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Changing Your Life Begins With Changing Your Mindset

For 15 days, we’re exploring the topic of making our health and well-being a priority as part of the 15 Days to a Healthier You series. You can read Day 1 hereDay 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 hereDay 5 here, Day 6 here, Day 7 hereDay 8 here, Day 9 here, Day 10 here, Day 11 here, Day 12 here, Day 13 here, and Day 14 here

We’ve talked about a lot of different aspects of healthy living in this series on 15 Days to a Healthier You. As we close out this series today, I want to end with one of the most important lessons regarding health. And it’s not about eating better or exercising more or getting more sleep. It’s the belief that changing your life begins with changing you.

You could have the most amazing consistency when it comes to workouts. You could eat incredibly healthy. You could always get great sleep. Those are all wonderful things.

But you could still not feel happy and fulfilled and vibrant as a person. And that’s because your mindset affects everything else in your life. It affects how you think, how you process, and how you view all of life.

As we end this 15-day series (that has taken me much longer than 15 days to actually get written — thank you, thank you for your patience with me and remind me to stick with shorter series from here on out!! :)), I want to challenge you to make two mindset changes — that might impact your overall health more profoundly than any eating or exercise plan ever will:

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1. Stop Worrying About What Other People Think

Recently, I’ve gotten some pretty strong pushback for some decisions and choices our family has made. One of my friends — who knows about this pushback — called me yesterday and said, “Crystal, I feel like I’m supposed to tell you this. God just keeps bringing it to mind and I think I’m supposed to tell you to remember this: Don’t mistake your calling for her calling. Your calling is not her calling.

It was a profound word for me because my nature is to get really wrapped up in questioning and over-analyzing and worrying I’m doing the wrong thing when someone questions or criticizes decisions we’ve made.

I have to realize that, many times, those questions and criticisms come from a loving place. But they can also come from a place where a person is mistaking their passions and callings for universal passions and callings (i.e. She’s called to be a stay-at-home mom so she then believes it’s a global calling for all women everywhere).

We aren’t all called to do the same things or to live the same life or to follow the same path.

Some are called to adopt. Some are called to support those who adopt. 

Some are called to full-time ministry. Some are called to run a business. Some are called to have a business that is also a full-time ministry.

Some are called to write a book. Some are called to support those who write a book.

Some are called to be stay-at-home moms. Some are called to be working moms.

Some are called to move to another country. Some are called to reach out to those right in their own neighborhood.

Some are called to start organizations in their home town. Some are called to start worldwide organizations.

Some are called to volunteer. Some are called to say no to volunteering. 

And on and on it goes. 

Your calling is not her calling. And that’s the beauty of life and the fact that no one was created to be a carbon copy of another person.

We can celebrate our different seasons and gifts and callings, but we don’t have to feel guilt when they are very different from our season and gifts and callings.

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Focus on your calling. Do that well. And be okay that it might look very different from someone else.

Many times, we waste all sorts of time, effort, and expense to have others think highly of us or be pleased with us. But ultimately, we’re trying to fill a void that’s been created because we’ve believed lies about ourselves — that we don’t measure up, we’re not good enough, we’re failures, and so on.

Slowly ever so slowly, I’ve been breaking free from the bondage of worrying about what other people think. I’ve been focusing on seeking the Lord with my husband for what God wants for our own family. We’ve been making decisions for our family based upon what we believe is best for us — not based upon what we think other people would want us to do or what others would think we should do.

I realize that not everyone will understand why we do what we do. Not everyone is called to have the lifestyle we do or parent the way we do or follow the path that we are on.

We’re all different in different situations with different families and different needs. What is right for one family won’t necessarily be right for another family. And sometimes, those choices won’t make a lot of sense to everyone else, but that’s okay.

What’s most important is that our family is carefully seeking God’s will, carefully and prayerfully making decisions based upon the needs of our family and children, and regularly re-evaluating to make sure those choices and decisions are still the best for our family.

When we let go of worrying about what other people think and instead focus on doing what’s best for our own family, we’re all much healthier and happier for it.

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2. Stress Less About Stuff You Can’t Fix

I have control issues. Let’s just put that out there.

I like to have a plan. I like to follow the plan. And I’m a doer and a fixer.

Which translates into me wanting to also make plans and create solutions for other people. I’ve got great ideas for things they should change, goals they should set, decisions they should make, and ways that they can make their life “so much better”.

I can get easily frustrated or bothered when other people don’t get all excited about the plans I make for them or my “amazing” fix for their life. I know, I have no idea why people wouldn’t… I mean, come on! 😉

In all honesty, it was really only this year that I woke up and realized just how much I try to control everything and everyone in my life. Oh, I usually do it in a somewhat gracious manner… but oftentimes, it’s passive aggressiveness cloaked as graciousness. I care more about doing things my way and following my plan than about trusting people to make their own decisions for themselves.

I’m slowly learning to catch myself when I’m trying to fix or control and instead, listen, care for others, and shut up with my unsolicited solutions.

And guess what I’m learning? The less I expend effort trying to keep everyone else’s life in line and according to my plan, the less I feel stressed and frustrated and the more I can just focus on enjoying and being intentional in my own life.

Check out the following posts for more encouragement and practical help:

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19 Comments

  • CarolSue says:

    What a WONDERFUL way to finish the series! I really needed to hear the reminder that my calling is going to be my own and not the same as someone else. I need to remember that when I am speaking to others and when I am doubting. Most importantly, I needed to be reminded that I am to please the Lord and seek His approval and He will guide me in the right way.

  • Ohh this is so good. Thank you, Crystal! And I think it’s a very good thing that you allowed yourself more than 15 days to finish this series – sometimes thoughts need to percolate for a bit before they’re ready to be shared. Your articles are more powerful because of giving yourself that time and letting God direct your steps. You’re a blessing & I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with this series next!

  • Dori says:

    This was such a great post! I appreciate your transparency and the way you kindly put things in perspective. I usually have mental snarky comments when people try to push their unsolicited opinion on me or others. I tell my kids to always remember that people’s opinions are the most important, influential, and life-changing ONLY to themselves!! And mind your own business is a thing 😂

  • Lynn says:

    Awesome post Crystal! This is something so many of us should read and learn from. Thanks for all you do.

  • Shannon Martinez says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! Praise God for your words of wisdom and encouragement today! I pray continued blessings over your family for is it so difficult to be so open and honest, but so appreciated! God bless you and your loved ones!

  • Sonja says:

    Really, really good. So helpful.
    Life-changing actually.
    Will try to re-read and absorb and practice!
    Thank you.

  • Tara says:

    I don’t know many Moms that are “Homemakers.” Sometimes I feel defensive whether it’s inward and sometimes outward. I find more people than not only feel value and self-worth if they are busy beyond belief, say yes to all, and do it all at the same time. I take care of my kids, husband and household. Deep down I know without a doubt this is what God intends for me. This post really reminds me to feel good about what I’m doing. Thank you I really needed it!

  • Heather says:

    I’m on a lifelong adulthood journey of trying to get away from what other’s think of me and it’s hard. I grew up searching for validation from my father who I love deeply, but could cut me to the core with a comment of distain or scorn. My mother, who also suffers from this searching for validation, never instilled in me at a young age the fierce, independent female spirit that I so wanted or needed. My role model in her was one of weak, thin skinned and always doubting herself. It’s a vicious cycle that I have only recently dove deep into discussion or thought. Now we have one child, our daughter who is of grade school age, for whom we constantly working to instill the missing pieces I felt on her and work hard to keep my own insecurities at bay and quiet as not to foreshadow her as I was when I was little. With prayer and my husband she will be different. He is my exact opposite. He doesn’t put a value on what other people think of him…only on himself. It is one of the best qualities in him that I love. He works too on building up our daughter to have a thicker skin and to never doubt who she is or the value she holds.

  • You’re preaching good, Crystal. I think we absolutely all struggle with this. “If it works for HER, I should be doing it too.” And then we wake up and realize “it’s not working for me.” And I definitely struggle with thinking I also know the One Best Way. “S/he should be motivated! S/he should say no to XYZ; can’t they see it’s a distraction from what (I think) they’re called to do?”

    Yeah. 🙁 You’re not alone. And I’m learning to shut up and Let It Go, and let God show them whatever they need to be shown, instead of my trying to convince them. Whodathunkit … seems to work better that way. 😉

    Help us, Jesus. 🙂

  • Muriel says:

    Thanks for the series. I thought it was great that the posts were spread out as this worked better for me to think about and implement some changes from them.

  • Leah says:

    Thank you for this post! Where is the first quote from (in the picture)?

  • Barbara says:

    Thank you for your post above. I am from South Africa and after reading a few of your posts, I found out about your trip here and what you have done for the children right here in MY country. Not your country, not somewhere else in the world where there is poverty, you were called to come HERE! That left me feeling that I was not doing my part, here you are traveling from halfway around the globe to help people that live on my doorstep, yet I am doing nothing for them. Two things came from this, a reminder that even though we are 22 years into ‘the new South Africa’ there is still poverty and people are still suffering and the second was that guilty feeling that I am not doing anything for these people. That guilt you mentioned in your post above … I prayed about it for a few days and eventually discussed the matter with someone who has first hand experience at following God’s word even when it seems all is lost. I felt guilty even though I know I have a full plate and do not have the financial backing to give in that sense. I was not sure what I should give up to make a step towards doing something positive as you have. My friends words to me were almost exactly what you wrote above – it’s not my calling! God has called me to run a small business, (not my idea – His) and in doing this, I am keeping people in a job, those same people who take that small wage I am able to pay them home to look after their family (and extended family). If not for that job that I provide from my small business that God called me to, there would be even more people needing your help.

    After all that, what I really wanted to say was ‘Thank you’. Your posts often open my eyes to things I have completely missed or as with this one, just an affirmation of something that God is working on in my life.

  • Valerie says:

    Wow, the Lord really knows how to get you what you need when you need it. Just 10 min before reading your article I was struggling with this very thing. I just needed someone to say it out loud. I am going to reread it over and over until it sinks in then I’m going to pray for God’s help in making the changes necessary for a more peaceful life….thanks again!

  • Wendy says:

    I just framed a print I bought from etsy that says “let us not be confused by the talents and missions of other saints. Let us become the kind of saints we are created to be.”

  • Jackie says:

    Thank you, Chrystal. I needed to read this and now I need to live out. 🙂 As always, your wisdom and courageousness to be honest is refreshing and encouraging. Big smiles and hugs. And lots of amens.

  • Kristy MeYeR says:

    Thank you, Crystal for this entire series. It’s been a blessing, an encouragement, and even a bit of a kick in the pants a day or two. And that’s not a bad thing 😉
    I’ve shared each of these posts with a few friends and we talked about each point you made. It’s brought some good growth for us all.
    Hugs to you! Thanks for listening to Jesus so well and sharing it with us.
    Blessings,
    Kristy

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