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

There Never Seems to be ‘Enough Time’

Once upon a time (1.5 months ago), I was working a full-time desk job. I was spending “all of my time” at work. When I wasn’t at work, I was thinking about work. When I wasn’t thinking about work, I was dreaming about work (yes, scary). It seemed my life was ruled by this work. I enjoyed the field I was in, but not the work I did. It ate up “too much” of my time and left me “no time” for anything else I wanted to do.

Does this sound like something you can relate to? If it’s not your job taking up your time, it’s something else. I am fascinated by how we see TIME. How much value we place on it. How we talk about it, think about it. How very little we understand it. It’s the most precious thing we have as humans and yet we have no idea how to manage it properly because we have such a small lens into what time is or does for us. Really here, in my scenario, which is a very true depiction of how I felt is not a result of there not actually being enough time. How can you say something takes too much time at the same time you say you have not enough time? See how silly this is? The issue is me blaming how I felt on time itself, which can’t actually be responsible for anything, because it doesn’t control anything. We are the ones in control.

In reality, I am just struggling to manage myself.

Not convinced? The story goes on…

I left my job (for many reasons), so now I should have all the time in the world, yes? Great! Only, I still was (am) feeling as though I don’t have “enough time” to get “everything done”.

How is this possible?

Let’s address what we’re really doing when we are using phrases such as “I don’t have enough time for that”. We have the tendency of needing to connect how we feel to some concrete piece of what we think is evidence of our feelings, but really, the “time”, or lack thereof, in this particular instance is just a scapegoat. Instead of allowing feelings to pass through us and just be felt for what they are, we need to anchor them to something else in order to essentially lay blame on something other than ourselves. In this case, it’s the lack of time that I am blaming my not getting to other things I wanted to do, which made me feel burnt out and frustrated. 

It’s not a matter of managing time, but managing ourselves. You cannot manage time, because you cannot change time, but you can change yourself. Until we can learn to manage ourselves, we can manage nothing else.

Why do people think they don’t have enough time?

Now, let’s talk about some reasons as to why people may feel as though they don’t have “enough time”. Essentially, these reasons can be attributed to a feeling of a lack of control. Those feelings cause us to then blame something for our lack of control. Again, it ends up being ‘time’. Here are the top reasons why people think they don’t have enough time.

  • They lack focus
  • They lack direction
  • They multi-task
  • They are not organized
  • They don’t prioritize
  • They don’t have a routine
  • They are unsure of their goals
  • They are negative and have poor attitudes
  • They focus on urgent rather than important

To sum it up: they don’t know how to manage themselves. That lack of control is a feeling. If we allow the feeling to be more than just that, it can become our reality. The good news is that we have the power to become in control. All we have to do is get a little better at managing ourselves. If it seems overwhelming, there’s really nothing to it! Once you have a clearer understanding of yourself, your goals, your priorities, your needs vs wants, etc, you will manage yourself, and thus your “time”, with ease.

Check out my other posts on dreams, self-reflection, and positive thoughts to gain inspiration!

Can you manage yourself? What will you do differently today?

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Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Quick and Easy Ways to Declutter Your Mind, Now

According to scientific research back in 2005, we have about 50,000 thoughts per day (more recent estimates are 70,000), which in short, boils down 1 thought every few seconds. Further, 80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% of these thoughts we’ve had the day before. These thoughts have quite a toll on our physiology and physical health, weakening our systems and creating many of those illnesses we experience as a result of stress and other negative/cluttered thinking patterns. By the end of the day, we’re drained of our energy or worse, find ourselves feeling ill.

If we can learn to control our thought patterns and declutter our mind, we can be happier, more focused and positive as a result. It’s simple really, by becoming mindful of our thoughts and mind clutter, we can become intentional in how we choose to spend our time and energy, and where we focus our attention.

Here are 6 easy and quick ways you can take to declutter your mind, now.

Journal or make a list and prioritize

Journaling has been proven to help reduce stress, improve memory, and lessen the feelings of anxiousness. By writing out your thoughts, feelings, and goals into a journal daily you are allowing your mind to rid itself of hanging onto these thoughts day after day. A bigger payoff is the sense of clarity and assuredness that can come as a result of daily journaling. It has a wonderful way of opening our eyes to new perspectives or even confirming our inner truths.

If journaling isn’t your ‘thing’, just jot things down on paper. Even by jotting down a ‘to-do’ list, a ‘weekly goals’ list, or a ‘don’t forget’ list in a notebook or on a piece of scrap paper has the same positive effects on reducing mind clutter. As a result, you’ll have less things piling up in your mind day after day, with a significantly less chance of forgetting important things. Talk about win-win.

Exercise

Exercise has so many hidden benefits that it’s no wonder it’s recommended to get in at least 20 minutes of exercise daily. Ever feel more creative and inspired after a satisfying workout? Have you ever been able to more easily solve a problem or gain clarity on a situation during a workout? It is true that exercise leads to better problem solving skills, gives us the clarity we need in our mind, puts us in noticeably better moods, and allows us to work more effectively and efficiently throughout our days.

Find whatever type of exercise works for you; do what brings you joy and is fun for you and do it every chance you get. This can be any type of physical movement; working out doesn’t have to be boring ‘work’.

Zone out or meditate

Zoning out is not the same as removing yourself from reality and withering away in front of a TV. To zone out properly, we need to remove ourselves from anything that requires our minds to download or process any new information. Instead of reading or watching tv, try sitting in nature – or even on your front porch. Watch the wind in the tree leaves, hear the natural sounds of your surroundings and breathe in the fresh air. This type of zoning out can do wonders in helping your mind free itself from those never-ending thoughts.

For those who want a more ‘focused’ zoning out, meditation is a great way to empty your mind. There are several different ways to meditate and none is better than the other when it comes to mind decluttering. Simply choose to sit however you are most relaxed and comfortable and select something to focus on, whether it be your breath, an object, a mantra, etc and breathe deeply as you focus on your item of choice. By making meditation a part of your daily practice, even for 5 minutes, can help alter the state of your mind.  Over time and with much practice, you’ll be able to go into your meditative trance whenever you start to feel your mind begin to clutter, with ease at anytime or in any place.

Stop multiasking

Multitasking isn’t helping keep a clear, focused mind. In fact, multitasking is not only impossible, but it can contribute further to the stressed out or overwhelmed feelings that we have. This in turn, continues to feed negative thoughts and repetitive thoughts into our minds that are otherwise unnecessary to begin with. Although negative thinking can sometimes fuel productivity and spark action if used properly, negativity in this way is unproductive because we’re just trying to keep up with ourselves and pushing our minds into overdrive.

To clean up your mind is very similar to how we clean up our physical spaces. We typically select one starting point (a room perhaps) and clean and declutter this room fully before moving onto the next. For our minds, it helps to pick one task to focus on, set a duration, and do nothing else but that task for that time. It’s amazing how productive and efficient this method of single-tasking is.

Speaking of cleaning up your physical space…

Clean up your physical space

Many books and advocates will tell you that having a physically cluttered space is a definite way to give yourself a cluttered mind. When we can see physical disarray our minds translate this into more things we have to do, so we spend more energy producing these thoughts and adding to our negative clutter in our minds until the physical space is clean.

Tackle your physical spaces, even the ones you don’t actually see or don’t see on an every-day basis, but know are there (think closets, garages, sheds). Use whatever method works for you; you can tackle one room at a time or use the Marie Kondo method and tackle by category. Tidy up your paperwork, your desk space at work, your linen closet and every other nook and cranny of your living and work spaces. Everything should have a place in your space and if it no longer serves a purpose, remove it for good.

Be decisive and put routine decisions on auto-pilot

There’s no better way to clear our minds than by ridding them of an unnecessary thoughts or stressors. If there is something on your mind that you can easily remove by making a decision, please do so. There is absolutely no need to mull things over day after day, hour after hour, piling and piling the clutter in your mind. Any opportunity you have to clean up those lingering ‘to-do’s’, you need to jump all over.

If decision-making is not your forte, refer to this helpful guide on how to make decisions less difficult. The key is to make a choice and know that you can always make another one. In order to declutter your mind, you have to start somewhere and once you start to make a decision on one thing, they all get a little easier from there.

We as humans are inundated with decisions that need to be made, on a daily basis. Many of these decisions we can turn on ‘autopilot’ so that we need not think twice about them, freeing them from our minds. To put these more routine decisions on ‘autopilot’ means to simply remove any other choices from being an option. You can do this by eating the same lunch every weekday, wearing the same outfit on specific days of the week, workout at the same time every day, have a morning routine, only watch TV on Wednesday nights, do your laundry every Sunday morning at 8:00 AM, and so on. Without going overboard on ‘autopiloting” everything in your life, you can tackle a large part of your mind’s clutter.

Our minds are a powerful force. They have the ability to shape much of how we act, how we feel, and how we live our lives. It’s important that we take the time to take care of our minds so we can better take care of ourselves in turn. By taking some of the steps outlined to clear our minds, we will live our days more intentionally and focus our attention and energy on things that will better serve us. 

 

 Photo by Simon Migak from Pexels

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.