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Feeling Like Your Own Weakest Link?

Have you ever felt like you, yourself, are the weakest link in your very own life?

You know, those days when you wake up in the morning in kind of a funk? Where you just don't feel it today. You just don't want to do it. That's perfectly normal. We all have days like that. The problem is when we feel that way most of the time. At that point, it's time to ask ourselves some questions about the way that we're living our lives, and some thought habits and patterns that we have become stuck in. Usually, objectively, we understand that we're smart, talented, and have all of the building blocks in place to build a fantastic life. We count our blessings, and we know that the life we truly want is right there within reach. And we'll do really, really great for awhile. We'll commit ourselves; maybe in January we'll set our resolutions. Or Monday morning is a big thing for most everybody. This week is going to be different, right? And we'll do well for a week, or a day or two, or an hour or two. Or sometimes even for several months, we'll dig in and do fantastic. But before you know it, we start getting back in our very own way. I'm not talking about the times that external things come in. I'm talking about the times that we ourselves derail our very own progress.

Sometimes it might be because of some bad habits, or even addictions, that we've picked up along the way. To substances or even to our phones. That's a huge issue for many people. To drama and negative thinking. Yes, yes!! Those can also be addictive. And we may dig ourselves out of that for a little while, but then it always seems to creep back in. We feel powerless to control that addiction, or habit, as if it has such a grip on us that we can't possibly overcome it. We tell ourselves that we don't have any willpower. Or it can even just be negative ways of thinking that were modeled in childhood by our parents. Or perhaps we've surrounded ourselves with people who look at life and think in certain ways, that don't always have to be super negative, but still become limiting beliefs holing us back from progress. Often people truly mean well, when they share them, but they aren't serving US, and we've surrounded ourselves with a tribe of people who continually put those messages into our minds. So deep down in our psyches, even if intellectually we don't believe them, on a subconscious level sometimes we actually do. And those kinds of monsters can crop up when we least expect them. Sometimes it can be that we've dug ourselves into a life that's just not for us, and we literally don't know how to get out of it. So we start making little small changes, but the overarching picture of our life feels like it's preventing us from going any further than that. And sometimes, honestly, we're just scared. That's often the case for me, when I find myself unable to achieve something that I want to so badly, and that I know I'm capable of. We do have to be honest with ourselves about whether or not the goals that we're setting are fundamentally achievable, and are even what we would actually want if we got what we think we want. But when we know that they are, and we know that we do, and we still fall into those funk days...what's going on there?

This is often when people reach out to life coaches - when they just can't get past these invisible barriers that they don't completely understand.

Today, I want to talk about how to push yourself forward when you find yourself in these situations. In individual coaching there would be more specific guidance given, based on somebody's personal details, but these are some general thoughts regarding those limiting self-thoughts and limiting behaviors that we can tend to have. I have them too. My little ghosts that reside in the back of my brain and deep in my body too, that pop up at the most inconvenient times. It feel sometimes like I'm battling the same demons over and over and over again, and I often wish I had a magical weapon to defeat them once and for all. But the truth is, it doesn't always take something huge. Sometimes the answers are right in front of our faces, in the basics that we already know to be true. I say that to people often, when they asked me a question about their life or their problems. I'll say, "if you really think about this...really stop, with complete and total transparency...honestly, deep within yourself, you already know the answer."

A good example of this is found in health/nutrition, exercise/weight loss, and all of those kinds of physical things. So often, we read every book in the library trying to find the ultimate answers. Or we visit every doctor looking for that magic pill that's going to help us achieve those things, when if you're really honest with yourself, you already know the answer. Jillian Michaels is quite famous in the fitness community. I saw her one time live in a stage performance, and she stopped and basically said, "You know... I make a lot of money coaching and teaching people about weight loss. But really, every one of you already knows that the answer is - eat less, move more." It's really that simple. But we try to make it into this big, huge thing that feels overwhelming. And we get caught up in the details. And we forget that at the core, that's really the basic and that's really not that hard to do. If we can eliminate all the other noise in our mind, that gets us feeling overwhelmed. And sometimes we cling to that noise to provide internal excuses for ourselves. If we can go down the rabbit hole in this other direction, then we don't have to fully confront the truth that the answer is so basic and so obvious and right in front of our eyes. What it really comes down to ultimately, do you love yourself enough to take good care of yourself, and to support yourself the way that you would someone else that you love, think about all the things that we do for our partners and for our children and for the community and for our co workers to support them and build them up and help them to succeed and to teach them and guide them? Are we doing that? For our own selves? Or are we sending super negative messages to ourselves every day? You stink at this every time you make a mistake? See, I knew you couldn't do it. Most of the negative messages that we hear in our lives are going to come from right inside our own

minds. If you think about it, you know that's true.

Do you love yourself enough to give yourself the same grace and support that you would give say your child, someone that you love and want to nurture and take care

of? It starts first

with the body are you taking care of your body, and I'm talking about the super basic stuff, you don't need to read a whole lot of technical books about this. You can, if you enjoy that sort of thing, you can watch the YouTubes you can do all of that. But it's not necessary. You already know the basic answers, drink more water,

eat healthy food, move your body.

You know exercise, it feels really, really good when you do it. Unless you haven't done it for a while and your habits are kicking in telling you that it's going to feel awful. You tell yourself that enough. And guess what it's going to feel awful. And if it is feeling awful, do something different. You don't have to do the workout program that somebody else is doing. And that's the problem with getting away from the basics is that sometimes we end up doing things that really aren't for us. For exercise, I like to dance and I like to hike. I like to do yoga a little bit. I'm not very good at it, but I enjoy it. And that's what matters. And so when I do those things, it actually feels really good to my body. Sometimes for the first couple minutes. I'm having to overcome those bad habits and those negative mindsets. Oh, this stinks. I don't want to do it. Bla bla bla bla bla. But once you get into it, you get in the swing of it and it feels pretty good and you always feel better afterwards, don't ya? So how about instead of feeding our minds with those negative thoughts in the beginning we tell ourselves Hey, I get to get up and I get to move my body today and see what a difference that makes that one simple change. I love myself enough

to feed it healthy food, to get enough sleep, to eat, right?

To move my body to meditate, to watch my breathing, all of those super basic things that honestly, everybody already knows. But we want to fight against that, oh, my situation is different. You don't understand how busy I am. I do this to myself all the time. I know that I'm a single mom of nine. And I work hard. So you know, nobody has it as hard as me, right? I mean, we do this inside our mind, you just don't understand, Laura, you don't get how busy I am, you don't understand that my husband doesn't support me or my kids are so demanding. It's not about any of that really is really about do you love you enough to provide those opportunities for yourself, no matter if anybody else is supporting you, or not get up a little earlier if you need to, to carve out the time for that, for that weight loss. Take over the grocery shopping, if somebody else is bringing in all kinds of junk food, have a heart to heart, talk with them about what you're trying to do and why. If somebody truly will not support you, when you are asking for their support, it might be time to distance yourself from that person, or find some workarounds and ways that you can carry on without their support, you don't need the support of everyone around you to start making positive changes. And you don't have to go out on sort of a mission to make everybody else change with you. That's that will kind of repel people in your life. They're used to you a certain way. And it'll be unsettling for them at first if you start rocking the boat and making a bunch of changes. So just make them privately within yourself and let them watch what happens to you. They'll get on board when they start to see the changes in you and may even come to you and ask you if they can join you in this journey and ask for your advice. Do you love and respect yourself enough to take care of your mental health.

If you're battling deep seated

issues from your childhood or from abuse, that you have endured serious stuff that's causing depression down inside and really weighing you down, it might be time for you to make an appointment to go see a mental health professional. You can't control everything that happened to you and your life. But you do have the power to take control of it now. And sometimes it might mean that you need professional help in order to do that. And there is no and I repeat absolutely no shame in doing that. You should as a person that loves yourself, seek out help anywhere and everywhere that's needed to live your best life and feel happy. Throughout the day, it might be hard work. Now I'm not saying that these workout programs or these mental health shifts are going to be easy and all roses.

It doesn't work like that.

But the overall effect of taking care of yourself, body and mind will bring you more peace in your life than you if you run away from it and don't address it. Do you love and respect yourself enough to take care of your spiritual health. And I'm not going to define what that should mean for you. That's going to mean different things for everyone. I do believe in God and I pray to God every day. I'm not a churchgoer. I don't attend any churches, but I am quite a spiritual person and I pray to God, but for some people, that's going to look very different. Maybe you are involved in a congregation at church. That means the world to you and a particular religion that you believe deeply down in your soul. Maybe you're not religious at all. Maybe you consider yourself an atheist, but you find spiritual nourishment, out in nature, or in other ways in your life. Every person will walk their own personal spiritual journey, but what's important is that you walk it because we all do have a spiritual side to our nature, whatever our belief system might be. And it is a vibrant part of us or should be in the overall health of a person. So seek out spirituality in whatever form resonates with you. It's important. Like I said, some of Find it in a church building, some will find it, sitting by a lake watching the birds flying over the water. And some will find it in many, many, many places. But what's important is that that internal spiritual side of

yourself, has time dedicated to nurturing and growing it. How do you love yourself enough to give yourself that time?

Generally speaking, when we find ourselves on those days, when we just don't want to do it, or our bad habits are cropping up, over and over and over, do you love yourself enough? To give yourself some grace for that, forgive yourself, do not beat yourself up, because sometimes for me, that's the worst part of it. I'll dive into whatever I'm trying to improve at the time. And, inevitably, because it always happens, I'll mess up one day, I won't do it perfectly. That idea of perfection is very damaging. So when I don't do it perfectly, maybe I slip into a bad habit that I was trying to overcome. And I'm really upset with myself about it. That's frustrating. It is. But what's important is that we don't then use that as a sledgehammer to beat ourselves over the head with you stink, I know you couldn't do it. I don't have any willpower, the things I was saying the beginning of this podcast, we will start to beat ourselves down. And when you're when you're laying there kind of bruised and broken emotionally. That is a much harder place to stand back up from than if we simply just shook it off. I moved on, okay. I kind of mess that up. And be super honest with yourself. It's not about self denial, it's very important to always be very, very honest. Because deep down in your psyche, you know the truth, whether you're admitting it to yourself on the surface or not, you do know the truth and you know, when you are lying to yourself. So if we slip and maybe don't do as well, one day, as we wish that we had, maybe we blow the plan altogether, we don't do well at work, we don't do well with our kids, we got snappy with them about this or that. We overslept. Just, you know, those days where you stub your toe in the morning, and the whole day just spirals downward. From that, you can get to the end of those days feeling pretty discouraged. Those days are some of the most important ones. Those are the days when your body mind and spirit needs self care and self love the most. If one of your kids tripped and fell, you wouldn't turn to them and say, You're so clumsy. What's the matter with you? You'll never walk right? You just wouldn't do that. You'd say it's okay. It's okay. Come on, step back up. Sorry, we got this, you'll do better next time. We would encourage them to keep moving. And we wouldn't shame them as a total person. It was just a mistake. It was just a setback. So evaluate it figure out hey, I wonder why that went wrong. Which part of my self care? Was I neglecting? Because almost always I'll find on those days if there's something that started it before I really slid downwards. There was a little few small steps in that direction, where I neglected my my self care. Have I been doing my meditation? Well, maybe not too consistently? Did I exercise this morning? Well, no, because I was running late and I ran out the door. So let's take a minute to evaluate and figure out kind of what you did. And then literally just offer yourself forgiveness for your weaknesses. We all have them. It's not a crime, to have weaknesses and to make mistakes as a human being. You're not a robot, you're a person. And no matter how fabulous you are, you still are going to make mistakes. The most amazing person in the world, the most talented gifted Well, the famous person Beyonce say somebody that's just a complete star that she she has flaws, too. I don't know what they are. I don't know Beyonce personally, but I promise you as a human being that she has them. And there's probably days where she she Beyonce feels discouraged and feels a little bit like maybe she's not good at that or maybe you know, insecure even those people have those days. So why would we beat ourselves up when we have them? The best thing we can do is just like we do for our kids, just pick ourselves back up, start again the next day. Just start over every day if you need to just keep starting over and over time. We will get better and we're going to go through cycles. Up and down around and around. It's just how life goes and it's okay. It doesn't mean you're not living a successful life because you didn't have a successful day. It's just a day. It's really just a day or an hour or a minute. Another thing that you can do is just reset, because sometimes we're going along and we're doing fine. And then those intrusive thoughts come in those doubts and those fears and those temptations and all those intrusive thoughts, you know how they are, they're like, little devils on your shoulder just poking at you during the day to where you just, you know, feel yourself, the stress mounting, and you feel like you can't move forward. It's time for a reset. And it can be very simple. When you're having those slumps in the middle of the day, just stop. Because if you keep trying to work through them, sometimes it's going to get worse. Just pushing yourself when you're feeling like that it's going to get worse. A reset sometimes is in order. And it can be very quick and simple, just a couple of minutes to stop what you're doing. Find a window and look outside or walk outside if you can. But even if you're just kind of stuck at your desk at work, stop,

look outside.

Take five deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Reach your hands up as high as you possibly can just give yourself a really good stretch, stand up if you can, if you can't just sit there at your desk, place your hands back in your lap. And think about three things that went right today. Or just three things that you're grateful for or that you're looking forward to three positive things. And you'll feel so much better so quickly. It's kind of amazing. Oh, and also take a second like maybe once an hour to check your body. I've started paying attention to this and I've noticed that I'll stop to do my sort of attention check. And I'll realize that my brows are furrowed and my jaw is clenched, and my shoulders are hunched up and it's subconscious I didn't even realize that I was doing it. But that stress that we carry in our body actually translates in our minds to the fact that we are under stress and it becomes kind of a chicken and egg thing which came first the stress or the body language. But either one that you address can affect the other one. So unclench your jaw, drop your shoulders and kind of take that furrow out of your brow. And it will be amazing how much better you feel immediately after doing these things. Don't let a bad day get you down. You can always start again tomorrow.

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