Three questions.

I want to invite you today to ask yourself these three questions:

Which are some places in life where I need to set more boundaries, to say “NO” more frequently?

Which are some places in my life where I need to say “YES” more often?

And what am I doing about it?

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Everyone carries around what has been learned through generations (good and bad). In my case there are many things to be grateful for. I’ve been blessed but nevertheless carry the weight of things I’ve learned that are no longer healthy.

Is it time for you to change and break old patterns? If it is, just remember that you might face some conscious or unconscious resistance coming from within or from others around you. Sometimes when people try to evolve, they face resistance instead of assistance. Once we decide to change, things around us start to shift and usually other people get caught in the ripples produced by this change in circumstances. These people might start to question themselves too and feel uncomfortable.

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Your friends and family (or even coworkers) might resist change if you are, for example, the first among them to fight for a degree, to be sober, to eat nutritionally, to take care of yourself, to exercise, to travel, to work in something different, to leave the old family business, to have a new hobby, to change cities or find any new path, your path. For the sake of future generations and your health: Persist. Persist in the kindest way towards yourself and others, listen to counsel from loved ones, but nevertheless persist in setting healthy boundaries and always continue to open yourself to new possibilities.

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Choose to be kind and grateful.

Images from the web.

About detecting pointless energy leaks and doing something about them.

As Glennon Melton says: “Life is brutiful , both brutal and beautiful”.

A “brutiful” life is precisely the reason why the amount of energy within us (depending on age and circumstance) needs to be managed wisely. It is essential to know how to handle this energy in order to avoid chronic fatigue or, worse, a complete burn out. By identifying our energy leaks and doing whatever necessary to fix them as much as possible we can avoid unnecessary and avoidable drainage. How much of such drainage is preventable?

Well, the leaks may be either physiological or psychological and there may be many interconnected leaks at a time. Also, there are (of course) events in everybody’s life that can drain our energy but are inevitable. I would like to mention some that can be lessened or avoided. Some common physiological leaks are: Not enough sleep, excess use of sugar or caffeine, undetected food allergies, excess use of electronics, eating too much or too little, over exercising or not exercising at all, or nutritional imbalance. On the other hand, some psychological leaks are: Stress at work, anxiety, fear, toxic limiting beliefs, negative thoughts, unforgiveness, lack of spiritual foundation, undigested experiences, perfectionism and unexpressed feelings. I must share that some of these are very difficult to detect without outside help.

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It’s hard to accept when we are unnecessarily leaking energy, since we fear fatigue and we don’t like its arrival. We always believe we don’t have time to be fatigued.  Nevertheless, sooner or later fatigue arrives and it might surprise us by being a blessing in disguise, a warning sign looking for our attention. It is imperative to our overall health that we give fatigue a chance to deliver its message and stop pushing ourselves for a moment in order to listen. The times when we do slow down, our health and energy level are deeply improved.

The good news is that even though our energy level is finite, it is renewable. The key is to detect where we are leaking energy and learn how to manage it, for this situation cannot go on forever and will catch up with us leaving us empty. That way to renew energy is by paying attention and taking care of ourselves.

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It’s not a good idea to be borrowing energy instead of renewing it. We borrow energy from coffee, energy drinks, drugs or sheer willpower. We can also borrow energy from other people. Energy comes from within and replenishes from within.  It’s a better idea to identify whatever quantity is it you have already and spend accordingly. If you are low on energy you need to slow down. It is ok to do that.

Fatigue is also a sign that life changes are in order. Learning to say no, going out to nature, respecting sleep, and even taking small breaks when other things are not possible (like five minutes outside, five minutes breathing deeply, five minutes in the sun) might make a huge difference. Identifying and preventing energy leaks is a subject worthy of our attention because chronic fatigue takes a very long time to heal, so we might as well do everything in our power to prevent it.

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Choose to be kind and grateful.

Images from the internet.

The illusion of control

We always try to do the best we can, always. In spite of that, time, schedules, people, feelings, food, health, relationships, work and everything in between cannot be controlled. We can control nothing except our own thoughts.

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Almost everyone I know have some control issue (or issues), whether they accept it or not. Control seems to communicate a feeling of protection in an uncertain world, but it’s only an illusion that transmits worry and anxiety instead.

Life is living us and not the other way around, so we better learn to go with the flow while doing our best, which is enough.

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Until recently, I’ve always had a hard time letting go while riding a rollercoaster. I have always envied people who raise their arms and enjoy ups and downs at top speed while laughing. Therefore, I will never ever forget the moment I finally could.

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Life is a rollercoaster and I am making an effort in riding it as freely as possible. I want to forever practice living the good and the bad while searching around every little corner where control might be hidden.  I will forever persist in letting go of it every time I find it.

 

Choose to be kind and grateful.

Images from the internet.

Are limiting beliefs making you get stuck? Part 2.

(Continuation)

#6  I don’t have time/ I have too many responsibilities.

‘Busy’ is so overrated. It would seem that if you are not busy you are not a valuable person. But ‘busy’ ends up creating stress, health issues everywhere, disrupting family life and relationships.

The truth is that, if you feel exhausted and drained, it’s imperative to find the reasons for such drainage of energy and improve the situation as soon as possible through small (or big) changes which oftentimes bring great results.

I personally believe the “I don’t have time” belief to be one of the worst limiting beliefs (one of the worst for me). It camouflages as a virtue affecting not only yourself but others around you.

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#7  I don’t have enough resources.

The belief that you don’t have enough strength, money, knowledge, credentials or practice should never stop us from evolving. We can always grow internally first.

#8  It’s too late to change.

This self-limiting belief in particular makes me cringe. The idea that we should focus on achieving things according to a deadline or certain time and date in our lives and give up if unsuccessful is agonizing.

There are special cognitive developmental stages to learn certain skills, but that does not mean you cannot learn later in life. Life is a journey and we must never stop learning.

On the other hand, there’s society always suggesting we accomplish certain things by a certain age. Why should there be an age limit for sports, hobbies, learning new skills, living new experiences, changing jobs, cities or relationships? We humans are designed to constantly evolve, focusing on being a flowing stream instead of a stagnant pond.

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I recently read somewhere (and saved) the steps we go through in projects and experiences. These are not of my making but I can’t remember the author. They might serve as an alert to limiting beliefs if we are unable to get to the last one:

This is the best idea ever!!

This will be fun.

This is harder than I thought.

This is going to be a lot of work.

This sucks and I have no idea what I’m doing.

#%@}!!!!!!!

Okay, but it still sucks.

Quick, let’s call it a day and say we learned something.

Hmm…

Hey!

Wow.

This is one of the things I am most proud of.

 

Choose to be kind and grateful.

Images from the internet.

 

Are limiting beliefs making you get stuck? Part 1.

‘Powerful’ is the word that comes to mind when thinking about self-limiting beliefs. Just by believing them, our life is weakened and depleted. We believe them and as a consequence we do not think, do or say the things that they inhibit. The number of limiting beliefs is infinite; they can be about ourselves, or our rights, duties, abilities, identity, permissions and so on.

My very personal opinion is that limiting beliefs are neither excuses nor defense mechanisms but a toxic mixture of both. They help us with the illusion of control. They give our life some kind of stability and a fake sensation of safety.

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If you have a feeling that there’s more to life and you haven’t been able to put your finger on what’s holding you back, try identifying your very own precious limiting beliefs and challenging them a little (or a lot) to see what happens. Here are some basics that might help with the search:

#1 I could never do that.

Just a quick look at the life we have lived until now may help discard this one, and fast. Chances are most of us have done things that we thought we could never do or survive. We have more resilience than we sometimes give ourselves credit for. We envy others, those who evolve, progress or go after their dreams but think we can’t do the same.

Let’s acknowledge and accept the fact that we will always be afraid of change even if we need it and really want it. Fear is a survival response where the most primitive part of our brains tells us to stay inside the cave.

I have always disliked the: “It’s ok or it’s going to be ok”. A useless phrase because it’s inaccurate. What is ok is to “be brave and afraid at the same time” (as Brené Brown says). I prefer something like: “The _____________(fear, nerves, anxiety or pain) will not go away easily, you will still feel it, but you can do anything in spite of it or together with it”.

#2 Things usually go the wrong way for me.

Also a limiting belief based on fear from past experiences. I personally don’t believe anymore that things go wrong. Things go as they should even if they don’t go according to our expectations. Note that expectations usually turn into resentments or become disappointments. Expectations’ strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future only causes trouble. It is therefore a good idea to get rid of them too.

#3 It’s not in my genes.

A comfortable self-limiting belief which is nothing more than a generational learning.  Of course we can often look back at our parents and grandparents and see that no one has attempted what we dream of doing. Well, be the first then and stop this limiting belief for generations to come.

#4 I will never find happiness until _____________ (I have the right weight, house, car, partner, degree, job).

I have to shamefully admit that sometimes I have temporarily fallen for this one. There’s so much collective pressure that it would be a lie to deny it. Well, neither with such an attitude nor with another fad diet (in my case) would I have achieved my goal. The simple explanation for this is that the concept is backwards.

Please believe me when I say it is backwards. Happiness is in the now, in the small moments, in how I am now, in what I can be and do now. Do not wait or put happiness and fulfillment on hold because there’s something you think you lack. Be all you can be now, live what you want to live now and the rest will come later while you go and work to achieve your goals without being miserable in the process.

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#5 I am damaged goods/ I do not deserve/ I am not good enough

As they say: “Never be ashamed of a scar, it simply means you were stronger of whatever tried to hurt you”.

Everyone deserves a good life, happiness and health. Anyone who tells you otherwise or makes you feel this way is not worthy of your attention.

Besides, it’s true that we might be not good enough for something specific but be sure to check and see if you are not the only one who thinks so. Regardless of this, comparing yourself to others is never a good idea at all.  Always remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side, it is greener where you water it.

To be continued…