Growing up my dad used to always say, “Happiness is a switch in your head that you don’t have to reach for via your anal sphincter.” Can I just tell you how much I hated that saying? I’d cringe every time he’d say it.
I got what he was trying to say; it was my choice whether I wanted to be happy or not. Message received and message questioned.
As a mindset coach, I’ve come to understand we’ve got an amazing power to choose.
We choose what we say.
We choose what we do or don’t do.
We choose what we think.
We even choose the narrative we tell and believe, which ultimately impacts how we feel BUT...and this is a BIG BUT... sometimes going from feeling crappy to feeling happy isn't as easy as just choosing and flipping a switch.
Sometimes that's just too huge a leap to make. And sometimes in trying to make that leap we wind up feeling worse.
If you relate to what I just shared, I'd love to share a little something I've found helps to shift my mood/feelings. I call it Incremental Shifting and here's how it works...
Let's say I'm feeling down in the dumps and I don't have time or the inclination to have a pity party; 1) I think about what's the most doable feeling I can muster on the opposite end of the feeling spectrum. Maybe all I can muster is feeling a sense of peace or calm. 2) I brainstorm things I can do to feel peaceful or calm (deep breathing, meditating, journaling, etc.) 3) I pick one thing from my brainstormed list and do it.
What I've found happens; Incremental Shifting often produces a chain reaction where the end result is feeling better than the incremental feeling I chose.
If you decide to give Incremental Shifting a try, let me know how it worked for you.
Until next time, stay safe and well!
Much ✌ ❤️💡…
I love quotes. I collect them like someone who collects baseball cards, concert t-shirts, or recipes. They're the magical mojo I pull out of my back pocket when I need a mindset adjustment.
So, the following are all mindset based quotes, because well...that's my jam. ;) Enjoy them, take any of them with you, and if you have one to share, please do!
“I want to feel my life while I'm in it." - Meryl Streep
If you think you were born to be average, think again.
If you think you were meant to settle in this life, think again.
If you think you’re not enough, think again.
Our thoughts fuel our mindset, how we see our world, and how we feel about it. And the good news is; we can always change our mindset. We have that power.
What narrative are you telling yourself that’s not supportive?
What are your options when it comes to that narrative?
“My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.” - Sara Blakely
I once heard that failing is a growth opportunity but only if you choose for it to be. I used to sit in the fear of failing because I wondered how I was going to save face. It wasn’t until I realized that I was missing out on some cool opportunities to grow and learn that my mindset about failing changed. Failing is not a death knell, it’s a chance to expand and grow but it truly is in how we look at it.
Do you play it safe so you never fail? Or do you take a chance, put yourself out there, try something different knowing that if things go “South” you always have a chance to learn and grow?
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’ “ – Audrey Hepburn
It’s all in what we believe and that’s based on what we tell ourselves. Our brains are sponges, soaking up all that we tell it and then making us feel the feels connected with the thoughts.
What do you tell yourself about you and what you can do?
“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.” - Abraham Maslow
Now that's a truth bomb! We don't grow from a place of safety and complacency. When we stretch ourselves and celebrate the stretch that's when we continue to strengthen a growth mindset.
What do you choose, growth or safety?
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” - Albert Ellis
This one is a show stopper. I used to blame others for my mistakes and my unhappiness. Victim mentality your table is waiting. Talk about a powerless place to come from.
Want to take back your personal power from any situation, issue, or person? Stop blaming and start looking for the lesson, the option, the choice you can make at that moment. Trust me when I tell you it makes a HUGE difference when we realize just how much power we truly have.
Just remember, what we believe impacts what we do and what we don't do...and you, my friend, have the power to do some EXTRAORDINARY things.
So, if you're looking to change the narrative or rewrite any of the crappy stories that are impacting your mindset... Reach out because I have your back and I'm listening.
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “Damn, I look great today! I’m digging my outfit and my hair is on-point.”? And then a week later, you put on the same outfit, you do your hair in the same way, with one exception...
You look in the mirror and you don’t see the same thing you saw a week prior. This time you see dark circles under your eyes and what looks like a new worry line taking occupancy on your forehead.
Instead of thinking, “Damn, I look great today!” you think, “Damn, I look haggard and horrible. What’s with this outfit?! What was I thinking putting this thing on?”
Why the difference in perceptions? Same person, same outfit. What gives?!
Mindset, that’s what. We may see with our eyes but it’s our mindset that determines how we feel and what we think about what we’re seeing.
Essentially, mindset is the lens we view the world through which impacts how we feel, what we believe, and what we do or don’t do.
POSITIVE VS. NEGATIVE MINDSETS
There is a multitude of ways to categorize mindset based on tons of research. For example, Carol Dweck author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success places mindset in two categories growth (traits and qualities can change) and fixed (traits and qualities can’t change).
When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world — the world of fixed traits — success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other — the world of changing qualities — it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself. - Carol Dweck
While Ryan Gottfredson, mental success coach and author of “Success Mindsets: Your Keys to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work & Leadership” adds these additional categories;
While I love and appreciate the categories and the roles they play in understanding mindset, for simplicity's sake I like to use positive vs. negative when I’m identifying mindset.
To me, a positive mindset is expansive, whereas a negative mindset is constricted and closed.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
With a positive mindset, we see our mistakes as an opportunity for learning, whereas with a negative mindset, we see mistakes as failures.
With a positive mindset, we’re open to new ideas and opportunities and with a negative mindset, we’re more apt to stick with the known.
With a positive mindset, we feel empowered and with a negative mindset, we feel deflated and defeated.
With a positive mindset, our self-talk is “can do” and with a negative mindset, our inner critic screams, “can’t” or creates a negative narrative to talk us out of taking action.
MY OWN DANCE WITH NEGATIVE MINDSET
I’m no stranger to a negative mindset. Mine is a weaver of negative narratives conjuring up all sorts of “wicked” tales to try and talk me out of doing some pretty cool things.
Like in 2005 when my negative mindset tried to convince me that I sucked as a coach and had no business coaching. Or years later when it tried to convince me that I was going to lose clients if I offered intuitive readings. The most recent narrative is all about the book that I’ve been working on, how my sharing my personal story is going to tick off some folks and how no one is going to read it, so why write it!?
Here’s what I’ve come to understand as a result of dancing with my own negative mindset, I’ve got a choice when it comes to what I allow it to talk me out of. I have a choice in shifting it and how I shift it.
WAYS TO SHIFT FROM A NEGATIVE TO A POSITIVE MINDSET
If you take anything away from this post, I hope it’s this... a negative mindset happens. And it’s not the negative mindset that is the issue, it’s what we allow it to do that becomes the issue. So, I’d like to offer the following to experiment with. These are things that I use when I want to shift from a negative mindset to a positive one.
Exercise choice. I do this by asking myself the question, “What do I choose to believe right now?” (Since my mindset impacts what I believe.) Choice takes power away from the negative mindset and puts it back with me.
Seek truth. When the negative mindset creeps in and the narratives start I ask myself, “What do I know to be the truth?” or a variation of that question. The key is creating awareness around what’s fact vs. fiction because our brains can’t tell the difference without our guidance.
Using the “feelers”. Because our mindset impacts how we feel and vice-versa I like to ask myself, “How do I want to feel right now?” BUT and this is a BIG BUT I don’t try and go from one feeling extreme to another because that often leads to frustration.
So, if I’m feeling “meh”, for example, and I don’t want to feel “meh” I’ll choose a feeling that is incrementally better, like say, peaceful or relaxed. And then I’ll do things that’ll help me to feel peaceful or relaxed, like deep breathing exercises (Speaking of breathing exercise, there’s a cool one in the downloadable Brain Detox. Check it out; it’s free and easy to use). Shifting my feelings incrementally shifts my mindset.
Which experiment will you try the next time you want to shift your mindset?
Just remember, you’re in control of your mindset and not the other way around...even though it doesn’t always feel that way. ;) Let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions, I’m here and I’m listening.
"You were given a right foot and a left foot, not a right foot and a wrong foot."
I fricking love that quote!
Perspective, at the end of the day, is subjective and that's what this quote reminds me of. Our perspective, our truth, and what we consider personally right and wrong.
Oh, and before I continue I think it's important to share that I'm not talking about the absolute wrongs in this world. Wrongs like racism, racial profiling, discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes, cruelty, abuse...those are definite wrongs.
What I'm talking about is the differing of opinions, thoughts, ideas, and perspectives.
THE NEED TO BE RIGHT
That quote also reminds me of that need to be right which I recently bumped up against. My own and someone else's.
Not to bore you with the gory details. Let's just say, I was trying to convince someone to see something my way. And since turn around is fair play, I was also on the receiving end of similar behavior.
And it got me thinking...
Why, as human beings, do we have to be right?
What happens when we're wrong?
My answer to the question... my ego. It's my ego that drives that need to be seen as a value-add, to "save face", or to be seen as smart.
And you want to know something funny?
When I'm on the receiving end of someone's "need to be right", I don't see anything of those things because I'm too pissed off.
"Don't tell me what to think. Your way isn't the way for me so stop trying to get me to see it your way. How dare you discount my thoughts."
That means there's a damn good chance I'm not coming across as a value-add or smart. Just annoying and discounting.
SEEING THINGS THROUGH THE LENS OF RIGHT OR WRONG
The reality is, when I look at things through the lens of right or wrong, I close myself off from seeing a different perspective. I shut down the opportunity to learn and to grow.
I stay in that place of "it's my way or the highway" or as a dear friend and colleague of mine says, I'm "married to being right".
And worse, I put a tight lid on the opportunity to connect.
SO, WHAT IF...
What if I(we) entertained the thought that there's a right for me and a right for you? That neither is wrong.
For the sake of clarity, that's not to say that I have to adopt another person's thoughts, ideas, perspectives, or opinions. Just be open to listen and to be curious.
I do that when I'm coaching my clients and some pretty cool things happen.
I remove my ego and listen from my heart.
I create deeper connections.
I learn something new about my clients.
I get cool ideas.
And I definitely avoid being annoying and discounting.
THE CHALLENGE & CALL TO ACTION
So, I'm daring myself to a challenge and I'd love the company if you care to join me. For the next 21 days, when I catch myself "needing to be right" in my personal relationships, I'm going to switch gears. I'm going to engage my curiosity and listen open-heartedly (like I do when I'm coaching) and see what cool things I may learn.
Are you with me?
I'm so sorry for the ear worm. I really am and if you can get past it, I've got a question for you...
How often do you celebrate? If that feels like a strange question, it kind of is, actually. But there's a method to my madness in asking it.
As a mindset coach and a person who totally geeks out on all things mindset-related, I've come to realize how helpful celebrating is when it comes to quieting that inner critic and creating a more positive mindset. And sadly, I don't think we take much time to celebrate. Yours truly included. Here's why...
WE ARE MUCH BETTER AT CALLING OUT "THE NEGATIVE"
“The truth is that everything that can be accomplished by showing a person when he's wrong, ten times as much can be accomplished by showing him where he is right. The reason we don't do it so often is that it's more fun to throw a rock through a window than to put in a pane of glass." - Robert T. Allen
It's true. We're much better at pointing out mistakes and flaws then we are at celebrating efforts. (We actually have negative bias to thank for that.)
So, rather than celebrate a project or goal completed, we move from that project or goal to the next. BUT...not without first taking a moment to point out all the things that didn't work.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN...
So, what would happen if we were on "high alert" every day for things to celebrate?
Celebrating a lesson learned from a mistake made.
Celebrating taking the high road in a conversation.
Celebrating the parts of a project that worked rather than focusing on the parts that didn't.
What would be possible?
THE COOL SIDE EFFECTS OF CELEBRATING
To that last question, a lot is possible. Like attitudes shifting, mindsets lifting, perspectives changing because...
The brain can't think positive and negative at the same time. And celebrating causes a release of all sorts of "feel good" chemicals in our brain. Oh, and did you know that celebrating helps to increase memory?!
Care to experience those side effects and do a little experimenting of your own?
For the next two weeks let's deliberately celebrate every day. Celebrate the small wins, the cool things that happen, the nice things we do, the lessons learned, the strides taken... let's just celebrate all the good things.
And if celebrating isn't something you've done outside of birthday parties or anniversaries, here are some ideas to support your celebration efforts.
Create a celebration box. What you'll need is a small box, like a shoe box that you can decorate (should you wish to) and 14 small pieces of paper. On each piece of paper write down something that you'd consider a special treat. For example, the book you've wanted to buy, a special dessert, etc. Fold the papers in half and put them inside the box. At the end of the day, take a piece of paper out of the box and give yourself that special treat in celebration of you!
PM celebration journaling. Before your head hits the pillow at night, take stock of your day and list all the cool things that happened. OR if you're like me and can't remember what you had for lunch carry an "Atta Way" notebook with you...a small notebook where you can quickly jot down the cool things so that you can re-read it before bed.
So, on your marks, get set, let's go celebrate because you, my friend are worth celebrating!!
I am so honored and thrilled to have had the chance to be on this podcast with an amazing human being, Samantha Lane. We had such a blast talking about ways to mute that PITA inner critic!
Some of the highlights of this podcast:
Rewire our neural pathways of what we thought was true
Why do our inner critics speak so loudly
Interplay between therapy & coaching
What it means to coach the whole person
Honor and empower yourself with choice
Check it out...
Have you ever expected someone to take your feelings into consideration, only to be hurt when they didn't?
During a time when you were struggling have you ever expected someone near and dear to check-in? Then when they didn't you felt hurt and resentful?
Have you ever expected someone to be there for you in the same way you've been there for them? Then when they didn't show up as you would have, you found yourself royally ticked off?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you're definitely not alone. Me too, to all of the above...many times over, actually.
A TURNING POINT
OK, so you'd think after being disappointed and having my feelings hurt repeatedly, I'd maybe get the hint that having expectations of others might not be a good thing.
Nope. Didn't get that hint...
My expectations were clearly on the rinse and repeat cycle until a coach I was working with made a suggestion.
Lower my expectations of others.
Pardon me?! What?! Lower my expectations!?
I didn't get it. I didn't get that it wasn't for me to expect other people to be decent, kind, caring, aware, giving, loving, considerate, <fill in the blank>.
I honestly thought it was OK to have those expectations. Isn't that what people should be?
In short, those expectations became a habit. A perpetual dance with disappointment, anger, and resentment. And being totally honest, they were sometimes a way for me to feel "better than" during a time when I felt the exact opposite. (Cue the inner voice..."I'd consider your feelings before doing that. I'd be there for you....blah...blah...blah".)
THE LESSON FROM A BITCH CALLED EXPECTATION
I didn't get the lower my expectations "thing" until I was ready to change the habit. Once I was ready, here's what I got; my expectations were the issue...not others.
I expected others to handle things in a similar vein to me.
I expected them to be what I wanted them to be.
I expected them to show up for me in the way that I'd show up.
No wonder I was disappointed, resentful, hurt, and angry. Those people weren't me and it was unfair of me to expect them to be. And in hindsight kind of pompous of me.
Once I got that, the disappointment, hurt, and anger lessened. That was until...
I GOT MY FEELINGS HURT ONCE AGAIN
Somehow, most recently, that little lesson on expectations skipped out of town.
I completely forgot about the lowering of expectations. I completely forgot it's unfair of me to expect others to be what I want them to be or react in ways I need them to. And subsequently, I got my feelings hurt.
I won't bore you with my pity-party-ish details because they don't really matter. What matters is the reminder that expectations are an unfair bitch when it comes to others. An unfair bitch that I can...that we can kick to the curb.
And in honor of her departure, I offer these...
EXPERIMENTS AND INSIGHTS
But here's the caveat, take with you what will work for you and leave what won't. OK?
It's OK to have reasonable expectations. Yep, for yourself. And here's a little "litmus test"; if you've set an expectation for yourself and you're having a difficult time meeting it...could be a cool indicator that it's time to lower it a smidgen.
It's not personal. Someone not showing up in the way you wish them to or not taking your feelings into consideration isn't because of you. Trust me. It's because of them...and how they see or don't see things, how they feel, what's going on in their world, etc. The bottom line; it's not personal.
Ask for what you need knowing that people really aren't mind-readers. I don't say that to be snarky. I say that because it's true. Sure it would make things easier, especially since asking can be kinda challenging to the old ego. The one thing I remind myself of consistently ...if I don't ask, the answer will always be "no".
So, my friends, I don't know about you but I'm going to take a page out of Stephen Hawkin's book and lower my expectations again. That way anything positive someone else does is an unexpected bonus! I love positive surprises...how about you?
Normally I wake up jazzed to dive into my morning ritual of journaling, meditating, coffee, and an intuitive reading with some intuitively guided writing. It's my time to just tune-in and see what comes bubbling up and out.
Not this morning. This morning something was off.
But I did as I always do…
I put on my headphones, turned on some soothing, meditative music, and opened my journal. My pen poised and ready for action and then….NOTHING! Nada. Zilch. Zip. A big blank page.
Enter the frustration, which of course didn’t help!
My one saving grace was remembering something Julia Cameron suggested in her book "The Artist's Way"…just write. Write anything on the page even if it's "I don't know what to write" over and over until something comes.
THE JOURNAL ENTRY THAT HAD ME SITTING WITH THE "MEH"
Hmmm…not sure what to write about. I know that not every journal session is going to be filled with "aha" moments of clarity. But this sucks. Nothing is coming up. Hmmm.
Keep writing. It's important to just keep the pen moving, regardless of what lands on the page. I have to remember this is my time with me so it's not what I write that matters. What matters is that I take this time to just be here in this moment of mindfulness.
I'm noticing that as I'm journaling I'm feeling flat and kind of "meh". I'm not sure if it's the headache or what it is but I'm really feeling uninspired… like I don't want to do anything but close my eyes and go back to sleep.
I hope it's just a temporary moment of "blah". All I really want to do is nothing. No "have to's"…just nothingness. That's what sounds awesome right now.
I wonder if it's time for a break? Just to chill and take it easy. Or is it that I just a need to shake up my morning "ritual"? Add something new or do it in a different way … I'm not sure... But what I'm sure of, I'm just feeling "meh".
Wait, maybe I'm not meant to do anything with the "meh". Maybe, for once, I'll do nothing with it … I'll give myself permission to not push through it, to be okay with feeling "meh".
Hey, maybe there's a gift in the "meh"…and I'll never know if I try to chase it away.
Which reminds me of Rumi's Guest House poem… every emotion a visitor to be invited in. Invite the "meh" in ... Have coffee with it and maybe ask it a few questions.
Hey "Meh" tell me about yourself.
Where do you come from?
What brings you here today?
Maybe it will enlighten me and I'll learn something new. Maybe it will remind me of something I've forgotten and needed to be reminded of. Who knows?
What I do know, I'm going to sit with it. Acknowledge it and see what it has to say. I'm sitting with the “meh”.. I'm not pushing it away or sending it out the door. I'm just sitting with all its flatness, it's colorlessness... just sitting with it quietly waiting for it to share whatever it wants to share.
AND THEN ODDLY THIS HAPPENED...
As I sat with the "meh", it left. It went away. I went from feeling like I wanted to do nothing to re-connecting with my usual jazzed feeling. YES!!
And here's why that was odd…I'm the type of person that wants to get to the source of why I'm feeling the way I feel. It's been my MO forever.
Not today. Today I just sat with the "meh" and as a result I learned something really cool!
It's not always necessary to understand "why" we feel the way we do. Sometimes that's just not important. Sometimes what's most important is to give ourselves permission to feel whatever we feel. To sit with it.
In sitting with it, we don't stuff it. We don't push it away. We allow it to come and then go.
Especially during times when the outside world is a little topsy-turvy… sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is give ourselves a little grace to just be with our feelings in an observant kinda way.
I close with this question, the next time you feel "meh" will you sit with it?
Have you ever read a book that just lit up your brain? And when I say "lit", I mean it made all sorts of light-bulbs go off. I'm currently reading one of those books.
At the beginning of the year, I started reading The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. Each day there's a short passage followed by some action-based prompts. I'm not going to lie, there are a few passages that don't really click with me, but the ones that do...boy do they click. My brain lights up like a Christmas Tree and I can't get my thoughts down in my journal fast enough.
Now, since I'm a sucker for a good a-ha moment, particularly ones that are shareable, I thought it would be fun to share some of the love with you.
This is a snippet from the passage titled "Being Kind-I"...
"The great and fierce mystic William Blake said, there is no greater act than putting another before you. This speaks to a selfless giving that seems to be at the base of meaningful love. Yet having struggled for a lifetime with letting the needs of others define me, I've come to understand that without the healthiest form of self-love - without honoring the essence of life that this thing self carries, the way a pod carries a seed - putting another before you can result in damaging self-sacrifice and endless co-dependence."
I've lived up close and personal to co-dependence. Been there, done that. Have the t-shirt and the tiara. So, this passage reminded me of the many times I used to confuse people-pleasing and peace-keeping with being kind. And I don't think I need to tell you....there's a HUGE difference.
For example, stuffing my feelings to keep the peace all because I didn't want to trouble someone else or run the risk of ticking them off. (I still fall into the old habit of saying, "I'm fine." when I'm really not.) Stuffing wasn't kind; it created all sorts of internal chaos.
Doing/Saying things that didn't fit with me to please someone else. That wasn't kind; that got me lost and there's nothing kind about losing your identity. Not to mention, I was lying and lying isn't kind.
ENTER A-HA MOMENTS, STAGE LEFT
A-ha moment #1: The most unkind thing we can ever do to ourselves and others is to not be ourselves. Genuine, heartfelt kindness comes from being who we are.
A-ha moment #2: True kindness doesn't hurt and it sure as heck doesn't cost us our identity or our well-being. EVER
So, I have to ask, do you find yourself being authentically kind? Or do you find that you're being kind at the cost of yourself, your feelings, and/or your well-being?
“You didn’t wake up today to be average!” - Alek Toussaint, instructor @onepeloton
How often have you gotten out of bed and said to yourself, “Today, I think I’ll just be average.”?
While you may have never said those words exactly, I’m going to challenge you a little. I bet you’ve said some things to yourself or had thoughts that have made you feel average or maybe even less than.
I know I sure have. Things that put me in a tailspin, made me cranky or supported my shrinking physically.
Like when I “chewed” on someone’s critical comment until the flavor was gone. Or when I stuffed my own feelings until I was about to explode. All because I feared that I’d royally tick someone off. “Hello, Average! Come on in, grab a cup of coffee and stay awhile.”
We’re human. It’s bound to happen. As Dr. Rick Hanson, author of the Buddha’s Brain explains in his many articles and books, our brains are wired to experience negative thoughts. It’s called “negative bias”.
But here’s the real deal, regardless of the negative bias we may experience, none of us were born to be average. We weren’t. We just sometimes choose to be, and maybe not even intentionally.
Just like we choose what to wear every day, we get to choose how we want to show up. We get to choose to be...
<fill in the blank>
What’s important here is recognizing that we get to choose. It’s that choice that makes what may be an unconscious way of showing up, conscious and intentional. Which in all reality, is a pretty cool and powerful place to come from.
Less auto piloting through the day.
Less just allowing things to happen to us.
Less allowing other people’s moods, behavior, actions, etc to become ours.
Less self-critical commentary.
Instead, we're in the driver’s seat determining where we go, what we experience, what we see, what we feel and the impact we wish to have on the world around us.
BEING INTENTIONAL TO AVOID BEING AVERAGE
So, if you’re ready to kick average to the curb, I’d love to offer the following to experiment with.
Intentionally tune-in to what you’re saying. Our minds don’t know fact from fiction. Our minds believe what we tell them. So, if you find that you’re saying some pretty crappy things to yourself, just stop and change your focus. That’s it. You don’t have to change the dialog, unless you want to. The important thing is stopping the negative commentary and switching your focus to something else that makes you feel better. For example, I love to switch my focus to my puppies. It’s hard not to feel good when I’m going in for some puppy cuddles.
Intentionally ask, “How do I want to show up today?” Before you get out of bed ask yourself this question. Then think of one thing you’re committed to doing that will help you to show up in that way. For example, if I’m wanting to show up full of positive energy, I’ll commit to any of the following...
- steering clear of negative conversations
- staying away from the news for the day
- staying off of Facebook
- getting outside
- eating well
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN...
How do you want to show up today? Remember, you get to choose so have some fun being intentional.
Until next time, I send you all much peace, love, and light!
“What you said was stupid!”
“What are you wearing? You look like a frump!”
“You didn’t do that right. What were you thinking?”
When you read those comments, do they connect with you in some way?
Do comments like that make you shrink? Shut you down? Put you on the defensive? Drive you crazy? Bring out the worst in you?
Critical comments are a HUGE trigger for me. HUGE. I always feel like they're a passive-aggressive way to tell me that who I am as I am is not cool or good enough.
“Don’t be you, Pam.” “Conform.” “Be what I need you to be.”
In short, I perceive criticalness as a means to get me to become a peacekeeping, good girl. A role that I’ve worked to let go of, because it doesn't fit me.
So, in the not too distant past, when someone would make what I felt was a critical comment I’ve done one of two things. I've either shrunk or I gotten pissed off to the point of shutting down.
I’m not going to lie, as much work as I’ve done around critical comments, I still fricking dislike them with a passion because they still hurt. Not to mention, they're a great way to shut down the connection.
BUT here’s something I’ve come to realize...
I can’t control what another person says or how they say it but I do have choices when it comes to being on the receiving end of critical comments. I also have choices when it comes to being on the giving end, particularly as it relates to my critical comments of me.
CHOICES AND OPTIONS FOR TAKING THE BITE OUT OF CRITICAL COMMENTS
(Disclaimer: IF the following suggestions don’t feel like they’d work for you, please DO NOT use them.)
During one of my morning journaling sessions, this little nugget came bubbling up to the surface. Critical comments are a demonstration of “false superiority” which often comes from a place of feeling insecure or “not good enough”. When I’m on the receiving end of a critical comment I can remind myself of this. This helps me to remember that I don’t have to shrink and I definitely don’t have to conform.
I can imagine myself in a cool, iridescent bubble. Outside of that bubble stand two big, burly bouncers. I can imagine them saying to the person who’s being critical, “Sorry...your energetic “outfit” is just not on our energetic dress code. NEXT person in line!” This one makes me chuckle! And laughing helps me to lighten the heaviness that comes with critical comments.
Oh, and if I’m the one handing out the critical comments I can remind myself of how unbecoming I find them to be and make it a point to stop and apologize. If I’m criticizing myself I can do the very same. Just stop.
I can also tell the person being critical that what they’re saying isn’t cool and that I’m pausing the conversation for a moment. Then I can take a deep breath and remind myself that I do not need to buy into whatever critical thing that person is saying.
At the end of the day, it helps to remind myself that I’m not here to conform. I’m here to be me, unapologetically and so someone’s critical comment is theirs to own. It’s not mine to take on or do anything with.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THE BITE OUT OF CRITICAL COMMENTS?
So, my friends, I turn it over to you, the next time you find yourself being criticized what will you experiment with to avoid the bite marks?
Will you use one of the suggestions above? Mash a few together? Or try something completely different? The choice is yours!
Just remember that with choice always comes power. And that you, my friends, are far stronger and more powerful than any critical comment or the bite it has.
As always, I’d love to hear from you! Share what you’ve done to avoid the bite or what you’re going to experiment with.
Until next time, I’m sending you lots of peace, love, and light.
"What's wrong with me? Why can't I stop having negative thoughts?"
I used to ask myself those very questions. I couldn't understand why, regardless of all the books I read, all the things I tried, I was still having negative thoughts.
There must have been something wrong with my brain. Or maybe my negative thoughts were an indicator that I just wasn't as nice a person as I thought I was.
If what I just shared has you nodding in agreement, there are just a few things I want you to know. Let's start with the most important...
There's absolutely nothing wrong with you and you're still a nice person even if you have negative thoughts.
Our brains are wired to have them, believe it or not...and we have our prehistoric ancestors to thank.
That, however, doesn't mean that we can't learn how to manage them. I've spent A LOT of time learning how to manage mine and I liked to share what I've learned.
So, while we may never be void of our negative thoughts, we don't have to buy into them. Nope! We don't have to entertain them and allow them to ruin our mood or weigh us down.
With that said, I'd like to offer these three VERY simple "tricks" to try. (By the way, these are things I use interchangeably on a regular basis and I've found that they really work!)
Give these a whirl and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you.
And before I sign off, I'd like to share the following quote from Matt Haig...
“The key to happiness - or that even more desired thing, calmness - lies not in always thinking happy thoughts. No. That is impossible. No mind on earth with any kind of intelligence could spend a lifetime enjoying only happy thoughts. They key is in accepting your thoughts, all of them, even the bad ones. Accept thoughts, but don't become them. Understand, for instance, that having a sad thought, even having a continual succession of sad thoughts, is not the same as being a sad person.”
Until next time., I'm sending you lots of....
Have you ever felt disliked by someone? Or have you ever worried about whether you were liked/disliked?
Either way, it sucks to feel like you're not liked.
As human beings we have a need to belong, to feel accepted, to be loved/liked, and to be a part of a tribe. So, when someone in our world doesn't like us or we perceive that they don't, it can do some of the following things…
- Make us question ourselves.
- Create tension and discomfort.
- Cause us to try and be someone we aren't in order to be liked.
- Lead to comparison and judging (of ourselves and/or the other person).
But here's the deal, we can get to a place where we're OK with being disliked by someone else.
IT HAPPENS TO ALL OF US
First, it's important to know that you're not alone. We've all probably experienced another person's dislike or perceived dislike so here's something to keep in mind…
It’s not you. I promise. The fact that someone may dislike you really has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with them and whatever is going on inside of them. (Be it insecurities, negative self-perception, pain, etc.)
Regardless, I know that the logic doesn't make it feel any better. I get it. Trust me.
I've got someone in my life who doesn't like me. Yes, I admit that that may be my perception, but I can say based on their behavior it's a pretty safe perception. Unlike a casual acquaintance or a work colleague, I can't just completely disconnect from this person because they're family.
Sadly in the past, I'd fallen prey to twisting myself into a pretzel to try and get this person to like me. No amount of twisting and contorting changed their behavior towards me. I questioned myself a lot, wondering what I did and why I wasn't likable. Until one day it hit me like a ton of bricks…
This person and I have NOTHING in common. NOTHING. And in all honesty, if they weren't a part of my family I wouldn't even be friends with them. And that's when I made the commitment to myself to do the following…
HOW #1: I think Scott Stratten said it best, “Don't try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.” This little quote has also helped me weather the "dislike" storm a time or two. Not to mention, it makes me chuckle…and chuckling creates positive energy; the energy that combats the negative feelings dislike creates.
HOW #2: Know that there is no such thing as rejection. Nope. If someone dislikes you that's the Universe's (God, Buddha, Your Higher Power, etc.) way of protecting you from someone that isn't a good fit for you. That way you have the space and the energy for someone who is.
HOW #3: Ask yourself this question….
"What are the benefits of this person not liking me?"
And then begin listing all the benefits. For example…more space and time for people who do like you, less negativity to deal with, no more criticism, don't have to deal with spiteful behavior, etc.
Be sure to remember the benefits. Use them as a reminder of just how OK it is that this person doesn't like you!
HOW #4: Take deep breathes and the higher road. When you have to be around a person who dislikes you, be sure to take some deep breathes. Deep breathing changes the chemicals in your brain and helps to create calm. When you're calm, you're more equipped to take the higher road.
HOW #5: I AM ________________
Some of the most powerful words come after "I am". Instead of feeling disliked how do you want to feel? Make a list.
Then when you're feeling the dislike you can use your powerful "I AM" statement to help you disconnect from those negative feelings. For example, "I am an amazing friend." "I am loved." "I am totally likable." "I am fun to be around.", etc…whatever resonates most with you.
What other "HOWS" do you want to add to this list? The more options you have to choose from, the better!
YOU'VE GOT THIS
So, the next time you feel the dislike or you're worried that someone dislikes you, just remember….you've got this! Another person's dislike has nothing on you! And be sure to use some of the "HOWS" to support you in being OK with being disliked.
Until next time, I'm sending you much…
"An aha moment is a remembering of what you already knew articulated in a way to resonant with your own truth." - Oprah Winfrey
I love those lightbulb (aha) moments when something just "clicks".
I've had a few lately…some based on what I've heard or read and others just from my own process of reflection (journaling). But what good is an aha moment if it's kept in the "dark" (a.k.a. not put to good use)?
And to be totally transparent, I really hope the following creates a chain reaction of lightbulb moments for you. If not, I hope they at least provide some tools that you can put to good use.
THE 5 LIGHTBULB MOMENTS
Lightbulb Moment #1: Self-Worth fluctuates & you can't see someone else's if you can't see your own
A little backstory: I found this really cool app for meditating called Insight Timer. What I love about this app is not just the great meditations available (15,000+), but the community element.
The other day after I was done meditating I received a message from a fellow meditator and it said...
Not only did I love the quote, but it inspired an entire journal entry around self-worth which set off a huge lightbulb. Here are just a few of the highlights from that entry…
What does it stand for?
Lightbulb Moment #2: Fear or love; I get to choose.
“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It's true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it's more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They're opposites. If we're in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we're in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Whether we agree or disagree with this quote one thing is for sure, we are always in a place of choice. So, the next time I'm feeling crappy, negative, low, etc. I have the following questions to pull out of my bag of choice tricks.
What do I want to feel instead of this __________ feeling?
What do I choose to do right now that'll help me feel the way I want to feel?
Lightbulb Moment #3: Nothing is guaranteed.
I realized something about myself and guarantees; guarantees = safety and security.
If I'm busy looking for those guarantees I'm missing out on what's possible….because…wait for it…
I'm trying to control the outcome. Which sucks all the fun and cool potentials out of a project, a relationship, or a day.
If safety and security are what I’m craving, all I need to do is take a good look around and remind myself of the things that help me to feel safe and secure. Then I just need to step back and engage my faith. Knowing and believing that what is meant to be in my day, my relationships, projects, etc. will be… and in a way that is for my highest good.
All of which reminds me of a Woody Allen quote that my own coach shared with me once, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans."
Lightbulb Moment #4: Each moment is a gift.
This little gem has released a shit-ton of pressure. Moments are bite-sized and manageable. The present moment is made up of moments. I like moments and I like the fact that I get to choose what to do in every given moment. Like right now, I'm choosing to share with you. And in the next moment, I may choose something else.
Each moment truly is an amazing gift given to do whatever I please with.
Extra benefit: for those moments when things go awry, I like the fact that I can remind myself that this awry situation is a momentary thing that can change with the next moment.
Lightbulb Moment #5: The three things we need each day.
This little lightbulb is courtesy of Marie Forleo and her guest Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
There are three things we need each day which goes with the three structures in our brain…
Relatedness/Connection to ourselves and others.
(Side note: when this last need is met, it actually meets the other two as well.)
Dr. Hanson suggested that in order to fulfill these needs, it helps to experience something good each day. And in doing so we can then turn that positive state we're experiencing into a trait (or new neural pathway) by:
ARE YOUR LIGHTBULBS FLASHING?
Dear Soul, I want to thank you for reading to this point. You have no idea how much I appreciate you taking the time to do so. Now it's your turn…
Which one of these moments are you wanting to experiment with? AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…
What are some of the lightbulb moments you've had in your life that got you totally jazzed?
Until next time, I'm sending you much…
Stinking Thinking = any thought that creates a negative emotion. In addition, the things we say to ourselves that are disparaging and self-deprecating.
I've been infected by Stinking Thinking tons of times. And I'd like to say that once dealt with, it never returns, but that would be a boldface lie. We're human, so negative thoughts happen. (PLEASE DO NOT STOP READING…because there's some good news up ahead.)
While we may never be rid of those negative thoughts completely, there are ways to deal with them so that the impact becomes non-existent.
The bottom line when it comes to stinking thinking…it's not the actual thought that is the problem; it's the impact it has.
Impact like the following…
Changing perception. For example, let's say you have a favorite outfit that you always feel good in. And one morning before you go to put on that favorite outfit you have a bout of Stinking Thinking. You put on the outfit and all the sudden it goes from favorite to the give-away pile.
It messes with energy. For me, this is a big one. I could be all smiles on the outside, but if Stinking Thinking is running on a loop in my head, my energy goes way down. So while people may see me smiling, the vibe they get is quite different. And as we all know, it's the vibe/energy we give off that either attracts or repels.
Weakens personal power. And when our personal power is being messed with, we are susceptible to those feelings of "not good enough", less than, etc.
Here's the good news...we can take back control of our thoughts from Stinking Thinking. We can lessen it's power and it's shelf life. There is an antidote. Actually there are several, but I'd like to offer you one of my little secret antidotes….
Yep, this is one of the antidotes I use when Stinking Thinking is infecting my brain.
The next time you find yourself infected with some Stinking Thinking, ask yourself this question…
"What do I choose to believe?" And if that doesn't grab you and you feel you need something a bit stronger try…
"I choose to think something different." OR
"I choose ______ (love, peace, my personal power, whatever word(s) feel empowering to you in the moment)_____ over this thought."
(Many thanks to Gabby Bernstein for this juicy tidbit, which works every time I use it!)
Give Choice a whirl, and do let me know how it works for you!
AND AS A HEAD'S UP: If you're in need of some more antidotes, I'm sharing quite a few as a part of September Rut Warrior Membership Program's podcast, exercises, and intuitive reading. I hope you'll join us because we'll be busting this rut BIG TIME.
Until next time, much love and light to you all…
Words. They aren’t just something put on a page or uttered into the wind. They have power, the power to lift or the power to tear down. They can never be taken back and depending on the impact, they’re not easily forgotten.
So for this post I decided to share some powerful words with you. Words that I hope will make a difference in your day, ones that you can remember when you need a little boost.
Here are just a few of the many words I engage when I need a little lift or a strong reminder. I hope you enjoy them.
I lead with one of my all time favorites from the amazing Maya Angelou.
And Still I Rise
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
― Edward Everett Hale
Flight of the Hummingbird; The Curiosity Driven Life – Elizabeth Gilbert
“The unhappiest people in this world, are those who care the most about what other people think.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“When I believe in who I am, what I do, & why I do what I do…fear is no where to be found.” – Me
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” – Roy Disney
“Don’t aspire to be the next somebody else. Be proud and embrace being the first and only you.”
– Tammy Ferebee
“Purpose is not your vocation. Vocation is an extension of your purpose. Your purpose is much deeper.” - Me
The power of vulnerability - Brené Brown
“Don’t use your words to describe a situation. Use your words to change the situation.”
- Joel Osteen
“We don’t attract what we want. We attract what we are.” - Wayne Dyer
Start and End Happy – Sarah Trimmer
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
“Don’t worry about how it will happen, just believe that it will.” – Unknown
“My life is no longer a popularity contest. It’s no longer about how many things I have, how much money I make, or how many people like me. My life is about quality...the quality of it all. That’s where the true richness resides.” - Me
What words pick you up? What words serve as your reminder when you need one? I hope you will share them with us.
Until next time, here’s to words that make a difference. Love to you all…
P.S. If you'd love to add more cool quotes to your collection, please be sure to download my free
e-book called "Musings Of A Quote Junkie". A compilation of some amazing quotes that I've captured over the years.
Just recently I was looking for some information on the Internet when I came across an article about the morning rituals of successful people. That got me thinking about my own morning ritual.
From my 20s to my mid 40s (so not that long ago) I’d jump out of bed and dive head first into work. Email was downloading and the calendar was being reviewed before my eyes were even fully open and focused. Coffee was set on a timer the night before so by the time the first email was responded to, I had already downed a cup.
I never gave much thought to how I started my day. Nor did I think about the impact that it was having on me, my brain, my business, my relationships, and the rest of the day.
That was my ritual and I was sticking to it.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m mellowing as I get nearer to 50, but I do know that I can’t start my day like that anymore. A frenetic start leads to frenetic energy throughout the day. Which is not cool for me. In order to be a good listener, supporter, observer, and intuitive it has become imperative that I start my day in a much gentler way.
Today, when the alarm goes off rather than jump out of bed with my hair on fire, I linger for a few minutes. That is when I say a little grounding and protection prayer. I then go straight to my meditation area with my journal in hand. I ask my spiritual team for guidance for the day by doing an intuitive reading & guided writing. Next I journal all the things I am grateful for in that moment. At the end of my journaling I always say or write, “Something incredible is going to happen to me today and I can’t wait to find out.” (Thank you, Pam Grout for the idea.)
This is a much better way for me to start my day and I’ve noticed the difference. I’m more present and grounded than I was during my frenetic start days. My attitude is much more upbeat and positive. I am more creative, not to mention productive. What’s even better, I’m more connected to my intuitive side, which helps me to be a better coach and intuitive.
But don’t just take it from me. Here are some additional articles for your reading pleasure:
How To Do Morning Rituals and Do It Right
What Everyone Can Learn from Richard Branson’s Morning Routine
Being of curious mind, I’m wondering how everyone else starts their day. Do you ease in gently or do jump in with both feet and hit the ground running? Please do share your morning rituals, because it’s always so much fun to learn from others.
Until next time, I’m sending you much love and light…
I’ve always thought of resistance as that HUGE wall in the middle of my path blocking me from whatever’s on the other side. When it’s not being a major obstacle it’s masquerading itself as limiting beliefs screaming loudly, “Who do you think you are to do this? You don’t have what it takes.”
Or so I’ve thought.
I recognize now that I choose my perception of resistance. Just like I choose to allow it to stop me. Yes, I’ve made the choice to give resistance all my power. And because it’s always been my choice, I’m now choosing to see and deal with resistance differently.
I’m choosing to see it as my ally and not my nemesis.
As my ally, resistance is that “something” that comes forward whenever I’m about to start a project or endeavor that’s really important to me. It’s my cue that I’m taking things to the next level. And it’s also my reminder that I’m on to something good.
Seeing it this way puts the power back where it belongs, with me.
While we are never going to be devoid of resistance, we don’t have to be held hostage by it. We can leverage it and turn it into an ally.
1) Talking ourselves off the ledge. Like fear, resistance only gets stronger if we keep it in the dark. So lets share it out in the open. Write about it. Ask ourselves the following questions to shed light on it:
2) Take one step. In the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
3) We always have choice. Choice gives us power so when resistance is present lets try asking ourselves, “What do I choose to do with this resistance?
4) Take some deep breaths. Since resistance hates breath-work lets take some deep breaths using the 4,4,& 4 technique; inhale to a four count, exhale to a four count, four times.
5) Know that the resistance is just our egos talking. Dr. Wayne Dyer used to refer to ego as an acronym for Edging God Out and the best way to get it to stop talking is to meditate or pray.
6) Get into the present moment. Resistance is a great indicator that we’re some place in the future probably fretting over the “what ifs”. To get into the present moment it helps to focus on our breathing or look around and express gratitude for the things we’re seeing in the moment.
7) Look for evidence. Past experiences serve as a great resource. It’s time to jog our memories, looking for evidence of when we felt the resistance, but did something any way.
8) Be mindful of our monkey mind-chatter so we can stop it in its tracks the minute we notice it. Instead of, “I could never do this.” lets try saying something like, ”While this may be a bit scary, I know I have what it takes to do this.” Remembering that our brains don’t know fact from fiction…they rely solely on us for that.
My friends, in closing I’d like to ask you a question... The next time resistance rears its head will you treat it as a nemesis or an ally? Remember, it’s totally up to you. ;)
Sending you much love and light until next time…
Just recently I picked up the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This is a book that I've had in my collection for some time now, but funnily enough I've never read it cover-to-cover. If you aren't familiar with the book, it's based upon the following:
I love books that make me think and even re-think what I've either learned over the years or felt to be true. This book is doing just that. I'm thinkin' and I'm thinkin' hard, particularly about beliefs…how they are formed, where they come from, how they can be a filter or sometimes a place to hide, how they can build something up or tear something down. My mind has been a buzz.
What has impacted me most is how so very often we take on other people's beliefs and once we do they become our own, our agreement. This concept has provoked me to take an inward dive into my own beliefs.
Any belief that generates fear or feelings of unworthiness is false; it's a lie." Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
Like a squatter taking up resident, some of my beliefs have been lurking in the shadows…. trying desperately to go undetected. It's amazing how eye-opening it can be when you shine a light on something that has been with you for what seems like forever. You see it for it is or isn't.
I see some of my beliefs now for what they are, BIG, FAT BOLD FACED LIES that I agreed to. Falsehoods that don't serve. It's actually been quite liberating to take a good, hard look at all my own beliefs and I'm grateful to this book for being my flashlight.
So now with trusty flashlight in hand, if you're game, let's find your squatter beliefs and kick them to the curb. To do just that I want to lovingly challenge you to answer the following questions:
As always, I welcome your thoughts, questions, and insights.
Until next time, I'm sending you much love and light…
Great question! Why are we "should-ing" all over ourselves?
I should be thinner.
I should forgive and forget.
I should just get over it.
I should be grateful for the things I have.
I should be more productive.
I should eat less and exercise more.
I should be happier.
I should. I should. I should. BLECH!!!
Should-ing all over ourselves seems to be pandemic and it stinks!
There are many reasons we "should" all over ourselves, but here are my top eight ...
Sound familiar? What's your biggest should?
The What Happens When We STINK of "Shoulds"?
The stark reality is this, when we "should" all over ourselves...
So what can we do to avoid "should-ing" all over ourselves?
How To Flush the "Shoulds" Once and For All
Until next time, here's to stopping the "should-ing" and standing in our power of "I want/will". As always, much love and light to you all.
About this blog
This is the place where I share my personal journey, insights, ideas, and a-ha moments helping me to mute my own inner critic. It is my hope you find what you need to mute your own.