Who started the idea that the goal of life is to be happy 100% of the time? Whoever it was, needs a loving smack on the head. Yes, this thought, or concept is perpetuated through all forms of media, but it’s not realistic. Anyone who has ever chased after the goal of 100% happy always ends up disappointed.
Why is this the case? Well, it comes down to us not really wanting to be happy all the time. An example I like to use is when a loved one passes away–is this something you want to be happy about? Some will say yes “because they’re in a better place” or “they’re out of pain.” Both of those things may be true and may provide some comfort, but it doesn’t really bring you happiness about the passing. When someone we love passes, it can feel terrible! Grief, sadness, longing, fear, etc.
I bring up this example because I really want to reiterate that the goal of life is not to be 100% happy; but rather embrace the human experience of 50/50. 50% of the time, you will feel positive emotions–joy, elation, love, contentment, etc. 50% of the time, you’ll feel negative–fear, doubt, loneliness, etc.
When we accept the 50/50 concept, it’s a life changer! The more we remind ourselves that life truly is 50/50 and that feeling all emotions is the human experience, it starts to shift how we think about negative emotions. We don’t beat ourselves up because we “shouldn’t feel this way”. Negative emotions are part of life’s balance and we keep going. We become the non-judgmental observer of our own thoughts and emotions. This allows us to be kinder to ourselves while simultaneously still getting things done that we want or need to.
Emotions are like a painting, if you paint the entire canvas with one color, it’s not very interesting, is it? However, when we use multiple colors, we are attracted to it’s uniqueness and beauty. Does it make the painting look messy sometimes? Sure. But there can be beauty in chaos–just like a big thunderstorm. Or on a more fun note, like finding Waldo in the Where’s Waldo books (I loved these as a kid)!
Why is this the topic I chose for this week’s blog? Honestly, it’s because this last week has been rough. Full of confusion, doubt, rejection, and fear. These concepts I teach aren’t just “woo woo–let’s make life happier”; it’s about resilience and emotional fortitude. Did I show-up exactly how I wanted to show up this week? No. But I’m also not going to beat myself up over things I didn’t do or “should have done.” This week has been my reminder that it’s okay to not feel good–in fact, it’s okay to feel terrible. It doesn’t mean I’m a terrible person. It doesn’t mean my business is a failure. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care. You know why? Because I consciously and deliberately choose not to make negative emotions mean anything personal about me. This doesn’t mean my mind doesn’t offer up those thoughts–it absolutely does. But then I remember that I’m the one in control still.
This is what life coaching is about, my friends. It’s not about a magic fix or finding the missing formula or answer that flips the switch to make your life happy all the time. It’s about resilience, grit, and fortitude. Coaching is about me helping you broaden your perspective, providing more tools for your toolbox, and using those tools to help you create new habits so it’s easier to go through life. I can absolutely state from personal experience, that this work has helped me enjoy my life more. I can navigate through life on a different level and am so grateful for the opportunity to help others do the same.
We are stronger together. If I can help support you, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s change how we show up in the world, and then go out and change the world!
Hello, my friend!
Welcome to my first blog as CoachWithCam. If you are seeing this, you are part of my exclusive club who has subscribed for my weekly newsletter. Thank you for your support on this journey and I hope to return that support to you through my content. If there is anything specific you would like me to cover, don’t hesitate to DM me on my social media, send me an email (Cam@CoachWIthCam.com) or shoot over a text (+1 702-763-3635).
My goal of this blog is to provide support, perspective, tips and tricks, etc. to help you become a better leader. Whether you have the title of a leader is irrelevant. We are all the CEO of our own lives and this means we don’t have to go on this journey alone; sometimes we have to make hard decisions; do things we don’t necessarily want to do; enjoy the fruits of our labor; and always continue to develop and challenge ourselves to the next stage of our personal evolution.
As I continue to gain clarity in my business and whom I can best serve to the highest of my ability, I’m surprised by what I find. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the leaders I want to serve fall into the millennial and gen z generations. Prior to this discovery, age was never a factor. And although I will coach anybody on anything, I find my passion and excitement growing when I think of the amazing things these generations have accomplished already at such young age. I truly believe millennials and gen z are going to revolutionize the workplace and leadership in general.
We’ve grown up in a society of mass technological, political, and socioeconomic changes. I don’t say this to discredit what previous generations went through before, so please don’t misinterpret my intentions. But we need to acknowledge how these changes have impacted the way we as humans’ function in the world and how we think about the world.
I want to shift gears a little bit and discuss more about what I do. When people think of life coaching, they usually think of three things: (1) what a bunch of BS—you don’t need someone to tell you how to live your life; (2) life coaching is such a valuable resource and I always want a coach in my corner to help me see what I’m not seeing; and (3) what the hell is life coaching? Where do you fall within those categories?
Life coaching has gotten a bad wrap because it’s an unregulated industry which means anyone can say they are a life coach—no coaching experience, no training, etc. But I purposely want to tell people I’m a life coach because I want to change that stigma. Besides my professional experience in leadership, training, and customer service, I also got my bachelor’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Purdue University Global at the end of 2019 (which if you’ve looked into schooling lately, it’s not cheap). Then I took it step further and got my professional life coaching certification through The Life Coach School (one of the top training institutions in the industry). And in addition to those, I have four coaches that I consistently coach with on different topics.
When I tell you I’m a fan of life coaching and believe everyone should have a coach, I’m not just trying to sell you—I’m walking the walk. My coaching journey started almost six years ago. But since being laid off in Sept. 2020 I’ve fast tracked the sh*t out of my own personal development. I’ve quit a 30 year habit of biting and picking at my nails. I’ve learned how to handle my previously crippling imposter syndrome. I’ve learned how to manage my social anxiety on an entirely new level. I’m more aligned with my core self and showing up more authentically than ever before. I have the most self-confidence I have had in my entire life!
Coaching has literally helped me change my own life and become so much happier, more content, and way more emotionally resilient than ever before (and this has been a strength of mine that other people have pointed out). My life isn’t perfect nor am I happy all of the time. 100% happy is never the goal. Understanding emotions, and how our thoughts create our reality is the growth that matters. Because once you learn how to do this consistently, you do end up spending more of your life somewhere on the positive side of the spectrum.
This week was just an intro so stay tuned each week as I bring you more value. And don’t forget to let me know what YOU want me to discuss—all you have to do is ask. 😊
From a young age, we are taught what to believe.
We are given baselines and guidelines on how to conduct our lives and what is considered “normal” or “acceptable” behavior.
We don’t really question it…although we may sometimes test the boundaries.
We create and adopt beliefs in order to protect ourselves and/or make sense of our world.
But a lot of the time, beliefs we have about the world or ourselves are actually misinterpretations based on gaps in our experience or knowledge.
They don’t actually protect us or help make our existence in the world better.
For example, as children, we were taught not to take candy from strangers.
However, we take candy and food from strangers all the time—trick-or-treating, store samples, free leftover food at work, etc.
The old belief of “don’t take candy/food from strangers” tells us we should not eat those things.
But I am not passing up Costco samples!! Yummy! And when you’re on a budget, free.99 is the best!
That old belief no longer serves to protect me in the same way it did when I was taught as a kid.
Because of how we have learned to program our brains, we continue to take information presented to us through the various stimuli of the world, and make incorrect assumptions and/or misinterpretations.
Our lives don’t fit into a one-size-fits-all mold, so why do we try to make ourselves fit?
We go out into the world and our lives don’t look like what we imagined; so we think we suck and call ourselves a failure.
It’s becoming more and more apparent how harmful and painful this way of thinking really is.
What thoughts or beliefs do you have about yourself that aren’t helpful to you?
Most likely, the thought that came to mind when you read that question is rooted in societal programming.
I want to offer you that those thoughts that appear and sound like:
- “You’re a mess”
- “You have no worth”
- “You’re not loveable”
- “You’re different than others”
- “Everyone else has their shit together, but you don’t”
- “Someone else could do this better than you could”
are just the stranger and candy.
Yes, those are your thoughts; however, they are not your original thoughts—they are not WHO YOU ARE.
They are sentences you wrote in your programming and took on based on what you knew at the moment of programming—which is usually too young to have full context or knowledge.
Think of those kinds of thoughts as a stranger offering you a piece of poisoned candy.
They can’t be avoided, but you can say “no thanks, I’m good.” Or if you want to add some humor to it, “NOT TODAY SATAN!”
You don’t need to be any different to be loved or be worthy of the things you want.
You just have to be your true authentic self who is already 100% loveable and worthy.
Don’t believe me? Look in the mirror and into your own eyes—you will see magic.
Let’s be honest with each other…no one enjoys feeling negative emotions. It’s not that they can’t be useful or shouldn’t ever be present; but they just don’t feel good. So what does it mean to live life without a buffer? If we were to boil it down to it’s simplest form, it’s the willingness to feel any emotion on the human spectrum of emotions–all the positive AND all the negative. It’s the skillset of feeling emotions and not trying to dampen them with external things.
We use buffers to “soften the blow” or completely avoid negative emotion. Almost anything can be used as a buffer:
- Food (hello to my fellow emotional eaters!) 🍕🍔🧀🥩🍣🍤🍦🍪
- Alcohol 🍶🍾🍷🍸🍹🍺
- Drugs 💊
- Porn/Sex 🍑🍆💻
- TV 📺
- Phone 📱📶🤳🏼
- Having a full calendar or constantly helping others 📅👋🏼🤝🏼🙏🏼
- You’re probably like “wait, what?! How is having a full calendar and helping others a bad thing?” We often like to keep ourselves busy and occupied so we don’t have to address what is really happening inside our brain. We avoid and ignore it (usually until we get physically ill). Like I said, ANYTHING can be used as a buffer.
None of these things are either good or bad–they are neutral until we consciously or subconsciously choose how to use them. Are we using these things to dampen our emotions so that we don’t have to feel the negative stuff. Again, we as humans want to avoid negative emotion(s).
Another reason we buffer with things like I mentioned above, is because our brain chemistry. Any time we partake of these activities, our brain releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is considered to be the “pleasure chemical”. Have you ever had a rough day, you come home make yourself a drink or snack and as soon as you take your first drink or bite, you feel a sense of relief/release/pleasure? Yeah, that’s because your brain released dopamine into your body. Any time we get a like or comment on social media, any time we have sex, any time we binge our favorite TV show, any time we play and win a game, dopamine gets released. We are surrounded by ways to get pleasure.
In today’s society, with all of our technological advances, we want instant gratification (yes, I’m including Boomers and Gen X’ers in this as well). By tapping into our dopamine (especially with the amount of sugar and other shit we eat in the US), we become addicted. If you’ve ever tried to go cold turkey on not having something that you’re used to having every day, you know the feeling of withdrawal…and it doesn’t feel good. So what do most people do? Go back to buffering with whatever it was they were doing.
Most people do not fall under the generic definition of addict. However, any of our buffering taken to an extreme can easily become an addiction. For most people though, the ones we don’t consider addicts, this is just what we do. We participate in these things to make ourselves feel better–to get that dopamine hit–to feel that pleasure so we can feel better.
Now that we understand what buffering is, how the brain reinforces buffering behavior, and our developed over-desire, let’s talk about the 50/50 concept. This is one of my favorite topics to talk about because it brings SO MUCH PERSPECTIVE.
50% of our life is going to be filled with happiness, joy, contentment, and all other positive emotions. The other 50% of our life is going to be filled with sadness, grief, despair, and all the other negative emotions. A lot of us have been led to believe that we should be striving for 100% happiness all the time–positive emotions only. So that is what we do–we strive, and work, and spend out entire lives trying to obtain something that isn’t realistic. People don’t necessarily say that is what they are striving for; however, it becomes apparent when you’re talking to people about their problems or struggles that 100% happiness is indeed what they are searching for.
The 50/50 Concept
Life truly is 50/50–we’re going to have positive emotions AND negative emotions. And guess what? The world has always been like this, 50/50! There’s always been war/conflict, famine, death. There’s always been joy, happiness, and pride. But now that we have the internet, social media, and the 24 hour news circuit, we are so much more aware of it than our ancestors were.
This is something we need to keep in mind as we are on social media where everyone is posting the highlights of their life. This is where we reinforce that we “should be happy all the time” or “their life is so much cooler than mine.” B*tch, our lives are more than just a highlight reel!! It truly is 50% good and 50% bad–always has been and always will be.
To help bring this concept home, I want to introduce you to the scale of human emotion:
0 is completely neutral. Negative numbers correlate to negative emotions with intensity growing from -1 to -10. As you guessed or assumed, it’s the same with the positive side = positive emotions with intensity growing from +1 to +10.
When we buffer or dampen our emotions, we are limiting how far we feel on the emotional scale. If you’re only willing to feel a -3 emotion (ex. sadness), then the most you are open to feeling on the positive side is a +3 (ex. contentment). Look at the scale above and see how much of life you are missing out on! In order to feel the amazingness that is +10 (ex. elated), you have to be willing and open to feeling the emotions of a -10 (ex. devastation).
I love looking at emotions this way, using the scale; because as a visual learner it is so clear to see what I may be missing out on OR celebrate how much I’m willing to feel. It helps measure progress. This visual shows us the capacity of our lives! We don’t want to hinder our lives because we’re afraid of feeling bad. And when we feel bad, then we judge ourselves on top of that.
With all of that, I want to state that even when we buffer, we shouldn’t be beating ourselves up about it. If we partake in buffering in whatever form we choose, we can choose to have love and compassion for ourselves–especially if we’re starting on a new journey to learning about emotions and harnessing them to get what we want in life.
But when we buffer, we’re not willing to go there. So we have to have compassion because we are not perfect. There’s no expectation to be perfect. My fellow perfectionists, you hear me? Notice that no part of this concept touches on perfection because it’s not a real thing. As we go through life, we will buffer; we will mess up.
I hope this was helpful for you in learning how to live life without a buffer. This is something I am constantly working on for myself. If you are tired of living a numbed out life that feels like it’s on autopilot, come work with me. This work will absolutely change your life.
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“CHANGE HOW YOU SHOW UP IN THE WORLD, THEN GO OUT AND CHANGE THE WORLD!”–Cameron Nichols
What is a boundary and why should we set them?
Just like we have physical boundaries of our homes (walls, windows, doors, fences, etc.), we also can create emotional boundaries for ourselves and our relationships. Boundaries are something we put in place as a means of protection and empowerment. To set a boundary, you basically use an if/then statement. More to come on shortly. However, first, it’s important to know there are actually two kinds of boundaries at work in our world: non-verbal boundaries and verbal boundaries.
Non-verbal boundaries are…you guessed it, non-verbal and don’t need to be spoken aloud. This is typically something that is based on societal norms. For example, when you meet a new person, you don’t announce to them that if they slap you, then you will slap them back. It’s a societal norm that we don’t slap people. We don’t need to go around saying this to everyone we meet.
Verbal boundaries are boundaries that we need to speak out loud as it may not be obvious to everyone. An example of this would be, “if you come over without calling first, I may not be able to answer the door.” Some people always answer the door when they are home; but some people don’t unless they know someone is coming.
How to set a boundary
I like to teach how to set a boundary in three parts:
● Request to change behavior
● Boundary – stating what your boundary is
● Consequence – what YOU will do or how YOU will react if your boundary is crossed or violated
For example, one of my personal boundaries is to not talk negatively about other people behind their backs. If I’m with a group of friends and they are talking negatively about someone or gossiping, I would say, “Hey, can we change the subject? I don’t want to talk negatively about people. If we don’t change the subject, that’s fine; but then I’ll just head out and do my own thing.”
Let’s break this example down into the three pieces:
● Request – “Hey, can we change the subject?”
● Boundary – “I don’t want to talk negatively about people.”
● Consequence – “If we don’t change the subject…I’ll head out and do my own thing.”
Do you see how that all comes together?
How are boundaries different from manipulation?
I LOVE this question! Boundaries are often misunderstood and misused. One of the main ways to tell whether it’s a boundary or manipulation is the intent. It usually starts with a demand instead of a request. Boundaries come from a place of love and acceptance for yourself and the other person/relationship; whereas manipulation is trying to change someone else’s behavior in order to make you feel better or get something for your personal gain. Manipulation is about the other person doing something rather than YOU doing something.
An example of this would be “if you don’t clean the kitchen, then I won’t go to the party with you later.” It follows the if/then statement; but notice the intent–does this come from a place of love? No, it’s manipulating someone into doing something so you will feel better. It’s basically punishing them if they don’t do it your way. Don’t be this person. It’s not a pretty color on anybody.
How do you know whether it’s appropriate or not to set a boundary?
The following are the four things to observe and discern on whether you should set a boundary:
1. You have a clear and defined boundary for yourself that has been violated/crossed
2. The other person is unaware of your boundary
3. You feel the boundary needs to be restated for emphasis in order to have a better relationship
4. You are in a calm and loving place (never set a boundary from anger–remember, intent is HUGE)
Why is setting boundaries so difficult?
Setting boundaries can be extremely difficult depending on your personality and the value you place on the relationship with the person you want to set a boundary with. The main reason it can be difficult is because we’re afraid of how the other person will feel or interpret our boundary. There is always a possibility of losing the relationship. I understand this can be scary, but at the end of the day, our emotional peace and self-love is what matters most. The main thing to remember is that you are setting the boundary from a place of love–for yourself, the other person, and the relationship.
Setting boundaries gives us the ability to create strong and genuine relationships with others. Boundaries empower us to create the kind of life that sets us up for success. If defining or setting boundaries is an area of your life that you struggle with, I can help. Please reach out or set-up a free call with me through my contact page. You don’t have to go through this journey alone.
Why do we as humans yearn for the new house; the new relationship; or new job? Because of how we believe we will feel when we have it.
Today we’re going to talk about feelings and emotions—specifically where they come from and how to build awareness around them.
First, let’s talk about why emotions are important. In all my years of working in corporate America, I cannot tell you how many times I heard people tell each other how emotional they are and how they shouldn’t be in order to get the work done.
Here’s the thing, emotions are important because they literally drive every single action we take….or don’t take.
When we understand where emotions come from and how to create them, we can better learn how to manage and harness them to accomplish whatever we want to accomplish.
Let’s define what a feeling is – a feeling starts in the mind as a thought and becomes a vibration in the body.
This is different from a sensation, which is triggered by the body and then sends a signal to your brain.
Hunger for example, can fit into either category—both as a feeling and as a sensation. You can physically feel the sensation of hunger, where your stomach is growling because you need sustenance; but you can also feel hungry without any physical sensations (as a feeling)—emotional eaters like myself, you know what I’m talking about.
Most people believe things outside of themselves cause feelings. They believe feelings are involuntary and are caused by situations or other people: getting a speeding ticket, burning cookies 15 min before the bake sale, or the customer yelling at you for a mistake they actually made.
I want to take a moment to blow your mind… and let you know that none of those things are actually making you feel a certain way. Your thoughts actually create your feelings! WHA?
A LOT of people believe their feelings are what cause their thoughts. However, this just isn’t true. The reason they believe this is because they aren’t aware of their thoughts. We have an average of 60,000-90,000 thoughts a day and most of them run hidden in the background.
How would you feel if you got pulled over for a speeding ticket? Let’s say four separate people got pulled over. One gets frustrated, another defensive; another confused and one is ashamed. How can the same situation (aka getting pulled over for a speeding ticket) be the cause of all these different emotions? They can’t.
But what is different for each of them is what they thought about getting pulled over. Here are some examples of the feeling matched with their potential thought:
• Frustrated – “I don’t have time for this”
• Defensive – “I didn’t do anything wrong”
• Confused – “But I was going the posted speed limit”
• Ashamed – “I knew I shouldn’t have been going that fast”
There are four main ways we deal with our emotions: (1) Resist (2) React (3) Avoid (4) and Allow. Today we’re going to focus on the first three as they are common and the most problematic for people.
There is a part of our brain (actually two parts) called the Amygdalae [uh-mig-duh-lee] that help us regulate emotions. You may have heard of this part of the brain referred to as the primitive brain, lizard brain, or primal brain; and the association with our fight/flight/freeze responses. However, fight/flight/freeze only fall under one of the main three purposes of our amygdalae.
The three main purposes of our primal brain are:
(1) Protect us from/avoid pain
(2) Seek pleasure, and
(3) Conserve energy (aka be efficient)
We in the biz refer to this as the Motivational Triad.
The funny part about our primal brain is that it hasn’t really evolved since our caveman days. It can’t differentiate that physical danger and emotional danger are different. So it acts as if the possibility of being eaten by a sabretooth tiger back in the day is the same as a friend or spouse sneaking up and scaring us today in the present. Our amygdalae process these things the same when they are in-fact two different levels of “danger”.
Now that we know where emotions come from (our thoughts) and the way our brain regulates emotion, we can now build up our own awareness.
This is the first step to harnessing our emotions—building awareness. This helps us to use our emotions as information for us to consider; but don’t necessarily have to be acted upon. As our self-awareness grows, we learn to make our thoughts and emotions work for us rather than against us.
Let your emotions become triggers for you to switch into your conscious mind so you can make decisions and decide to take actions from a clean space rather than just reacting to the emotion from your primitive brain (aka Amygdalae).
If you are tired of waiting for the new house/car/relationships/job/whatever to feel better, shoot me a message and let’s chat, because you are only one thought and one emotion away to living a better life.
“CHANGE HOW YOU SHOW UP IN THE WORLD, THEN GO OUT AND CHANGE THE WORLD!”–Cameron Nichols
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been doing a LOT of coaching on how to process emotions. It all starts out the same way—someone doesn’t like how they are feeling or thinking and want to change it. Innocent enough, right? Who doesn’t want to feel or think better!? But what they don’t see is how they are resisting the negative emotion.
What does it mean to resist an emotion? To put it simply, it is not liking how you feel and trying to change it—whether by taking physical or mental action. The problem when we resist an emotion is, it compounds upon itself—like the snowball effect. By us trying to change how we feel, we end up intensifying the very emotion we are trying to rid ourselves of. This is where the skill of allowing, and processing emotion comes into play.
In order to process an emotion, it really is a matter of diving into the wave rather than trying to dive or get away from the wave. In order to process an emotion, we need to be willing to feel it—not just acknowledge it’s existence, but truly feel it.
Remember, emotions are just a vibration in the body—they can’t physically hurt us. The worst thing that can happen is an emotion. This is part of why emotion drives all of our actions which create our results. The below exercise is one of the best ways I have learned to process an emotion. It will help you feel the emotion, but also help you come from a more observer point of view.
How to process an emotion:
1. Close your eyes and turn your consciousness inward
2. Visualize where the emotion is in your body
3. Describe the emotion in as much detail as possible
—Name the emotion (e.g., grief, shame, etc.)
—What color is it?
—What’s it’s texture? (e.g., smooth, hard, like tar, spikey, etc.)
—Is it moving or stationary? If moving, is it fast or slow?
—When you focus on it, does it change?
4. When you feel the intensity lesson, try introducing a new emotion to it (e.g., forgiveness, compassion, etc.) to see how they interact (stay in the descriptive mindset and repeat step 3 with the newly introduced emotion)
Some people, when they do this exercise, have experienced the negative emotion shrink. Some choose to bring in a higher power of their choosing to help clear away the intense negative emotion after feeling it. Do whatever feels right for you—there is not a right or wrong way to do this exercise.
There may also be times when the emotion doesn’t go away completely. That’s totally normal and okay. Let’s use shame for example. We’ve all probably done things we have shame around. I had one of the most incredible coaching sessions recently where one of my coaches coached me around shame. One thing she mentioned really resonated with me: what if you can forgive yourself and still feel a little shame as if it will never fully go away? This question was so profound to me. In talking with her about it, I realized I don’t want to fully release shame around this area. Sometimes a negative emotion is held onto because it still serves us in some way.
I share this experience with you because I want to show you that negative emotions aren’t bad. They serve a purpose, just like positive emotions (p.s. you can do the exercise above with positive emotions as well—it’s an amazing experience!).
If you are struggling with intense emotions, I can help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me or schedule a free call.
Additionally, I would love to hear your thoughts about these blog posts—are they helpful? What are you taking away from them? What do you want to learn more about? Etc. Leave a comment or message me directly. I want to make sure I’m always providing value—yes, even with my free content—because this work is life changing and I believe everyone deserves what coaching has to offer.
Do you trust yourself? Most people will answer YES to this question (especially when they feel good); however, their behavior tells a different story. Look at the commitments you make to yourself. Do you keep them? I’m not talking about big commitments I’m talking about the little things day-to-day—diet; exercise; getting up when the alarm goes off without snoozing; doing chores; making plans when you feel good but then cancelling them when the time arrives.
Each time we make a commitment, even mentally, and then don’t follow through, we are programming our brain that we cannot trust ourselves/we’re not the kind of person who follows through or commit. Why is this such a problem? If we teach ourselves that we cannot be trusted with our best interests, we start to seek validation and confirmation from outside of ourselves. It may seem innocent enough, but this starts when we are young. We are taught that someone else causes our feelings. We are taught that we cannot be sufficient by ourselves. We are taught that other people know better than we do. We are taught to give our power away to others.
But the reality is, we are responsible for all our thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. We can choose not to take responsibility, but ultimately that just leads to a life of hopelessness and powerlessness. Imagine how your life would be different if you trusted yourself and took full responsibility for everything in your life? If everything was your fault, what would stay the same and what would change? What would you accomplish? What would you cut out?
When we trust ourselves and take full responsibility for our lives, we can literally create a full life where we can make anything we want to happen. I know this may sound too good to be true; but remember, not everyone wants to accomplish the same things. You get to decide for you. Here are a few things you can start doing right now to help you reprogram your brain so you can start trusting yourself again:
1. Make conscious choices
– It can be the smallest or mundane thing, such as brushing your teeth or having a glass of water. When you go to do it, remind yourself that you are making a conscious choice to do so and follow through.
2. Wake up on time
– Don’t hit the snooze button. Set the alarm at the time you want to get up, and then get up.
3. Remind yourself that at one time you wanted to do this
– We make plans and then the time comes, and we don’t want to do what we had planned. It’s totally normal. Sticking with the example of hitting the snooze button, remind yourself the night before that when the alarm goes off, you won’t want to get up but you’re going to anyways. Expect that you won’t want to do it and be okay with feeling that and moving forward anyway.
4. Courtesy of Mel Robbins–The 5 Second Rule
– When you don’t want to do something you have planned, count down from five to one. When you get to one, get up and do it. This psychologically helps the brain prepare for what is coming.
Trusting ourselves is a choice and a skill. It is something we should practice every day. Bettering this skill will literally start to change your life. If you’re ready to start building this skill and take control of your life, schedule your free session with me. I can help you.
Some say people who talk to themselves are crazy. I completely disagree. I think people who talk to themselves are smart. Why? Because this is how you get the opportunity to challenge unhelpful beliefs.
I’m not a huge fan of social media. It takes away time with the endless scroll. I love seeing what people are up to, but most of the time I’m so locked into the scroll of “what’s next” I don’t interact much. And I find myself having less and less desire to post.
But those who know about starting a business, social media networking can be a HUGE component to business strategy in providing value to customers ahead of time. For the last few weeks, I’ve been torn between two opposing concepts—being authentic and doing something even though it doesn’t feel good. I’m a fan of both those concepts, but it led me into a lot of decision fatigue.
I decided to bring the situation to one of my coaches to get coaching. The conversation led me to a few A-HA! moments:
(1) The path looks different for everyone (aka there really isn’t a right way to do something vs a wrong way);
(2) My focus needs to come back to my strengths;
(3) It’s not only important to talk to yourself but take the time to listen;
(4) I’m already doing a lot of things besides social media;
(5) I stopped trusting myself.
Because my focus was on finding the “right way” and how that went against my strengths, I wasn’t open to really listening to my own inner wisdom. Social Media isn’t my only platform to provide value to people—I have my podcast, this blog, one-on-one conversations, group meetups and coffee dates. Sure, there are things I can tweak to make better and ultimately create a bigger impact, but that doesn’t mean all of that work and connection has gone to waste.
After the coaching session, I sat and just listened at the thoughts running through my head. It was amazing to me how much more open my mind was to ideas and solutions. My self-talk became more positive, and I felt a spark reignite within myself as I remembered that I really can trust myself.
The next time you’re having a hard time making a decision or feel torn, I invite you to write out the thoughts going through your mind to get them out, and then taking a few minutes to listen—whether you believe it’s your higher self, Universe, or God(s) of your choosing—just listen. Listen with an open heart and see what thoughts start to run through your mind. Look for trends or patterns as they can give you even more insight as single thoughts turn into ideas, ideas turn into beliefs, and beliefs turn into results.
Do this without asking other people for their opinions or thoughts. Learn to trust yourself before you get results (this is what keeps you going), so that when you do get the desired result it’s just more evidence of that self-trust. It all starts with listening to yourself.
No one cares what you have to say.
Nothing you say will actually help someone.
No one cares about what you’re trying to build.
Those sentences above are all very real thoughts that have gone through my head this week. As you can imagine, they are not helpful. But they did create results—just not the ones I really wanted. The result they produced was hours staring at my computer agonizing over what I could say to help someone and/or help build my business. If my two main goals are to help people and build a business, can you see how those thoughts don’t get me any closer?
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I teach that our thoughts create our feelings, which drive our actions and give us our results. So let’s look at the emotions that come to mind when I think those thoughts listed above: small, insufficient, inadequate, failure.
What actions did I take from those emotions? Judge myself (harshly), ruminate on not being smart enough, stare at the computer, not stick to my calendar, don’t create content or provide value, etc.
So here I am on Saturday morning staring at a blank screen trying to figure out what to write for the blog this week. I could easily continue to follow the same pattern as above—same thoughts, same emotions, same actions, same result. And to be completely transparent, for a little bit, I did repeat that pattern. But then I started thinking about the other results I created this week.
This is where things got interesting.
My list of results was WAY MORE than I originally thought:
– Posted three out of five weekdays.
– Created and scheduled weekend posts.
– Recorded four interviews for upcoming podcasts.
– Had 10 coaching sessions this week.
– Interviewed for a coaching contract position.
– Received confirmation that I received the contract position.
– Got exclusive invite to join an 8-week coaching intensive.
– Booked a consult for next week.
– Scheduled two coffee dates (one with a new friend, and one with an old friend).
– Participated in three networking events.
To me, that’s an impressive list—especially given the thoughts I mentioned at the beginning of this post. If those are the results I can create with a messy mind, imagine what I can create when I clean my thoughts up! Just as we evaluated the above thoughts, emotions, actions, and results of my unintentional model, it’s important that we evaluate the positive results so we can recreate them—even when we have a messy mind.
The results are listed above, so what are the actions I took to get those results? What emotions did I have to feel in order to take those actions? And what thoughts did I have that created the emotions? We could recreate models for each one of the results, but for sake of time I’ll talk about it from a higher perspective.
Some of the thoughts that created those results were: All I need to do is show up, I already know I’m an amazing coach so now I’m just learning the sales and marketing side, I keep my commitments, etc. Those thoughts generated emotions like relief, confidence, and peace. Those emotions drove me to take actions like commenting on social media, responding to messages, studying/getting educated, coaching, and even evaluating results.
I share this from a place of vulnerability because I want to give you a sneak peek into my mind. I have plenty of fears about posting this and how it could damage my credibility, etc. But at the end of the day, this is my experience. This is the HUMAN EXERPIENCE. Posting this is proof of coaching—including my own self-coaching! Don’t let discomfort stop you from doing something. You’re going to feel discomfort anyway so you may as well make that discomfort part of forward plan rather than the reason to hold you back.
Coaching has had an amazing impact on my life and this post along with the results I created this past week are proof of that. If you are stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, or languishing in the rinse and repeat of life, please reach out to me because I can help. No, I won’t and can’t make you feel good all the time; however, I can help you gain deeper understanding, higher perspective, and help you rediscover the excitement that you have been missing.
Happy Independence Day to my friends in the USA and I’ll see you in your inbox next week 😊
In almost all my client sessions this past week we have discussed resisting emotion and how the ego plays a role. We often think of the world as black and white, right or wrong, good or bad. This is a big reason we resist feeling a negative emotion—such as shame, guilt, insecurity, etc. What really happens is that we judge the emotions we don’t want to feel—it usually sounds like “I don’t want to feel this way” or “I shouldn’t feel like this” or “it’s stupid that I feel _____.”
What I want to offer you is that what we resist, persists. I first heard that phrase from a good friend who has helped me on my spiritual awakening journey several years ago and it has held true. What would happen if we didn’t judge our negative emotions? For starters, stress and burnout would absolutely not be as intense as they are. None of our negative emotions would be as intense as they are! That alone leaves you with more physical energy and mental capacity to live a more fulfilled life where you can truly connect with others, actively pursue your passions, and become authentic in every aspect of your life.
Typically, when we resist emotions, it revolves around our egos. If you’re familiar with the yin/yang concept from our eastern friends, everything has both light and darkness within it. We as humans are perfect examples of this (look at our politics, religions, entertainment, etc.). But one thing I love about the yin/yang concept is that there is always a little of each no matter whether you’re more yin or more yang. It’s balance.
If we take this concept and apply it to ourselves, what if the same principle applies to our egos? There is healthy egotism (confidence, philanthropy, etc.) and non-healthy egotism (overconfident, wants the spotlight for selfish gain, and judgement). Applied, this means that there isn’t a right or wrong (non-healthy ego), just action and consequence (healthy ego). When we switch our thinking to action and consequence vs right and wrong, the judgement of our emotions decreases significantly! Action and consequence are neutral whereas right and wrong are usually emotionally charged.
Helping decrease the intensity of the emotion will put you on the path to allowing it vs resisting it. Now it’s time to learn how to process the emotion. The next time you feel an intense negative emotion, follow these steps:
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath and slowly release (repeat 3-5 times depending on intensity)
- Give the emotion a name (stick to just one emotion)
- Where do you feel that emotion in your body?
- What does it look like? (color, texture, movement pattern, etc.)
- Continue to visualize it and try to separate the emotion from yourself so you are just the observer.
- Start talking to it (yes, this may sound crazy; but trust me, it works!) and ask why it’s there and how you can help move it along in processing it.
- This may be a short internal convo or may take longer—no matter the time it takes, keep going)
- As you continue that internal conversation, visualize the emotion transforming or flowing through and out your body. You may feel some physical sensations as you do this—that’s completely normal.
- Take another deep breath in and slowly release.
- Check-in with yourself. What did you learn? How could this processing experience help you gain more clarity
- BONUS: You can do this with a positive emotion as well to learn how to better create helpful emotions that drive you towards your goals.
A word of caution: since we know that our emotions are created by our thoughts, don’t try to change your thought when you have an intense emotion just so you can feel better. It will compound and the ego will double down on its judgement. This exercise is meant to help you allow and process the emotion so you can get to the place of creating your intentional thought/emotion.
I recently did this exercise with a client, and she described her emotion as swirling blackhole pulling her down to rock bottom. I asked her if she could see the bottom and she couldn’t. So, I offered to her that maybe there isn’t a bottom. As infinite beings made of star dust and all that, there is not ceiling to our potential, so why would there be a bottom? I then asked her to surrender and visualize herself floating in the ‘eye of the storm’ like she was in water. Then I asked her to then imagine herself floating upwards because she was the one in control, not the blackhole storm of emotion. She pulled herself out and felt SO MUCH BETTER! It was at this point; we could then talk about what she wanted to create for herself. It was an amazing session!
I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic of resisting/allowing emotions, right/wrong vs action/consequence, or anything else post related. If this is something you need help with, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on my socials, email, or through my website. Also, please let your friends and family know about this exclusive blog/newsletter–especially if they are a leader over a team (corporate, entrepreneurial, community, etc. who are stressed and/or dealing with burnout. When they subscribe through my website, I will send them 5 Reasons Why Leaders Experience Burnout and How to Fix Them for FREE.
Have a great week and I’ll see you in your inbox next Saturday 😊