The Stories We Tell Ourselves and Our Limiting Beliefs, Do They Hold Us Back?

As human beings, we tell ourselves stories and operate within our limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are the stories we tell about ourselves, about others, and about the world. 

These stories determine our perception of what is and how we think things are supposed to be. The stories we tell ourselves quickly become our reality. 

We become attached to our reality, which is made up of the stories we tell. Our limiting beliefs keep us from allowing the space needed to develop our authentic selves.  Living small, not allowing our own inner greatness to develop, becomes familiar and comfortable.

“The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”― Roy T. Bennett

Most people live small through the stories they tell about themselves. This might be what you know, however, you can change what is familiar and create your most authentic self.  Give yourself permission to be your authentic self by committing to changing your mindset in these ways;

  • Detach yourself from who you think you should be. An attachment to be a certain way may make you feel discouraged and discontent when your stories fall short of reality.

“Grasping at things can only yield one of two results: Either the thing you are grasping at disappears, or you yourself disappear. It is only a matter of which occurs first.”-Goenka

  • Release the thought that you are independent and separate in relation to others, this creates a sense of isolation.  Feeling isolated leads to painful loneliness and keeps you from feeling connected to one another.
  • Realize that your story conditions you to act in a certain way.  You are told that you are too “this” or not enough “that” creating constraint in that conditioning.  Be aware and live beyond the stories you tell yourself. 

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” ―Mary Kay Ash

  • Be aware when you resist reality which contradicts your limiting beliefs and stories.

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama

  • Let go of your stories that are filled with judgment about how you think things should be.  Judgment leads to suffering when your limiting beliefs go against reality.
  • Stop living life through your story, it creates the assumption that you know and understands how things are and why people do what they do. Living within assumptions robs the mystery out of life.

To overcome the stories that live within your subconscious, create a belief that improves your life and supports your ability to act in ways that make your life better. Find ways to support your new beliefs with information and evidence.

“We are put on this planet only once, and to limit ourselves to the familiar is a crime against our minds.” —Roger Ebert

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Can The Practice of Gratitude Really Increase Your Happiness and Overall Outlook on Life?

What is the practice of Gratitude anyway?  Let us break it down for you here.  The word gratitude originates from the Latin word gratia– meaning grace, graciousness, or grateful.  The practice of gratitude is to be mindful and appreciative of everything good in your life, even the little things. 

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”- Melody Beattie

Gratitude often helps you to connect to something larger than yourself, examples could be community, nature, or a higher power. Gratitude changes your interaction with the world and promotes thoughts and behaviors that support your best life.  The practice of gratitude is also proven to improve mental and physical health and resiliency.

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness-it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude”– Brene Brown

The practice of mindfulness and gratitude effectively increases happiness and your overall outlook on life.  Here are a few easy ways you can start practicing gratitude that sure positively influences your life.

  • With a positive attitude of gratitude, people will be drawn to you have you will be easy for people to like.  Acting with graces inspires others to seek your friendship and deepen relationships.
  • Practicing gratitude can have a positive effect on your sleep. Being thankful allows you to sleep longer and deeper, resulting in feeling more rested in your waking hours.
  • Practicing gratitude improves your mental well-being by lowering depressive episodes and fewer suicidal ideations.  Gratitude is also linked to fewer toxic emotions like resentment and envy.
  • It’s proven that having an attitude of gratitude will increase your physical health.  Research has linked gratitude to lower blood pressure, improved immunity, and fewer chronic aches and pains.
  • With an attitude of gratitude, you are more likely to reach your goals.  It’s proven that gratitude enhances your feelings of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, and energy, allowing you to fully focus on your goals.
  • People tend to gravitate and be influenced by those that express gratitude, making them natural leaders.
  • When gratitude is the focus, there is a greater sense of resiliency, resulting in mental fortitude and increased ability to manage stress, and you feel less stress in general.
  • Gratitude decreases the overall feelings of stress in general
  • With the practice of gratitude comes higher self-esteem and less social stress.

Cultivating your attitude of gratitude is a process. Here are several things you can do to develop and strengthen your attitude of gratitude.

“Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life.  Be grateful for what you already have, and you will attract more good things”- The Secret

  • Express your appreciation and nurture your relationships through either verbal or written “thank you”.  Don’t forget to appreciate and thank yourself while you are busy thanking others.
  • Gratitude can be given and felt through your thoughts. We are all just energy you see, and we are affected by the positive energy of gratitude.  Send those positive thoughts out to the world on a regular basis and watch the ripple effects they cause around you.
  • Be mindful of what you are grateful for and create daily entries in a gratitude journal.
  • A mindful meditation practice, focusing on nature, your higher power, and your inner wellbeing, helps to ground you with a sense of inner peace. 

Start reaping the benefits of your gratitude practice by adjusting your focus to notice all that surrounds you to make your life unique and special. 

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How to Get The Wonder And Magic You Once Had As A Child Back In Your Life?

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it” -Roald Dahl

Is it possible to live life at the moment and appreciate all the magical moments around you? It’s a fact, life is tough sometimes. In those tough times, it can be easy to give up and forget about the wonder or magic we once felt. Adulting is often consumed by finding solutions to life’s problems, surviving from one upset, hurdle or set back to the next. Is it any wonder that through all of that, we lose the magic and wonder we once felt?

While there isn’t a one size fits all solution to finding the magic and wonder in life, there are a few ways you can reacquaint yourself to those feelings.

  • Start believing that magic does exist. There was never any doubt when you were a child, magic and miracles just happened. Age doesn’t preclude you from that magic.
  • Be present. Be so present with life and its many amazing experiences, that there is a way you can miss the magic that happens around you.
  • Immerse yourself in the love in your life. Love itself is magical. Love may be that of romance, friendship, or family and it is what connects us. Give, share, and speak the magic of love.
  • Stand in your power and honor your truth. Work at being the best you, living your best most wonderful life.
  • Be on the lookout for everyday miracles. Both big and small miracles happen all around you every day. Most often these magical moments are missed or overlooked. Practice looking for and recognizing the magic that surrounds you.
  • Live a grateful and joyful life. A vibration of gratitude attracts magical moments.
  • Be curious about life. Shake things up by becoming curious about everything around you. Focus on personal growth, develop a new hobby, travel and be purposeful in learning about the new people you encounter in your life. See things as if you were seeing them for the first time and enjoy the wonder in discovery.
  • Be playful, let loose and have fun. Life is meant to be an adventure. Give yourself permission to have and create fun every day.
  • Surround yourself with people who also look for joy and magic in the ordinary day to day life. When you connect with like-minded people, you experience energy and vibration that is contagious.
  • Encourage yourself to dream big. It’s easy to stay small and live a safe life but that’s not where the magic happens. Have the courage to live the life that your soul craves and watch the magic happen.
  • Embrace the unknown and look for opportunities. Change is often what people fear the most because change is inherently unknown. Lean into it with a sense of wonder and magic. The world is full of amazing moments, and when you expect the best, that’s exactly what you receive.

How to Get The Wonder And Magic You Once Had As A Child Back In Your Life? Read More »

Four Ways To Develop Your Social Capital And Realize The Power Of Connections

What is social capital and what makes a connection powerful?  Social Capital is the power of human connection, within a community, a family, at school, and at work.  Your social capital and connections are your most valuable asset.

Four ways to grow your social capital

  • Anticipate the need for social capital early in your life and build from there
  • Make social capital an explicit part of the decision process when choosing a path- make life decisions with your social connection opportunities at the forefront of your mind
  • Social capital must be an integral part of the connection and growing
  • Be your own startup of social capital

A big differentiator of people is how they promote their social connections. An individual’s best assets are how they nurture and manage their relationships. Successful leaders expand their social capital with their well developed and managed connections.

The power of connection comes with the capacity to be present and connected in a variety of relationships.  The depth of a connection depends on how relationships are utilized, maintained, and developed.

The power in connection is about building relationships.  In every part of one’s life lies the opportunity to develop and nurture social capital and human connection.  You may be a recent college graduate that has connections among family members, fellow graduates, professors, and classmates. The passion to connect makes an impact that inspires others to connect. Each direct relationship, potentially connects you to others, resulting in exponentially human connection growth. 

Networking is an exercise that develops relationships and connections through mentorship, engagement, and inspiration. A powerful connection brings energy to a person or a group, that inevitably leads to an impact that cannot be made alone.  Networking, developing relationships and social capital are about leading and inspiring people through building relationships.

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known.”- Brene Brown

Choose to live your life, from this day forward, with powerful connections.  Determine your life path to cultivate powerful connections, fulfill your visions, and uplifts your community.

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How do you Live Life all in . . . have the Courage to be Vulnerable!

Brene Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brene Brown Endowed Chair at the Graduate College of Social Work and is the author of the #1 New York bestselling book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love Parent, and Lead. 

Brown spent years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. When she was asked to speak at the first TEDx in Houston. She decided to live big and for the first time, she spoke on The Power of Vulnerability.  Brown’s 2010 TEDx talk is one of the ten most viewed TED talks in the world. She describes vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It is a place where shame comes into play, where you show up and allow yourself to be seen.  It’s about owning your vulnerability and a place of true courage.

Brene Brown refers often to a speech by Theodore Roosevelt, “Citizenship in a Republic” or “The Man in the Arena”.  She talks about how one passage made an impact on her vision of vulnerability, “It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who at best knows the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”  Vulnerability is not knowing the victory or defeat, it is understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging, it is being all in”.

She suggests that to be vulnerable, you must first identify what is keeping you out of the “arena”.  Acknowledging what the fear is that makes you resist the arena.  Brown, further recommends questioning the method you currently use for protecting yourself from the vulnerability?  Is it perfectionism, Intellectualizing, cynicism, numbing, or control?  Brene says, “it is not easy to walk into the arena, but it is where we come alive.”

In Brown’s Netflix documentary, “The Call to Courage” she talks about the practice of being vulnerable and managing the discomfort.  She says, “Hard things are born from vulnerability, whether it be heartbreak or grief of disappointment.  But love, joy, belonging, intimacy, trust, creating innovation is also born. So, when we armor up to block the hard stuff, that armor keeps all the experiences that bring meaning to our lives away as well.”

To feel alive and live your life in a big way, you must allow yourself to be vulnerable, to take risks, to open yourself up to both failure and accomplishment.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.  Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”-Brene Brown

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You Can’t do a Good Job if Your Job is all You Do — Are you a Workaholic?

Confused about the difference between hard working and workaholism?

There are people who put in long hours, while being available for their loved ones, giving back to their communities and enjoying activities unrelated to their work. These people are considered hard workers, not workaholics and there is a very distinct difference.

When work defines you and when it is valued above all else, work becomes your addiction.  When your work negatively affects your health, your family, and the quality of your work, you might be considered a workaholic.

Is work all consuming and joyless?

If you find yourself going beyond the necessary and you have no other interests or activities, your work becomes a negative addiction. Workaholics work because they have nothing else to take its place. Their work addiction is a recurring obsession, and typically joyless.

Real workaholics let their family lives fall apart. They often have health problems and suffer from depression or deep insecurities. A workaholic is someone who constantly thinks about work, and without work feels anxious and depressed. Workaholics are difficult to get along with because they frequently push others as hard as they push themselves. Like any addiction, they repeat destructive behaviors despite knowing that they’re destructive. Many would like to stop but find it difficult or impossible to do so.

Workaholic vs hard working

Workaholics should not be confused with people who just work hard and go the extra mile to finish a project. Here are three key differences between hard workers and workaholics:

  1. Hard workers view work as a requirement or obligation. In contrast, workaholics use work to distance themselves from unwanted feelings and relationships.
  2. Where hard workers make time in their schedule for family and friends, workaholics put the utmost importance on work and use it to exclude anything else in their lives, including family and friends.
  3. While hard workers can take breaks from work, workaholics think about work regardless of what they’re doing or who they’re with.

Understanding a person’s motivation can help to determine the difference between a workaholic and a hard worker.  Identified by researchers E.J. Douglas and R.L. Morris are five reasons why people work hard.

  • Financial rewards: “material goal seekers”-working hard for financial rewards.
  • Substitution for leisure: “low leisure” -workers that get little satisfaction or joy from leisure activities.
  • Perks: “perkaholics” -working for the perks like fun co-workers, a good health plan, and prizes or trips.
  • Working to work: A “workaholic” – working to work, with no ulterior motive or outside motivation.
  • Loving your work: “love what they do” – working because their job is rewarding, important, and enjoyable.

Do these six workaholic traits apply to you?

  • Are you intense, energetic, competitive and driven, to a fault?
  • Do you work to escape self-doubt and other emotional pain?
  • Do you prefer work over leisure?
  • Do you work all the time and anywhere?
  • Do you blur the lines between business and pleasure?
  • Do you have stress related or chronic fatigue health issues?

Sometimes an obsession with work is more than just hard work, it can be a real and dangerous addiction causing serious physical and life concerns.

I have embarked on a catastrophic life-changing journey that ultimately revealed my personal purpose.  As a result, I now share a vulnerable story encouraging you to look at your own life and “lockbox” to set yourself free from the secrets that make you sick.  We all have a lockbox full of secrets, lies, negative self-talk, pain and fear.  My authentic vulnerable way of connecting with people leaves the audience in a place that removes shame and guilt and is the catalyst for personal transformation. 

Having gone through my own personal journey as a family member of a loved one who struggled with unresolved trauma, mental health, and addiction, my personal mission is to educate people, business leaders, students, and professionals to help find their way physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Contact me to speak and inspire the attendees at your event today.

You Can’t do a Good Job if Your Job is all You Do — Are you a Workaholic? Read More »

The Drama Triangle – a Continuum of People Acting out their parts Perpetuating the Triangle Trap.

In 1968, Stephen Karpman, M.D., developed what he called the “drama triangle”, containing three sides which he labeled victim, rescuer, and persecutor. Karpman’s “drama triangle” model is used in Healing Springs Ranch’s substance use therapy and is as relevant today as it was 51 years ago.  The victim, rescuer, and persecutor are subconscious roles people play, to manipulate others.

Karpman describes the victim as a “poor me” character. A victim might see themselves as victimized, oppressed, powerless, helpless, hopeless, dejected, or ashamed, and can be extremely sensitive, needing extra “care” from those around him/her. A victim often denies responsibility for their circumstances and feel powerless over their ability to change those circumstances.

The rescuer, in Karpman’s model is characterized as the one that is compelled to freely “help fix” everything. A rescuer sees themselves as the caretaker of others, driven to help others feel good about themselves, often to their detriment.

Oh, the persecutor! Quick to judge and associate blame on others, a persecutor criticizes, blames, and holds others to unachievable expectations.  The persecutor is oppressive, rigid, authoritative, angry, unpleasant, controlling and bullying with threats.

Sound familiar? You might not be one of the three yourself, but I bet you can recognize the drama triangle actors in the people you know.  Understanding the propensity to go to the drama triangle is the first step.  Learning to recognize the triangle and its parts, allow you to deal with the people who regularly “live” there.

Staying in your “wise mind” allows you to see clearly the regression into these roles, either in ourselves or in others.  People fall back to what they know during times of stress or conflict and typically a person resorts to one or more parts of the drama triangle because the “roles” are familiar based on the conditioning they received from their family of origin.   A wise mind is essential to make conscious choices in our relationships and social interactions.

How does the drama triangle play out in real life?

A victim always searches for a rescuer in their life.  The victim seeks someone to save them and if that rescuer fails, the victim will quickly redefine them as a “persecutor’.  A victim typically cannot make decisions, solve problems, feel joy, or understand that they are responsible for their sabotaging behaviors.

The victim stance is a powerful one. The victim is always morally right, neither responsible not accountable, and forever entitled to sympathy.”-unknown

A rescuer is a classic co-dependent or enabler and must “help” their victim while diligently working to ensure they fail on their own. Often a rescuer will use guilt to keep a victim dependent and are often unsettled when they are not in the act of “rescuing”.  Rescuers appear harried, overworked, and tired, acting as a martyr with loads of resentment towards their “victim” and life in general.

“A rescuer isn’t always a person. Addictions to alcohol or drugs, sexual addiction, workaholism- all the ways we numb out- can rescue the victim for feeling his or her own feelings”- David Emerald Womeldorff

Persecutors are inflexible and inhumane.  Unable to be vulnerable, their biggest fear is becoming a victim themselves. Although persecutors yell, point fingers, and criticize, they never actually solve their problems.

Martyrs and persecutors are the same type of man. As to which is the persecutor and which the martyr, this is only a question of transient power.”- Elbert Hubbard

Why is the drama triangle so powerful?

In life you will recognize that people (and maybe yourself) will cycle between all three drama roles, never stepping outside the of triangle. Victims must be “rescued”; rescuers must “save”; persecutors must “blame”.  You may recognize these extreme versions or encounter milder versions of the drama triangle.  Whether extreme or mild, the drama triangle becomes a continuum of people acting out their parts, unable to take responsibility of their part in perpetuating the triangle trap.

Healing Springs Ranch (HSR) uses the drama triangle model as well as many others in their recovery treatment. HSR wants you to experience holistic recovery and places an emphasis on getting to the underlying issues that led you to substance use in the first place. We’ll work with you to understand the “why” behind your addiction to help you overcome it.

The Drama Triangle – a Continuum of People Acting out their parts Perpetuating the Triangle Trap. Read More »

The Hero’s Journey

An author and a scholar, Joseph Campbell created what he referred to as “The Hero’s Journey”.  Campbell described the developmental cycle of mankind as an inner transformative journey, a myth that transcends time and place; a path that leads all humans through movements of separation, descent, and challenge-while circling back to do it all over again.

There are twelve points of decision that Campbell identifies on “The Hero’s Journey”-

1. the Ordinary World is what Campbell describes as the starting point.  A world that allows us to know ourselves (the hero) before the journey begins. This is a time of discovery, where you learn about the Hero’s hopes, desires, and challenges.

Every life, story, or myth experiences a challenge that disrupts the Ordinary World, and to restore balance, one seeks to find a resolution to the challenge. The Ordinary World (the hero’s home) and the Special World represent contrast.

2. The Special World signifies a call to adventure.  The call to adventure represents a challenge or a quest that one must experience.  Most people resist the call to adventure but there are consequences of rejection. The Special World is one of uncertainty and unbalance, the unknown.  The Hero may reject several calls but the only way to escape is to meet the challenge.  There are times when the Hero must choose between two Conflicting Calls.

3. It is human nature to resist what we fear, the unknown, and facing our insecurities. Campbell calls this the Refusal of the Call to Adventure. The safety of the Ordinary World without risks, danger, or failure is preferred but with each Refused Call, the stakes increase until the Hero has no choice but to accept the Call.

4. Your Mentor is someone that helps navigate your journey and is not always someone you meet in person. A Mentor guides The Hero towards confidence and insight, offering advice and training, to overcome fears of the adventure. The Mentor may be a person, an object, or an inner strength and has the experience and wisdom to survive the challenges of the Special World.

5. When the Hero accepts the journey, he has Crossed the Threshold between the Ordinary World and the Special World. This phase is about confronting fears and challenges. Facing fears and accepting challenges force the Hero into acting.

6. The Hero is tested in the Threshold phase, by learning how conditions and people change. The Hero is challenged to identify who and what can be trusted. The Hero prepares for the what is yet to come is this stage.

7. The inner conflict with the treasure payoff as The Hero breaks through to the other side.  The Inner conflict stage is what The Hero fears most.  This stage, The Hero utilizes all that he has learned to overcome his greatest fear within the Special World.

8. This stage is when The Hero engages in the Ordeal, the life-or-death crisis, facing his greatest fears and confronting his biggest challenges. The Ordeal is central and essential to any Journey.

9. The Reward can be physical, knowledge or love, it is achieving inner change. Whatever the treasure, the Hero has earned the right to celebrate.

10. The road back and the decision to return to the ordinary world. A Hero’s success in the Special World may make it difficult to return to the Ordinary World. Like Crossing the Threshold, The Road Back, needs an event that will push the Hero through the Threshold, back into the Ordinary World. The Event may be an internal decision that must be made by the Hero

11. Resurrection- death and darkness are addressed one more time. Transformation. Enlightening experience.

12. Return with the treasure with a new understanding. The Hero uses the lessons learned in his adventure; personal growth, love, wisdom, freedom or knowledge. 

Overcoming this final challenge shows The Hero what he must know and do to survive, and he takes that back with him when he returns to the Ordinary World. The Hero’s Journey repeats until he has what it takes to overcome any challenge. 

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