Challenge: What Would Your Future Self Say to You?

We often see people writing letters to their 10, 13, 19 year old self, but how often do we consider what our future self would say to us right now? 

I’m about to go to my coaching Mastermind, and they keep encouraging us to show up as our future self.  

This is not to make us feel bad about who we are now, but to challenge us to really think about WHO we want to BECOME. 

So who do I want to be a year from now?  Hmmm.

Let’s be honest. If we’re not growing, we’re just stagnant.  We’re not becoming a different or better version.  

But guess what?  Time is going to pass by.  You will be a year older September 11, 2020 if nothing else. 

You can either have the exact same life with the exact same routine, or you can update your version.  

You can either have an updated version that was given to you by life’s circumstances and the people in your life (and you accepted).

Or you can have an updated version that you intentionally chose.  

Either way. Your Future Self is coming.  

Who do you want to be a year from now?  

Here’s a great way to think about it. Write a letter as that person to you.  

To help you out, here is part of my letter from my future self:

Natalie – You are changing lives.  Don’t ever forget that is why you are doing this.  You want to help more women be the heroes of their own life.  For them to believe they can be the leading lady, not the best friend.  For them to let go of all the worry and people pleasing and rule-following that keeps them in a prison. For them to step out of the shadows with a strong voice. They can find love, value, and acceptance within themselves and then use it to create a career they want, a relationship they want, and friendships they want.  

Be secure and rock it.  

Go with your gut.  Always.  It’s a gift you have and it won’t lead you astray.  

Most of all realize that ‘there’ is not better than ‘right now’, but you will have evolved to become stronger, more loving, and a more involved human.  You will have created a life that will leave you skidding into heaven, which is what you want! 

Last, be full of gratitude every step of the way.  Be grateful for the Lord, for Darin, for your family, your choices, your mental health, your clients, and for you.

You did it.  You stepped out of the boat.  You stopped being a wallflower.  You shined your light for others to follow.  Way to go.  

XO – Natalie, Sept 2020

Alright y’all. It’s your turn. Who do you want to become? And what would that woman say to you right now? I’d love to hear from you and your future self!

Having Fun Yet? Questions To Help You When You’re Not

In 6th grade, my dad sat the three daughters down for an “easy” game of Risk.

For those of you who got to play things like Uno and jump on a trampoline, you may not be aware that this game involved countries going to war and losing it all in battle. Don’t be jealous.

(And in case you’re wondering, my dad was military and I’m proud that he is a Vietnam Vet.) 

As proud as I am of him, I’m not quite sure if that was the most fun my sisters and I could dream of having at that time.  I’m pretty sure my dad yelled at my sister, “You’re going to sit there and you’re going to have fun!!”  

Well, friend, we can laugh at it now, but how many of us are doing things that are “good” for us or things we “have” to do with the same point of view?  

I HAVE to.  I don’t want to.  I should do this.  I shouldn’t do that.  If I’m a good person, I need to do it.  Just muddle it through.  Just survive.

It’s an itty, bitty belief that takes something that could be enjoyable, worth it, and fun to guilt, pressure, and resentment.

It could be your workout, your food, your budget, your marriage, your work, or even your faith.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but for years, I volunteered because I thought that’s what “good people” do.  I followed the rules of society and my church.  I wanted to be liked and I didn’t want to look selfish to others or to God.  

Think about that.  

I “have” to volunteer because everyone else in my church is volunteering.  I don’t want to look selfish.  These are all the thoughts that were in my brain.

So I volunteered.  I would leave irritated that I didn’t serve in the role I wanted or didn’t meet new people or they wasted my time.  I ended up acting and being selfish. 

And I ended up not really being the “good person” I was forcing myself to be or loving the people I was supposedly volunteering to love.  

Now, I really want to think and feel love and fun when I do these things because I can.  

So now I think “I am so excited I get to learn more about this medical missions team.” I go.  I learn about it.  I leave happy to know more about the organization and having done it.  

For those of us who are the do-gooders, rule-followers and perfectionists, we can get it twisted real quick.  

Those “have to” and “shoulds” and “if I’m a good person” turn into guilt and resentment, which defeats the purpose of why we’re doing it in the first place. We’re not doing it out of love. We’re not having fun.

I’m not saying not to do all the things you want to do to be wealthy in your faith, relationships, health, and finance, i.e. go to church, call your mom, eat vegetables, feed your kids.  

What I’m saying is if it’s something you don’t want to do, but you know it will help you (or your kids/family/work), ask yourself these four questions:

  1. How can I make this fun?
  2. How can I do this out of love?
  3. How can I have fun today/this week?
  4. If I loved doing this, how would I think, feel, act? 

These four questions will help you enjoy that mental list you have in your head of what you “have” to do and may even help you choose to do it out of love or fun instead of out of resentment or guilt. 

Think about how you would show up to friends, family, and co-workers if you did more out of love or fun and less out of resentment or guilt.  

Love feels better, doesn’t it?  Fun feels good. Guilt and resentment are like little prisons we make for ourselves.

Don’t let your brain keep you there.

Email me at nataliewilsoncoaching@gmail.com and let me know how you are choosing to make things fun and do things more out of love this week. 

Let’s get started freeing you up from the guilt and resentment you feel daily. Email me to chat about working with me.

With total real love – Natalie

Caught Between Doing Good and Being Ambitious

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt caught between two good things when trying to make a decision. 

I know I’m not the only one.   

  • We’re not sure what to do in our relationships. (Do we break up or do we stay because they are a good person?)
  • We’re not sure what to do for our careers.
  • We’re super confused over what to eat since there are 8,000 diets out there.  
  • We’re definitely confused about how to solve even the smallest of problems.

And this is worse for those of us who are the smart, sensitive souls that want to do good in the world and want to reach for the stars, live out our dreams, and make an impact in the world. We feel off balance and caught between doing good and being ambitious.

What I have learned and what I teach my clients is this.  

Ambition doesn’t mean you have to be selfish.  

Doing good doesn’t mean you ignore who you are and you say yes to everything and everybody.  

But we let our brains believe that these two things are separate.  We let our brains stay in confusion.  

What happens when we’re confused?  The worst thing is that we waste time getting to the dreams, goals and the good we want to see in the world.

We are literally keeping ourselves from doing the good and reaching for the stars because we stay stuck in confusion.    

I was confused.  I was confused on my “niche”.  My people. 

The great thing I did, though, which I also teach my clients, is that I took action even when I was confused.  I tried out weight loss for teachers.  Then teacher burnout.  Then teen girls.  

Each one of them was almost there, but not quite.  And when I would let myself be confused, I wasted the time I could have helped more women make amazing life changes.

Who I have worked with the most and have had the greatest results are the smart, sensitive high-achieving women (and teen girls) who hold back because of their self-doubt, self-critical thoughts, worry, perfectionism, and emotions.  

The ones people say “she’s just too sensitive”.  She takes things personally.  She feels guilty a lot.  She worries a lot about others.  She doesn’t like to have attention.  She doesn’t like to be the center of attention.  She agrees with everyone.  

These women – and teen girls – dim their light.  They cover their sensitive, hard-working, big-dreaming souls in order to make sure all around them are okay.  

But they’re not okay.  

They’re tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, confused, ignored, and empty.  

They want to speak up but they don’t know how.  

They believe they don’t deserve to be front and center.  

They don’t believe that a nice girl like them can get the corner office.  

Well, I’m here to tell them -THEY CAN.  

They can get their dreams, do-good, AND be the sensitive power that the world desperately needs.  

If you are tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, confused, ignored, and empty, are you showing up how you want to in the world?  Are you giving your best?  

I know I wasn’t.  

I did something about it.   

When nothing changes, nothing changes.  

Here’s your chance to change.  

DM me right now or email me at nataliewilsoncoaching@gmail.com and let’s start that change.  

It’s possible to get the corner office, get the guy, and still be the smart, sensitive soul doing good in the world.  

Be Front and Centered.  

If You Think There Is A Right Way, You Might Be Wrong

I remember telling my former principal in an interview that the most important thing I could teach a student is to always do the right thing.  

Seemed like such a virtuous, solid answer.  Boom.  Hire me.  He did.  

The problem with that, though, is a lot of different people believe they know what the “right” thing is and all of those people don’t often agree.  

For a student, their best friend might say one thing is right, their parent might say another, and their teacher can have a third opinion.  It’s not always black and white.  In fact, most of the time, it isn’t.  

But let’s take it personal. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I have actually made this belief – that I have to always do the right thing – a prison.  

It has kept me from taking action because if I didn’t know for sure it was the “right” thing, I wouldn’t do anything at all. I stayed miserable in a job for years because I didn’t know what the “right” next job for me was.

It’s also kept me from trusting my own decisions because I wanted validation from others that I was “right”.  (How do other people know what is right for me?!)

And what I’ve discovered lately is that this belief isn’t serving me to help me feel and be the kind of woman I want to be.  

If I have the belief ‘I have to always do the right thing’ then I will always be thinking ‘I am right’.  This shows up as righteousness and arrogance.  Ugh.

If I’m not thinking ‘I am right’, then I most likely am thinking ’I’m doing this all wrong’ which creates the feeling of inadequacy or not enough.  I feel like a total failure and before I know it, I’m actually failing at whatever I’m trying.  

Oh – and this is when we all love to mean girl ourselves. We beat ourselves up over doing the wrong thing. Or maybe even being the wrong person. (Whoah – did I strike a nerve with anyone else?)

This belief – as virtuous and solid as it might sound –  keeps me stuck.  It keeps me frozen.  Or in a self-sabotaging prison.  It might be doing the same for you.

This is what’s called a limiting belief.  Something that you believe deeply after years and years of thinking and believing it, and it subconsciously influences your every day thinking.  It also holds you back from something in your life.  

This is the kind of limiting belief you can reprogram with the right tools and the right coach (ahem – that’s me).  

For me, when I became aware of how often I thought ‘I’m doing this all wrong’ and how it was producing the results I didn’t want in my life, I wanted to change it.  

So now I practice “Nothing has gone wrong.” 

This thought is a game changer.  It’s like the saying “You’re either winning or learning.” 

It helps me see each situation as a chance to learn and not a chance to tell myself I’m a total failure. It’s a way for me to show compassion and self-love, which then really helps me offer that same compassion and love to others.  

How can you give others what you don’t practice yourself?

Try it on.  Nothing has gone wrong.  Feels good, doesn’t it?  

If any of this resonated with you, and you want to know more about reprogramming your limiting beliefs, email me at nataliewilsoncoaching@gmail.com and let’s set up a time to talk.

You don’t have to hold yourself back or beat yourself up anymore. You CAN reprogram those beliefs.

Two Things To Do When It Feels Like You Don’t Belong

Dear Santa – please help me belong.  

How many of you have thought similarly to this 9 year old little girl?  

What’s funny, is that there is always some reason in our head that seems SO TRUE to justify why we don’t belong.

Like I would swear in the court of law that I don’t belong because I’m a half-Hispanic, half-white who looks Asian, non-Spanish speaking step-mom with no kids of her own.  Seems totally legit to me. 

Other reasons that SEEM SO legit.  

You don’t have a boyfriend.  

You’re not married.  

You don’t have kids.  

You don’t have the same job as everyone else in your circle.  

You’re the top leader in your organization.  

You aren’t from the South.  You look different from the others.  

You like yoga.  

I know.  Some of these have been/are my reasons.  But they could be yours too.

Whether it IS true or not, our heads are thinking some thought that’s telling our hearts to feel rejected or alone or odd.  

The thoughts are the reasons that seem so legit.  

The fact that you don’t have a boyfriend does NOT automatically mean you don’t belong, contrary to what your brain believes. 

You “belong” in the singles box to check at the doctor’s office. That’s all.

Your HEAD is making it mean that you don’t belong in life.  That it means you are unloveable, a failure, a reject.

There are two things to really help your brain start overcoming this battle in your mind.  

First. What if you just notice how the feeling of unloved, rejected, or disliked feels?  It’s not going to hurt you.  It’s not going to kill you.  But you have to feel it to know that.  

Second. After you meet it head on, step back and make a list (or T-chart since I used to be a teacher) of fact vs. thoughts. 

Not married.  – Fact (provable in court – no human could win against you)

I don’t belong. – Thought

Not born in the South – Fact (provable in court; no human could win against you)

I’m not like anyone from here. – Thought

It comes down to really what your 3rd grade teacher taught you, ha, ha.  Look at Fact vs. Opinion (Thoughts).  

These two steps alone start exposing your brain to the lies it believes.  First lie – that you’ll die if you feel rejection or alone. Second lie – all the thoughts that are convincing you what isn’t true.  

And then you keep the battle of the mind going with giving it new things to believe about those facts.  

This is the work I do with my clients.  This is the work I’d do with you.  Email me anytime.  nataliewilsoncoaching@gmail.com

You do belong, but I’m not the one who can convince you. Only you can.  

Fighting The Fear

A previous client of mine wrote this to me today and it was so good, I had to share…

‘Whoa!!!!! I’m fighting the fear today. All the reasons why it won’t work are sitting at the bottom of my stomach!! I woke up so nervous that I don’t know what I’m doing!

What a trip to listen to you and Brooke tell me I was going to fight this and not want to “leave the cave” “make excuses because I think it may harm me.” Thank goodness I was warned about all of these feelings!

It’s so helpful knowing it’s normal and that even though I’m feeling all that nothing is more damaging than not doing it!! I haven’t quite turned off the voices shaming me yet, but I’m determined to not let them stop me. Thinking of you and your brave leap…’

Pretty freaking awesome, right? On so many levels! She is GOING for a dream of hers. She is fighting the fear AND she knows this is totally normal. It does not mean retreat and run for the hills.

My favorite part is when she says “I’m determined to not let them stop me.” Boom.

What if you believed that? With whatever it is that is your goal. Weight, finances, career, relationship dreams. I am determined to not let them stop me.

Fight the fear.

A Strategy For Getting Off The Lonely Struggle Bus

Last week, I mentioned a strategy for making decisions – Best Case Scenario.  Well, we are going to use that same theory as a strategy to help you get off the Lonely Struggle Bus.

As you know, I teach that our feelings are created by our thoughts.  So in order for us to not feel lonely as much as we do, we need to get control of and change our thoughts.  

How?  

One way is by asking these questions next time you are feeling lonely.

  1. Why do I feel lonely? 
  2. What is the circumstance/situation that I think is making me feel lonely?  
  3. What are all the worst things I believe about this situation?
  4. Now, what are all the things that are great about this situation? (Best Case Scenario) 

Pick one of those thoughts from the last question and start putting that in your phone reminders, post it notes, mirror quotes, your car, etc.  Start fixing your eyes on that thought. 

Let’s take an example:

  1. Why do I feel lonely?

I don’t have anyone to eat with tonight for dinner.

2.  What is the circumstance that I think is making me feel lonely?

I don’t have a boyfriend/husband.  

3. What are all the worst things I believe about this situation?

There aren’t very many good guys out there.  I’m old.  Everyone else has a boyfriend.  I’m just boring.  I’m weird/fat/ugly.  I’m never going to find someone.

4.  What are all the things that are great about this situation?

I don’t have to go out with someone who annoys me.  I am not stuck in a bad marriage.  No one is abusing me.  I like who I am. I get to eat what I want to eat tonight.  I can go to sleep early.  I have time to work at a job or learning something new.  I don’t have to worry about him cheating on me like so and so.  God knows best.  I trust God.  

Then pick the best of the best thoughts and fix your mind on that.  

I know it sounds like it doesn’t work.  That’s because your brain naturally doubts and assumes the worst.  Just like it does with being at home by yourself for dinner.  You have to teach it not to be.  

So just do it.  What you’ve been doing hasn’t worked, right?

Do it for two weeks, and let me know how it goes.  

THEN – have your teen try it. Go through the same steps. Have her come up with both sides though. If you just give her the reasons to think positive, she’s just going to assume that you don’t understand and that you’re controlling her. Let her learn to go through the process as well. Trust me.

XO – Natalie

How To Change Your Thoughts of Loneliness

Yesterday, I talked about how loneliness is actually a feeling and can be cured by changing our thoughts.  

So what’s one way to change them?  

Write down all the thoughts you have about being lonely. 

“I don’t belong.”

“I’m not invited.”

“No one understands me.”

“They think I’m weird/awkward/shy.”

As many as you can down…I call it a brain dump or a thought download.  Just get it out.

Then for each statement, write an opposite statement.  

“I belong to several groups – my family, my friends back in Boston, my church.”

“I am invited to other things/I invite different people to my stuff.”

“I understand me.” Or “My best friend in Idaho understands me.”

Why are we writing down the opposite?  

Because our brain will look for the evidence we tell it to to look for.  If I decide to think that I get “front row Jo” parking everywhere I go, I will see it happen more and more.  Only because my brain is looking for evidence to support this thought.

If I decide to think that I have a wonderful husband, my brain will find all the ways that he is.  

The same is true for being lonely.  If we choose to think thoughts that create loneliness, our brain will go to work finding evidence for it.  

If we choose to think the opposite thoughts, our brains will go to work finding evidence for that.  

And the more evidence our brain collects, the more it helps support the thought which turns the thought into more of a thought groove.  

And after the thought grooves is there for a while, it becomes a belief.  

Beliefs are what run our brain in the background. So we want our brain to have new beliefs.

So help a brain out.  Write the opposite.  Look for the opposite.  

The Cure For Loneliness

I remember standing in the middle of a frat party during college and thinking how lonely I felt. All those people drunk and having a good time and I just felt lonely. 

Fast forward years from then when I was a single woman in my 30s and I still felt it.  In fact, I spent nights crying and/or blaming my friends, bad dating choices, or myself because of my loneliness.

Fast forward even more, and as a married woman in my 40s, I can still experience loneliness.  

Why?  Why is it possible for us to experience this in so many different times and situations in our lives?

It’s not because I don’t have friends, a husband, co-workers, and social media at my fingertips.  I have all of those things now just as I did then.

Loneliness is a feeling.  And although we want to think feelings are caused by our circumstances, they actually aren’t.

Feelings – and loneliness – aren’t caused by having friends,  a different family, being single, being 30, or not having kids.  

Feelings are caused by our thoughts.  Our thoughts are what create our emotions.

Which means loneliness is caused by our thoughts.  

This is both good news and bad news, right?

The bad news is that my thoughts are causing my loneliness.   

The good news is that my thoughts are also the cure

Your thoughts are both the cause and the cure to your loneliness. 

When you are thinking “I have no one to go eat dinner with,” you are probably going to feel lonely.  If you think “Everyone else has something to do tonight but me,” you are probably going to feel lonely.  “No one here gets me,” – lonely.  

I used to think this was just true.  My brain would find evidence for it as if it could win in the court of law.  

But the truth is that loneliness is caused by our thoughts, not our circumstances.  

In fact, loneliness used to be something I struggled with A LOT.  And since understanding this concept, it hasn’t been a struggle for me almost at all.  

 What I hope is that you take the time to stop and consider how a lot of our teen and college age girls feel super lonely right now.  It could be because they are transitioning schools, to college, or even from college to the “real world” and they are letting their mind choose thoughts about these transitions that create desperation, loneliness, etc.  

Their brain wants to naturally assign the meaning that they are alone so therefore they are lonely and are going to die.  

And what inevitably happens is they make decisions to go out with the wrong guys, the wrong friends, and try the wrong things just because their mind was creating this false scenario for them.  

But there is a cure. It’s available to them right now. It can help them avoid a lot of wrong choices.

Help your teens learn the cure. 

How Fear Of Rejection Lost

My favorite week of the year just happened.  My step-kids came and went.  On the last day as  they were packing up the car to go, I got more and more nervous.  Were they going to let me hug them?  Would they say good-bye?  Should I say I love you to them now or together as they leave or what?  

I feared being rejected by them before they had the chance to reject me.  

And in my fear, I said nothing.  I let them walk out with just a hug, a thank you, and a wave.  

Then I sat on my couch and cried.  I cried because they were gone, yes.  But I also cried because I let my fear win.  I rejected myself before they had the chance to. 

What’s crazy about the fear of rejection, too, is that the fear is what was making the rejection so much worse.  The anticipation of it. Like a shot at the doctor.

What’s awesome, though, is I knew it.  I was at least aware this time.

I sat there crying and I KNEW it.  I knew what I had done, what I was avoiding, and I was NOT going to let fear win completely.  

I practiced allowing the fear. I felt the tears, my heart in my throat, my clammy hands.  I felt the fear and the rejection for a good two minutes.

And then I moved on.  

I wanted to love them. I wanted to show up loving them.  I wanted to love myself.  They don’t get to decide any of those things.

Even if they don’t return the I love you, I can still love them.  

My love for them doesn’t rest on them returning their love for me.   

So I picked up my phone, and I texted.  “I miss you already.  I love you lots.  Heart.” One to Drew and one to Mara.  

One texted me back with an I love you. One did not.  

At this point, I could control my thoughts, and I didn’t take it personal.  

It doesn’t matter if they returned the I love you.  I loved them and myself enough to do it.  I love greatly, so I had to risk greatly.  And sometimes that means for myself too.