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We Are All Puppies!

podcast Oct 06, 2020

Hey Dethroners!  Ok so we are now 7 months into the pandemic and the issues we were dealing with pre-pandemic have multiplied exponentially. 

We are going to be ok once we learn what we’re supposed to learn from all of this--but we don’t know that yet. And not knowing is killing our logical brain. Because our Inner Critic mind wants predictability and wants to make sure that we are never uncomfortable or in any emotional pain moving forward.  

So what does our Inner Critic focus on? Well, it focuses on all the potential dangers and all the things that aren’t right with ourselves, in our family, in the world, and we think we’re not yet who we’re supposed to be, and this isn’t the way life is supposed to be. But did you ever think about where we got these ideas for who we’re supposed to be and the lives we’re supposed to be living? Why are we always thinking that there is something wrong with who we are now?

Well, when we were young, someone in our lives gave us the idea that we were not who they wanted us to be--it could have been a parent, sibling, teacher, peer--but somewhere you got the idea that you weren’t who you should be. That is in ALL humans.   

This is why most people are harder on themselves than anyone else could ever be because you have been trying to live up to an ideal image of who you are supposed to be. So from the time we’re young, we have been trained to expect that love is conditional. And we believe that we are only worthy of loving ourselves if we match our ideal of ourselves and our lives.  

And we do this with the people in our lives too. We might say we love our kids or our partners unconditionally.  But that is not how we act--in fact, we get very angry and disappointed in the people we love and spend a lot of our emotional energy trying to get them to treat us the way we want. 

So many people don’t enjoy who they are right now. They don’t enjoy the lives they are living right now. Most people want to be different than who they are right now. And they spend day in and day out trying to be better--to get themselves or some part of life--to match the ideal image of the way it “should” be. So they focus on trying to be thinner or smarter, more outgoing, more confident, more organized, less emotional, have more friends, or a better career.    

And we focus on this day in and day out. We focus on what we want to be different and so we miss out on the extraordinary experience of being exactly who we already are and the magnificence of the life we’re currently living. And while growth is pivotal for a life well-lived, what is way more important is to know how to wake up every morning and feel content with exactly who you already are.  

What if that is actually the key to life and we have all been brainwashed for generations to think that reaching the ideal is what we should be going for? We actually believe that when life doesn’t match our ideal, that’s bad and wrong and shouldn’t be. And I assure you, this is ALL humans! This is why you see the richest, most beautiful people in Hollywood who are literally killing themselves with drugs and alcohol, even though they have everything that they have set out to achieve--money, fame, beauty--all of the things we strive for.   

We buy into the idea that the ideal image in our minds is the way life really should be. And then we wake up every day experiencing lack- we say these are the parents I should have had, this is the childhood I should have had, this is the spouse I should have, this is the body I should have, this is what a successful career is supposed to look like. 

We are bombarded with messages prompting us to want everything, all the time. Be happier and healthier. Be the best, be better than others. And be smarter, faster, richer, sexier, more popular, more productive. We get upset that we and our lives don't match the ideal version in our heads. And you might be really convinced that people’s lives are better than yours because they have the things, the looks, the family, the business that you want.

I have direct experience with this both personally and in the thousands of people I have worked with throughout my career.  We always think it’s better over there. 

You need to stop waiting for a better version of you so that you can finally enjoy yourself or your life. All my dreams have come true--I have literally created the life of my dreams and I still woke up today filled with anxiety. 

10 years ago I was worried about how I was going to create my dream business. I was worried about my kids. Today I am still worried about how I am going to accomplish all of the things that I want to create and where it’s all going. I am still worried about my kids and right now they are fine. I still feel sad, frustrated, anxious, and bored--but now I don’t see those emotions as bad or something that shouldn't be. I know that all of it is part of the ins and outs of my Inner Critic mind that will never leave me. 

All the worry and frustration and fear and doubt, the propensity for people-pleasing, the attachments to people liking me, to my success and my looks as I get older, the future tripping to worse case scenarios -- it’s all part of my Inner Critic mind. And all of the discomfort that my Inner Critic mind whips up is part of my human experience. It just comes with the package of being lucky enough to be alive.

If everyone let go of the idea that life is supposed to be easy and we embraced the idea that the hard parts of our lives are exactly what it is to be living life. What if we could embrace all of it--what if all just KNEW “yup, that’s my Inner Critic mind. I just let it do its thing.” What if we stopped fighting with our Inner Critic mind and arguing that the way that it is should be something else, and just enjoyed ourselves and our lives right here right now.  

What if we stopped rejecting the way we are and just enjoyed exactly who we are?

 

If we knew that this was just being human--that life is complicated and messy for everyone, not just us--we would be a lot less miserable as a culture. There is no such thing as the ideal life you think you should have. THIS is your life. There is NO THERE OVER THERE!  

You had the parents you had, you had the childhood you had, you had the experiences you have had so far, you have the body you have, you have the friends you have, you have the career you have, you have the money you have, you have the kids you have. Your misery comes from thinking it should be different.  

I am not telling you to stop striving. I am not telling you to stop going for your goals, your dreams. But what I am saying is that reaching your goals and making the changes you want to make, ultimately won’t make you happier. Because that is not the purpose of our lives. The purpose of our lives is NOT to be happier. The true purpose of our lives is to GROW. The purpose of your life is to experience the wholeness of who you really are.

This means life will not always go according to your plan and there will always be times you will experience heartache, pain, loss, rejection, failure, and disappointment. We need to stop resisting this and trying to prevent it.  

Our attempts to get ourselves and our lives to match our ideal is exactly that--we are trying to prevent those times. We forget that these experiences of pain are not the end of the road. They are a tiny blip in our entire journey through life and that just around the corner something could change the course of our destiny forever. Our lives are the perfect mix of suffering and joy so that we can awaken to our TRUE selves. Pain, hardship, and suffering are actually what helps us grow and learn and become who we are meant to be.

Only when we realize this will we stop comparing ourselves and our lives to the lives we’re supposed to have, and stop comparing our lives to the lives of others, and we can start enjoying the lives we are currently living.  We can start to actually like who we are RIGHT NOW.

This is really the first step in enjoying your life. You have to like yourself which is hard for many people. And what I mean by this is actively liking ourselves on purpose which means listening to what you want, saying no, going for your dreams and desires, taking care of yourself, and letting go of your focus on what other people think. 

If you are people-pleasing in any way, either with your employer, your family or your friends, you are spending too much time worrying about what other people think of you. You are trying to get your value and worthiness from them and at the expense of yourself and what you really want.  

This leads to resentment and frustration because you probably don’t feel appreciated for all the sacrifices you are making. And then you blame them and think it’s their fault that you feel the way you do. But here is the hard truth: Your feelings are only your responsibility. And when you blame other people for why you feel the way you do or why your life is the way it is, this is the opposite of liking yourself because you are ignoring yourself and sending yourself the message that what others think and feel about you is more important than what YOU think and feel about you.  

And what's even more painful is that you act on this and create situations that prove this true. If someone makes you feel less than, you may be taking it out on yourself by isolating, treating your body in unhealthy ways with food or alcohol, or not going for your dreams because you believe you aren’t good enough to achieve them.  

I am telling you to resist the urge to seek approval from others and put yourself before anyone else. This includes your kids, your spouse, anyone. Of course we care about the people that we love and we want to give to others. We want to be a good mom, a good employee, a good friend, But when we give to ourselves first we actually increase our capacity to give to others but not from the intention of getting them to like us, validate us or approve of us.  

We need to make amends to ourselves--if we have been disliking ourselves, people-pleasing and over-functioning, we have most likely done cringy things we would like to ignore or forget--we need to bring those things to the surface and see them as part of our humanness. In other words, this is what ALL HUMANS do--not just you.  

When you are able to see that you are just a human being who has made mistakes or done some cringy things, it’s easier to let others think whatever they want to think about you. But that is really difficult if we’ve become dependent on other people to feel good. The truth is we can’t control what others think and what others believe about us, is about them, not us. When we show up as our AS we can see the people who like us for US, and not for the people-pleasing we have been doing.  

Our Inner Critic mind is rooted in our survival. This is what our primitive brains are trained for: Seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and doing what's easiest--and when our Inner Critic is ruling our lives, we don’t go for our true desires in life, we don’t want to feel any discomfort, let alone embracing the idea that sometimes life is hard.  

When we beat ourselves up, seek approval from others, and try to force life to match our ideal picture-- this isn’t enjoying life. We have to move out of our Inner Critic survival mode by embracing our discomfort.  We need to embrace all of the cringy things we have done in the past, the mistakes we’ve made, and the people we continue to disappoint. You have done some cringy things when your Inner Critic mind has been in control. So have I.  

The only true way to be myself is to actually BE myself--to embrace all of it. This is what makes life amazing, to find peace with all of myself-- the good, bad and the ugly.

I get so many people that say, “Ok I get that I need to start liking myself. How do I do that?” The answer is to pay attention to what you are thinking and what you are genuinely wanting. The opposite of depression is not happiness. It’s VITALITY.  And vitality is truly living--embracing the hard parts, and using those hard parts to show you the difference between your Inner Critic mind and YOU.  

I was on the phone with my best friend just the other day. I was talking with her about my typical future-based anxiety, and I said to her, “It’s so frustrating that even when all is well my automatic mind STILL creates anxiety”  She said “Think of yourself like a puppy. If your puppy wandered over to someplace he shouldn’t be, you wouldn’t yank the leash and yell at it. You would gently tug on the leash and say, ‘Come on boy, come over here. And then you might even give him a treat for listening!’  And I told her that I thought that was such a brilliant analogy that I was going to do a podcast about it.  

So we are all puppies. When you catch yourself going back into your Inner Critic mind, you want to gently and lovingly say, ‘Come over here.’ And gently guide yourself to your new mind where all is well, you are already enough, and there is nothing broken in the first place.  

And then the treat for being such a good listener is that you will watch your new life unfold right in front of you because you are navigating your life with your new mind!  When you have been letting your Inner Critic govern your life for your entire life, you are an old dog...and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  Your Inner Critic mind and your Inner Critic life is the old dog. Your new mind, and the new life that you are designing with that rewired mind, you are like a puppy!  

 

So here’s your basic puppy training in a nutshell. Ready? Just like you would invest the time and energy to learn the tools to train your new puppy, the tools to change your life is about investing time and energy in yourself and in your future so that you can be a role model for how you talk to yourself. 

That is going to change your body chemistry--get up in the morning and be able to say I love myself and I honor myself.  Because If you don’t like yourself, why should others like you?  What are you holding onto?  

The key is in learning how to unhook from your automatic Inner Critic mind moment by moment.  It won’t stop spewing the same messages it’s given to you for forever. That’s the old dog. To rewire your mind you have to take some time to disconnect from your busy day--turn your cell phone and TV off and just sit down and close your eyes. Take breaths and center yourself in the present moment.

Your mind will wander to the future with the worst-case scenarios. That’s your Inner Critic”s job-- protect you from future danger. Or it will wander back to the past--also its job--to make sure you don’t forget the pain so you won’t repeat it. Keep noticing it and settling yourself into the present moment. Your Inner Critic can’t exist in the present moment--it only vacillates from the past to the future.  

In the present moment, you are the calmest, and you are most in touch with your intuition and creativity. When your mind is calm and you are in a state of peace about YOU and the life you are currently living, you can take steps towards the life you are designing, but not because you are trying to prove yourself or become someone else.  

While you are in your puppy training, you can take the time to answer the question “What do I want in my life?” That is the beginning of rewiring your new mind--decide on the emotions you will feel instead of allowing your Inner Critic to be the architect of your emotions.  Focus on what you already like about you and what you already have to feel grateful for-- actually feel those emotions.  Rehearse in your mind who you are going to be moving forward.

 

You can’t design a new future while you’re still holding onto and identifying with the thoughts of the past: “I can’t, it’s too hard, I will never change, what’s wrong with me, I am broken, it’s someone else’s fault” Those are thoughts your Inner Critic architected a long time ago. How does your Inner Critic talk?  Do you blame, complain, make excuses, feel sorry for yourself?

Decide to pay attention to what thoughts and behaviors are designed by your Inner Critic and learn to unhook from them. Become conscious of those thoughts and behaviors. Create new thoughts so that YOU are in control of what emotions you want in your future, not your Inner Critic.  

If you want to be healthy and live a life of vitality, you can’t take insecurity or fear with you--you can’t take lack or not-enoughness. Your current personality is made up of how you think, how you act, and how you feel-- change any one of those things and you change your life.

And if you want assistance with your puppy training, I have a bunch of new and exciting programs that I am beginning and I also have my first book being released in November of 2020. Hop over to my website!

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