We all have that little voice in our head that trips us up – that makes us feel insecure and unsure about who we are and what we’re doing. It’s no wonder.
We are bombarded with ads and commercials that tell us we’re not good enough, smart enough, sexy enough, or skinny enough. But it’s time we regained our power.
So I’d like to offer you five easy ways to inspire yourself. Putting these steps into your daily practice will not only inspire you, but empower and motivate you like never before.
Here are the 5 steps with brief examples below to get you started:
- Be kind to yourself
- Pay yourself first
- Know that it is more powerful to go towards something rather than away from something
- Trust yourself
- Understand that you don’t need as much as you think you do
Be kind to yourself – here are three easy ways:
- Savor the next bite of food you eat or the next sip of beverage you drink. How does it smell? What does it remind you of? Feel it on your tongue and feel it nourish your body. Even if you’re eating fast food, think of it nourishing your body supplying it with needed energy.
- Hug yourself. Go on – wrap those arms around yourself and give yourself a hug. Breathe in deeply and feel your hands around you. Let go. Repeat as often as necessary.
- List 10 things that make you happy, and try to do at least 3 of them every day.
Pay yourself first. When I was in high school and got my first job, my dad told me to pay myself first. I asked, “Does that mean I can buy that sweater I want from Hudson’s?” “No,” he said. “Then you’re paying Hudson’s first.” That stuck with me. I worked hard for my money and I wanted it to work for me (not Hudson’s).So, I opened a savings account and put $10 of my paycheck in that savings account each pay period. Then I used the rest to pay bills.
“I asked, “Does that mean I can buy that sweater I want from Hudson’s?”
“No,” he said. “Then you’re paying Hudson’s first.”
But isn’t paying bills important and more urgent than saving money? Yes, at times it is. But someone will always hound you to pay bills – you will find a way to pay them. But, no one will hound you to take care of yourself – to save money for your future. You must make that happen. Why? Because this is the most effective, proven way to financial freedom. And when you have financial freedom, you no longer have to work – you can choose more freely what you do each day. And that is a beautiful feeling.
It is more powerful to go towards something rather than away from something. When we think about changing something in our life, many of us say things like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to stop smoking”. What this does is create a kind of void around where we are going – we are running away from weight gain or smoking, but we’re not quite sure where we’re going. What if we told ourselves a different story. For example, what if we said, “I want a healthy, toned body”; or “I want strong healthy lungs”. In going towards a picture of ourselves as healthy, we automatically make better choices. And the rewards will follow.
You don’t need as much as you think you do. Somewhere along the line, we forgot who we are at our core. Big cars, big homes, big bank accounts took over and left us feeling like there should be something else. Something different. Somewhere along the line, we’ve converted curiosity about the world into constant worry about status. We can change this simply by reminding ourselves how blessed we are for what we have.
“We’ve converted curiosity about the world into constant worry about status.”
Watch the sunrise or sunset. Take a walk. Look at the moon tonight. Try something new, or teach one person a skill that you have. It can be anything from baking a cake to learning a computer program or changing the oil in a car. In this way, you are not only reminding yourself that you have something of value to offer others, but you’re bonding with the other person and empowering them in a way that just doesn’t happen otherwise.
The Indigo Girls wrote a powerful song called “The Thin Line”. In it, they sing “Now I’m trying to get back to what I know that I should be. Hoping to God, I was just a temporary absentee”. We’ve all been absent from our own life – we forget who we truly are on a spiritual level, and we let the worries of the world consume and control us. The great thing is that we can change it. And we are changing it – one person at a time. Here’s to your power!
Maybe the goal in life is not to “be happy”, but to “be human”.
To be human is to express all our emotions – anger, sadness, love, pain, fear….
To be human is to fall, is to stumble, to fail. And to keep picking ourself up time after time after time.
To be human is to understand that anger shows us where we are hurt, and tears show us where we have loved.
Every tear we shed has to be shed. Don’t bottle it up. Let it out – time after time after time. We can’t dictate when our grieving ends – only our heart can do this. Let yourself grieve. Let yourself love. Let yourself be.
When we allow ourselves to truly feel the full range of emotions within us – when we cry & kick & laugh & scream – we bring more of who we are into this world. And, yes, that’s a good thing.
As Marianne Williamson said,
“so often we try to hide who we are rather than heal who we are”.
We can heal only by bringing our full self to the table – to show up fully – with all our bruises and all our scars. And to hold ourselves gently, knowing we are growing.
Just because you’re not on an African safari, or skydiving, or scuba diving in the South Pacific does not mean you’re living an unfulfilled life.
Real adventure starts within. Real adventure starts with looking inside yourself and discovering the depth of who you are and what you are meant to bring to this world. Real adventure starts right here – right now.
And you don’t have to give up anything to live this life of adventure. You don’t have to give up your day job, or anything that brings you a sense of security. But you do have to have the courage to ask yourself the deeper questions your soul is asking – and, more importantly you must listen to the answers. Then, when you’re ready, you can try.
But, trying is embarrassing. Whenever we try something new, we risk making a fool of ourself. We risk being laughed at by others. We risk failure.
But we risk so much more if we don’t try. And trying something new can be as small as trying a new restaurant or as big as starting your own company. Ultimately, you decide what you would like to try.
As the new year begins, what do you hope to do? What dreams do you have? If you are ready to try something new, I invite you to join me in my class called “Now What – what to do when you’ve done what you should, and are ready to do what you dare.”
Please click here for more information.
(This class is held in-person in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but I will soon be offering a similar class as a teleseminar – details will follow soon).
And, as 2011 comes to a close, and the door to 2012 swings open, I encourage you to take a deep breath, and walk thru that door knowing that this is the year you try something new.
We wear our pain in the lines on our face; the sometimes far-away look in our eye.
White women are quickly becoming the forgotten gender – except, of course, for sex.
Now that we have a black male President, I think white women have the right to rebel; to throw things; to yell, to punch, to say “what the fuck.”
But we won’t. We’ll keep moving ahead the best we can.
You know who we are. Look in our eyes. We are more alive, more free, and more wild than we appear. But we don’t know how to shake off the air of reserve that we’ve been taught to carry for so long.
The most important first step is to acknowledge every level of your being – be a saint, and love her. Be a slut, and love her. Be a professor, a student, a wife, a mother, a dreamer. BE.
The most empowering book I’ve ever read on this subject is Marianne Williamson’s “A Woman’s Worth” – whom obviously gets all credit for the title of this post.
We are all struggling under the weight of something heavy. Live free and support your fellow women.
Have you ever taken on a task that you didn’t think you could handle?
- Maybe you ran a marathon.
- Maybe you started your own business.
- Maybe you signed your first 30-year mortgage.
Remember the initial fear? How am I ever going to do this? How am I ever going to make it work? Remember all of the obstacles you faced? Remember all the questions you had?
And, of course, there were no answers to these questions. But, there you were, in the deep end of the pool, and all you can do is learn to swim or drown.
What does this have to do with Seinfeld? Do you remember the episode where George Castanza (Jason Alexander) and Jerry are sitting in Jerry’s apartment, and George says, “I think that ginger ale at the coffee shop is just Coke and Sprite mixed together. How can I prove it? (a few seconds pass) Ah! Can’t, dammit.”
So many of us do this. We have an idea, a thought, even a revelation. But, just as quickly, we stamp out that fire. We ask “how”. How am I going to do this? And the dream dies.
One of the most crucial mistakes people make is to give up on something before they’ve given themselves a chance to experience it. It takes time. Go easy on yourself. It’s a new process when you ask yourself new questions or try new things. Think about your favorite food. There was a time when you had never tried it. What if, the next time you go to eat something new and hear yourself say “no, I don’t want to try that”. what if that becomes your next favorite food?
Work thru the “how”. To have a dream is to have obstacles. And yet, so many people with a dream stop at the first sign of road blocks. They seem to think it’s a sign “NO! Don’t do this!” But maybe they are misinterpreting the signals. Maybe obstacles are here to show us how badly we want something. As Steve Pressfield writes in “The War of Art” – “the more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it”.
Use your obstacles as signposts that you’re on the right track. If you want to know how something works, find out. If you want to know how it feels to follow your dreams, find out. Don’t be like George Castanza and simply say you can’t. Find a way to make it happen. You’ll be glad you did.
Is there anything you might be thinking about now that brings up obstacles? What are you doing (or not doing) about it? I’d love to hear from you.