It Won't Get Better Unless You Make This Mental Switch

Jordan Brown

I'm sorry. I have to share something.

It's something that I'm guilty of.

And it's something that I think you are probably guilty of too.

It's this belief, this high hope and lofty wish of a belief, that the world is just going to get better.

But it's not backed up by anything.

It's just a wisp of a belief.

And things don't just get better. They don't.

Something else is required.

When Will Things Get Better?

Have you ever uttered that phrase?

Especially now, especially during these challenging times, it's a phrase that has captured the public consciousness.

But, I'm sorry to tell you something . That's not how the world works. Things don't just get better.

When I'm in anxious mode, I offer up a thought and a hope that things will get better. But I don't have any data to back it up with. It's just a hope. I'm in pain, and I want to be in less pain. It could be emotional pain, or it could be physical discomfort. It could be a general sense of unease about the way the world is turning at the moment. Any of these circumstances can trigger my anxiety.

But do you know what triggers my anxiety even more?

Just hoping that things will get better.

Because I know in my heart of hearts that I have to take action to make things better--that "better" is an abstract state that requires concrete action to be filled in.

I know what you might be thinking. Did this silly man really just fire up his computer to tell me how bad the world is and how things never actually get better? I thought I was supposed to be reading an uplifting mental health newsletter for crying out loud?

Yes, I did do these things. But I'm also offering something else.

Don't Think About Things Getting Better

What I'm doing here today is offering you a different way of being. I'm steering you off a road that goes nowhere. I'm offering a light in a morass of dark thinking.

Thinking that things will automatically get better does not work. It's leaving your life up to chance. It's hoping for the best while only equipping yourself with a fixed mindset, when what you really need is a growth mindset.

Here's a Better Way to Think, Act, and Be

When you think that things need to get better, you're thinking from a place of entitlement. But entitlement that's not backed up by action is delusion. I'm sorry to be harsh here, but it's coming from a place that I've been--and I don't want you to go down that same road.

Instead of thinking that things need to get better, accept your current reality, and commit to making a change.

Thought connected with action leads to a new reality. It leads to a new way of being.

Instead of hoping for change, walk yourself into a new mindset. Take action until the action takes you down a new path. I have never once thought myself out of a predicament. OK, that's not exactly true. Thinking can spark the initial change, but the big changes in my life always required something else.

When my depression got really bad and absolutely nothing was helping, I had to take myself to the hospital. It was one of the best decisions--if not the best decision--I've ever made. Love yourself like your life depends on it. Because it does.

Dire situations require dire actions. When you're in a bad mental state, a terrible situation, a great calamity, or any kind of dire strait that you've never been in before, you must act in ways you've never acted before.

We're being faced down by the life-changing COVID-19, a virus that is changing the way our very social and economic systems operate. It's a societal crisis unlike any other that we have faced before. Now is not the time to hope that things get better. That hardly ever works. And if it does, it's only because a million random factors happened to connect in the right way.

What's more powerful is the action you take in response to fear and anxiety. That's something you can control. That's better.

It starts with thought. It continues with action.

And it ends with becoming someone not even your thoughts could dream up.