It started with a rat.
That was doable. One rat.
I didn’t give it much thought until I realized rats must procreate at astronomical speeds.
Well, mine did.
I started hearing scrambling noises when I went to my shed to feed my chickens, gather eggs, or let them out every morning. Still didn’t think much of it…even when I saw the oval pieces of poop they were leaving as if the poop was some trophy for me to find. Ugh. I began seeing the gigantic (well, gigantic to me) family of rats run down the edge of my fence or run and hide from me when I walked in to the shed. I posted my problem on the Nextdoor App. I was amazed with the number of responses I received.
The most common suggestions regarding “How to get rid of rats in my shed” was simple: “Get a cat.”
Oh no! No way. I don’t like cats. I don’t do cats. I don’t want a cat. I am scared of cats. I don’t want to even touch a cat.
Before the animal activist inundate me with emails or hate comments, please continue to read this article.
I am a therapist. I get it. I can offer individuals suggestions all day long regarding what I think needs to happen. I can recommend books, podcasts, workbooks, and advice. What I also tend to do is allow the things we discuss in therapy to slip my mind at times in my own world.
Let’s talk about “Mindset”.
Yes, the same “Mindset” I discuss with patients on an hourly basis.
The same “Mindset” concept that two precious cats taught me in the last week.
Mindset. What does “mindset” mean?
mind·set or mind-set (mīnd′sĕt′) n.
1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.
2. An inclination or a habit.
In our everyday real world, “Mindset” means the crap we have heard from our parents, family, friends, media, and God only knows, that we actually own as our own thoughts. It tends to be the thoughts grounded in cement in our heads that stifle us from growing and experiencing life in our own way and not determined by the thoughts we accepted along the way.
Mindset can dictate how you view yourself and the world around you. But it can also create self-imposed limitations within your own belief system.
Sounds so easy…it isn’t.
It is changing your thoughts stored in what sometimes seems like a metal trap in your mind. The same thoughts you once knew to be truth or “The Gospel” because the person who led you to these thoughts you adored, admire, and respected as a child.
Changing A Mindset
- Choose growth over negativity. Being negative can be the “go to” and, quite frankly, its easier most of the time.
- See a failure or setback as a “lesson” or “something to learn and grow from” instead of playing the victim.
- Don’t grab on to or accept your own critical thoughts (the voice in your head) and believe them to be true.
- Stop yourself from the “I don’t like” and the “I just never” statements and think about them. Are they your thoughts or someone else’s?
- Adopt “I can” and “I will” instead of using “I can’t” as a go to.
- Stop blaming your parents, siblings, family, ex, friend, boss, or whatever you can use to determine your own pain and move forward. Create new beliefs to create a new life.
- Create an open-minded world for yourself. Be open to new ideas, opinions, concepts, and leave your closed mindset behind. This does not mean become a “hippy child” and live off of the earth. It means explore your own thoughts, values, and morals and stand true to yourself yet be open to others’ opinions and ideas.
Download these journal prompts and begin your new 30-day mindset journey.
A closed mindset or opinion in my life taught me to not like cats.
Until I actually “needed” a cat, I was holding on to a mindset created by my parents. We “were not cat people”. We did not have a cat growing up. I had the crap scared out of me when babysitting and a Siamese cat attacked me.
I was introduced to what I see as angels, Cindy Ferguson and Cassima Dean with Companion Pet Rescue (www.barncats.org). After interviewing me, approving my property, living conditions for my animals, and teaching me about cats, I now have two precious “barn cats”.
Simon and Roman were rescued from a hording situation and were the only two cats that did not have to be put down.
We now have two new additions to our clan. They are sweet precious souls who have taught me the true meaning of what “Mindset” means.
Cindy hand picked me two cats who accept my crazy world with the tortoise, 2 dogs, 5 chickens, 1 bunny and my crazy self.
The rats are not gone.
That will come in time. We are more concerned in getting Simon and Roman acclimated to their new home. They will do their job when they are ready.
Shame on me. Shame on my “mindset” I accepted.
My “mindset” has thankfully been shaken.
Interested in more? I would love to virtually meet to you! Email or call anytime to schedule a virtual session. (817) 701-5438 | firstname.lastname@example.org
CRT, CCDC, CACC | Counselor & Life Coach
Empowering individuals, families and communities to grow and heal through advanced approaches in Creative Arts Therapy, setting the standard for treatment, practice and training within the field.