Thursday Thought: What am I trying to control outside of me?

Have you ever been told you’re controlling? Do you feel angry even thinking about someone telling you you’re controlling? When someone says to me that I’m being controlling, I start to go into defense mode of how I’m just right. If people would let me control them, it would all be so much better, right?

If you’ve come up against this, I’m sure you’re aware, that we can’t control other people, or how they feel, or how they think, no matter if we think it would be better if we could. The only thing that happens is we’re uptight.

When you feel uptight, ask yourself, “What am I trying to control? Am I trying to control how someone acts, thinks, feels?” Take a deep breath, and bring it in. What do you really have control over? You can control how you think and feel about it/them. You can control how you react. You can control your breathing. You can control your words. Really you have so much control, so you can let go of the control of other people and situations. Isn’t that a relief?

If you want help figuring out how to let go of controlling others, and start controlling what’s going on inside, set up a free mini-session with me here.

Thursday Thought: What empathy and advice would I give my best friend in this exact situation?

Sometimes I’ll go back and read something I wrote and think, “Wow! That’s so helpful!”

When I’m writing blog posts, I’m not thinking of me. I’m thinking of my clients. The ones who feel so lost and are struggling. I don’t feel that way nearly as much as I used to, but I still do sometimes.

I had some time today when I was really struggling. I thought, “I think I wrote a post about this.” I went and read it, and it was really helpful.

I believe we all have wisdom inside of us. Sometimes our brains on auto-pilot get in the way because they are in survival mode. To tap into our wisdom, we have to be very conscious. That’s when we’re using our pre-frontal cortex, or what I like to call our higher brain.

I encourage you to choose an area in your life where you are struggling. Imagine your best friend, whom you love, is going through what you are, instead of you. Have her tell you why everything is so hard. What would you tell her? What empathy would you give, and what advice would you give? You may be amazed at what comes out of your own brain. The answers to your problems are inside of you.

Ask yourself, “What empathy and advice would I give to my best friend in this exact situation?”

What is Emotional Pain?

When I was in high school, I joined the track team….for two whole weeks. I dropped out because my body was not used to working out like that and I was so sore I couldn’t take a baby step without immense pain. I wasn’t injured, I was just VERY sore. What do you think would have happened if I had continued? Of course, it would have gotten easier. The pain would have gone away after awhile, and I would have been stronger. I didn’t have anyone to tell me that’s all that was going on (or maybe they did and I didn’t listen), I thought I was going to feel that way forever, and I was like, “I’m out!”

Mental Health is kind of like Physical Health. When you work out and you’re pushing yourself to get stronger, you feel physical pain. You don’t freak out about it, if you’re expecting it, because you know that’s part of getting stronger. Sometimes it even feels good because you know it means you’ve worked hard and that it’s going to lead to a result you want. It’s kind of a sign that you’re on the right track.

When something unexpected happens in our lives, we have a big change, or if we start working towards a goal, that is like working out emotionally. We are going to feel emotional pain in the form of “negative” emotions. I’m here to tell you it’s just fine. This emotional pain is to be expected. You don’t have to let it stop you. It just means you’re living life.

If it feels like too much, or you’re not sure what to do with it, sign-up for a free mini-session with me, and I’m happy to show you what’s going on and why it feels so terrible, and how to get a little relief.

What is Mental Health?

We are hearing more and more about mental illness, which I think is so great that it’s much less of a taboo subject. Do you ever wonder if you have mental illness? Do you know what it means to be mentally healthy? When this question was posed to me, I thought, “I’m not sure. Sometimes I’m happy. Sometimes I feel really upset, even despair. Does that mean I’m mentally ill?” You guys, I have questioned my mental health since I was a teenager. I remember cutting an article out of the Ensign about depression and telling my dad that I thought I might be depressed, but I wasn’t sure. I was happy sometimes, but sometimes I just couldn’t kick this feeling of sadness, awkwardness, not-fitting-in-ness, there’s-something-wrong-with-me-ness. I thought I was good if I was happy and peaceful, and bad if I was mad, embarrassed, ashamed, depressed. I was okay if I was sad. That was an acceptable “negative” emotion. Or frustrated, that was another acceptable “negative” emotion.

I remember once a friend asking me if I ever got mad, like it was good that I never got mad. I honestly felt like I didn’t get mad, I just got frustrated. It’s very probable I did get mad, but it wasn’t acceptable to me so I pushed it away. Do you think that about people? “They’re so good, they’re just so happy all of the time.” I’m not saying it’s bad to be happy either, just that that’s not the definition of goodness or mental wellness.

So, what does it mean to be mentally healthy, or emotionally well? I’m just barely exploring this as I write this, but I don’t think it means to be happy all of the time. I don’t think it means to have certain emotions that are “okay” to feel and that you don’t feel the rest if you’re mentally well. I think it means you are aware of your emotions. You’re aware of how they affect you. You realize that your thoughts create your emotions, not anything or anyone outside of you. You know that your thoughts are not YOU. They’re just thoughts. But if you don’t take time to slow it all down, you think they’re facts. “This is just how my world is.” But really they’re just thoughts that are just as much true as they are untrue.

If you want help figuring out what thoughts are causing your emotional pain, or figuring out how the circumstances in your life aren’t causing your emotional pain, sign-up for a free mini-session with me where I can help you with ANYthing that’s “causing” you pain.

I’ll Tell You What I Want, What I Really Really Want

I totally hope you’re singing that song right now in your head. If you don’t know the song, Don’t go look it up, just sayin’. It’s one of those I loved as a teen, now that I have kids, not sure it’s that great. haha Anyway, so many times we get caught up in feeling sorry for ourselves, and feeling like there’s nothing we can do to change our situation. For example, for a long time I had this thought that I wanted a bigger house. I felt so sorry for myself that I couldn’t have one because we didn’t have enough money for one in the area we lived. As I did thought work around it, I realized I did want a bigger house, and there were a lot of ways to get it. I could get a bigger mortgage. I could just move into an empty one and see how long it took before I went to jail. I could move out to the middle of nowhere and buy one for the same price we paid for our current house. I’m sure there are some other options, too. So there’s what I want: a bigger house. And there’s what I REALLY want: to have what I think is a manageable mortgage, stay out of jail, live closer to Steve’s job.

You may think, “Well, of course, you want those more, but you still don’t get your big house.” But it’s true, we make choices, and it’s important to tell ourselves the truth that we’re making the choice. It’s not just happening to us. This happens in every area of our lives where we feel like we don’t have a choice. Where do you feel like you have no choice? You CAN’T have something you want, or you HAVE to do something you don’t want to do. What are the alternatives? Is someone going to be mad? Would you have to do something against your moral values?

Be sure to tell yourself the truth. I ALWAYS have a choice. Not to be mean to yourself, but because this exercise also shows us that there are other ways, and you just might find one that you like. But as soon as you tell yourself you have no choice, you stop looking for other options. Besides it feels terrible.

Comment and let me know how you found an option you didn’t know was there because you reminded yourself you always have a choice.

Thursday Thought: Enough Is A Decision, Not An Amount

My brain has been feeding me the thought lately of, “I’m not good enough.” This thought seems to be pretty universal. But the cool thing about thought work is knowing that it’s JUST a thought. It’s not true or false. Usually, if it’s a thought that comes to you a lot, it’s because it’s a thought that you believe is somewhat true. Usually the thoughts we don’t believe at all just pass on by.

So, I’ve been thinking this thought a lot, and it makes me feel insecure. Well, my friend told me this thought, “Enough is a decision, not an amount.” When she first told me, I was thinking of it in terms of doing things. Which is still really helpful. But then I applied it to just who I am. I get to decide that I’m enough.

Running a 10k, or starting a business, or weighing a certain amount, or having 10 kids, or having kids that are smart, or being pretty doesn’t make me enough. I just decide I’m enough.

Sometimes when things turn out the way we want to, then we give ourselves permission to believe we’re enough. But those things didn’t make us enough, our thoughts make us feel like we’re enough. No matter if we make money, our kids are smart or struggle, we have no kids or 25 kids, we weigh 100 pounds or 500 pounds. We get to believe we’re enough whenever we want. And no one has to agree with us.

How many times have you heard your friend say, “I’m just not good enough,” and you’re like, “What?! You who are skinny and nice and pretty and talented and don’t yell at your kids. Tell me what makes you not good enough.” Their brains will focus on some evidence of how they’re not perfect in some way, just like your brain is focusing on evidence of why you’re not perfect. Good enough doesn’t mean perfect. It also doesn’t mean you won’t improve. In fact, good enough means you’re not perfect. It means you’re enough, imperfections and all.

So, just decide you’re good enough, right now, before you reach your goal, while your kids are struggling, while you’re struggling.

Comment and tell me how you’re good enough right now, even though you’re not perfect.

Drowning

I love that sketch by Jim Gaffigan: 4 Kids. “Do you want to know what it’s like to have a fourth (kid)? Just imagine you’re drowning, and then someone hands you a baby.”

I have two kids, and I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to have 4 kids to feel like you’re drowning. You can have one child and feel like you’re drowning. I used to have these really unhelpful thoughts like, “My mom had 8 kids and she was amazing. I can’t even cut it with only 2.” I think you all know this, but comparison is the killer of joy. I just want to say in this post, if you feel like you’re drowning, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or your life. You’re just a human having a human experience. The only reason you feel like you’re drowning is because of what you’re believing about you and your life. EVERYTHING you’re believing is optional. You may tell me you have a ton of evidence that it’s true. But pick one thing, turn it around to the opposite and then tell me a reason why that is just as true. It’s there.

If you feel like you’re drowning, send me a message, and I’d love to chat with you. I’m in the middle of writing a program specifically for you. I can help you! You don’t have to feel this way forever. And you don’t have to give up your kids, although you can if you want to. 😉

Seriously, send me a message or sign-up for a free mini-session. It’s like a free sample at Costco. It’s amazing how even just one 30 minute session can help. And I’ll tell you how you can work with me more if you want to know, but you’re more than welcome to just enjoy the help you get from the one mini-session. There IS hope, I promise!

When Everything Is All Wrong

You’re worried about your child’s health. There’s not enough money in the bank. You overate. again. You blew up at your husband. again. Your lesson for church isn’t coming together. You feel like the heavens are closed. You’re pretty sure you’re messing your kids up. Your friend cancelled your girls’ night. And seriously why does everyone in your family need to eat dinner every.single.night.

What if I told you you’re right on track? This just means that you’re trying to do something hard or different and your brain is trying to talk you out of it. “But I’m not working on anything right now.” You say to me. Are you sure? Think about it. What have you been trying to progress at, or do differently recently? Your brain is just feeding you negative thoughts to try to get you to zone out, watch Netflix, and eat candy.

Now that you’re onto your brain, what DO you want to think about what is going on in your life? Do you want to think that everything has gone wrong? Or do you want to think that everything is going just the way it’s supposed to, and see how it’s helping you grow and become more of who you want to be?

Thursday Thought: I’m Willing To Figure This Out No Matter What

On Monday, I asked you, “What problem are you trying to solve, and you just can’t seem to find the answer to? If you knew the answer, what would it be?” So you get your answer, and you try it out, but it doesn’t work. Then what do you do? Most of us give up. We have thoughts like, “I knew that wouldn’t work.” “I shouldn’t have tried.”  It’s like running a race, and just sitting down when we realize we’re not going to come in first. Life isn’t a race, but we do this with everything from problems our kids are going through, losing weight, any sort of goal we set.

What if you didn’t give up? What if you were willing to try again, every.single.time? What if you were willing to fail over and over again until you succeeded?

When there’s something you really want to do, try on the thought, “I’m willing to figure this out no matter what.”

When You Don’t Know What To Do

Earlier I wrote a post about how, “I don’t know,” is always a lie. For awhile, whenever my kids would tell me, “I don’t know.” I would ask them, “If you did know, what would you say?” They started revolting a little, so I stopped asking the question as often. Then the other day, my son asked me a question. Honestly, I wasn’t paying very close attention, but it was some informational question that I didn’t know the actual answer to. When I nonchalantly told him, “I don’t know.” He asked, with a smile on his face, “If you did know, what would you say?” I laughed and totally guessed the answer, and told him I was totally guessing.

We all have wisdom inside of us, and this is a way to get it out. What problem are you trying to solve, and you just can’t seem to find the answer to? If you knew the answer, what would it be?