Friday, April 19, 2013

How I Went From Crappy to Happy Part 2

Last month, I wrote about some things that I stopped doing that transformed my life. Let me elaborate on how I stopped doing things that were counterproductive, and what I started doing instead.

1. I stopped living in fear.
According to The Course in Miracles, there are only two real emotions- love and fear. 
Everything else is a byproduct of the two.  
Whenever I find myself in a situation, I start by thinking- am I being motivated by love or fear right now? 
If I have to ask, it usually means fear! 
It may be fear of being hurt, fear of not being liked, fear of doing the wrong thing.  Instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong if I take a chance, I changed my thinking to focus on all the things I stand to gain if I am brave enough to be bold.

2. I stopped trying so hard.
I used to try ridiculously hard to please other people. 
Through much pain and suffering, I realized that was a total waste of time, and impossible to do on a regular basis. 
Now I try to please myself instead. 
I do what I want for who I want, when I want to do it. It sounds simplistic- but it’s actually more possible than you think. 
It’s efficient, has no strings attached, and I feel much less resentful as a result.

3. I stopped trying to fix other people
Before I became an actual life coach, I was a wannabe life coach.
I would see people’s issues, and I would try to “help” them.  
Sometimes, people were grateful. 
But sometimes, I jumped in to help when I hadn’t been asked to help. 
That can be kinda awkward, and possibly irritating. 
So I trained to be a life coach, and now I work with people that actually ask for my help. 
Much better.

4. I stopped thinking that success has to be difficult. 
I used to think that people who were successful had to work incessantly, swallow a lot of corporate crap, play politics, and do a lot of things that they didn’t really want to do. 
I believe this model is outdated. 
Being successful begins with defining what success means to you.
For me it means using my talents, working with wonderful people, making a difference, having a flexible schedule, continually growing, and being paid what I’m worth. 
Having work that encompasses those characteristics doesn’t feel difficult at all!

5. I stopped thinking I need to work first and play later to be successful.
I’ve found that when I regularly intersperse work with play, I get more done. 
When I take little fun breaks throughout the day to have lunch with a friend, play with my dogs, or go to a meetup to learn about something new- I end up inspired, refreshed and ready to work again rather than burned out and pissed off that I’m always working. 
Even an hour at the mall window shopping does the trick for me.

6. I stopped strategizing and being so damned logical.
I’ve learned that using more logic and less heart is a lethal combination in my line of work. 
I much prefer using an intuitive, feel good approach when making business decisions and I’ve cut down on my need to control for the outcome. 
More heart, less brain. 
Crazy, right? 
It may look like magical thinking to some, but I’m here to tell you that it works.

7. I stop and rest when I am tired rather than pushing through. 
This should be self explanatory, but in our culture, we have a work ethic that commends suffering and exhaustion.
I am personally over that. 
Just look around- stressed out, freaked out, diseased people everywhere. 
I jumped off that crazy train, and I invite you to do the same.  
Embrace “good enough” with the parts of your life that aren’t crucial, and go for awesome with what is really important.

8. I stopped hiding from my gifts. 
This is a particularly tough one- because we are taught to demonstrate false modesty. I look at it this way…we are all given gifts for a reason. 
Use your gifts to help the world- whether it’s to entertain, to heal, to advance technologically, to serve or to protect. 
It’s our obligation. 
Quit hiding your brilliance, the world needs you to show up.

9. I stopped watching the crime blotter, otherwise known as “the news”.
Our nervous systems are not made to deal with every heinous act committed on our planet, 24 hours a day, in color, on every device we possess that communicates with the outside world. 
It’s too much. 
I glance at the events going on in the world via my home page, and do the very best I can to be a helpful, kind person to every single person I encounter. 
Obsessing about criminal activity does not help me to serve humanity- it makes me afraid to leave my house. 
Much more good goes on in the world than bad, but that doesn’t sell- fear does. 
I just don’t have to buy it.

10. I stopped playing small so that other people would like me.
I have a huge fear of people saying “who does she think she is?”
It doesn’t really go away, no matter how hard I try. 
Here are the facts- I’ve worked very hard to have a great marriage, hilarious good hearted kids, friends I couldn’t live without, good health, financial security and work that I love.
I'm almost afraid to say all of that out loud. 
(Presently knocking on wood while throwing salt over my shoulder and crossing my toes!)
I have been both lucky and burdened by life circumstances that I had no control over. 
I’ve chosen love more than I’ve chosen fear, and I’ve tried hard to clean out the dark and scary places in my own mind by shining light on the shadows and being extremely uncomfortable in the process. 
My life is wonderfully fulfilling, sometimes messy and almost always authentic. 
I wouldn’t have it any other way, and if that means I am too much for some- then they are not my people. 
And I am finally really good with that.
So there you go, from crappy to happy in 10 not so easy steps. 
Let me know if you need help, I'm here :)