5 Ways We Avoid Pleasure And 5 Ways To Stop

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I’ve asked myself the following questions:

Do you ever notice what you put up with in your life? And if you do, what is your next move? Do you just fall back into the same ol’ pattern, the rut, waiting for something to change outside of you?

I’ve done it, especially when I’ve been so attached to not losing something or someone. I just quiet the voice screaming at me in my head to move on, get out or do something about my situation. Even going so far as to believe no one else notices my misery or disconnect.

People can tell all is not well when we try to hide it; fear can keep us bound in chains, never really experiencing life at the visceral level. Instead we have small pleasantries, escapes, or ways of just not dealing, which also keep us from experiencing real pleasure.

Who avoids pleasure?

Most people who think they have to earn it, wait for it, be given it, settle for less, or believe it’s elusive, fall into the category of avoiders.

How about you, do you know how you avoid pleasure? Check out the following to see if this might just be you.

  1. Attachment-¬†Not knowing why you need a person, place or thing that causes you pain while doling out tiny increments of pleasure can keep you in a bad relationship, job, friendship, car, living situation and so on. You wish with all of your being that you weren’t in the situation because you feel helpless to get out… so you miss out on real pleasure, joy and invest further in pain.
  2. Sacrifice and suffering-¬†Another opportunity to cut off from pleasure is by seeking sacrifice for the good of others (who don’t usually appreciate it) and at a cost to yourself. Suffering goes hand in hand because you feel it is the only option–the way you learned that life is always a struggle.
  3. Distrust-¬†It’s not just distrusting another person, its a basic distrust that life is good. You may feel unsafe or wondering what shoe will drop next and when you live that way, it’s all you see. You may even try to keep a step ahead by anticipating the next issue or loss. This keeps you in a constant cycle where there’s no positive change.
  4. Limitations and impossibilities-¬†If you believe that all that’s possible for you in this life is right where you are, then you find little to no pleasure in life. You don’t believe it can be more or that you have the ability to make it happen. Your self-worth is low and what you may have wanted for yourself seems to have passed you by. Limited thinking means limited opportunities. Your perception keeps you in this prison with no key.
  5. Giving up on what you always wanted-¬†Perhaps you wanted that relationship with someone who gets you, or you wanted that career, but didn’t believe you were good enough and so you gave up. You said ‘no’ to risk, to going for it and decided to settle for less rather than moving forth and believing you deserved to have what you deeply desired. Where’s the pleasure in living this way?

Any of those scenarios fit you?

If so, here’s a short list on ways to wake up out of your painful slumber and immediately be on the road to having some pleasure in your life.

  1. Learn about yourself- Develop your self-awareness so you can understand what keeps you attached, stuck and suffering. Dig deep. Learn where these patterns of attachment started and why you fear loss enough to keep pleasure at bay. Once you start understanding yourself better, you will have opened up a new path which leads to having more pleasure.
  2. Make different choices- Many decisions are made on auto-pilot; you may not realize why you make the decisions you do or how your old feelings influence a current situation. When you’re faced with a choice, ask if it is pain-producing decision or a pleasure-inducing one.
  3. Trust yourself- It’s never really about what’s outside of you that you need to trust. You need to learn to trust your own emotional resilience in the face of disappointment. It’s to understand that you choose how you perceive events outside of you and that you can handle when things don’t go your way. In the end, coming from trust within leads you to trusting what is outside of you too. And with that you open to more pleasure in your world.
  4. Get out of your own way- Watch how your mind limits you. It’s trying to protect you and not allow you to experience anything outside of your comfort zone. Getting uncomfortable with taking action that you would never normally do can lead to unlimited, expansive thoughts in your head. As you say ‘yes’ to life and living, being uncomfortable becomes the norm and pleasure is found in those moments when you realize you got out of the way and possibilities abound!
  5. Stop playing it safe- Risk it! You can always change your mind, but it really is about living from your heart. Where’s your passion? When you live this daily, pleasure courses through you and the contrast you experience when you look back at how you said yes to misery will assure you that you’re on the right path now with every risk you take. Even when things don’t go your way you’ll know it is temporary and automatically shift your focus to what turns you on rather than what weighs you down.

Want more on avoiding pleasure and inviting pain? Please check out my radio show.

Would you like another round?

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This has been a year of reinvention for me, how about you?

I notice it in major ways (especially when loss is associated with it) and in smaller ways, where I come up against my old people pleasing skills.
 
For instance, I went on a hike this weekend (like I do most weekends) with my daughter out in Santa Monica.
Afterwards, we wanted to have a glass of wine (or in my case a margarita) and food. We found a restaurant¬†on PCH. We placed our order much to the chagrin of our waitress, who gave us the impression, she’d rather be anywhere, but here. She brought my margarita and the wine for my daughter. Near the end of our meal, she asked the BIG question…

“Would you like another round?”

My daughter spoke up saying “yes, I¬†would like another one.” I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t want another drink¬†and so, it became a conversation between the two of them. I was surprised when she brought us both a drink. I looked at my daughter and said, “I didn’t tell the waitress¬†I wanted this,¬†you said you wanted another one when she asked, but I said nothing.” My daughter thought for a moment and said, “I think when I said I wanted another one, she assumed that we both did, since you said nothing.”
Now….this could be no big deal, right? But the truth was I really didn’t want another margarita,¬†then I started thinking of all the reasons that I was now stuck with a $14.00 drink that I didn’t want. “I shoulda spoke up…..UGH, this waitress seems annoyed with serving us…she walks by our table and doesn’t ask us if we need anything or even if we wanted to order in the first place, UGH…..I am now going to have to drink something that I don’t want or waste the money….wait a minute, do I have to just swallow it?”
The inner conversation was ridiculous to say the least. I sat in the booth thinking about how uncomfortable it was going to be, because I had decided I wasn’t gonna say okay to something I didn’t want…nor did I want to keep the peace with a person, I didn’t even know!
Do you ever do that? Tell a story to yourself about all the reasons you shouldn’t speak up or say¬†what is true for you, so that you don’t upset another person?
I’d like to say I’ve never done it or still do it! But, alas…here I was with the waitress who couldn’t smile and seemed irritated with every word spoken to her unless she asked.
I motioned for her to come over and told her, “I wasn’t going to say anything, because I felt bad (yup) and then I realized it was a stupid reason for drinking something that I didn’t want. I didn’t order this and I do not want it.”
Of course, as predicted…..she argued and tried to tell me I nodded my head ‘yes’ and agreed when she asked the BIG question.¬†I wasn’t intimidated, nor was I up for someone ‘arguing’ with me as a tool for¬†persuasion.

So…I disappointed her, I made it messy….I didn’t swallow it and I felt better, even though it was fairly intense.

My daughter actually agreed with me (she’s almost 24), usually ‘mom’ doing anything like this is totally embarrassing….¬†but this time, she saw how sometimes it’s best to please yourself, because you’re not gonna win a new friend or make someone like you, who doesn’t have the least bit interest in bridging that gap.
But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well.¬†You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself “~ Ricky Nelson “Garden Party” lyric

 

40ish Reasons Why You’re Stuck and How To Get Unstuck!

The items listed here alone or together, do create havoc in our ability to move forward.

Learn¬†all the deeper¬†reasons why you¬†MIGHT be¬†stuck….

And of course….. how to get out!

1. You were raised with the¬†rules, structures and models of others…you have no clue as to how to live by your own rules. How do you stop? Break those rules.

2. You’re afraid. Deal with it, as Suzanne Jeffers¬†said, “Feel the fear and do it anyways.”

3. You enjoy growing old, bitter and miserable, because you keep saying NO, when deep inside, you mean YES or vice versa. Start saying what YOU actually feel.

4. You text when you should call. Call! Better yet, have a face to face conversation.

5. The absolute wrong things are important to you. You’re more worried about what someone else will say or do and you hold back–BECAUSE IT’S MORE IMPORTANT than what you want, or feel. It’s time to re-evaluate this one precious life you currently embody.

6. You’re a failure. Congrats! You’re part of the human race, get over it and keep on truckin’. Failure is subjective–learn–grow–keep moving.

7. You’re a loser. So what? And yesterday’s winner will be tomorrow’s loser and so on, read a history book, this isn’t permanent, so don’t treat it like it is!

8. You need validation from an asshole. Someone important in your early life didn’t give you the love you needed, and you’re still looking for a sign that you’re okay…from someone who doesn’t want to give it to you. Learn to validate yourself.

9. You’re afraid to be alone. Well, isn’t it fairly lonely being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t get you, like you or want to share a bed with you? Start now. Today. Begin liking your own company, get clear on why you think there’s no one else and deal with your worth…grow your confidence.

10. You think you have to be the hare. People carry the delusion that change needs to be abrupt, like a sword cutting everything down at once, so they’re afraid to make a move. Be the turtle (he’s still moving).

11.Treating life like a destination. It’s not. Ever. ¬†Til we’re not alive anymore. Everything changes around us, why do we as humans think we’re any different? We’re not. Remind yourself it’s a journey and just because this sounded good yesterday, and it feels like crap today….doesn’t mean you should stay where you don’t want to be.

12. You’ve stunted your own growth. Funny thing with the fear of outgrowing those around us, it can keep us stunted for our entire lives. What is the quality of those relationships? Are you fulfilled? Happy? Do you feel trapped? It’s time to allow yourself to be honest, with yourself and others, about what you want and where you’d like to head (you can be the turtle).

13. ¬†You can’t let go. It was so good at one time–at least the 1st 24 hours and you want to recapture it. Buy a dog or a cat, release one little finger at a time by going through the pain of attachment,¬†it’s not about them…it’s about you…and you have the cure; it’s time to feel your real feelings.

14. You’re a martyr. Self-sacrifice is a debt that will never be fully repaid. No one else but you cares and those who you want to be impressed with your pinning yourself to a cross aren’t, they actually despise you for it…or even worse have indifference toward you. STOP. Re-evaluate the goal. Are you getting what you want by being self-less? Become selfish (ie. not self-absorbed–which martyrs are–except for those who actually did it for the greater good)

15. You’re a victim. You need to blame everything outside of you for being stuck. Take responsibility for yourself and your choices.

16. You make bad choices on purpose. See #15. You don’t believe you deserve better, so you make choices, which keep you stuck. It’s an excuse. ¬†Become aware of every decision you make, does it induce pain or pleasure?

17. You love to complain. It’s a cycle. You grew up with it…it’s everywhere, you’re just doing what everyone else does. This is non-action, no sympathy here. Decide to change your position in the situation you complain about, understand WHY you’ve preferred being stuck. It’s a very old answer.

18. Being a doormat works for you. This is a benefit, otherwise no one would do it. Get to know the benefit and find why that benefit works for you (are you afraid of loss?)…..then replace it with actual self-fulfillment, by pleasing yourself.

19. You watch reality TV. Think I am kidding? What do we avoid by watching someone else’s drama?¬†Demeaning others makes us feel good? Turn off the TV (at least the yelling, fighting and over the top drama) and¬†join your life–by being PRESENT.

20. You don’t trust yourself. When you don’t trust you–you don’t trust others. Not trusting means #16. Not trusting means you believe you can’t handle disappointment. Develop emotional resilience; it’ll make you trust the only person you should: YOURSELF.

21. Perfect picture syndrome. The belief that has never, ever, ever been the REAL picture of your relationship, job or life is somehow going to be destroyed if you get unstuck from the hellfire you live in daily. Waiting for that picture to come thru is waiting for the 12th of never. Start seeing reality as it is, not as you want it to be and accept it….as it is.

22. Your patterns rule you. Self-awareness is nil. You’ve no idea why your stuck in the same dance. Wake up. Really wake up! Pay attention to what triggers you to keep repeating history, daily.

23. You are dishonest. You lie to yourself and to the people who you could set free with the truth, or dramatically change things with, because you’re afraid of what will happen, so nothing changes. Get honest–dig deep, get to know what is your truth and then state it…..out loud.

24. You’re a control freak. You’d rather keep misery as company, because you know it and so you show up the same way all the time, so the balance of power doesn’t tip. Until it does. LET GO. You’re stuck in a merry-go-round that goes nowhere. You’re control is an illusion and it scares the shit out of you to think of showing up how YOU really want to, because you can’t control what would happen.

25. Scarcity. There’s not enough. Bullshit. Get clear on why you think there’s so little and shift to a more abundant thinking, slowly (like the turtle), placing focus there rather than on a void.

26. You’ve been hurt, disappointed, screwed over and so on. People can be immobilized for years, out of fear of supposed bad things happening again. Life is an experience, why would you block an experience and keep living in the SAME daily soap opera in your mind of what possibly could happen?

27. Risk is a four letter word. So is FUCK, both are action words, when you add an ‘ing’….you have verbs. If your inner critic, judge and jury are keeping you inert, because of whatever happened in the past, you’re a prisoner of your own thoughts. Time to have a Q&A with all those people in your head, once you get some clear answers…its four letter word time!!!

28. You have no meaningful standards for your life. What do you want your life to FEEL¬†like? What are you doing to achieve it? How do others treat you? If you have “I don’t know” as your answer to those questions….it’s time for you to make some boundaries. The only way to have a boundary is to live your boundaries–be them–don’t compromise, because when you’re treated poorly, you’re not living in a meaningful way.

29. Shame. Shame. Shame. It’s probably the most toxic of all feelings to our growth, love, happiness and pleasure in our lives. We shut up, shut down, run away and hide when we feel shame. It’s someone (real or not) telling us we’re worthless, stupid, bad, etc…and we believe it on some level. Stand up to shame, show it who you are (even the part of you that was made to feel shame) and accept that you’re imperfect, but still damn cuddly and lovable…and your opinion matters most…to yourself!

30. You absolutely refuse to accept yourself. You’re trying to live up to some expectation (real or imagined) that keeps you stuck right where you are. Be disappointing, throw everything up in the air and rearrange it where you want when it lands. ¬†Accept all the cute little dark things in your closet, we all got em’ and relax a bit on who you think you should be…and be who you are.

31. Your dreams don’t come true. Yes they do, just believe in them and do things that align with those dreams. (instead of the opposite)

32. There’s no love. When you’re stuck, where’s the love? There might be a life jacket or something to hold onto, but REAL LOVE has to be watered regularly and it grows. Stuck doesn’t equal growth. Start deserving love today–do loving things for yourself NOW.

33. You’re waiting to be saved (rescued). Admit it, if it’s true and then save yourself.

34. You’re numb, distracted or convinced that you can cobble the pieces of¬†your life together. Get un-numb, realize it is un-fun….and ask yourself the tougher questions…if today was your last day on earth is this how you’d want to live?

35. Emotional intimacy= vulnerability; no thank you! Being in a stalemate keeps others at a distance, you find excuses to not get closer or make any movement, because you could be destroyed in the process. Protection is also an illusion, so try stripping naked and being real, you’ll feel better, no matter what happens.

36.¬†Committing to real happiness, love or a healthy relationship feels overwhelming. There you stay–stuck–moving forth–moving backwards, rinse, repeat. Like a yoyo, you never make progress, because every time you do–you run like your foot is on fire, no matter how great the opportunity! Relax. Really relax. Breathe….allow yourself to be in the moment, understand the urge to bolt is about yesterday, not today.

37. Refusing help. First you gotta wanna help yourself to get unstuck and second, you want to enlist someone who can help you see what you might be missing. Admit you want a life, then get a flashlight (preferably one being held where you can see what isn’t clear) and start to re-arrange/organize that closet.

38. You’re stuck in the past. See number 13. If you think your glory days are behind you–then you’re immobilized to create glorious days in the present. Get grounded here and start loving what is….then you will create more of it….and voila! Your glory days are now!

If you need some help getting unstuck, please feel free to give me a ring, 818.279.1735 or an email Tracy AT tracy crossley.com. I’d be happy to help you create the present and future you’ve always wanted.

I don’t want to spend time fixing myself.

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Do you?

I cannot imagine a more fruitless journey then to try to fix what isn’t broken. Improvement….to what?

Working my ass off to become an ideal that was created¬†outside of myself?…By someone else?

I state this, because there’s a misconception that we’re all broken and for some of us it can be quite the obsession to fix what we think is fatally wrong.

Here’s the truth…we’re all flawed, screwed-up, messy, emotional (if you’ve compartmentalized your emotions,¬†so you’re numb–then you ain’t living–you’re surviving!) and crazy in some aspect!

We’re human beings…..objectively speaking and subjectively we scrutinize ourselves and others with a microscope, trying to be the best…..to compete…to create an illusion.

This isn’t the key to a happy life.

At all.

It’s a never ending hamster wheel of trying to do something that’s impossible and quite frankly a waste of time…think about it, if you’re about self-improvement (subjective)…what’s the ultimate goal? Perfection?

Take a load off.

I have a better idea.

Just be fucked-up you.

Really.

Now some may disagree and like their hamster wheel, but I tend to go with the individual goal of feeling good, happy, having a lot of love in me and around me, enjoying what I do and making decisions that expand my true self.

I prefer to not be anxious, stressed-out, up in arms over someone else’s bullshit, or what the world is or is not doing, because I simply do not have control. No one does…and if you worry about it, or think becoming an improved version of yourself is the answer to world peace….you’re wrong.

It’s about accepting who and what you are….getting to know what makes you tic (not what society says should make you groove), seeing your flaws and saying, “Okay!”

You were told those darker parts of you were unacceptable at some point in your life. The hardest thing to do is not improve, but¬†to say “okay” to what is imperfect;¬†otherwise¬†pretending those flaws don’t exist creates bigger insecurities.

It’s hard to be yourself and happy. Why?

Because we worry to much about what others may think of us, we have a judge and jury in our head. We worry about abandonment; the loss of people connected to us based on some identity that never really belonged to us.

Our truth is fighting to come out all the time.

We bury it, because of our fears…the unknown, criticism, what if we’re wrong, we fail, we get hurt, we have an experience we allow to prove some ugly belief true about us….we’re alone, we feel taken advantage of and so on.

And guess what? All that shit that you and I allow to rule us, is meaningless. On the last day of your life and mine, we can look at everything we didn’t do, that we wanted deep down inside…all the missed experiences and know that we’re out of time.

That’s it.

If you think improving yourself is the way to happiness, it isn’t…it’s actually how you avoid yourself.

Acceptance is deeper, it opens us up to being unlimited (which is far scarier than self-improvement), to really loving, to moving past our fears and saying ‘fuck it’ it’s only an experience…it moves us to stand for our truth…for our desires…our freedom…to be emotionally intimate, to allow ourselves to go into the deep dark caverns inside of us and come out with a smile!

Don’t waste your human experience trying to be a version of yourself that you think is acceptable to others….just be you. Right now.

  • Speak your truth
  • Bring pleasure in your life daily
  • Make choices that make you happy
  • Challenge yourself to take risks to go where you want emotionally and physically
  • Accept the dark, the light and all in between
  • Value yourself
  • Be kind
  • Get clear on your heart’s desire and make a change
  • Leave anxiety on the floor–don’t paint the future with the past
  • Let go of the illusion of control of a small world
  • Let love in–operate from that place
  • Stop being busy all the time
  • Remove people pleasing, don’t commit, unless you really want to….

This is the work I do with clients. Call it whatever you want, but discovering who you are and living that truth is the most powerful call to live your life!

When Saying “NO” Seems Too Hard…

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Writing on this topic, presents the culmination of many people around me, including myself who have found themselves in the pickle of wanting to say “NO” and not doing it.

Trying to¬†live authentic lives–where we do what we want, say what we want and show up as we want¬†is difficult to¬†do consistently, and we often don’t do it where we fear loss.

The specter of disappointing others can bind us to the mast of a ship headed to the¬†rough seas of saying ‘yes’ when every inch of our being wants to scream, “NO!”

Guilt plays a huge factor in going along, to get along, what if we hurt someone else by not giving them what they want?

The amount of value we have is directly tied to what sort of situations we find ourselves in, because sometimes we say yes when we mean no, believing that this is as good as it might get for us (by the way it’s a whole series of YES’S that lead us to the crossroads–it’s never just one YES, which got us here). Better to settle here than to risk¬†further into the unknown where we might end up alone, broke, a failure or some other label that we fear.

When we’re at our most confident and connected to our more life affirming beliefs, we have faith that what we truly want is out there and we’re much less willing to say ‘yes’ when we mean ‘NO.’

Most humans struggle with “Am I enough, good enough or worthy of…. fill in the blank and when we feel the heaviness inside that this might be it, we cling…with our reasoning founded in not wanting to upset the apple cart.

We might disappoint or hurt others, they may stop asking us to come out and play.

Perhaps,they may feel we’re slighting them, or that somehow we’re responsible for their emotional well-being (forgetting our own). Others around us may guilt trip us into what they believe is best for us, BASED on their own experiences. Most advice comes from the success or failure others have experienced, which actually says ‘nothing’ of what our experience could or might be!

When basing our decisions on outside factors, we always stand to lose, especially IF we’re not honest with ourselves.

If we’re saying yes to a job we don’t want, fighting¬†the urge to run in the other direction, at least be¬†truthful. We’re probably afraid if we don’t take it, another won’t come along. Our conditioning may say¬†there’s a scarcity of opportunity; proven by our long¬†search! So¬†someone FINALLY recognizing our value–makes us feel we found more than a mirage in the desert! And…what if no¬†other employer gives us a better opportunity? Better take it now!

Freedom is a wonderful concept, which takes a commitment to live in daily.

We feel pulled by obligations whether imagined or quite real, so why do we add to the prison we build by trying to tell ourselves “we have to do, what we don’t want to do?”

I’ve failed and I’ve succeeded, whether it’s in a single situation, a relationship, a job, my own business or even choosing a restaurant. The thing that’s clear is when I do something, which may cause a ruffle outside of me; it doesn’t compare to the one inside of me when I’m in opposition to myself.

And when we find the choice we made NOT in favor of ourselves,¬†we look for things outside of us¬†to build a case, such as finding flaws in someone, or something…and that doesn’t work, in the end it is no one else’s fault when we¬†go against ourselves.

It’s our¬†responsibility to live our¬†lives; to be in the driver’s seat, because in the end, we’re¬†the ones who have to live with our¬†choices.

And for some of us we’d rather fall on our own sword, torturing ourselves, rather than suffer our perceived guilt, selfishness, or horrible outcome–because we believe we may never have a better opportunity etc…so we say ‘yes’¬†and slowly die in that moment….and many moments after, which¬†we live through the repercussions of the decision to not choose ourselves.

Ever Belonged On The Island Of Misfit Toys?

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Having heard this reference more than once this week, it got me thinking…

There have been times in the past, I definitely felt I was a resident on the island of misfit something-or-others.

The misfits. Those who ‘feel’ they don’t belong, perhaps they’re different, unique and just don’t conform, to the standards around them.

Misfits¬†create their own standards. Well, once they grow the confidence to not give two shits¬†about what anyone else thinks…and that in reality, there’s really nothing wrong with them. (No more than anyone else)

Freedom expressed or unexpressed is a state of mind.

Personally, I’ve always sucked at conforming, and still do.

It’s not a form of rebellion per se, it’s more of a feeling inside of my¬†body, of my¬†guts¬†being ripped out, when having to pretend to be someone else….okay, ¬†perhaps not so harsh, but faking it to fit in, is something I’m pretty much incapable of doing.

Fitting in for some can be¬†described as suffocating, and provoking¬†extreme anxiety. The idea of capitulating¬†where it¬†doesn’t allow for their individuality is painful and¬†yet, there’s still the desire to know they’re okay. The struggle has more than likely been there since childhood; the ability to accept themselves.

People that subscribe to their being¬†different,¬†change the world….just by being who they are and living the full expression of that self.

When we¬†live that way, we’re no longer in our¬†minds, labeled a misfit;¬†we see our individuality.

None of us have to go out of our way to be unique, it’s those of us who allow our ‘real self’ to show through…who create our lives from that place, rather than hide it, as many do. For some they cannot seem to help it, they were taught there’s a lot of shame in being who they are–so they conform; they fit in…they’re afraid of loss.

Loss of love….validation…identity…finances….comfort…relationships….achievement….and so on.

Misfits questioning the norm or what’s taught to them as a belief of someone else, usually¬†find something inside, which shows them other truths are available;¬†creating their own perception. It releases them to go after what their souls deepest desires are, and as a result, they¬†imbue change¬†and¬†find true personal meaning in their lives.

Not that people who conform don’t find meaning, it’s just a different set of values.

In several instances, misfits may have¬†felt, as though¬†they’ve been on the outside looking in;¬†their point of view is different.

They realize so many societal concepts¬†and perhaps, what works for other people, doesn’t work for them.

The key is in¬†acceptance. Instead of trying to conform¬†or beat themselves up over who they are not, it’s to accept what’s contrary.

Acceptance means we don’t have to¬†fear our uniqueness.

Fear of being judged no longer exists. People will judge no matter what we say or do, so why not be exactly who we are?

For some of us, that’s a major part of the journey, unearthing who we¬†are and what makes us¬†tick. We may have buried our uniqueness decades ago, only to now, feel a deeper sense of unrest within us that is vague and difficult to pinpoint.

Our limitations, because of the fear within, can keep us feeling like a misfit, even if we appear to join in well within our peers and other groups.

Each individual shines a light when they discard the chains of living an identity that doesn’t suit them. In serving the world, if we show up¬†doing what makes us happy, we have more to give. We open up to a whole different perspective, instead of our fearful one that we’ll be all alone if we choose ourselves.

How To Change Your Life Forever.

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For most of us, it can be pretty exhilarating to start a new job, a new relationship, find¬†a new place to live, make new friends, join in new activities and take off on new adventures. All of this can play in shaping our perspective of possibilities, which some believe determines ‘who they are as a person.’

So, when these outside events change–we make a judgment, which alters our perception of our possibilities.

Julie thought her new job would be the answer to her unhappy home life. She saw herself enjoying the perks this company offered, including travel to other countries. It was her dream job!

At first, she was caught up in the excitement of the ‘new’ and the ability to be removed from her home life on a semi-regular basis. About three months into her job, she noticed she felt pretty much the same as she did, before she took the job…in fact, she felt worse.

Julie hated going home. It meant dealing with the circumstances that she put aside when¬†she took the job, she thought this type of change equaled a shift in her power, and her control over her life. It didn’t.

Our circumstances are a direct reflection of our relationship with ourselves, but don’t¬†‘define’ who we are and our possibilities. True¬†change, causes a shift in our¬†inner world, supported¬†by loving¬†action to¬†the outer world.

We stand in the way of change by remaining focused on believing things around us must first change. This keeps possibilities limited. We may talk to our therapist or coach, vomiting our drama, feeling temporarily better, but achieving nothing new inside.

To change and perceive our lives without limitations, we must¬†take an honest look within to¬†understand how we don’t really act in our own best interest.

True change comes from the inside to the outside.

George came to his last session stating he wanted the key to change by the end of the session. He was frustrated and angry at his life. In the past, we discussed all the ways George could change his life, but those idea of boundaries overwhelmed him. Those options meant he might lose control of the stalemate he held in his relationship and his business, or it might offend or place him in a position of possible loss.

Change always includes loss, even if it’s an image of ‘what’s possible’ that we’re losing.

If we want change we must be willing to give up our PERCEIVED control of others and our unhappy circumstances. Expectations of keeping the status quo will influence our ability to set a new precedence.

Mark has been married for 30 years. His wife is his roommate, they haven’t had¬†sex for 15 years. He desires an opportunity to¬†fall in love with someone else.¬†Mark’s afraid to leave the comfort of his situation, for the unknown…at least here he’s appreciated for mowing the lawn, cooking dinner and taking out the trash. If he creates¬†boundaries or leaves, what will become of his life?

We¬†need¬†to take a risk, and get honest with ourselves. What’s the benefit to our current unhappiness and keeping the focus on everyone, but ourselves? ¬†What are we afraid of losing if we change? Why does having a limited picture of possibilities suit us? Why do¬†we seek struggle?

Three things that need to happen to create change forever:

  1. Consistent Honesty With Yourself.
  2. Boundaries That You Live By First.
  3. Action To Support Who You Are And What You TRULY Want.

Having More Faith in Possibilities Then Failure?

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As we get older, we can line up all our past experiences in our life with money, love, career and anything else we’ve given meaning to and believe certain truths about ourselves.

For some of us, we can look beyond the disappointments and keep doubts, insecurities and negative thinking at bay…and for others of us, we feel incapable of having what we want, our worlds have just been getting smaller and smaller.

In creating¬†a small world, there are benefits! We get to stay stuck, give up, run away, avoid change, find evidence that we shouldn’t risk and blame everything else for our being in this void.

We create a small world where everything seems under our control, except our happiness. We find a certain comfort zone of feeling and we decide that’s enough, wanting more will put us at risk. Our minds will help us to stay right here too.

At the same time, the yearning for more NEVER disappears.

If we ignore it by finding behaviors that numb us out, or distract us from living into our dreams, their efficacy will lose its ability after awhile. Then what will we do?

Being angry at what we feel we’re owed means we could be waiting for years for outside proof that its safe to proceed, “that now is the time.”¬†

Staying stuck is comfortable, it’s familiar.¬†And the only change, which comes from being there is usually a worsening of circumstances. The status quo dips, because as human beings we’re not born to play it safe–because there’s no such thing. What we say ‘no’ to today in terms of risk toward what WE WANT, will haunt us in many tomorrows to come.

Those who keep risking pay attention to that other voice within them, the one who is willing to get up, dust itself off and move toward that dream today. It doesn’t wait for a sign or the moment, it goes for it, because waiting just means more time passes where we could be living large!

The bolder individuals¬†who don’t let their past failures dictate their future, understand discomfort is part of the process.

What do they do?

  • Rejection and obstacles are temporary and not meant to be taken personally.
  • They stay open and vulnerable when its risky, they know its their true strength.
  • Expand¬†their small world for their bigger dreams
  • Become more responsible for their lives, not blaming any circumstances outside of them for where they are now.
  • Have passion and excitement for their dream.
  • They spend time visualizing the goal (not the how), but the results they want–they see it, hear it and feel it! Even when they’re reality doesn’t reflect anything that shows what they want it to be.

Having faith in possibilities takes courage, while faith in failure is easy.

When we claim our value and know we deserve to live OUR dreams, we can face challenges, disappointments and doors closing, because we have the faith to know that our perseverance will pay off. Dropping the weight of the past, gives us freedom to have faith in the opportunity for a kickass life!

 

 

The Myth of Easy-Going and Low-Maintenance

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It used to be my favorite way to describe myself.

There’s no such thing as easy-going or low maintenance.

Instead, let’s call it what it is….¬†pretending, sucking down one’s feelings and going along, to get along.

Sometimes it’s situational. In one relationship or environment, we stand for ourselves and in another, we feel fear from dissent of being abandoned or not liked, basically fearing some form of loss….so we suck it up.

We may give into the louder person, who¬†talks over others, and intimidates us. Whether they’re right or wrong, we might shut down, because we don’t want the confrontation.¬†Unfortunately, those emotions have to go somewhere and usually they get piled up inside us, with all the other instances, where we let ourselves down.

Is it to be confrontational and get our way every time?

No, not at all.

It’s to be authentic and state where we are, what we truly want and not lie to ourselves and the world that we’re okay, when we’re not….especially, when others try to convince us, their way is the right way.

We all have insecurities, the person talking over us and the person sucking it in.

For me, I’ve come to find it’s easier to just admit and¬†own em’!

Walking with confidence and owning our flaws, or fears–they cease to rule us.

It’s not¬†to convince other people, they have a problem, it’s a fruitless conversation, unless they¬†possess self-awareness and¬†want¬†to change for themselves.

We find people to do the dance with us.

Some¬†people I work with have¬†a partner,¬†who¬†they allow to convince them that their own value system is wrong, while this mate is right. On the surface it appears they’re in agreement, while underneath it, my client is suffering. This suffering¬†affects their perception, which affects their actions.

People who tell me they’re easy-going are usually holding back on what they really want–they’re afraid to be authentic. Torturing themselves¬†to convince those who matter, it’s all okay. BUT….In other situations, where loss isn’t important, they’re authentic.

At some point, pretending creates dissension and drama–we don’t get what we want. Even if someone sticks around through our giving up of who we are,¬†it’ll feel empty.

Higher maintenance¬†means we aren’t seeking validation from another; we don’t need to live up to their standards or what is¬†inauthentic….we get to accept ourselves without feeling compromised inside.

Professionally or personally, ground rules for engagement are important.

Boundaries.

Some have no boundaries.

It may seem easier to be a doormat–then everyone will like us and think we’re wonderful, except there’s a cost to us.

In stating our truth, there’s no expectation to get our way over another, it’s to create a place of safe¬†discourse, in which expression is key. We can choose in honesty. “I don’t want to, but I’ll do it” or “I don’t want to, and I’m not doing it.”

If we don’t express truth, to appease someone else, we have to live with that¬†shitty feeling¬†of¬†lacking courage and self-love.

We’re all¬†flawed beings,¬†full of insecurities and greatness.

Lacking confidence, we may try our damnedest to cover up insecurities; resulting in bullying others, or being the quiet one or the people-pleaser.

When I proudly wore the¬†low maintenance label,¬†I didn’t want to make a decision. I’d let someone else choose,¬†and I’d have a problem with it, yet I kept quiet¬†and went¬†along. I’d build resentment, but¬†I didn’t want to lose anyone.

Lying to ourselves and others….creates a vicious circle, of more lies and non-acceptance of who we are….and what will stop it?

It might leave others scratching their heads when the eventual truth comes out!

Pretending is not okay.

People do this for years,¬†thinking something will change. They don’t want to develop boundaries, so they’ll say…“I’ll pretend until this situation blows over.” Meanwhile, they’re angry inside and may act out in a variety of destructive ways.

If we want to be treated differently, we must treat ourselves differently first.

We must question the value we place on others, over the love for ourselves. An authentic relationship, is characterized by withstanding the storms, without pretending and placing honesty with love as a main value.

Being higher maintenance means strong boundaries, BASED on who we are and our self-respect.

Breaking Through Inadequacy

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We all feel inadequate at times.

Perhaps, we’re in a room full of people who appear to know more in some capacity¬†than we do, or a job interview, or a date with someone we think is out of our league, or being caught making a mistake, and so on.

How we see our perceived shortcomings has an impact on our choices.

For some we shrink and hide, looking for sympathy, perhaps wanting others to commiserate with us. Others may love support, a kick in the butt or something, which gives them the gumption to rise out of the dampening effect inadequacy has and go after the life they want.

In having¬†a real desire, we may find ways to tell ourselves, ‘we can’t have it.’ Especially, if it seems out of the realm of ‘our possibilities.’

We may delay, or disregard our desire, because we don’t feel good enough. It doesn’t matter what we’ve accomplished so far, it¬†applies to all of us, in every walk of life.

Many successful people, aren’t following their deeper appetites. Others, who skim the edges of success, may not find the gumption to rise out of victimizing themselves, every time they fall down and just press ‘repeat.’

Who does it serve to allow our inadequacies to hold us back?

I played small, when it came to the truth of who I am. I could do well at certain types of jobs like sales, marketing and management, but to trust the deeper longing of what I wanted, was hard to entertain.

I¬†lacked clarity around knowing….what was my¬†deeper desire?¬†Why did I feel so inadequate, when I saw my life played out in those brief moments of connecting to that desire?

We tend to do what comes easily to us, whether we love it or not. Many of us fall into careers without any foresight; a job was offered and we took it.

Feeling inadequate, leads to comparing ourselves to others; seeing them as more talented, better looking, excelling at something as we stand, not sure to trust our deepest truth.

I’ve written and edited most of my career for different purposes. Whether it was in school, on the job or helping someone out….I was always complimented on my writing. Always.

And do you know what I did? I blew it off.

I used to compare myself to others who appeared far more talented, and instead of compliments feeding me to do more, it made me hold tighter to feeling inadequate and hide.

It didn’t matter that I felt totally in sync with myself while writing, or that I could actually become giddy at the prospect; this freakin’ inadequacy made me feel¬†small when I wrote….and controlled what I was willing to write about too.

Inadequacy leads to¬†staying stuck in bad relationships, jobs, or other commitments, we’ve outgrown or we said ‘yes’ to out of fear. We can do this our entire lives.

Lately, I’ve been questioning¬†what else hides behind any other perceived inadequacies.

Based on my growing unrest with having coached people in and around relationships; I see¬†my own evolution. From the faintest stirring to the overwhelming pull within me… stay where it’s safe? Or, bust out¬†of feeling¬†completely inadequate, and step up to¬†live out my aspirations?

What happens when we allow our inadequacies to rule?

Regret.

We can keep doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a miracle or someone else to¬†find us, dust us off and show us the way…

Or…

Screw the inadequacies and live an ass-kickin’ existence!

Who cares if¬†we’re the best or the worst? In the scheme of things, doing what we really crave can make the opinions of others null and void….plus¬†motivated¬†by¬†passion, people and opportunities come along that would’ve missed us, had we chosen to stay stuck hiding behind our shield of inadequacy.

For clarity and to create action, I’m writing a list of all that I deeply crave, but feels impossible and without rules, I’m doing it!

What about you? What are the inadequacies you feel hold you back? And what are you doing about it?

Please share in the comments below.