Moving it out of the way
Fear of success
Fear of failure
Fear of loss
Fear of being hurt
Fear of being alone
Fear of being unlovable
Fear of not being good enough
We all have fears. It’s part of being a human being.
I once read (I think it was in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear) that we’ll never be void of fear. At first I didn’t believe it. Surely there had to be a way to remove fear once and for all. Some rigorous exercise for eradication, perhaps… so we could live fear-free lives??
I recall a time in my life when I had so many fears that if someone told me to try a Linda Blair style exorcism, I would have.
The reality is, similar to negative thoughts, fear happens. And just like negative thoughts, it’s not the fear that’s the issue. It’s what we do with it or better yet, what we allow it to do with/to us… that’s the real issue.
But my friends, there’s a silver lining in that dark fear cloud. While we may never be void of it, there are definitely things we can do to deal with it, to stand up to it, to move it out of the way or barrel through it.
SOME COOL FEAR FACTOIDS
I think it was Francis Bacon who once said, “Knowledge is power.” He was right. When it comes to fear, the more knowledge we have the more powerful we become.
Here are a few cool fear factoids (some taken from the e-course The Insider’s Guide to Dealing With Fear) to arm you with a bit more power.
Fear doesn’t ever really need to be in control or in the driver’s seat. We choose to place it there in how we deal or don’t deal with it.
Fear doesn’t live in the present moment. Nope, it lives in the future and in past, but mostly in the future.
When we shine a light on fear it diminishes. I once heard this great analogy that fear is like bacteria. If kept in the dark it will grow and grow, but if we bring it into the light it dies.
Fear serves a purpose. It keeps us safe from harm or toxic situations. It also validates the importance of something in our lives. Say, for example, we have a fear of failing at a job or on a project. That fear is letting us know that whatever we’re doing is important, important enough to not fail.
I apologize for my redundancy, but this is key and worth repeating…it’s not the fear that is our real issue. It’s what we choose to do when the fear appears that can become the issue.
THOSE TESTED STRATEGIES
Sure we could let fear knock us over, talk us out of going for that promotion, shut us down, or make us run in the opposite direction of something really awesome. OR we could arm ourselves with the following tested strategies to deal with the fear.
(Yep, they’ve been thoroughly tested. I personally use them and I use them with clients …they’ve got a successful track record.)
STRATEGY #1: Forgetting Everything’s All Right
For the life of me I can’t remember where I heard that F.E.A.R = Forgetting Everything’s All Right, but I gotta say… when I remind myself that everything really is all right the fear loosens its grip. It then triggers the realization that regardless of what has scared me in the past, I’ve always managed to make it through and come out the other side.
Give it a whirl the next time fear hits. It’s really as simple as saying, “I’m forgetting that everything’s all right.”
STRATEGY #2: Present Moment.
Remember when I shared that fear doesn’t live in the present moment? It’s true. Most of the things we fear are future-based, which causes us to worry about what has yet to happen or may never happen. Viola, we have just been transported from our current time and space to some place in the future.
Focusing in on our breathing is a great way to get present. Quick, easy, and can be done anywhere without drawing the attention of passers-by.
If we’re alone we can take a scan of our surroundings and share out loud what we’re most grateful for. “I’m grateful for the carpet under my feet, the light streaming through the window…”
Since the brain can’t think positive thoughts and negative thoughts at the same time, this little gratitude exercise pushes fear out of the way and pulls us into the present moment.
STRATEGY #3: Talk It Out
What better way to shine a light on fear and diminish it, then to talk it out with someone we trust? I always find talking about the fear helps me, not only to uncover what it’s trying to tell me, but it’s also empowering to know that I’m not alone.
STRATEGY #4: Then What? (One of the powerful exercises used in the e-course The Insider’s Guide to Dealing With Fear)
Pick one fear and then with that fear in mind answer this question, “What would happen if what you fear actually happened?”
Let whatever is coming up come out. Let’s not censor ourselves here because we’re not being judged or graded, I promise.
Now answer this question, ”Then what?”
Again, let whatever is coming up to come out.
And then answer this question, “Then what?”
The key is to keep asking “Then what?” until we run out of answers or we come up with some solutions/realizations that take the power away from the fear.
STRATEGY #5: Prove the fear wrong.
When we do something any way, regardless of the fear we prove it wrong. (As long as what we’re doing isn’t going to put us in danger or harm’s way.) When we prove fear wrong it slinks off into the sunset.
Even though we may never be void of fear completely, we are in charge. We have the power of choice on our side; do we let it stop us or do we take a stand and implement a strategy to deal with it? The choice is ALWAYS ours.
I say take a stand. Who’s with me?
Just know you're not alone. I'm hear and I'm listening.
Until next time, I’m sending you much love and light from my open heart to yours…
Simple steps for more peace and productivity
You’ve just come up with a great idea. You’re jazzed and can’t wait to share it with the world. And then without warning your excitement is hijacked and replaced with…
“Who do you think you are? You could never pull this off.”
“What if no one else thinks it’s a good idea.”
“This is just silly.”
Da, Da, Da, Daahh….enter the dreaded negative thoughts that try to stop you in your tracks.
Every single person on this planet has negative thoughts. They happen.
Hell, just this past week alone… if I had a dollar for every negative thought I’ve had there’d be at least $70+ to add to my savings account. (That breaks down to about 10 negative thoughts per day, roughly.)
The issue isn’t really the negative thoughts themselves or that we have them. It’s how we react to them.. that's the real issue.
Do we let them sit smack dab in the middle of our ideas until the air is squeezed out?
Do we allow them to be soul-squashers, confidence crushers, and dream killers?
Or do we find ways to quiet them?
WAYS TO QUIET THOSE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
I learned a long time ago that most, if not all, of my negative thoughts comes from my ego and my ego is one loud bitch. So I used to think that if I was louder she’d slink away like a dog that had been scolded for messing on the rug.
I’d internally scream at her and tell her to shut up…. to go away and to leave me a lone.
Nope. The louder I got the louder she got.
Now, rather than waste my energy or allow her negative diatribe to run away with my personal power I do any of the following.
Learn, Lean, and Leverage. Negative thoughts hold information. They’re trying to tell us something and it’s often not what we think.
They’re not trying to tell us that we aren’t enough, (even if that’s what they’re saying) or that we can’t handle something, do something, be something.
To get beyond the negative bluster it helps to explore what they’re really trying to tell us. And to do so it helps to ask this question, “What is this negative thought trying to tell me?”
Is it trying to point out how scared we are?
Is it validating that what we're about to do is important?
Once we know the source of the negative thought then we really lean into it by exploring our options. It’s those options that we leverage and use.
For example, if the source of my negative thought is fear of failing at something that’s important to me I’ll start making a list of options to deal with the fear of failing like…
- I could quit. (Not really an option for me, but I list whatever comes up.)
- I could break down my objective into tiny steps and begin with the easiest step first.
- I could ask for help, etc.
Once I have brainstormed all my options I pick one and do it.
Choice. One way to quiet the negative thoughts is to ask the question, “What do I choose?” and then allow those choices to just flow. Here’s the thing, we always have choice in any given situation or circumstance. We can choose to listen to our negative thoughts and allow them to derail us or we can choose to focus our energy and attention on something else.
The act of choosing helps us to take our personal power back from that negative thought and silences it.
Why Questions. When our negative thoughts are telling us bold–face lies it helps to combat those lies with believable questions that begin with “why”.
For example, there are times when my negative thoughts (ego) have me questioning my work in the world. They say things like,
“You can’t do this.”
“You’ll always play small, because that’s the only way you know how to play.”
“You’ll never make it.”
Umm…you’d think after 12+ years of doing my work in the world my ego would get the hint, right? Not a chance.
Instead of choosing to let my ego make me feel like crap I counter with this question, “Why am I the most sought after transformation specialist in the country?”
It’s not my job to answer the question, just to ask the question and let my brain look for evidence. I learned this from Noah St. John who calls this cool method “Afforemations" (not to be confused with affirmations).
We might think that asking such a question would lead to more negative thoughts but here’s the deal-o and the key…
When we craft believable questions that create a sense of excitement, the negative thoughts don’t stand a chance. So to recap…
Focus Shifting. Yep, shifting our focus on to something else. This is not where I ask us to use an affirmation or to tell ourselves just the opposite of what our negative thought is telling us. Nope.
All I’m asking is that we shift our focus on to what’s around us.
I like to use my senses to do this. What am I feeling on my skin right now? What am I tasting? What am I hearing? What am I seeing?
And to change things up I also use some good old gratitude to drown out my negative thoughts. For example, I’m so grateful for the comfy chair I’m sitting on or the soft t-shirt I’m wearing.
When there’s a focus shift, there’s no room for negative thoughts.
Breathe. Speaking of focus shifts, this little exercise helps us to focus our attention away from the negative thoughts and on to our breathing. (Just as an aside, negative thoughts and fear hate breath work.)
I love using what I call the 4,4,&4 Breathing Technique. Take a deep breath to the count of four. Exhale to a count of four. Repeat four times. That’s it. Easy.
Now imagine coming up with that amazing idea, but instead of allowing the negative thoughts to hijack the excitement you pull from your arsenal of negative thought quieting tools. Imagine those negative thoughts slinking off with their tail between their legs.
As a final thought... We’re so much bigger and stronger than anything that comes from the three-pound organ that sits on top of our shoulders. Negative thoughts have nothing on us! NOTHING!
As always, I’m here and I’m listening.
Until next time, from my open-heart to yours, I’m sending much love and light…
A personal story
“You wear your heart on your sleeve far too much.”
Growing up I heard that more times then I care to count.
If I got picked on it was because I wore my heart on my sleeve.
If I got my feelings hurt it was because I wore my heart on my sleeve.
And living with an alcoholic parent, if I got caught up in their shit storm it was because I wore my heart on my sleeve.
I grew up learning that it wasn’t OK to share your vulnerability with the world. If you did you got hurt. If you did you’d be viewed as weak and open to be taken advantage of.
And guess what happened as a result?
When I was hurting I’d say I was fine.
When something upset me, I’d swallow the upset. I literally and figuratively ate my feelings. Gobbled them right up so as to not leave a crumb for anyone else to consume.
Ultimately I grew into an adult that painted a rosy picture for the outside world when my real, behind closed doors world was sometimes grey with dots of rose.
Here’s the thing…I’m not sharing this with you for attention, pity or to infer that I had it harder than anyone else. Lord knows there are many folks who’ve experienced struggles far greater and harder than my own.
I’m sharing this with you because if you’re hiding your heart (vulnerability) from the world, please do yourself and the world a favor and stop hiding it. It’s not too late to change course and to learn that vulnerability is a good thing.
Take it from someone who took a long ass time to learn that her own vulnerability has always been source of strength and not something to ever be ashamed of.
THE GREATEST LESSON OF ALL
The BIG, HUGE thing I’ve come to understand … all the times I hid my vulnerability I was hurting me far more than anyone else ever could. In putting on my Polly Anna face for the world I missed out on deeper connections. I denied support from others when I needed it most. Not to mention, I made it difficult for anyone to get close to me, including my own self.
I’m done with all the bullshit that comes with hiding my own vulnerability from the rest of the world. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve no matter what. I’m displaying it proudly for everyone to see. And as a reminder to be my most vulnerable, authentic self I got this…
My first tattoo…so now I’m truly and literally wearing my heart on my sleeve.
I’m sharing my feelings, my stories, speaking my truth, and showing up in any given situation as me (warts and all). It’s been a process, one made up of baby steps, but it’s one that I’m committed to.
WHAT‘S GAINED FROM WEARING MY HEART ON MY SLEEVE
Brené Brown shared in her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead the following…
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
She is so right!! In addition to all of that, I’ve also gained…
Freedom from having to keep up appearances. No more painting pictures that don’t fit the reality. The person you’re getting in word and action is the real me.
Acceptance from people who fit with me instead of me being someone I’m not in order to fit with them.
Connection. Since we connect with others from our heart, it makes perfect sense that in being vulnerable with others I’m connecting on a deeper level.
So my friends, if you’ve been hiding your heart (vulnerability) I invite you to share it with the world. Share it proudly. Share it boldly. Share it knowing that what you will gain in return is something truly amazing!
There is absolutely no shame in wearing your heart on your sleeve! What are you waiting for?
You’re not alone. (If I can be of support, please reach out.)
From my transparent, open heart to yours…much love and light to you...
How to use them to get back into the flow
You’re in the zone, everything’s flowing and then all of the sudden, BAM! Things come to a pace that’s slower than a snail or worse, they come to a complete stop.
WTH?! What happened to the mojo?
It didn’t disappear never to be seen again. I promise. It just took a bit of a break.
All relationships ebb and flow. Each one has periods where things feel in sync and other times when they don’t.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll definitely experience the ebb and flow where business is booming and then it slows down for a bit.
Even day-to-day life ebbs and flows. Some days we have more energy and some days we don’t.
EBBS SERVE A PURPOSE
It may not feel like it, but ebbs are a good thing. They provide us with the space and time to learn, to evolve, to reflect, and to gain energy.
And while it’s perfectly natural to want to do something to force the ebb to end, that’s often the worst thing we can do. I’ll explain what I mean using my own real life example.
There was a time when I would take the slowing down of my business personally. What was I doing wrong? Why wasn’t I gaining new clients?
I tried different things to get the business mojo flowing again…instead of trusting that what had worked prior to the ebb was still working.
As I result of trying to force my way out of the ebb I put content out into the world that wasn’t truly me, because it was rushed. I even lowered my already low rates in hopes that it would bring more clients in the door. Even worse, I disconnected from my purpose of why I became a coach. Instead my focus shifted and became about the number of people I was coaching. (Oh hell no!!! That wasn’t cool. My clients were & are people, not numbers!!)
I drove myself nuts.
Self-deprecation hit an all time high because surely I wasn’t doing enough OR I wasn’t good enough. From the self-deprecation came even more desperation. (SIDE NOTE: Desperation is a repellant, which only serves to prolong the ebb.) I was trying too hard and the end result was no new business and lowered self-confidence.
It was ugly!!
Now when the ebb hits, instead of allowing it to get ugly, I use the ebb to my advantage. The end result is a more creative, energized me which is a benefit to everyone, not just my business.
3 Rs OF EBBING
We can’t force the tide to come to the shoreline. The same is true with our own energy, creativity, connection, etc. BUT there are some things we can do when the ebb sets in… things that will help us to make it through, keeping our sanity and self-confidence intact.
Rest. Instead of forcing or pushing our way through the ebb, while I know it may feel counterintuitive, we can take the ebb as a time to rest and recharge our batteries. That equates to more energy for when the flow re-enters the scene.
Regroup. An ebb is a great time to gather ourselves together. Maybe we were running at breakneck speed prior to the ebb. Maybe self-deprecation has reached an all time high. We can use the ebb to get our own shit together so that our heads are going in the right direction.
Re-evaluate. An ebb is also an awesome time to take inventory…inventory of our relationships, life in general, our businesses and careers. What’s working? What’s not working that needs to be tweaked?
Working with the 3 Rs during an ebb helps us to leverage the ebb time and focus on something other than the ebb. Then before we know it the ebb becomes a distant memory.
Doesn’t that sound better than driving ourselves crazy nuts trying to get the ebb to end?
The next time you’re experiencing an ebb, imagine using the 3 Rs instead of force. No more self-deprecation. No more desperation. Just resting, regrouping and re-evaluating.
Sound impossible? It’s not. Give the 3 Rs a go and see what happens because at the end of the day, that ebb really has nothing on you!
Until next time, from my open-heart to yours...
Here's how to fix that
Imagine you’re a loose thread tossed into the wind. As you spiral up and down, around and around you find it difficult to gain a sense of the direction you’re headed in.
Where will you land? Will it be a soft landing or will you wind up tangled someplace?
That feeling of being a loose thread is not an uncommon one, particularly when we’re going through a transition, feeling stuck, or just feeling disconnected from ourselves and the world around us.
When I’m not feeling grounded it’s hard to focus and be present. I’m all over the place, not sure if I’m coming or going. Chaos becomes my sidekick, as opposed to Peace and I feel like I just want to come out of my skin.
Does that sound familiar?
“Get yourself grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.” – Steve Goodier
POWERFUL QUESTIONS FOR GROUNDING
Something that helps us become more grounded and less disconnected is being asked a few thought-provoking questions. Here’s why; when we work on answering those questions we re-engage with ourselves and with the present moment. Not to mention we create some cool awareness that we can use to move us from that stuck disconnected state to that more grounded and intentional place.
With that in mind, here are just a few powerful questions to try on for size…(CAVEAT: It’s important not to overthink or judge the answers, just allow whatever is coming up to come out.)
If money and time weren’t a factor, what would you be doing right now?
If you were granted three wishes that were just for you what would you wish for?
What is your greatest asset?
Think of your favorite quote, what makes it your favorite?
What is the greatest challenge you have ever overcome?
What helped you to overcome that challenge?
What’s one topic/interest that truly lights a fire for you?
And it doesn’t have to stop with the questions….
With answers in hand, read over them and look for any commonalities, themes, and learning opportunities. #themoreyouknow
Because the more we know, the more grounded we become.
NOT GOING IT ALONE
I never ask anyone to do anything that I haven’t done myself or wouldn’t be willing to do. This post is no exception to that rule. Even though I’m feeling pretty grounded right now, I’m always game to answer questions so here goes…
If money and time weren’t a factor, what would you be doing right now?
No joke, I’d be doing what I’m doing now, writing, coaching, intuitive readings and course creation. I love what I do. The only thing I would add is doing more public speaking and traveling the world.
If you were granted three wishes that were just for you what would you wish for?
If I was granted three wishes I’d ask for…
Holy shit this is a hard question to answer. Of course I want world peace and the end of all suffering, but I know, I know… the wishes have to be just for me. Hmmmm….OK…
While it was hard to answer at first, it was actually a fun question to answer.
What is your greatest asset?
This is easy to answer. Hands down it would be my heart because that is where I create from, that is where I coach from and that is where I receive many of my intuitive hits.
Think of your favorite quote, what makes it your favorite?
I’m a quote junkie so picking just one is a huge challenge for me. I think I’ll go with the most current quote that I’ve fallen in love with…
“I’m mostly peace, love, and light… and a little go fuck yourself.” Unknown
It’s one of my favorites because the older I get the less I care about what others think of me. I’m going to share my peace, my love, and my light in the best way I know how, knowing that there will always be someone (or many someones) who thinks I’m weird, doing it wrong, full of crap, etc. and that’s OK. They are absolutely entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t have to buy into that opinion.
What is the greatest challenge you have ever overcome?
Trying to be someone I’m not in order to fit in.
What helped you to overcome that challenge?
What helped was getting up close and personal to my own values, to what makes me, me. Once I was clear on what made me tick, then I could use my values as the gauge for things that fit with me and not the other way around, i.e. relationships, my work in the world. That is truly when I stopped morphing.
What’s one topic/interest that truly lights a fire for you?
I would have to say intuitive development. I love learning new ways to connect with my own intuitive guidance. It’s a big part of who I am and my work in this world. It has not only provided me with unbelievable insight into my own path, relationships, my career, etc. but it has done the same for others. I’ve gained not only peace of mind, but also a sense of grounded-ness from being connected to that intuitive guidance.
Now it’s your turn. Even if you aren’t feeling disconnected have some fun with these questions because you never know what cool insight you’ll gain.
Until next time, I’m sending you all much love and light…
P.S. If you care to share your answers, please do! We’d love to read them.
Do you strike that match or not?
You’ve probably heard it said many times, “Never burn a bridge. You may need to cross over it again.”
We all have those bridges that we struggle with. Those bridges that lead to upset or even nowhere, but yet we can’t seem to strike a match.
We can’t because we feel bad. We can’t because we second-guess our own gut instincts. We can’t because we’re afraid of the consequences.
What if we need to cross that bridge again? What if we regret burning it later?
“Stop telling me not to burn bridges. Some bridges are meant to be burned; some roads are never meant to be traveled again.”
― Steve Maraboli
Does that quote hit you like a sucker punch to the gut? Does fear rise up in your chest until it stops in your throat cutting off your air supply? Or does it empower you, giving you the courage to set some bridges ablaze?
I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a bit lately, as I’ve watched someone I know burn some major bridges. Bridges that they’re trying to cross again but can’t because they’re not there anymore.
It made me think about the bridges I’ve burned, for example, bridges to toxic relationships. They were bridges that lasted far longer than they should have. And hindsight being what it is, I’m not even sure why I took so damned long to strike the match…because once I did I was relieved. (Pretty telling, huh?)
I think that’s the hardest part to burning any bridge is actually making the decision to do so.
BURN BABY, BURN
If you struggle with bridge burning, please do yourself a huge favor and consider the cost of keeping that bridge open for travel.
What is it costing you?
Is it costing you your heart, your self-confidence, your well-being, your energy?
Does the cost out weight what you receive in return?
What will you gain if you burn the bridge?
I wish someone had asked me those questions when I was agonizing over some of my bridges. I also wish someone had said this to me;
“Value you enough and trust that you will make the right decision.”
My friends, I say that to you.
If there are bridges in your life that are leading to nowhere…Bridges that are costing you a great deal to travel on... value you enough and trust that you will make the right decision.
I know it’s scary so please know that you’re not alone. I am here, ready and able to support.
The reality is, there are some bridges that need to be set on fire, never to be crossed again. And while it may not be easy, in the long run burning ones that lead to pain and upset creates space for new bridges to be built...bridges that lead to more positive places and people.
Just know that I'm sending much love and light, as always...
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…