Join us for this revealing conversation as Sandra Payne and I discuss our healthcare workers’ well-being, especially our nurses.
Podcaster, Adrianne Behning, sits down with her first Canadian guest, former NICU nurse and certified wellness coach, Sandra Payne.
Watch the video of the podcast below.
I don’t know about you but I’m so tired of thinking about and hearing about this damn pandemic. It’s uprooted our lives and ripped apart so many visions and expectations people held. I’m angry, i’m frustrated, i’ve devastated, i’m overwhelmed, and i’m scared, and I know I’m not alone.
The thing is that all of these feelings and more are normal, we are all feeling them as we watch the world fall apart around us, as we live with so much uncertainty. Even the bravest and the strongest of us is STRUGGLING!
BUT… I also feel peace, calm, encouraged, inspired, and excited. Yea I know, seems crazy but I am excited for the new beginning that’s coming.
Change is an inevitable part of our life, uncertainty is the theme of everyday, we cannot control the external world, we can only control ourselves and how we move through change and difficulties.
1. Give yourself permission to FEEL. Feel everything, embrace all your emotions, don’t fight them, don’t hide them, give them a seat at your table. As you feel, take a moment to identify where in your body you feel your emotions, and the thoughts that are playing in your mind. Guaranteed when you are feeling a negative feeling and experiencing a physical discomfort or pain YOU ARE playing a negative fear based story in your mind.
2. Find compassion for yourself if you’re struggling, be as understanding as you would be to your best friend who was having a difficult time.
3. Forgive yourself. This is not the time for shame, blame, or complaining. Forgive yourself and love yourself.
4. Practice Presence & Gratitude. Take multiple moments each day to just be still and recognize everything that you have in your life. Times of crisis it can be easy to become narrow focused on the negative and the fear. Having gratitude and being in the present moment is a quick way to open your perspective.
5. Write a new story. No matter how “out there” this may seem, try writing first all the negative fear stories you have and then writing a new positive love based story. Then practice telling yourself this story every time you catch those heavy ones coming back.
6. Meditate. Even if you think it’s hokey and you’ve never done it before JUST DO IT. This is one of the most powerful ways you can reorganize your energies, let go of fear and doubt, and embrace peace and love, and find connection with yourself and surrender to the guiding universal light.
Use these tips any time you are feeling like you’re stuck and struggling with stress and overwhelm. You have the power to let your light shine through in this dark time. Change and difficulty is an opportunity for us to learn and grow in so many ways if we can shift our perspective.
Be Sure to register for the upcoming FREE LIVE workshop on ZOOM “Navigating Change” https://zoom.us/meeting/register/vpAkcumgqTwvIqXRoc60UbmeBdzXpFsB-g
Enjoy this LIVE recording of an inspirational anthem I wrote.
Lots of Love to you all
It’s been a while since I’ve written, but that’s not for a lack of inspiring thoughts about what I’d like to write about, more so about finding balance with my time… something I think we can all relate to in this busy life we all lead.
But here’s the thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. This word BUSY.
It is like the go to answer for people when they are asked “How’s it going”.
It makes me curious why we answer the question that way. Is it so that people think we’re out there putting the ax to the grind, working hard, doing all the things to get ahead, to be successful? So people will see us as accomplished? So we won’t appear as lazy or unmotivated? Is it that we don’t want to feel like a failure so we claim busy as our badge of honor?
It’s interesting right? Why do you think people say they’re sooooo busy all the time.
OK you might be thinking, Sandra, it’s because I am busy. I’ll give that to most of you because this life is freaking crazy at times. Between work, family, kids, obligations, commitments, and all the in between’s that need to get done life can feel way to fast.
Is it Really the Busyness That’s the Problem?
But… sometimes it’s not really the busyness of our life that’s the issue. It’s not that we have all these things on our plate and we can’t manage them and that’s why we feel exhausted and burnt out. Because there are many people in this world who lead very busy and full lives but don’t feel exhausted and overwhelmed every day. So what’s the difference?
It’s the fact that we are going about doing all these things in our life carrying the weight of negative energy with us. The list of things we have to do is not the problem, rather it’s the energy we are carrying with us as we do it. That heavy weighted contracted negative energy is what’s making us feel exhausted and overwhelmed. It’s like carrying a piano on your shoulders as you go about your day to day. Going to the grocery store… not an overwhelming task, but if you’re carrying a piano with you, it is. Taking your kids to their activities… not an overwhelming task, but if you’re carrying a piano with you, it is. Managing your work schedule… I think you see my point.
Where does this negative energy come from?
We need to first understand we are 100% an energetic body. When you microscope us down to the finest point we are atoms of moving energy with a vibrational frequency. Negative energy is created when we experience situations & influences in our life that produce negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Negativity can make you feel heavy, contracted, dark, low energy, irritable & defensive and also creates a lens of fear & anger through which we see the world. That negative energy when not released in a healthy way become blockages in our body and prevent our positive high vibrational energy from flowing freely. Negativity is toxic to your entire system and triggers a stress response in our body creating a whole host of physical symptoms and problems. We are actually genetically inclined in our nervous systems to seek the negativity of situations. This historically was critical to our survival when real life or death situations were a daily occurrence. This negativity bias kept humans alive. But over generations our actual threat in life has decreased substantially but yet that negativity bias still exists making a pessimistic, distrustful, and cynical attitude towards life more likely.
How the Piano Get’s Stuck
Because we are naturally inclined to take a negative perspective, we naturally have predominantly negative thoughts, this creates negative beliefs programmed in our minds that leads to unhealthy heavy weighted negativity in our entire lives. But it’s not only the thoughts that create the negativity, it’s the feelings that those thoughts elicit.
If you think about something that you’d like to accomplish in life and some form of the thought “I’m not good enough” comes into your mind it immediately triggers a negative feeling and a negative physical sensation in the body. Try it. Now never think that again please.
That negative feeling is an energy. If we express that feeling it then becomes an emotional response (emotion = the energy of feelings in motion). If we don’t express it, as often is the case because expressing negative emotions is commonly viewed and judged as inappropriate or like something is wrong with you, then it does not move and becomes stuck. 3 seconds later we have another negative thought that triggers a negative feeling that we again stuff it down and it joins the rest of it’s negative buddies stuck in your body. Over time, that becomes a BIG problem. All that stuck negative emotional energy literally creates physical blockages to the free flowing energy of our body, it lowers your vibration making you more susceptible and causing significant physical illness and disease.
Removing these blockages takes time, commitment, and action.
My Top 5 Tips to Ditch Your Emotional Baggage
Here are my top 5 tips for cleansing this negative energy from your body and your mind to allow the positive high vibrational energy to freely flow throughout your body and experience the most amazing shifts in all areas of your life.
- If the word mediation rubs you wrong because you just can’t picture yourself sitting on the floor like a buddha then let’s just call it quiet connection. Some of the benefits of meditation include:
- Decreasing the effects of the stress response and calms the nervous system
- Increasing your awareness of your thought patterns, emotional triggers, and behavior habits.
- Shifts your negative patterns
- Allows you to connect with your inner self without distraction or external perceptions
- Brings our internal messages to the surface
- Moving your body allows energy to flow. Activity that is an experience of your personal expression is extremely beneficial, just as dancing. My choice is Kundalini Yoga, which just happens to include dancing. Don’t google it cause there’s a likelihood that you’ll be turned off. The basis of kundalini is awakening your potential and moving our energy. It’s powerful, extremely effective, and yields quick results. I highly suggest my teacher, Gloria Latham, a more modern and accessible form of kundalini practice.
- Emotional Healing Techniques. Directly focusing our attention on stuck negative emotional experiences as well as the negative mindsets that accompany them and then using specific tools and processes to dissolve the energy that’s attached also yields extremely powerful, effective, and quick results. My technique of choice is the Aroma Freedom Technique. To learn more check out this link.
- Experiencing the high vibrational healing of nature is a powerful way to scrubt he negative energy from your mind and body. The beauty and captivating hold of nature, makes it very difficult to maintain a negative perspective. You can’t look at a majestic mountainside and think, I hate life, it just doesn’t happen.
- Break the Victim Loop. Life is full of challenges, it’s what makes us grow and learn and is critical to us reaching the dreams we have for our life. We are naturally inclined to slip into victim mode complaining, blaming, and shaming when we come up against these challenges. But we need to break that loop. Instead we can choose to look for the lesson and gift in every situation, focus on solutions, and allow the situation to evolve trusting that it will turn our better than we imagined. NOTE: if you’re leading a life full of experiences that leave you feeling negative and miserable then it is very difficult to break the victim cycle without first changing the experiences you’re choosing.
- Smile & Connect. So often do we go about our day to day trapped in our mind. Circling thoughts of what we need to do, where we need to go, thoughts about ordinary things and thoughts about our dreams and wishes for our life. We spend so much time thinking and give far too much attention up there. Life is happening all around us and we’re missing it. Focus on the present, see hear feel everything around you and just breathe. Smile at strangers, make conversation and genuinely listen to people, connect with others because at our deepest core we’re all the same. None of us are perfect, we’ve all experienced struggle and tough times, we’re all fighting our own battles. So next time you’re out try really seeing people and connecting your heart with theirs as we all navigate this cray labyrinth of life.
Ok there was 6 things but here’s the deal, even if you just do one of these things it will start to shift your energy, start to dissolve some of that pent up negative fire ball that’s festering inside of you. Break it up, cleanse yourself of the poison that is negativity and start to experience life in a much more joyful way.
The next Full to Fulfilled program is starting February 24th! Not quite sure if it’s a fit for you? Read through here and book a free self discovery call with me where we can take a deeper dive into what’s happening for you and see if this isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.
The other day I was sitting with some friend and we got onto the topic of how people are so stressed out and so busy and how technology actually makes this sooo much worse. We are accustomed to instant gratification with email, texting, multiple messaging platforms and of course social media. It led into a more discussion about this crazy fast pace of life that so many of us are living and how much that contributes to our stress and anxiety as well I’m certain many other diseases.
Being busy can be healthy if were engaged and inspired in the activity but when the activities are draining stressful and overwhelming then it’s not. Getting lost in the time warp of “Flow” is a divine place to be, in fact that all encompassing expanded feeling that comes when you are completely immersed in an activity is exactly what we need to busy ourselves with. It’s when a majority of our life is busy and filled with activities that leave us feeling contracted, low energy, low mood, and disconnected that we find ourselves stressed out, irritable and frustrated. This is the busy that is detracting from our life and contributing negatively to every aspect of our health and wellness.
Then we add in the activities of technology that we think should lessen our perceived load because of their quickness and how it can simplify tasks, actually contribute to us feeling more busy because we are constantly on, responsive and checking in. Many of us never take even a moment to slow down and smell the roses, and check in with ourselves.
Why do we do this?
Maybe it’s to show and prove to others that were not lazy, that we have a full life, and that were capable to doing so many things.
Maybe it’s the fear that if others see us taking a slow pace and struggling in some areas of life that we will be seen as a failure, or worse we’ll feel like a failure.
Maybe it’s that for many of us busy equals success. If we are sitting doing nothing or taking time for ourselves then we are being selfish and unproductive, again seen as a failure.
But I’ve discovered that this is so far from the truth.
What if I told you that you can experience the same and likely more growth and progress while slowing your life’s pace and starting to notice and enjoy the moments that are passing you by. That you can actually spend your time doing those energy inspiring activities, balanced with some of the less awesome parts of life with a positive twist, finished off with a healthy dose of self- care and quiet reflection and connection. That this can actually be your daily lifestyle and you will still experience success and productivity.
Just read that again.
Isn’t that what we all want for our life?
To feel happy, fulfilled, and inspired?
So how do we get to this place? Well it’s going to take some effort and some action, so let me lay out a few actionable steps you can take.
- Start by taking an inventory of your busy life. What exactly is all on our plates and does it really need to be there? Is this activity serving us by providing joy and inspiration? Consider even things that we might feel are important and seriously consider what it’s giving you in your life vs what you’d gain if you eliminated it.
- Once you’ve taken your inventory, look back through and decide which things are not serving you that you could eliminate and try to remove it for at least 30 days. Let people around you know you are doing this but be prepared that not everyone will agree with you.
- If there are things on your list that you would like to get rid of but don’t see how that’s possible then take a moment to ask yourself why this activity is not serving you and providing you joy. Then ask yourself, how can I make this activity more enjoyable? What would bring positivity to this otherwise negative part of my life?
- Practice presence. What does this mean right?? It means not being distracted or running lists of things to do in your head all day long. This constant state of go go go is literally killing us by keeping us in that fight or flight state. Instead let your breath be a reminder to stay present. I say “practice presence” because that’s what it takes… practice. Set frequent reminders in your phone or on notes around your house to will remind you to pause, focus on your breath, notice your surroundings using all your senses, and give gratitude for it all.
- Stop trying to be and do everything. Remember you are a human being, not a human doing. We are not meant to be running 24/7 like a machine. We need to rest and refuel and focus our efforts on the things that fill us up. Take at minimum 5 minutes a day to sit quietly, close your eye and connect with yourself.
- Consider a digital detox. This can look different to everyone but can be a huge step in the direction of creating a life of more ease and calm. It’s about finding a balance for you. Where you can stay connected digitally to others but also be present and connected to yourself and the people around you.
Remember that you are so important and taking time for yourself is not selfish. We cannot give from an empty cup so we need to fill ourselves up regularly with activities that inspire and fill us with joy. We are all here in this marathon of life together that is filled with choices every day. We can choose to live life excited for every day, or not, your choice.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Last night I watched the Netflix Documentary “Won’t you be my Neighbor”. Chronicling the life of Fred Rogers, more commonly known as Mister Rogers. I watched the show as a young child but little did I know that he had been on the air since the late 60’s. I was mesmerized by the movie and the message of the story as it triggered all sorts of emotions and memories in me. Towards the end I found myself sobbing with overwhelming passion and here’s why.
A couple months ago as I was completing my final essay for my Wellness Coaching Certification and I felt the same overwhelming passionate emotion inside as I did last night watching the documentary. The passion related to the mission I saw for myself that was simple and very clear. My actions from that moment on had to be directed at ensuring that I did my part in this world to ensure that no one ever has to feel like they are not good enough, like they are less than others, like they don’t belong, and like they don’t deserve to be loved. Mister Rogers had a similar mission in his life directed mainly at children, which makes the most sense because that’s where the majority of the molding happens. The influence of life’s “teachers” determining what kind of thoughts we have about ourselves, which then determines what kind of beliefs we hold about our worth and our potential, which then determines the actions we take in our life and how we treat ourselves and others, which ultimately determines our destiny. Children truly are the way to changing the future of this world.
If someone I didn’t know stumbled across my blog they might think I had a negative upbringing. If I had that would definitely offer some understanding for the overwhelming feelings of worthlessness that I grew up feeling, except I didn’t. I had two extremely loving parents, they did everything for me and my siblings. Their lives literally revolved around making sure we had the life of opportunity. We played and participating in every extracurricular activity as my mom shuttled around 3 kids to different venues day after day and my dad worked tirelessly to build his business and provide for us all. I never went without and know my parents had and still have the fierce love for their kids that I can recognize now as I have the same for my boys. So why, under these glowing circumstances, did I still grow up feeling the way I did? The shame about myself, undervaluing my worth, fearing judgement, and allowing others to treat me poorly?
Here’s what I know
The influence is far more reaching than just our parents. It includes every other human being that we have contact with including our peers, teachers, coaches, our bosses, coworkers, our intimate relationships, our casual relationships, as well as the media. It all influences us. We are continually creating stories about ourselves in our minds, all day every day, and most of them are negative and completely untrue. Every situation and encounter we have throughout our day involves hundreds of thoughts that create a story and a belief about it. If we hold on to this creation in our mind and never ask questions to identify and clarify the true story, then that belief becomes a part of the foundation of our minds functioning. The more times situations occur that affirm that belief then the deeper and more true it seems (although it is most often profoundly false). Our mind then helps us to create more situations and encounters in our life that will follow this same false story and further perpetuate this negative process.
The Influence Creates Your Reality
By the time I was 16 I had encountered so many relationships and situations that had affirmed the false story in my mind that I was worthless, no one likes me, no one wanted to be my friend, and I’d always be alone that my entire reality reflected this belief. It was the foundation for me entering and staying in an abusive relationship which compounded those beliefs to such a degree that there was not a shred of truth left about the true me in my mind. My mind was running my life, the true me was buried beneath, my heart was trapped and unable to communicate, and I sunk into what we widely now call depression, however how I see it now was a false sense of self, and it’s a condition that I see many people suffering with.
The science of neuroplasticity is phenomenal and has discovered that our brain can create NEW pathways. Meaning all those negative pathways that we created throughout our whole life because of everything mentioned above, can be replaced with NEW positive beliefs about ourselves through the same methods that we created the negative ones. The catch is that the negative beliefs were formed automatically, but our positive ones we are going to have to consciously create, meaning it will take effort, dedication, consistency and support.
Media’s Negative Influence
Before I tell you in a nut shell some simple steps to start shifting your mindset I want to come back to something from the Mister Rogers documentary that made me really pause and feel a heavy weight of guilt and fear for my own children. Mister Rogers was angry. He was angry because as media developed and television for children became more mainstream, the content of the shows was destructive. The little developing and highly impressionable minds of children were watching hours of television that was geared towards consumerism, make believe, violence, and all sorts of other negative messaging that created thoughts and feelings of less than, fear, anger, aggression, sadness, and loneliness. Sound familiar? Well it should, because it’s exactly the messaging that still exists on tv for children and adults and has become exponentially worse. And if you think you’re immune to it, sorry to break it to you, you’re not. And neither are our children. The more times we hear a message whether we consciously believe it or not, it becomes a thought, that when repeated becomes a belief and so on goes the vicious cycle.
It’s all Connected
When I watched this portion of the movie, it wasn’t a news flash to me, like some brand new concept that we are influenced by tv, our kids in particular, but it was a light bulb that it’s all connected. Our beliefs are a culmination of different exposures and influences that have created these negative thoughts in our minds. TV needs to be included as one of childhoods teachers because most kids watch it, but sadly the messaging is powerfully negative. Don’t get me wrong my kids are among the majority that watch tv, almost daily. It’s the only way this momma can get a moment of peace sometimes! But that overwhelming passion that is burning inside of me to protect everyone from feelings of worthlessness burns especially hot when it comes to children, in particular my own. The guilt about the negative exposure I’ve given my kids as all of this washed over me became intense, until I caught myself and remembered the mantra “focus on solutions”. So let’s head there now.
Creating a Positive Mindset
- Focus on Gratitude – If holocaust survivors can find gratitude and forgiveness then surely we can find some too. It can be hard to see the good when you are in the midst of a shit storm but there is always something that we can find to be grateful for. Even if it’s the air you breathe, or the sun in the sky, or the roof over your head, there is something that we can show appreciation for. The real deep practice of gratitude is when you can find appreciation for things that are seemingly not so amazing. Like the flat tire you got on your way home from work, or your grumpy coworker, or the piles of laundry waiting for you.
- Start a gratitude journal. Every night write down 5-10 things you are grateful for. Using pen and paper is best but if you like a digital option there’s a great free app called “gratitude” where you can write your list for the day and also practice using affirmations. Teach your children about gratitude and make it a family practice.
- Use Affirmations – an affirmation is a positive present tense statement about yourself or a situation that is what you WANT to believe. Remember we need to change the thoughts and the words that are frequented in our mind so repeating positive statements is a road to creating new beliefs. Saying only affirmations without working with a guide to help you identify and clear the negative energy blocks will still have a positive impact, but you can profoundly accelerate this impact by first clearing the negative away. Involve your children here too. They can create and repeat affirmations just like you can.
- Use the gratitude app or create your own and practice daily affirmations. Repeat your affirmations using a power pose for 2 minutes twice a day. Utilize a powerful grounding essential oil to help anchor the new belief.
- Energy Clearing Techniques – my technique of choice is Aroma Freedom. It is a powerfully effective step by step process that identifies negative thoughts, emotions, body sensations and images that create a negative memory complex. By introducing the powerful effects of aroma using high quality essential oils we dissolve the negative energy and allow for free flowing positive energy to be but in its place with affirmation and forward action.
- Find a technique that resonates with you and schedule a session. Try Aroma Freedom click here
- Find Forgiveness – this doesn’t mean excusing someone’s poor behavior or treatment and doesn’t dismiss how it affected you but when you hold on to resentment and negative emotions like anger, tension, disappointment and sadness it’s like taking poison and expecting the other person to become ill. The negative energy only affects you and when you can find forgiveness it will release that weight from you and allow the positive to flow more freely.
- Sit someplace quiet and close your eyes. Think of someone who you are holding anger, hatred, or resentment toward in your heart. Take a few deep slow breaths and allow yourself to feel those feelings and just notice them. Now realize that you can’t change the past or that person’s actions. Also realize that this person may never change the way they are. Take a few slow deep breaths as you accept this truth. Now see the person the way they are, doing what they did because of some paid, some lack, see them as a child that is hurting and lashing out at others in their own pain. People hurt others only because they are hurt themselves. Can you find and feel compassion for them? Sit quietly breathing as you feel the expansion in your heart that compassion brings. You may need to repeat this exercise a few times to release the pain in your heart but your forgiveness will grow as you feel more compassion. Again something you can guide your children through. Listen to the Finding Forgiveness Audio here.
- Clear out the Negative Messaging – Mister Rogers message to kids applies still today to us all. If you find the message on the tv (or nowadays on social media and other media outlets) scary or unsettling or making you feel tense and contracted then do something about it… TURN IT OFF. Stop exposing yourself to negative messages that tell you either overtly or covertly that you are not good enough and special just the way you are. Fill you social media news feel with positive pages and groups of people that create feelings or happiness, lightness, joy, love, gratitude, openness and kindness.
- Go through your social media accounts and delete negative people, groups and pages. Be the gatekeeper in your home and set controls to the types of shows and messaging that your children are receiving through media. Set the example for your children to learn from by thinking, speaking, and practicing positivity, gratitude, and forgiveness every day.
Take Back Control
Changing our mindset and our beliefs about ourselves from the inside out is a lengthy and tedius process, one you might dismiss because of its simplicity. But I urge you, as something who feels so wholeheartedly passionate about bringing self-love into my own and other’s lives just like Mister Rogers did, please try these simple tips. Just trust and take my word for it and try it on for 30 days and notice the shift you will feel. We are all amazing beings capable of the most incredible things living with a limitless potential in this world. Don’t let another day pass you by that limits you because of self-doubt, fear, and negative feelings. You are in the driver’s seat of your life and are the only one that can change its course, it’s time to start taking back control!
Letting go sounds lovely doesn’t it?
I mean don’t we all have some baggage that we would love to just ditch from our lives. Carrying around a heavy load all day every day is exhausting, but how do we really let it go?
The word SURRENDER has been coming up a lot for me lately. Not in the sense of waving the white flag “I surrender” or “I give up”, but rather in a sense of “I release control”.
I’ve written before about my incessant need to control and predict the future to make sure I have everything all lined up for success, and how this need is so I can protect myself from failure and being seen as a failure. But I’ve also written about the insane amount of stress that this creates for our lives. It’s overwhelming, exhausting, and well… impossible.
No matter what personal growth topic I’m writing about or discussing the first step always begins with awareness. When we are consciously aware of what we are doing and patterns we have created then we can start to focus on ways to change it. Being aware of the behaviors that are self destructive allows us to take the closer look at why we are continuing to put ourselves through them. And beneath all the self destructive habits and patterns that so many of us engage in, is a deep rooted fear, which most often stems from a belief that we are not good enough.
Let’s look at that from a bottom up approach instead.
Negative Limiting Beliefs
At some point in our lives we have had experiences that have created thoughts in our mind of us not being good enough. Whether it’s we’re not pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, successful enough, productive enough… the list goes on but the stem is “NOT ENOUGH”. When we repeatedly think these thoughts they become engrained neural pathways in our brain and strong held beliefs in our subconscious mind.
The Mind Creates the Fear
The subconscious mind’s (SCM) job is to attract and create a reality that reflects it’s programming. So by nature of its physiology the SCM will ensure both that your reality affirms your beliefs even when they are negative, but that you also stay safe by creating irrational fears to keep you from ever stepping outside of your safe zone where you may experience the same hurt that caused the negative thoughts that created the belief to begin with. Whoa right! How counterproductive of our SCM to do that to us right? That’s why we need to start questioning what our mind believes and changing the thoughts and storys we are telling ourselves because news flash… you’re mind doesn’t recognize true reality. Is your head spinning yet? This part is tough to understand because we have been taught that our mind and our brain is the most powerful, it’s where all the knowledge and information is stored and helps guide our actions and this is correct except that it’s much more complex and powerful than we give it credit for. It wants to be in control of our life and determine our actions and keep us safe but it does so in ways that keeps us trapped in our fears and doubts and far from achieving our dreams. The simple point here is that we can’t believe everything our mind tells us, we need to start questioning and looking deeper for the truth.
Fears Control Behaviors
With our SCM running our background operations controlling our experiences that we are essentially completely unaware of we continually go about our existence displaying self destructive behaviors that will affirm our beliefs and keep us safe from unrealistic fears. It’s a vicious loop and this performance will continue to play out over and over and over until you, the true you at your deepest core, makes the conscious choice to wake up and start changing it.
Interrupting the Pattern
When we choose to wake up to our life we can start asking questions and challenging the story that our mind has been telling us and begin to make conscious choices to disrupt this pattern. We can reprogram our minds to create new beliefs about ourselves and overcome our fears by taking conscious action to move outside of our safe zone. When we repeatedly do this we create new neural pathways and new behavioral patterns that allow us to create a new reality which we are all dreaming of.
Lets go back to the original topic of Control.
Belief – I am not good enough.
Fear – Others will see me as a failure and that I’m not good enough.
Behavior – Obsessive need for control.
Result? Overwhelming stress which leads to physical emotional and mental burn out which leads to emotional instability, irritability, physical illness, anxiety, and depression.
Wake up and Change the pattern
So how do we Change the Negative Pattern
- Awareness – becoming aware of the negative pattern is the first piece of the puzzle. We have to take that long hard look in the mirror and be honest about what we are unhappy with in our lives and what patterns have gotten us here. Start a journal to allow yourself an opportunity to shed your layers of negativity on the page without censor or judgement, just write all that you have noticed, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Make the Conscious Choice to change the pattern – When negative thoughts arise in your mind and you become aware of them, make the conscious choice to say to them “no thank you, that is not true about me, the true story is… “, say this in your mind, out loud, or write it down. Make the choice to start a new story in your mind about who you are, what you’re worth, and how you feel about situations and the world.
- Practice Gratitude – what we appreciate, appreciates. Make it a regular routine to show gratitude for the blessings in your life. You can share them out loud or create a gratitude journal where you list 5-10 things you are grateful for every day. It may start with external things and objects but overtime will shift to deeper more meaningful things in your life, including things you may have thought were negative experiences. No matter what it is have gratitude for it all.
- Utilize cognitive healing tools such as Aroma Freedom Technique to dissolve the negative emotional energy tied to the negative beliefs and create space for positive energy to be inputted using affirmations. Affirmations alone are very powerful to create positive energy flowing but their impact is compounded when we can use techniques to first rid us of the negative energy that has been there for the lifetime of the negative pattern.
- Find Support – Find a support to help you gain awareness and grow yourself and your positive mindset. Remember that you didn’t create these patterns overnight so you also won’t correct them overnight. Give yourself patience, grace, and forgiveness as your journey evolves.
Need to take action
As you work on changing your negative beliefs about yourselves you will also need to be taking action to overcome your fears and solidify the new belief. These action steps can be seemingly small but as you begin to move in the direction of your dreams and passions the success of this action will affirm your newly planted beliefs and create a feeling of empowerment that will assist you moving forward with more action.
Back to my control example.
Using Aroma Freedom Clearing I am able to dissolve some of the negative emotional energy tied to the belief that I’m not good enough. I use affirmations such as “I am a strong and capable woman” or “I surrender control of my situation”, and “I believe that my actions will lead me on the correct path when I follow my hearts guidance”, I have many more but those are a couple examples of how I am training my brain with a new belief. When an opportunity arises that I begin to hear negative thoughts or have negative contracted feelings about because of my fears, I give them my conscious attention and make a conscious choice to tell myself a new story and lastly trust my intuition to take the action guided by my heart.
It’s a very simple process but it’s definitely not easy. Especially in the beginning when you may have an overwhelming amount of negative beliefs and fears. But with patience, persistence and commitment the process will become much easier. Your awareness will grow, your self-destruction will cease and your ability to be conscious and confidently choose your path with the trust of your inner guidance will grow exponentially moving you towards a life of passion and true happiness.
Working with a wellness coach such as myself with experience both personally and professionally with this process is undeniably one of the most productive tools you can embrace. To have the support and guidance of a Wellness Coach will help propel you forward towards your dreams with greater ease. If you’d like to discuss how I can guide you towards the life you desire then click here and set up an appointment with me, it’s free and just might be exactly what you are looking for in your life.
It’s actually a trait I used to consider positive. I mean why wouldn’t we strive for perfect every time? Why would we be okay with less than perfect? But needing to be perfect I’ve learned is very treacherous path.
First of all I still strive for greatness. I want to do my best at all times and I want the same for my kiddos, but greatness is not the same as perfect.
I can remember from a very young age feeling driven for greatness. I’m certain it was learned from my dad, who in my eyes as a child never did anything wrong. He was always right and always had great ideas and executed them perfectly. The part I didn’t see until I started to see it in myself was that the constant need for perfection was an unhealthy behavior.
Why is Perfectionism Unhealthy?
Because it’s unrealistic. When a person set’s such a high performance standard for themselves all the time they will inevitably come up short at time, or in their eyes… all the time. It’s not possible for perfection every time because visions just don’t always execute as planned. There are too many factors out of our control that there is no way for one person to ensure perfection every time. This then leads to disappointment and feelings of failure.
Psychologists note that people with a perfectionistic personality type are very self -critical of their errors and also are extremely affected by others evaluations of them. Perfectionists also don’t ask for help. They don’t trust that others will be able to execute their vision to their expectations and therefore take on all the responsibility themselves. Nothing will ever be good enough for a perfectionist. It’s crazy how true this rings and if you are or know of a person with this personality trait you’ll agree.
I can write about this trait easily because it’s me … perfectly.
Sitting here I have streams of examples flooding my mind of times where I took on too much and wouldn’t rely on others, times where criticism or evaluation from others created great stress and anxiety, but mostly the times where I beat myself up mentally and emotionally for not executing perfectly.
So What Causes a Person to Develop Perfectionism?
There’s a few noted contributing factors to perfectionism such as frequent fear of disapproval from others or feelings of insecurity and inadequacy or having a parent who exhibits perfectionistic behavior or expresses disapproval when their child doesn’t meet perfect expectations, as well as insecure attachments early in life. Brene Brown, a writer and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, says that “perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfection is not about healthy achievement and growth. But rather a shield used by many people to protect against the pain of blame, judgment, or shame.
As I reflect on my life and consider where this trait originated and where it really took life for me I can put together a short understanding. As I mentioned my dad was a perfectionist so I for sure learned some of the trait from him, but also I was a middle child. Being a middle child creates a sense of unbelonging. Where do you fit in? Success and achievement was highly valued and praised in our home and so I believe I developed a desire to be perfect and achieve in an effort to receive attention, and the more often I succeeded the more it imprinted on me that it was important. I also recall that when I came up short, which honestly was very rarely, but if I did the disappointment of my parents left a significant imprint. In turn it made me more inclined to strive for high achievement to avoid this judgment and the shame that came with it. This is not meant to blame my parents for anything, it’s simply a reflection of where I think this behavior came from. And knowing this has been helpful to identify where the behavior became unhealthy. Because striving for greatness and doing your best can be a very healthy characteristic to have, but it’s a fine balance to maintain.
Is Perfectionism a Mental Illness
Psychologists do not state that perfectionism is a mental disorder, however in the extremes the unhealthy behavior can be a risk factor for obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, social anxiety, workaholism, self harm, substance abuse, and clinical depression as well as contribute to physical problems like chronic stress and heart disease. Research has shown that individuals who are high on the maladaptive perfectionism scale are often anxious, depressed, and suffer from burnout over the long term.
It all makes sense really that when you have an unhealthy need to be perfect in everything that you do and the continued failure that would inevitably ensue could very well contribute to mental distress, emotional turmoil and more.
How to Overcome Perfectionism
In addition to working with a therapist or a wellness coach here are a few self-help strategies for perfectionism.
- Challenge “black or white” or “all or nothing” thoughts. These are the absolutes that come up. Like I always fail at that, or I will never get that right. Absolutes are results of negative thinking over time that then becomes are predominant story in our minds. So next time you hear yourself saying these things stop and challenge them.
- Start a Journal. This is one of the top rated self-development suggestions for a reason. It allows you an opportunity to write down your negative thoughts, and reflect. When you write uncensored you will find that you gain awareness about things you do, say, or think. Having this awareness is the first piece of the puzzle to creating a life without the constant stress of needing to be perfect.
- Listen to Your Self-Talk. What kinds of things do you hear your mind telling you on a regular basis. Our thoughts become our reality so if we are continually sending ourselves negative pressured messages then that will become our outward experience.
- Mess up on Purpose. Find something that isn’t overly important to you and don’t give 100%, notice what happens and how you feel. Write it down in a journal.
- Try a New Hobby. Something brand new to you means you’re going to have to learn and develop through making mistakes. This is a great way to challenge yourself and pay particular attention to the process rather than just the end goal.
In addition to the steps about I have found it extremely beneficial using the Aroma Freedom Technique to facilitate a simple process to reshape my beliefs and feelings about myself and my goals. If you’d like to read more about the Aroma Freedom Technique click here for my Aroma Freedom Clearing Session FAQ
Setting Realistic Expectations for Children
This is tough balance both personally and as a parent. As you’ve read, a main contributing factor to the development of the perfectionism trait is our upbringing. So now that you’ve identified it in yourself and are taking appropriate steps to overcome your needs for perfection lets look at how we as parents can set realistic expectations for our children to prevent them from developing this need too.
Every Child is Unique and Different
When setting expectations for your child it’s not an exact science because every child is different, but luckily you the parent know your child the best. So look at the particular child’s strengths and weakness, interests and talents and base your expectations on the individual child. Charts and progress guidelines are not cut and dry and do not work for every child. Fitting into the box that society has created is not the goal. Every one of us including our children are unique so keep that in mind when your child brings home a test that they scored poorly on, or when the other kids are skating and your child can barely stay on his feet. They are all different.
It’s Not About You
Don’t base your desires or expectations for your child on yourself. Of course we all want our children to shine and excel, it’s completely natural to have that dream for them. But you can’t live out your failures or missed opportunities in your children. If you always wanted to perform on stage and you see an opening for an audition, it wouldn’t be realistic to pressure your shy reserved and quiet child to audition. This is setting a child up for failure and this will negatively impact their self- esteem. Now if that same child is excited about the opportunity and wants to pursue it then by all means allow them. This also applies to pushing our children to do things just because everyone else is doing them. Remember to consider their strengths and interests and allow them a say in what they pursue.
Focus on Doing Their Best
Place more emphasis on challenging themselves to do their best and less on being perfect. Children are the prime example of growth as we watch them learn to eat, walk, talk ect. They continue to get back up and try again. It’s important to give your children encouragement to push themselves outside of their comfort zone to achieve but within a healthy boundary of perfection not being the goal. Many children can get trapped in the safe zone which we as parents can see as them being lazy. If you notice that your child is not moving towards a goal then it’s a great opportunity to sit with them and have a conversation about why. Teaching them that they can do more than they may think and creating short term realistic goals for them may give them the motivation to push outside of the safety zone and challenge themselves.
Perfection Isn’t The Goal
This is an ongoing learning for everyone in my household, from myself personally and how I parent and teach my children about growing in our world today. Don’t beat yourself up if your parenting hasn’t been perfect, I certainly know I’ve made my share of mistakes and will continue to, but remember that perfection is not the goal. The goal is to do your best, to continually strive to learn and grow yourself personally and as a parent and know that the main things your child needs to know is that they are perfect exactly as they are and that you will love and support them no matter what.
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The Teacher Inside Us All.
It’s hard to decide where to even start with all that I want to share with you about my past weekend experience taking a Meditation “Teacher” training. I put “teacher” in brackets with a smile on my face because when I signed up for the training I had this expectation that it would be a course on styles of meditation, scripts, and different guiding tools ect. I’m certain that there are classes out there like that, but this was not it. Before you think that this means I was disappointed let me stop you. This training far exceeded any expectations that I had. It was indeed a teacher training but not in the sense of what I and many of the other participants had thought.
I’ve had a bit of experience over the last few years with various styles of meditation and have felt the benefits first hand. But this weekend took it to a whole other level. This was an incredibly beautiful transition into a deeper meditation, free from the scripted words and the pretense of what a lot of people think meditation is. It transcended just the calming relaxing benefits of meditation into the true realm of self-discovery.
Meditation for me is about connection to yourself and the greater universe, freedom, exploration, understanding, clarity, expansion, and discovery. It’s about going deep and peeling back the layers that have been covering the true you and your limitless power and potential.
I’ve said the words many times about discovering yourself, building self-love and self-trust, and reclaiming your power. It’s literally the description I use for my “Full to Fulfilled” coaching program. These words however felt disconnected because I was trying to make the understanding of them in my conscious mind without consideration of the source. The source is me. It the truest purest most beautiful essence of who I am. That’s where the words originated and that’s where they make sense.
Finding the Light.
If you’re new to the spiritual realm or the meditation practice then you might be feeling a bit confused. First of all that’s ok. It’s a learning that will grow over time and maybe this story will help you understand.
Many years ago I was trapped in an abusive relationship. We were together for 6 years roughly and it was awful and horrific. The most prominent abusive behavior was the emotional trauma inflicted upon me, reducing me and covering me with negative beliefs and fears about myself and my worth. This period of my life was like living in a prison. I always thought that prison was the physical and external barriers that kept me chained in that life day after day, but the prison as I see it now, was the heavy layers of darkness that had built around and over my inner light, my true self, my pure essence. It was lost, out of reach, and it felt in the external world that it would be impossible to ever feel alive again. I wanted to take my life, to escape in the only way I thought possible. Thankfully that light inside was stronger than I was even remotely aware of. One cold November morning, in an almost out of body experience, I picked up the phone to call my mom to ask her to come help me get out. She saved me that day, but the other truth is that I saved myself. I never quite knew what gave me the strength to call her. I thought possibly divine intervention, but I had this feeling that it was something else even more powerful. I now know without any doubt, that the power that set me free, was me.
3 years ago when I finally admitted a truth inside of me it created a lot of questions, and I see now as my journey unfolds, that many people have the same questions. We look around at all of our accomplishments and wonder what it’s all for? Is this it? What’s missing?
I too searched. I thought first it was my lack of spiritual beliefs. And so I explored and found a belief that resonated with me and begun a sporadic meditation practice to try to connect with an external source. The unfulfilled feeling improved but was still lingering. Then I looked at my relationships, then my career, but no matter how many changes I made it still wasn’t enough. Something was still pulling me to find something more… but what. It was frustrating and angering and sad. Then I started to feel like maybe there was something wrong with me that I felt this way. I felt depressed and so lost. It was an all too familiar feeling I’ve had over the course of my entire life. Until I realized that all this time the answer was staring right back at me. It wasn’t something that I needed to change or achieve. It was me. It was the deeply covered me that was screaming and crying to be recovered.
Sitting With Sadness
I’ve done a lot of work dealing with my sadness and grief that has existed in me for as long as I can remember, but the goal has always been to make it go away. To resolve it and live my life without it. I see now that this is not the right approach to take. We can’t “fix” how we feel because we aren’t broken. So much of my life I have felt that there was something wrong with me and people were consistently trying to fix me. This is something no one should ever have to feel. To feel broken and flawed because of a belief our mind and society’s collective mind has created. And this belief is the recipe for receiving a label in our society that further contributes to a greater level of self-hate, self-pity, worthlessness, hopelessness, and “attempted” destruction of our true authentic selves. I’ve been there, for so many years I lived this belief and it buried who I was. But by being honest with myself and curiously asking the questions instead of hiding in my minds creation of doubt and fear I’ve found many answers.
This past weekend if I had to guess, I probably spent at least 10 of the 22 hours there in meditation. Every time I found the light in me it brought profound sadness with it. My light will never extinguish, it’s forever, as is yours, but it’s gets hidden and buried and can feel lost forever. I decided through meditation to attempt a different approach and have a conversation with my sadness to find out what it wants from me (my true me, not my mind). Here’s how that conversation went.
After singing mantra for what seemed like a long time with tears streaming down my face we reached the quiet meditative time, and so deep inside of me I asked the question… Sadness, what do you need from me? The answers came clear. Sadness responded, I don’t want to be hidden anymore, I want you to feel me and welcome me, I want to belong with you and have a voice, I don’t want to feel shame and be tucked away, I am crying to be set free. After a long pause, amidst tears and a heavy sensation I responded. I am so sorry that you have been burdened this way, and I want you to know that I too feel the same. I also have been hidden and lost for a long time. With a warm softening of the weight I asked, what do you say we both link arms and be free together? I am taking back control of this kingdom and everyone will have a voice, no one will be shadowed any more. Sadness smiled and said, we should probably take anger with us too. As we moved freely towards the surface together I felt happiness, excitement and peace join us.
With Answers Come Questions.
It was a profound experience and gave me so many answers, and so many more questions. The lightness of knowing is what we are all seeking. To relieve the burden of needing to have answers and a plan to letting go, finding security and trust in our true selves to guide our way. The connection this entire weekends experience has had to those words I mentioned that I speak so frequently has been incredibly affirming of where I’m headed.
So, if you are out there wondering what’s missing you can stop looking, because the answer is right there shining brightly inside of you. The process to find it is about rediscovering yourself, rebuilding your love and trust in yourself, and reclaiming the seat as the Ruler in your life. It’s all there for you. You’re asking the questions for a reason and the answer comes when you start listening.
If you’re unsure about how to get started with Meditation please reach out and allow me the honor to help guide you to get your daily practice started. It only takes 5 minutes a day to uncover your deepest truest self.