How to Get Over Your Own BS

It’s all about the stories (lies) we tell ourselves.

If you were to write down your perfect day, what would it look like? Who would be in it? What would you be doing? Where would you be? Maybe you’re at home, curled up with 4 books piled around you, a to-do-list is non-existent, and the only thing you take a break to do is to have gourmet food served to you on a platter by the fire. And maybe chat it up over the phone with a few super smart friends about the meaning of life, latest stock market trends, and leadership techniques while you make your own house wine. Perhaps your day is filled to the brim with one adventure after another, planned snorkeling in the Maldives followed by zip lining and attending an exclusive beach party where you mingle with some of the wealthiest people you’ve ever met. And yet, maybe it looks like a day with your family taking a leisurely road trip to a local landmark and singing along to songs with everyone. You have a picnic in the fall leaves and play games and laugh until your bellies hurt.

Now think bigger. What about your life? Who would you be? What would you have? Where would you be? Go ahead, get wild and really put it all out there.

Would you have the short hairstyle that you’ve always wanted but are too afraid to try, wear fancy hats regardless of what anyone else thinks, have a different look every single day because you are so diverse in your tastes and in what inspires you or expresses who you are and why the hell not? Maybe you would be 20 lbs lighter or happy with your current size because you volunteer your time to more nobler causes than body-image and #donthavetimeforthat so everyone who thinks you could stand to lose a few pounds can go kick rocks. You know who you are.

Would you have a million friends or none at all? What would these friends and you do together?

Would you be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a freelance artist (a very successful one, of course)? Is your dream job a stay-at-home ____ (mom, wife, just a stay-at-home person, for all we care). Do you want to jump ship and make a major career change into something you have no experience in and sort of no idea exactly what it entails, but you just want to do it anyway?

Would you have two homes, one in Naples where you spend your summers, and one in Montana in the mountains because you’ve always loved ranches and dreamed of having a horse, or 4. Would you live overseas, a new place every 6 months so you can explore and immerse yourself in cultures across the globe? Would you make a killing in this lifestyle and be a travel journalist? Or food Vlogger? Would you be exactly where you are now, but maybe just upgrade the design style of your home, invest in some fancy-ass furniture that you keep eyeballing at West Elm, finally build out a master suite above the garage, and throw away all the ratty old things you keep holding on because “you have to”?

By now you’re probably smiling, feeling a little inspired, and totally ready to tell me to just shut up and tell you how to make this all happen already, amiright?

You can have everything you want, be your truest self, see all of the things you want to see, do all of the things you want to do, and live the life of your dreams

How?

Just stop getting in your own way. Stop feeding yourself B.S with all of these stories and lies that keep you from living out your life.

The stories that we tell ourselves (aka, the lies) are what is preventing us from doing anything we want in life. Sometimes, we do things we want, right? But how much of a struggle is it to get to that point? How hard was it for you to do something you wanted, the last time you did it? And was it a small thing, or was it actually a big thing that really made an impact on yourself or your life? Chances are, it was a small, little baby want. But if it was in fact, a big want and you did it, AWESOME – how did it feel? I bet you felt pretty BOSS-like, huh? Wouldn’t you like to carry out that fire and passion and act on your wants and manifest your dreams into reality every single day?

Many of us want to call out our BS and say goodbye to it forever, but we lack doing what we need to do in order to be successful.

Do you tell yourself that you really want to be the new Director at your current job, the position is open, and you have the natural skillset to absolutely crush it, but you tell yourself (pay attention, this is the B.S; the story, the lies) that you’re not qualified enough or don’t have the right experience and likely won’t get it anyways, so you don’t even bother for it? This is what I’m talking about.

So often when we say we’re not qualified for something, what we’re really saying is that we’re too scared to try it, not that we can’t do it – Jen Sincero

Maybe you want lots of friends, but right now you have none. You tell yourself you’ll never have any friends because there isn’t anyone out there who “gets you”, you’re too misunderstood so everyone gets too offended by you or doesn’t invite you to do anything. This is the story you tell yourself, so guess what happens? You likely use it as an excuse to not try to put yourself out there, meet new people, hang out where smart people go, insert yourself into conversations, or invite other people to do things with you. Ergo, you are friendless and your story remains “true”.

We don’t have the things we want, the life we want or are not the people we want to be is because we tell ourselves that we can’t, shouldn’t, won’t, or aren’t enough

That, and we don’t do the things we need to do in order to make them happen

This ends today.

Start making progress towards the life you want by paying attention to your current stories. Why don’t you have the things you want today? Why are you not being who you really are? Why aren’t you in the job that you want? Spend some good time thinking about these stories and write them down.

How do these stories benefit you? There is a reason we tell ourselves these things. Do you tell yourself, in the case of the job instance, that you are underqualified or not well-liked enough to get the job? That you don’t measure up to their ideals, or that people won’t like it if you got it. How does this benefit you? Well, if you don’t go after the job and you stay in the job you have, you don’t have to deal with change, you get to stay nice and comfortable. If you don’t go for the job, you won’t have to work any harder than you do now, so you get to keep your cushy work schedule.

In most situations, the stories or lies we tell ourselves are for the purpose of protecting us, keeping us safe, and for lessening the chances of anything negative happening. But if we don’t face fear, get a little uncomfortable, and change our stories, we risk being miserable sacs for the rest of our lives, never fully living out our dreams or expressing who we really are. That is a heck of a lot sadder, dontcha think? So once you know your stories and know why you’ve been telling yourself these things all along, get rid of them! Literally and metaphorically.  Throw out the paper, rip it to shreds, wipe the slate clean. Then write some new stories. What do you want to start telling yourself instead for each of these?

Once you’ve settled on your new stories and you’re feeling a little inspired and motivated, set a plan to get out of your routine. You will risk telling your old stories to yourself again and continue to have a hard time living out your new stories if you keep the same old routine. If you keep not going after a job, if you keep putting off furthering your education, if you keep avoiding places where you know successful people hang out, if you don’t make small talk with people who interest you, etc. Really work at it. The universe will make it hard for you, but that means you’re making a big, positive change and are on the right track. Don’t be a quitter, new stories are not an overnight thing. You need to start living it and keep at it every single day until they become your habit, your truth.

Lastly, don’t fall prey to the downward spiral. When something goes array (because it almost certainly will at some point), whatever you do, do not go into a drama-filled suckfest with every area of your life, just because the one is off today or this week. Meaning, no doing this: This meeting new people is too hard. I have been out 3 times each week for 2 weeks and still didn’t meet any good new people. I will never find any good friends to have deep connections with. It’s likely why I can’t find a partner either. Nobody gets me. I’ll likely end up alone for the rest of my life, never get married, and never have kids. And because I am so pathetic with people, there’s no way I’ll ever go on my dream vacations because that involves other people, but that’s just as well since I can’t get a high-enough paying job for those trips since no one likes me at work. I’m the last person they would think of to promote. Yeah, none of that, please. Let it be what it is in the moment for the one thing, and move on.

You have the power to control your own life. You can change it anytime you want and you can keep changing it as often as you’d like. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can’t have what you want, that you can’t be who you want, or any other excuse-laden reason to not fulfill your deepest passions. We can manifest anything we want into reality by calling out our BS, and rewriting our own stories.

Photo by Min An from Pexels

Instead of Looking to Others, Look to Yourself

The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for the relationship you have with others.

Ever realize that so often you look externally for specific characteristics and qualities in others – whether it’s in a close friend, a spouse, a partner, a relative, or even a coworker – instead of being those things for yourself? We’re looking for specific things that we don’t possess or rather, that we want others to possess for us. Instead of finding the right person or friend, you can be that person to yourself. This is one of the biggest gifts you could possibly give to yourself.

Just like you would do these with or for a friend or partner, add the following things into your daily life to create and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself.

Treat Yourself to Some ‘Me’ Time

You don’t need to fill your time up with social events. It might seem scary or difficult at first, but work to spend some quality time alone – staying in or even going out. It doesn’t have to be extravagant with a solo vacation or an expensive shopping splurge. Just pencil in some time to do those activities that you keep thinking about but always pass off. Those things that you keep meaning to do or starting up again, but continually sacrifice. Having dedicated time regularly to yourself to do whatever it is that brings you joy is crucial to having a solid relationship with yourself. It allows you to explore your passions and interests and to invest in yourself, which in turn creates more happiness and satisfaction in your life. And bonus, if you go out alone and make that a regular habit, that really kicks butt in empowering your independent spirit. Warning: you might really like it.

Check-In Every Once and A While

If you’re finding yourself wondering who am I and what am I doing with my life or something similar, chances are you’re not asking yourself frequently enough. This is a sign that you’re a little out of touch with your self. Take some time to sit in a peaceful area where you’re most comfortable and check in with yourself from what thoughts are surfacing on your mind lately to how your body has been physically feeling. Ask yourself questions that you would ask to a friend whom you’re catching up with.

Truly Listen to Your Self and Take Your Own Advice

When you are consoling a friend in despair, it’s likely that you don’t interrupt with criticism or negative talk, so don’t do it to yourself. When you’re having a rough go, don’t let your inner bully try and dismiss your feelings or make you feel unworthy of feeling upset. We can be ultra hard on ourselves, never allowing ourselves to fully feel and process our feelings and emotions, making it difficult to move on from whatever it was that caused them to begin with.

Listening is only part of it though, you have to then carry out that conversation and give sound feedback and advice to yourself, but then also listen to that advice – without judging it, without shooting it down. Give yourself time to think through how you would help a relative in this situation or how you would help your best friend. You can be this friend to yourself, and in fact, it’s important that you do so. Being able to guide yourself through difficult times gives you the strength and abilities to be mentally present to help and guide others through theirs. Otherwise you’ll relate whatever your friend is going through to something you are personally experiencing and haven’t figured out yet – and that won’t be very helpful at all.

Evaluate What You Seek In Others and Why

Self-reflection is a major component into having a good relationship with yourself. This goes a little deeper than the am I happy with where I am questions and dives further into the why am I seeking xxx in others, what is it that I am truly missing or not experiencing that will allow me to feel fuller and more satisfied in my life? These can be terrifying questions for some that may not regularly work through these with themselves, but it’s really no different than doing this exercise for someone else. If it helps, write in a journal or even on a sheet of paper that you then throw out (hey, it doesn’t matter if you keep it, just that you do it).

Be Self-Serving, Not Self-Consumed

Essentially this means that we need to not spend so much time looking for ways that other people can serve us or help us, but rather, turn our energies onto helping ourselves and then helping others. So many people are losing what it means to have deep and valuable relationships because people are looking to others for the wrong things. Instead of seeking out relationships that we want to be a part of and nurture with support and compassion, most people look to find relationships that will serve them or benefit themselves individually. Ever notice how most relationships, although sad, tend to sway in the favor of one individual? Or at the very least, it’s very rare that both people in the relationship are elevated in equal amounts at the same time. You have the power to change this in your relationships by focusing your energy into being the person you need, for yourself. And then being that person for others, too. This is the more rewarding path.

Image result for relationship with yourself

The Power of Thought on Self

A Man is but a product of his thoughts – what he thinks, he becomes. – Mahatma Ghandi

The Link Between Thoughts, Feelings, & Your Behaviors

What we think and continue to nurture with repetition and emotion, will become our reality. When your thoughts are in control of Self, it’s important to understand the link and recognize harmful patterns so you can work to correct them. What you think directly affects how you feel. How you feel directly affects how you behave. And then how you behave is a reinforcement on the initial thought. So, if you think you’re not good enough, you’ll feel like you’re not good enough, and then you will behave like you’re not good enough (missing out on potentially amazing opportunities and experiences). What that cycle does is reinforce that you must then, not be good enough.

The Implications of Bad Thought Patterns on the Self

If we then don’t feel good enough, we continue down the dark path of self-limitation. Our brains will likely continue to look for ways to reinforce this thought or we will not listen to anything (thought or verbal) that is contradictory to this original thought. Think of times when you’ve gone through these patterns. You might have a day where you tell yourself you’re a failure. Immediately, that follows with a strong negative emotion. You then look for other instances in your collective memory in which you’ve “failed”, or at least deemed yourself a failure. That spirals into I must be a failure. I failed today, I’ve failed at these other 5 things, I will continue to fail. This on repeat becomes toxic to our Self and will ultimately lead to our defined reality.

If in those times you’ve had a friend, family member, or even boss reassure you “Hey, don’t worry about it, we all make mistakes, you are not a failure“, how many of those times have you listened? How many times has what they said changed your reality of your Self? Likely none. This is because our thoughts have more control over our realities than anything anyone else can say. If you think it, you believe it, you become it.

How to Gain Control and Change Thought Behavior

Although this can be disheartening to many at times, especially when those thoughts feel uncontrollable, the negative patterns of bad thought – bad emotion – repetition – reality, are completely within our power to change. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to change the thoughts were having, or at least control how we view those thoughts.

Dissociating Feelings of Thought with Self

When you have a thought such as I am a failure, one of the first steps we can take is to remove our Self from the thought, lessening the opportunity for us to define ourselves with these thoughts. Instead, replace it with a feeling thought. So I am a failure becomes I feel as though that project was a failure. It helps shift the perspective unto something else and away from the Self. Only then can we truly analyze the why something felt that way. I was in charge of the project and I didn’t do a good enough job leading my team to complete it on time, so the project was scrapped. This isn’t a good thought either you’re still associating the feeling of failure as a direct result of something YOU did, which puts the Self at risk of being defined as a failure, keep digging. The project was not a top priority for our department so another path was followed. That really is what is at the root isn’t it? The project simply was a no-go not because you are a failure. It just simply didn’t happen.  Why does everything have to have a reason behind it? Why do we have to analyze everything and tie it back to ourselves? We don’t and you can control whether or not you do so.

Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.

Replacing the Bad with the Good

It’s also very important that we practice telling ourselves good stories. Ultimately, if we are going to define our own realities, why would we ever want to choose something so terrible for ourselves? Surely, that is not what we’d prefer. So we must work at having good thoughts with good feelings and repeating that process until that becomes what we believe and ultimately our realities.

Not all Thoughts are Created Equal

It’s important to remember that the power of these thoughts on Self is determined by not only how often you have the thoughts, but also the strength of the emotion tied to those thoughts. It does no good to you if you have one-off good passing thoughts throughout the day, but then continue to have habitual negative thoughts for the rest of the day. Essentially thoughts cancel themselves out and your reality is a sum of all of your thoughts plus the strength of each. If your emotions and frequencies are higher for negative thoughts, those good thoughts will be of little help.

The key is to start with simple awareness. Just entering a state of awareness of all of the thoughts passing through on a daily basis will give you insights into which types of thoughts you’re experiencing more of (negative vs positive), the frequency in which you have them (daily or often each day), and the emotional strength of those thoughts (scale of 1-10 on how they make you feel). 

Then build to replacing those unwanted thoughts. If the disassociation process is a little too difficult right now (it will get easier), start with replacing a bad thought with it’s positive equivalent. For every I am a failure and will always be a failure, replace it with I am successful and will continue to work hard at my success. Then, think of specific instances in which you did work hard, accomplished something you were proud of, and allow yourself to feel those strong positive emotions in thinking about it. If this process is repeated, you’ll begin to notice a change in how you shape your own reality and what that reality looks like.

Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.