting soon. Please refer to our events page to find our seminars and workshops.

We also will hold a 1 day seminar in Germany, and in German language(!), on 24 May 2019 in Wiesbaden. Please find more details on Eventbrite.

Contact us to find out where one of our next live seminars will take place.