Three Mental Shifts that Will CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Thank you all so much for the wonderful birthday wishes!!

My mom surprised me in NYC, so I’ve had just the most lovely last couple days with her doing some shopping and eating at some delicious restaurants with my friends!

Recovery is a long and difficult road. And over the last 12 years, I have definitely discovered some mental shifts that truly helped keep my recovery train moving forward and on the right track.

But truly, they are applicible to everyone in life. Because I think we all have areas in life that bring us fear or anxiety or uncertainty. And if we allow those negative thought processes to be the lens through which we view the world, we are thwarting our chance to thrive.

So here are the “mental shifts” that I made that truly turned my recovery around.

1 Adopt a “What If” Mindset

This one was absolutely critical. Because in the beginning of recovery, there is SO MUCH FEAR. It controls your thoughts, your heart, your decisions.

What I had to do was turn that fear into curiosity. Sure, I had over 30 pounds to gain – I could either continue to be terrified of that fact, OR, I could become curious about the possibilities that came along with a life free from ED. Become curious about the way my body would bloom.

2 Just do the next right thing.

This dynamite piece of advice was given to me by my mother. I was explaining recovery to someone the other day as trying to drink the ocean through a straw. Or standing a the bottom of Mt. Everest and looking up at a mountain you have to climb bare foot. It can seem incredibly overwhelming, to the point where you don’t even know where to start.

And that overwhelming feeling can paralyze you, if I’m being honest.

So just take it one decision at a time. Day by day, meal by meal, moment by moment. Just do the next right thing.

Because the thing is: baby steps add up to bigger steps, which add up to miles, and pretty soon you’re at the top of that mountain, looking back at how far you’ve come.

3 Embrace a spirit of YES!

There is nothing more powerful than the word YES! There was a day at inpatient where I was sitting at the meal table, and I just said — OK, Lord – I’m going to say YES to whatever you put in front of me. In that moment, as a scared young girl, I knew that God knew what was best for me, and in fact, already had everything planned out. So I just need to let Him drive. And embrace what He was unfolding in front of me — especially the food on my plate!

And that was the beginning of my “YES” mindset — and it has bled into all areas of my life: social engagements, career opportunities, spontaneous adventures — life is more fulfilling when you welcome it with open arms!

4 When all else fails, GET ANGRY

This last one was a last resort effort, on those days where I couldn’t muster the strength to fight. And that was to GET ANGRY. But more specifically, Get Angry at Satan.

“ED” — which is in reality, actually Satan — had stolen so much from me, through the suffocating strangulation of the anorexia. And so I got mad. And I literally took and inventory — I wrote it out in my journal — of all the things that he stole from me: my health, my body, my relationships, my graduation, my passions, my goofy personality, my ambition, my college, my extracurriculars, my fertility, MY HAIR — I mean, he is a thief that comes only to steal, kill and destroy! SO GET MAD ABOUT IT, and then use that anger as the fuel to RECLAIM YOU LIFE! And TAKE BACK WHAT IS YOURS!

This mindset helped me on many a day when the snack or supplement increase seemed insurmountable, and the fear was winning. I’d get mad, and then every bite I took would be a way to say, “TAKE THAT, SATAN!”

So there you have it. I hope those are helpful to you! I know they were to me!

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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145 responses to “Three Mental Shifts that Will CHANGE YOUR LIFE”

  1. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. 2 Cor 1:20, New Living Translation

    Wonderful words–and may I say that your Mom looks more like your beautiful Sister!! Doing the next right thing–fabulous word from the Lord; as well as “YES”. And I so LOVE the message about getting angry with satan–for surely he works double-shifts, never tiring of his job to steal, kill and destroy everything GOOD in our lives, as well as our very LIFE. I try to remember that Christ has put him under our feet–so an angry STOMP can often do the trick for me (till he comes back for Round 2, haha).

    You are a BLESSING–thank you for sharing your life of Victory. God bless you <3

    • Thank you so much! I definitely feel you there! I love that way of thinking! yay for new potential friends! hugs xox

  2. Do the next right thing. I recently used an expression with you that you didn’t know…when you’re up to your ass in alligators it can be difficult to remember your original objective was to drain the swamp. One step at a time. Years ago I went through a bit of a breakdown. Some days I literally broke my life down into “Just make it into the next room” goals. Worry about what to do when I get there. Keeping it…manageable.

    The What If mindset. Maybe recovery is like driving a car. You don’t need to understand the mechanics. Just operate the controls the way you’re told. What if those controls respond to me the way they do for everyone else? Maybe I CAN drive this thing!

    Good stuff!

    Glad your birthday was so fun!

    • Hi Jeff! hahhaa that’s right!!! that was such a great saying. have yet to use it in real life, but when the moment arises, i will confidently say it!! haha you’re so right – it’s like driving a car for sure. THanks for the birthday wishes! Big hugs to you and your girls! xox

  3. Excellent advice, Caralyn! Breaking things down to one step, makes it so much easier. I think it all comes down to trusting God to help you to the next step.

  4. Beautiful words of advice, and what a heartfelt testimony! I’m so glad you’ve decided to share this with all of us who need to hear your encouragement and winning strategies. Happy Birthday, Beautiful Lady!

  5. Great how to steps. I might change the “What if” to “Curiosity,” but only because what if can be negative.if one is not in a positive mood. I used to be a prisoner of “What if” scenarios…(negative thought). I like the idea of replacing fear with adventure and curiosity. Absolutely love the idea of getting mad at Satan. of channeling your anger to do something positive to help yourself. This is what is missing in the world today. People know how to get mad, but they don’t know how to channel that energy into constructive pursuits. May you continue to embrace the freedom you have gained in recovery.

  6. This post has such a clickbait title. “Three mental shifts that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE! #2 will SHOCK YOU!!!” But this article has so much more substance than clickbait. Definitely things for me to work on.

  7. I would like to add “embrace failure”, we tend to think of ourselves in the context of being the most important thing ever (being devoid of ego is not possible I think, working towards that however is a divine goal), when in truth so many billions have failed and fail all the time, it’s like breathing, it happens, normalize failure, it does not mean enjoy it or like it, just accept it the same as someone learning to walk, we all did it, we didn’t run a marathon our first time out, we fell flat on our faces, but we got up, and learned how to do it better. and thanks for the inspiration, as always. maybe it seems pointless to throw good stuff out into the world but one life helped is worth all the effort, and reading blogs such as yours helps keep my glass half full.

    • Thanks David – love that so much – embrace failure – that’s important! Hugs and love xox

  8. This is such awesome advice…for anyone! Even someone struggling with parenting exhaustion or work overwhelm…thanks for sharing all you’ve learned so generously. Tiny steps for self care are great advice. Just the next right baby step…taken in hope and curiosity.
    Makes me think of the quote often paired with a picture of a little ballerina:
    “But mother, what if I fall?”
    “Oh, my darling, but what if you fly?”

    Here’s to a life lived in hope!

    • Yes! Here’s to a life lived in hope! Love that quote. Thank you so much Anna!! Big hugs to you xox

  9. Great post Caralyn..

    I know I’ve probably shared this before, but I try to live my life based on this verse.. no matter what happens in my life…

    “Look to this day.
    For Yesterday is but a dream;
    And tomorrow is but a vision.
    For Today well lived,
    Makes every Yesterday, a dream of Happiness;
    And every Tomorrow, a vision of Hope.”

    We always don’t know if we’re living out our full potential each day at a time, but that’s where our faith and our walk with God comes in.. Leaning on His guidance makes our tomorrows, visions of Hope.

    • Oh thank you so much! You’re right – He makes them visions of hope! Hugs and love xox

  10. This article is SPOT ON!! 🧘‍♀️💕 Use that anger to fuel your fire and put that energy into something productive and beautiful. Last week I got so angry at everything but then had huge epiphanies after letting go of these negative emotions. Just let go. Feel that anger run through your veins and then let it go through deep breathing. Deep breathing will naturally decrease your heart rate and calm you down. You need to FEEL rather than run away from these negative emotions. Most people will try to run away by turning to a distraction (TV, Netflix, Facebook, alcohol etc.) rather than turn inward on themselves.

    I haven’t taken an antidepressant since last Saturday because I don’t feel the need to take meds right now. If I feel like I need to, I will, since there’s a high chance of rebounding but I am not worried. I am in control. 🧘‍♀️♥️

    • Oh my gosh thank you so much Hilary! You’re so right — FEELING our emotions is so so important!! Happy for you babe! Sending so much love xx

  11. I know the Grace in your heart is there to notice that I missed you Birthday. I send you the warmest of regard, and am so happy that your Mom surprised you. Your insights are always spot on.

    • Aw, no worries my dear friend! thank you for the warm wishes! it was a beautiful time with her! big hugs xox

  12. Pretty sure it was meant to be that you checked out my post, which led me to your blog…which led me to this post…which…well…I really needed to hear today. Thank you! Xoxo, me and my cat (mostly the star of my blog as I navigate life) 🙂

    • Oh good! i’m so glad this resonated with you!!!! thanks so much for stopping by!!! 🙂 have a great rest of your weekend! big hugs xox

  13. Embracing the spirit of yes is such a tough one for me but I have doing so much better and have seen so much more opportunities come into my life because of this. I am still trying. This was great!

    • Thank you so much Rebecca! Yeah, the “yes” spirit can be definitely a tough one to get used to. but so worth it! big hugs xox

  14. This was such an encouraging post! We’re in the middle of something right now and remembering to just do the next right thing is all we can do. If I’m focused on the step that’s 5 steps ahead, I’ll get overwhelmed and start being overcome with fear. Thankful for the wisdom you’ve shared ❤️

    • Oh good! Thank you Ellen, I’m so glad this hit home with you. I’m sorry you’re going through something right now. Hang in there. Praying for you! big hugs xox

  15. BBB,

    Your the go to person for this question- When you got block from FB.. for questionable content or whatever the reason was #1 you didnt get notified did you? #2 all of a sudden anything i post is not showing up as a post, but as a status update, and it will show in my activity log, but when clicking on it, like the comment or posts it comes up blank.. and im assuming this is the temporary block they put ? can you shed your experience plz.. Thank you.

  16. Share similar thoughts on the road ahead…,baby steps or one day at a time and live life to the fullest. It’s a gift from the Lord!

    • you’re so right! life is a gift from the Lord indeed!! you’re on a reading roll! 🙂 big hugs xo

  17. I will be having a life transition soon and honestly I can’t help but ask the Lord if it is the right thing or should I really do it.

    Thank you for sharing your ideas and I will definitely say YES to the Lord. 😀

    • Hi Dada, I will definitely keep you in my prayers as you embark on this new chapter. Yes to the Lord is always the best yes! big hugs xox

  18. “Turn your fear into curiosity”. That is such a positive way to go about things we’re most scared to tackle. It makes things much easier to handle than to simply back out in fear and never trying out new stuff.
    Your post is really inspirational. Thank you 💚💯🙏

    • Thank you so much Joel! I’m so glad this resonated with you! yes! — it really puts a new spin on it! hugs xox

  19. Hi Caralyn, I’ve been reading your content and LOVING it for several months now! We have so much in common, such as being Catholic and pro-life, and so much of your writing resonates with me.
    I was wondering if you would ever consider doing a guest post exchange. If that’s something your blog doesn’t support, that is TOTALY fine! I’ve just been trying to grow my Christian (and Catholic!) outreach as I start writing more Christian-oriented posts. I just wrote a post that is almost like another mental shift, on how you can change your outlook on humanity based on every person’s identity with God.
    I would love to do a guest post with this article, on a Christian site, and even if you don’t do guest posts, maybe you would have recommendations for Christian blogs that I can follow/reach out to!
    I haven’t published the post I’ve mentioned, but I can send it in an email if you are interested.
    If not, NO WORRIES! I completely understand if guest posting is something you do not do. But I would LOVE if you had any blog recommendations for me!
    Thank you SO much, I’m sorry if this was annoying or came across wrong 😅
    Thank you for being a beautiful Christian witness to life!
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    • Oh my goodness, thank you so much for this beautiful response!!! And thank you so much for the invitation! At this current moment I am not doing guest bloggers on my site, but if that changes I will absolutely let you know!!! Hmmm blog reccos…let me think on that and get back to you!!!! No worries! Did not come across in any way!! Congrats on your blog! I’m rooting for you! big hugs to youx ox

  20. Happy belated birthday! I love the image of you and your mom … love just oozes from your faces! Your points are so good! One that has become a lifeline for me, which started while dealing with anxiety and fear, is … do something that is hard or fearful, to prove to myself that I can do the hard things. And girl, you have done some hard things! Keep it up sweet lady!

    • Aw thank you so much!!! Yeah it was a really special time with her!!! I love that – do something hard! amen to that! So glad, Carole, that you stopped by! big hugs to you xox

  21. Wow! This was so Powerful!! Thank you so very much for the tips 😊 I don’t have an eating disorder but I feel as if these are the very mindsets I need to apply to my life in this season that God has me in. Thank you!!

  22. Happy belated Birthday! Mine was on the 11th. I appreciate this article. The best approach is to take our unique journeys one day at a time. Thank you for your transparency.

    • Thank you so much Ada!! And happy belated birthday to you!!! Hope it was a great one! Hugs and love xox

  23. Thanks so much for this beautiful written and beautiful illustrated post. Your skillful graphic artistry still shines through in all you do. The principles you shared can be applied to any adverse situation. The reference to saying “Yes” brought to mind this scripture.1 Corinthians 1:20

    For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.

    What a great word of encouragement for everybody.

    Thanks for the like you recently posted.

    • Aw, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to red it! i love the book of Corinthians! it is so powerful and applicable! big hugs xox

  24. I spent a couple of hours before a gig tonight at St John Nepomucene Church, on 66th and 1st… sitting alone in the first pew I recited some scripture in my head, I think it’s found in the gospel according to John: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” Thinking of you now, and the scripture again… And how the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and the grace to rise. xo Tony

    • Oh wow I love that passage, thank you Tony for sharing that with me 🙂 so glad you had that moment of peace. big hugs xo

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