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.

Living The Dream-It IS POSSIBLE

Anyone else have adult meltdowns?  No, me neither.

 
In 2012, at the age of 34, I bought my first townhome.  I had to borrow $5,000 from my parents and took out a teacher loan to afford the down payment.    

When I sat down to sign the 800 documents, I saw a much larger amount than I expected as my monthly mortgage payment.  How was I going to pay for that on my teacher salary?

 
The tears sprang up and started spilling down my cheek.  The lawyer and my realtor (both male and single) had NO idea what to do.  The tears just flowed as they passed me a tissue box.  Bahahaha!  Bless. 


Thankfully about 5 minutes later one of my greatest friends showed up to support me with a bottle of champagne and a smile.  She had bought her first condo as a result of a divorce and knew exactly what I was going through.  


How had my life ended up here?  How was I 34 and single and almost no money and hating my job and having a meltdown in front of two male lawyers?  


That’s a long story, so I’ll skip to the ending.  


I found a book by a life coach that changed my life.  Then I took massive action and did the work and prayed and meditated on verses and things that created joy in my life.  


Then I finally got the memo that I was worth a 10 (we all are) so I needed to find a 10 husband.  Enter Darin.  Then I decided I wanted to pursue coaching teachers. Got that. Then pursue helping kids with their emotional and mental health.  Did that.  


Sold two homes in between (one of which paid for my wedding).


Now, 7 years later, I just turned in my resignation at the school that I LOVE and a job that I LOVED to pursue a calling that I LOVE. 


Life Coaching.  Because life coaching is what started this whole thing and the coaching that Brooke Castillo teaches lit my life and my husband’s life on fire.  


I took the leap, but knowing that I have my own back.  It’s scary and exciting and all the things.  My brain has argued and doubted and celebrated and committed.  


I am living my dream come true of being a full-time life coach where I get to impact lives in a whole new way.  


What I want you to know is that it is ALL POSSIBLE.  Nothing you can imagine is impossible.  
Weight loss.  Better relationships.  A job you love.  The finances you want.  Confidence.  


It is ALL POSSIBLE.  You just have to commit to doing the work.  It’s not an overnight solution, but you didn’t get to where you are overnight either. 


It is ALL POSSIBLE.  

Going All In – A Strategy “Willing To Lose”

So I honestly am making up the name of this strategy.  If you read this and can come up with a better name, by all means, let me know.  Until then, I’m naming it “Willing To Lose”.  

My coach has this great example of proving whether or not her clients are believing that they are really going to make their goal happen, that they are 100% all in.  

Let’s go with a weight goal – losing 6 lbs this month.  Just a tad outside my comfort zone but not ridiculously out of the question.  

I’m going to have the belief: Oh, yeah, I’m going to lose 6 lbs this month.  No problem.  

My actions are that I’m eating bread once a week, no sugar, and exercising twice a week.  

And after two weeks, I only lose two pounds.  

I start panicking or thinking I’m doing something wrong or wasting my time.  

At this point, I’m completely doubting whether or not I’m going to hit my goal.  

My coach will say to me – are you willing to pay me $10,000 if you don’t hit your goal?  

And because I’m doubting, I’m not willing to lose $10,000 so I am going to say ‘HAIL’ no.  

I’m not really all in.  I’m full of doubt and fear, not determination and focus.  

Do you see this?

A person who is ALL IN is going to say – yes.  I am going to to do whatever it takes to lose the other four pounds.  This is possible.  It is happening.  I can say yes I’ll pay you because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am going to show up for myself.  I am going to make it happen.  I am not willing to lose.

What is your goal?  Like a specific real goal.  

Are you willing to pay me $10,000 if you don’t hit it? Don’t play not to lose. Play to win.

Going All In – Chunking Your Life

When I started planning my wedding, I had no wedding planner, a mom who knew nothing about planning weddings, and no time.  I had just started a new job shortly before I got engaged to add fuel to the fire.  

Then we decided to sell my town home so I could have money to pay for the wedding.  So now I was planning a wedding, learning my new position, selling a home, and looking for a new one.  

If you’ve ever done any of these, you know they all take time and massive action.  Oh, and we were for sale by owner.  We were taking lots and lots of action.

How did I do it all almost by myself without having a nervous breakdown or failing everyone involved?  I learned to chunk my to-do list, and I became a master of my schedule.  

I didn’t just say I had no time or I was overwhelmed or it wasn’t fair.  I mean all of this was great stuff happening. 

It was easier to stay in the positive frame of mind, for sure.  But that didn’t make the work go away.  

Chunking was my plan.  For everything.  Selling my home by mid October when I got engaged Labor Day?  I spent every weekend for four weeks in a row going through each room in my house, clearing out the mess, cleaning, and staging.

Once it was sold (first day on the market for full asking price), I spent the next three and half weeks (he was paying cash), packing systematically doing the same process.  Each room had boxes, Sharpies, packing tape & paper, and all boxed and ready for when the movers came.  

Some of you might think well it’s easy when it’s selling a house and planning a wedding, but I want you to think about that. 

How many brides become Bridezillas because they are stressed and overwhelmed?  How many people never move because they don’t want to go through the process no matter how much they could make?  It’s just “too much trouble”.  

These tasks can seem overwhelming if you think they are overwhelming. When you think it’s all doable, your brain comes up with a way to do it all. It’s the way your brain works.

Chunking is a fabulous strategy to use when going all in.  It makes it seem doable.  Because it is doable.  You chunk it and then you do the small chunks.  

And if all of that doesn’t convince you to try chunking, think about the saying.  You know the one.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  

I actually don’t understand how this became a thing since no one I know eats elephant, thank the Lawd.  But I do know it’s a thing.  So think about it.  One bite at a time. 🙂

How To Go All In – A Strategy

How is it possible to go all in when you want to, but you also really don’t want to? 

Like, you want to go all in with your workout routine, but you’re not.  You keep skipping the gym and hanging out with your dogs instead.  

Or you want to go all in with organizing your house, but you’re not.  You keep scrolling through Facebook and watching Marie Kondo on Netflix.  (Which is at least on the subject of organizing)

For teens, it could be getting straight A’s or getting on the dance team or getting extra money to buy more Pops or Adidas shoes that they otherwise would not be allowed to buy.  

Whatever it is, let’s go all in.  This is how.

Step 1 – Be specific

Like real specific.  I’m working out 5 times every week for this month.  I’m cleaning out the kitchen pantry by Friday.  I’m getting an A on all tests this quarter.  I’m making $100 this week to buy my Abraham Lincoln Pop. 

Write it down. 

Step 2 – Write down your excuses

Write down ALL of your excuses and doubts that are going to come up and then what you’ll need to tell your brain.  You’re the boss of your brain.  So I need for you to act like a boss. 

Example: I’m going to be tired from not sleeping because of our broken A/C so I may skip working out those days it’s broken (excuse).  No, you are going to the freaking gym.  I will have more energy during the day and be able to sleep better that night (Brain Boss talking)

Other excuses: I don’t have time; I am so tired; the kids need me to stay home; my husband won’t feel loved; I need to do more at home (and less for me).

Step 3 – Don’t judge your excuses.

Seriously.  Don’t do it.  Just be like ‘oh, that’s my self-doubt.  That’s my excuse to get out of it.  It’s kinda like my teen who is telling me she has a sore throat when in reality she has a math test.’  See?  It’s just doing it’s job.  Be like ‘good job, brain’. 

And then do what you committed to doing anyway.   

Step 4 – Reflect on your mind AND your action.  

Ask yourself what worked, what didn’t work, what would I do differently at the end of each day with both your thought work AND your actions.  Your mind is the gas fueling your actions so you need to take a look at that too.  You don’t want to be ignoring the fact that you’re putting some cheap stuff into the actions and that’s what is really causing the poor results, right?  No.  Once you know it’s the cheap gas from the unmarked gas station down the street that has shady characters hanging around all the time causing your car to leap forward in the middle of traffic for no apparent reason, you’re going to look for the next fancy BP to fill your car up with.  Same with your mind.  Reflect on your mind and actions.  

And that is it, friends.  Actually DO this work. When I say ‘write’, I mean write. it. out.  What we want to do is just do it in our minds and count it like we did it.  I know this because I do this ALL the time.  But this is like building a muscle. Your mental muscle of going all in.  So in order to build it up, you must exercise it.  

This is your work. The how. 

Go all in.  

Old You vs. New You

The old is gone and the new has come.  What parts of the old you are you still leaning on?  

Old me:  Oh, I’ll just take my time and wonder around for a while, read all the signs and directions; google all the possible disasters.   

New me: That’s where I’m headed. Running the whole way.  This is happening.

I am the daughter of the King.  I serve a mighty God who will move Heaven and Earth for me to run after what He has called me to do. 

I will run, not half-jog, in this journey with desire, love, and excitement. 

It is fear that keeps me alive, but it will not be fear that holds me back.  

It is always love.  Love for myself, love for others, and love for our God.  

Now, I am looking for moms and dads who want to know more about how to light the fire under their teen’s you know what and get them to not hold back.  I have a quick 10 minute virtual training next Tuesday, the 23rd for parents at 11am.  

After the session, you’ll also get the three short videos I made for your teens – How To Get Moving, How To Get Motivated, & How To Get Mentally Strong.  Those will be sent to anyone who signs up for the session.  

The videos alone are life changing for your teens. I can’t wait to help them change their year and their life!

Register here until July 22nd!

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. 

For The Kids Who Want A’s & Hate School

I have a client who doesn’t like school.  Oh, wait.  I have many clients who don’t like school.  

This client (meaning most of my clients) has good grades, studies ok, and wants to have straight As.  Her goal for next year is to have the highest A possible in all classes.

She also thinks school is a waste of time, a necessity, and boring.  

Do you see the problem?  I know you hear it at home, but do you see it?  

She wants one thing, but the very thing she wants, she doesn’t like.  

No wonder we all decide that tweens and teens are extreme and confusing!  

I mean, we adults, are NEVER like that.  

We don’t want to lose weight, but also hate the gym.  

We don’t want to be happy at our jobs, but talk about how bad our boss is.  

We don’t want to be on time, and then say that being late is “just who we are”.

Nope.  I’ve never said those things.  (You know I’m kidding, right?)

As much as we’d like to only see what our kids are going through as just being drama, it’s also what we struggle with. 

Why?  It’s our human brain.  

It’s cognitive dissonance – when one’s ideas, beliefs, behaviors are contradictory.  

Your kids are just beginning to really learn what it is and what to do when it happens.  

Cognitive dissonance is a great opportunity for growth as long as you are bringing attention to it to your mind.  

Once your brain becomes aware of it, it has a much better chance of reconciling the two.  

Awareness is the first step.  

And I’ll be talking next steps for this in my Back To School meeting for parents of tweens & teens on the 23rd.  More details to come!