When you think of negotiation, what are the first examples that come to mind? If you’re like most people, business transactions will float closest to the surface. Then maybe salary or employment contracts. Few think of their interactions with loved ones as negotiations … and they would be wrong. And fewer still think of their internal dialogue as a negotiation … even though it’s the most important one of all. Negotiating your mindset is your first and paramount negotiation. This article is dedicated to helping you reframe your preconceived notions of negotiation and help you recognize the necessity of seizing control of your internal negotiations.
Why do I say seize control? Because whether you’re aware of it or not, you are negotiating with yourself constantly. If you’re not doing so intentionally then it’s happening without your knowledge or conscious input. Needless to say, that’s not ideal. Would you cede total control of your finances? Would you pass the reins on making essential life decisions? Would you bow out of any input in choosing your life partner?
Well, if you’re not managing your inner chatter and choosing your mindset with intention, then you are effectively ceding control of your life. When you do so, it’s easy to end up in the ‘quicksand’. Why not aim for positive buoyancy to make yourself unsinkable even in the most turbulent times?
You get to choose how you show up in life. It may not always feel like it but take comfort in knowing it’s always your choice. How will you choose to show up today? What will you claim as your identity in this moment? What combination of the potentially infinite shades of being will you choose to embody?
This is an ongoing negotiation. We have the opportunity to hit the reset button every morning. Each new day brings new opportunities to step into our best self. We don’t have to be shackled by our past, our fears, our self-judgment, our old choices. We can choose fresh. We can strive to choose better. Every day, every moment, is a choice.
If you were on your deathbed today, would you feel fulfilled at the life you’ve led? Do you consider your life well-lived? Are you proud of how you’re showing up? What you accomplished? How you made people feel? The memories you created? If there are any niggling areas of discontent, then celebrate the realization. No need to beat yourself up. Embrace the opportunity to choose a new path – however small or large the move.
I’m not suggesting you can control your external circumstances. We can’t control what’s happening in the outside world. The beauty, however, is that we can control how we choose to react to any and all external circumstances and beyond. Recognizing this as a choice is a powerful mindset shift that will allow you to start living into your best life. Our personal growth, and ultimately our freedom, depends on the choices we make about how to respond to the stimuli around us. There is always a space between those stimuli and our response to them. There is power in that space. Power you can seize. The power to choose your reaction with intention.
What if you chose to live in a beautiful state no matter what was happening around you? What if you chose not to give away your joy over perceived injustices or transgressions? I invite you to recognize that your experiences in life don’t come from the objective experience itself, but instead, from your emotional reaction to it. Your emotional reactions come from the meaning you attach. That’s why people going through similar external experiences can have wildly different reactions to it.
The gorgeous epiphany I’m offering is that you get to choose the meaning you attach to things. And so, you get to control your emotional reaction and experience of life.
How simple is that? You are 100% responsible for your reactions. Imagine how it could change your life if you chose to react with wonder and joy, chose to be your highest self, coming from a place of grace and gratitude.
Join me over the next few weeks as we explore simple and powerful techniques to manage your mindset and shift from negative states (when they show up – as they will) to a place of positivity, resilience and empowerment.