Reseting My Mindset: The Big Secret (it's probably what you think)

If you’ve been part of my crew for a while, you may have noticed the massive shift in my online presence toward the end of April! My mindset really clicked and suddenly I feel SO good- about myself, about my writing, about the clients I bring in and the content I produce…

I found some sorta magic sauce for life, and I want to share it with you!

May 2019 marks the 1 Year Anniversary of Lilacs in Paradise as a coaching and VA business!! And with my first year under my belt and the onslaught of failures (and fair handful of successes too), I spent a lot of time jumping between anxiety for the future, dismay at the “failures,” and frustration with the present in March…

In early April, just as I finally started to shake it off and quit beating myself up over not being a flawless little business mistress, I had a few amazing opportunities fall right into my lap that I wasn’t actually ready for (AHH, but so exciting too!).

Lucky for me, I’d been working with a really incredible business consultant- as her VA! Exposure to this woman’s content was crazy-inspiring to me and while I transformed her words into beautiful PDF workbooks for her clients, I was soaking in tons of practical business advice and tips that helped me reorganize my entire business, both physically and mentally, in time to accept these new opportunities and be ready for even more!

This wonder woman business consultant I’m talking about is Annie LaCroix of Brainy Boss, host of the Brainy Boss Podcast! She’s absolutely incredible, and I’m definitely going to be talking more about her on Facebook in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that by following me here!

I’m going to elaborate on this Entire-Freakin-Life Reset in the coming weeks and share practical tips for what I did to get my business together and prepare for the new flood of clients and opportunities that hit me suddenly, but I want to share the most important shift with you today and explain how you can recreate it for yourself (even if you’re not a VA working for an awesome business consultant).

The Big Secret: Be Nice To Yourself, Damn It!

Seriously, what the hell is up with us humans? We are so MEAN to ourselves! We throw insults and doubts and skepticism at ourselves around every thing we do, every thought we have. It’s ridiculous. One of the first things that really helped me hit reset on my life was getting my mindset in check- and that was a two-step process for me. Let’s talk about it.

Step one of being nicer to yourself:

Stop saying mean shit to yourself. Just stop it, it’s time for zero-tolerance for self-bullying. When you catch yourself doing it, literally stop in your tracks and restate the mean thought in a true and kind way- and say the new thought out loud.

For example: “Ughhhh, I want this person to work with me but I’m not sure if she’s going to like my style.” becomes “my style is so unique, I hope she loves it and that we are able to work well together, how cool would that be?”

Or: “Ugh, my face looks so unhappy right now. I’m obviously dehydrated and sleep deprived… And I’m about to drink another coffee. Great.” becomes “wow, I look like a real mess of a human right now, I’m going to make a point of drinking more water today so I feel better when I wake up tomorrow morning!”

It doesn’t have to be a lie or an Instagram-worthy Mantra, just let it be true. Mean what you say, even if it’s not some crazy “I poop rainbows and butterflies” type thing. I’d totally still drink that coffee and know my skin reflects how blah I feel, but I’d also actually drink the water because I freakin’ love myself and I wanna feel good. I know I have a cute lil glow about me when I take basic care of myself, and when I point that out to myself clearly I’m more likely to actually do it!

If you really need to change the way you’re doing something in order to be nice to yourself about it, make it into a solid goal and start doing it. Enough floating around in that gross “it’s fine, I’m okay (I hate myself but whatever it’s fine)” space. Cut the crap, set the goal, and make a change.

Nobody can do this for you, no matter how much they love you.

Step two to being nice to yourself:

Start paying attention to compliments. Take compliments at least just as seriously as you take insults and judgments.

I’ve made this step two because self-validation is the ultimate goal in my world. As an artist and author I want to always be able to come back to mySELF and know that my own opinion of me is key. I want to know that I will always have my back, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks. (Not because I don’t want to be vulnerable, which is also really important to me, but because I want to love myself the way that I deserve to be loved). I never want someone else’s poor opinion of me or my work to have the power to stop me from continuing to think, speak, and create. This means I need a solid foundation of self-love to work from!

Working with Annie was a huge part of this shift into living like I love myself and really opening up to opportunities because she was always providing detailed and encouraging feedback on my work!

When I’m paying attention to the compliments (and even just the straight-forward feedback), working with Annie makes me feel like I’m actually worth a million bucks!

I’m very conscious of the way I receive compliments, I strive to say a clear Thank You and not argue or deflect the compliment. I soak it in and allow myself to feel proud of my good work- and if you don’t already do this, I strongly recommend it. Next time someone compliments you, I dare you to simply say a gracious thank you with a warm smile, and nothing more. No excuses, no “it was $5 at Ross,” no “my daughter picked it, I have no sense of style but she’s amazing!” None of that. Just “thank you!”

BUT even with this consciousness about direct compliments, I have a tendency to overlook compliments and listen to the critical voice in my head instead. A new practice I started was to say out loud what someone complimented me for. If my husband is around, I’ll tell him “my client so-and-so really loved the way I presented her SEO research to her!” but even if I’m alone I’ll tell myself, “wow, she really loved the way I styled her workbook! She thought it was witty and creative.”

Saying out loud really helped it click in my brain that I was striving to focus on the positive! And the more positive feedback I receive, whether its from myself or others, the better quality work and attitude I bring to the table. I’m more enthusiastic about my work and I’m more open to new opportunities, which has been a key reason my business EXPLODED this month! (In the best way, hello new clients!! Hello old clients on badass new contracts that bring us closer together and provide way more benefits for you! This is my dream come true!)

So, whether you’re trying to take yourself seriously as an author or life coach, learning what it means to be a badass entrepreneur, or trying to become a happier, more confident person in general, I want to see what happens when you try these steps out for yourself! What do you think will be the easiest part for you? Do you already know what you love most about yourself, or is this an area you still get to explore with yourself? What are your next steps?

If you’re really brave and super serious about changing your life, tell me in the comments one insult you tend to throw at yourself, and show me how you’re going to restate it!

(Or, if you’re shy send it to me in an email at I’d love to hear from you!)



P.S. If you’d like to enjoy more of my loving sass, join me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
To soak up some amazing Brainy Boss influence from a business consultant who really knows how to connect on a human level, go find more of Annie on her Instagram and Twitter! And don’t forget to listen to the podcast- I especially love her new Focus Friday episodes! They’re short little episodes with really practical tips and tools for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Jessica PenaComment