Thursday Thought: Maybe it’s supposed to be challenging.

Life is challenging. Can I get an ‘Amen’? I feel like there’s a lot of marketing telling us that it doesn’t need to be challenging. That we deserve to have it easy and fun.

This really feeds into how our brains naturally function. Two of its main goals are to expend the least amount of energy and seek pleasure.

I’m all for trying to make things easier and more enjoyable. But the biggest problem I see is when things in our lives feel really hard, heavy, and uncomfortable we think something has gone wrong, or we’re doing something wrong.

We think, “This isn’t fair.” or “If I could just be better, this wouldn’t be so hard.”

What if those thoughts just weren’t true? What if “this” situation, whatever it is for you or me, IS supposed to be challenging for YOU or ME.

What if it was okay that it was challenging? What if we were like a soccer player, who was used to being the best player on her team, but now she’s been moved to a better team? Now is supposed to be challenging, and it’s okay.

Don’t listen to your brain when it tells you there’s something wrong because it’s difficult. For sure, don’t listen to the lie that if you were somehow better or different that “this” wouldn’t be challenging.

Maybe it’s okay if “this” is challenging.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Thursday Thought: Maybe Happiness Isn’t the Goal

There’s this song that has always made me feel a little uneasy. It says, “Choose the right way, and be happy, I must always choose the right.” As I type this, I realize there are many ways to interpret that thought. But this is an example of what I was talking about on Monday when I said that one thought does not fit everyone.

The way my brain interprets this song is that if you do what is “right”, you will feel happy. This is a dangerous thought for a lot of us, because then if we don’t feel happy, we tell ourselves we must be doing something wrong.

The problem is that happiness doesn’t come from our actions. Happiness comes from our thoughts. You can do everything “right” and still feel unhappy because of your thoughts about it.

What if happiness isn’t the goal? What if we stopped using how happy we are as an indicator of how moral we are, or how well we’re doing at life? What if the goal were actually to feel all ranges of emotion….happy, sad, anxious, depressed, loving, dislike, emotional, excited? What if you’re doing it “right” when you feel all of these things?

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

One Thought Does Not Fit All

Thoughts are like clothes. They fit differently for different people. You know that friend that dresses so cute, and then you try on her clothes, and even if they fit your body, you don’t feel very good in them?

Thoughts are like that. I may share a thought here that sounds so nice, and really works for me, or for one of my clients. You may try it on, but every time you think it you feel not quite right.

I want you to know that doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. It just means that thought isn’t for you. That doesn’t mean thought work isn’t for you; it just means it’s not a helpful thought…for you.

So how do you know if a thought fits? Notice how it makes you feel. Remember: circumstances trigger thoughts, which create feelings that drive our actions, which give us our results.

You know a thought is helpful when it creates a feeling in you that drives actions or behaviours that get you the results that you want.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Thursday Thought: He won’t let me miss the warning

On Monday I posted about an experience I had about wondering whether a “warning” was the Spirit speaking to me, or if it was my thoughts. Check it out if you’re interested. My go-to thought in this situation is, “He won’t let me miss the warning.”

I believe that if there is anything that would change my life, or anyone I have responsibility for, in an irreparable way, Heavenly Father will make sure I know He is talking to me. He is in charge. We are like children who think we’re doing all of the work of making dinner when we pour the water into the rice pot.

If my kids were in danger that day, and if I was supposed to go pick them up early, I believe Heavenly Father would have made sure I knew He was talking to me, especially as I was trying to be in-tune. This puts my mind at ease, and helps me trust the impressions I get, and gives me space to learn how to recognize the Spirit more clearly. What thoughts help you recognize the Spirit in your life?

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

When Is It My Thoughts, And When Is It The Spirit?

Have you ever heard someone say, “That was my depression talking,” or “That’s my anxiety talking,”? These phrases can be really helpful if we’re feeling like there’s something wrong with us because we feel depression or anxiety.

The other day, when the boys were in school, I was driving home from shopping, and I had the thought, “Something terrible is going to happen at 2pm. I need to go pick up the boys early from school.”

Have you ever had a thought like this and wondered if it was just your thoughts, or if it was the Spirit warning you to take action? This day, the more and more I thought this thought, the more frightened I felt. I could feel my heart racing, and my palms even started to get sweaty. I prayed, wondering if I was just freaking myself out, or if this was something I really needed to pay attention to.

The thought came to me, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace“. That’s not how I was feeling. I was feeling very afraid and urgent.

Of course, we all figure out how the Spirit speaks to us for ourselves. But I’ve had this question myself, and I’ve had others ask me, “How do I know when it’s my anxiety or depression speaking, and when it’s the Spirit?” I would ask you, “How does it make you feel?” Watch for this coming Thursday’s post for my go-to thought in this situation.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Thursday Thought: ALL the adults are making it up

When I was a kid, I was excited to be an adult and really know what I’m doing. Then I became an adult, and I realized I don’t know what I’m doing. However, I imagined that everyone around me had life mostly figured out. They seemed confident. Of course, I realized there were some things they were figuring out, but they seemed confident in figuring it out.

My friend said to me the other day, “You know what I realized? ALL of the adults are just making it up.” It totally blew my mind. It’s so true! We all feel confident in some areas, and we all have areas where we don’t feel quite as confident. But even when we feel confident about something, we’re still just deciding to be confident. Confidence comes from our thoughts.

So, if you ever feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re just getting by day-to-day. Just know that…ALL of us adults are just making it up. That’s the fun of being an adult, and sometimes the scary of being an adult.

If you don’t like what you’re making up, and you’d like some help to make up something different, or to feel confident about it, sign-up for a free one-on-one coaching session where I’ll teach you how to create your life on purpose.

Thursday Thought: I have plenty of time to do what I need to, and there’s time left over for fun

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my relationship with concepts, such as money and time. If time were a person, what would my relationship with Time be like? How do I think about this person TIME?

Some of my thoughts I’ve had about Time are: she’s never enough; I never have fun with her; I never get to take a break with her; She is controlling me; I need to control her. If I thought these things about a friend, I wouldn’t feel like we were very good friends.

I try to think these thoughts about Time: She’s always enough; I make sure I have fun with her sometimes; I plan with her so that I can work, play, relax, learn, and do all of the things I want to do with her.

I came up with this thought with a client I was working with: I have plenty of time to do what I need to, and there’s time left over for fun. If you feel like it’s really true that you don’t have enough time, try It’s possible, I have plenty of time to do what I need to, and there’s time left over for fun.

Sign-up for a free coaching session, and I will help you create a more relaxed relationship with time.

Struggling with a Transition? Read on…

This is a picture of my Grandma and me just before I left on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This was one of the times I remember really struggling with a transition to something new. The day I entered the Missionary Training Center, I thought I felt good, but looking back I realize I just didn’t feel bad. I actually didn’t feel anything. Feeling nothing was better than feeling scared, right?

That first night all of the new missionaries came together for a special meeting with the Mission President. The closing song was “Lord, I Would Follow Thee”. During the hymn I started crying, which was fine until I realized it was becoming uncontrollable. I was in the second row to the front, right where I felt like everyone sitting at the front of the meeting could see me. As we were dismissed, I hurried into the hall, but I wasn’t alone. The Mission President’s wife followed me and hurried me into the first door she could find, which happened to be the custodial closet. She put her arm around me and asked, “Is everything in your life in order?” I was mortified. She thought I was crying because I had done something that I needed to repent of. I don’t blame her. Why else would I be crying so uncontrollably in a public place?

What I didn’t know then, but that I know now, is that big transitions are really hard for me because I have a lot of practiced thoughts about doing new things. I think  thoughts such as: I should know how to do this; Mistakes are bad; Everyone else knows what they’re doing; Others won’t like me if I do this wrong; I’m the only one that doesn’t know what’s going on; I have to do this right.

I’ve never really even articulated those thoughts as what causes my pain. But when I write them down, I can see why they would create so much fear. Thoughts I’m practicing now during transitions are: I don’t need to know how to do this yet, that’s what I’m figuring out; If I already knew how to do this, I would have already done it; Everyone has to figure this out for themselves; No one is born knowing how to do this; I’m willing to do it wrong; There’s probably someone else who would benefit by me asking a question or getting clarification. If you’re struggling through something new, notice what you’re thinking, and try on some of these thoughts.

If you would like some one-on-one help, sign-up for a free coaching session with me. I’ll help you understand what’s so hard, and how to help yourself through it.

 

How to Improve Any Relationship

I’ve talked about The Manual before and the gist is that we all have detailed instructions for how we think other people in our lives should act and be and feel. The problem is the people in our lives don’t have copies of these manuals, and even if they did, they wouldn’t follow them because it’s like trying to get a refrigerator to be a microwave. It could probably do a few of the same things, but it’s a refrigerator not a microwave.

Today when I was writing down my manual for someone else, so I could take a look at it, I realized that the main problem in that relationship was my manual for myself in that relationship. Did you know we also have manuals for ourselves? What? Well, of course we would follow our own manuals, right?

If we’ve never really sat down and written out our manuals, we don’t really know what’s in them. I had things in my manual like, “I should be calm all of the time.” “I should want to hang out with everyone who wants to hang out with me.” “I should never disappoint my husband.”

Obviously, those instructions aren’t helpful, realistic, or even healthy. What’s in your manual? Write down 10 things right now. Then for each one ask yourself how it makes you feel. Is it useful?

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.