Mar 312014
 

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“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
 

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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
 

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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
 

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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
 

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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!

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