Apr 142014
 

ISA30 

Today, I am going to answer a listener’s question and then I’m going to talk about why there are no bad people. Specifically I’m going to show you the benefits of seeing the good in others and how to do it.

Adrian Toro wrote in to ask: What is good pride? What is bad pride? When is pride healthy and when does it weigh us down? When we’re prideful are we walking away from resolving our issues? Are we disguising our prideful emotions by telling ourselves we deserve better?

I’m going to do my best to answer his questions this way:

For the purposes of this conversation there are two types of pride. There is pride of the ego (arrogance) and pride of the true self (love). So what exactly do I mean by pride of the ego? Well, our ego shows up when we forget who we are. Our ego has good intentions but unfortunately it’s even more confused than we are.

Our ego doesn’t know any better (poor little ego) so it tells us that who we are is wrapped up in everything external to us. It leads us to believe that what we buy, we what own, what we achieve, what money we make, what positions we have, what friends we have, and even what we look like determines our value. So, we sometimes carry this false sense of pride, the ego pride, as a means to either convince ourselves that we’re enough based on all these things or because someone has challenged us.

Ego Pride is usually expressed outwardly and often comes across as arrogance and/or bragging. You’ll know if the pride you feel is ego pride if you express it and then feel a little empty or not whole afterwards. Usually that expression of pride is more about proving to others that you are valuable and enough and less about actually celebrating that you just are enough.

On the contrary, pride of the true self is natural, not boastful and leaves one feeling fulfilled. There’s a lot to be proud about when it comes to our true self! After all, each of us is intelligent, beautiful, thoughtful, valuable, whole, and enough. That’s a lot to be proud about.

Pride of the true self never has a compare function in the equation. It’s never about being better than or less than anyone else. Pride of the true self is about appreciating what is true and never changing – who we really are.

I go into more detail in the podcast so please click here to listen now!

Why There Are No Bad People and How To See The Good In Others

“Bad” is a judgement used to describe characteristics of something that changes. You do not change therefore you literally can’t be judged. What I’m talking about is that non-changing constant part of you. Yes, there are parts of you that change like your hair, your skin, your fitness, your health, your personality, etc. If you took the 10-year old version of you as compared to today (assuming you’re now older than 17) every cell in your body would literally have changed. Yet, you are still the same you, right? Well, that’s the non-changing part of you that I’m talking about. That is the part that cannot be judged as it simply is what it is.

The same non-changing core of you (call it your soul, spirit, inherent nature…whatever) is the same non-changing one in everyone else you see. Anything covering that up is the cause of built up scarring from abuse, trauma, pain, hurt, lies, and fear. So, when we take this approach we can begin to see people for who they truly are and not for who they want us to believe they are.

We see others as a reflection of how we see ourselves. It’s very hard to see that authentic self of another if we’re not aware of our own authentic self (that non-changing part of us). So we our ability to see others is limited by how much of ourselves we’re able to see. The more you become aware of that internal goodness, wholeness, enoughness in you the more aware you’ll become of that goodness, wholeness and enoughness in others.

When we see what’s true about others we come from a place of non-judgement, we are self-secure, we allow ourselves to be open to who others are, not how they want us to see them, and we can learn so much more about who they are. When people are not aware of their true self they were masks to disguise themselves. With that mask on they may look like they have the best life in the world or they may look like they have the worst life in the world. In both cases, they are covering up their true self because they just aren’t aware of what that is. But you have a choice whether you want to see them as their mask or as their true self.

If we accept (refer to last weeks podcast) we can see that (who we are) we are not what we think, what we feel, or what we do. So, if we are not what we do, if our true self can’t be judged, and given everything else we just discussed then it must mean only one thing. There are no bad people only good people that do bad things. And if we accept this as being true and we can appreciate why seeing others as “bad” is actually harmful for both them and us then we can take steps to change that.

How do we see the good in others?

1. Separate what they do, think or say, from who they are (good people do bad things).
2. Look for things in people you may have judged in the past and instead focus on what is true about them.
3. Accept the goodness in you so that you can accept the goodness in others and vice versa.

If there’s one thing I can promise you it’s this. The more you start accepting yourself for who you truly are, the more you’ll start accepting everyone else for who they truly are. And when that acceptance turns into allowance (meaning you’re going to allow yourself and others to be that truth) miracles will happen.

I would be so grateful to you if you left me a written review on iTunes. Simply click here and click on the “view in iTunes” button, then the “ratings and review” tab and “write a review”. It will help the show be noticed by other like-minded individuals.

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Apr 072014
 

ISA29_Single_Most_Important_Thing 

In this weeks episode I share the single most important thing you need to know! So what’s this all about? Well, in this episode I thought it was important to share what I consider to be the fundamentals and the foundation of self-awareness. Why is this important?

Well we all want to be happy, right? We all want to have the opportunity to find our purpose in life and live out our passions. We want to love and be loved by others and we want to know that at the end of our lives we’ve made a difference in this world. Did I sum that up pretty well? I know this holds true for me and I can imagine that’s true for you as well. So how come we have so much trouble doing this?

Often times we point back to not having enough Self Love. The easy way to know that is by looking at the opposite effect which is self hatred. If you hate yourself you’re not going to be happy, you likely have no idea what your purpose is – in fact, you probably think  (incorrectly so) that there isn’t a purpose for you, there probably aren’t a lot of healthy and loving relationships and it’s going to be really hard to contribute to the world as you were intended.

If we know that self hatred leads down a dark path that many of us are and have experienced – by the way I certainly have most of my life – then self love must take us down the other path. I think that’s pretty clear and I haven’t heard too many people make the argument for hating yourself to reach enlightenment.

The problem is you can’t just start loving yourself. In fact, before you love yourself there’s actually one additional element and that is the foundation of all of this and all of life (well your life anyway). That foundation is called Self Awareness. You can’t love yourself if you have no idea who the heck you are, right? In fact, this is probably the most common question asked among all age groups, genders, cultures, ethnicities, races, religions, etc. More specifically the question, “Who Am I?”. This is exactly why I created this podcast to help answer that question. And to answer that question we need to understand who we are.

I love talking about the topic and in fact if I had to present somewhere (hint, hint…if you’re looking for a speaker EMAIL ME!) it would definitely be about this or at least incorporate this.

The one thing that you probably don’t tell yourself that you should start is this…

“I am NOT what I think, what I feel, or what I do.”

So what does that mean exactly? Well, first you should be listening to the podcast. I go into much more detail on the show and I really think you’re going to benefit by hearing my thoughts on this as this post will quickly turn into a book! Hey, there’s an idea! ;)

Let me give you the quick version though and then when you have 40 minutes you’re washing dishes, exercising, driving, or running errands go listen to the podcast.

I am not what I think.

So why is this true? Well, your thoughts if they are anything like mine are all over the place. From fantasies to day dreaming to thinking about worst case scenario to telling ourselves we aren’t good enough. Our thoughts leave our brains just as quickly as they come in. How could who we are be based on something that just flies in and out and changes from one second to the next?

More importantly, if you stop long enough you’ll notice that there are actual gaps in between our thoughts. True, it might be a fraction of a nano-second but there are gaps in between our thoughts. A brief period of time where we literally aren’t having a thought. In those moments, you still exist, right? Of course you do! It’s not like if you can meditate and not have a thought for 7 seconds that you somehow get teleported to some foreign planet right?

So clearly we are not our thoughts. If this is the case then we can stop BEING not good enough, not smart enough, and not attractive enough. Because, clearly those are thoughts we have and we are not our thoughts. So the next time you have a thought that you are not enough, simply notice that you are having that thought and then go and respond based on WHO YOU ARE and not on what you are thinking in that given moment.

I am not what I feel.

Everything I just said about thoughts holds true for feelings. We’ll be happy one moment and pissed off or scared to death 2 seconds later. What’s up with that? Well, those are just feelings! Yes, feelings are important and they can tell us a lot about what’s going on in our world.

All too often we confuse who we are with how we feel. We feel lonely and we become alone. We feel anxious and we become an anxiety attack. We feel sad and we become depressed. We feel angry and we become enraged. We’re literally turning into our feelings! Not surprising why so many heart attacks and heart illnesses are due to stress and guess what stress is? A feeling! We’re literally feeling our way into the hospital!

The good news is that while you do produce feelings you are the creator of them, not the victim of them. At least you don’t have to be anymore. Here’s how…

The next time you feel something (e.g.; happy, sad, frustrated, scared, anxious, angry, etc.) literally say, “Hello ______” inserting the name of the feeling into the blank. This might sound funny but you want to be able to give yourself just enough separation between WHO YOU ARE and how you feel! You get to have feelings and not become them. True? Of course!

I am not what I do.

We were all convinced at a young age that who we are has everything to do with what we do. That’s why we all wanted to be popular, get into that great school, get that degree, get that job, get that raise, make that money, buy that house, and have those friends. AND, if we didn’t do those things then we felt like crap. We would do our best to avoid people knowing the truth about ourselves for fear that that would find out “who we really are”.

All the while, who we are actually had nothing to do with what we did!! When you were born and for the first couple years of your life you didn’t do anything! Right? I mean you ate, slept and pooped but that was about it! You were still here, right? More than that, you were beautiful, creative, intelligent, important, enough, and whole. Yet you didn’t do anything. So who told you that after being born all these things you had to then go and spend the rest of your life proving yourself? It’s ridiculous!! We’ve gone from human beings to human doings. We’re all so busy and for what? Those few times we’re not busy and we’re so uncomfortable with not doing something that we freak out!

This week I want you to practice these exercises and practice telling yourself the single most important thing:

“I am not what I think, I am not what I feel, and I am not what I do.”

On the podcast I also give appreciation to those of you who have left reviews on iTunes. Unfortunately, many of you have left reviews months ago but I never saw them until just recently. Countries outside of the US show up differently in iTunes but fortunately I found a way to get these reviews so a big shout out to all of you in non-US countries like New Zealand, UK, Italy, Australia, and beyond who have left reviews.

It would help me out so much IF YOU left me a review on iTunes! If you could just take 3 minutes right now by clicking here! That link will take you to iTunes where you can launch the iTunes application and leave a written review. I would be so grateful!!

Let me know your thoughts on this weeks topic as I’d love to hear from you and if we’re not connected on Facebook then please join me in the conversation over there!

Much Love and Big Hugs!!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Mar 312014
 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream.” – Peter McWilliams

By the end of today’s podcast we’re going to uncover one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves. We’re then going to look at 5 things we can start doing today to start living the life we all want and deserve!

In The News:

I open up this weeks episode sharing an article that’s was going around the interwebs last week. The article focused on a new school policy at New Haven Middle School in Evanston, Illinois. Several girls were told they were no longer allowed to wear leggings or yoga pants to school because they were “too distracting to boys”.

You can find the full article here:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/27/the-politics-of-leggings-in-middle-school.html

Earlier this month, several girls at Haven Middle School in Evanston, Ill. were told they would no longer be allowed to wear leggings or yoga pants to school because they were “too distracting to boys.

I go into this a bit more in the podcast but here are 3 highlights of what I shared in response to this article. I completely invite you to leave a comment on this post with your thoughts and feelings about this as well!

1. Nobody is responsible for the thoughts and feelings you put into your own brain.
2. When we blame others for the thoughts and feelings we produce we become a victim. Boys that sexualize girls based on what they wear are not victims.
3. Making girls feel responsible for taming the sexual appetite of adolescent boys is irresponsible and inappropriate at best and shamefully abusive at worst.

This Weeks Topic:

We all do the things that feel comfortable and then wonder why we’re not where we want to be. We…

stay in that same horrible job.
stay in that same horrible relationship.
blame the same people and things.
eat the same bad foods…

Now you might be thinking these things don’t feel so comfortable. And the reality is they  don’t BUT when we think about how UNcomfortable it would feel to leave your job, leave your partner, stop blaming, and start eating healthy it becomes MUCH MORE comfortable to stay doing the same things. So, we actually find comfort in the discomfort to avoid what we think will really be uncomfortable!

Are you following me?

What do you dream about? Losing weight and having a certain body type? Being in a loving relationship? Owning your own business? What do these things all have in common?

In order to have these things you need to do things that aren’t comfortable. You need to leave the bad relationships you’re in, you need to take that scary jump into the world of startups, you need to eat healthy and exercise! But you know all this right? So why don’t you do it?

Your avoidance to discomfort is so fierce that your brain will trick you into thinking you don’t know! How many courses, seminars, books, podcasts, and documentaries have you consumed in an effort to “learn” how to do something and then come to realize that you never do it?

It’s because you never needed to learn those things to begin with. Your brain was avoiding the discomfort of actually doing the work SO BAD that it convinced you that you needed to learn first. A brilliant stalling tactic, huh?

Okay, so we all agree that in order to make all those dreams come true we need to get close with discomfort but how?

Listen to the podcast now to hear much more!

1. Discomfort is just a feeling and you are not your feelings.

2. Get very vocal about your dreams and then have others hold you accountable.

3. Practice getting uncomfortable: Hate listening to rap? Start listening to it. Need an extra sweater in the evening? Toss the sweater. Sit with your right leg over your left? Switch! Wear your watch on your left wrist? Wear it on your right.

4. Write out what you know you need to do to make that dream come true. Look for the things that feel the most uncomfortable and set a date to do those first.

5. Hunt discomfort down. When you have two choices pick the one that feels the most uncomfortable.

We all have big dreams no matter how different they might be. But we all share that same addiction. The addiction to feeling good and we’re so good at it too! And we’re awesome at avoiding discomfort. We’re also awesome at having dreams and never actually living them. So if we can just take some simple steps to start tweaking that a bit, we can get closer to living the life we want.

You don’t have to make drastic changes in your life. Little shifts every day will help set you in the right direction down the path to your dreams. Just take little shifts.

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Mar 242014
 

ISA27

This week we have a very special episode of The I Simply Am Podcast. It’s special for two reasons! First, we have a great topic and if living your best life is of any interest to you then you’re going to want to hear it! Second, and certainly not least I have an amazing conversation with my friend fellow Life Coach, Author, and Speaker – Mike Hrostoski.

This week I introduce you to Mike who has a really cool story and shares his amazing experiences that have helped get him to where he is today. Mike and I share different stories on the surface but underneath it all we’re very much alike. I think after listening to this weeks podcast you’re going to see how your story is quite similar too.

We uncover how most of us are raised to believe that we’re supposed to go through life figuring it out alone. That asking for help and support means we’re weak and it’s not tolerated in many circles. This forces many of us to shut down and isolate when it comes to dealing with things in our life that hold us back.

Mike points out how he couldn’t have made it to where he is today alone. Mike is as big of an advocate for being a part of Community as I am. Without giving away all the juicy details of the conversation Mike gives us our weekly challenge. He gives us specific steps to take so that we can surround ourselves with the Community and support we need and deserve. Listen right here or join us over on iTunes and listen and subscribe here!

Our conversation lent itself very well to a new project Mike is working on called The Conference For Men. This is Mike’s first Conference after years of coaching men individually as well as in retreats and in workshops. This years conference is going to be held in San Diego, CA on April 25 – April 27. Men from all over the world will be attending so if you are a Man or know one who is looking to take their life to the next level this is the conference for them!

If you want to find out more about Mike check out his site at www.hrostoski.com. I’d love to hear what you thought of this weeks podcast with Mike so feel free to email me or leave a comment on the blog!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

 

Mar 172014
 

ISA26_Perfectionist

Perfectionism affects us all. Whether there are certain areas of our life where we think we need to get it perfect or it’s our way of life. It’s a funny thing too because as much awe think deep down inside it’s no good for us in many ways we actually stand behind it as if we’re somehow better for it.

It creeps up on us whenever we’re creating anything. Even this post, I wonder if I’m going to get it “just write”. The podcast that these show notes support, did I get that perfect? The answer is No and that’s okay. For perfectionism has stopped me from moving forward in life way too many times.

It’s why I decided to create this weeks podcast and why I think it’s important to share the truth behind perfectionism. It’s also why I decided to put out this weeks challenge in support of how we can live our best version of who we are.

Perfectionism isn’t something that helps us get to the next level. It’s not something that ensures we get to live our dreams. In fact, what we can be certain about is that perfectionism keeps us small, prevents us from building the kinds of relationship we desire, fulfill the dreams we long for, and ultimately live the kind of life we really want to live.

I’ve identified 4 things I know are true about perfectionism along with the lessons learned. For the complete story check out this weeks podcast on iTunes or listen to it directly here!

People Pleasures suffer from it: Those of us that suffer from people pleasing are usually perfectionists too. We figure if we’re going to make sure “they” like it then it has to be perfect. We don’t want them to think any less of us or to feel anything less than amazing all the time.

Lesson: You’re not responsible for how other people feel! If you press to hard on this you’re actually manipulating them instead of letting them actually feel whatever it is they’re going to feel. Do you want to be a manipulator? While pleasing others is a wonderful thing “People Pleasures” take it a step further and the driving force under it all is perfectionism.

You Are Enough: Often times we think we need to get it perfect because we’ve accidentally and unintentionally confused who we are with what we do! If it’s not perfect then that means that I’m not perfect. I can’t be less than perfect so I need to make sure this is perfect. No! No! No! This is all backwards!

Lesson: STOP THIS! When you were born you didn’t create anything and yet you were a good enough baby, right? Being enough is our starting place not something we get to after “getting it right”. Perfectionists never think they’re enough because they’re always trying to prove that by getting it just right (perfect).

You are Fallible: Part of being a whole person means you’re made up of many different qualities. One quality that you might not think is a quality is fallibility. This means you GET to make mistakes. Mistakes aren’t bad in and of themselves. Mistakes allow you to learn and to grow. Mistakes are opportunities for you to get back to being curious and create or be creative. Imagine if you got everything right all the time you’d never be curious and you’d probably stop creating eventually. The passion and the drive to create would be dried up as you’d already know exactly how it was going to turn out.

Lesson: The next time you beat yourself up for making a mistake, instead realize that this is actually what makes you whole. Embrace that and celebrate that and know that it is okay. Being a perfectionist actually convinces you you’re not whole by making you think it’s not okay to get it anything less than perfect!

Perfectionists are driven by fear: When you are in perfectionist mode you’re in fear mode. You’re preventing yourself from moving forward out of fear that it’s not just right. Perfectionism is the perfect disguise for fear because it leads people to think that you’re super caring or detailed. The reality is you’re fear is in the drivers seat and you’re in the passenger seat. That is no place to be when you’re the creator of your own life. 

Lesson: Think about progress, not perfection. You no longer have to let fear run your life and whether you want to call it fear or not if you’re a perfectionist then fear is in the drivers seat. I’m building my first online course right now. You better believe that perfectionism has shown up and I’ve had to be real careful about letting it take over! There’s a difference between caring and ensuring what you create is the best it can be and being suffocated by perfectionism. The truth is, if I let perfectionism take over I’d never release this course and both you and I would have lost.

ISA Weekly Challenge:

1. Think of an area in your life where you fall victim to perfectionism.
2. Remind yourself that you are not responsible for other peoples feelings.
3. Remind yourself that you are enough as you are and nothing you create is going to change that one way or the other.
4. Remind yourself that you get to make mistakes and that you enjoy staying curious and creative.
5. Go ahead and feel fear but choose to act based on something else, like who you are!

Remember, progress not perfection.

What things in your life are you a perfectionist about? What one thing are you going to get off your plate this week that’s been hanging around waiting to be just right?

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Mar 122014
 

Close up of a couple arguing

In this weeks podcast I share with you a simple process I found that really helped me relieve a lot of stress I was dealing with. I highly encourage you to subscribe to the podcast and listen to this weeks episode!

Before I get into the topic for the week on the podcast I share some information about someone I truly admire. Michael J. Chase founded The Kindness Center and speaks publicly, authored a book, and has helped thousands and thousands of people live a life of kindness.

He’s truly an inspiration and he recently found himself expressing how brave, courageous, and vulnerable he is by asking for support! He’s created a special page asking for donations for his non-profit so he’s not forced to shut down this amazing Organization. In addition to supporting Michael, a $25 donation will also get you access to his recent course, “9 Choices The Happiest Courses Make”. I’m personally donating and highly encourage you to do the same!

A Simple Way to Deal With Stress

Stress rears its ugly head all too often for many of us. If you have a demanding job, are married, have children, or even go to school, stress is probably not a foreign concept to you. Yet, as often as stress shows up in our lives we’re not often given a lot of tools for how to deal with it. In fact, for most of us it’s talked about as if we just have to put up with it – like an annoying cold.

Yet the difference between a cold and stress is that a cold is something that’s happening to our bodies. Stress on the other hand, is something that’s happening in our brains. Yes, it can be felt all over our bodies and has been linked to many diseases including heart disease it does originate in our heads.

I don’t say this to mitigate or minimize the affects of it in our lives. I am making this distinction because it actually tells us some very promising news. If stress originates in our brains that means we have control over it! At least to the extent that we can take actionable steps to mitigate or minimize its affects.

Last week was extra challenging for me and filled to the brim with stress. I was dealing with a lot of family issues in addition to a busy work week! There were some things I could physically do to take off my plate but others I just had to deal with. Sometimes when our plates get filled up there’s no other choice than for it to start to overflow. I think it’s when they overflow that we really start feeling those symptoms come on.

I would up taking care of myself last week without recognizing what was happening until I spoke to a friend last night. When I was sharing with him what a week I had he said, “Boy Josh, you have your plate full!”. I replied, “Actually, I have a lot of plates!” and that was true! What I had been doing was collecting more plates!

Let me explain…

I came to realize that some of the things I was dealing with couldn’t be “fixed”. There were situations that I knew I just had to feel uncomfortable about. So even though I couldn’t necessarily fix the problems I knew I didn’t have to become overwhelmed as a result. So I reached out for more plates. I tweeted a friend and shared a little bit about what was going on. So a little bit of that stress went onto that plate. Then I had a Facebook chat with another friend about what was going on and a little bit more went onto that plate. I spoke to people on the phone, talked to my wife, and again more plates became available to hold some of that stress.

I suddenly realized that by sharing my story with others I was able to take a little bit at a time off of my plate and know that it was safe on theirs. I didn’t ask anyone to “fix” me and simply asked for them to listen. Just the simple act of someone listening to you without giving any advice is healing in and of itself and that’s exactly what I got. I got some air and light on that stress and it thinned it out a bit. I took that weight off my plate and it was just a little bit lighter.

So while I may have not made everything go away somethings aren’t meant to just go away. Sure, eventually they will and already this week things are much easier but that’s only because I chose to reach out. I chose to collect more plates and I chose to spread out all the weight and overwhelm of that stress.

Take these steps for this weeks ISA Weekly Challenge:

1. When you feel stress come on remind yourself that because it’s in your brain you can do something about it!
2. Reach out to people (at least several people) and share whatever is comfortable for you just to get it out.
3. Ask them to listen to you without trying to fix or solve the problem.
4. Recognize that while the stress might still be there, you no longer have to bear all that weight.
5. Take a deep breath in appreciating that this is what self care and self love looks like. Congratulations!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Mar 032014
 

Close up of a couple arguing

Whether you’re in a romantic relationship, have a close friend, or have family members you’re bound to have had an argument at some point. Sure, some of us get into more arguments than others but the truth is it’s something we’ll all encounter at some point or another.

Sometimes making up is nothing more than both parties ignoring what happened. Other times, the argument causes both people to completely stop talking. Then there’s that “makeup talk” that the rest of us face. Having that makeup talk can be difficult territory for us since there’s nerves on the line and while both parties want to get past the argument, both still have some unresolved business.

This occurred to my wife and I recently and we utilized 10 tips that helped making up after that argument so much better! While these 10 tips are based on making up after an argument with my wife they are just as valid if you’re making up with your family member or best friend. Listen to the podcast for an in-depth look at these top 10 tips!

1. Check yourself
Are you in a place to talk? Really check in with yourself and make sure you’re in a place where you want to have this conversation. The last thing you want to do is pick the wrong time to have that makeup talk. Here’s the important thing though. If now is not the right time to have that talk, make sure you tell them when exactly when a good time will be. The last thing you want to do is say, “not now” and then just leave it open. That’s passive aggressive and will just make matters worse.

2. Check your surroundings
Are the kids needing your attention? Are there other distractions around you? Look around and make sure your surroundings are conducive to having this important talk. You’re going to want to make sure you can give your full attention and also receive their full attention. So this might mean that you have to move your conversation to a new room in the house or a different setting. Just be aware so you don’t wind up sabotaging this important connection.

3. Breathe
I know, you’re obviously breathing but what I’m talking about here is conscious breathing. This will be extra important when you’re listening. Focus on your breath coming in and notice the lower part of your belly expand and then gently collapse as you exhale. Not only will this help you think clearly when you’re feeling emotional but it will also allow you to keep those judgements at bay when the other person is speaking. Focus on your breath!

4. Ask before giving feedback
Ask them if they are in a place to receive some feedback. You’ve listened to them share and you’re probably wanting to give your reaction to what they just shared. Perhaps this is the first time talking since you had that argument/disagreement. In either event, you want to make sure the person is in a place to hear you. If they are not then what’s the point of sharing? They’re just going to put up a wall and shut you down. Remember, this is a makeup talk so you want to be sure you’re moving in the right direction. They’ll also feel respected when you ask if they are in a place to receive some feedback.

5. Use “I” statements
My mentor, Lee Garland, taught me this one and it works so well as challenging as it is to actually put into practice. If this is the first time you’re talking to your partner/family member/friend since that last argument things are likely to be quite sensitive. Using “you” statements typically follows some type of blame and can easily cause the other person to get defensive. This is hard to put into practice but do your best to use “I” statements. For example, “When I hear someone yell I feel scared and angry. If I’m going to be in this relationship it’s only going to work if I know I’m not hearing yelling.” This is just an example but you can see it’s hard for someone to get defensive about a statement like this. You’re not blaming them and really the statement is all about you; about how you feel and what works and doesn’t work for you. Remember, keep this about yourself as much as you can and it will help so much!

6. What they share is about them
Similar to the last tip, this is a great reminder that what they share with you even though it may involve you is really about them. Their thoughts and feelings are their thoughts and feelings so let them own them. If you’re having trouble with this one refer back to #3 and breathe!

7. Show up for yourself
Show up for yourself by asking for what you need! Look, if you’re going to make this work and truly heal and forgive then you’re going to have to make sure you don’t leave the most important person behind…you! Make sure nothing is missing either when you start thinking of what you need. You don’t want to walk away from this conversation where your goal is to makeup only to feel resentment or frustration over not asking for what you need. So really look inside yourself and make sure you don’t leave anything unspoken.

8. Look each other in the eye
One way to make sure that the other person doesn’t think they are being heard is to look elsewhere when they are talking. Make sure they know you are giving them good attention and that you hear them. Look into their eyes when they’re talking and let them know you truly care about where they are and that you are here to listen. Ask the same of them too! If you’re talking and they seem distracted or looking at other things politely ask them to give you attention by looking at you.

9. It’s so much more than this moment
Your relationship is so much more than just this moment. What that means is that you can have an argument and still love someone. Love doesn’t only exist when things are going well. I can love my wife and still feel mad at her. Both coincide at the same time. This is important to understand as you’re going through these difficult moments.

10. Hug
The best way to end that makeup conversation and transition back into your healthy relationship is with a little physical affection. However, before you dive in for that hug make sure you ask if they’d like to have on first. I know this might sound weird with someone you’re used to hugging all the time but you’d be surprised just how nice that other person might react. When you ask someone if they’d care to share a hug it gives them a chance to see if they want to be physically touched right now. It also let’s them know that this is something you’re sharing and not something you’re just forcing on them.

We all get in arguments and disagreements from time to time and certainly with those we love. How we handle that makeup talk is critical to determining if we’re building a healthy relationship or one that’s going in the same or worse direction. I’ve shared 10 tips that I think will make a massive difference in building the relationships you want in your life. But I also know that these aren’t the only 10. So what tips do you have when it comes to making up with that important person?

If you’re reading this post I highly encourage you to listen to the 30-minute podcast for much more!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Feb 242014
 

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Last week I auditioned for TEDx. If you hadn’t read that post or listened to episode 22 of The I Simply Am Podcast I highly encourage you to do so. In fact you probably should now as this episode is kind of a spoiler alert!

If you’re still reading I’m assuming you either read the last post or listened to last weeks podcast or you’re okay with finding out what the deal is all about! Well, the reason I’m even talking about rejection this week is because this is exactly what I had to face. Unfortunately, my topic was not a fit for the theme of this years TEDx in Monterey, CA.

As you can imagine I had some feelings about this but more importantly it was a tremendous learning experience for me. That’s exactly why I’m actually excited to be sharing this weeks podcast with you! If you’d like to listen in and find out all the details do so now! Otherwise, read on for the show notes…

In this weeks podcast I share with you 4 main themes that play into rejection and by the end you’ll see, as I have, that we simply can’t be rejected. You’ll also gain some practical tips for grappling with all those feelings and allow yourself to move forward with great drive!

Shame

Shame is a scary thing actually as it’s one of those evils that’s seemed to creep its way into our lives. Most of the time we don’t even realize it’s in our life which is what makes it so dangerous. For me, shame is any type of messaging we either tell ourselves or hear from something/someone outside of ourself that infers we are less than who we are. Thoughts of not good enough, not attractive enough, not intelligent enough, and not lovable enough are all examples of shame. Of course, when we’re in situations where we think we’re rejected those thoughts can easily creep into our head.

I’ve been at this personal development stuff for some time now and those thoughts still pop up into my head. In fact, they did after I found out that I wouldn’t be talking at TEDx. The difference is that I know where those thoughts came from, I know they’re simply not true, and they lasted about 2 seconds before I kicked them to the curb.

The fact that my topic didn’t line up exactly as TEDx would have liked it for this years theme has NOTHING to do with the power of my message, my ability to present it, or whether or not I’m good enough to be even writing this post or doing the podcast. Shame is NEVER right and when these messages creep into your head, especially after rejection shows up, it’s a queue to know it’s total bull!

Emotional Loss

An interesting emotion came up for me after I received word about TEDx. It was a feeling of loss and emptiness. Is that shame again showing up not only in my thoughts but my feelings too? You’re darn right it is! How do I know? Because, how can I feel loss for something I never had? It’s not like I was invited to speak at TEDx and then they suddenly took it away. Even if that was the case, it was still nothing I had as it hadn’t happened.

Furthermore, I’m whole…I was born whole and I’m still whole. Any feeling of emptiness is obviously shames way of keeping me down and that’s just not going to work for me. We all know our thoughts can try and wreak havoc on our success in life and this common feeling during rejection is yet another tricky way shame tries to get in our way.

Remember, you create your own feelings which means two things. First, they can never become bigger than you (it’s in your head) and two, you are not defined by them. You were all of the wonderful qualities you are today before you even had your first feelings.

Unrejectable (yes, I know this isn’t a word)

You can’t reject me, you can only reject what I do, and I am not what I do. [TWEET THIS]

Remember that shame thing I was just talking about? Yea, well when we were little someone or something did a darn good job of convincing us we were something other than who we really are. That’s the power of shame. If we couldn’t know that we were enough simply by waking up in the morning we had to find all kinds of ways to define ourselves.

We turned to what we do to define who we were. We looked for job titles, college degrees, awards, acknowledgements, winning, being the best at, doing it faster, making more money, buying “nicer” things, and the list goes on and on. We’ve literally turned from Human Beings into Human Doings.

If we can acknowledge that shame has convinced us we need to turn to the outside to define who we are then we can also acknowledge that the truth is that we are not defined by those things. It means we are not products of what we do just like we’re not products of what we think or even feel. That is why you can’t be rejected. You’re unrejectable!

Attention on Intention

If I placed all my focus on the outcome, as we often do, then I would be in big trouble! In other words, if my focus was only on making it to TEDx then I’d be done at this point. If I bought into the fact that my topic wasn’t picked and shame quickly followed then I’d quit.

But my attention is on my intention and not the outcome. That means I get to focus on my intention of sharing my message with the world knowing that might be in the form of a TED talk or in a million other forms. Because I’m not focused (only) on the outcome I’m allowing for my intention to manifest in limitless ways. I may not know what the outcome is supposed to look like and that’s okay because my focus is on my intention.

It also allows me to continue moving forward because again, outcome is just a small factor in my drive.

Surrender to expectations and let intention guide you! [TWEET THIS]

And guess what? Because I am placing my attention on my intention I can celebrate that in fact I did exactly what I set out to do! No, it might not have looked like I thought it would (outcome) but I definitely succeeded at manifesting my intention. How? TED is all about sharing ideas and I shared my idea with 25 other people during that audition. I did it!

So the next time you think you’re being rejected see how fast shame shows up, check yourself when you start confusing who you are with what you think and feel and remember you are unrejectable!!

ISA Weekly Challenge

1. Notice this week when rejection shows up. It may be a boss rejecting your idea or even something as simple as a spouse not liking your idea about the way you want something. Rejection shows up in all forms not just those big events.

2. Remind yourself what your intention is. What’s your cause, your mission…allow yourself to consider that the outcome may be even greater than you originally thought.

3. Affirm that you can’t be rejected because you are not what you do! This is a hard one but with constant reminders it will ring true.

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Feb 212014
 

Commitment

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve gotten myself signed up for something or committed to something that I had no business being involved in. Whether it was just not the right fit for me or it involved money I didn’t have, too many times I wound up getting myself screwed, and not in the good way.

Yes, a lot of that evolves from not being able to say No which I talked about before and will certainly continue to do so. Saying No can be a hard thing for so many of us and it’s something I’m still practicing. But what if there was something we could do before we even get to that No? Something we could do before we even commit to that thing we shouldn’t be committing to?

A couple of weeks ago I was on Facebook and a friend of mine posted that her friend just did a TEDx talk. This totally caught my eye because I was only a week away from auditioning myself. I took the opportunity to introduce myself to this woman and we exchanged some Facebook comments with each other. That exchange led to “friending” each other and that led to a couple of emails and then a phone call.

We spent a half hour on the phone and she gave me some wonderful advice on how to prepare for the TEDx audition I had. While that was extremely generous and sweet of her it wasn’t completely unusual for me. In other words, just a day later I spoke to another person on the phone for 2 hours (whom I just met on Facebook) and she also gave equally amazing advice. In fact, meeting people online isn’t that unusual for me and many of them have helped me as much as I’ve helped them! A nice exchange of loving energy, all supporting each other with similar goals!

Only this communication with the woman who gave the TEDx Talk was a little different. Her emails were extremely formal, much more so than anyone else I had been talking to. When she sent me another email stating, “As a coach, I make a habit of inviting people who are up to inspiring things to sit with me…and you fit the bill.”. It was really hard for me to read whether she wanted to help me out because she thinks I’m a great guy in a “pay it forward” kind of way or if this was a passive solicitation to coach me for payment.

Because I respected and valued her opinion I was just going to tell her that I wanted to talk without further questioning. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that I could be signing up for something I’m either A. not interested/ready for or B. can’t or don’t want to afford at this time. I knew I didn’t want to put myself in a position of having to say No (if I didn’t have to) or even worse wind up in some sort of ongoing financial obligation and commitment to be “working” with her.

So, what did I do to ensure I knew what I was getting myself into? What did I do to make sure that I could make a decision before the decision was made for me? What did I do to make sure that I wasn’t going to be paying for something I didn’t want, need or could afford?

Drum roll please…I ASKED!!!!!

I actually just decided I needed to be honest with her! I know….be honest…crazy, huh? So I wrote her back letting her know that her emails seemed formal (to me <–note, this in an important distinction as my language showed that it was my perception and not that the rest of the world thinks her emails are formal!) and I was unclear what type of relationship this was. Note: this is also a great way to test how good someone else’s boundaries are. She could have come back very defensive but she didn’t at all. It was clear she had good boundaries, understood that this was “my perception” and that I had a right to ask.

If you’re ever going to work with a coach or even a therapist I highly recommend getting keen on how good their boundaries are. The last thing you need when looking for support from someone else is someone that doesn’t have good boundaries themselves.

Back to the story…she actually let me know that this wasn’t a business proposition and that it was a conversation just to see if she could help and if it made sense to talk about moving that further in a professional way. I really appreciated her response and even more importantly I’m proud of myself for being honest, for being open, and for laying it out there. By doing so, I was able to squash any future awkward moments or put myself in a bad position.

So many of us struggle with commitments. How many times have you heard, “let’s get together soon” or even “let’s get together next Tuesday” or “I’ll email you!” and never hear from that person again for weeks or months? This happens to me all the time and the problem is that the issue just gets perpetually worse. Those people that are non-committal then feel shame for “missing the commitment” and then don’t reach out for even longer periods of time. Ever have someone who bailed on plans with you only to not hear from them for weeks or months? Yup, hello Shame!! We can’t control what other people do but we can clearly control what we do.

So I invite you to try this out yourself! The next time you’re in a position where there is uncertainty or confusion open up, be honest, and ask! It might feel scary at first but it will save you so much agony down the road! What things do you do to ensure you’re not committing to something inappropriately? I want to hear so let me know in the comments of this post!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

Feb 172014
 

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This past weekend I auditioned for TEDx Monterey. What is TEDx you ask?

TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event. The annual conference began in 1990, in my current hometown of Monterey, California. TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

Listen to this weeks podcast where I share how I got to audition, what the audition was like, and most importantly why I think you should audition too! In this weeks podcast I give you 10 compelling reasons why you should audition even if you never have any intention on actually presenting!

10 Reasons I think you should audition for TEDx

1. Fear isn’t the problem in our lives. Fear is simply a feeling and “oh by the way?” we’re the ones who create it! So, we shouldn’t hate it or judge it as much as we might do. Instead, we should focus on our response to fear. Auditioning for something like TEDx, even if you have no intention on really becoming a speaker, is one way to practice. The goal here is to practice challenging our past response to fear. Our response to fear probably hasn’t been working for you has it? The only way to get comfortable responding differently is by practicing.

2. Stimulate that creative muscle of yours! TED is all about spreading ideas and I can only imagine how many amazing ideas you have! One of the best ways to cultivate more ideas is to get creative! So go out and do something creative. You’ll not only be stimulating that creativity muscle but you’ll be amazed at how many ideas you can foster! You might even come up with a solution to a current problem you have. Often times I wind up solving problems to other things in my life when I shift focus like that!

3. So many of us, myself included, question whether or not we’re an expert on anything or “good enough” to present something to a group of others. TEDx is about spreading ideas. Everyone has ideas right? Trust me, my 4 and 5 year old have plenty of ideas and I’m sure you have many of your own. Presenting at TEDx doesn’t mean you have the cure for Cancer, it just means you’re curious about something and have some thoughts on how you might want to respond to it. Auditioning for TEDx provides some solid proof that you are an expert, an expert idea maker!

4. You might share similar ideas as others. In fact, I’ve thought to myself that I shouldn’t share something because a million other people already have. The truth is nobody else can share that idea just like you. You are unique and a one-of-a-kind. In the history of the Universe there has never been another you and there never will be again. Are you going to prevent the one and only you from being heard?

5. You’ll meet some amazing people in your community. Because TEDx is a locally organized event it means that the majority of the speakers will all live near you. I was amazed at the number of inspiring, creative, and intelligent people that live in my Community. In fact, there was a friend of mine I saw in the audience during my audition. It turns out he was there with his wife who was also auditioning. I learned something new about him and his wife and I wouldn’t have known otherwise. The speaker that went after me was an Olympic Gold Medalist!

6. We thrive in community yet most of our life we’re taught that we’re supposed to do things alone. When I was getting ready for my audition I reached out to many people. I reached out to some for advice and others to give me feedback. It was great to be among the company of others and auditioning allowed me to share in the joy, creativity, and spirit of others who wanted to see me succeed.

7. It’s not too often we get to slap shame in the face. About 5 years ago if I would have attempted something like this there’s no way I would have told anyone about the audition until after I had already found out I was picked! If I wasn’t picked I wouldn’t have said a peep to anyone about it. I know now that my self worth and the value of my message has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not I make the cut. So I told everyone (including you now) that I auditioned in the face of the fact that I may very well not be selected. This is a great opportunity to slap shame in the face sit in my own truth.

8. Doing something like this is a wonderful example to set for your children (or other family members). My children are 4 and 5 years old so they don’t quite realize what I’m doing. However, this is great for any of our youth to see as it shows that literally anybody can pursue their dreams. Just auditioning is a huge deal and a wonderful example to set for the youth in your life.

9. I talk a lot about focusing on intention and surrendering to outcome/expectation. Most of us live our lives the other way around though. We’re fixated on the outcome and won’t stop at anything to ensure that we get it. Even if it means shifting our initial intention. The reality is when we focus on our intention and surrender to outcome we open the door to a world of possibility. For me, my intention is to share my message. Even if I don’t make the cut for TEDx it doesn’t mean that bigger things aren’t right around the corner. Bigger things are around the corner for you too!

10. The practice of Rejection or not: You’ll win either way because if you get picked you’ll have an opportunity to share your amazing idea with the world. If you don’t get picked you’ll have the opportunity to affirm what an amazing person you are in the face of not getting picked. Remember, who you are has nothing to do with someone else accepting or rejecting anything you do.

ISA Weekly Challenge

1. Do something creative and start cultivating those ideas
2. Sign up for a local TEDx audition
3. Practice, practice, practice
4. Go Audition!

BUT WAIT!!!!….

What if you agree with all of my reasons for doing this but you either refuse to audition or there isn’t a TEDx near you? That’s okay. Look, I want everyone to benefit from the message and the exercise here. It’s not about “TEDx” per se but rather stepping out of our comfort zone. Many local communities host contests for “Best photo” or dance/singing contests, etc. This is about stepping out of our comfort zone to benefit from the list of 10 I have above! Of course public speaking is one area of discomfort for so many of us and TEDx is an amazing conference that’s global which is mainly why I focused on that. So, please don’t let the “TEDx” thing be the reason you don’t join me!

Finally, I’ll know in about a week or so if I get picked to speak at the TEDx Monterey this April. I’ll certainly let you all know either way. Whatever happens, it’s been an amazing experience and I’m truly just proud of myself for going through with it. In many ways making the actual talk is irrelevant as I am living my intention and for me that’s what life is all about!

Want to live the BEST version of YOU!? Take the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge and start living the life you want today!

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