You walk into the party filled with strangers and it feels as if all eyes are upon you. Everyone is chatting and laughing away. You feel different.
Your heart begins to race. Your breathing becomes shallow and your first inclination is to turn around and run. You don’t because you don’t want to call more attention to yourself or be rude. But the urge to leave is real.
Your internal naysayer starts to chime in. “You won’t have anything to say. What if you say something really stupid? No one is going to want to hang out with you. You’re like a fish out of water and you’re going to look really silly here.”
A thought of being curled up on your sofa in the sweet sanctity of your own home rushes your brain. You scan the room looking for a safe place to plant yourself, a place where you can quietly observe and avoid any casual chitchat.
Does this sound familiar?
If you’re an introvert like me it probably does. Put me in front of a room of hundreds to give a presentation or workshop and I’m pumped. Take me to a party where I don’t know anyone and I literally feel myself shrink, as if I’m trying to curl up into myself.
To my sister and brother introverts, if you’ve ever felt ashamed of your own introversion, like some freak of nature, this post and the following quotes are for you. May you find great comfort in them.
To all my extroverted friends and readers who know and love an introvert, I hope the quotes provide you with some additional insight that’ll help you to love your introverts even more.
“If you are an introvert, you are born with a temperament that craves to be alone, delights in meaningful connections, thinks before speaking and observes before approaching. If you are an introvert, you thrive in the inner sanctuary of the mind, heart and spirit, but shrink in the external world of noise, drama and chaos. As an introvert, you are sensitive, perceptive, gentle and reflective. You prefer to operate behind the scenes, preserve your precious energy and influence the world in a quiet, but powerful way.”
- Aletheia Luna, Quiet Strength: Embracing, Empowering and Honoring Yourself as an Introvert
Thoughts: YES! YES! YES! There’s nothing at all wrong with…
…thinking before speaking.
…striving for quality over quantity when it comes to connections.
…being sensitive, perceptive, gentle and reflective.
…wanting to influence the world in a quiet, but powerful way.
When we are at a party we are often the quiet observer. We aren’t standing in judgment, analyzing the people at the party. What we are doing is taking it all in so that when we share, we are sharing from a place of authenticity.
“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”
- Audrey Hepburn
Thoughts: As introverts we may need a little more down time than others do, particularly after social events, presentations, big gathers, etc. There’s absolutely no harm in that. The only harm is when we don’t take the time we need to refuel.
To those who love us, please do not take our need for alone time as a slight. We just want to make sure you’re getting the best version of us and not some fried and cranky critter.
“Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.”
- Michaela Chung
Thoughts: As introverts it’s not uncommon to take it all in, our surroundings, the people, the energy, etc. We aren’t tuning out, uninterested, being shy or trying to be rude. We’re just collecting information to share when the time is right to do so.
“Introverts crave meaning so party chitchat feels like sandpaper to our psyche.”
Thoughts: We love to get to know people at a deeper level. We like conversations that make us think or that help us to learn. While there’s nothing wrong with surface level conversations, they just aren’t in our wheelhouse.
Speaking of surface level…
“Let’s clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people. We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”
- Laurie Helgoe
Thoughts: This quote reminds me of all the times I’ve been accused of being a “stand-offish bitch” because I’m uncomfortable with small talk. I love people, as do my introverted friends and clients.
It goes back to the previous quote; we just love a meaningful conversation…that’s all.
“Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.”
- Paulo Coelho
Thoughts: We sometimes do our best thinking and creating when we’re enjoying the solitude of our own company. This in no way means we need or want to become hermits. Nor does it mean that we don’t want to spend time with those we love and care about.
“Accept everything about yourself–I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end–no apologies, no regrets.”
- Clark Moustakas
Thoughts: OK, so maybe this quote doesn’t really have to do with being an introvert. It’s just important to remember that there’s no need to apologize for being a bit quieter than others in some social settings. There’s no need to apologize for needing that extra alone time either. We are who we are and that’s not something to be sorry for.
If those quotes didn’t make you want to hug your introverted self, I’d love to introduce you to the following famous introverts.
Sir Issac Newton
Isn’t it cool to be in such great company?
To all my fellow introverts, now imagine going to that party. You still may not like small talk, but at least you'll know that you're not some weird freak-a-zoid. Hold your head up and know this...you're an amazing, bright, insightful, thoughtful, perceptive person who just handles social situations a little bit differently.
And last, but certainly not least, to those folks that love us regardless of our introverted-ness, we thank you!
Until next time, much love and light coming your way...
The answer is in what we allow & how we treat ourselves
We teach others how to treat us based on how we treat ourselves and as Stephen Covey said what we allow.
Have you heard this before?
As an example…
Lately I’ve had some struggles in some personal relationships. Struggles where it’s felt as though my feelings, my energy, and my time were being taken advantage of.
I could place blame on others. I could say it’s just a symptom of the “good girl syndrome”, the change in weather or the phase of the moon. I could point fingers in all sorts of directions, but you know what?
I really have no one to blame, but me.
I’ve made it OK by not saying, “Now’s not a good time.” when my energy and my bandwidth has been low.
I’ve made it OK by ignoring my own need for support.
I’ve made it OK by keeping my thoughts and my feelings to myself.
While I know that I can’t control how people react or respond, there are some things I can do (and have done). Things that ensure my time, my feelings, and my energy aren’t being taken advantage of.
I’ve started with me first and foremost. I can’t expect anyone to respect my time, my energy, or my feelings if I’m not. This is not a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. Which means paying attention to what I need and what I’m feeling.
If I’m in need of support, I’m letting others know by asking for it rather than expecting them to be able to read my mind or my cues.
If I’m feeling run down I’m taking time to recharge before I commit to doing anything else.
In addition, I’m saying, “no, thank you” when I don’t have the time, when I don’t have the energy, or when I’m tempted to do something because I’m feeling obligated.
I’m also setting some boundaries around what I won’t allow in my personal relationships, such as negative, gripey type conversations (not to be confused with venting). Which also means that I’m watching my own contributions in a conversation. It’s not OK for me to gripe if I don’t want to listen to someone else do so.
CHECK IN TIME
My friends, I invite you to take inventory of how you treat yourself and how others treat you by answering these questions.
Do you respect your own feelings by not ignoring them?
Do you respect your own energy by not expending when you don’t have much?
Do you take time to recharge your battery?
Do you treat yourself well? (Based on your own definition of what that means.)
Do you ask for what you need?
Do others respect your time?
Do others respect your feelings?
Do others listen when you’re sharing your thoughts?
Do others treat you well? (Again based on your own definition of what that means.)
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, what are you teaching others based on what you allow and how you treat yourself? What needs to change starting with you?
I'm sorry (not sorry) for the barrage of questions. Hopefully they’ve helped to create some awareness and ultimately some options for change. Because at the end of the day, we truly do teach people how to treat us so let’s teach them well.
Until next time, as always I send you much love and light…
The stories we tell ourselves and how to deal with them
(WARNING: Strong language up ahead!)
I just rode my 100th Peloton ride. Why am I sharing this?
I’m sharing because what happened as a result is significant.
Right before my very first ride I did something to myself that I did once again before my 100th ride. What I did is a habit, a pattern that has been with me for as long as I can remember.
I got excited only to have that excitement squashed by my own mental mind-fuck of a story.
My first ride’s story was all about how I wasn’t fit enough to last more than 10 minutes on the bike. "Best to steer clear of the live streaming classes then, obviously. Don’t want to embarrass myself in front of the other riders."
Fast-forward to my 100th ride and the story that played out like this…
“You didn’t push the limits with every ride. Some rides were only 20 or 30 minutes. Not balls to the wall 45 or 60. You didn’t really earn this accomplishment of 100 rides!”
Yep, I was shitting all over my 100th ride accomplishment with my habitual story of “not enough”!!
This is where the significant part comes in.
I’ve made it a part of my mission to help others deal with “not good enough” feelings and thoughts. I’ve written a course made up of exercises that I’ve used over the years that have helped me deal. In all my years of working with my own stories of “not good enough” I’ve come to realize one thing…
…some stories never truly go away. (As tempting as it might be to stop reading, please don’t or you’ll miss out on some important information!)
Here’s where the spin bike tire meets the proverbial road… it’s not the story itself or the fact that we may tell it 20 gazillion times. It’s what we ultimately believe and then what we do that makes all the difference.
Hang with me here for just a few more seconds as I explain.
The brain, no matter how amazing it is, processes facts and beliefs the same way. Which means our brains make it possible for us to see evidence that supports either a fact or a belief. (By the way, stories are often nothing more than a limiting belief.)
Let’s use my spinning journey as an example. Yep, I told myself a story about how I wasn’t fit enough to take that first spin class. At that point in the story I had a few options…
I could retire my spin bike shoes before they even got their first scuff, go down to the kitchen, grab a bag of chips and call it a day.
Or I could get my ass on that bike and do whatever I was able to do at that time.
And since I reached my 100th ride, I’m sure you already know which option I chose.
For that first ride and every ride since I’ve switched up my story and gotten my ass on that bike.
“You’re too tired. Get off!” has turned into “You may be tired, but don’t quit. Just take it a little bit easier.”
“This class is too hard. You can’t do it.” Has turned into “It’s just a class. It’s got nothing on you.”
“You won’t be able to keep up.” has turned into “The only person watching you and your speed is you! Keep peddling!”
And for my 100th ride “You didn’t push the limits with every ride. Some rides were only 20 or 30 minutes. Not balls to the wall 45 or 60.” turned into “It doesn’t matter how you got to this 100th ride. What matters is that you got here so get your ass on that bike and celebrate!!!!”
WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE STORIES?
First things first, if you take away anything from this post, I hope it’s this…
The negative stories (limiting beliefs) we tell ourselves come from a 3-pound organ. You and I are so much stronger, bigger, and more badass than that 3-pound organ. And that’s a true story!
Which means we can make some choices when it comes to the stories we tell. We can either choose to believe them and go no further or we can change them and get to gettin’! With that said, here are some things that will help.
Whatever we choose to do with our stories let’s make a commitment that we will never, from this point forward, allow our stories to shit on us, our accomplishments, or our positive opportunities. Deal?
Until next time, as always I'm sending you much love and light...
How to find it and own it
"When I lose 20 pounds I'll be happier."
"When I make six figures I’ll have made it."
"When I can buy my dream car and my dream house then I'll know I'm a success."
I grew up with messages like these.
As a kid and a teenager self-worth in my world equated to keeping up with the Joneses. It was about the external things. Which meant that the more you had the better you were as a person.
While I don’t think those were the messages the adults in my world intended to give, that is what they modeled. And since it was all I knew, I chased the external. I chased it down like a lion chases its prey.
No matter how much I “caught” I never felt it was enough. The bottom line, chasing the external cost me a lot (i.e. my identity, my energy, my heart) and got me no closer to feeling worthy and good about me.
And then the penny FINALLY dropped…
You can't put a price tag on self-worth. It’s not something you chase. And it's certainly not something you can buy off the Internet or in a swanky store. It has nothing to do with what you own, how you look, how much money you make, or your job title.
Self-worth is and has always been an inside job.
HOW TO OWN IT
Owning our own self-worth is a process. It’s one that takes time, awareness, effort, and a willingness to want to own it. With that said, I’d like to offer the following things that have helped me to own mine, but with a caveat.
These are things that I’ve used; they aren’t the only ways that work and just because they’ve worked for me that doesn’t mean that they have to work for you. I offer them to you to take, to tweak, or to discard if they don’t seem like a fit.
“Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you. What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but what's important to me is my opinion of myself.” ― C. JoyBell C.
I wanted to feel more confident, comfortable in my own skin, happy. That lead to wanting to know what made me tick, what made me, me at my core. From there my definition was born.
My self-worth = being a person of compassion, integrity, warmth, acceptance, high intuition, and creativity.
(SIDE NOTE: If the above doesn’t work for you, try answering this question… “What qualities do you want to be remembered for?”)
SELF-WORTH IS PRICELESS
Sometimes I still find myself feeling a little “less than” when someone has something or does something that I’d like to have or do. After all, old habits die hard. But then I remember one thing… my self-worth has nothing to do with the external stuff and everything to do with who I am on the inside.
At the end of the day, what’s on the inside has always been priceless.
In closing, I share this wish with you...
May you know and always own your priceless self-worth. Knowing that who you are on the inside has always been and will always be more than enough!
Sending you much love and light until next time…
To the unseen, unheard, the judged and the criticized
We’ve all seen the posts where a brave soul bears it all in a letter to their younger self. Offering up sage advice or lessons they have learned. I’m always impressed with the person’s courage and the willingness to let it all hang out in the most vulnerable of ways.
When I was 46 I wrote a similar letter that I can’t seem to find now. I’ve taken that as my sign that I’m meant to write another. But this time I’m writing a much different letter.
Rather then write a letter to my younger self, I’m writing this letter to anyone who has ever felt misunderstood, not seen or heard, judged, and criticized. I’m writing to anyone who has ever been picked over and made to feel less than. I’m writing to the person who has failed or fallen down. I’m writing to you and I’m writing to me.
If no one has ever told you, or at least told you lately, how incredible you are, how deserving you are of all that’s good, or how capable you are then please let me be that person.
It doesn’t matter if you once cheated on a test or cheated on a partner.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve tried every diet under the sun in hopes of having that “perfect” body.
It doesn’t matter if you said something hurtful to someone else out of your own hurt.
It doesn’t matter if you told a lie, or maybe a few to save face or to avoid criticism.
It doesn’t matter if you…feel free to fill in the blank here with anything you may be using to beat yourself up with or make yourself feel bad for.
It doesn’t matter because shit happens. I don’t say that with flippancy or disregard for whatever you may have done or experienced. And I’m really not trying to minimize those mistakes or even make them OK for you. That would be terribly rude of me and quite presumptuous.
Just know that you are incredible regardless and that those things don’t define you. They don’t negate your level of awesomeness, or the fact that you deserve good things. And they certainly don’t negate just how capable you are as a person.
How do I know this?
Because I’ve cheated on a spouse. I’ve done some pretty damaging things to my body, i.e. yo-yo dieting, drinking too much, smoking. I’ve said some hurtful things to another person out of my own hurt. I’ve lied to save face and to avoid criticism.
I’ve used those and other negatives things to hold me back or to kick the shit out of myself. It hasn’t been worth it. What’s been worth it is learning from those mistakes and moving on from them. Recognizing that to own them not only takes courage, but strength.
I say this because you, my friend, are not only courageous and strong, but also incredible. You have gotten yourself to this very point in time and I’m willing to bet that has been no small feat.
And so as that incredible person, I want you to know a few other things.
There are people who are critical of you and what you do. You can’t change those people and their critical ways. The only thing that you can change is how you deal with that criticism and ultimately those people.
“Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.”
- Shannon L. Alder
It helps to remember that criticism is just a projection of how that person feels about himself or herself. Chances are they feel inadequate or less than. And while it may cause some barriers, at the end of the day, being able to put it into perspective is your best defense.
Another great defense to criticism is to be who you are in every given moment, not someone you think others want you to be. You know who you are. You can feel it when you’re being true to you. Trust that feeling. You are your most powerful self when you are being your most authentic self.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde
About being your authentic self, if there’s something about yourself that you don’t like, that’s OK. We’re all a work in progress. Rather than criticize yourself, make the effort to change what you don’t like. And for God’s sake don’t forget your likable qualities because you do have them.
Maybe you have great eyes.
Maybe you’re the type of friend that never forgets a birthday.
Maybe you have a big, soft heart.
Focus on and leverage those things as you are working on the stuff you don’t like. Oh, and here’s a little insider’s tip…. if you want to feel good enough, focusing on what you like about you helps. Feeling good enough is an inside job and not at all related to a designer label, cool car, big house, or any other exterior thing.
This may seem tangential, but this is a good time to address rejection, because rejection often causes feelings of not good enough.
Here’s the thing about rejection… there’s no such thing. There’s not. If you have been passed over by a person or a potential opportunity know that it’s just the Universe’s (or God’s) way of protecting you from something or someone who’s not a right fit. That way you have the space, time, and energy for someone or something that is.
Speaking of space, time and energy, it’s not a terrible thing to be particular. When it comes to your time, your energy, your heart it’s important to get really clear on what makes someone worthy of receiving the important bits of you. This is not being a snob; it’s about sharing with those that will appreciate you for all that you are. It’s about not settling.
“The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.” - Thomas Merton
Ah settling, that leads me to this second to last thing you might want to know. Try different relationships on for size. Just don’t forget that you don't ever have to be someone you’re not in order to be loved. If you have to mold and meld yourself in order to fit with another person, that person is NOT a right fit for you. Period. And don’t you dare worry your head over whether you will ever find a person to fit with, because you will. BUT…and this is a big BUT you have to love yourself enough not to settle.
And last, just know you are never too old and it’s never too late. Never!
My friend…you are incredible. You truly are! If you still don’t believe that please ask yourself the following question, “What do I need to let go of in order to know, feel, and believe that I am incredible?” Because you deserve that and all the goodness that life has to offer.
Much love, light, and incredibleness to you…
What it is & how it’s becoming my personal power’s best friend
I was once told that the Universe only puts lessons in front of us until we master them.
Based on some of my own life’s lessons I’d say there’s substantial evidence of lessons appearing and reappearing until I’ve done my part to master them. Especially when it comes to my own personal power and not giving it away so easily. (Side note: personal power for me is my sense of self.)
Take, for example, my habit of people pleasing.
The Big U gave me plenty of chances to learn how my people pleasing was nothing more than a futile exercise in trying to fit in where I didn’t belong. Once I realized that I didn’t have to jump through someone else’s hoops in order to be loved, the lesson disappeared and my personal power increased.
LATEST AND GREATEST LESSON
The Big U has placed another doozy in front of me. Radical Acceptance.
If you’re scratching your head wondering what the heck that is, you’re not alone. I did the same thing about a three or so months ago when it showed up in one of my morning readings.
While I don’t wish to bore you with the countless lessons that have smacked me in the face lately, suffice it to say, here’s what I’ve come to understand about radical acceptance…
…Radical acceptance is accepting reality for what it is. It’s not settling. It’s about responding to the things that I can’t change in a way that releases the stress, angst, anger, pain, etc.
For example, let’s say I’m standing in line to get tickets for a concert I really want to see. There’s only one line because the ticket office is short-staffed. Since the line is moving slower than maybe I’d like, I could do any of the following:
A) I could complain about the line and the fact that there’s only one person issuing tickets,
B) I could push and shove the people in front of me, OR
C) I could wait my turn and occupy my time by listening to some of my favorite music.
Options A) and B), while they may be tempting, they aren’t going to change the reality that there’s only one line and that there’s only one person issuing tickets. Option C isn’t going to change reality either but if I’m passing the time enjoying my favorite music there’s a good chance I’m not stressing out over something I can’t change.
Here’s where the rubber is meeting the road with this lesson on radical acceptance…
Every time I allow a situation that I can’t change (and that includes people) to piss me off or stress me out all I’m really doing is allowing it (or them) to take charge of my personal power.
Radical acceptance = holding on to my personal power in any given situation.
MASTERING THIS LESSON
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Since I don’t like my personal power to be diminished or messed with I’m determined to master this radical acceptance lesson and here’s how…
When I feel my hackles or my blood pressure rise I’m going to assess the situation. Is there anything that I can change?
If there’s something I can’t change, (i.e. traffic or another person’s behavior) I’ll consider my options and choose something that’s going to lower my blood pressure and help me to maintain my own personal power.
At the end of the day, I’ll remember that radical acceptance is my key to changing the things I can and choosing how I respond to things I can’t change.
My friends, how do/will you use radical acceptance to not only keep your cool, but maintain your own personal power?
Until next time, here’s to leveraging some radical acceptance. Sending you much love and light, as always…
Ways to speak up for what matters
I think it’s true what they say about getting older; the less shit you give about what comes out of your mouth. Don’t get me wrong… it’s not that I’ve stopped caring and it’s not that I’ve started saying offensive, hurtful things.
I haven’t turned into some madwoman with verbal diarrhea. I’ve just become more vocal when it comes to things that matter, for example, my own feelings and thoughts.
I’ve become more of an advocate for me. Halle-frickin-lujah!!!
Trust me when I tell you, it’s about time!
It’s been tiring. Not to mention, it gets heavy carrying around years and years of pent up feelings. What’s worse, it sucks to be a hypocrite by helping others to find their own voices when I haven’t really been using mine.
The simple truth is…
I was afraid I’d rock a boat, piss someone off, lose a friend, etc. by speaking up for myself. But by not speaking up what I’ve really been doing is hurting myself and treating myself as a proverbial doormat. So uncool!
“When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time.” ― Laurie Halse Anderson
DESERVING TO BE HEARD
Here’s the thing, the more I speak up for myself the more liberated I feel. And here’s some more good news…the earth doesn’t stop rotating on its axis. Of course there’ve been times when others haven’t liked what I had to say, but that eventually passed. The bottomline; I've not lost anyone important to me because I spoke up.
My voice is important (as is yours!) and if I don’t use it I’m not only doing myself a disservice, but I’m doing others one too. People aren’t mind readers.
So here’s what I’ve been doing to go from voiceless to vocal…
Picking my hills carefully. There are just some hills that aren’t worth expending energy on. To make sure I’m expending energy on the right hill I ask myself, “Will telling it like it is help or change things?” If the answer is “no”, I redirect my energy and attention elsewhere.
Speaking my truth from my heart. My heart is an amazing guide and teacher. I’ve never regretted anything I’ve said that has come from my heart.
I’m responsible for the delivery, not the receiving. The only thing I’ve got control over is how I deliver my message. I don’t have control over how someone receives it. To the last point, if I’m coming from my heart (a good place) that's the best I can ever do.
Remembering to pause. There are times when I need to take a breath before responding. As a matter of fact, I wished I had remembered that the other day when my buttons got pushed. While my message was spot on, my delivery sucked. Had I paused, I know I would have delivered my message in a much calmer way.
It’s a process, but I’m committed to it and most importantly, I’m committed to hearing me so that others will too.
My friends, what do you do that gets you heard? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, sending you much love and light...
Ways to run out of excuses and start taking action
Excuses, we’ve all made them.
I’d be a liar if I said that I never made an excuse to try and get out of doing something. Oh, not to mention the endless excuses I’ve made for my food choices over the years or some of my less than desirable decisions, particularly when it came to relationships. And yes, I’ve even made excuses for a loved one's behavior.
Excuses are often fear-based barriers. They're used to defend or justify a behavior or even a non-action.
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.”
We use them to get out of something that we don’t want to do.
We use them to protect ourselves from potential embarrassment.
We hide behind them to avoid a potential failure.
They’re a frickin’ self-imposed boulder that sits smack in the middle of what we want, trying to squish the life out of it.
They’re a story telling tool that we engage when our belief in our own abilities and ourselves is waning.
They’re a best friend to our itty bitty sh*tty committee members (our internal naysayers).
And if we’re really being honest with ourselves, they’re just plain dishonest.
Worse yet, they’re a great way to diminish our own personal power.
Does any of this resonant?
Are you tired of excuses, yours or someone else’s?
If you answered “yes” then please keep reading.
WHAT TO DO WHEN WE MAKE EXCUSES
The key to creating any type of change in behavior is recognizing when we are participating in that behavior. This is often the hardest part, since the behavior may be a habit and something we do as an automatic default.
When it comes to excuses, it helps if we take inventory of the times when we’ve made an excuse. Looking for any patterns or commonalities. For example, maybe we make excuses when we are feeling overwhelmed. Maybe we make them when we are feeling criticized. Maybe we make them when are scared to step outside our comfort zone.
Regardless of when they appear, being able to identify the triggers and circumstances helps us to be more proactive going forward.
With awareness in hand, here are some things we can do to step away from the excuse and move more towards action.
Instead of “yes, but”...how about a “yes, and”...
Saying “yes, and” opens the channels of thought. It gives us a chance to look for the opportunities, as opposed to the barriers.
What’s at the source?
It helps if we pause and ask ourselves “What's causing this excuse?” It’s in the awareness that we then are able to create options.
Pro and con
Speaking of options, when it comes to taking actions that scare the crap out of us, before we engage that excuse, start making a pro vs. con list. With information in hand we can then make a decision as to what to do.
“What’s the worst thing that could happen?”
I love asking my clients and myself this question when on the verge of an excuse. And I don’t just stop with “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” I continue asking…”And then what?” until all scenarios are present and accounted for.
Yep, you read right. We can use our excuses as an indicator that what we want to do/about to do is important.
Instead of making an excuse it helps if we are honest about why we don’t wish to do something, what we are feeling, or why we may be hesitant. There’s a lot of power in being honest.
DEALING WITH EXCUSE MAKERS
If you’re not someone who makes excuses, but you have people in your world that do, here are some tips for dealing.
Take deep breathes
Excuse makers can push some major buttons so taking a few deep breathes before responding to the excuse maker and their excuse helps avoid creating further issues.
Ask curiosity-based questions
Asking questions can help us and the other person get to the source of the excuse and find a way to constructively deal with it.
Share your concerns
In a constructive and caring way, share our concerns with the other person, letting them know that we are there to support them and not judge them.
It’s not us, it’s them
Remind ourselves that the person is not making an excuse because of who we are or something we did. They’re making the excuse based of their own “stuff.”
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
At the end of the day, we all deserve better than excuses. I’m going to be on the look out for my own excuses so I can step away from them and more towards action. How about you?
Until next time, I’m sending you much love and light…
How a differing opinion doesn't make one unintelligent
Disclaimer: This is neither a political rant nor an avenue to bash anyone of differing opinion.
Over the weekend a family member questioned my intelligence. Actually, it wasn’t just questioned, but rather insulted. To explain…
I made a choice to stand with many against hatred, violence, and in support of equality for all … that choice and my reasoning for doing so differed from this family member’s opinions. I’m proud of my decision, but because I did what I did (and my reasons), I was accused of not having all the facts and only getting my facts from the wrong sources.
HUGE FRICKING ASSUMPTION! HUGE!
Sadly, this family member has never asked me what I read, watch, or listen to. He’s never checked his own assumptions before launching into accusations of my lack of information or lack of intelligence.
As a life long learner and an avid reader of many news sources, books, articles, etc. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m a very intelligent woman capable of making informed decisions. Here’s the truth, I like to get as much information as I can about what happens in the world and not just from one source, but many. So if there is one thing that pushes a major button for me it is to insinuate that I’m not informed, and therefore not intelligent when it comes to certain matters.
Disagree with my viewpoint. That’s OK! But please, for the love of all creation, do not infer that I’m not intelligent because I have a differing viewpoint. And please do not make assumptions that I don’t do my due diligence, because I do.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
Having a difference of opinion does not make one wrong, ignorant, uninformed, or uneducated. It’s those differing opinions that help us to learn, to grow, to change, to see things from a different perspective especially when shared from a place of respect for another’s intelligence and point of view.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER
My friends, if your intelligence is questioned because you hold a differing thought or opinion I’d like to offer you a few things to consider…
At the end of the day, a difference of opinion can be a beautiful thing if it is delivered in a positive way. It only becomes ugly and unacceptable when it is used as a means to insult or belittle.
So to this family member I say, I love you. I admire that you’re passionate about your thoughts and opinions. I stand behind that passion. What I do not and will not stand behind is your using your thoughts and opinions as a means to insult my intelligence.
Just know that I’m always happy to listen to your point of view, provided that you share with the understanding that as an intelligent, capable woman, it is my right to respectfully disagree… for it is OK to disagree. In my disagreement I’m not saying that I’m right and you’re wrong. What I’m saying is that I just hold a differing opinion.
Until next week, here’s to standing firmly in our intelligence and exercising our rights to have a differing opinion. I send you much love and light, as always…
How to leverage the power to choose.
I have it. You have it. As does your neighbor, your best friend, your partner, your children. We all have it. It may not always feel that way, but we do.
We all have the power to choose.
The minute I realized that, (that I always have a choice in any given moment), a feeling of empowerment hit me. And then the real awareness set in; Choice = Personal Power. “YES! That’s it. That is how I hold on to my personal power in any given situation. I choose.” I was so excited by this new awareness I almost pounded on my chest like King Kong while screaming at the top of my lungs, “I am woman, hear me roar.”
Here’s the kicker, while I always have a choice I may forget to exercise my power to choose. Yes, I may forget because I’m far too caught up in something else, for example, a “woe is me” moment, stress, fear, etc.
It happens. And while it does, it’s important to remember that the power to choose is never too far away.
WHAT I GET TO CHOOSE
While I can’t always control what’s going on around me, like other people’s behavior, their responses, or the weather, I do have a choice in what I do. I do have a choice in what I say. I do have a choice in what I feel. I do have a choice in how I act.
As a matter of fact, I get to choose…
What I put in my body.
I get to choose if I want to eat vegetables or if I want to eat a chocolate chip cookie. My choice. And then it becomes my choice how I feel about what I ate, i.e. good or guilty
How I respond.
When something pisses me off, I get to choose how I respond. I get to choose to be calm in that moment or fly off the handle. My choice.
The people I surround myself with consistently.
Again my choice. I get to choose who I wish to hang out with. I’ve become very particular about who I surround myself with and not because I’m a social snob. My energy is easily impacted. I’m kind of like a sponge in that respect… so I’m very careful not to surround myself with people who are oozing negative energy.
What I think.
Oh yeah, I get to choose that too. When a negative thought pops into my head, (which happens regularly), I get to choose to invite it to stay awhile or dismiss it. If I decide to have coffee with that thought or give that thought voice, I know I’m choosing to do so.
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
What I feel.
You guessed it; I choose what I feel knowing that all my feelings are valid. That means that there are times when I choose to feel the crappy feelings to my core. As a recovering stuffer, I’ve come to understand that feeling things through is important in order to move forward.
What I do.
I definitely choose what I do, without a doubt. I choose my actions, (sometimes not all that carefully), but I do choose them. I choose my work in this world. I choose what I do at any given moment. Sometimes I choose to do nothing and that’s still a choice.
Where are you consistently in choice? This is where the awareness begins…knowing where you engage your power to choose and where you could be engaging it more.
THE BENEFITS OF CHOOSING
Here’s what the power to choose does. When we engage and leverage it, we…
Live life by our own design.
We make ourselves priorities and in turn so do others.
We have fewer messes to clean up.
We protect/restore our energy.
We don’t allow feelings to fester.
We make better decisions.
We learn from our mistakes.
But most importantly, we take back our own personal power from any given situation or person.
How many of those results are you currently experiencing? Want more?
HOW TO LEVERAGE CHOOSING
Ok, so you’re going to think I’m crazy nuts, which is cool…it’s your choice after all. ;) What I’m about to share with you is so simple it does sound crazy.
The way to leverage the power to choose in any given situation is to ask yourself this question (or a variation that fits.); “What do I choose?”
Yep, that’s it. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, fearful, ticked off, small, powerless, stuck between decisions, etc. ask yourself that question. Then see what happens. See how you feel.
Are you game?
I do hope so, because for the next 21 days I invite you to consciously, deliberately, and intentionally engage and leverage your own power to choose. Of course it really is down to you and what you choose. ;)
Until next time, here’s to the power of choosing!! Sending you much love and light….