Your Thoughts Will Run or Ruin Your Life

Once you can see your thought you can start to change them.

 

I have lived within my thoughts all of my life. My thoughts ran and at some points, ruined my life. We have been programmed without even knowing it and that programming turns into our thoughts, both unconscious and conscious. These thoughts are what contributes to how we act, our anxiety, our depression, and what we pursue.

Kara Loewentheil teaches about thought work and how to differentiate your conscious from unconscious thoughts while being able to release their hold on us. From her, I have learned how to take a step back and really review the thoughts that are hurting me.

Kara recommends taking time each day to simply write, with or without intention. When you write out the thoughts that are stuck in your head, you get to see them on paper where you can review and analyze them. When the thoughts are stuck in your head, analysis isn’t as easy. The process of getting our thoughts onto paper and analyzing them gives us a degree of separation. When we are observing our thoughts purely in our mind, there is no separation.  When we put them onto paper, we are able to separate our thoughts from ourselves.

Kara said, ” Your brain doesn’t know how to stop thinking something. You have to give it something else to think instead.”

By putting our thoughts on paper and then analyzing them, we are able to give our brain a different perspective to think about. We are able to use the analytical part of our brain on the thought rather than just the emotional part. The ability to analyze our thoughts isn’t something that comes easily. This is a practice we must adopt.

After I listened to a training and a few podcasts from Kara, I implemented a half-ass version of her recommendations. Even with doing my half-assed version, I have been able to process my thoughts better and analyze why I’m so pissed off or hurt about situations. I have been able to identify that some situations that I’m ruminating over are really not about me at all. I was able to realize that the lay-off I went through had nothing to do with me. Nothing. It wasn’t a reflection on my efforts in my role at all. I’ve been able to look back and see thoughts that were negative and harming me and where they were coming from.

To be honest, I haven’t done my thought work daily and that’s okay. I do sit down to work on my thoughts any time I have an overwhelming or negative thought. I make sure that if I am hurt or pissed off about something, I do at least my half-assed version. Why? Because if I don’t, those thoughts will run my day or my life and may even ruin a good thing.

I’m not perfect in my thought work and I still have a lot of work to do. What I can tell you is that this practice is worth it and just might change your life or release some of that anxiety you are feeling.

Here are a couple of Kara’s recommended steps and questions to use.

Steps:
1. Set a daily time on your calendar for 5 minutes (Yup, all she recommends to start with is 5 minutes!!)
2. Just write until the 5-minute timer goes off.

Questions to use:
1. When did the thought occur?
2. What was happening?
3. What is the exact thought I’m having right now about this?

Kara recommends getting concrete and specific. I recommend adding another question to ask: Is this thought coming from a place of fear? If so, what is the underlying fear?

When doing thought work, you will start to get really familiar with what your negative thoughts are and where they are coming from. This will give you specific areas that you can work on through your personal growth journey. By doing this thought work, you will be able to realize what thoughts are holding you back from releasing the anxiety you are experiencing.

One last question to ask yourself, “What would it feel like to show up and feel absolutely confident about yourself?”

**You can find out more about Kara Loewenthiel’s teachings on thought work at her website or on her podcast.  I listen to her podcast through Google Podcasts.

Give Your Trust Away

I’ve heard this from a couple of the mentors that I follow. Gary Vee and Trent Shelton say this over and over again. I have been doing this for most of my life without any though. It was only in the past couple of years that I started to pull back on giving my trust away. I was tired of giving it away and getting rolled over. But there is a balance that can be had. A balance that I’m learning.

You see, when you give your trust away, you are open to wherever the relationship may go. When you give your trust away, you aren’t putting arbitrary limits on relationships. When you give your trust away, you aren’t bringing baggage to a relationship from a different relationship. You are starting fresh.

When I started to hold back on giving my trust away, I was bringing hurt and baggage from previous relationships to a new one without ever giving the new one a shot. I started resurrecting walls for people I didn’t even know. I started holding more things in again. I stopped sharing as much. I withheld trust, I withheld information, I withheld love, I withheld opportunities because of the baggage I was bringing.

Each time you withhold trust from a new relationship, you are dumping your baggage into that relationship. You are making it messy before there is ever the possibility of an amazing connection.

I keep referring to relationships in this conversation about trust, because we trust is about you and someone else. It could be about a situation, but most situations involve people. Most trust baggage involves people. People create situations. People are who we either trust or don’t.

I met some of my closest friends about five years ago. I didn’t freely give my trust away. I have been guarded. It has taken me five years to start releasing baggage from other relationships and start leaning into trust with these friends. It has only been in the past few months that I’ve even shared this website or my desire to become a life coach with them. I didn’t trust them.

You know why? Because I brought baggage from other relationships into these relationships. I was afraid of what they would say, I was afraid they wouldn’t want to be my friend, I was afraid they would think I was stupid, all because of situations with other people I gave my trust away to. I gave them pieces of trust through the years, more and more each year, when I wish I had given them all of my trust in the beginning.

Withholding trust doesn’t just affect personal relationships, it affects career relationships too. It can hold you back in your career because you are withholding trust from previous situations. Your previous boss was a dick? Yeah, not going to be fully open with the new boss until I feel him/her out. Bad move. Your previous coworkers kept you at an arm’s length? Not going to get too close to any coworkers at the new place. Bad move, that wasn’t about you, it was about them. The culture at your last job was tumultuous, at best. Not going to lean into the new culture until you can feel it out. Bad move. Jump in and be yourself.

The more we hold back our trust, the more we hold back who we are, the more we limit ourselves. Stop holding back, stop guarding your trust. It’s easy to take your trust back once it has been broken. It’s not easy to remove the baggage of not trusting.

Give your trust away and you will be amazed and the relationships you can and will form. Personally and professionally.

I Am Not Mediocre

Mediocrity is how so many of us live our lives. Mediocrity is how we fit in with society. We don’t want to be too over the top so people don’t judge us. We don’t want to fall behind because that life is hard. We want to be right in the middle because the middle is what is comfortable. Mediocrity is safe.

Fuck mediocrity.

I have lived for mediocrity all of my life. I grew up being below mediocrity most of my life. I just wanted to be normal. I equated being normal as fitting into society. Normal was just enough for my life. Normal was just mediocre, nothing special. I didn’t want to stand out for any reason.

I had this realization recently as I was interviewing for jobs. I had just been laid off and I had multiple positions that I was interviewing for and multiple I was expecting offers from. I had two that I was really considering and was comparing against each other. One with a small startup that had a lot of unknowns and wasn’t established. My position would have been a new position that I would create. Another new position with what I believe is potential. This sounds just like the job that I got laid off from. The other position was with a well-established company that already has a project management team with processes in place. This would be a position that is being backfilled. This company has never done layoffs. This would be a safe position to get into.

I didn’t want safe. While the safe position would have allowed me to have a normal schedule and work with one of my close friends again, the startup has so much potential and a mission that I connected with right away.

To me, safe equaled mediocre. Mediocre meant it could take me longer to advance. Mediocre meant I wasn’t creating something to pass on. Safety was not something that called to me.

I didn’t choose the safe job. I chose to right above mediocrity and take a chance. I wanted a challenge and if that challenge means that I’m looking for a job again in three months, six months, or whatever because the startup failed, that’s perfectly fine with me. I have survived multiple layoffs and I know I can survive them in the future.

Mediocrity isn’t for me. I want to live outside of normal. I am not normal and my career isn’t either. Bring on the challenge and bring on the fun I’m about to have.

Judging Myself

All of my life I have wanted to be taken seriously. I stopped playing with toys quickly. I didn’t want to wear anything that resembled cartoon characters I liked. I stopped watching animated movies. I wanted to be mature and smart. But I never judged anybody who wore character clothing or watched animated movies. I just judged myself. After all, we are our own worst critic.

I was envious of people who wore character clothing with pride. I was envious of people who enjoyed animated movies. I was envious of people who proudly talked about, shared, or whatever their favorite characters or theme parks. I didn’t know why they could be so cool to be taken seriously and still love animated characters. I mean, I’ve always loved Mickey Mouse (yes, Mickey, not Minnie), but I kept that buried.

This past year I decided to take my envy and become the person I watched. I am a mature grown-ass woman who loves Mickey Mouse. I proudly went to Disney World with Eddie for a vacation and we don’t have kids!! I bought Minnie ears and proudly wore them each day we were there. I bought a sweater with the theme park name, a new Mickey ornament, and an apron with Mickey Mouse all over it.

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I don’t know where the hell I got it in my head that I couldn’t be mature and taken seriously if I proudly wore anything of an animated or movie character. What I do know is that it was probably because I tried to set myself apart from other children so I could be the smart kid. I can be smart and love and wear Mickey Mouse.

What do you refrain from doing or wearing because you are afraid of judgment? Is anybody actually judging you or are you judging yourself?

I was judging myself. I have judged myself for most of my life. It is a weird feeling of relief when I realized I was the only one who had a problem with my love of Mickey. I was the one who was holding myself back. I now proudly wear my Mickey Mouse whenever I cook something that might ruin my clothes. My Christmas tree is a mix of blue, silver, Swarovski, and Mickey. My Disney World sweater is warm as fuck and I wear it when I want, where I want.

You do you girl. Keep being imperfect my warriors!!

I Need A Mentor

A Mentor

I need a mentor. You need a mentor. How the hell do I find a mentor?!

I’ve asked myself this question for years. I’ve always heard successful people talking about their mentors and how they recommend everyone having a mentor. But I didn’t know how to find one who would take me on as a mentee.

Do I just find someone that I look up to and ask? How do I know if they would be good? Who do I look up to? What kind of relationship are we supposed to have? Question after question prevented me from acquiring a mentor.

Until I learned that mentors don’t have to be people that you have a two-way conversation with. Wait, WHAT?!?!

My mind was blown when I heard Rachel Hollis explain who some of her mentors were and that she had never even talked to some of them. My mind was blown. You mean that I could have mentors who have no idea I even exist? Is that really a mentor then?

Um, yes. Yes it is. And if you can’t tell, Rachel Hollis is one of my mentors. And so is Dave Hollis, Trent Shelton, Brené Brown, Andrea Owen, Rachelle Croft, and Kevin and Sarah McCuiston. I’m sure I have a few others, but these are the ones I follow the closest.

Here’s the thing, the definition of a mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. Nowhere does the definition state that the mentor has to know who you are or call you directly.

Here is why I refer to the above list of people as my mentors:

  1. They inspire me every day
  2. They teach me new habits and skills
  3. They provide resources to help me solve my own problems
  4. They communicate in a medium that I understand and relate to

I know that not everybody will view these one-sided relationships as a mentorship, but I do. I am a different person, a better person, because of the knowledge and insight they share. Whether it be from their books or their candid posts on social media, I am becoming a better version of myself because of what they share.

All of my mentors are in the personal development or overlanding space. I don’t have any that are in the project management space and that is okay. My list of mentors has evolved over the years as I’ve grown as a person. My mentors will continue to evolve.

No matter what medium you are looking for advice in, find a mentor. They don’t have to know who you are. You still can follow their work and learn from them. Find people who will challenge you to be a better version of yourself. Find people who will inspire you.

A mentorship relationship is what you want it to be. It doesn’t have to look like mine or anybody else’s.

Who are your mentors?

My Own Path

Dare to forge your own path.

When I first started out on this journey with this blog, I was under the impression that once I hit it big and was making good money, I would quit my project management career and be a full-time blogger. I then advanced that thought to becoming a well-respected life coach. Either way, I saw the only option of being a life coach as my path forward.

Every time I thought about it, I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach — but I love my career. I didn’t want to give up on being a life coach because I feel that I am called to share my life experiences and passion for helping others through this avenue, but I also didn’t want to give up on my career that I am also passionate about. Oh and then there is the overlanding passion that is blossoming. Why do I have to choose just one?

The answer is, I don’t. There is no reason that I have to choose just one. During one of Marie Forleo’s YouTube videos or in her book, she brought up the term ‘multi-passionate entrepreneur’. My heart exploded in fire. She explained how she didn’t want to do just one thing and that she had many passions. She struggled with choosing just one and came to the realization that she didn’t have to.

And that is where I am. I am going to be a well-respected life coach, overlander, and project manager who kicks ass at all of them. I’m going to kick ass in my own way. I’m not going to follow any well-defined path from any who have come before me. I will learn as I go and be who I am. I know that it may take longer to advance my life coaching and overlanding businesses while being a career project manager, but I’m okay with that.

I’m going to forge my own path and be all that I want to be. I don’t have to give up on one passion because I want to pursue another. At some point, my passions will probably cross and that is okay. Actually, that would be freaking awesome.

Hop on the train because this is going to be one wild ride. I’m pursuing three big passions and I’m not going to be perfect in any of them. I’m doing it the imperfect way. Are you going to come along for the ride and be an Imperfect Warrior who forges her/his own path?

I’m An Overthinker

Overthinking is what I do best. I can and will overthink for just about anything. It is truly a problem. Are you an overthinker?

Overthinking affects our lives more than we probably would like to admit. We zero in and focus on a specific topic and think about all the possibilities. Usually, the possibilities that we think about are negative. Whether you are ruminating on the past or worrying about the future, overthinking does not benefit your life.

In fact, if you are anything like me, overthinking actually does more harm than good to your life. For me, ruminating on the past usually turns into worrying about the future. I take a thought that I’m overthinking full circle over and over again and it usually happens over multiple days, weeks, or longer.

I tend to start with ruminating on a situation that I didn’t like how I behaved. I think about how shitty I was, how embarrassing I made the situation, or how I offended or hurt someone. I go on and on until I fast forward to the future and create a whole new situation with the same people where I encounter something similar and have to re-write my behavior. I usually try to think the situation into an existence where I stand up for myself and the other person or people are put in their place. This comes from the victim mentality that I was raised with.

Lately, I’ve been able to catch myself in this process. I stop myself from going down this rabbit hole creating drama in my mind that doesn’t actually exist. It’s not easy to do, but it is so worth it. The overthinking that I do to get me to this point tells me that the other person in the situation is bullying me or that I’m a fucked up person. It wears me down without me even being in the other person’s presence.

Not only do I ruminate and worry about the future, but I also worry about the little things. Will I look absolutely stupid in this outfit, am I over/underdressed? What happens if I’m late? What happens if we break something on the truck? What if we don’t have enough money? What if they judge me for this? Don’t be too loud, we don’t want to offend anyone. Don’t have sex here, this is Sally’s house and that is disrespectful. Don’t make the food according to your dietary preferences, you don’t want to offend everyone else who is eating. Don’t quit drinking alcohol, you won’t have anything in common with Sally and won’t have anything to bond over anymore. I could go on and on with thoughts that have crossed my mind. I am always overthinking everything.

How do I course correct my overthinking train of thought? I stop dead in my tracks and twist the thought. If Sally was staying in my house, how would I feel about her and her husband having sex if nobody actually heard or knew it was happening? How would I feel if Sally was late to the BBQ by two minutes? How would I feel if Sally told me that they couldn’t go to the event because it wasn’t in their budget?

Let me tell you how I would respond. I would say have fun and have sex if nobody knows about it. Two minutes is nothing, glad you are here safely. I totally get budgets and I think is awesome you are sticking to yours.

I would respond completely different to other people than I do to myself when I get trapped in an overthinking episode. While I’m not even close to perfect in eliminating my overthinking, I can proudly say that by flipping the situation, I am a recovering overthinker. I have stopped so many horrible overthinking trains of thought from spiraling so far out of control that I’m afraid to be in Sally’s presence. I have improved how I behave and show up for not only myself but the people I overthink about.

Overthinking doesn’t always have to control our lives. We can take back control. We just have to work for it. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

How can you flip your overthinking train of thought?

Are You Asking The Right Questions?

I am a very black and white person. It is or it isn’t. I only see gray on a few things, like my professional career. For most of my life, I ask the black and white questions: Can I do X without failing? This usually holds me back. It keeps me from exploring that thing that I might want to do.

So when I heard one of my mentors talk about asking the right questions, I had to stop to meditate on what they were implying. The thing is, we tend to ask the same question over and over. We don’t ever change it to see a different point of view. You probably see this happening most when you are fighting with your spouse. You or your spouse says the same thing multiple times because the other person isn’t responding the way you want to doesn’t understand your point. What if we changed the question? What if we put it a different way?

I have started to do this when talking to Eddie. We rarely fight, usually just have disagreements, but it all comes down to miscommunication. You see, we are creatures of habit and we speak how we understand things. We plan in a way that we understand. We look to the future in a way that we understand. When people suggest something that is different than what we know, more often than not, we get uncomfortable and want to stay in our comfort zone.

It’s time that we break up with our comfort zone and start asking different questions. Here is an example:

Question/Goal: I want to lose 20 pounds
New Question/Goal: I want to eat a healthier diet

or

Question/Goal: How do I get millions of followers to become the well-respected life coach I want to be?
New Question/Goal: What do I need to start doing today that will lay the foundation to eventually become a well-respected life coach?

Here’s the thing, we tend to ask questions about our end goal, about the big thing that we want to accomplish. We don’t ask ourselves how other’s did it or what are the little steps that, if we take them now, will lead us to the big goal.

Here is another one:

Question: Why can’t I quit drinking alcohol when I’m around Sally?
New Question: What is it about drinking alcohol that makes lunch with Sally better?

It’s time to stop living in a black and white world. There is so much gray area that we can make brighter if we start asking different questions. No longer is it just this or that. We are in new times with new technologies and possibilities that we can ask the same question in so many different ways that we can get so many different answers.

When I started this blog, I wanted to grow and become a life coach in just a few months. I wanted to be making millions and quit my project management career. Why? Because that is what all the life coaches do. I was asking the wrong question. That isn’t my focus. Following in their path isn’t my path. I have my own path and I need to ask myself different questions to get me to where I am fulfilled and happy.

What questions can you change to ask differently? What is the new answer?

YouTube Channel Has Launched!!!

Hello my Imperfect Warriors!!

I wanted to let you know that I have launched the Failing Imperfectly YouTube channel. I will be uploading one video per week and will have similar content to what you read here. Take a look and enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

I Am Me

I am me, regardless of my weight.

I am me, regardless of my salary.

I am me, regardless of my job.

I am me, regardless of who my immediate family is.

I am me and that is who I will be.

I am me and I am learning to be comfortable with who I am.

I have spent most of my life trying to be someone else. I was a chameleon trying to change who I was to fit who I was around and the situation I was in. I was never true to myself. I was changing and blending so much that I lost who I was.

I was lost. I have been lost since I was a teenager, probably even before. I was never truly myself. I knew deep down there was a picture of who I wanted to be, but that person was so far away, that I didn’t think I would ever actually be able to be her. I thought that person was someone who had to stay hidden so I could be what others wanted me to be.

I started drinking to fit in. I drank A LOT. I partied. I buried my introvert so deep she had no idea how to come back out.

I kept drinking and partying because I made friends that way. I made friends everywhere I went because I was free and happy and lively.

I made friends, but I didn’t truly connect with people. They let me in, but I kept everyone at an arm’s length, or farther. I wasn’t willing to let anybody see who I truly was or where I was from. I didn’t know who I was. I was ashamed of where I was from.

I wasn’t me.

I got tired. Everything I buried away started creeping in. I started feeling again. It sucked. I hated it and tried to drown my feelings with more partying. Except that didn’t work. I really wasn’t happy. I didn’t know who I was or what I truly wanted out of life.

Until I gave in. I started working on myself. I started working on the hell of my past. I started letting people in, just a little bit. I let Eddie in and he crushed every fucking wall. I was caught in this space of not knowing who I was and being this party girl who checked all the boxes depending on who I was with.

Then I leaned in farther. I explored the feelings. I found others like me. I started to learn who that person that I pictured could be. I started to see her more clearly until I finally invited her to be part of my life.

I never thought it would be possible to be comfortable in who I was or am. I have a lot of regrets in life and one of my biggest is not learning to truly be who I am earlier in life.

I still struggle to overcome the chameleon, but every day that I lean into me is another day that my love for myself grows. It started with a baby step, then another, then another, and another. Baby step after baby step brings me to who I am today.

I still have a lot of growing to do, but I can truly, confidently say I am me.

I am me and that is who I will be. I am for me. I am me.