The Mirror Practice
Today we’re talking about the Mirror Practice. I’m going to share how we can use our life as a mirror to begin making change. This practice is really about understanding that our surroundings reflect our beliefs and using that information to make change in our lives.
The first step to changing your life, the first step to deciding that something’s got to give, the first step to understanding why you’re getting the results you’re getting in your life is really this practice.
Even if you’re already on your way to cleaning up your mind, making better decisions for yourself and basically feel like you’re on the right track in life, you’re going to want to do this practice to get a better understanding of why you do what you do and where you can begin making tweaks.
Once you see this, you can’t unsee it.
I’m calling it the Mirror Practice.
So that you don’t have to take notes, I’m breaking down what we talk about today in a freebie for you. You can get your hands on it here:
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Alright, are you ready to dive in to this week’s training?
I’m telling you, once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Don’t be scared, but just recognize that side effects include you wanting to create massive change in your life.
But I really do want to start off this training with some warnings.
What I’m about to teach you isn’t meant to overwhelm you. It’s meant to bring awareness to what’s going on in your life and what you believe about yourself and your life. No matter what you see, you’re going to be okay.
In fact, I personally would treat this as a litmus test. Like an assessment. You can get the temperature of the topics I’m going to talk with you about today.
When you start to recognize what you believe about yourself in these areas of your life, you may be tempted to beat yourself up.
Please have compassion for yourself. Every single one of us have an area in our life — usually MULTIPLE areas — that we’re unsatisfied with.
Satisfied. Isn’t that the lamest word ever?
Who wants to be “satisfied?”
I want exemplary, joyful, amazing, awesome in my life.
If you’re living your life just satisfied, please recognize that when you’re going through this practice.
One of the best phrases that I remind myself of is, “If it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a hell no.” It’s a great one to go to when you’re trying to make a decision.
One last thing I want to mention on the overwhelm bit. You may strive for perfection. I’ve been there. I get it. This practice is not about making yourself “perfect.” In fact, I’ve seen that in my life and other people’s lives, and it just leads to more stress. I’m not all about that and neither is this practice.
This Mirror Practice is about recognizing any areas of your life that you can bring more joy and awesome into.
It’s about recognizing where there’s room for change to make you feel more of the feelings you want to have in your life and less of the ones you don’t.
So if you start using this Mirror Practice, recognize that you don’t have to make massive change. You just have to take massive action in one tiny area of your life to improve the overall amazingness of your life.
And then you’ll be an addict. You’ll want to look around at other areas of your life and think, “How can I make this part of my life even more awesome?”
You’ll likely want to replay this episode every 6 months or so and ask yourself, “How can I make my life even more awesome?”
* If you notice yourself getting overwhelmed, take a deep breath, let it go, then say, “everything’s going to be okay.”
* This is like taking a measurement, dipping your toe in the bath before you dive in
* Have compassion for yourself. We’re all in the same boat when it comes to working on something – usually multiple things — in our life. You are not alone here.
* No stressing here. We’re not aiming for perfection. We just want to make our life more awesome.
Okay, that was a lot of buildup. But I think you’ll find the buildup was worth it.
The Mirror Practice – and remember you can get the free guide to all of this at dinacataldo.com/50, so you don’t have to write any notes. If you’re driving in your car or have got your hands full, I’ve got you.
What we’re doing in this practice is systematically looking at every area of our life and seeing what’s there and how we feel about it.
The reason this practice is so powerful is because it works hand in hand with the thought cycle we’ve talked about in other podcasts.
Thought Cycle: Our thoughts are interpretations of our circumstances or objective facts. Our thoughts cause our feelings. Our feelings cause us to act. Our actions lead to our results.
When we implement this Mirror Practice, we can see the results in our lives and work backwards to figure out the thoughts that are causing the results. We’re working backwards to figure out why we behave (or act) the way we do. What feelings do we have about that topic. And really, what thoughts do we have that are creating those feelings.
Once we understand the thoughts that are creating this chain reaction, we can begin unravelling what is usually a lifetime of habits that we’ve created in different areas of our lives.
For example – let’s take a look at one area where you can apply the Mirror Practice: Relationships.
Let’s say the result in your life is that you’re attracted to unavailable men or women.
Usually when faced with that result, people may believe that this says something about who they are. That that’s just the way they are.
That result has nothing to do with “how things are.”
You have agency. You have power. And when you recognize that, then you can move out of victimhood and begin taking charge of your life in that area.
If that’s what you’re seeing in the mirror, then take a moment to write down where this has shown up in your life. Where have you found yourself attracted to unavailable men or women.
Then move your attention to how you felt in each of these relationships. Chances are it’s very similar. They all feel very familiar to you. This is a habit your primal brain has formed. Now your brain basically thinks it’s saving your life by finding you another mate who matches what you’re used to experiencing. It’s keeping you safe. That was great when we were being hunted in the wild, but not so great when we’re trying to change habits that don’t serve us.
These feelings you experience may be shame, fear, heartache, insecurity.
Now that you’ve dug up these feelings, what kind of thoughts are linked with them. Is it shame that you can’t seem to get out of this pattern, shame that you stayed with them too long, think you’re a moron for staying with them so long, insecurity that you’ll ever find anyone as “great” as they were again, fear of loss, that you’re not enough, that it’s your fault, that you could have done more?
One thing that you may notice about these thoughts is that they’re grounded in lack mentality and negativity. These thoughts feel heavy.
We may think: “Why would we keep repeating this same pattern over and over if it doesn’t feel good to us?” The thing is, it’s what our primal brain knows. If we’re repeating a pattern, it’s probably something we learned when we were a kid that was an incorrect interpretation of something that happened.
Remember: all thoughts are just interpretations of facts. It doesn’t mean they’re right all the time. In fact, humans make a lot of incorrect interpretations. AKA assumptions. Interpretations help us function in the world quickly assessing what we do and don’t like, what we want more of, what we want less of. But we are training our brain to take a closer look at our worldview, so we can make change. So that we can see the world as it is.
Now that you know that thoughts that are creating the results, what do you do?
You start correcting that thought. More accurately, you’re changing it to a thought that serves you rather than hinders you.
The good news about our brain is that it doesn’t know reality from imagination, so even if you don’t completely believe the thought you’re creating, it’s okay. You will get there.
You’re actually changing your identity with this practice.
You identity may have been of someone who’s unlucky in love, and with work on your thoughts you can morph it into someone who’s best relationships are ahead of you.
Some examples of thoughts you can replace with this relationship example:
1. Go from “I must not be enough” to “The right person will see what I have to offer” to “I’m amazing, and anyone would be lucky to be with me.”
2. Go from “I can’t believe he didn’t want to be with me” to “It’ll all work out” to “Thank God he didn’t want to be with me because I’m going to find someone so much better.”
At least a three step process with these thoughts. I think that it can be jarring to move from step one to step three. It causes cognitive dissonance, which our brain doesn’t like. We’re just not up to believing the better thought yet, and our brain rejects it sometimes.
When you change your thought, you’ll change your feelings, which then impact how you act or behave in the world. This then changes your result.
A person acting from the thought, “I must not be enough” will act far differently than someone who has the thought, “I’m amazing, and anyone would be lucky to be with me.” Who do you think will have the better result?
Let’s do one more example before I give you an assignment.
Let’s say the area you’re focussing on is wealth building.
The result you have is: No savings or little savings. Maybe lots of bills.
The feelings you have are: Guilt, shame, insecurity, inadequacy.
The thoughts you have are: I didn’t save enough, I’m bad at saving, I don’t know how to save, I don’t know how to curb my spending.
Here are some examples of how you can replace these thoughts:
1. Go from “I don’t know how to curb my spending” to “I can learn how to curb my spending” to “I am 100% responsible for my spending decisions”
2. Go from “I’m bad at saving” to “I can save” to “It’s safe for me to have lots of money in the bank” or “I love money and money loves me”
You’re moving from the identity of someone who believes they’re bad with money to someone who is in control of your finances.
Once you know what’s happening in your brain, you can just practice it over and over again until you slowly retrain your brain to think like you want it to think.
Instead of reaching for shame and guilt, you’ll start reaching for empowerment.
Pretty amazing tool, right?
Okay, so here’s your homework.
Download the PDF below and begin working on seeing what's in your life right now. I walk you through this practice in the guide.
Talk to you soon!