Jun 282013
 
 Amazing_Life_Shame
This is Part 3 of a 3-part Series on Shame. Part 1: What is Shame?, Part 2: What’s the big deal?, and now Part 3: The Most Powerful You!.  If you haven’t read Part 1 or 2 of this 3-Part series then please click here now and then head on back.
 

In Part 1 we talked about how I define Shame. There’s the feeling of shame which is expressed as ashamed and then a thought/false belief component of being “less than”. It’s important to have a very clear understanding of what shame is before attempting to even understand what its affects are.

In Part 2 I shared ways in which Shame kills our Self Esteem and hopefully showed you why it’s so devastating to our sense of self. Ultimately, shame prevents us from living the life we want and and deserve. This is why I’m going to show you how to live the most “powerful you” by looking at ways in which we can destroy the affects of shame.

As I discussed in Part 2 of this series, generally speaking the affects of shame (i.e.; false beliefs) happen over a period of time. They’re caused by the things our caregivers say, our teachers say, friends, and so on. It takes years before our beliefs go from acknowledging our goodness, beauty, and intelligence to believing we’re not good enough, ugly, and stupid. What’s worse is that the underlying false beliefs aren’t really even visible to us. We can see the ramifications of carrying these beliefs but it’s not like we’re wearing a sign that reads, “Hey, I think I’m not good enough!”.

So I have some good news and I have some bad news. Which do you want to hear first?

Well, the good news is I have tools to share with you that will help to change these false beliefs around. It is possible and very likely that you can go from believing you’re not good enough to believing you are! Even better, once you have your power back you’ll start acting on your new beliefs of Enough, Beautiful, Intelligent, and Important. Think for a moment what your life would look like today if you (deep down inside) truly believed you were Enough. I get chills just thinking of all the amazing things that would manifest in my life if I had truly believed in my own goodness.

Unfortunately, there is some bad news that I have to share though. I don’t have a magic pill for you. No, you can’t just “BE POSITIVE”. No, you can’t just do yoga or meditate or read some book. Sure, all of these things will help but what it’s going to take is conscious DAILY practice. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other night and I told him, “I spent 38 years of my life practicing to suck at life. I need to practice for the rest of my life how to not suck at life.”

No, it’s not going to take the rest of your life to see significant change. You can start seeing changes immediately. However, you’re going to have to put in the work, allow yourself to slip up, and keep doing it over and over and over. Remember, you were born with all of your inherent qualities intact. You didn’t start having thoughts that you weren’t enough until after people convinced you that you weren’t. What you need to do is convince yourself every day that you are enough. You can’t do this once a month or even once a week. It has to be every day!

I know you can do this! I know you will start to live the life you’ve always dreamed of! I know that you don’t have to take the shaming from others! I know how amazing and magnificent you are and you need to know too!

5 Steps To Living The Most Powerful You!

Step 1: Awareness

You can’t change anything until you’re aware of what needs to be changed. The first step is to figure out what your false belief is. Now, most people have many different false beliefs but you can focus on one for right now. Remember, a false belief is anything that contradicts your inherent nature. So any underlying belief that you are not good enough, not beautiful, not intelligent, not worthy, not lovable, not important, or not connected would be some examples.

Step 2: Acceptance

You need to begin the process of contradicting these false beliefs and this can be very painful. Many people have been shamed so bad that they deeply believe these false beliefs and to contradict them almost feels like death. We’ve held these false beliefs as a mode of comfort and love in many cases, as odd as that may seem. However, we must practice daily by reminding ourselves that we are our inherent qualities and not the false beliefs.

We need to do this when we’re feeling happy as well as when we’re feeling sad and mad. Remember, when Aunt Sally shamed you at 4-years old she didn’t first ask how you were feeling. Those that shame don’t care or even need to know how you feel, they just shame you. Ridding shame from our lives isn’t a matter of feeling a certain way, like happy. So to unravel this we need to remember that the truth about who we are need not be dependent on our feelings.

Step 3: Return the Shame

Now, I’m not suggesting that you go out and shame the people that shamed you into carrying these false beliefs. It’s very easy to get into a blame game here where you’re so focused on blaming Mom who made you feel not good enough. However, we don’t want to blame as that will just keep us in the victim role. Instead, we need to accept that these people were doing the best they could under the circumstances. This isn’t excusing what they did. It’s allowing us to accept it and to forgive ourselves from staying small.

In essence we’re not really returning the shaming but rather the “shaming feelings” they dumped on us. If they made us feel not good enough then we need to give “not good enough” back to them. This can be a mental exercise and I highly recommend against physically giving anything back to any caregiver. Remember, this work is internal and we can do this even with people that have passed on.

Step 4: Feelings Check

Determine whether you’re having adult/present time feelings or carried feelings of shame. While I always advocate that you are not your feelings, they are still a crucial navigator in determining your moment to moment response in life. What this means is that your feelings serve a crucial clue in determining whether your response to a situation is shame based (stems from a false belief) or if it’s a present time feeling response.

Listen closely to your feelings and allow yourself to feel them. They will tell you a lot about the meanings you’re applying to the thoughts you’re having. Generally speaking if your false beliefs don’t have a lot of power over you, you will experience moderate swings and levels of feelings throughout the day. Yes, you will experience sadness, disappointment, anxiety, and anger but they will all be very short-lived and not intense. This is why it’s so important to notice those times when you’re having very powerful expressions of a feeling. It’s telling you something and it wants to shine light on that false belief.

Step 5: Start Expressing Your Powerful Truth

Make your Inherent qualities your starting place instead of your false belief. Instead of walking into a crowded room of strangers thinking nobody is going to want to talk to me or that you don’t belong, start with your truth in mind! Walk into that room deciding that you are connected, you are lovable, you are intelligent, and you are beautiful. If these are your starting places in life, the way you respond to these situations will be so different.

Taking your power back involves truly believing in your truth. The truth that you are honest, you are magnificent, you are worthwhile, you are whole, you are intelligent, and that you are precious. You were put here to express your truth, your inherent qualities. If our lives were lived starting with all these qualities in mind this world would be so different! Dreams would be lived, wars would be something you read about in books, racism would be a thing of the past, homophobia, discrimination, crime, suicide, and a long laundry list of horrible situations we still find ourselves in today. They all point back to false belief and that false belief always come from the abuse of shame at the hands of others.

We no longer need to be victims of the abusive shame other people put on us. I know you must be as tired as I am thinking poorly of ourselves and not believing our truth. It doesn’t have to be this way and in fact, it shouldn’t be this way. Be gentle with yourself, get support, and keep your head up knowing you are so much more than you ever thought you could be. Today is the day you get to decide you are going to be that person!

If you’re ready to start your journey and want to find out specifically what your false beliefs are and what you can do to get them out of your life then consider working with me!

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Josh_Sig

 

 

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

Jun 262013
 
 Child_Shame
This is Part 2 of a 3-part Series on Shame. Part 1: What is Shame?, Part 2: What’s the big deal?, and Part 3: An end to Shame. Stay tuned for the last post later this week. Sign up today to receive an email when they go live and get a copy of the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge eBook by entering your email on the right.
 

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this 3-Part series then please click here now and then head on back.

In Part 1 we talked about how I define Shame. There’s the feeling of shame which is expressed as ashamed and then a thought/false belief component of being “less than”. It’s important to have a very clear understanding of what shame is before attempting to even understand what its affects are.

In this post I want to talk about the dangers of shame and answer the question, “What’s the big deal?”. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of clarity around the definition or what but many people still think shame is actually a beneficial thing. You may recall a recent viral video of a father who shot his daughter’s laptop in an attempt to “teach her a lesson”. Regardless of whether you think this was right or wrong, one thing that’s without question is, this was a shaming act. It was a shaming act because the intention of the father’s actions were to make the daughter feel “less than”.

The argument that many people have in favor of shaming is that it prevents people from doing “bad things”. However, shaming is as common as a cold and yet people do bad things all the time. It’s obvious and clear that shaming is not a productive or effective tool in behavior control. What it does effectively do is prevent that person from seeing themselves as Whole, Precious, Valuable, Worthy, Intelligent, Beautiful, and the list goes on. When we carry these false beliefs then it’s easy to see how we become Perfectionists, People-Pleasers, Judgmental, Criticizing, Accusatory, Fearful, Desperate, Depressed, Too Needy, Too Isolated and so on.

Nobody contemplates suicide who ALSO thinks they are completely beautiful, whole, valuable, precious, worthwhile, lovable, and important. Nobody gets involved with any type of crime, drugs, or alcohol who also thinks they are beautiful, whole, valuable, precious, worthwhile, lovable, and important. The very reason people become depressed, turn to isolation (in the form of drugs, food, consumption, etc.) and even suicide is because shame is present. It’s the shame, put on them from others, that causes them to literally abandon their authentic self.

Again, Shame (as I define it) is any act or suggestion that causes a person to think or believe they are anything other than their Inherent Nature.

The scary thing about the act of shaming is that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. I don’t believe shaming (for most of us) happens in one instance. I believe it mostly occurs over time. Yes, people that are victims of sexual and physical abuse normally can be shamed into these false beliefs (of not being enough) in just once instance. However, for most people who don’t experience this, it occurs over time.

It happens when a child who does something wrong is asked, “What were you thinking!?”. It happens when a child is told they are bad instead of being told they did something bad. It happens when a woman goes to a Dealership to buy a car, only to have the Salesman talk solely to her boyfriend, as if she doesn’t exist. It happens when a person calls themselves and idiot. It happens when someone is laughed at publicly. It happens at home, at school, at work, out shopping – it happens everywhere.

Most shame happens in tiny little pieces and most of us don’t even know it’s occurring. It’s the passive aggressive remark a parent makes to their child at Target. It’s the sarcastic remark a Teacher makes to a student. It’s the dismissive lack of attention the Salesman gives the woman at the Car Dealership. Shame happens in moments without you even noticing it’s happening. After months and years it piles up internally and becomes the false belief you carry around with you.

You know the false belief I’m talking about – that dirty little secret WE ALL carry around. That secret that we’re not good enough, we’re not lovable, we’re not worthy, we’re not precious, we’re not important, we’re not intelligent, or we’re not beautiful. Those are all false beliefs and they were all born from the act of shame.

I spoke to a group of 5-year old’s recently and asked them 3 questions. After each question I asked them to raise their hand if they could answer Yes. I asked them the following 3 questions:

  1. Do you know you are smart (intelligent)?
  2. Do you know you are beautiful/handsome?
  3. Do you know you are good?

Every single child raised their hand high over their head. I can only imagine if I asked these same questions to adults who have already experienced much shame in their lives. I bet you I’d get a different response. I cannot imagine a room full of adults honestly raising their hand in affirmation of these 3 questions, can you?

For the most part we don’t walk around telling people or even ourselves that we’re not good enough. It comes through in other less obvious ways. This is why shame is so deadly. We don’t even know when it’s happening and we don’t even realize we’re responding to life with its affects.

So, what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that when someone shames you they are literally molesting your Self Esteem. That shame causes you to abandon yourself (inherent nature). You no longer believe you are whole and lovable, and beautiful, and worthy, and intelligent. You respond to life based on what you believe about yourself. If you don’t think you’re worth anything you’re not going to live or love in the way that you deserve. This is the death of Self Esteem and Self Love. Calling this a “big deal” is actually an understatement. Shame is an abusive molestation of ones Soul.

While we may not be able to stop people from shaming us, we can stop its affects on us. There are specific tools we can use to fight against the affects of shame and from carrying these false beliefs. Not only can we prevent ourselves from becoming victim to shame but we can also help our children grow up without it. Now that we know what it is and the harm it can do I want to show you how to prevent it from affecting your life.

Stay tuned to the next and final post in this Series where we’ll look at specific things you can do to kick shame off you! It’s never too late to start and while it can be a long road ahead, it’s doable. The wonderful thing is that you can start seeing results immediately. You have so many amazing inherent qualities just waiting to be discovered and expressed and I’m going to help you.

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Josh_Sig

 

 

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

 

Jun 242013
 
 
Shame_Part_1
This is Part 1 of a 3-part Series on Shame. Part 1: What is Shame? Part 2: What’s the big deal? Part 3: An end to Shame. Stay tuned for the remaining 2 posts later this week. Sign up today to receive an email when they go live and get a copy of the FREE 5 Day Self Love Challenge eBook by entering your email on the right.

 

It took me the longest time to understand what shame was. In fact, I had spent a couple of years into real deep self-work in my own journey without even really having a good understanding of it. I’ve read a little bit from Brene Browne, whom I love, and it seems she shares similar views on shame as well. Brene defines shame this way, “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.”

I like Brene’s definition but I’d like to expand on it a bit. I think there are two parts to shame. Shame, as Brene points out, does have an emotional layer to it. This can present itself through extreme expressions of guilt, embarrassment, or depression. However, the reason that shame is so deadly is that it becomes ingrained in us to the point that we go through life not actually feeling those extreme feelings (that Brene refers to). What’s dangerous about this is that we can carry shame and not even realize it. It’s for these reasons that I like to use this simple definition.

Shame is any thought or feeling of being “better than” or “less than”.

The scary thing about shame is that we can be both the victim and the perpetrator, and often at the same time. We shame ourselves by allowing our thoughts and feelings to contradict who we inherently are. For example, this includes having thoughts that we are less than Beautiful, Intelligent, Valuable, Precious, and Worthy. Anytime these thoughts enter our minds the shame seeps in a little deeper each time. Having these thoughts about ourselves is literally how we become both the perpetrator and the victim. We’re very literally killing our Self Esteem.

Another way we inadvertently shame ourselves is when we have thoughts that someone else is better than us. This often happens when we compare ourselves to others. I recently wrote about a time I was comparing myself to someone else and it wasn’t a very nice experience. I realize whenever I compare myself to someone else I’m ultimately making up a story that either they are better than me or I am better than them. In either event, I’m not only judging (them or me) but I’m pulling myself further away from my Inherent Truth. Judging myself and/or others is always a form of shame.

Guilt and Embarrassment vs Ashamed

I think the reason so many of us discount shame is because we think of it as just a feeling. If you don’t feel ashamed then you think you don’t have shame. It can also get confusing as it’s closely related to some other very common feelings. Guilt and embarrassment are two other very closely related feelings.

Often times we make a mistake and feel guilty. Guilt is a natural feeling that we have when we do something that hurts someone else. I may be playing with one of my children in a playful wrestling match. My 3-year old son, Jake, loves when I throw him on the bed! There has been a time or two when he landed badly or we just bumped a little too hard. I can feel guilty that he got hurt as a result of something I did. Although, I know it was purely an accident and that it’s a risk we take when play a little rough. I know it’s guilt when I notice it’s there, feel it, and then it gently goes away in a short time.

The feeling of shame which shows up as ashamed takes guilt to a whole new level. If the same situation occurred with Jake then that “guilty” feeling wouldn’t have gone away so fast. What’s worse is that I would start talking or thinking negatively about myself. I would call myself an idiot, or think I’m a bad father, or think that I’m not good enough.

The same thing holds true for embarrassment. If I trip in the store at Target and some people see me, it’s completely natural that I’m going to feel a little embarrassed. But again, telling myself that I’m an idiot or having it turn into anger which then carries out through the rest of the day is called shame.

Joking About Ourselves

I was at a Retreat just one year ago when a bunch of us were talking about running a Marathon. I like to think of myself as a funny guy and most of my life I’ve always made myself the butt of the joke. Well this time was no different. I mentioned something like, “My fat ass gets tired just hearing about a marathon.” A good friend of mine caught me on this and I was so grateful. Calling myself a “Fat Ass” is shame by definition. I may have not felt it right on the surface and I probably wouldn’t since I used to say that often but how could I not feel “less than”? I couldn’t, and this is just another way we shame ourselves without even realizing it.

Life Beyond the Physical and Sexual Abuse

In this post I’ve been talking about how shame presents itself through language and the vast majority of the shame we carry and give to others is through language. However, this isn’t the only place shame shows up either. Physical and Sexual abuse is a horrifying experience for anyone victimized by such brutality. The only thing that lasts longer than the bruises, broken bones, and physical pain is the shame. Our bodies do an amazing job of healing themselves. A broken bone will heal in a matter of weeks or months but often times that kind of abuse still stays with us years and even decades later. Why is that? It’s the shame that we’ve carried through that trauma.

Someone abuses us and that abuse turns into thoughts that we are not safe, we don’t matter, we’re not lovable, we’re not good enough, and so on. What’s worse is that shame, unlike bodily injury, can’t be seen. We go through our life having healed from the physical injury but still carrying around the pain of shame. This is another example where you may not think you matter even when you’re not emoting the feeling of ashamed. This is why it’s so deadly and so hard to catch.

The more I’ve researched shame, the more I’ve come to believe that shame is the deadliest dis-ease today. What makes shame so deadly is that not only is it so devastating to our sense of self and our sense of others but it goes undetected on a daily basis. Understanding what shame is can help shed some light on it. Having the awareness that we are shaming ourselves, shaming others, or that someone else is shaming us is the first step to turning this around.

In the next post in this series I’m going to talk about where shame comes from and why it’s so harmful. In the last post of the series I’m going to share ways in which we can put an end to shame and live the fulfilled life we all seek. If you want to find out how shame is playing a role in your life and what you can do about it I’m offering Private Coaching where we’ll work on this together in a safe, non-judgemental, and loving environment.

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Josh_Sig

 

 

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

 

Jun 212013
 

Original Source, (c) http://studio3music.com

One of the hardest things I’ve learned on my journey is that I get to have feelings and not become them. That’s not how I grew up and like many people I would confuse who I was with how I felt.

“I am angry!”

“I am sad!”

“I am frustrated!”

“I am nervous!”

I would say these things and my response to the situation would be exactly what the feeling was. I became my feelings and they consumed me. If I “felt” angry I became anger and eventually abuse in the form of yelling, hitting (mostly objects), and acting out in rage. If I “felt” anxious/nervous I would crawl into a hole and not do anything or isolate by doing drugs, drinking, or turning to some other form of addiction.

I am. I feel. I am not what I feel.

It took me most of my life to be able to pry my sense of who I was from how I felt. It’s still a struggle today and it’s something I have to practice daily. As a parent to a 5-year old and almost 4-year old I often experience the feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. If you don’t know what I’m talking about just imagine trying to get those two to take a bath some nights. The intensity of those feelings makes me want to pull my hair out or just go crazy!

However, now that I’ve been practicing so much I know that even though those feelings can be intense and even though I need to stay with them, it doesn’t mean I have to become them. I know I’m having a feeling and I am at choice to respond outside of the feeling I’m experiencing. This is so so hard and yet with practice and over time it’s possible. The rewards are amazing and I’ve literally become a different person.

I’m doing my best to help my children understand that they too get to have feelings and not become them. Just this morning we were all getting ready to leave the house. My wife was getting ready for work and I was making lunches for the kids. My children had gotten me some balloons for Father’s Day that were still floating along the ceiling in our Living Room. My daughter wanted one of them but wasn’t actually asking outright for it either. Instead she was using a whiny voice and pointing. Soon her frustration grew as did her voice, her intensity, and her behavior.

I thought this was a good teaching moment for her so I asked her if Frustration is here. Asking her if that feeling was present right away disassociates the feeling from her person. It’s like the feeling of frustration becomes a second person in the room.

You cannot respond based on your Authentic Self if you’ve confused your Self with your Feelings.

It was important for me to ask her if Frustration was here because while I can guess what she’s feeling, she’s the only one who actually knows. She needs to learn how to identify what she’s feeling and not have someone else (even her Daddy) tell her what it is. Yes, identifying your feelings is something learned not something inherited.

I asked her to tell Frustrated that it wasn’t going to tell her what to do and to ask me to “Please give me that balloon”. These were two different tasks and while both were related neither of them was dependent on the other. She gets to acknowledge that she was feeling frustrated without me telling her to “stop feeling that way” or that “she was overreacting” or any other number of ways in which we mitigate our children’s feelings and ultimately shame them. She was able to do this while asking me politely for something she wanted.

I was so proud of her and I made a HUGE DEAL about it! This was a huge deal and if our children can learn this early on in life I know you can only imagine what possibilities open up for them as adults!

The good news is it’s not to late to incorporate this type of practice into our own lives. It’s never too late because life is always RIGHT NOW. So right now we get to choose to have our feelings and respond to life based on our internal goodness. We get to FEEL mad without acting out in rage. We get to FEEL anxious without having an anxiety attack. We get to feel depressed/sad without becoming the depression.

If you’d like to learn more about how your life can change as a result of taking YOUR POWER back then I encourage you to check out my 1:1 Coaching page where we can work together.

If you haven’t already taken it, another great step is to download your FREE copy of the 5 Day Self Love Challenge. You will find 5 exercises and worksheets designed to start taking back your power and loving more fully.








With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Josh_Sig

 

 

 

Jun 192013
 

Shame_Phone

 

 

There are many things I don’t do well. I have a whole list of things that I need to “work on”. For some reason buying gifts and cards are just two examples of those things I just can’t get right.

It’s not that I don’t like buying gifts and cards because I really do! In fact, I’ll sometimes buy spontaneous gifts for my family and if anything, “frugality” and I should probably be better friends. Where I have extra problems are around holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.

I’ll set a calendar alert in my phone to remind me of these events just to make sure that I allow myself time to get to the store and then the Post Office. The alert goes off and I never make it to the store. So, what’s up with that?

Perhaps I’ll get to the bottom of that one day but today I want to share a different story with you.

My parents are extremely generous when it comes to gift giving. My wife and I shared our Anniversary together and then not long after was Father’s Day. My parents sent gifts for both of those events and they were very generous, as usual. My parents also shared an Anniversary recently and of course there was Father’s Day for my Dad. I had every intention on sending them something but alas, did not (BTW, not just because they sent me something).

Now I know that buying gifts isn’t a necessity and it doesn’t mean you love or care for someone any less if you don’t. Perhaps part of me knows this but doesn’t believe it? That is a possibility and something I do need to explore a bit more. I do actually enJOY  buying gifts though and think it certainly has an appropriate place.

Well, as I just mentioned I never got around to buying those gifts for my parents. So here’s where the funny thing happened that makes this story interesting…

I was about to pick up the phone to call my Mom and I couldn’t! I had this rush of discomfort come over me and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I realized it was the feeling of shame washing over me. I felt fearful to call for in the process of thanking her for another generous gift I knew I still had not gone to the store yet myself nor even sent even a card!

Hello Shame!

Intellectually I knew this was preposterous but as you know we don’t usually act on what we know but rather on what we believe. In that moment I believed I was not good enough for not having sent them anything. So what got sacrificed as a result of my own shame and false beliefs about me not being enough? We never spoke.

Now on the surface I suppose it wasn’t a huge deal. I mean I didn’t have to talk to my mother in that moment but it’s not so much what happened but rather why it happened. I allowed shame to wash over me and CONTROL my response to the situation. Shame is so powerful that most of the time we don’t even know we’re experiencing it. Had this happened several years ago I wouldn’t have even been aware that it was shame. In fact, I would have been so in the dark I just wouldn’t have called her and then even worse I would have become passive aggressive.

I can see it now – I would have gone several days avoiding talking to my Mom just so I wouldn’t have to stare shame in the face. She would have felt upset that her attempts to reach me went ignored. Then when I would finally speak to her I would have acted passive aggressive by placing blame on her for us having to talk “all the time”.  Can you see how crazy fast this kind of thing can spiral out of control- and for what?

Awareness is the first step to change and every moment we feel intense feelings (like shame) is a moment for AFGO (Another F’ing Growth Opportunity).

This time I was aware and even though I didn’t call her I knew what was going on. I eventually called her, thanking her for the gift all while forgiving myself for not being perfect. I wasn’t passive aggressive at all and took responsibility for my feelings and my actions.

Getting this stuff isn’t about getting it right all the time. It’s about progress not perfection and the point is I was aware. Maybe next time I’ll be aware even sooner and won’t have to wait even minutes to understand what is happening. Either way I’m grateful I have the tools to be able to process what otherwise would have been a big hairy mess.

It’s these tools that I feel so compelled to share with you and in fact, I’ve incorporated 5 BIG One’s in my new eBook. If you haven’t already downloaded it please do so right now. It’s completely FREE and I really think you’ll notice some pretty significant benefits in your life starting today.








 

How do you detect shame coming on in your daily life? Do you have any tools that you use to ensure you’re not blind-sided? Please share with us so we can all benefit and learn from each other.

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

 Josh_Sig

 

 

 

Jun 172013
 


CupOfSelfLove1-1024x736

I’m no stranger to Fear and we’ve had our fair share of fights throughout my life. I’ve won quite a few but I’d say Fear has definitely had the upper hand taking me down on many occasions. I recently discovered a way to punch Fear right in the face.

For the longest time I wanted to write a book to support others in their journey to living the fullest expression of who they are. I also wanted to hang my sign as someone offering professional coaching services to those looking to take the next step. I had all the knowledge to do both of these things but Fear was pounding me down every time I went to stand up.

Only this time I found the perfect recipe for a drink that gave me the strength and power to knock Fear down! A cup of love can go a long way but it’s critical that you mix the correct ingredients. I’m going to share with you my recipe including each of the 5 ingredients so you too can punch Fear right in the face!

First Ingredient: Attention

Every time I sat down to write out a book or to plan what a Coaching Practice might look like I turned to something else. I focused my attention on something to eat, something to buy, someone to talk to, whatever. As long as the attention wasn’t on me I didn’t have to feel that feeling of Fear. The funny thing is that when I began turning that attention inward I noticed action starting to take place. Yes, I had to sit in some uncomfortable feelings for a while but giving myself that needed attention was critical to taking action against the Fear and for me.

Second Ingredient: Acceptance

I had so many stories in my head about how I’m not good enough to be a Coach or that I’m not smart enough to write a book. Every time I had a negative thought (False Belief) about who I was I was literally abandoning myself. Talk about Rejection! It wasn’t until I began to accept that I Am Smart and that I Am Enough that I could act in ways that were in accordance with my “I Am”. When I accepted myself as less than smart and less than enough I acted in ways that proved that statement true. Accepting my truth was the catalyst for Acting my truth.

Third Ingredient: Allowance

How could I allow myself to “act smart” or “act enough” when I didn’t believe those things to be true? Once I was able to accept myself as “I Am” I was able to allow myself to Be that which I was! This is such a HUGE GIFT to give yourself. Allowing yourself to express your truth means you have to be vulnerable but it also means you have to be strong and courageous too! We are whole! That means we can’t be vulnerable without also being strong and courageous. Allowing myself to express my truth brought forth everything that Fear was holding me back from.

Fourth Ingredient: Affection

I was so hard on myself and between beating myself up and allowing Fear to knock me down, the only thing that was tender was my Ego. It wasn’t until I learned that I needed to be tender to myself and gentle with myself that I could heal from the beatings of Fear. Self compassion was never something I was taught but when I learned it I realized just how natural it actually was. Treating myself with gentle, tender, and compassionate love allowed me to fall and get back up every single time. We’re so affectionate with others but think it’s perfectly acceptable to kick our own butts.

Fifth Ingredient: Appreciation

There was very little I appreciated about myself. Sometimes I would hear an appreciation from someone else and I felt really happy. I would take it inside and begin to believe it was true. But the moment I did that I would immediately give the credit to someone else. I would downplay my worthiness and value giving it away to someone else. Shame would wash over me the moment I would appreciate myself. Fear loves it when I don’t appreciate myself. It gives it more power and takes my own power away. Fear knows that I won’t survive the fight if I think well of myself. So I added a healthy dose of appreciation to my cup.

We need everything we can get on our side to fight off Fear and we need a lot of it. All of us want to win that fight against fear but we just may not know how to go about doing it. The good news is a big ol’ cup of Self Love every day will give us the strength to punch Fear right in the face. The key is that we have to drink it every single day not just when we’re overcome by Fear. That’s the real trick. Loving yourself has to happen EVEN in the good moments!

Well I just showed you how I punched Fear right in the face. You’ll see a link on the top of the site pointing you to “The Challenge”. You’ll also see a link for “Work With Me” where I’m announcing to the world that Fear can stuff it and I want to show you how. So I have a special offer for you and it’s completely FREE!

Go on over to “The Challenge” link and get your FREE copy of the, “5 Day Self Love Challenge”. In this book I give you 5 very specific exercises that you can do every single day to fill up that cup of Self Love. Each exercise comes with its own Worksheet for you to fill out. The good news is that every single one of you can complete these challenges and they won’t even take more than 5 or 10 minutes out of your day. Best of all it’s completely free!

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

 

Josh_Sig

 

Ready to punch Fear in the face? Start the 5 Day Self Love Challenge right now!








Jun 042013
 

Kids_Ride

This past weekend my wife went on a Woman’s Retreat in the Mountains. While she was off getting a lot of self-love and care I was doing my best to make it through the weekend with a 3 and a 5 year old. That was the initial thought before going into the weekend but I allowed myself to really enJOY the thought of spending some quality alone time with the kids.

I knew if I made a conscious effort to have a great and “relaxing” weekend we would. At least, I would do my best make it that way! I thought of all the fun things we could do and made a mental list. We woke up at our usual early time on Saturday (they’re not quite old enough to be “sleeping in”) and I took them out for breakfast. While they can be a handful sometimes, I really do like eating out and it was good practice for my patience.

The restaurant was located in a shopping center that had some “kids rides” on the other end. It was those little one or two-seat rides where you put a quarter in and it shakes violently for about 3 minutes. The kids ran to those rides just as fast as we had left the restaurant. Boy were they excited!

They were jumping up on them, pretending to drive, and asking for money so they could feel the thunder of those imaginary motors under their butts! We were there for quite some time and I was feeling anxious about the other things on my “To Do” list.

“Okay guys, just a few more minutes and we’re going to have to go.”

Only a second later I had an awareness that just hit me over the head. I realized that we had actually only been there – at the rides- for a few minutes at most! It then occurred to me that we didn’t really have anywhere to be. I mean, there were things I wanted us to do but nobody was calling on us, there were no appointments, and the truth was we didn’t HAVE to be anywhere. It was a beautiful Saturday morning with really nothing to do. So, what was all this about?

Since that moment I have given this some considerable thought. Why after only 2 or 3 minutes of the kids playing was I ready to leave? Why wasn’t I just enjoying the moment? Why am I feeling rushed on a Saturday of all days? I came up with these 5 thoughts that I think will really resonate with you too.

If We’re Not Doing Something, it Must Not Be Important 

My whole life I’ve been told I had to “do” things. I had to play sports, get a hobby, go to school, get good grades, go to more school, get more good grades, get a degree, get more degrees, get a job, get a better job, make money, get a house, get a car, get more cars, get more stuff, do more things, do – do – do! Important things are the things we do.

The problem with that is we are Human Beings. The kids were just “being” on those rides. They were being joyful, creative, enthusiastic, expressive, emotional, curious, imaginative, and silly. They were literally being who they are! Yet, in my mind we weren’t “doing” anything so that must have meant it wasn’t important and the worst thing? It only took me 2 minutes to come to this conclusion.

Lesson: I am a Human Being not a Human Doing. Importance should be placed on who we are, not on what we do.

The Next Thing vs The Now Thing

Staying with the theme of “doing” it seems I’m always looking for that next thing to do. This also explains why I’m always starting a million projects only to not finish any or most of them. Even doing things isn’t enough, I have to do more of them!

The problem with focusing on that next thing is that we’re not in the moment of the now thing! How much attention am I giving the things in my life now if I’m always focusing on the next thing? I wasn’t appreciating fully those moments with the kids because I was so focused on what was next on the list to check off.

Lesson: If we’re always focused on the future, we’ll miss out on the only life we have, the life in the now.

Who’s Paying for The Guilt?

It wasn’t but a few seconds after the kids jumped on the rides that I realized I didn’t have any change. The paper sign hanging on the Change Machine read, “Out of  Order”. It wasn’t overwhelming but I did detect some guilt going on for me. There was another child on one of the other rides who got uber excited when her Daddy pulled out a shiny coin to insert in the ride.

This was my guilt though and not my kids. Honestly, they didn’t even care that they couldn’t turn the rides on. They were moving so fast from one ride to the next and playing pretend that they didn’t care in the least. Yet, I can’t help but to think that the guilt I was feeling didn’t play in to me wanting to leave. If we could be out of that situation, then I wouldn’t feel guilty.

Lesson: Boundaries are so important. My feelings are my feelings and don’t need to be thrown all over my children and they certainly don’t have to pay the price for my own shame.

Conditioning is for the Hair, Not the Aware

I know I’m not alone when I say that the majority of my life I was conditioned to respond to life. Someone would cut me off on the road and I would go from zero to “screw you” in 2.3 seconds! A conditioned life is also an unaware life.

In that brief moment that I told the kids we were leaving I was completely unaware. I was responding based on my conditions. My conditions to “do”, to worry about the next thing, and to flee when I’m feeling guilty. Those are all conditioned responses.

Lesson: Self-Awareness contradicts those old patterns of conditioning and allows us to live present and in our adult reality.

Love Knocks in Every Moment. Do You Answer?

We have an opportunity to love ourselves and others in every moment. Literally, in every moment we have an opportunity. In that moment, I had an opportunity to love my children and I wasn’t able to.

What does that mean? I mean in the verb sense of the word, Love. We give and receive love through Attention, Acceptance, Affection, Allowance, and Appreciation (as David Richo points out). I wasn’t giving any of those “5 A’s” to my children, how could I?

Lesson: It’s only when we pause long enough to hear love knocking that we can answer it. Quieting my mind is a good thing.

I’m grateful that I was able to notice what was happening immediately after I told the kids we would be leaving. Had this been a few years ago, before I started my personal work, we would have left and the kids (and I) would have been very upset and for no good reason.

Instead, I immediately noticed what was happening in that crazy brain of mine and made a decision to choose differently. As my Mentor, Lee Garland says, “We’re always at choice”. As a result, the kids played a good 15 minutes longer and I got to give them lots of Attention, Acceptance, Allowance, Affection, and Appreciation.

We left the Shopping Center with our bellies full and more importantly I left loving them and loving me that much more!

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Josh_Sig

 

 

 

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