How do you make lasting change in your life?
That was a question a client asked me yesterday during our biweekly coaching session. We’ve been diving into some of their longstanding habits and how these habits are impacting their life. Although we were meeting virtually, I could feel and empathize with their deep desire for change even through our computer screens.
For them, a lot of this change is focused on their inner dialogue–which too often is their worst critic, not their biggest cheerleader. Can’t we all relate to that in some way?!
We talked about imposter syndrome–that nagging inability to accept your success as deserved and legitimate because you’re badass at what you do. Feeling insecure and unsure when speaking up in meetings and **gestures broadly** general insecurities all came up.
Even though rationally they know everyone has insecurities, that little voice in their head sometimes gets too loud and steamrolls their other thoughts. This makes important conversations extra challenging and the idea of advocating for themselves overwhelming at times. Conversations like asking for increased compensation and more flexibility in their work schedule become mountains instead of molehills when their inner critic is screaming at them internally.
So how do you change that voice?
How do you make it a cheerleader and not a critic?
How do you fill your head with words of praise and gratitude instead of shame and uncertainty?
Start with something you’re doing multiple times per day–entering your password. What if your passwords were more than a combination of characters? Your passwords could be a transformational phrase guiding you towards personal growth and success–a mantra, if you will.
So much of our life is filled with noise. If you’ve ever gotten a song stuck in your head because it played during your dental appointment or at the grocery store, you’ve experienced that noise isn’t always something our brains ignore. Sometimes we can understand and interpret the noise and other times it is simply noise - information that passes us by and may seem insignificant, but is actually regularly imprinting on our brains and hearts.
Our passwords are noisy. It’s estimated that people enter a password on their computers, phones, and tablets an average of 13 times a day. That’s 13 opportunities for your inner dialogue to be positive, empowering, and kind. Thirteen times you can be your own biggest cheerleader!
Words are powerful. Words can inspire, motivate, and transform. By infusing our passwords with intention and purpose, we can create a frequent, positive, and empowering reminder we’ll see every day. A password mantra gives us a nudge and reminder of our goals and guiding principles.
I’ve used password mantras like…
Beagoldfish2022 (Any Ted Lasso fans?)
Most recently, I used “JourneyWell2022” for my final few months in my corporate role before entering entrepreneurship. It was a reminder of all I was working for and towards.
It’s not a flawless plan. When I tried to quit Diet Coke my password was, “Nomoredietcoke2019” and I still drink it daily. Ha! That experience is a good reminder that we can have all of the tools in the world but without putting in the work, things won’t change.
Each time I enter my password mantra it is an opportunity to pause and think about its importance and what it means to me. My password mantra applies a mental association to my goals and principles as well as a positive affirmation and reinforcement for my mindset.
Change is hard. It doesn’t come naturally to most of us. And it certainly is not a straight road. There are highs and lows, successes and failures, and neutral moments. Adding points of positive reinforcement and setting ourselves up for success with things like a password mantra can make the journey more enjoyable and worthwhile.
You’ll have to change that password in 60-90 days anyway–give it a try.
Journey well, my friends.