Do You Try to Criticize Your Way to Success?

Ready for a shock? Take a few minutes right now, slow down and detach momentarily from your routine, tasks, and to do list, and contemplate this: As you go throughout your day, try to monitor/write down the thoughts going through your mind AS you try to attain those goals. Go ahead, try it now, just for a few minutes.

Did any of the following usually unconscious, autopilot, often socially conditioned responses come up for you?

Why can’t you do it right? Do it faster! You sure about that? What if you’re making a mistake? Maybe they know better than you? Watch out! You’ll never be good enough. You better wait, what if it doesn’t work?

Yikes! This programmed self-critic isn’t HELPING you in any way, but this issue has been coming up some recent coaching sessions, and because my coaching mantra is ‘It’s time to get out of your own way’ that means putting an end to any mindless, autopilot self-criticism.

The mind has thousands of thoughts a day, so we can’t possibly correct EVERY thought that comes up, but we CAN notice them, without attaching judgment. Then, try to let them just dissolve like a passing cloud on the horizon. Casually notice, then dismiss that harsh inner critic, and pay attention enough to interrupt any stream of thoughts that drag you down, de-energize you as you move towards what you want. Try it today, and see how you do. Do these thoughts HELP you in any way?

Are self-criticism, punishment, admonishment, etc., really the BEST you can do to move towards your goals?

You can’t criticize your way to ‘success’ and even if you can temporarily motivate yourself via this kind of negativity, it will be short-lived, and unsatisfying. Is that really how you want to live your life, turning against yourself, cracking that whip, as your best option for achieving your goals? When we understand there are far better ways to self-motivate, which actually make us feel GOOD, fill us with vibrant energy and self-worth (and thus, self-confidence), we can tell that inner critic to take a hike, because we’ve found a better, far more satisfying (and effective) way to be successful.

Try this exercise today, and identify three of your most common forms of self-criticism. Take a hard look at them, and then decide you’re going to release them and choose a more satisfying means of filling up your fuel tank. Write your own mantra, to train your brain to believe success is NOT attached to self-criticism. Before long, you’ll start ticking off that ‘to do’ list with greater ease, and FEEL good in the process. That’s the kind of ‘success’ I’m looking to experience, what about you?

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It’s Time to Get Out of Your Own Way!

Read the headline for this story again. That no-nonsense mantra hit me like a ton of bricks recently during a coaching session with a client, and I jotted it down immediately so I wouldn’t forget. Over the years, I’ve interviewed incredible energy healers and wellness experts, and experienced almost every healing modality out there. It’s been amazing. But I’m realizing more and more that this one nugget of intuition might be the most simple, powerful strategy for ‘healing’ I’ve ever heard.

It’s time to get out of your own way.

headacheI think this statement applies to everyone. We’ve all been stuck (either for a short time, or possibly for many years) in some job, relationship, limitation or other unhappy circumstance. But our minds often find many logical reasons ‘why’ we can’t move on or get what we want: My boss sucks and doesn’t appreciate me. I’m too fat. I’m not good enough. People don’t like me. I’m not lucky. Other people are so stupid! Why don’t they appreciate me?

Do any of these sound familiar? What would be on your list? It’s unbelievably easy to fill our minds with all this noisy, negative chatter, and feel resigned to the fact that happiness and real fulfillment are (for now) out of the question. One day, maybe. After all, life is just too stressful, people are just too crazy, and there’s too much to do, right?! But do these statements help you get what you want, or do they just litter your own personal landscape, and slow you down?

Understandably, most people accept that they’re stressed out and stuck, and look for ways to cope with these feelings of powerlessness. You slowly forget that you have choices, and that you’re naturally equipped with a limitless capacity for change. So you muddle along, doing the best you can – stuck and in your own way. If that’s OK with you, fine and dandy. Don’t judge yourself, it’s OK to choose to stay the same.

But if you’re feeling adventurous and brave, I’ve found that when you take a moment to ask yourself a scary question – What role am I playing in any or all of these unhappy circumstances? – you can then start to see opportunities to break free, and get out of your own way. Hint: If you think the only reasons you’re not living at optimal levels are ‘out there’ or ‘their fault’ or ‘that’s just the way I am’ this is your chance to snap out of that inertia (blame accomplishes nothing) and start liberating yourself so you can achieve that big goal, or just be happier and more peaceful each day.

The fact is, this isn’t pie-in-the-sky, airy fairy New Age stuff: You CAN be happier and more powerful than you’ve ever imagined, once you learn to get out of your own way, and allow yourself to live life more freely. What would your life be like without that noisy, negative chatter weighing your down, getting in your way?

Want to learn more about how to get out of your own way? To get started, go here or fill out this quick and easy intake form here. For a free, 30-minute consult, contact me here. 

Are You Stuck in Approval-Seeking Mode?

Hate in any form is toxic and destructive, especially when you hold onto it. So while I’m taking a deep breath and letting go of the latest insanity coming out of Washington, I’ll direct my ire at an enemy we all share in one way or another: approval-seeking! Guess what? I hate it.

I know you’re not supposed to hate anything (or anyone) because as the well-known adage goes, holding onto hate is akin to your taking a vial of poison thinking it will kill your enemy. But this particular poison – approval seeking — drains your energy, individuality and personal power; needing and seeking and obsessing about the approval of others is energetic poison, and each and every one of us dips into this toxic well far too often.

The truth is, approval seeking is incredibly stressful — and exhausting.

So WHY do so many of us seek approval? More specifically, what’s wrong with being nice and seeking approval? Here’s the problem: Needing and seeking their approval is akin to saying, “YOU’RE more important than I am. I need you to approve of me so I can feel good about myself.”

So we dress a certain way. We conform, act and preoccupy our every move with fear-based thoughts such as “what if they don’t like me?” It’s safe to say that virtually everyone on earth has experienced similar thoughts like this one, sometimes hundreds of times per day. We get desperate to impress, to get more ‘likes’ and attention, online and in the world. But what do you think that’s doing to your true potential, creativity, and moment-to-moment peace of mind? The truth is, approval seeking is incredibly stressful — and exhausting. Life becomes a chore. Anxiety rises. How does that help you (or anyone)?

So ask yourself right now: Are you seeking too much approval in your life?

Start to observe yourself today, in everyday interactions, out getting coffee, at a meeting or even at home. Are you motivated by approval (“do you like me, am I OK?”) or by a genuine desire to express and share your authentic self with the world? Lingering discomfort, resentment, and anxiety can be an indicator you’re in approval seeking mode. If so, it’s time for some changes, because life is way too short to spend it seeking and needing approval.

Here’s a simple action step you can take today: Say to yourself ‘I don’t need anyone’s approval to be happy’ every time you catch yourself in approval-seeking mode. Write down or make a mental note of what happens when you introduce that fresh, empowering thought into your mental patterns. Keep doing it, and this will interrupt any toxic patterns of seeking the approval of others at your own expense. WARNING: Expect an ‘aha’ moment or two (or three) while practicing this.

Here’s a great irony: The less approval you seek, the more you tend to receive. Your energy and attractiveness go way up, because people sense that you genuinely like and approve of yourself – it’s infectious and liberating. Everyone wants to discover an easy way to start feeling good, and putting the kibosh on approval seeking is one of the best ways I’ve found to ignite natural good feelings and greatly increase your energy.

Interesting in learning more about coaching? Want to learn more about how to stop seeking approval, and living with more joy and less stress? To get started, go here or fill out this quick and easy intake form here.