Your beliefs about YOU

Choose on purpose.

We can create new outcomes in our lives with the thoughts that we think. It may seem more complex than that, but really, all new things come from ideas, which are thoughts.

And we know from our coaching model that our thoughts are what create our feelings. Our feelings are powerful drivers of our actions. And our actions create the results we get in our lives. 

When we want to create something in our lives, sometimes we need to have new beliefs about what’s possible. Beliefs are just thoughts that we’ve thought over and over again and now we believe they are true. 

Some beliefs are very useful to us. And some beliefs create limits within us and prevent us from doing things.

Some limiting beliefs might be:

  • I’m not good enough.
  • I just don’t have enough confidence.
  • I’m not talented enough.
  • I don’t have the discipline to do that.
  • People don’t understand me.
  • All the good ones are taken.
  • I won’t ever be successful.
  • I hate my body.

Once we’re aware of limiting beliefs we hold, we might feel the need to change them right away to their exact opposites—things that we DO want to believe. 

But if we take too big of a leap, we’ll have a thought that we don’t yet believe. And that thought won’t help us because we don’t believe it yet, no matter how many times we may repeat it during the day. 

So how do we get to the new belief we want to have that seems so far from our current belief? We practice thoughts that bridge us or ladder us to the next level of thinking.

As an example, let’s take the thought “I hate my body.” 

The goal thought might be “I love my body.” But it’s hard to jump from hate to love right away. 

Here are some potential ladder thoughts from “I hate my body” to “I love my body”:

  • I hate my body.
  • I have a body.
  • There are other people with bodies like mine.
  • Other people with bodies like mine seem to like their bodies.
  • It’s possible that I could like my body.
  • I am living my life because of my body.
  • My body has the potential to change and be healthier.
  • My body allows me to do things I enjoy.
  • I am learning to enjoy being in my body.
  • I am learning to love my body.
  • I love my body.

We may need to practice each ladder thought for a couple days, a week, two weeks, etc. before moving on to the next one. Until we truly believe the thought we are practicing, it’s important to stay with it before moving on to the next one.

Our thoughts are powerful. We can learn to create beliefs that empower us instead of disempower us. 

Your turn: What are some of the limiting thoughts/beliefs you hold? What are some goal thoughts/beliefs that you’d like to have instead? Explore and practice some ladder or bridge thoughts that can help you get to your goal thoughts. 

Need help exploring some ladder or bridge thoughts? Let’s talk about it. Sign up for an exploratory session here.

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What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

When you can love “what is”

Stop resisting.

Most of us are used to–and mostly unaware of–creating unnecessary emotional pain when we fight against reality by thinking thoughts like:

“It shouldn’t be this way.” 

“This shouldn’t be happening.” 

“I shouldn’t have to do this.”

“It” can be replaced with any of these: she, he, I, they, my weight, my life, etc. 

“This” can stand in for whatever is happening that feels uncomfortable, undesirable, or unfair.

When we think these types of thoughts about something we have no control over or really can’t change, we’re resisting reality. 

We’re spending emotional energy on it and wishing it were different. But if it’s something we can’t change, it’s not only pointless, but painful. And it doesn’t do anything to change what happened.

The opposite of resistance is acceptance. On the way from resistance to acceptance, there is non-resistance. And beyond acceptance, there is “loving what is.” That’s the big one.

When we start to practice non-resistance, when we start to acknowledge that we may be fighting against something that we can’t change and just let it be what it is, there can be peace and ease. 

How do we know it was supposed to happen? Because it did. 

That might be hard to swallow, but then there’s nothing to fight against. Then everything is going the way it’s supposed to go.

I know this is a big leap for many people, some high-level sh*t. Many people feel resistant to even thinking of this as a possibility for themselves. To let go of how things “should” be or “should” have happened, and let things just be as they are. 

Maybe it’s not exactly “loving what is” yet, but what about some acceptance, or even some non-resistance? Instead of all the resistance, along with the emotional pain it brings.

This is not to say that we don’t change what is possible to change, or that we don’t move towards the change we want to see in our lives, or that we condone injustices.

But again, when we think injustices “shouldn’t” happen when they do in fact happen unfortunately all too often, we’re fighting against reality, resisting how things actually are in the world. 

And that only creates emotional pain and suffering for ourselves. When we’re in pain, we usually aren’t taking the actions that create change. 

Of course, we need to process the emotions we feel when something happens that we didn’t want to happen. The emotions of disappointment, frustration, sadness, anger, hurt, loss, or grief. And let it take as long as it takes to process them.

But how long do we want to keep wishing it didn’t happen and add suffering on top of those emotions?

When we can create more space for how things are, we surrender a little, we release some tension, we find some freedom. And that’s when we’ll get clear about what we really want and move towards creating the changes we want to see.

Your turn: What have you been resisting recently? What would happen if you allowed it to be what it is, without needing it to be different? How can the question, “How is this happening FOR me?” create some space in your experience?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

What does your body say?

Slow down and listen.

What’s the difference between sensations and feelings/emotions in our bodies?

Sensations are physical feelings: a cramp, muscle soreness, tingling, an itch, a stiff neck, hunger, thirst, a bruise, or anything that could be called “painful” is a sensation in the body. Sensations in the body travel to our brain and we recognize them as physical sensations, like pain, discomfort, cold, hot, etc.

Feelings and emotions (I use these interchangeably) are vibrations in the body that are caused by our thoughts. For example, happy, sad, anxious, excited, overwhelmed, worried, scared. Our brains create these vibrations by thinking thoughts.

The way these both work together sometimes goes like this:

We feel a sensation in our body that is “a little painful” and a thought might be, “That feels weird” and then the feeling/emotion it creates could be anxious, worried, or scared. And because we don’t want to feel that way, we might dismiss the emotion along with the sensation. We return to whatever we’re doing or working on, and if we feel the sensation again, we continue to dismiss it as something we’re too busy to be concerned about.

Eventually, our body is like, “Hey, I was trying to get your attention earlier, but you didn’t listen. Now I’m going to shout at you so you really hear me and pay attention.” This is when the pain or sensation gets very intense to the point where we can’t ignore it and may even need a trip to the emergency department to handle it. 

What often is more likely for most of us is that we’re so unaccustomed to listening to our bodies that we don’t hear the smaller signals at all. Until they’re big signals. 

Before it gets to that point–and sometimes it may be unavoidable because our bodies remain mostly miraculous mysteries, even to most doctors–we can learn to listen to and attend to our bodies. But first, we have to be willing to attend and feel and listen.

I’ll offer what I do and it may feel strange or “woo-woo” at first, so feel free to adjust to what feels comfortable for you, if you’d like to start connecting with your body more:

When I feel a sensation that I label as uncomfortable or even painful in my body, I check-in with it. I’ll put my attention on the area, breathe, and silently inquire,”Hi my dear, I feel that and I hear you. What message do you have for me?” And just be with that area of my body for a bit. 

Maybe the pain or discomfort will subside or maybe it will remain. I just attend to that area for a few moments and see what there is to see. And then later at night before I go to sleep, I’ll spend more time with it, if needed. I’m also open to calling my doctor, acupuncturist, or massage therapist, depending on what I think I need. 

This is not to say that we need to be overly worried about every sensation in our body. But we can be open to attending to and connecting with our bodies more. To listen with care. 

When we feel pain or discomfort in our body, we usually turn away from it, dismiss it, ignore it, disregard it. Or we “put it off” until we have time to “deal” with it. 

Our bodies are our allies and companions. We wouldn’t be able to do almost all of what we do in our lives without our bodies. They are our partners and deserve our care and attention, just like we’d give to a companion or partner we love.

When we can start to attend to our bodily sensations even more, we’ll strengthen our connection with our body and be able to “hear” its messages to us. Not only will we feel more connected, but we may also decide that taking actions to feel healthy and good in our bodies are priorities in our lives. And engaging in those actions become joyful habits instead of dreaded chores. 

We’ll have our ever-changing bodies for as long as we’re alive. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a loving, respectful relationship with it?

Your turn: Are you open to “hearing” what your body has to say to you? What might happen if you started seeing your body as a companion, partner, friend, ally in this glorious life you’ve been given? What is one thing you can do today to slow down and connect with your body? Maybe even give it some love and attention by acknowledging all that it has done and does for you?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

When you try to do all the things

Be with you.

I’ve mentioned this before, that in the past I used to think I needed to DO all the things in order to prove my worth, because I used to think I wasn’t “good enough.” I wasn’t even conscious of this as a choice I was making–I just thought it was how I was supposed to do things. 

I’d do things from a sense of internal pressure–to take classes to learn a certain skill, to exercise only for weight loss, to do activities where I could meet new people, to be on nonprofit Boards, to volunteer my time in other ways. I ended up doing so much in order to feel like I was “good enough” that I ended up exhausting myself and feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.

Only looking back, and through the self-awareness work I’ve done through therapy and coaching, I see that I was “doing” in order to prove myself as worthy and valuable. Because I thought I wasn’t good enough, I thought there were things I could DO to feel good enough. 

Now I know that worthiness comes from within, that I can choose to have the belief “I am already 100% worthy.” And that belief is available to ALL of us. We get to choose to believe it (or not).

Sometimes we do things to “avoid” ourselves or “escape” ourselves. Maybe we’re not used to being with ourselves, or we don’t like being with our own thoughts, or maybe we might not like being with ourselves as our only company. 

If that’s the case, I want to offer that the most important work to feel “good enough” comes from learning how to like ourselves even more.

To do this, we need to know what we think about ourselves. Are we acknowledging ourselves for who we are and what we like about ourselves? Not what we DO, but who we ARE as people. Many times, when asked about ourselves, we talk about what we DO or the roles we have. But how often do we talk about what we like about ourselves? 

Some self-acknowledgements could be:

“I like myself for being generous” / “I am generous”

“I like myself for being kind” / “I am kind”

“I like myself for being understanding” / “I am understanding”

“I like myself for being intelligent” / “I am intelligent”

“I like myself for being ambitious” / “I am ambitious”

“I like myself for being amazing” / “I am amazing”

This is not to say that we’re doing this in order to feel “better than” other people–which for some of us, doing this type of work can feel uncomfortable because we’re not supposed to be “boastful.” 

No, this work is for us to acknowledge ourselves and who we are and what we like about ourselves. To feel “good enough” or valuable comes from within ourselves. When we slow down and spend time checking-in with ourselves, we get to know ourselves even more. We start to find out what’s true for us, about us.

And if we happen to see things in ourselves that we’d like to change or improve upon, we can always do so, but from a place of compassion and care for ourselves. Instead of from a place of not feeling good enough.

So now I do things because I want to, from a place of knowing that I have value to contribute–not in order to get a feeling of value from “out there.” 

Your turn: What if you stopped doing all the things to prove your worthiness and value and started spending time checking-in with yourself? What’s good about you? (Think about who you ARE, not what you DO, to answer that question.) How can you enjoy being with yourself even more? How can you enjoy being YOU even more?

Subscribe if you want to receive this content directly in your inbox.

Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

When you honor yourself

Respect yourself.

How many of us know how to connect with and listen to our body’s signals and messages to us? Most of us didn’t really learn how to do this anywhere. In fact, we were likely taught the opposite–how to ignore and disregard our bodies: to keep going when we’re tired, to push through the pain to get it done, to always be productive and go after the next thing. 

After undergoing emergency open-heart surgery that saved my life and while going through the recovery process, I finally learned how to listen to and honor my body. In actuality, it was because I didn’t know how to do that sooner that I got to the place of needing emergency open-heart surgery. I wasn’t understanding my body’s signals that led to my body’s illness. 

In the past, when I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t allow myself to rest without feeling guilty, like I shouldn’t be taking the time off. And guess what happened when I felt guilty for resting when my body needed it? I created more stress because I was feeling guilty about resting and thinking I should be doing something else!

Resting when our bodies need it can be a hostile cycle if we’re not aware of what’s going on in our minds during the time. Part of us knows that we need rest and another part of us thinks about all the other things we “should” be doing but aren’t. So while we’re resting, there’s cognitive dissonance–we’re not at peace with our decision to rest. 

And also, it may be uncomfortable to be with ourselves and all of our thoughts! The thoughts we can avoid when we’re busy doing all the other things we do. 

One way to be at peace with resting and caring for ourselves is to be compassionate with ourselves, to accept that we need to rest, and to consciously choose to rest: “I am choosing to rest and care for myself. There is nothing else I need to do right now. This is important and resting will allow me to do the things I want to do later.” This may help to decrease cognitive dissonance.  

This relates to more than just resting. It relates to what we choose to eat, drink, and do with our bodies, as well. 

As for being left alone with ourselves and our thoughts, it could be helpful to just notice what comes up when it’s just us and our thoughts. (This could be the topic of a whole other email!)

So, instead of ignoring my body’s messages, I learned to slow down and check-in with my body, to familiarize myself with its signals. I learned to ask the questions: “At what cost?” and “What can I do to take care of myself in this moment?” 

And when the answer came, I gave myself permission to listen to and honor it. It could mean deciding to sleep in instead of going to the gym, or remembering to breathe deeply, or drinking some water, or choosing to eat (or not eat) something, or canceling evening plans after an unexpectedly tiring day at work. 

A realization that I came to while learning to listen to and honor my body more, was that by not listening to my body, I was disrespecting and disregarding myself. 

Self-care became a way to show myself respect and love, to regard myself with attention. How often do we expect love, respect, and attention from others when we might not even be giving these things to ourselves?

In the past, I thought that by pushing past my body’s needs, I was “being responsible” and getting things done that I thought I needed to do. But by not taking care of my body, that was actually being irresponsible. I see that now, but I didn’t see it in the past–likely because many of our social messages told me the opposite. 

When we begin connecting to our body even more, we learn how to regard our body with attention, to listen to what our body needs. Then we can honor it by supporting it in a healthy, caring, respectful way.

Your turn: What can you do today to start connecting to your body more? Are you open to asking yourself the questions: “At what cost?” and “What can I do to take care of myself in this moment?” What might happen if you decided to give care and attention to yourself, to slow down and check-in with your body first?

Subscribe if you want to receive this content directly in your inbox.

Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

What does self-love have to do with it?

Everything.

I recently made a painful and difficult decision in my life because I chose to love myself enough and to want more for myself. 

It can be easy to think that when we love ourselves, making a decision out of love is also easy. 

I want to offer that making decisions out of love for ourselves can sometimes be extremely difficult and painful. But we’re willing to make the decision because we know the current situation we’re in is not serving us or moving us forward in an aligned way. 

We might be stuck and suffering, and even though we are, it can still feel scary to make a decision to change. But we are not being loving to ourselves by choosing to stay stuck or in suffering.

We have to love ourselves enough to become aware of the cost of the situation we’re in. What is the cost to our well-being? What other options are we not considering? How much time and energy is this situation extracting from us? What else could we be creating in our lives with this time and energy if we redirected it? 

And how do we get to that place of love for ourselves where we feel strong enough to make a difficult decision? 

In small ways each day, we can become familiar with what it feels like to love ourselves even more. 

When we practice in small ways each day to care for ourselves, support ourselves, and be kind to ourselves, our lives can change. 

“When you’re at peace with yourself and love yourself, it is virtually impossible to do things to yourself that are destructive.” ― Wayne Dyer

When we love ourselves more we:

  • Make different and more affirming decisions in our life
  • Take better care of ourselves
  • Set healthy boundaries
  • Believe in what’s possible for us
  • Move from past-based beliefs into future-based beliefs
  • Know that we’re worth it and worthy
  • Commit to ourselves and what we say we’ll do
  • Advocate for ourselves
  • Trust ourselves more
  • Are more patient with ourselves and our results/outcomes/goals
  • Move into alignment with our decisions/choices

“Self-love does not come from writing a book, or from making a million dollars, or from buying a new house. Self-esteem comes from the little loving choices we make every day—the choices we make that tell us, ‘You are important. You are a good person. You deserve to take care of yourself. You matter.’” – Debbie Ford, The Right Questions

Your turn: In what small, daily ways do you want to practice caring for yourself? In what small, daily ways do you want to practice supporting yourself? In what small, daily ways do you want to practice being kind to yourself? What does it feel like to become familiar with loving yourself even more? 

Want help finding small, daily ways to express care, support, and kindness to yourself? Let’s explore.

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

Stop quitting on yourself

Let it be hard.

Sometimes we make decisions that are hard because we love ourselves and want more for ourselves. A healthier body, better relationships, finding our purpose, a job that will challenge us, being more present in our lives. 

So we take the leap and make a decision.

We feel motivated and inspired at first, when our thoughts about what we’re doing make it easy to start out. But then it starts getting hard.

Most of the time, people don’t stick to what they say they want because it starts to get hard

When it starts to get hard, we feel uncomfortable. Our brains want to go back to what was easy, comfortable, and familiar. Even if that ease, comfort, and familiarity wasn’t in our best interests and is why we made the decision to create changes in our life in the first place.

When it gets hard, we may think: 

“A second helping just for tonight isn’t that bad” or 

“I can skip running today since I did it yesterday” or 

“Another drink won’t really hurt” or 

“I miss him so much, I’ll just text him to see how he’s doing.” 

These urges come up because we want to go back to what is easy, comfortable, and familiar. If we keep answering these urges by returning to what’s easy, comfortable, and familiar, we won’t get to the place where we pass through the “hard” part.

We can allow the urges–and any other feelings that come up–to be there without resisting or reacting to them. We can process them through instead. 

So let it be hard. And keep doing it anyway.

Keep sticking to the plan. Keep remembering why this is important. It was a decision to want more for ourselves because we love ourselves. To align with who we want to be and are becoming.

Here are some thoughts we can think during the hard parts:

“Doing this is hard and doing this is important to me.”

“This is the part where I want to have a second helping, but I’m sticking to my plan.”

“Running every day is hard and I can let it be hard for now.”

“Not having another drink is supposed to be uncomfortable for me.”

“Missing him is hard and I don’t need to text or call him. I’m making space for something new.”

When we can let it be hard, we will pass through to the other side of it. Then it will just become a regular part of what we do in our lives, a part of who we are. 

We become a person who doesn’t need a second helping or another drink. We become a person who works out every day. We become a person who takes care of themselves no matter what. We become a person who makes space to receive and have something or someone aligned with us. We become a person who shows up in the world the way we want to.

Your turn: Are you ready to stop quitting on yourself? Are you willing to let it be hard? What would happen if you let it be hard and got to the place where it’s just part of what you do and who you are? How would your life be better or different then?

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Work with me: Want to create a more meaningful life in which you get to show up the way you want, be fully present, and engage purposefully? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 60-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

Sometimes our feelings hurt…a lot

And what if that’s OK?

All of us experience emotional pain at regular intervals in our lives. We often turn to food, alcohol, shopping, work, or something else to ignore the pain we feel. These actions are called buffering (more on that soon). These temporary distractions only prevent the process that needs to happen to let the painful feelings go.

What happens when feelings hurt:
• Something happens to trigger your emotional pain.
• You can barely make sense of it and it overwhelms you.
• Emotional pain racks your body—the vibrations in your body caused by the thoughts you’re having are excruciating.

You can make a choice to: avoid it, resist it, react to it, or process it.

Avoiding
When you choose to avoid your pain and pretend it isn’t there, you are basically lying to yourself. This doesn’t work long term. The truth is that avoidance causes pain to fester. The more you avoid it, the more you have to avoid it. You might eat, for example, instead of feel. Then you might get upset because you ate when you weren’t hungry. Then you might obsess about your body or your exercise routine. All of these tactics keep you from addressing the cause of the pain and instead, multiply undesirable symptoms such as weight gain.

Resisting and Reacting
When you resist the emotion, you tell yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling this way and then you feel bad in addition to the painful emotion you’re already feeling. When you resist, it’s like trying to hold a large beach ball under the water. The beach ball always wants to pop back up and gets stronger the more you try to push it down.

When you deal with pain this way, you act it out or fight against it. You might yell at the person you believe caused your pain. You might talk behind their back, you might give them the silent treatment, or maybe take even more drastic measures against them. This may seem to help with the pain temporarily because it alleviates the vibration in the moment, but these actions almost always backfire.

When we react from negative emotion, we almost always get a negative result. Our actions are usually uncontrolled and unthoughtful. Fighting against the emotion becomes a losing battle–anxiety speeds up the vibration of the already painful emotion, making it even more intense.

Processing
When you choose to process pain, you are choosing to feel it. We are so reluctant to feel pain on purpose. We tell ourselves that feeling pain is a bad thing because it feels bad, but this isn’t the truth. When we allow ourselves to feel our pain all the way through, we see that it’s manageable and it can do no long term harm (unlike avoiding and fighting, which can have many long term consequences).

Allow the feeling to be in your body even if you can’t make sense of it in your mind yet. Watch and notice. Say in your mind “I am processing pain” over and over as you feel the pain. You don’t need to fix it or make it go away.

Notice any desire to react, resist, and avoid. You can say the desire out loud or in your mind, or write it down. You don’t have to act on it—just acknowledge it. You can tell yourself, “That won’t help” or “That’s not worth it” every time you notice the desire. Remind yourself, “This is pain…This is part of being human.” Allow the painful vibration to be there as you do laundry, take a shower, drive your car, or talk on the phone. Notice its heaviness, its energy, its ability to take your breath away. Just notice.

As you do this, you’ll begin to see that your thoughts about the situation appear. It may take some time–a few minutes, a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. Let it take as long as it takes—there’s no need to force it. Just keep noticing what you notice.

Your turn: What happens to the feeling if you just allow it to be there and feel it all the way through? What happens if you’re allowed to feel this way without reacting, resisting, or avoiding the emotion?

Next week we’ll talk about how our thoughts about our circumstances/situations create our feelings. It’s easy to think our circumstances (other people, our job, our neighborhood, traffic, etc.) create our feelings. It’s all our thoughts. And that’s where our power lies.

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You: Empowering and Disempowering Questions 

When we ask ourselves questions, our brains love to go to work to find the answers. When we ask ourselves disempowering questions, our brain will likely find disempowering answers. When we ask ourselves more empowering, curious, open questions, our brains will likely find options that feel more empowering or productive. 

What are three disempowering questions that you find yourself asking?

What are some more empowering questions you could ask yourself?

Below are some examples of disempowering (sound familiar?) and empowering questions:

Disempowering

Why do I keep doing this?

Why did I have to make that mistake?

Why isn’t he calling me back?

Why is this so hard?

Why can’t I get it right?

What’s wrong with me?

Why am I so messed up?

Empowering

How is this working for me?

What if this was all happening perfectly?

What if it’s okay that this is hard?

What would this look like if it was easy?

What am I learning from this?

How do I want to show up in this situation?

What’s right with me?

Who do I want to be?

Let me know if you’ve been asking yourself disempowering questions and are struggling to find more empowering questions to ask instead. We’ll work it out together!

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My Learnings – 2010s

I get emails from Marie Forleo because I signed up for her B-School program back in 2015. She is fun and passionate and teaches valuable stuff to entrepreneurs.

At the end of 2019, she had a series of videos about reflecting on the past decade: what you’re proud of and why, what you learned and why those lessons are important, and what you want your future self to know.

The exercises serve as a reflection on how far we’ve come and can guide us into the next decade with clarity.

I enjoyed reflecting and I felt empowered, encouraged, and enlivened because this exercise met my needs for appreciation, understanding, growth, and celebration. I’d like to share my “lessons learned” part of the exercise.

Everything happens FOR me
This idea resonated deeply with me when I first heard it, maybe around 2014 or so. It’s a reminder that even when “undesirable” things happen, it’s because I’m going to learn from that experience in some way, I’m going to grow from it, and expand my perspective through the process. Even the physical pain I’ve experienced on a monthly basis in the past, I believe happened FOR me so that I could really understand and embody what it means to take care of myself, to set boundaries, to accept what is, to relax into a challenging/uncomfortable situation and be with it, to have patience, to reflect and go within, to reach out and ask for help, and to value my body and its abilities even more when it’s not in pain. I have learned so much through the experience of the past monthly physical pain–even though it was so hard to be in it at times and I had to miss out on doing things I wanted to do. There are lessons even from that.

A definition of suffering = voluntary participation in events, situations, and circumstances that disempower you
Again, when I first heard this (from Iyanla Vanzant via Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations podcast, just this past August) it hit me hard as an empowering reminder that I can choose something else. I can choose not to participate, I do not have to stand there and be disempowered and suffer. Maybe it is more about emotional suffering than physical suffering, though emotions do create a physical response in the body. I went through a lot of emotional suffering in the past because I allowed myself to participate in disempowering situations, to give my power all away to someone else.

I am responsible for how I feel; I let everyone else off the hook
Another reminder (from Abraham via Esther Hicks) that I can choose, that I have a choice of feeling bad or feeling something else, that I have a choice to allow myself to stay in a bad feeling state or situation or choose to shift towards a better feeling state. This is a challenge sometimes and it’s a continual practice that I consciously engage in. It’s not easy but I believe it’s worth it in order to show up for myself and align my vibration with who I really am.

Listening to, honoring, and acknowledging my body; self-care in many forms
Without the freedom to move in my body, my world becomes much more limited, contracted, and it’s hard to keep a hopeful outlook on life. I know this feeling so well. Because of it, I have deeply embodied the learning and practice of checking in with my body to really listen to it and honor it and understand it. Creating some space for dialogue and language to support myself in this. And acceptance and self-empathy for when I’m not able to do what I want to do. This is a continual practice because I still find that I push myself too hard sometimes–my will wants to drag my body along behind it. But I ask it, “What can I do to help?” “How are you feeling?” “What do you need?” And I acknowledge it when I know I’ve pushed it a bit–or even when I haven’t. When I feel good, I acknowledge and thank it for the good feeling: “Yay, we did it! Thank you for supporting me in this.”

Be curious
This is so helpful in learning and to ask questions without the fear of being seen as “stupid” or thinking that we need to know everything or to be “right,” which the mind chatter has a way of scaring us into thinking. Curiosity is so important in the process of expanding yourself, to see what you’re capable of, to see what works and what doesn’t, to move forward with less fear. And it’s fun to be curious. 🙂

Have fun, be joyful
Life is supposed to be fun! Another teaching by Abraham. We are here for who knows how long or for what purpose, but doesn’t it feel good to enjoy yourself and have fun while we ARE here? The fact that we ARE here is a miracle and we get to be in our body which we can move, think, have freedom and independence, and to taste, touch, hear, see, smell is such a privilege. I am so grateful for all of my senses because they allow me to experience the world and my life fully.

Savor what feels good; celebrate
Again with the fun and joy. My teacher, David Ross formerly of the World School and currently at Andrew University, ingrains this into his students–and it’s a fun practice. Savor what feels good because it feels good to savor! And to be able to remember that good feeling in my body for a longer period of time, to be able to create and maintain that good feeling again whenever I want. Celebrate even the smallest victory. It’s a way to enjoy life even more.

I am taking these lessons into my next decade of life, continuously and consciously practicing them, and I’m sure I’ll learn even more along the way. Life is a continual process of growth and evolution, if we allow it to be. And I am allowing it! 🙂