When I start to feel off-balance, it is often because I have begun to skip the activities on my Self-Discipline tactics I am about to list. While I know it is counter-productive, the pattern is so easy to get trapped into. It starts with (a) getting overwhelmed then (b) crawling up on the couch and vegging and then (c) sleep and repeat.
Once I do this for more than one day, I find myself getting stuck and it is very hard to get unstuck – especially with the chronic pain I suffer from. For you, it may be pain as well that stops you or it might be just negative thoughts – which can be just as exhausting.
I am hoping this list will serve as a good reminder of your projected daily goals. You can alter it slightly to fit what works for you. The point is to at least have a list that you can refer to when you start to feel yourself feel off balance. A good tip is to read through them in the morning (out loud) so that the universe can hear your intention. As I have stated before, what you put into the universe usually cycles back around to you.
Wake up on Time (or even earlier). Set an alarm and get up when your alarm goes off. Just by doing that simple task, you are inserting your drive to succeed. It takes self-discipline to get up on time or even early.
Daily Exercise. It does not have to be crazy but MOVE. When we move, we release endorphins which helps with depression and anxiety. My personal goal (beyond daily exercise) is to exercise for thirty min. five times a week.
Eat Healthy. When we eat crap food, we often feel crappy inside. When I am consistent with my macro counting, my energy levels increase and I generally feel happier. You can enjoy a piece of chocolate or a cookie every now and then, but try to watch your overall consumption.
Follow-Through. Self-discipline is often in the follow-through. This does not mean saying yes to everything. What it means is if you do commit to something, try to keep that commitment.
Avoid Temptation. A great way to build self-discipline is to avoid things you know you don’t want. For example, if you know your overall goal is to eat healthy, don’t buy doughnuts.
Show Respect Toward Others. Being kind can have a ripple effect. Control your inner anger/frustration and choose to be respectful toward others, even if they are not that way toward you. Take the higher road.
Personal Growth Time. Give yourself at least fifteen minutes a day to do personal growth, whether that is reading, listening to a podcast, or writing in a journal.
Meet Deadlines, AKA: Don’t Procrastinate. You have to do something? Just do it. Don’t put it off because you don’t feel like it.
Sometimes in order to heal, we have to forgive ourselves for our imperfections and mistakes. The hard part is “how”.
In my experience, the first step is acknowledging whatever it is that is keeping you stuck. That moment in time doesn’t have to be acknowledged to anyone but yourself. It just has to be present so that you can finally move forward.
Let yourself feel the feeling you don’t want to feel. It is easy to numb the pain. However, by numbing your emotions, you do not allow yourself to heal. Feeling – while uncomfortable at times – allows you to grow and gain resilience.
Once you acknowledge the event and allow yourself to truly feel the emotions that come with it, it is time to let it go. Close your eyes, and picture that horrible feeling in a balloon. See yourself holding that balloon and then letting it slip away into the universe – never to be seen again.
Below is the message that was inside my imaginery balloon:
Two and half years ago you were a hot mess. You were so focused on saving someone else’s life that you forgot your own self-worth, and ultimately the destruction that it was doing to your own life. I know you were in pain and just trying to stay afloat, but I was mad at you for that unrecognizable person you had become in order to juggle your pain .
Yet – at the same time – I have begun to realize how hard I was on you; you needed someone to be cheering you on, not someone tearing you down. I beat us up more than anyone ever could.
I forgive you for the mistakes you made and I’m sorry I abandoned you when you needed me the most. I’m sorry you felt like you desperately had to fix others, when your own hands were bleeding. I’m sorry I did not love you the way you deserved to be loved. I realize I caused our own destruction by not seeing self-care as a priority.
I promise to do a better job at putting you first, especially at times when I am feeling too much of my surroundings.
It’s crazy to think I am thirty years old – not because I think it is an old age, but rather because time is going so insanely fast. One moment we are all graduating high school and the next, everyone is settling down in their careers and building a family of their own.
To celebrate this monumental age, I wanted to share thirty lessons I have learned along the way. Some I wish I had known (or come to realize) sooner!
Hint: You might recognize some of these lessons as topics of previous blog posts.
Mindset is everything. A negative mindset will keep you from reaching your full potential in life. A positive mindset will make you unstoppable! Force yourself to challenge your thoughts, and say positive things to yourself like you would to a friend.
Friends come, and friends go. Life is always evolving. Some people may be here for a season or some for a lifetime. Either way, chances are there is a lesson attached.
Change is always possible. Never settle. You are never stuck if you don’t want to be.
Toxic is toxic. Set boundaries for yourself and keep them.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Each of us have different experiences in life that make up who we are. Your path is unique to you.
Be transparent. Be real. Share your story with others, even if it is scary. You never know who you may inspire.
Fall seven times, get up eight. Keep going.
Self-love and compassion are essential.
Be around like-minded people and people who share the same vision as you.
Don’t rush time. Time goes fast. Enjoy the time you have with your loved ones.
Be mindful who you take advice from.
Learn to take constructive criticism so that you are able to grow.
Be open-minded. Try to see situations from all angles.
Feel your emotions, don’t run from them. When you try to numb pain, it just manifests into something negative. Allow yourself to feel and heal from what is hurting you.
Love the people that support you.
Time helps to heal. It doesn’t erase memories; it just makes them easier to grasp.
Complaining about everything will not help solve your problems.
Never work for money, work for your passion.
Take educated risks. Do your research, but do not be afraid to change things up.
Work out to make your body stronger, not because you feel like you have to look a certain way.
Do some type of personal growth daily – whether it is reading, journaling, yoga, etc.
Gossiping is useless and hurtful. Challenge yourself not to engage in it.
Listen more, talk less.
Speak up for yourself and for those you love.
Travel – see how differently the world is beyond your world.
Give back to the community, whether it is charity work or fundraisers. Think beyond just you.
Worry less about what others think and worry more about what God has placed on your heart.
Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.
Don’t worry so much about the past. It is done and over with. You can’t go back – you can only make this moment and beyond count.
You don’t have to be in a relationship to be happy. Happiness comes from within.
After going to a conference a month ago, I decided to pick a word for 2020 that I would force myself to work on throughout the entire year. My word was “confidence”. While it may look like I have a ton of confidence and high self-esteem, it is far from the truth. I do my best to portray confidence, so that in return, I might gain confidence back.
Working out your innermost demons can be a daily struggle, but it is necessary in order to grow. But where do you even begin?
It begins with decision, which is then accompanied by daily ACTION. Mindset is everything when it comes to overcoming negative self-esteem.
Here are some simple tips on how to build self-esteem and gain confidence:
Start your morning out right – Set your intention for the day. Say out loud – in front of a mirror – your affirmations (ex: “I am strong. I am smart. I am a warrior.”)
Stop the negative voices/self-talk – Anytime you hear yourself saying something negative, stop and think about what you are saying. Would you say that to a friend?
Widen your lens – Get out of your own head and body. What good can you do out in the world? Volunteer, hold a door, help a friend, fundraise.
Manage your expectations – What are you asking of yourself? It is good to think big; but in retrospect, keep your goals measurable. Look up “S.M.A.R.T.” goals for more reference.
Don’t compare – Your fifth step cannot be compared to someone’s tenth. There is so much that is unseen and each of our journey’s are different. Stop yourself from trying to compare.
Practice meditation/self-reflecting – Practice for at least 10-15 minutes a day. Slow down your mind by either meditating or doing yoga so that you can release those negative thoughts into the atmosphere.
Reflect, Rather than React – Accept constructive criticism rather than react to it. Let it better you, not tear you down. No one started at the top.
Take risks – Seek out the uncomfortable because ultimately it will help you grow.
List the positive – List out three positive things you did each day.
“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”
One of the coolest things about being a human being is that we are each unique due to our various experiences and circumstances. These layers of influences have shaped our beliefs whether we realize it or not, and have created the person we are today.
This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. While we use our values to have a positive impact on the world, we also have limiting beliefs about ourselves that we have formed from an early age. The negative beliefs, while we try to repress them, are actually working subconsciously throughout our everyday life.
While on a coaching call the other night, my friend pointed out to me that I had a pattern – a pattern that was influenced by something called a “core-conflict”. We began talking it out and I realized that everytime I thought I wasn’t going to succeed in something, I gave up. I wouldn’t let myself completely fail. By doing that, I never let myself completely succeed in something because I stopped anytime a bump in the road came. The road to success is often very bumpy. As Rachel Hollis says, you have to let yourself “fail forward” many times in order to achieve the very thing you want. Success is not linear, but rather a curvy line.
When I realized this talking to my coach, it angered me. I began to think of all the things I quit prematurely – – multiple sports, swimming, acting, singing, piano lessons, and dance. I asked her, “Well I just don’t understand…when did I start feeling ‘not good enough’? What was the turning point and why did I feel like I needed to protect myself?”
Her response – “Your core-conflict is often shaped by an event in your childhood (sometime between the ages of two and six) and then continues to fester over time. The good thing is you can rewrite your story. You just have to face it head on.”
I think back and it’s amazing to see how that core-conflict of mine negatively affected my identity and how I went about doing things. To be completely honest and transparent – there have been many times even recently when I thought “what’s the point of my blog and what’s the point of Arbonne – I’m not really helping anyone anyway.” Even though this is not completely true, it “feels” true and it feels safe to take the easy way out. “I can’t fail this way” is what I tell myself. But, in reality the only way I do fail is by quitting.
I know in my heart that God has a huge purpose for me. As I sit here writing this, I know that if I were to continue down this path of self-destruction, my potential would not be met and the people I want to help will never be helped. I have learned I need to trust myself, as I begin to rewrite my story. Trust what I know to be true, and allow those bumps in the road to happen.
According to the Law of Attraction (which I have discussed in my blog before), what you send out into the universe is what you get back. In other words, “believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create that fact.” So if I am to rewrite my story and send positivity out into the world, I must first start by abandoning my core-conflict and allowing myself to feel the emotions connected with failure. By doing that, I will have to practice seeing these experiences as opportunities to practice mindfulness and self-development rather than times that I am “not good enough”.
Whatever your core-conflict is, I challenge you to do some self-reflecting as well. It will hurt to uncover the past and it will be challenging to relearn a new truth about yourself. But I guarantee you it will be worth it. Your purpose is just waiting for you to discover.
The world is full of negative people. In your lifetime, you will come across many people who will tell you that you can’t do something or that your vision is too big. Many of us get discouraged and then tell ourselves that we are incapable of achieving our dream.
I’m here to tell you – GET THAT OUT OF YOUR HEAD. You will be amazed how many opportunities were missed because you told yourself you can’t.
The excuses and mindset blocks keep you from your potential. The only thing you actually need is a desire and indestructible will to get rid of any self-doubt or untrue belief keeping you stuck.
We constantly create our outer world with our inner thoughts without even realizing it. But you can change that.
First, you need to align yourself with a positive outer world who supports your dreams and encourages you to be your best self. Just a fun fact to consider: the five people you hang around the most are what you become. So, if you hang around with people who drain and deplete you, your outer world is going to continue to suffer. If you are not happy at your job, change it. If you aren’t happy in your relationship, change it. Refuse to stay stuck because it will affect your mindset and how you move forward.
Next, start saying positive things to yourself. Consistency is the key. Once you repeat it enough times, you will start to believe it. Try saying these positive affirmations below everyday and let yourself sit with it. Then see the difference it begins to make.
“I am gay. I am straight. I am a lesbian. I am bisexual. I am trans. I AM HUMAN.”
My story is anything but ordinary, especially when it comes to my relationships and sexual orientation.
The most common question I get is, “Did you always know you were attracted to women?” The answer is quite simple – yes, and no. 😉
Growing up, I knew I was attracted to women’s bodies but – if I’m being honest – women, frankly, were annoying to me. I am a low maintenance, fun outdoorsy type. I don’t need a lot of things to make me happy. The girls I grew up with were not like that. So to me, the thought never occurred,”Oh, maybe I could be a lesbian.” I also had the longest crush on a guy for most of my schooling, so again, my sexual orientation was never a question.
During my teenage years, while I was not aware of my own identity, I supported others who were discovering themselves and would praise friends who came out. In addition, I would occasionally check out the LGBT events, but that was about as far as that went.
Then college came. Within the second week of Freshmen year, I fell for a guy, who would later become my husband. For the first year or two, things were great. Then I found out he cheated on me with my roommate, and things were never the same after. We spent ten years in an on-again, off-again relationship (I was definitely not a saint during those years, let me make that clear).
While he grew restless with our relationship, I did as well. Even before getting married, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. In this mixed up time, I was starting to wonder about my sexuality. He found it enticing at first that I could be interested in women, so I began to explore that part of me. As our issues continued to mount, he and I both realized “that part of me” grew louder – especially the more our relationship unraveled.
Fast forward to Fall 2017, I found out he cheated on me again and was browsing internet dating sites . At this point, after just having a miscarriage as well, I was mentally done and checked out of the relationship. I could not give anymore to this marriage no matter what he did to try to make it up. We began living separate lives, but we still lived together. As I described in previous posts, I overdosed on anxiety meds twice during this period of time and drank heavily to deal with the pain. It was December when I downloaded the app “Her” – a lesbian dating app. I was so annoyed at my situation and figured if he can get something from these apps, why can’t I? And a lesbian one, even better – no fucking men!
Long story short, I downloaded the app but barely used it. One – I felt guilty, and two – I wasn’t in the right place to be with anyone. On December 20th, a girl messaged me saying “hey” and asking “what I was looking for”. I think I was in one of those moods where I just didn’t care anymore so I answered and went on about my sob story. The funny thing was – she was going through an almost mirror situation. Talk about the heavens aligning.
We spent a few months talking, supporting each other as friends as we both tried to end our long-term relationships and get our lives back. The more time we spent talking, the more I realized how much I liked her. This was the first time I really felt this deep about someone since my husband – and it was a woman! At the time I was discovering my feelings for her, we never crossed that line from friends to lovers because we knew things were already dicey – but the romantic pull was strong. I liked her as a person and I was insanely attracted to her. I had a hard time comprehending this concept.
After filing for divorce, I began telling my immediate family the situation. At the time, I had no idea if things would work out between her and I, but I knew that I needed to be real with them. My brother and mom supported me wholeheartedly, but it was definitely an adjustment for them as months went on and this girl and I actually began dating. They were not used to seeing me with a female, which lead to some awkward moments to say the least. There were times I cried because I felt like if I was dating a guy it would be different. Guys and girls show affection all the time, why is it so different now that I am with a girl? I knew it would take time for everyone to adjust, so we tried to be more considerate while everyone got to know each other better. It was hard to not show how in love we were though, because – honestly – for the first time in a long time, we both were so happy. We could not hide the happiness we were feeling.
I was hoping that by the time of my mom’s wedding later that year, everyone would be more comfortable. I remember calling my Aunt in fear that my family would not accept me. She told me to calm down, that people’s views are changing and evolving. It just takes time.
By the time of the wedding, everyone had grown to love my girl and, to my surprise, my extended family was so accepting and happy for me. My mom’s cousin’s comment stands out the most – “I’m just so happy -You are happy. Your mom is happy. Mike is happy. Everyone is happy!”
Now two years later, life couldn’t be more amazing. I am still with this amazing girl and she has become a part of my family. And most importantly, I am finally at peace with myself.
So the question I’m sure everyone has on their mind, if you are “bi”, would you ever be with a guy again? The answer is “no”.
The reason? It has nothing to do with my orientation and everything to do with me finding “my person”.
When you find yourself, you know when you have found the right person for you….whether you are gay, straight, bi, queer, lesbian, trans, etc. – you will know. That person will signal those heart strings that say “GAME OVER” and sexual orientation will mean nothing -“I am gay. I am straight. I am a lesbian. I am bisexual. I am trans. I AM HUMAN” just like you.
“When empaths absorb the impact of stressful emotions, it can trigger panic attacks, depression, food, sex and drug binges, and a plethora of physical symptoms that defy traditional medical diagnosis from fatigue to agorophobia.”
Judith Orloff, M.D.
Growing up, I was always told I was “emotional” or “overly sensitive”. While I knew wholeheartedly this was true, the comments would make me feel like something was wrong with me. I hated crying at the drop of a hat and feeling overwhelmed so easily. But, at the same time, I knew I had a gift of helping people. Being emotional allowed me to connect with people; I could empathize easily and be there for others who needed a shoulder to cry on.
I spent years not really understanding this gift/curse; that was until I came across the definition of an empath. According to Dr. Orloff, a psychiatrist and empath herself, an empathic person is someone who “feel(s) everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings.” She states that, “intuition is the filter through which they experience the world. Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners.” I remember thinking, “wow, okay… I guess I’m not weird after all.” I honestly had thought there was something wrong that I could feel ten times more than the normal person. This definition is basically me in a nutshell.
Now, while being an empath has allowed me to help others (like all of you reading my blog!), the downside has been the following:
Overwhelmed by large crowds. Too many emotions at once.
I have to have my down time in the day to decompress.
I am a homebody. It is my safe zone.
If someone is distraught, I start feeling distraught. My heart breaks as if it is me.
Yelling terrifies me.
Stating these things make me feel vulnerable right now, but I feel like it is important to convey. For empathic people, negative behavior is often a result of “the impact of stressful emotions” if boundaries are not set in place. It can “trigger panic attacks, depression, food, sex and drug binges, and a plethora of physical symptoms that defy traditional medical diagnosis from fatigue to agorophobia.”
It is a fantastic feeling to have endless amount of love and compassion. But it can easily become draining if I do not take care of myself. That is why I put so much emphasis on self-care now. Most people I find have a hard time understanding why I am the way I am and WHY I need to put up boundaries. I mean, I don’t blame them – I find myself questioning it myself sometimes.
If you are an empath like me, it is important to find your inner peace – whether that is yoga, meditation, writing, or something else. You will drain yourself taking care of others if you do not recharge. Also know, you are not alone. There are many of us empaths out there going through the same struggle! Honor your gift, but also know when it’s time to take a step back. It does not in any way mean you are a bad person. It means you are human.
“The idea is to write your affirmation on a piece of paper and place it underneath your pillow before you fall asleep.”
Okay, so I cannot claim”The Pillow Method” as my idea – I want to put that out there first and foremost. However, I think the whole concept is an amazing idea and I wanted to share!
As stated in the quote above, “the idea is to write your affirmation on a piece of paper and place it underneath your pillow before you fall asleep.” The reason for this? The moment you fall asleep and the moment you wake up are two crucial times in the day that impact our thinking. It is important to set the right intention to avoid unwanted and negative thought patterns, and to start retraining your brain to think positively.
Why specifically is this effective?
You are allowing your last thoughts of the day to be positive. This can have a positive effect on your dream cycle and also allow you to carry that attitude to the next day. I mean think about it this way – how often do nightmares come from thoughts or events occurring prior to sleeping?
Setting your intention before bed also helps you “rewire subconscious thought patterns” as you sleep. All those underlying thoughts that may be negative, this will help you retrain your brain overtime as you set a new intention for your life.
As you are falling asleep, it is almost like you are “letting go” of any resistance to your desire/affirmation. Let those negative thoughts just float away as you drift asleep and just allow yourself to focus on your goal. Like I stated in a previous blog, there is such thing as the law of attraction. Your positive thoughts can have a huge impact on your outlook and what you achieve.
**The Pillow Method was an idea posted on moderndaymanifestations.com. **
“Loneliness is designed to help you discover who you are and stop looking outside yourself for worth.”
Do you ever have one of those days were you just feel misunderstood? Like no matter what you do, you cannot get your point across?
Well, what happens when this feeling occurs on a daily basis, leaving you feeling alone and discouraged?
Feeling alone can take up a lot of energy, especially as we tell ourselves how alone we are. But there is a difference between feeling alone and being alone.
Loneliness often does not come from actually being alone, but rather from feeling misunderstood or like you do not belong. So, the first step is to acknowledge that. Are you really alone or do you feel alone? If you are feeling alone, try to pinpoint why. Are you having trouble getting your point across? Do you feel like no one understands you? Once you have a clearer idea of what you are struggling with, you can begin to put together an action plan to heal.
First off, it’s important to note, that feeling lonely is much more common then you would think. Tons of people are trying to find their way whether they state it or not. And there are definitely times when many of us feel like something is wrong with us and that we do not fit into the world around us.
Once you figure out what is causing you to feel alone, I challenge you to see the power that you hold: “Loneliness is designed to help you discover who you are and stop looking outside yourself for worth.” Reread that one more time. “Loneliness is designed to help you discover who you are and stop looking outside yourself for worth.” If you can wrap your brain around this concept, that means our dreadful feeling of loneliness is actually quite powerful. So –
Step #1. Stop looking for another person’s approval – whether it be a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a friend, etc.
Step #2. Start appreciating yourself for everything you are. You would never tell a friend how terrible he/she is, so don’t tell yourself that either.
Step #3. Start filling your day with things that you love to do. What brings you the most joy? What brings out your inner light?
Step #4. Give yourself a break. We can often be our worst enemies. It is now time to be your best friend. You have so much to offer this world. Keep fighting through the negative thoughts; you are meant to shine.