In this episode, I asked Whitney about the the difficulty she found while she was still living in one story, but attempting to write ...and BELIEVE a new one. She came up with insightful defense mechanisms that her brain used to keep her safe and stuck.
"What are you trying to do, PRETEND that events from your past didn't really happen?"
"You're just a broken person pretending to be strong - you're being fake."
"Sure, things are going well now, but how long can it really last? Do even deserve any of this progress?"
Whitney got me thinking about some powerful thoughts that she used to counteract these thoughts and validate the NEW thoughts she was practicing in order to get NEW results in her life.
"I thought the victim Whitney was real because the scars were real, but it turns out that my victim-hood was a costume I was wearing to cover up those scars ...to cover up the truth. Taking off that costume was terrifying, but now I can see...
This is how super heroes are formed:
1. Tragic event
2. Discovery of "new normal"
3. Resistance ...why can't things just be the way they were?
4. The epiphany, "Wait a minute ...I can help people & save lives. This isn't a curse, it's a gift!!!"
This is their "Origin Story" - the tragedy that equipped them to be exceptional. What if you started looking for your epiphany? Do you ever focus on the gifts ...the unexpected blessings ...the "superpowers" that you've gained explicitly BECAUSE of the tough times you've walked through in your life?
When I go back through my life with this perspective, i begin to see the exact same events that have always haunted me with gratitude for wisdom I gained instead of resentment for the pain I experienced. I start to see the times I let myself down, let people I care about down, the pattern of coming up short, the times I was wronged, and the self destructive behaviors I've repeated as a refining process. ...
Throughout my childhood I was cut from teams, I made errors that let my team down, I was frustrated to tears when a skill I was working on eluded me, I ended up in last place, I wasn't "picked" by my friends, I was laughed at for making mistakes, and I even lost control of my emotions and regretted the way I showed up as a teammate. All of this, however, was categorized as "uncharacteristic" because I always believed I was, in fact, a great athlete. If the current evidence didn't directly support my story, I knew it was only a matter of time because I had practiced my story all my life.
When I was about 25 ...AFTER I had already become an NCAA Division I athlete - I asked my mom about a foggy memory from childhood where other kids were doing school work and I was outside with 3 other kindergartners bouncing a red ball back and forth. At the time I was elated that I was so fortunate to be selected to play instead of read ...but now as a teacher I started to...
I don’t know about you, but when I see people who surf, climb mountains or seek out challenges that require facing fear and discomfort- I WANT what they have, but I tell myself “it’s just not MY thing. “
That spirit of adventure, courage, and freedom is so attractive to me.
Of course, a lot of people WANT to be “good” at surfing but if you had the opportunity to surf, just for the experience of it, would you go?
I like to think I would, so I tested it out.
Two and a half years ago, I finally sought out a trip like this.
I had recently made a life-altering choice to give up alcohol. It was a decision, I made willingly in order to pursue my dreams more seriously and become the woman I knew those dreams would require me to be.
When I discovered a surf trip was a possibility, there were a lot of reasons I thought it "wasn’t for me”.
For one, it was last-minute plus it was in a different country, El Salvador.
Whether it's building with instructions, driving with directions, or working out with an instructor, there is great freedom in taking action when the plan is already made. It quiets the mind chatter - the debate in our mind about whether or not to keep pushing forward. If you love the plan, if you find pride in sticking to the plan, then you simply continue to follow the plan. Plans are Powerful!
"I love it when a plan comes together." - name that TV character.
There is no doubt that life is about 97% journey and only 3% destination, but it's really important you choose a destination before you start your journey. Your journey WILL take you somewhere, so its a smart move to take the time to aim at where the somewhere is.
It can be as simple as a calendar - simply deciding in advance how my time will be allocated the next day gives me the awesome experience of being able to quiet the mind chatter of "what should I be doing right now?" and, instead, just do what the calendar says. Planning takes about 20 minutes and following that plan is a 24 hour journey of tasks and events ...there is no question that I want to do everything I can to make sure that 24 hour journey is the enjoyable because it is MOST of my life experience. So even though I stay focused on enjoying the process, the process becomes automatically easier to enjoy when I know it's leading me in the right direction!
Take the time to choose your...
Our brain gets really comfortable thinking the SAME thoughts over and over.
Which is really efficient when those thoughts lead us to take the right ACTION to get to our GOAL or results.
What about when those thoughts are keeping us STUCK doing the same habits or getting the same undesirable results?
That's when we need to get a CLEAR picture of our future self.
I'm not talking about just setting goals.
No, we're talking about becoming the person who reaches those goals.
What thoughts would the person who achieved those results think?
What type of action would that person who's already achieved that result take?
Get really CLEAR on who you need to BECOME in order to change and get what you want.
There are a few steps to take, in order to do this successfully.
Watch here, we'll walk you through this process.
You can skip to 2:57- How to create your future self.
Feel free to leave us a comment.
"I'll believe it when I see it" - we've all thought it, we've probably all said it, but what if the entire premise is wrong.
Every time I've tried to chase down a scary goal or make a big change in my life I do a risk/reward or cost/benefit analysis in my head. Ultimately I come to the same conclusion - if the result was guaranteed by certain date and come a certain way, then the goal wouldn't be scary. The scary part is all the risk and all the reward have to be put in up front and reward is "out there" somewhere.
One thing I know for sure - if I DON'T put in the work I will FOR SURE miss out on the reward. So the conclusion is this ..."I need to see it to believe it." is a cop out. It's a trick that our lizard brain uses to keep us safe and comfortable. The truth is that we need to believe it FIRST, then we'll take the actions that will allow us to see it.
How do you do that? Step one = listen to the podcast ...the rest is in...
I'll keep this short and sweet - life is a process, not a result. When you climb a mountain you spend 97% of your time getting up or getting down, but only 3% on the top. Life is the same, there are times when we have those "I have arrived" type moments, but they are short because we have an inner desire for more and honoring that desire is the secret to living BIG. It sounds like it would make a great song ...something like, "Life's a journey, not a destination."
If we're going to honor the journey that means we have to assess where we are, determine where we want to go, make a game plan about how to get there, then execute the game plan. Again, keeping in mind that the goal is "Living BIG" - that destination is going to stir up some fear ...and when we get there, we're just going to celebrate the success ...then set another scary goal. When we take a birds eye view at a life lived in this cycle, we can see that it is going to require...
Whether working with clients or navigating our own journey, it seems that Whitney and I spend a lot of time talking about the feelings that aren't serving us and how to choose thoughts that give us access to feelings that DO serve us.
There are feelings, like worry, that are both negative and "indulgent". Worry gives us a false sense of control, it tricks us into thinking that we are caring for others or protecting ourselves, but in reality it is keeping us stuck and causing inaction.
There are also feelings like grief that have a more complicated dynamic. Grief can be paralyzing, or grief can be healing ...it all depends on how we think about it. If you find yourself resisting grief, there is driving thought that you shouldn't be feeling grief. When the circumstances of your life are such that grief is appropriate ...like experiencing great loss, the thoughts that the grief is inappropriate cause suffering to be piled on top of it.
50% - You're half-way to success!!
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