Should. Have to. Need to.
If I had a dollar for every time I hear "Should," "Have to," or "Need to" in one of my coaching sessions, it would pay for college for both my kids.
All you HAVE to do is grow old and die at the end of your life. That's one thing we can count on, so far, although with the technology and medical advances.... let's call it a 90% reality.
All the rest, is optional.
We don't HAVE to work because we HAVE to pay bills. We CHOOSE to work because we CHOOSE to pay bills and feed our families. We don't HAVE to do it. We could make other choices.
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We don't HAVE to lose 20 pounds, get fit, or take off the baby weight. We can choose it, or we can choose not to.
We "SHOULDN'T" do x, y, or z thing in our businesses because so-and-so said if we don't, we'll never make any money. But we can choose to try and see if we like that thing.
We don't NEED to do the latest parenting fad. We don't have to "play big or go home," make six figures, give away all our belongings and live like monks, or declutter.
We don't HAVE to clean the closets, set boundaries, or even get up in the morning.
We don't even HAVE to get rid of "have to," "need to," and "should" from our vocabularies.
But we COULD.
It's ALL a choice. Our behavior is a choice. We're more or less likely to do a behavior based on our learning histories, TRUE. But in the end, we are FREE, not programmed. We're free to play big, or play small. Free to make a million dollars or free to make ten thousand. We're free to parent permissively, helicoper-y, or somewhere in between. We're free to live on the grid, off the grid, free to draw the grid and then crumple it up.
The point here is that should, have to, and need to all limit our options. "Should," "Need," and "Have to" are the wires in the cage that keeps us from believing we can move forward, make better, or evolve. (Click to tweet!)
I "have to" stay in my job or my kids will suffer. I "need to" lose weight or my health will suffer. I "should" clean my house more often.
Clink, clank, clunk. Cage, built and locked. No possibilities, no movement, no way to see beyond the blinders.
This is your permission slip to let go of "should" and "have to" and "need to" just for the day... to try on "I could," "I want to," and "I choose to" and see what opens up for you.
The possibilities are endless.
This one's for my coaches who want to live the dream of maxing out your income and impact... of helping lots and lots and lots of people with their coaching skills... but who are overwhelmed by the idea of putting together a group coaching package to offer. I will do it for you! Learn more here... 2 spaces open for July 2016. Will not be offered again at this rate!
On the back of my Mazda sun visor it says: "I am becoming the person I am".
I didn't know what it meant when I wrote it. I was parked outside a client's house (when I was driving 5 hours a day as a roving behavior analyst, from home to home supporting learners with Autism and their families), and exhaustion had washed over me like a tidal wave. I could have cancelled the visit and rescheduled for tomorrow - after all, I wasn't the front -line therapist, I was the consultant. I had no idea how I would pull myself together to show up for this family and therapy team. This case was especially in crisis, and I felt somehow that the family was blaming me. The therapists needed more training, the child was engaging in dangerous behavior, the mommy was completely burnt out, and we'd exhausted so many options. I had no idea what I was going to do when I got there. I felt anxious, unprepared, and frankly, incompetent.
I didn't know anything about Energy Leadership at the time. I was only beginning my journey into spirituality. But as I sat there in my car, at the curb, knowing that someone else was taking care of my own baby while I gathered myself together to take care of other people's children... I thought: I just can't do this anymore. It was the mental song of my life at the time.
"I just can't do this anymore".
I'd come home at 8 or 9pm, look at my sleeping daughter, and think: I just can't do this anymore
I'd wake up at the crack of dawn, pull us all together, leave her in someone else's arms for 10 hours, and think: I just can't do this anymore.
I'd take one more deep breath when a front-line therapist started arguing with me about treatment protocols in front of a family, and think: I JUST CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE.
I'd get on the phone with insurance to advocate for a family's treatment hours, spend an hour on hold, end up arguing with the representative, finally win, and feel completely depleted (this is NOT what I got into the field for!) and then I would click the phone down into the cradle and think: I just can't do this anymore. I hate it. I hate this. This is not what I came here to do. This is not how I came here to live. I miss my baby. I miss my life. I miss my husband and myself and my passion for work.
I just can't do. this. anymore.
There in the trusty purple therapy-mobile, I hung my head and watched the sun set. That same victim thought came over me, I just can't do this anymore. I'd thought it probably 100 times that day. All I felt was despair and sheer emptiness. I'd been battling postpartum depression for a year at that point. I'd been fighting for my mental health and the well-being of my family. I'd been pushing through and showing up for everyone, on every front. And I had no more "me" left to give this family.
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In the numb, emptiness of "nothing left to give," surrender finally washed over me. I had no more fight, so I stopped fighting.
In that thought, "I just can't do this anymore," I'd been putting myself in constant fight mode. And fight mode means someone has to lose. The problem, when you're fighting your own life situation, is that the person losing is YOU.
When I was finally too tired to even think that thought anymore, a new one arose. A thought borne from love, from my highest inner self, and from my Being - the part of me that isn't my life circumstances. A new thought arose forged straight from the part of me that dances with the divine.
"I am becoming the person I am".
I am becoming the person I am. My higher love looked down on me, in that car, head hung, completely surrendered, and said "Hey, honey. Guess what? You know you're going to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and show up for that family. You know why? Because it's what you're made of. You are not your life circumstances. You are higher love. And higher love will pull you through. And in showing up, again, beyond the point where you believed you could... you are revealing who You Truly Are."
Pushing past the limits of what I believed I could handle, on behalf of another person, showed me that I was not my limitations. I was not my life circumstances. I was the Now, the Presence, the Great Love, and all I had to do was shed the story to reveal what was already there.
Here's the other problem with fighting our life circumstances: When the "I can't" blinders are on, we have tunnel vision. Our options are limited. The possibilities are only black and white, either/or. We feel that we are "trapped" or "stuck" because we can't think our way out of the cage. We go down endless mental regurgitating of how to get out of the job/living situation/marriage/financial disaster.
Higher love doesn't know from "how". It only knows that when you keep on showing up from love, that the circumstances will follow suit.
Fear wants a plan. It wants to know how you're going to get out of this cage, where they key is kept, how you're going to throw away the key so you're never locked in there again. It wants a 30-day money back guarantee, and it wants to see the road before it makes the turn. Fear needs to know we're going to be safe, secure, and stable. Fear needs to know that there will be money in the bank, food on the table, and a roof. (Of course it does, and it's completely reasonable for wanting those things!) Fear needs the how, the stepping stone path, the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other Candyland game of life.
Love wants inspired action. Love wants to move towards feeling good and expressing our True natures, the divine beings who are NOT our shoes, not our jobs, and not our limitations. Love wants us to feel great.
Love doesn't necessarily say, "Hey, jump off the cliff because seriously, I'll catch you!" Love wants us to be safe, secure, and cared for, too. Love wants us to simply see more possibilities than those that are in the tunnel vision created by fear. Love wants us to simply say, "This feels good. I am doing it and therefore becoming the person I AM."
Love wants us to surrender the "how," the strategizing, and the What-If-Flow-Chart-of-Insanity. Love wants us to follow the inspiration, the small inspirations and the big ones. Love wants us to believe in the unseen possibilities, in the tiny paths along the big road that fear has us walking on. Love wants us to keep on feeling good, and in feeling good, to reveal who we already are. And who we already are can step into a future, an inspired future, that we never could have imagined when standing on the shoulders of fear.
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I have had it up to here with marketing. On TV, on the internet, on the radio.
It's all designed to sell you a problem (one that you might not even have!) so that it can then sell you a solution.
Listen, I'm not against marketing. I have to do it in my business, and I try to do it by showing up and making authentic connections, being helpful, and inspiring and motivating people to uplift themselves even more.
But what I can't tolerate anymore is this ridiculous use of creating a problem where there isn't one. This marketing-bullying.
I'm keeping it short and sweet today, folks. Here's the deal:
YOU ARE COSMIC GOLD. You're a freaking miracle of neurons and involuntary reflexes.
Your weight isn't a problem. Your business isn't a problem. Your small, 10 year old car isn't a problem. There's nothing wrong with you, your lifestyle, your choices.
You are a miraculous being, born from the impulse of PURE LOVE in the universe. Nothing you've said, done, or experienced since birth changes the fact that you are cosmic gold dust.
Be loved. Be whole. Be worthy. Oh wait, you already are.
Want to celebrate the beauty that is you? Come over to the Truth Tribe and let's party, cosmic stardust style.
If Perfectionism is a thing that is keeping you feeling "less than," then here's a chapter I wrote. It's geared towards life coaches but applies to everyone. Written with love.
We've all experienced something that makes us terrified to try again.
A horrible relationship that left us so brokenhearted we thought we'd never get out of bed again.
A huge public flop at work, maybe even one that cost us our job.
A failed product or service launch.
Even small things, like posting day after day on your business page to the tune of crickets.
Fear comes in the door in many forms. Guilt. Shame. Embarrassment. Heartbreak. Regret. Self-hatred. (Click to tweet)
They can even linger from childhood experiences that we haven't thought about in years - or that we thought had completely resolved.
After any fear-inducing experience, it's natural to say HELL NO when it's time to get back on the horse. As we accumulate experiences where we felt shame or humiliation, we take them and build them into bricks around us until the view becomes so safe and small that we never have to ever, ever put ourselves on the line again.
Never putting ourselves on the line again is a great plan, except if you're reading this, it's not enough for you.
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Something inside you craves not only putting yourself on the line, but leaping past it, flying over the cliff, and trusting yourself enough to catch a branch on the way down.
You're someone who wants to make an impact on the world. You want to lead your organization; start your business; be part of a community that's making a difference.
So how do you get past the guilt, shame, and humiliation from past failures so you can get back on the proverbial horse and ride off into the sunset of success?
1) Find the source. Notice the things you are resisting and avoiding. Use my Freedom Tracker to spend 5 days observing the things that trigger guilt, shame, humiliation, fear, dread, sadness, and heartbreak. Noticing patterns where these emotions show up will help you locate the original source of fear.
2) Honor the shadow side that fear represents. We often try to either stuff fear down and power past it, or ignore it until we can't anymore and totally sabotage ourselves. No one prefers to feel what are considered "negative" emotions. But what we rarely do is honor this piece of ourselves - the fearful, timid side that is afraid to hop back into the arena.
3) Coddle your inner child. While thinking about Doing the Scary Thing, and while thinking about The Thing That Scared You So Bad In The First Place, imagine yourself holding yourself as a child. You can physically wrap your own arms around yourself and pat your back (I do this, all the time. It is weird looking. It works wonders). Talk to yourself soothingly - like you would ANY child who has fallen off the monkey bars. "It's ok, honey. It was just one fall. Next time you'll be stronger. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right."
4) Forgive yourself. So, you made an ass of yourself. So, you got fired. Lost the love of your life. Walked out of the bathroom with toilet paper on your shoe. Said the wrong thing, 15 times, then puked on the CEO's shoes. Made exactly negative $500 launching a service that flopped. Your inner critic is having a field day on you! It's all "I told you so, I told you so, I told you that you suuuuuuck" and "Nanny nanny boo boo".
5) Take the long view, not the short view. Yes, horrifying things are terrible in the moment. But the more you raise your vibe, the more you realize they actually aren't. Most people can shift enough to say, "Well, everything happens for a reason". That view still considers the negative thing a bad thing. I'm asking you to consider it an experience that makes life worth living. In the long view of life, there are no good or bad experiences - the point of life is to have the experiences. Congratulations, you're a more full-bodied bottle of wine, thanks to that crappy thing that happened.
6) Do a smaller version of the bigger thing. You want to get back up in front of the board and give the talk? You want to go back into the world of online dating? You want to launch a new service or product? What's one, small, confidence-building, inspired step you can take towards that thing? Don't bite off the whole enchilada until you're more confident that the "YOU SUCK" demons aren't going to come back and sabotage your efforts.
7) Find support. Who are the most loving, unconditional people you know? Enlist them to coddle you where you aren't coddling yourself. Enlist them to support you, promote you, hear your talk, give you a pep talk, dress you for your date... wherever you need the love, place them there to give it to you until you can give it to yourself.
Building the muscles you need to tackle The Scary Thing, slowly but consistently, will bring you to the point where you can once again feel resilient in the face of fear - no matter how many times you've fallen off the mechanical bull.
The bruises - the scars - the mental punching bag you've subject yourself to up until now - they're evidence that you've lived. (Click to tweet). The breaks, the tears, the rips in the fabric of your tapestry - these are the barometers of your willingness to throw your body out into the wild winds of life and cry:
"I SOUND MY BARBARIC YAWP FROM THE ROOFS OF THE WORLD!" ~WALT WHITMAN, SONG OF MYSELF
IF YOU'RE INSPIRED TO GET BACK IN THE ARENA, RESERVE YOUR PLACE IN THE NOV 2016 FREE AND FEARLESS LEADERS PROGRAM.
Free and Fearless Leaders is for people who want to make a huge impact on the world - and is based on the principal that you lead from ANY position. Listen, the daily grind of working for a greater good can make you feel like you're always putting out fires, barking at your kids, and chasing your tail. It's time to collect your scars and bruises, suit up your armor, and find your tribe of supportive, loving, cheerleading fellow humans. In 30 Days, we will go intensely deep into discovering, healing, and moving through the places of shame, heartbreak, and fear that have kept you from making the impact you long to make in this world. Get on the wait list now to reserve your place AND receive the very-early-bird celebration rate - this is the first time I've done this work in a group, and I'm so, so so excited (and SCARED!)