Changing Your Mindset

By Sherryk 10/16/18

There is a big dead tree in my back yard. It is mixed in among the healthy thriving trees. They have leaves that are green and lush, while the dead tree is dry, brown, and brittle. I have always hated that dead tree. It always puts a damper on my admiration for the back yard. I have no idea why I have not paid to have it removed. I secretly hope it will fall every time we have a storm. Then, I will be forced to cut it up and remove the eye sore from my vision.

I have been thinking a lot lately about ways to change my mindset. Actually, I have been told several times lately that I need to change my mindset.
I was confused by that advice. Change my mindset. How do I do that?

I have come to believe that it starts with seeing what's there in the first place. Looking, searching, and asking questions. The reason I brought up the old dead tree in the first place, is that today I saw the tree in a whole different light. With a different mindset.

I was spraying weeds along the tree line and under the trees when I stopped and looked up. That old dead tree which used to really piss me off, looked different the closer I got to it. Just as most things are different when we stop and take a closer look.
The tree is beat up and weathered from the storms of life. And so am I.
The tree has fallen limbs and sharp sticks protruding from every angel. And so do I.
Despite what the old tree has been through, it is still standing strong. And so am I.
The tree is old and weathered, yet strong enough to withstand the storms.
And so am I.

As far as changing my mindset goes, I have stopped waiting for the perfect time, and the perfect environment. The time is now.
Alcoholics are familiar with the term Stinking Thinking, and I have had my struggles in this type of thinking. Our thoughts either help us, or hinder us. And our thoughts are truly what influences our actions.
Whether we think we can or we can't, we are right!
I am learning to recognize denial and rationalization for what they are ... excuses.
I am accepting the fact that I have used them to feel justified about my use of drugs and alcohol in my past.
The mental gymnastics that accompany such rationalizations is torture to my mind.

Albert Einstein said it best when he stated " You can not solve a problem using the same level of thinking that created the problem".

There are several skills I have found that are helping me to change my mindset.
One of the first things is to be ready to make changes in your life.
Then, be willing to take responsibility for your actions.
Be able to imagine a sober future for yourself.
Ditch the victim mentality, and resist the urge to let it come back to haunt you.
Be open to look at things from a whole different perspective.
Surrender all, not some, but all.
Listen in meetings, in therapy, to your sober friends, and to your sponsor.
Do as you are told. Even if you don't want to. Especially if you don't want to.
Pray for willingness. Pray for guidance. Pray for wisdom. Just pray!
Seek help from those around you.
And lastly, be patient with yourself, as tough as that is.

As far as the old tree in my back yard goes, it can stay for now.
It has earned its spot in the woods.
And I have changed my mindset.


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