Kindness

If you are anything like me, you are kinder to everyone but yourself. At least, that is what feels like your first nature. You care more about being kind to someone else because you don’t want to offend them. You are kinder to most strangers than you are to yourself. Sound like you? No, then this might not be the post for you unless you want to learn about someone you care about. It does sound like you? Let’s continue the conversation.

Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. I am generally automatically friendly, generous, and considerate to pretty much everybody. But, I can’t say that I am easily friendly, generous, or considerate to myself. This is something that I’m continually working on, but it doesn’t come naturally. But why? Why would I rather be kinder to other people?

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Life’s Reflection

On Tuesday we talked about taking up space. Today I want to talk about how we are living life.

For most of my life I lived my life so I didn’t upset specific people and so I could earn the love of other specific people. As I got older, moved out on my own, and started working in a professional environment, that need to not upset people expanded. The first 30 or so years of my life are absolutely a reflection of me not wanting to upset people. Over the past four years, I have started to live my life as a reflection of who I want to be. Of course, I didn’t just flip a switch. These past four years are intertwined with me not wanting to upset people and me living for who I want to be.

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Rise to Your Potential

Never let a good crisis go to waste. It’s the universe challenging you to learn something new and rise to the next level of your potential.”

Kristen Ulmer

I read this quote in Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss and immediately it dawned on me that this is life right now. We are all living in this pandemic, this crisis. Life is challenging for everyone right now, some much more so than others. Either we can lean into this challenge and come out of it better than we came in, or we can stay stuck in the challenge and how we’ve been impacted.

I’m not going to lie. Other than not being able to get out into the mountains, I’m enjoying being “stuck” at home. I am blessed that I get to enjoy this time. I am not sick with the horrible effects of COVID-19, nor have I lost my job and am financially struggling. I am in my home, working on renovations, working at my awesome job enriching the lives of seniors, spending time with my husband and pups. I am blessed.

So how does this quote actually apply to my life?

This crisis has taken away some of my excuses for not being able to work on my dreams. It has also given me the ability to refinance and put more money into my home. The crisis has given me more opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally.

I am being challenged and my fire is burning brighter to bring this blog into something more than I’ve trudged along with. I’m being challenged to expand my way of thinking and conquer my fears.

When Kristen wrote the above quote, I am sure she had no idea what would come in just a few short years (the book was published in 2017). Nobody did. What she had was the experience of personal crises that led her to develop her next level potential. I believe that Kristen’s quote can apply to almost any crisis. The only qualifier is how each one of us looks at whatever crises we are living through.

The crisis today is the pandemic and the many stay at home orders that have been enacted across the country and the world. Life has changed dramatically in just a few short weeks. Or long weeks depending on how you look at them. This crisis is challenging every single human in one way or another. Most of us will come out of it. The question is, what will have changed for us personally when we do?

How are you going to use this crisis, this pandemic, to grow and come out the other side stronger? Are you even going to use this time to grow? Or are you going to sit at home and whine about how shitty it is that we can’t go shopping or out to eat or to hang out with other people? How are you going to leverage this time?

I’ll tell you what I’m doing to leverage it. I’m working my ass off. I’m working for the company I get a paycheck from to enrich the lives of seniors AND I’m working on my personal goals. I’m not giving up and complaining about what was normal and what I can’t have. I’m creating my own new normal. My new normal makes life different than just a few weeks ago and will have my life different as we come out of the crisis.

Are you still taking for granted all of the blessings you have?

Are you only complaining about what you can’t do?

Are you only recognizing the pain in our world?

Are you ignoring what opportunities have been opened by being home more?

Are you forgetting that this is temporary, even if that temporary is longer than you want?

Are you ignoring the fact that we as a society always come out to the other side?

What are you focusing your mind on?

Have you even stopped to ponder anything other than your frustrations?

Yes, this pandemic fucking sucks. Yes, people are dying, Yes, people have lost their jobs. Yes, people are working in shitty conditions. Yes, our economy is not as strong as it was. Yes, yes, yes. There is so much struggle and pain in this crisis. Yes, we need to acknowledge that. But those people who are working our asses off don’t need us to dwell on the pain and the struggle. They need us to get our shit together so we can come out the other side.

Getting our shit together will look different for every single person. Getting our shit together may be as simple as not going out just to go out. Getting our shit together may be going after those goals and dreams that we keep putting aside because that will help our economy in the long-run OR it might help one of those people working their ass off have a little humor or inspiration in their day.

What are you learning during this crisis? How are you going to rise to your potential?

I Don't Know How to Set Goals

I’m not a goal setter.

Goals are too restrictive.

I was never taught how to set goals.

Goals aren’t achievable in my life.

I’ve set goals before but have never accomplished them, it’s no use.

Have you ever caught yourself saying or thinking any of those? I have. The one I used to use the most was “I’m not a goal setter.” I would come back to that over and over again. I look back now and see that it was just another excuse to stay stuck, to not do hard things.

I wasn’t ever taught how to set goals, but for some reason, that was never an excuse for me. I actually didn’t learn how to set goals until within the last couple of years and it still took me time before I set goals.

In my opinion, goals require feeling behind them. If I set a goal and I am not emotionally vested in the outcome, I’m never going to do the work required to reach that goal. If I set a goal that I’m kinda invested in, but am not sure how I truly feel about it, then I’m still not going to do the work. I have to feel into what I want the outcome to be before I will actually put in the work.

Goals can be huge or they can be extremely simple. It doesn’t matter. One of my goals right now is to get through this social distancing a stronger person. Most days have been downright difficult. Why? I couldn’t tell you. Especially because I’m an introverted homebody. But I hit a low point and it took a day or so to realize what the hell was making me forget ALL of the work I’ve done.

Another goal I have is to plant and truly take care of some herbs. I have these cool planters, but I always let the herbs die. I don’t plan enough meals to use the fresh herbs. Now I’m looking to find more meals to make that use the herbs that I plant.

A big goal that I have that I keep having to come back to is to become debt free. It isn’t an easy goal to achieve, especially when there is so much to buy and make life easy. Or food to eat. Or cute clothes that can make me feel better in my own skin. Or, or, or. To accomplish this goal, I’ll have to make a huge mindset shift. And I have, but then I get lax on my mindset and it goes to hell. Each day I am closer to achieving my goal, the more I feel the feeling of relief and joy.

So how do you set goals?

You have to have things that you are emotionally invested in achieving. Did you read my last post I Don’t Know How to Dream? If you haven’t, go back and read it.

To know what goals to reach for, you have to know what your dream for your life is. You have to sit down and truly look into the future and what you want out of your life. You cannot just simply set a goal and hope for the best. You have to be invested in the goal.

Setting goals just to set goals doesn’t work. If you set a goal to run a 10K but have absolutely no interest in running or physically cannot run, you aren’t going to achieve that goal. If you set a goal to become a millionaire but have no interest in working your ass off, then you aren’t going to reach it. If you set a goal to pay off your debt but keep spending frivolously, you are never going to pay that debt off.

Take all of the dreams you wrote down from the previous post and break them down into action items. Some with have high level action items that break down even further. That’s good. Those are your stepping stones. Keep breaking these steps down until you have actionable steps that you can achieve one after the other. You just set goals. Each of those actionable steps is a goal.

You can set goals. You just have to get out of your own way and allow yourself to dream and become emotionally invested in those dreams.

What are some goals you are working towards right now?

Winning

Throughout our lives, we are so frequently in competition. Regardless of whether we are in competition with ourselves or someone else, winning is always the end game. The problem is that so many of us see winning as the only part of the game. It’s either you win or you lose.

We easily forget that there is always a journey before the win. There is goal setting, commitment, determination, hard work, and sacrifices. Nobody can just win something without putting in the work. Winning will look different to each one of us. What I might determine is my winning point, won’t be the same as the next person.

It’s easy for me to sit here and look at the bloggers and life coaches before me and think that it just happened for them. They decided they wanted to do the thing and bam! the thing made them well-known and well paid. Except it doesn’t work that way. Every person before me has put in the work. They’ve put in the hard work. They have made sacrifices to achieve their dreams.

Winning is great, but it isn’t everything. In my opinion, the journey is everything. Without the journey, we wouldn’t get to where we want to go.

Take this blog as an example. This isn’t my first blog. I’ve had a few others, some were purely therapeutic, some were aimed at a different goal than I have today. To get this blog to where I want it to be, to be part of a life coaching business where I share my struggles and my experiences with others to help them realize they are not alone and there is hope, I have to get through the startup phase. I have to publish the content, refine my writing, continue doing the personal work, and continue to put it out there. I cannot snap my fingers and have the followers and clients that I want. I have to be all in for the journey.

The journey is what helps us cross that finish line. Sometimes the finish line is an actual finish line for a race, sometimes it is getting that first or hundredth client, other times it is simply being confident in who we are and living our best lives. No matter what the finish line is, getting to it is not just an accident.

As we embark on our journey towards the finish line, we are going to encounter many fears and obstacles that might tempt us to take a detour. We can only take so many detours before we are completely off track. Getting back on track is also part of the journey. Each part of the journey is what leads us to the win.

The next time you look at that celebrity or influencer or overlander or life coach, remember, they didn’t just win. It wasn’t an accident. They put in hard work and dedication to get to where they are. They got clear on their goals, they did the work, they learned the things, and they pursued their dreams.

And remember, if they can do it, so can you.

 

Winning's not just an accident.