The Real Reason Why You're Feeling Drained and Overwhelmed

parenting podcast Oct 08, 2019

Can't listen? Here's the transcript: 

Hey Dethroners!  I want to share with you how I have completely shifted my entire life by practicing designing my life from the future that I am creating. I am sharing this with you in the hopes that you can begin to notice where YOU are automatically engaged in the same conditioned habits of thinking that are keeping you stuck in your suffering. 

I think most of us would agree that the world that we live in today feels really out of control on so many levels. And it feels to me like more and more of us (and more and more of our kids) are so freaking stressed out, unhappy, overwhelmed. 

The thing I see over and over is that we are so conditioned to look to the circumstances of life to change so that we can FINALLY get the life we want. I was stuck for soooo long and I really didn’t see how stuck I was until recently.

I have been a psychotherapist with a private practice for most of my adult life.  And I really LOVE the work that I do in the world. In fact, I feel honored to be able to positively impact so many people’s lives. But I was living this life in which I was giving all of this love and energy to my husband, my kids, my clients, my friends...and I didn’t even recognize that I was not giving nearly enough of that love to myself. 

If I look back at my life, I was definitely aware of giving myself what I thought that I needed. I exercised, I ate healthy, I got enough sleep, I cultivated friendships, I practiced yoga, I went on girls trips. I felt gratitude for my career, for all of the love in my life. I thought I was doing all of the right things. But I always felt drained.  I felt like I was constantly juggling way too many things.

I had a busy practice, 3 children, and a husband who travels for a living. For a long time, I thought that this was the life I created and I have to just appreciate it for all of the amazing things that I had, and keep pushing myself through it. I felt guilty for feeling drained and depleted! 

After all, many people don’t have careers that they love. Many people have shitty marriages. Many people don’t have amazing friends. Many people are suffering with waaay worse. And I felt spoiled and ashamed about my chronic feelings of dissatisfaction and fought against them constantly with practices like gratitude.

But the stream of thinking was always the same: “how can I fix my son’s mood?  How can I change my daughter’s anxiety? How can I keep my practice busy? What do I need to do more of to get more clients? What if I don’t make the money I want? What if my husband has a bad year?” And I filled my day with client after client, household chores, kids activities and then would shove into my life the things that I was doing to find balance and self-care.

Looking back, it’s like shoving too many clothes in a drawer and then forcing it shut.  On the outside, it looks calm but if you open it up, it’s a tightly wound mess. And that was me for way too long. And I thought that’s just the way it HAS to be. That’s what the life of an entrepreneur is supposed to look like. And I created all of this amazingness-- a dream career, family, friends, health. And yet, I was chronically discontent and overwhelmed.  

Ironically, it wasn’t until I started to create programs that brought groups of women together, for me to see that my life was designed around the underlying belief that, “I’m good, but I’m just not good enough.”  If you asked me what I thought of myself, I would have told you that I love myself and I love my life. And I did because I was feeling grateful for all that I had!

But I was designing the structure of my life to be consistent with someone who had to hustle to prove my worth, to make the money, to be successful.  I set up a life in which I was chasing what I thought was success and not realizing that true success follows when you actually surrender the idea that you have to push yourself into the success, and then someday you will “get there” and then you will finally have that life. And I was that hamster on the hamster wheel.  Running and running and running and then wondering why I was so exhausted. And I really believed that I was living my best life! HA!

The vision that I designed for myself was living a life of love and connection.  And once I started to practice seeing that vision in my minds eye, making the room and the space every morning to meditate on that, to see a clear picture in my mind’s eye of what a life of love and connection really looked like, that is when it became clear as day to me.  That most importantly, I was not giving love and connection to myself and not giving it to my kids.

Yes I loved myself. And of course I loved my kids. I told them that all the time and gave them tons of affection. But what I focused on more than anything was how do I fix them? And how do I fix my life? How do I get it (aka force it) to look exactly the way that I want it to? And why isn’t it the way that I want it to be? And I must not be doing enough, or doing the wrong things? And maybe if I read this book on parenting or go see that specialist, they will have the answers I am looking for? 

And of course I love myself… I take time for my friends, and I take care of myself! But it was not until I saw that my thoughts were all about the hustle and the fixing and the “getting there” that I really began to see that my life was structured in a way that was perfectly aligned to feel burnt out, depleted and struggling.  It was not until I began to do the WORK of aligning my thoughts with the life that I saw that things really changed.

I began to practice letting go believing that it was my job to get my kids to turn out and realizing that my one and only job is to love them no matter what and letting THEM figure out their own journey. Letting their journey be there own. 

Of course I guide, I suggest, but I let go of the attachment of getting them to change. I talk to them all the time about examining their automatic thoughts in their minds. But getting them to get it--that’s not my job. I started to recognize the power that comes from powerful women coming together to do the work of managing their minds. And right alongside these powerful women, I have been doing the work too.  And I started to see that the more I create this community, the more people get in touch with how to decrease their struggle and suffer and how to create more of an experience of self-love, self-compassion and designing a life to reflect that.

This has created this incredible ripple effect where their partners and children are starting to transform because these women are transforming from the inside out. And I am transforming from the inside out. Now I can create more time and room for myself. I don’t see clients back to back day after day after day. I make space in my day for rest, for play, for daydreaming. The structure of my entire day has changed. And it is creating these groups and programs that has allowed for that.

And I couldn’t have recognized ANY of this unless I began to design a new life from the future, as though it was already a reality NOW--not from a place of someday.  

When you create your life from the future, you step into a new possibility for who you know yourself to be.  Living from this new place of possibility begins with enrolling yourself in your vision (really believing it) and then enroll those around you in the belief that you will be living your life from this new place instead of the old way of living instead of living life from the story of who your Inner Critic says that you are.

When you are truly committed to living your life from a new possibility that is designed from your future, the old constraints imposed by your Inner Critic’s view of you and your life begin to disappear. 

It takes ongoing practice, continually developing the muscle to see the new possibility that you have invented for yourself. This is why I encourage you to read and say your declared future daily and practice talking about it. Know that sometimes family and friends may be sarcastic and/or pessimistic about what you’ve declared. After all, you may be feeling some of that too.  When you’re ready to share your future with them and you feel nervous and maybe a little embarrassed, tell them that. From vulnerability and courage, tell them that you simply want to share what you’ve created with them, not get their advice.  

Please know that every day you will be presented with opportunities to live as if it’s business as usual (your old Inner Critic way of living) or to come from a place beyond who you’ve been, what you’ve imagined, and what you experience as reality when your Inner Critic is on her throne. Like Brene Brown says, it takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.  

Our old conditioned Inner Critic thinking tells us that WE have to get our lives to turn out by pushing ourselves and do more and more.  You have to train yourself to think more thoughts about yourself that feel good. You have to be willing to chill out and give yourself a break. Get more rest. Do more of the things that feel good to you. Let go of the habitual and conditioned thoughts that cause you to believe that struggle is just the way life has to be.  You have to be willing to pay attention to how you feel and get intentional and deliberate of the thoughts that you think on a regular basis.

Are the thoughts that you think ones that you are creating with intention or are the thoughts a knee jerk reaction to the circumstances of your life?  Because if you are having thoughts that are just reactions, then that is when you feel most out of control and when you are suffering the most.

You are the creator of your thoughts.  Not the people or the circumstances of your life. When you wake up in the morning, are you deliberately choosing thoughts that get you in touch with joy, love, connection, vitality? 

When you feel your negative emotion that is connected to your reactionary thoughts, that is when you need to stop, get still and adjust your thoughts. When you do that every single day, after 30 days you will start to see that you are rewiring your mind to create new beliefs. This is how you change your life.  By intentionally creating thoughts that generate good emotions within you. To align your thoughts with good feeling emotions.  

Stop arguing with yourself about why this won’t work for YOU.  How do you think you came to accept negative thoughts and emotions as normal?  We learned early on in our lives that the way to feel loved, valued, and good enough is to look towards other people or the perfect circumstances of life to make us feel the way we want to feel.  

To give you a feel for how this works, here are some questions to consider:

What would I be taking care of on a daily basis regarding my own well being?

How would I be creating balance effortlessly?

Where would I be expressing joy and love?

How would I be accessing my personal power?

How would I be supporting myself to be in action?

How would I be practicing self-acceptance?

How would I be generating my vitality?

Where would I be reinventing myself?

What would my relationship to the unknown be?

How would I be being in my relationships?

Take your time with these questions.  Giving up an old identity and stretching for a new one is about investigating how your Inner Critic has been conditioned to protect that old identity.  To successfully navigate real change, you have to hear a different calling, something that calls you forth into new ways of being and new actions. The larger your calling, the more your inner critic will scream.  And her screams create a lot of discomfort. This is all a normal part of your growth and transformation.

Allow yourself to practice discomfort on purpose. Remember, uncomfortable emotions and feelings are nothing more than vibrations in your body.  And even more, the physical sensations of fear and excitement are exactly the same! Your heart beats fast, your breathing gets shallow, your hands get clammy. The only difference is the thoughts in your mind. So as you are designing your new future, see yourself living your life from what’s possible rather than what you are afraid of.  When you practice living from possibility, you start to see and relate to your life differently. You can actually generate the feeling of excitement just by changing your thoughts from fear of what if, to excitement of what’s possible.  

Again, remember that the whole spectrum of feelings you feel when declaring your future is normal. This is no small task. You are in the beginning stages of designing a new you. The fear is normal. The excitement is normal. 

I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes that I hope inspires you to claim your future: Wayne Dyer says, “Act as if everything you desire is already here... treat yourself as if you already are what you’d like to become.” Whatever it is that you want to have for yourself, this program is about learning how to think and act as if you were already living that life. Now...it’s time to go get in touch with that future vision that’s inside of you!

In order to truly change your life, you need to be willing to think differently from how you feel.

That's why I collected some of my favorite resources and trainings to create an owner's manual for your mind. Want access? Tell us where to send your log-in details! 

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