What??? Why would I do that Claire?
Well, simply put, you may not realise that the everyday language you are using is actually limiting you. And in particular, there are 3 statements that may be making you ‘play small’ in life. They are:
I am only.
These statements are not actually statements – they are limiting beliefs.
Limiting beliefs are the beliefs and stories we tell ourselves about why we are not able to change either ourselves or our lives. These beliefs are detrimental to fulfilling our dreams and desires because they make us believe that we are not capable of achieving and living the life we want, and as such we need to learn to break the cycle of limiting beliefs to create new, empowering beliefs.
Watch to learn how by changing your everyday language, you change your mindset, and in turn you change your life.
The only limits are those created in your own mind.
So I guess body shaming can happen at any age - it happened to me last week at age 45.⠀
I have been pondering the encounter to see how I can turn it into a positive message on how to deal with and overcome body shaming.⠀
Click the link to watch my story and learn how to deal with body shaming. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts87K0z-5d8
Love Claire xxx⠀
We all know that judgement of ourselves and others is not healthy or conducive to a positive mindset, yet as a society we are addicted to judgement. We judge politicians, celebrities, people in the public eye, our friends, family and ourselves and on top of that, we react to judgements made against us. Our ego’s get mad and we react to anything from minor to major slights made against us.
But what if we practiced non-judgement and non-reactivity? What do you think would happen to our mindsets then?
I know for a fact that if we practice non-judgement and non-reactivity, we develop a positive mindset and we gain more time to pursue our dreams and desires.
How do I know that? Well, do me a favour and try this exercise out:
Spend a few minutes thinking about and judging someone you know. It could be your partner, friend, colleague or boss. Really think about how they vex and exasperate you, and really think about all of their weaknesses. Also think about how someone has made judgements against you. Really feel your emotions.
Okay, now that you have conducted this exercise, answer this:
How do you feel now?
Pretty crap, right? I suspect you feel really irritated and annoyed, and agitated.
Now take those feelings and go make healthy choices and take action to pursue your dreams.
It’s not possible is it?
Those pent up, irritated and annoyed feelings take you ‘outside’ of yourself and the ego begins to run the show – telling you how this person did this/that and the other to you. Which makes it impossible to pursue healthy habits and develop empowering beliefs.
Now what would happen to your mind-set if you practiced the art of non-judgement and non-reactivity?
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Let me give you a real-life example of something that happened to me this week.
I was at the gym and upon completing a 4-mile run and some weight training, I headed to the health club changing room. After a quick shower I headed to my locker, dropped my towel and standing buck naked, proceeded to put body lotion on.
There were a couple of ladies standing next to me, one of whom was in the midst of telling the other lady that she and her husband and kids had just returned from snowboarding in Andorra. The lady who was speaking was gorgeous – beautiful with a tight, trim body. As I proceed to put my body lotion on, I caught the lady looking at me and as she did, she looked at her friend and said, “Getting fake boobs is the best thing I ever did – small boobs are disgusting”.
Her friend went quiet and red in the face.
I continued to put my body lotion on and pretended I didn’t hear her. I knew the comment was about me. I have small boobs. They never really grew in and I am an athlete, which certainly isn’t making them get any bigger.
And I am totally cool with having small boobs. They are healthy and work for me, so I am happy with them.
The lady proceeded to labour the point and spoke about how she wanted to make them bigger, she really doesn’t like small boobs etc etc. And as she carried on, I thought to myself – I have a choice here. I can react or I can let it go.
I decided to let it go and I practiced non-judgement and non-reaction.
I figured getting irritated and reacting to her was not going to help her or me, and I imagined that if she was that fixated on reiterating the fact that getting fake boobs was the best thing she ever did, it was likely she was trying to convince herself rather than me.
So, I let it go, finished getting ready and went home.
Why am I telling you this? Because we have a choice on how we react to things and it’s important to be mindful of how our reactions can impact our mindset.
Had I reacted to this lady, it is likely that I would have become irritated, annoyed and worked up and I would have carried that irritation home with me, which would have made it near impossible to work effectively. Meaning, my reaction would have robbed me of my time as well as my inner peace.
I am not saying that practicing non-judgement or non-reactively is easy. It takes daily mindful practice and hey, in the interest of full transparency, on any other day where I might be feeling irritable myself with peri-menopause symptoms for example, I might have reacted with a “Namaste Mother F**ker”. JLOL.
So please don’t be under the illusion that I have mastered the art of non-judgement and non-reactivity. It takes daily practice.
We cannot control other people’s behaviours, but we can control our own reaction.
Be mindful of how reacting to other people’s judgements, impacts your mindset.
Most people in society are asleep. They are unconscious – living in autopilot mode, living in the past and in the future, but rarely, if ever, in the here and now. On top of that, to compound the issue, they feed their unconscious state with distractions, whilst at the same time the voice in their head (the ego) provides a constant running commentary of judgements, observations, and dramas based on the past and future projections. As a consequence, these people are not awake or living on purpose – they are living in a distracted, drama filled reactionary state rather than a present, empowering pro-active state.
It’s a pretty bold statement that I am making about society, I agree.
But think about it, how many of us leap out of bed and race around unconsciously getting ready for work? And then whilst commuting to work, plug into technology – the Blackberry, iPhone, Smartphone or headphones being our commuting companion. We then get to work and fill our days with meetings on top of meetings, conference calls on top of conference calls, and we add to the never ending To Do List caused by the “do more with less” work culture that society has embraced. Finally, after finishing work, we commute home, plug back into technology during our journey, and on arrival home, we distract ourselves again by surfing the internet, mindlessly scrolling social media or watching made up drama on TV via shows or the News.
Still not convinced that society is sleepwalking through life? Google how many hours the average person works and consumes media, and it will become obvious that we are working, scrolling, swiping and watching our precious lives away.
And we tell ourselves that this is living. That this is what life is.
It’s not. It is what unconscious living looks like.
To accept that this is what life is, means that we as a society have adopted a herd mentality. Rather than question the norm, we become a part of it, and we live a collective unconsciousness – a collective disempowerment.
Living in a distracted, unconscious state does not create happiness or a healthy society. Instead it produces disempowerment and helplessness – a feeling that life happens to you rather than for you. Think about it – how many times have you said or heard someone say, “One day I will” or “I want to” or “When I get”? These are all disempowering statements that suggest one does not have a sense of agency over their life - that in the future they will be/do/have but until then there is a ‘lacking in life’. And whilst we are waiting for the future to happen, we end up sleepwalking through life, living in a state of inertia – and with the incorrect assumption that we have an infinite amount of time to live.
So, what is the solution?
It’s a simple one really. The solution is to wake up and live in the NOW.
To become aware of every single moment of our lives. To get into the habit of constantly asking ourselves “Is what I am doing or thinking right now, helping me to live a meaningful life?”. And, if it’s not, then stop doing it or thinking about it. That is what having a sense of agency is about – controlling our own mind and actions and forgoing the herd mentality. Realising that just because it’s the way it is, doesn’t mean it’s the way it should be.
Now that you have read this, my question to you is this – are you truly awake? Are you in control of your own mind and what you put in it, or have you filled it with distractions, autopilot mode and incessant ego chatter? Are you living a life on purpose?
Not sure? Okay, here’s a simple test to determine the state of your mind:
Go grab a pen and paper.
Now for 5 minutes sit and think of nothing.
* * * *
I bet you couldn’t do it. Your mind chatted to you the whole time, right?
No judgement if it did – my mind was the same way until I got rid of the distractions and trained myself to think and act differently… however, in the interest of full disclosure, I still haven’t mastered this. It’s a work in progress, but at least I now have a conscious awareness of when I am falling back into unconscious living.
I am guessing this exercise may have woken you up to how distracted your thoughts are and how unconscious you may be living. My questions to you now are these…. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do to get rid of the distractions, control your mind and regain your sense of agency?
What are you going to do to live a consciously aware life?
Are you living your life’s purpose?
That’s a loaded question, right? You may be thinking to yourself… “Well, who does live their life purpose?” and “How do I know what my life purpose is?”
I get it. I used to ask the same questions.
For at least 20 years I did not live my life’s purpose and I built a career I didn’t love because, well quite frankly I trapped myself with affluence and a lifestyle that I enjoyed. I worked in the Financial Services industry, which did not especially interest me, however I was headhunted which resulted in gaining a role in an industry which I had no passion for. And, as a workaholic with a strong work ethic, I achieved lateral moves and promotions which culminated in an ascent up a corporate ladder which I wasn’t sure I wanted to climb. I climbed the ladder because I could, and therefore I thought I should.
Although I was successful in my career, I faked a sense of interest in my various positions. Most of the time I was bored. Extremely busy, but bored. At most of the internal meetings that I attended I would sit there wondering why everyone was so keen on the subject being discussed. I kept thinking there must be more to life than this.
But what could it be? Learn more here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E2ClLiqq2U
* * * *
A cautionary tale… don’t be a lifer.
I was recently at an event and I bumped into a few people who I used to work with. They asked me how my new career path was going, and I replied with enthusiasm that I love my career and that I am really pleased I have found my purpose in life.
One of the ladies responded flatly… “That is so inspiring, I wish I could do that”.
I eagerly responded that she too could follow her dreams - that I do not have any special super powers that she does not have…. to which one of her colleagues countered, “Oh, you’re talking to a bunch of lifers, we’ll be working here forever”.
Another one of her co-workers chimed in “Yah, I am a total lifer”.
A gentleman to her right added“Me too, I was just thinking the other day that I have not had more than two weeks off at a time since university, but like they just said, we are all lifers”.
I was astounded.
I could not believe it. I don’t think even in my darkest moments during my career that I ever saw myself as a lifer. Can you imagine going to work every day thinking that you were a lifer? It sounds like a prison sentence. How would you reconcile that with yourself? Well, at least I get two weeks off for good behaviour once a year…
I tried to pump up my former colleagues with enthusiasm to follow their aspirations but eventually I gave up and departed the event shortly thereafter. They were victims of their own limiting beliefs and were not willing to adjust their mindset no matter how much I challenged them to do so. They had sold themselves the story that they were lifers and that was the story they were sticking to.
My message to you?
Please do not be a lifer! If you do not love your job or have a passion for it, and have the option to make changes, then develop a strategy and craft a mission to discover your purpose and follow your dreams. Being a lifer does not serve you, nor does it serve the company you are working for.
Listen to your inner wisdom and if you feel the desire to change careers, follow your passions and build a new career. Do not build a career for money or recognition because no amount of money or recognition will erase the disheartening and demoralising feeling of doing something you do not want to do. I guarantee it.
Although I shouldn’t have been astounded – according to a Gallup Study 71% of employees hate their job. http://www.medicaldaily.com/i-hate-my-job-say-70-us-employees-how-be-happy-work-319928