How to stop saying yes to sh*t you hate!

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How much time do you spend doing things you hate?

Meeting up with that friend who is an energy vampire, who makes you feel like you need a nap the second you leave? Heading to that work event that you just need to “make an appearance” at? Invited to a friend’s birthday party and feel like you have to go because you go every year?

I know the feeling, because I used to spend the majority of my time doing things I didn't truly want to be doing. Saying yes to everything just because I felt like I had to, or because I didn’t have a good excuse as to why I couldn’t make it. Often we feel that taking time to ourselves, to do nothing and rest, is not considered an acceptable reason to say no.

Why is it that we feel we need an excuse to justify how to spend our OWN precious time? Many of us have been brought up thinking that we have to always accommodate and please others. Perhaps it stems from a fear of not being loved or accepted if we don’t cater to the people in our lives. We have trained people to know that we will always say YES when they ask, and that we will always show up even if it leaves us feeling stressed, anxious and always in a hurry. We have trained them to know that we will over extend ourselves to accommodate them, even if we have to show up as just a shell of a person, tired and feeling like crap! Holidays, birthdays and special events become a given that we have to attend for the people around us, no matter how we are feeling or whether we’re able to show up at our best. How many times have you thought or said, “I have no choice but go to that” or “I just have to make an appearance for a little while”? In our society today, it’s normal to be exhausted and stressed when showing up to spend time with friends and family. We live in a society where exhaustion and overwhelm are the NORM, and yet we continue to pile more and more on to our plate with things that we DON'T EVEN ENJOY DOING! What’s up with that?

Showing up fully

When we drag our butt to these activities and engagements, it’s not only unfair to us, but it’s also unfair to the people that we care about. Who really wants a grumpy-grump sitting in the corner at their birthday party, ready for a nap? Or the person who shows up at their “girls night out” who can’t even hold a conversation because what they really need to be doing is at home relaxing and unwinding? Our time really is precious. It is our most precious commodity, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend another damn minute of my time doing something I don’t enjoy!

What can I do about it?

It’s time to re-train the people in our lives to know that when we ARE able to show up for them, we will show up fully. We will be present, engaged and involved, and we will give them the best of us. To do this, we need to slow down, start saying NO more often, and take time to reset and recharge.

In an ideal world, we would all be able to express a clear, firm NO without needing an excuse and without feeling guilty about it, but for those of us who have been a people-pleaser for most of our lives, this may seem to extreme to start out with. We have been conditioned to feel like we need an excuse to be able to say no to something. It can be especially hard to say NO to close friends and family. We don’t want them to think we are selfish or inconsiderate. Trust me, I get it! So how do we communicate a NO to the people in our lives that we care about?

The trick is to get out AHEAD of the invitation. First, come up with a list of the people in your life who you are always saying “yes” to. This could be people you see often, or people you only see from time to time. Once you have your list, you’re going to approach each one of those people and have a conversation with them to let them know that you’re not going to be saying “yes” as often as you used to, because you’ve realized the importance of taking care of yourself. You can frame it something like this:

“I’ve been reflecting on the last few years and have realized that I’ve been overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted most of the time, so I’m going to start taking better care of myself. I love our time together, but when I’m tired and overextending myself I’m not able to show up for you like I want to. So, moving forward I’m not going to say yes to all of the things I used to. BUT, this means that when I do show up for you, I can be at my best, and give you the time and energy you deserve, instead of showing up as just a shell of a person who really needs down time or rest.”

This approach is simple, effective, and the people who truly love and respect you will understand if you communicate this in a loving way. They want the best FOR you, and they want the best OF you, so if this will help accomplish both of those things, they will be on board! If anybody argues with you, they may not understand the importance of self-care, and that’s okay. Just know that you’re taking the right step to better take care of YOU, and that’s the most important thing you can do!

The Dangerous Word that Nobody Talks About

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We have all heard the long list of dangerous words that you should never say because they are self-defeating - words like “try”, “someday” and “can’t”. But there’s a rarely discussed word that I would argue is even more dangerous, and that word is “should”.

“Should” is a word used to indicate something that needs to be done – an obligation or a duty. “I should clean the bathroom today.” “I should help my friend move today.” “I should go to that event next week.”

The trouble with “should” is that it has become a word that we use to plan our days, our daily tasks, chores and events, and we forget to question who the “should” is even coming from. More often than not, “should” is a self-imposed pressure that we have picked up somewhere along our life path that told us how an “acceptable” person should be or act. The voice of the “should” is just a mind program that has been handed down to us - we may have been told or taught it directly by parents, teachers or friends, or it may be something that we have just learned is the “acceptable” way to be by watching how society functions. Either way, “should” is just a mind program that basically runs on autopilot, yet has a serious impact on the decisions we make every single day.

“Should” has an opinion on every area of our lives. On a large-scale, “should” is the reason why so many people choose to spend 4+ years in university, spending tens of thousands of dollars, taking a degree they don’t even know if they are interested in. “Should” is locking down that 9-5 salary job because the most important thing “should” be financial stability. “Should” means working at your job 50-60 hours per week because you could really use the extra money. Not only does “should” influence our big life decisions, but also subconsciously affects the smaller decisions we make in our lives, like which type of foods we should eat, how much time per day we should spend relaxing, or what type of events we should attend.

An invisible prison

If you think about it, “should” actually acts as an invisible prison that keeps us from stepping outside the box of what is considered acceptable. When you listen to “should”, this usually means you are giving your power away to something outside of yourself to decide how you should spend your time. Not only is this mentally defeating, but by sacrificing the call of your own heart and your own path, it is slowly crushing your spirit. In my experience with energy work, many injuries and illnesses are the result of this loss of power that comes with following someone else’s rules and not living your authentic life.

My first step on my journey of self-realization began with the awareness of how many societal pressures are put on us from the day we are born. You know what I’m talking about – societal “norms” that are considered the acceptable way to live, such as working a 9-5 job, getting married, having a university degree, etc. I had this realization as I was going into my 5th year of university, my second science degree, and one which I had little interest in. I did it because it was what I “should” do, my next logical step in a series of steps that seemed to be pre-determined by someone outside of myself. Not only was that not serving me, it also resulted in severe health problems that persisted until I learned how to start saying “no” to the “shoulds”.

The creation and support of limiting beliefs

“Should” also helps us construct and support many of the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves. Just think about it – every time there is something that you “should” do that you don’t end up doing, you don’t feel good! This is because “should” makes you believe that you need to BE or DO something different than what you already are to be considered good enough.

For me, the “should” of going to university and getting multiple degrees led me to the limiting belief that my value as a person was based on my credentials, experience, and a piece of paper, rather than who I am as a person. For the heath issues that followed, I started relying on the opinions of medical professionals to tell me when I would get better. The “I should follow what the doctor says because they always know best” led me to the limiting belief that I didn’t know what was best for my own body, and that somebody else held the power over my health.

How to break free

So, the next time you catch yourself saying “I should…”, take a moment to stop and think. Who is telling me that I “should” do this? Is it absolutely necessary that I do this? What will the consequences be if I don’t? If the “should” was taken away, is this something that I would still spend my time doing? What would I spend my time doing instead? For me, when I stepped out of the idea that I needed a 9-5 job to be happy, I realized that I had been in university all those years just in preparation for a life I didn’t even want!

Word of caution: When you start releasing the “shoulds” in your life, the people in your life may call you selfish, inconsiderate, or even rude. But know that taking care of YOU is not selfish. I would actually argue the opposite, that it’s selfish NOT to do what truly makes you happy and what inspires you. The world doesn’t need more people stuck in the rat-race, living each day over and over on repeat. The world needs people who have decided to do what makes them happy, and who can share that happiness with the rest of the world. The people around you will benefit the most when you are living your true path of what inspires you and you’re passionate about. When you stop listening to the “shoulds”, things that make you unhappy start fading away. That is when the true bliss can begin.

6 Steps to Kick Your Limiting Beliefs to the Curb!

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Are you living the life of your dreams? Are you spending each and every day doing what you love?

If the answer is no, chances are you have some underlying limiting beliefs that are guiding your life away from what you truly want!

Limiting beliefs are patterns of thought that we have picked up throughout our lives that hold us back from achieving what we want most. These beliefs are so powerful that they work in the background of our lives and prevent us from reaching our highest potential!

From the day we were born, society has us programmed to think that only certain things are possible. We are born into a set of “rules” of what is and isn’t possible in our lives, of what we can and can’t do. Some of these things we’ve been taught as a child, by our parents, which were taught to them by their parents, and so on. Even though they did this with good intentions, to prevent us from being hurt in the future, these beliefs take our power away and makes us feel like life is happening TO us, and that we have no control over it! This couldn’t be further from the truth – you ARE powerful, and you have the ability to create anything and everything you want in your life!

If you’re a human living on this planet (and I’m going to assume you are!), you have most likely been living with the same limiting beliefs your ENTIRE LIFE. Even if you're not aware that you have them, they're working behind the scenes in your subconscious mind, and even impacting the choices you make every day!

Some of these beliefs appear to be "obvious" truths, such as: “My doctor always knows best” or “I can’t get my dream job without a degree”.

However, the funny thing about limiting beliefs is that we may not even be aware of them! These are the more pesky and harmful limiting beliefs, which are those we aren’t even consciously aware of – the subconscious limiting beliefs.

Examples of subconscious limiting beliefs include: "I am not good enough for love/friendship/etc..." or “Money is evil and only greedy people make lots of money” or "I don't deserve to make more money".

I truly believe that the only way to achieve what you want in life is to break through the programming and limiting beliefs that society has convinced us is “truth”!

If you have been struggling and are ready to make a shift in your life, here is a 6-step formula for kicking those limiting beliefs to the curb!

  1. Becoming Aware

Becoming aware of your limiting beliefs is the first step. Where in your life have you not achieved what you truly want? Where have you been holding yourself back? Take a few minutes in a quiet spot to take a few deep breaths and ask yourself what limiting belief may be running in the back of your mind. You are a detective searching your conscious and subconscious mind for what beliefs have been running! Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of quiet for a limiting belief to come to the surface. Write down whatever comes to your mind, along with whether you were previously aware of the belief or if it has been hiding deep in your subconscious.

  1. Discover the Root

Looking at your newly uncovered limiting belief, evaluate how long this has been a belief of yours. Maybe it started all the way back in your childhood! Was there someone who passed this limiting belief on to you? Maybe a parent, teacher, or friend?

  1. Evaluate the Belief

Too often, we accept our limiting beliefs as truth, without even questioning them! In this step, ask yourself the question, “Is there a POSSIBILITY that this belief is not true?” Whether the belief is that you’re not smart enough, not attractive enough, whatever it may be, realize that these viewpoints are SUBJECTIVE, not OBJECTIVE. This means that these beliefs ARE NOT absolute truths! Acknowledging that these beliefs may not be true is the hardest step, because you have been reinforcing them to yourself for so long. One of my favorite quotes says:

“We live in a world that worships limitations.” – Tama J. Kieves

We have been taught for years to believe in and fight for our limitations. NOW is the time to realize that when we worship our limitations, we keep ourselves stuck!

  1. Explore the Impact

Next, think about how long you’ve been carrying this limiting belief around with you. How has it impacted your life? Has it prevented you from applying for a certain school program, chatting with the cute coffee shop worker, or putting a down-payment on the house of your dreams? Think about  what your life will look like a year from now if you keep believing this limiting belief. Will you be able to create what you truly want? Realize that this limiting belief has NO PLACE in your perfect future, and it needs to be kicked to the curb!

5. Create an Alternative

Now is the time to create a new, positive belief to replace the old, limiting one. It can be just a small shift – for example, you may not be able to jump from the limiting belief of “I’m too unattractive to find a partner” to “I’m the most attractive person I know!”. Your new, positive belief can be something like, “I am caring and loving and deserving of a partner” or “The perfect person is out there for me, I know it!

6. Reinforce the new belief!

Once you’ve created your new belief that is in alignment with your dreams and desires, the key is to reinforce it into your subconscious mind. Re-affirm your positive belief to yourself by saying it out loud. Write it down on a piece of paper and hang it on your mirror so you can read it every morning. Even if you don't fully believe your new, positive belief, that's okay! Re-programming the subconscious mind doesn't happen overnight. Just trust and know that you are on the right track!

By releasing this outdated, limiting belief, you open the channels for new opportunity to come your way! Now, you can smile and be prepared for financial abundance, love, and whatever else your heart desires!