How to Shift your Mindset

Brandon Laws
How to Shift Your Mindset Not everyone can turn a tragic loss into a positive force in their life. But Karen Millsap did just that. She rebuilt her life by coaching other people through grief—sharing her incredible story as well as the healthy habits and tips she used to find her way back. Today, she’s a Mental Performance Coach and has expanded her focus to the workplace and beyond, with tools and tips we can all use to cultivate a healthier mindset.

Let’s start with a truth we can all agree on:
Everyone is going through something. This is the key to Karen’s approach to life and her Stop & Shift model—a method for shifting your mindset that you can use at work, at home and beyond. Karen reminds us, “Everybody is going through something but remember, it’s never one thing. Life is overwhelming, but there are so many ways we can manage it.” She points to the moment she shifted her focus to what was positive and productive, as the moment that her life started moving forward again. Over the years, she’s refined the Stop & Shift method to help others shift their mindset, silence negative thoughts and practice what she describes as “mental strength training.”

It starts with STOP

STOP stands for Silence Thoughts On Purpose. Karen suggests this little experiment, “In your mind, say hello. Now, say it again it. Now, scream it. You could hear that, right? In that moment, you really hear the thought and you can separate yourself from the thought.” This necessary space from the thoughts in our head gives us room to choose our reaction, choose our words, and choose how we show up.

Then you SHIFT

SHIFT stands for See Hope, Intentions, Facts, and new Thoughts. Depending on your situation, you can focus on one or all these to get to a more productive place. Karen explains, “When we feel distraught, when we feel like life is unfair, when we are overwhelmed by our current circumstance, sometimes we need Hope to get through that moment.” She calls out Intentions for situations when you’re jumping to a negative place. “That’s your cue for checking your intentions and asking yourself how you’re showing up. Is it from a place of love or fear?” Finally, Facts help us when our emotions or ego are taking us to a negative space. She explains that “If we can set those things aside and look at the facts of the situation, that can help us make a decision that is rooted in positivity and also meant to be productive.”

Think New Thoughts

Whether you’re shifting to hope, intentions, facts, or all of the above, what you get in the process are new thoughts. Karen points to new thoughts as the key to a much bigger shift in your mindset and in your life. The takeaway: “New thoughts bring new words, new habits, new decisions and that’s how you reshape your life.”

Want to learn more about Karen Millsap’s methods or mental performance coaching? Listen to the full interview on the Transform Your Workplace podcast and visit her website at or give her a follow on Instagram @karenmillsap for some daily inspiration and positivity.

Brandon Laws Brandon Laws is the Director of Marketing at Xenium HR, where he has spent the last 11 years of his career helping transform workplaces. Brandon is the host of the popular HR and leadership podcast, Transform Your Workplace. He provides strategy and oversight on Xenium's brand, products, and lead generation. Brandon is an avid reader of business books and reads 40–60 books a year. He resides in Newberg with his wife, two children, and cats. You can follow Brandon on Twitter and Instagram .

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