Here are the transcripts of all episodes. If I mention any resources or recommendations, you will also find the link to it here.
Episode 10 - Living A Life Of Purpose
One of the reason I enjoy podcasting and want to make Evolving Life the best I can make it is because I feel as if I am sharing the human experience. As humans, we all have so much in common. I think a lot of us are so busy living our lives, some of us struggling through it we don’t realize that others are having similar experiences. I believe that when we realize that we have commonality with others and we see how others deal with similar issues; it helps us in so many ways. It helps us to be stronger, to keep trying, and to solve our personal problems more easily.
I want to share something else I think many of us have in common. Finding and embracing what our purpose is in life. The reality is most of us struggle to understand what we want from life. Whether we are in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s. Even if we completed all the major life events like finish school, find our life partner, had children, and a career.
Let’s explore what life’s purpose is, and share 7 steps to discovering yours according to one of the most prolific and inspirational coach there is, Tony Robbins.
- What life purpose is, and what it isn’t.
- Doing things that are aligned with your values can help you find your life purpose.
- Two key figures who’ve lived their life’s purpose and why.
- Tony Robbins has seven steps for finding your life purpose.
- Why writing your eulogy is a bad idea
Episode at a glance
- [2:13] How do you discover your life’s purpose? Using Anthony Robbins’s process is a great place to start.
- [6:01] Reflecting inward – Everything you need is within you.
- [6:23] Put purpose before goals – We should ask ourselves if the things we want to accomplish will fulfil us.
- [6:46] Take Ownership of your life – Don’t be a victim in your own life.
- [7:10] Develop your life vision – It’s a roadmap to guide you in the right direction.
- [7:50] Embrace and Acceptance – Embrace the person you are, flaws and all.
- [8:20] Find your community – Your circle of influence can help you find your purpose.
- [9:28] Think about what brings you joy – It’s a catalyst that will open the door to other experiences such as your life purpose.
- [10:52] A conventional approach – Better than writing your eulogy.
Your Thoughts & Support
If you enjoy this episode or find it helpful, please share the podcast with family and friends and leave us a review on which ever medium you are using to listen to your podcasts.
Also, if you have a topic you want to hear about on Evolving Life? contact me.
Share your review here
Resources & Action
Register for SD Toolbox live notification here.
Get the free Life Purpose Matrix here.
Read the Anthony Robbins post What Is Your Purpose here.
Review and comment on Evolving Life podcast here
“The real joy in life comes from finding your true purpose and aligning it with what you do every single day.”
Episode 9 - Family Drama
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Steve Maraboli’s Bio: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3446059/bio
I have a name I want to call listeners of Evolving Life that I want to share with you in this episode. You, my fellow listeners, will be referred to as evolvers. You are an Evolver. I am an evolved because as you know, our lives are always changing. If you’ve found my podcast and choose to be a part of my community of individuals evolving together, then you get the honor of having this moniker.
Welcome to episode 9 of Evolving Life. In this episode I am going to talk about something that every single one of us deals with – family drama. The thing about family drama is we all have it and deal with it in unique ways because no families are alike, even if we all have the drama and toxicity that sometimes comes with being a part of a unit. I also believe these toxic relationships are so common, yet often not talked about.
In this episode, I am going to talk about this subject by sharing 5 types of family drama and 5 ways to cope with them.
I want to tackle this subject because sometimes knowing that there are others who understand and relate to what you are going through makes a world of difference in how you deal with the events and situation that take place within your personal tribe.
So Evolvers, let touch on this really sensitive topic in this episode.
Here we go
I love the idea of family. I love the idea of knowing that there are people out there who are supposed to care about you more, are supposed to be there for you more than they would be for friends and acquaintances, and through thick and thin. The idea that there are a group of people out there that have your back, no matter what, is so comforting. The idea that the bond that’s supposed to exist with family is sacred and unbreakable.
In my dramatic mind. I have this powerful vision of what it is to be a part of an unbreakable family.
Imagine this long thread and as each family member is born, we attached them to this thread. It never wears down, it never breaks. It is a constant. No matter what happens to each family member, that unbreakable thread is there. It binds us together. Even when a family member gets sick or dies, it doesn’t break. In fact, it would strengthen. Because love grows stronger as we support and deal with life issues like illness and loss of someone that is a part of that thread. We are there for each other because of blood. We love each other, no matter what. No one, or nothing, can break that thread, that bond that binds us together.
What did you think of my vision?
That’s my fantasy of what family is.
However, the reality is the bond; the thread is breakable. I know there are many, many people who, for whatever reason, have chosen, or because of events, situations, circumstances, don’t communicate with their family or a family member. I wish I could say the reasons are many. They are not. One big reason and the subject of this episode is family drama, or toxic family issues.
Just a side note that even though I will use the word toxic a lot, I don’t enjoy referring to family drama as toxic because it is such a strong word and I would like to think that regardless of the issues families face when dealing with dramatic situations; the love is still there. Buried under a lot of shit, but it’s there.
I also want to be really specific by saying that when I’m referring to family, there are certain members I am not referring to, although I am not saying these family members don’t cause conflict. While aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews can make you feel like disconnecting from family, chances are it’s the immediate family that’s the issue.
Immediate family to me is mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. To most of us, they are the ones that affect our lives if we let them.
They are the ones that’s responsible for the adults we are to a certain degree. At least, the mothers and fathers are. For anyone who has had to deal with a family member, that’s toxic, chances are, it’s not the cousins or the nieces and nephews. We know how to ignore them, not take their calls, to put their actions, words, thoughts, into perspective. It’s the immediate family that we spend our mental energy on.
Okay, so let’s talk about some scenarios that create the recipe for family drama. Let’s see if you identify with any of them.
1. When family members who are insensitive, and make cruel comments and remarks
Here is an example. Two sisters. One older, the other younger. The older sister visits the younger sister often and feels a motherly instinct towards her. So each time she is at her house, the older sister will do things to help her sister, like wash the dishes in the sink, or straighten up the living room, help take care of her kids. It’s been this way for years. One day they are at a family event and the little sister is talking to a family friend, and he asks where is her big sister. The little sister says jokingly, oh she is probably inside being my maid and cleaning up after my kids as usual.
The comment seems meaningless, right? Well, it just so happens that the person who the little sister made the comment is a good friend of her big sister. A good enough friend to take the big sister aside and say stop what you are doing right now. And here is why? Pretend you are the big sister hearing that your little sister, someone you love and cherish, said that about you? How would you feel? What do you think happened?
Now imagine the big sister later approaching her little sister about what she said. What do you think she is going to say?
It’s guaranteed she will say she didn’t mean it.
Do you think she would say something similar again?
Absolutely. It’s almost a guarantee. She will say disparaging remarks and again, likely in different ways and regarding different situations.
The fact of the matter is, regardless of the denial and as unbelievable as it is to believe, it’s a clear sign that her little sister lacks empathy. Her selfish, cruel comment shows what little regard she has for her sister.
2. Here is another situation: They Lie or Deny
When you have in your life people that you trust and believe in and love more than any other lie to you, it can be disheartening. The outcome is immediate distrust and wondering what else have they lied about. Yes, there are those scenarios where family members lie to protect your feelings. But what about the blatant in your face lie to protect material and nonmaterial things such as money, or addiction, or their self-perceived image? How do you deal with that?
What happens when the one being lied to gets to a point where confrontation is necessary? Here is another guarantee: it doesn’t go well. Especially when the lie is one lie after another lie to distract from an initial lie. What happens in this situation is pandemonium. The siblings stop talking to each other, the one lying comes up with excuses or plays the blame game. I’ll talk about the blame game in a few minutes.
With this scenario, the sibling being lied to may see the solution of relenting and accepting the painful truth that a person he or she loves can inflict that kind of pain. Or choosing not to have anything to do with the sibling.
3. Here is another toxic issue – They create conflict with other family member.
The best scenario is the “He said, she said” scenario. Still, another good one is “The, or she believes XYZ,” or he or she did XYZ. Being judged and look down upon is a hurtful event that you deal with and possibly brush aside when it’s coming from strangers or acquaintances, but when it comes from someone you love, that you are bound to by blood, it is heart wrenching. I gave a great example of being judged and looked down on in episode 2 on living an authentic life.
However, with creating conflict, the scenarios are endless. Pitting family members against one another shows a few things, jealousy and resentment, being the ultimate examples. They are jealous of what you’ve accomplished or the life you lead. Then there is the opposite, where they believe they are better than you.
When a family member creates conflict, it can happen anywhere and anytime. It could be during a family conversation around a dinner table or at an event. For the sibling wanting to create conflict, the more people around, the better.
Here is something you should realize about this dynamic. It’s done to keep family members apart and not talk to each other. This is called triangulation, and a person who sows conflict has one agenda, not allowing family members to get close to each other. A person who creates conflict with this type of agenda is a narcissist. They thrive on drama and conflict and most likely do this with friends, spouse, even their children as well.
4. Another toxic example: they play the blame game
They did something wrong, said something wrong, made a mistake. Or we confront them about an issue. Instead of owning the issue and apologizing for it, they shift the blame to someone else, or something else.
They also like to deflect by mentioning a shortcoming of the sibling confronting them.
The blame game happens a lot with siblings when they are young, but as adults, it is sad and seriously dysfunctional. The reality is an adult who does this has no regard for their choices and actions and the consequence of their choices and actions. Being responsible is not something they are fully familiar with, although they will tell themselves that they are responsible.
As an adult, and as part of a family, this can be painful for the person who is blaming and the one receiving the blame. This one scenario alone can cause family members to never speak with each other for decades.
5. Here is a final toxic example: They manipulate your emotions
With family, there has always been, and will always be, some manipulation. When young, it is used to convince each other to cover for each other. A party they want to go to, but don’t want their parents to find out about, not telling a secret. Again, a lot of scenarios exist for this one.
But what about when you are an adult and the manipulations are impactful, really serious? Like, if a family member shares, they were abused. But the one family member they are trying to convince doesn’t believe because the abuser in his/or her mind is a wonderful person?
The manipulation happens when the family member goes about convincing his or her sibling that what they thought happened really didn’t happen.
You were imagining it; you misunderstood what the person was saying or doing. Why didn’t you say something when it happened? Why now?
I know this example opens the door to a really serious subject. Unfortunately, I know of two people who have experienced this same thing and had the same experience within their family.
In the end, truth is harder to handle than the reality, especially if it’s a mother, a father or any sibling who has to deal with the truth.
This can be toxic in a family dynamic because family members exploit each other’s weaknesses and use it to make each other believe they didn’t experience what they experienced.
Their reasons are usually something like you have a tendency to… what? exaggerate, bend the truth?
The emotional manipulation here is endless and sad.
dare I say we should believe the victim if they tell you someone victimized them?
Okay, so I just shared five scenarios that many, many family members’ experiences. It’s easy to see how easily these events can be toxic or create unbelievable drama in a family dynamic. Now the question is, how do you deal?
I will start by saying that the solution for each example is unique for every family. You can’t apply the same solution to a family making insensitive remarks to the family who lies, blames and manipulates. However, there are general coping mechanisms you can use to soften the impact of family drama. I’m going to share a few of them.
Before I do, I wanted to invite Evolvers to visit Fullrliving.com. If you want to be motivated and inspired to live your best life, and if you like this podcast, then visiting the site and signing up for one of our newsletters may interest you. I would love your feedback and comments regarding the site because its focus is similar to this podcast.
Now, back to the topic. Here are the ways you can cope with family drama, no matter what kind it is.
The first one is to set clear boundaries.
When you know you are in a situation where nothing you say or do will matter, it is more damaging to you mentally if you choose to, as they say, to tough it out. This is where your values, your self-confidence, your belief in yourself come into play.
Is that voice inside of you telling you to step back? Then listen to it. It is rarely wrong. If a family member lies to you again and again, if a family member says disparaging things about you, and cruel things to you, and treats you as if they are better than you. Do you brush it aside and say, oh that’s the way he or she is and move on?
If you share with your sibling that you don’t like something he or she says or does and it continues, it’s time to set boundaries. When siblings or anyone treat you less than you deserve, then boundaries are a necessity.
What are those boundaries?
I think the most important boundary you can set is avoidance. Some people may say avoidance isn’t a solution. I say with family drama, sometimes there are no solutions, at least not an ideal one. Certainly not acceptance of infliction. Or the person giving it.
You tried to share your pain with your sibling. But if you are a part of a family, you know that many times words are just not enough. And, if you love someone and sharing your feelings doesn’t work, then avoidance is the next best step.
What do you get when you avoid?
- You avoid the onslaught of negative words.
- You avoid being looked down on.
- You avoid the emotional abuse.
- You avoid feeling bad about yourself each time you communicate with your sibling.
There are other types of boundaries other than avoidance.
- Not sharing personal information,
- Demanding respect for your beliefs and choices,
- Choosing when to socialize or not socialize.
The goal is to set an obvious line of what you will and will not tolerate when you want to subject yourself to the drama that happens each time you are around that person.
2. Another way to cope is to embrace who you are
At its core, self-acceptance is knowing deep down that you are perfect, just as you are. It’s accepting your strengths, your weaknesses and your vulnerabilities. How you feel about yourself is important in these scenarios because a sibling wanting to create conflict, thrive on highlighting your flaws and ignoring your strengths. When you embrace who you are, no one can use what they view as your vulnerabilities against you. You own the power.
3. Another way to cope: Adjust your expectation
Being a part of a family unit, you don’t want to believe that certain members will do certain things and say certain things that are disingenuous, or cruel. You want to believe it was a mistake, a misunderstanding. When you have an expectation that they will come around, that any day now the phone will ring and there will be an “1’m sorry.” That usually never happens unless it is a genuine effort with no underlying motives. It’s up to you to change your expectation and accept that conditions may never change.
Here is something else to consider. Trying to change or reason with the sibling. You will quickly realize there is no reasoning with a toxic sibling. It is, in fact, one of the reason they are toxic. Again, it’s up to you to stay strong. Realize that you are not dealing with someone who is motivated by what’s good for you, nor will they think about your feelings. It’s always about them. You need to look out for you.
4. Another way to cope is to embrace one of the most powerful words in the English language or any language.
When you say no, you don’t need to justify, make excuses, lie, or explain.
No is your protector, your guard, your champion, your preserver. With this one word, you can keep away or stay away from the destructive behavior of toxic siblings.
5. Finally, you can also cope by choosing to be in control and not be controlled.
What I mean by this is you need to make sure that what you say, what you do, happens from a position of personal power. Personal power is about what you believe and not what they think.
That is it. I am going to conclude this episode by sharing a few things. The first is, I know you know that there are many other ways to cope with toxic siblings. The ones I just mention are worth implementing, not because they are the best, but because they work.
I would also like to share that I was inspired to do this episode because of my personal experiences with this issue. We are all different and we handle conflicts differently. The one thing I will suggest that works well for me is embracing me and adjusting my expectations.
I realize that where family is concerned; we have this expectation because we know our family members most of our lives and we tell ourselves that we know them. The reality is we are all human and we change. Your brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, every member of your family change with time. They become the product of the environment they are in, whether it’s a new city, friends they make, spouses, money, lack of money, political beliefs, you name it, and your siblings as well as you are a product of those factors.
They can change for good, or they can change for bad, only you know because of your own personal values. Still, It’s up to you to adjust and accept.
Perhaps acceptance is avoidance, reducing expectations, accepting that your sibling is not the same person you used to know. Now they are toxic, they say cruel things, they lie, they manipulate.
It’s time for you to love from a distance, to remember your personal power and chose how or if you want to be exposed the harmful behavior of those you love.
Finally, I am going to end this episode with a quote from Steve Maraboli, a decorated military veteran and philanthropist. If you want to know more about him, a link to his bio is in the show notes. Here is what he had to say about drama. It’s easy to put the word family in front of the word drama in this quote. Here is the quote:
“The path to freedom is illuminated by the bridges you have burned, adorned by the ties you have cut, and cleared by the drama you have left behind. Let go. Be free.”
Thanks for listening to this episode.
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See you next week evolvers for another episode of Evolving Life.
Episode 8 - Are You Hungry Enough?
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Are You Hungry Enough?
Welcome to episode 8 and the 6th and final installment of the series on factors preventing you from achieving what you want in life. In this episode, we are going to recap the last five episodes, answer the question: Are you hungry enough? Share more about our self-development toolbox portal. In episode 7, I mention I would share the link to be notified when the portal goes live, so stay tune, I will share it with you before the end of this episode. Let start off by recapping the series.
Here we go
When I started the series, I mention I wanted to delve into why some people achieve their goals and others don’t. Because of internal and external factors, most people don’t achieve their goals or abandon them before giving them a fair chance. I wanted to explored the reasons why and concluded there are internal and external factors that contribute to why. I realize the internal factors outweigh the external ones because I believe while the external ones can affect us, what’s happening inside of us is so much more powerful and have a tendency to affect many of us negatively and keep us from achieving what we want in life.
Let’s recap the internal factors I talked about these past few weeks.
The first one was self doubt, a trait a lot of us share. When we doubt ourselves, it’s so easy to not believe in ourselves and what we are capable of. What I hope you took away from the first installment is that with self-compassion and determination, you can overcome your doubts.
It’s also important to realize that self doubt is normal. What’s not is when you allow it to dictate what you do or don’t do.
Here are two more takeaways from the episode. That self-doubt can keep you grounded if we normalize it. That regardless of your doubts, the realization that it’s your life, and you need to, as they say, take the bull by the horn and lead it in the direction you want.
You need to be the victor in your own life, regardless of your doubts.
In the second installment, I talked about fear. It actually goes hand-in-hand with self-doubt because fear directly results from doubts. What many of us don’t realize with fear is that it’s also a protective instinct or emotions that’s trying to keep us safe.
One way we deal with it is to realize that it’s up to us to decide how we should act despite our fears.
I know how hard it is to overcome fear. It is, after all, an emotion that requires effort to put into perspective. But if we can move beyond our fears, it would be one less roadblock standing in the way of achieving the things we want in life.
What I hope you took from the second installment is that while fear is doing its job of keeping you safe, you can’t use it to avoid doing the hard work. And what I mean by that is the examples I shared in the second installment. Examples such as fear of failing, fear of what others may think. In the ends, it’s up to you to either choose to be a victim of fear or a student of it.
In the third installment of the series.
I talked about commitment. I’m going to switch things around a little from how I recapped the first two factors. By stating straight off that what I hope you took from this episode is that commitment is a muscle.
What do you do with or want to do with muscles? Build it, strengthen it. Muscles need to be strong to support our body optimally. Your commitment needs to be strong to achieve your goals. Can you think of a better analogy for commitment?
You support your efforts to be committed by not making excuses and by taking life changing steps such as defining your goals, changing your mindset, and removing obstacles.
It’s worth restating that without commitment, nothing you want to achieve can happen, regardless of the other internal factors standing in the way.
If you don’t commit to what you want, you won’t fight to end self-doubt and overcome your fears, or any of the other factors mentioned in this series.
In the fourth installment, I talked about perfectionism. It’s a self-impose standard we set for ourselves that can be unrealistic and, for many, unattainable.
It’s a roadblock that stands in the way of what you want to achieve because most people who are a victim to this trait cannot realize that in reality, they are not achieving excellence, in actually it’s keeping them from achieving their full potential or their goals.
When you set standards, that’s hard to reach, then criticize and condemn yourself when you don’t achieve them, it becomes impossible to make any progress regardless of what you are trying to accomplish.
What’s even more pervasive is that most don’t even realize what they are doing. In the end, they face the question of why. Why didn’t I accomplish my goal?
You have to be willing to step back and acknowledge this trait and one way I suggest doing this is to ask yourself key questions such as do you expect to always be in control of situations, or do you fear failing?
Answering questions such as these and others I ask in Episode 6 honestly and reflecting on the unrealistic standards you set for yourself is a step towards overcoming a perfectionist mindset.
To put another way, what I hope you took from this installment is the realization that you need to reflect on your mindset and remember that some of the most talented achievers were not perfectionist. They didn’t start out being in control of their destiny, knowing where they would end up, or having a clear roadmap on how to get there. You shouldn’t either. You simply need to start and do your best.
Now on to the fifth installment.
In this installment I talked about lack of focus, or distractions. An ability we all share. Who doesn’t let everyday events, issues, tasks get in the way? It is yet another factor worth mentioning in this series because most of us don’t realize how something that may seem so trivial can be a major factor in why you can’t achieve your goals.
I don’t need to mention again the different ways we allow ourselves to lose focus. I am sure if you think about it, you can acknowledge the many ways you are distracted daily. you already know what’s in your life that is intrusive.
The question is, how are you dealing with it? What are you doing to reduce this roadblock? Because as you will eventually realize, those daily interruptions add up and the next thing you know days, weeks, go by and you haven’t a clue why you didn’t make stride toward your aim.
In the episode, I shared six tips for reducing distractions. The goal of these tips is to not only get you to realize that a certain amount of distraction is normal, but to be aware of the times you are losing focus and take steps towards reducing it. The tips I share in the episode aren’t just about showing you how to reduce distractions, but to incite you to think of your unique ways to decrease distractions and focus every day on achieving your goals.
Okay, so that was the recap. Now it’s time to answer the question, are you hungry enough?
I’m going to paraphrase a speech I recently listen to on YouTube by Tony Robbins called Stay Hungry.
Here is the general idea of what he said:
I don’t care where you are today. I don’t care if you are totally broke. If you can find the hunger inside of you and you can remember you don’t need resources, you need resourcefulness that will get you to the resources, then anything you dream about, you can make real.
When you apply what Tony Robbins said with the objectives of this series and the questions remain, are you hungry enough?
Let’s define what it is to be hungry
To be hungry is to be single-minded, determine to not give up. To pursue what you want with the determination and will of a bull moving towards its aim.
You are hungry if every single day you do something towards your goal. You work to improve if improvement is what’s needed. Find resources, if that’s what you need. You know nothing short of your complete commitment will make it happen.
Hunger also means thinking out-of-the-box. You think creatively when it’s needed and conservative when that’s needed. If accomplishing your aim requires being unorthodox, then so be it.
Here is a different stance on what it is to be hungry:
You are hungry if you are confident
You are hungry if you are focused
You are hungry if you are motivated
You are hungry if you are working hard
You are hungry if you are determined
These are really obvious characteristics of what hunger is. But I want to tie hunger into the five factors I’ve spoken about in the last five weeks.
I personally don’t know anyone with dogged determination that has self-doubt. It’s not to say that they never are or were doubtful. They just know how to put it into perspective and move forward.
What about fear? How many people do you personally know who are ambitious, determine and work hard to achieve what they want to have fear?
The answer shouldn’t surprise you when I say all of them. Every successful person you personally know and read about, and emulate, has fears. You may not know it, or see it, but I guarantee that they have experienced it and some most likely still do.
What’s the difference between them and the person who isn’t achieving a thing because of fears?
The achievers, learned and know how to move beyond fear, to act despite fear, to not let it control their choices, their lives and the result they want. That is why they get to have the distinction of being called an achiever.
The non-achiever, on the other hand, is a different story, isn’t it? Do I really need to outline why they are non-achievers? Fear certainly is one of the reason.
Let talk about being hungry to achieve a goal and being committed to achieving a goal.
I already talked about commitment being the one thing you need to achieve anything, regardless of the other factors mention in this series. Without commitment, not much else is possible. But is commitment of a goal the same thing as being hungry?
I would like to think so. Whether you are hungry or committed, you are proactively moving towards your objectives. Your hunger, your commitment is clear in what you do every day.
You have goals in place, a process to achieve the goals, still there is one thing that can derail you and that one thing can be an opposition to being hungry. A Perfectionist mindset.
I’ve already recapped perfectionism earlier, so I know I don’t need to share how such a mindset can derail you. I hope, though, that you see how having it, and being committed or being hungry can make achievement almost impossible.
I am ending this series by asking if you are hungry enough. There is a reason for that. It’s to help you realize that regardless of internal and external roadblocks, it comes down to your answer to this one simple question.
Are you hungry enough?
The fact is, self-doubt, fear, commitment, lack of focus can easily be the reason for not achieving what you want. In fact, you may have one or all of these factors to deal with in your life. However, the reality is there can be so many other factors stopping you from achieving what you want.
How you deal with these factors is the key. Maybe asking yourself this simple question each time you face an obstacle is also the key.
You can overcome any roadblock if you are hungry enough. You will deal with self-doubts if you are hungry enough. You will move past your fears if you are hungry enough. If you are hungry enough, you will reduce, and sometimes remove, the distractions. If you are hungry enough. It’s all up to you and the steps you take, whether overcoming roadblocks like the ones mention in this series, learning a new skill, gathering your resources, or simply trying to get beyond feeling stuck.
Before moving on to talk about the self-development toolbox and share the link I mention in episode 7, I want to share another quote with you.
After listening to this series and probably any episode in the future, you may realize that I love quotes. I love them because they echo your thoughts, beliefs and ideas. Quotes are a perfect representation of what you want to communicate to the world.
I want to end this series by sharing one that represents what I wanted to share with this series.
The author is anonymous. Let me share it:
I work hard because I am hungry. I am hungry because I have goals. Those goals are based on my dreams, and my dreams will soon become a reality.
Pause a moment and reflect on those words. Those words are you and me, or anyone with goals they want to accomplish. This leads me to the last part of this episode. Telling you more about the self-development toolbox portal.
The SD Toolbox portal will be a gateway to the knowledge and resources you need for personal development. When I decided to call this resource a portal, I had to consider whether it will be an actual portal or just a membership site. I decided that calling it a portal is perfectly okay because the information that will be there will be updated when needed and will be a gateway to the knowledge you need to make the better choices, offer tools and guidance to help you accomplish your goals.
This portal is in its infancy stage, so you will have the distinction of seeing it develop into what I envision it will become. Shortly, I will publish a series on the commitment needed to achieve success, and this is where I will offer access to the portal. If you listened to Evolving Life and from this episode on, the link to the portal will be available in the show notes where you can register to get immediate access once the portal is live.
As I mention in episode 7, much of the content will be free. I will guarantee listeners of Evolving Life with free access for 6 months. All I ask is that you share your thoughts on the content there and offer suggestion on making the portal a better resource for others wanting to improve their lives. The link to register is fullrliving.com/sd-toolbox.
I hope this series helped you and anyone who can listen to it in the future to get one step closer to achieving what they want in life. I would love to hear your thought and comments. You can share them at fullrliving.com/community. Don’t forget to subscribe to Evolving Life and help me make this podcast a resource for anyone wanting to be motivated and achieve their best lives. Thanks for listening and join me next week for another episode.
Episode 7 - Laser-Like Focus, Do You Have It?
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Laser-Like Focus, Do You Have It?
This is the fifth installment of the six-part series on factors preventing you from achieving what you want from life. In this fifth installment, we are going to explore what happens when you lack the focus you need to get what you want.
Let’s start with what it means to lack focus?
It’s the inability to concentrate on a task or goal long enough to complete it. For a lot of us, lacking focus means we delay doing the things we need to do to accomplish goals and task because we become distracted and lose sight easily. For some of us, the decisions we make while distracted are not formative ones because we don’t allow ourselves to focus long enough to make sure we know what we are doing when we are doing it or simply to see a task or goal through to the end.
I should also preface this episode by stating that there can be a medical reasons why some people can’t focus. If you suspect that your inability to concentrate or focus on what you are doing goes beyond what I will mention in this episode, then you should seek medical attention. An inability to focus can be life defining and sadly life threatening.
The potential medical consequence of this aside, the ability to focus is a valuable asset because when we can focus on our what we want to accomplish, we are not only more productive, but we can achieve our goals and see the results of our hard work.
Let’s delve into what may seem like an insignificant issue for many, but in reality can be just as damaging as the other factors mention in this series so far.
Here we go
I hope one of the message you are getting as you listen to each part of this series, is that in order to achieve what you want from life, regardless of what you want from life, you need to take consistent steps towards making it happen and you have to remove obstacles or factors that’s keeps you from your goals.
Understanding what is standing in the way and slowly, yet consistently eliminating anything that’s keeping you from your aim, is the purpose of this series.
The inability to focus on what you want is yet another factor worth mentioning. Because when we lack focus, it can also be one of those components that is so ingrain into your life that you don’t even realize that there is a self-imposed roadblock, or impediment that’s keeping you from the progress you crave.
Let’s use two scenarios to make my point. The first one is an example of how we can easily lose focus, and the second scenario is the result.
Here is the first and probably a typical one I’m sure most of us recognize:
Peter has a side business he hopes to turn into a full-time business that supports him because he wants to work for himself and not others one day. All week, Peter has been telling himself that on Saturday, he is going to sit down and create a marketing plan for his business. Saturday comes, and he sleeps in a little, because he wakes up really early during the week, so he deserves one day of having a few extra hours sleep. Eventually he gets out of bed, did his usual rituals, exercise, breakfast. He tells himself while out for his morning jog that after breakfast; he is going to work on that plan to market and promote his business.
Breakfast is over and it’s time to focus on building that plan, but his best friend calls just as he wakes the computer. She told him she thought she had to work, but now she doesn’t and she wants to meetup, go shopping, then go to this great restaurant everyone is talking about. She ask him what’s his plan was for the day, and he tells her about amping up his business visibility and how he needs to create a plan to make it happen. His best friend tells him he can do that tomorrow, and to come with her, let’s go, she says, it will be fun.
Peter thought about it, tell his friend that he can work on his business tomorrow, and he will meet her. They had a great time!
What do you think happened the next day? Do you think Peter sat down the next day and work on ways to market his business?
I say no, something else probably happened the next day that was considered more important. And if Peter did work on his business, most likely it wasn’t with the focus and attention it deserved because, let’s face it. It’s Sunday, His 9to5 job is the next day. Can you think of a scenario that happens on a Sunday when you work a 9-5 and you know you have to go to work on Monday? The possibilities are endless.
One of my favorite Sunday activity is just relaxing because I have to go to work on Monday, or doing the chores I didn’t get to on Saturday because I was out with friends having a good time.
Chances are the last thing on most people’s mind is things they need to do to advance their business. Unless, of course, you are super focus and then this episode is a moot point for you.
When we want to accomplish something, yet, we allow ourselves to be easily distracted, or we become preoccupied with doing other things that have little to do with what we know we need to do. We are never happy in the end. Worse, we shift the blame from ourselves to excuses.
What excuses do we tell ourselves?
Excuses like, I didn’t have time because I had a lot of family obligations in the past few weeks, months. Or, I had to do xyz, you fill in the blank. Or that business or opportunity wasn’t for me.
The excuses are relevant only to you and it’s easy to find one.
Here is the second scenario – it’s the end-result of choosing to hang out with friends over achieving the goal Peter told himself he wanted.
Although he may not realize it yet, down the road, the question of why will become relevant. Why wasn’t he able to accomplish xyz?
Not only will he question what he could not accomplish, he also loses sight of the reason he wanted to accomplish that goal or task to begin with. No, it doesn’t happen right away, but if he allows himself to become distracted often enough, he will wonder what his initial aim was. That’s why I love this saying I read online by inspirational speaker, author, Topsy Gift. She says, Distraction is a killer of of dreams, vision and goals.
Here is the thing: If we want to accomplish our goals, we have to remove the distractions. Let’s be real, no one will focus on something 100% of the time. That’s an unrealistic expectation. And you could easily explain away Peter’s decision to spend time with his friend under the guise that he can and should.
And you know what? You would be right. He should. We should all take time for ourselves to enjoy and live life.
Where the problem ensues is when we let distractions happen repeatedly. Or we don’t structure or time and choose when we should allow ourselves to have fun, or be with family and friends and when we should focus on our objectives.
If you are constantly allowing others, example of others being friends and family. Events, examples of events being a game, a movie, a party. Things. Examples of things being social media such as TikTok, Facebook, email, get in the way, then you have a problem and your goals or intentions are as unreachable as the day it was nothing more than a thought.
So, what’s the best approach for decreasing distractions or a lack of focus?
First notice I didn’t say end distractions or end a lack of focus. It’s important to restate that it’s normal to be occasionally distracted or wanting to not focus on a goal. What I think most of us don’t pay attention to is how many times and the different ways we allow distraction to invade our efforts. To where it interferes with our intentions.
I want to share six ways to reduce the amount of times you allow distractions or a lack of focus to control your efforts to achieve the things you want from life
Before I share them, I want to share some news.
In the next episode, which will be the sixth and final installment of the series, I am going to tell you about a new resource I will be offering. It’s called The Self-Development Toolbox or SD Toolbox for short and it will be a portal that will offer resources you can use to support your efforts to achieve the things you want. Much of the information you will find there will be free and I hope you will take advantage of it.
Here is the great part. Because you listen to Evolving Life, I am going to give instant and free access to this resource once it goes live.
It will go live once I publish each post in the committing to success series I mention in episode 3. The series is in thirteen-parts, each introducing a component of SD toolbox as the series unfolds.
I will make this resource available to you for free. In the next week episode, I will share the link where you can sign up to receive access immediately again, once SD toolbox goes live.
Okay, so let’s continue with the six ways you can reduce distraction, focus more, and accomplish your goals.
#1 Write down and display your goals, incentives and achievements
When you can visually see what your goals are, the reasons you have that goal, and what you’ve achieved so far in reaching for that goal, it is a perfect counterbalance for distraction.
The fact is, written goals remind you of the reason you have the goal. And this improves your focus. There are other advantages to writing your goals. You can read more about SMART goals on fullrliving.com and in the upcoming commitment series if you want to know more.
Here is another fact to consider. When you can acknowledge the achievements made towards a specific goal, and see visually what the incentive will be, it also serves as motivation to keep going and to not stop. To stay focus.
#2 – Another way to reduce your distraction and increase your focus is to regulate your time effectively.
When you effectively manage your time, you ensure that there is enough time for staying on task as well as for doing other things. Back to Peter. Imagine if Peter had told his friend that he would love to go shopping and out to dinner, but in a few hours. If Peter had not just said to himself that he was going to work on his marketing plan, but actually put it on a calendar, and build his day around the timeframe he allotted to work on his marketing plan. I think it would have been more likely that his response to his friend would have been that he would meet up with her after the time he initially set aside to work on his marketing plan.
There are quite a few time management techniques to use for staying focus. While I will not elaborate on them here, I can say that some of them are quite effective at ensuring that you stay focus.
#3 Consider where your productivity happens or your surroundings.
I strongly believe that your work environment, whether you are sitting in an office or at home, reflects your state of mind and your willingness to stay on task. If you feel comfortable where you sit, where your computer is, if you have a scenic view of the mountains, or the city, if you feel comfort from a tv showing the latest sport event or music playing in the background. What about if your desk is full of stuff that should need to be organized or even if you thrive on a messy desk? It all matters.
If your desk is a mess and you have the type of personality that believes everything has a place and should be in its place. Then on the day you are supposed to be focus all you see is what’s not in its place, you are going to do one of two things: You are going to organize, or you are going to say I’ll do this later and go do something else.
Yes, it’s likely that you will organize then proceed to what you originally intended, but let’s be realistic here. You organize the desk and it’s like a domino effect. You hit one and they all start tumbling down. Meaning, your entire house will probably get organized next, and you will not have done a thing towards your original intent.
Your environment matters if your intention is staying focus.
This is a great Segway for #4. Don’t multitask.
Multitask is trying to do 2 things at once, or going back and forth with a task.
Multitask involves shifting your focus from one task to the next. You are organizing, but you are also on your computer watching a YouTube video on marketing strategy.
What going to happen in this scenario will be you missing relevant information, not remembering everything that was mentioned in the video. The fact is, your brain needs the time to assimilate information. If you want to make a smart decision, that’s based on facts, if you want to organize your desk effectively the first time and not wonder why you put something where you put it. Then don’t multitask unless you really have to.
#5 – Review your goals often
When you set a goal, it’s important to visualize it. Similar to what I’ve already mentioned in number 1, but taken to the next level. It’s important when you set a goal to not just make sure it’s a SMART goal but to use a tool to visualize it.
I’m a big proponent of mind-mapping. I use it to turn my thoughts, my goals, into a step-by-step process. When you use a mind map, you can clearly see how your goal will unfold. If you want to know more about mind-mapping, let me know. I will do an episode just about this really effective tool for helping to visualize and actualize goals.
Finally #6 – Turn your goals into small steps
I talked about this in episode 4 to offset a perfectionist mindset. You can also use this same technique to manage your ability to stay focus.
It’s so easy to lose focus if all you see is the big picture of a goal. You need to see your goals as manageable. Saying you want to promote your business and make it more visible is a broad goal. But if you document how you are going to promote your business and steps, you are going to take to make your business more visible, then you are using a step-by-step approach that is effective. Using this technique is not only easier, but you avoid factors such as being a perfectionist, and stay more focus on each step you have to take.
Going back to the mind-map. This is a perfect way to use this approach. The result will be that you are more focus and your goal or objectives will seem more achievable.
I want to conclude by saying this: We are all guilty of being distracted or not focusing on the thing we sometimes should. These days, it’s really easy to allow ourselves to lose sight of what we want to achieve.
Because of technology, daily events in our public and private lives, it’s easy for our minds to wonder and our attention to diminish. One minute we are watching the news and caught up in politics or some other newsworthy event. We get an email or a phone call that leads to another email and phone call. Then there are social media. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok. I can advocate to the addictiveness of TikTok.
I can share with you time and time-again that I’ve sat to write a blog post, or research for this podcast and a notification appears on my screen alerting me I have a new follower or a new post by someone I’m following, and the next thing I know I’ve lost track of time and it’s an hour or two later and I didn’t accomplish a thing.
Distraction is not unusual. How we deal with it, and whether we allow it to control the things we want, is the issue. If we want to achieve a goal, we have to learn to remove the things that’s keeping us from that goal. We can get rid of email notifications, or fully avoid TikTok, but we can find alternatives that will keep us connected to the world while allowing us to focus on our intentions. Bruce lee said it best when he said, “The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.”
Next week we are ending the series by exploring a question: Are you hungry enough? Hunger motivates and inspires action. Could it be the reason or factor preventing you from achieving your goals is that you are simply not hungry enough?
Join me as we explore this question, recap the series and share more about the SD toolbox resource. See you next week.
Episode 6 - Is Perfectionism Your Roadblock?
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Is Perfectionism Your Roadblock?
In this episode of Evolving Life, we are going to explore a trait that exists in 30% of what is considered average people and 80% of those classified as gifted.
During my research for this episode, when I read about the percentage between average and gifted who have this tendency, I immediately thought that this mindset, this trait exists in more than 30% of us average people.
So I want to start this episode with an admonition that I believe we are all gifted. We all have superior talents or capabilities. But most of us mask our innate gifts with factors such as the ones mention in this series.
Think about it, how can we unearth what we are truly capable of, what our gifts are, if we doubt ourselves, have fears that keep us from reaching our full potential? Or because of other factors in our lives. Many of us have this perfectionist mindset that makes us believe everything must be perfect in order to move from point A to Point B.
Perfectionism is one of the main reason some people don’t make progress in life and being gifted has very little to do with it.
With that in mind, let’s expose these common traits and perhaps help to finally move towards making things happen.
Here we go…
Let’s start with what I mean when I say we are all gifted. For me, being gifted is a relative term, because book smart doesn’t mean a single thing. To excel in the ability to reason and judge and think, which is considered the definition of what gifted is, can be a beautiful thing.
Yes, to be gifted may mean having an uncanny ability to solve a math problem quickly. Or science and biology may be like a walk in the park. But, let’s not forget the quote I shared in the last episode from Calvin Coolidge. Let me share a part of it again:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.”
The fact is, you could be a gifted genus who graduated from Harvard with a 4.0 GPA, and can still have an average job struggling to get by, or worst, having achieved nothing at all in life.
To me, and I would love to know if you agree, gifted people are those who, despite their circumstances, can achieve their life goals and become what they were meant to be.
My intention here is not to put down the geniuses of this world. I, Like most, am in awe of them. I’ve read that Jeff Bezos scored high on a standard IQ test and only wanted to hire the best and brightest to work at Amazon, which contributed to its success.
The point I’m trying to make is that genius and gifted are not always the formula for success.
To make my point, I want to mention a few successful people who’ve achieved so much. But, if you hear about their origins, you would have never thought they would have achieved what they’ve achieved.
Let’s start with Thomas Edison. I don’t need to tell you who he is. But I will share anyway. He invented the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera. Imagine a world without a telephone today! Just as a side thought!
Did you know his teachers thought he was too stupid to learn anything? That they fired him from his first two jobs for not being productive? Yet, somehow, he invented life-changing devices that are the cornerstone of our lives today.
What about the late Sidney Poitier? The first African American to break the color barrier in the US motion picture industry. He opened the door for generations of African American actors and actresses.
But, when he first attempted to audition for the American Negro Theatre, they laughed at him because of his poor reading skills and heavy accent. The director told him to not waste their time and to go wash dishes.
Chances are my sharing these two examples. Your thoughts gravitated towards persistence. I agree their persistence helped them to achieve what they wanted. But, as I said from the onset that my intention here is to share that genius or gifted is relative. Imagine if Sidney Poitier had decided that he would not audition again because his accent and reading skills were not as it should be? And thought he had to have the skills from the start in order to succeed?
Then and now there are those with this very mindset. It’s not perfect, so why bother?
When you strive for excellence, you are working towards developing your life by making better decisions, learning from your experiences, and separating yourself from negative factors that can influence you.
In other words, always focusing on improving, continuously.
When you have a perfectionist mindset, on the other hand, it’s not about achieving excellence, it’s a negative state of being that’s holding you back from reaching your full potential.
The reality is, adapting a perfectionist mindset creates a barricade that’s hard to surpass.
See if you recognize these two roadblocks:
Roadblock #1: Not starting
Let’s use starting a graphic design business as an example.
You want to start a business as a Graphic Designer; you have the talent. It’s clear in the work you’ve done in the past. However, you know that for your business to succeed; you need clients. But you are not the social type. You need to put yourself and your talent out there to achieve your business goals.
Knowing this, you walk away from the idea of starting the business because you are not the type of person willing to reach out to strangers. Perhaps you tried it once, and it was uncomfortable for you.
What would Sidney Poitier do? Or Thomas Edison? Let’s just use Sidney Poitier as the example. That director laughed at him and told him to go wash dishes? Did he? Yes, he did. But he also worked diligently on improving his reading skills. He also believed wholeheartedly that the written word held the key to a better life for him and spent every moment he had reading newspapers, listening to the radio, and repeating words over and over again.
Again, this eludes to persistence, but again, I want you to refocus your thoughts and consider perfectionism. He could have chosen another career path and say to hell with acting.
I’m no good at it anyway, so why bother? But that’s not what he did. And that’s should not be the mindset of the person wanting to start a business but feels apprehension because he or she cannot put themselves out there.
Unfortunately for many of us, that is exactly what we do when we feel our efforts may be futile or not working out as planned. We abandon them.
In reality, there are no futile efforts, just a fixed mindset that’s standing in the way.
Here is another roadblock: Not finishing what you start
Why would we start something, invest our time, and not follow through? There is an underlying reason: For many of us, it’s fear of being judged.
I talked about fear in Episode 4, which is the second in this series.
If you haven’t listened to it, it may be worth your time to take 20 minutes and listen and hear all about fear and how it keeps you from getting what you want.
Let’s go back to the graphic design business. Graphic design is a creative visual process. Your skills and ability are right there to be judged or critiqued. Chances are the person wishing to start such a business is already being praised by family and friends.
However, what happens if instead of starting the business there are thoughts about clients telling you your work was not good enough? Or your mind dwells on scenarios why the business would fail, such as not have enough clients? Or, because you don’t have the right resources? Support?
All of this is a perfectionist mindset that prevents you from either not starting or starting and not finishing.
Instead of facing the potential of experiencing these issues, you just abandon your efforts or prolong starting. In your head, it’s better be to judge for having tried than to be judged as having failed. Why bother even starting, you tell yourself.
Okay, so I’m sure you recognize these two symptoms of perfectionism. If there are others you want to share, you can share them at Fullrliving.com/community. Your experience or thoughts can help others overcome their perfectionist mindset.
So how do you end or lessen a perfectionist’s mindset?
I think there are two definitive ways to do it. One way requires looking within yourself, and realizing what this tendency is and embracing yourself despite it. The next is even harder, especially if you are the type of person who wants to see major progress when trying to achieve a goal.
I’m going to elaborate on both.
Become self-aware of this tendency and incorporating self-compassion into your life despite the tendency can alter a perfectionist mindset.
As pervasive as it is, many of us aren’t even aware that this tendency exists within us. If you want to see if this is the nexus that’s holding you back, then start your process of awareness with pen and paper or right on your phone or computer.
I’m going to ask five questions. If you answer yes to all five of them, then you have a perfectionist mindset issue.
Here they are:
- Are you afraid of failing and what others may think?
- Do you hate when events don’t go according to the way you plan?
- Do you need to feel in control 100% of the Time?
- Does everything have to be in place before you can start a project?
- Do you hate when others view your work as average, or just adequate?
These five questions are not your only indicator, but it’s a great place to start. I’m sure you can think of other questions to ask yourself that can help you evaluate your stance on perfectionism.
That’s the awareness portion of this first step now for the part that requires compassion after the awareness.
Compassion happens when regardless of knowing that your answers are all yes to the above questions, that you can step back and remember that no one is perfect. We all have fears of failing. No one likes when things don’t go according to plan.
I know it will not be easy, but it’s time to stop kicking yourself for wanting everything to be perfect. Instead, just accept this perfectionist mindset that you have and work on creating balance despite it.
You are aware of the mindset. Now use the awareness as a stepping-stone for figuring out how to create a balance despite it.
Perhaps not kicking yourself for your perfectionist mindset is understanding why you feel this way, and dealing with true underlying issue.
As an example, maybe you need everything to be perfect because of something that was said to you as a child. Such as you can’t do something because you don’t know how, or you are not smart enough, capable enough.
Whatever the reason or the circumstance, it’s time to come to grips with it and put it where it belongs, behind you, not in front of you, stopping you from achieving the things you want in life.
The other way is to take small steps
This is going to be a hard step to take because most of us want to see our accomplishments quickly and not just small ones, but big ones.
Sometimes when we want to accomplish something, we throw ourselves at it with abandon from the start. For many of us, what happens after a while is we burn out. In the last episode, I mention staying committed even when your motivation wanes.
One way to stay committed, to not allow perfectionism to invade your efforts, is to take small steps that show your achievements gradually. You may not see immediate big results, but when we can see our accomplishments unfold gradually, it’s easier to not let negative traits like perfectionism interfere with our efforts.
When you stop trying to accomplish everything now and instead pursue goals incrementally, you see the path to your achievement more clearly as progress happens. Also, when there are setbacks, you are less likely to abandon your efforts.
Here is another reason for taking small steps. It increases your confidence and your motivation. When we feel confident in what we are doing, we tend to not want to deviate.
While I believe the two approaches I just mention are effective ways to offset a perfectionist mindset, there are others to keep in mind. For instance, it will help tremendously to focus on the positives when thoughts creep into your mind that you can do better or do more.
You can also work on realistic thinking. Which simply is reinforcing thoughts such as nobody is perfect, or all I can do is my best.
Remember, there is always an off switch to having a perfectionist mindset. You just have to use it.
I’m going to end with a quote that represents exactly what I hope you take from this episode. Its author is unknown, but it so represents the message I want to deliver this week.
Here is the quote:
I will be patient with myself as I develop into the person I am meant to be. Being perfect is not the goal. Continuing to grow in a positive direction is the goal.
Next week in part 5 of the series we are going to put a spotlight on lacking focus. Another factor preventing us from achieving what we want.
I would love to hear your thought on this episode and on the series. Visit fullrliving.com/community to share and join our community. Let’s evolve together.
See you next week!
Episode 5 - Why Commitment Is So Important?
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Why Commitment Is So Important?
This episode of evolving life is the third in the series on factors preventing us from achieving what we want from life. In this episode, we are going to talk about how commitment or lack of it can keep you from achieving the success you want.
Before getting to how a lack of commitment is a roadblock for most of us, let’s do a quick recap on the series. Episode 2 of evolving life was the first in the series. I talked about self-doubt and how having it contributes to not accomplishing much because we don’t believe we can. In episode 3, the second part of the series, I talked about fear and how it’s normal to experience it, as long as it doesn’t define our life.
If you haven’t listened to episode 2 and 3, when you have an extra 45 or so minutes, listen to them. Because those two factors and the one we are about to talk about contribute to the reasons, the success you want may seem unachievable.
I’m here to say that if we pay attention to factors mention in this series such as your doubts, your fears, and your willingness to commit to what you are trying to accomplish, then what you want isn’t just possible, it’s achievable.
In fact, it’s right there waiting for you to reach for it. Will it require effort? Yes, a lot.
It also requires looking internally at how you block your efforts.
Here is something else to consider. Commitment is like a muscle. You build it, strengthen it, and use it to get what you want.
I’m going to share twelve ways to build that commitment muscle. Before sharing them, though, I want to put a few questions out there.
Have you ever started something and then suddenly lose interest?
You wake up one day and say to yourself; I want to do something else, or this is taking up way too much of my time.
What about this one?
Is this really worth it?
Is this idea of mine too involved, too expensive, or time-consuming, too saturated by other people doing the same thing?
Should I have done this years ago?
Someone else did and they are killing it.
Is this other idea I have a better one?
It would be less involved, requires less time, and I may make more money with that idea.
What’s the one word that comes to mind as I asked those questions?
We can find a million of them if we wanted to. It’s what most of us do when the things we want to accomplish weren’t as easy as we thought, harder, more involved.
We have this tendency to fall back on our default. Which if we were to be really honest with ourselves, it’s finding the right excuse to convince ourselves to stop. Even though you are very familiar with the concept that nothing worth having is easy .
The reality is we set goals, but abandon them before we can say one of the longest words in the English language. Have you ever tried to pronounce or spell one of them?
It messes with your mind! Especially if you see the longest word in the world and its 189,819 letters, and I love words!
I will not try to say one of them right now. Instead I’m going to pull you into my madness. I’m already trying not to be tongue tied and ramble on this podcast. Instead, I’m going to put all of them in the show notes so that you can see what I mean when I say, yikes.!
By the time you try to pronounce them, or articulate them, then spell them – well, yikes become an understatement.
These ginormous words are a great representation of the average life span of a goal set, then abandon.
Seriously though, a study by Scranton University shows that 92 percent of people who set goals fail. This study brings me right back to the purpose of this series. Exploring the reasons so many people can’t seem to turn their intentions into reality.
Why does almost every person who set goals, small ones, big ones, fail?
And just as relevant following through on something they started and seeing if the intention had a viable chance at success.
We already explored two if those reasons. Today, I am sharing a third reason. By the time I’ve completed this series, you will know six reasons that contribute to the why?
By the way, I just decided this moment that the series will be six episodes. I’ve been thinking of how long the series should be because while I know there are so many factors that prevent us from achieving the success we want. I also don’t want to drag out the series.
After the sixth episode, if there is a topic related to this series, you want me to highlight in an upcoming episode. Contact me. You can reach out to me at fullrliving.com/community. Or you can email me at email@example.com. Perhaps you will want to do the episode with me.
Let’s explore and evolve together.
Anyway, back to commitment.
I have a story I want to share
Going back to my last two years of high school. Back then, taking an art 101 was a part of a set of classes I needed to take to graduate. Also back then, the student we told sophomore year was the year colleges focus on. By junior, senior years most of the classes were considered electives, so if there was a class I didn’t want to take, I would avoid it, until I couldn’t and this intro to art was a class I avoided, until I couldn’t any more.
I had to take the class if I wanted to graduate. I dreaded it because I had a terrible experience in a drama class in a previous school that, let’s say, impacted me.
I can only say that I was shy and anything having to do with acting, singing, you can’t be shy. Art fell into that same category for me because it also requires talent. Something I certainly didn’t think I had.
Don’t bother wondering why I tried out for a drama class. I lost my mind in my first high school, or should I say I wanted to be popular and I thought this was a way to do it. Boy, was I wrong.
Anyway, I had to take this art class. When the time came, I entered the classroom with an attitude of what’s the point, I can’t draw anyway mentality. I think after a few classes, the art teacher must have sensed my attitude. She approached me and asked what I wanted to accomplish in the class and I think I said something to the effect of I didn’t know how to draw, so I didn’t understand why I had to take the class.
Honestly, I don’t remember which of my negative outbursts lead to Mrs. Sticks (can’t believe I remember her name) telling me it didn’t matter that I didn’t know how to draw. What mattered was my unwillingness to even try. She aptly pointed out that if I didn’t try, I would never know what I was truly capable of.
This experience resonated with me as an example of not giving up more so than having the right attitude because you know what? Back then, I was a creative.
Sure, drama wasn’t my thing. I also wasn’t a gifted artist able to create beautiful portraits with a pencil. But I remember loving art and fashion. I may have had an attitude in that class because of my self-doubts, but this teacher saw beyond my doubts and instilled in me the reasons I needed to be committed to what I was doing regardless of the doubts and, yeah, fear. Fear that I was going to repeat the drama class incident from my previous school. Being a teenager, I’m sure I was afraid of being laughed at.
That one conversation with my art teacher not only allowed me to walk away from the class with a decent painting that I was proud of, but a great lesson in committing to what I am doing, despite internal and external roadblocks.
If we want to achieve anything, big or small, commitment is one of the key ingredients you need to make it happen. Whether you are walking into a classroom, starting a business, or searching for a job. If you are not fully committed, then don’t bother starting.
Commitment means you will not give up when things get tough. It means being determined regardless of any obstacles standing in the way. It means not letting habits that are not helpful to what you are trying to accomplish stand in the way. And finally, but certainly not least, it means that when that immediate sense of motivation we all get when starting a goal wanes, that we keep going.
If you get nothing from this podcast episode, get that a desire to achieve something differs from being committed to achieving something.
Commitment takes a lot of effort. I am going to do a quick synopsis of what I see as 12 things you have to do to build your commitment muscle.
- Know what your values are – the life you want is at the core of what’s important to you. It guides the decisions you make and the actions you take.
- Define your goals – Hopes and dreams are one thing, reality and results are another. If you want to achieve a certain result, you need to define how you are going to achieve it.
- Remove obstacles – You have a great idea what they are. I’ve already mentioned three on this podcast and there will be more to come.
- Change your mindset – What we think and say to ourselves affects what we are trying to accomplish.
- Work on your self-confidence – it’s needed to accomplish everything.
- Be persistent – like commitment. You need it or you won’t get very far. I’m going to paraphrase this quote by Calvin Coolidge. “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
- Learn to focus – keep your attention on what you want to accomplish. Don’t allow distraction to sway your efforts.
- Be responsible – for many of us, this means letting go of excuses and blame. Believing you are the captain of your ship.
- Work on constantly improving – this happens when we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses and choosing to build on the weaknesses and take advantage of our strengths.
- Surround yourself with motivators – In episode 3, I spoke briefly about mentors. Motivators are people who can help you become a better version of yourself, whether it’s a mentor, coach, or someone who’ve achieve what you want to achieve.
- Learn – It’s not the same as constantly improving. This type of lesson is learning from your mistakes and not letting them stop you.
- Reward your achievement – You work hard. So acknowledge your achievements by creating a process to celebrate each milestone.
Okay, so that’s it. Twelve really important ways to strengthen your commitment muscle. I know commitment is hard. We face it every day. In every part of our lives.
Whether we are trying to lose a few pounds or find a better job, or simply wanting to be more active, or eat healthier.
It doesn’t matter what it is; we need to be committed to make it happen.
Can you see why lacking commitment is such an important factor that would stop you from getting what you want from life?
I am going to end this post with two final thoughts. One is another quote from someone we’ve all heard of. Tony Robbins. He said, “The only limit to your impact is your imagination and your commitment.” Think about those words.
I am going to end by sharing that Fullrliving.com. My website has been an on again, off again personal project of mine for at least a decade. It’s on again and I plan to not stop this time and really pursue its intent to help others achieve a fuller life.
When I first started the site, I wrote a series on commitment that I am going to update and republish. Join the mailing list if you want to be updated when I publish the series again. You can join on any page of fullrliving.com including the community page which is focused on the podcast community.
Thanks for listening and I will see you next week when we focus on part four of the series.
Next week, we are going to explore how perfectionism keeps us from getting what we want.
Have a great week
The 14 Longest words in the English dictionary
- pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters)
- pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters)
- Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (30 letters) …
- Floccinaucinihilipilification (29 letters) …
- Antidisestablishmentarianism (28 letters) …
- Honorificabilitudinitatibus (27 letters) …
- Thyroparathyroidectomized (25 letters) …
- Dichlorodifluoromethane (23 letters) …
- Incomprehensibilities (21 letters)
Episode 4 - Why Fears Prevents Us From Achieving What We Want
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Why Fears Prevents Us From Achieving What We Want
This episode of Evolving Life is the second episode in a series on the factors preventing us from achieving what we want from life. In this episode, the factor we are focusing on is fear.
Here we go.
Let’s recap what this series is about. I wanted to bring into our consciousness internal factors, or negative mindsets, preventing us from achieving what we want in life.
There are two things that can stand in our way of achieving our aspirations, and I identify these two things as external and internal factors.
These two factors can shape our lives either positively or negatively in so many ways. As an example, when we think negatively, it’s an internal factor or influence that affects our ability to make decisions and find solutions to the problems we face. And with external influences, the negative ones can distract us and prevent us from taking any steps at all. In the first episode, I used lacking the support of people we trust as an example of an external factor. I also mentioned that while external factors are important, I believe the internal ones are truly the reasons most of us cannot achieve the things we want.
If you haven’t listened to episode three, which is the first in the series, take twenty minutes more of your time and listen. In that first episode, I talked about self doubt.
It being one of the major internal factors we face when trying to achieve most objectives.
In this episode, I want to focus on fear as the second factor.
Fear is an emotion we all experience. Like self-doubt, having it or experiencing it is normal as long as it doesn’t define our lives and prevent us from moving towards the things we want to accomplish.
Why would we even consider self-doubt or fear as normal?
In the first episode, I said that having self doubt is normal because it basically keeps us grounded. It keeps us from developing a superior or a hubristic complex.
We put fear in the same category and consider it normal because it is a protective instinct or emotion that’s simply doing its job of keeping us safe and away from danger.
Unfortunately, our fears have no distinctions. It’s unable to identify when we are just trying something new or doing something different, from when we are actually in danger and need to implement our fight-or-flight or survival instinct.
When we experience fear, it is an emotional component that eaves it entirely up to us to decide if we need to pay attention to it, or put it aside for when we truly need it.
While there are different emotional components of fear, I believe that inside of our brains, the fear we experience is the same.
Let me delve further into what I mean by fear not having any distinction in our brain.
The fear I would experience if someone asked me to stand in a room full of hundreds of people and give a presentation does not differ from the fear someone would feel if they are afraid of spiders and suddenly there is one crawling up the person’s arm.
My heart rate would still elevate for that presentation and you can bet the heart rate of the person with the spider issue is also very high. Yeah, the spider may cause a faster reactionary response, but it’s still unadulterated fear.
Here is another example: Having fear of going to the dentist is like the fear you feel if you put on a pair of ice skates for the first time and try to glide across the ice rink or even crossing a really busy intersection.
I would really love to hear your opinion on whether you agree or disagree that all fears are alike. Visit fullrliving.com/community and share your thoughts. This is my opinion and I would love to hear yours and I’m sure others would as well.
Anyway, back to fear. There are actually three types that I’m about to explain.
The first type is rational fear, where you are facing an imminent threat and you instinctually need to react. It would be nuts on my part to say, keep calm, think rationally, don’t panic if you are experiencing rational fear. I would be right there with you doing everything I can to survive and get to a safe place if I were to be in a position of experiencing rational fear that requires survival.
Then there is primal fear. It is programmed into our brains, meaning they are innate or hard-wired into us, again, to keep us safe. The best way to understand primal fears is to share a few examples. Think in terms of fear of falling, fear of snakes, spiders, horror movies, you get the picture. On a more serious note, loss of any kind, whether by death or separation, is considered a primal fear.
Finally, there is irrational fear. This type of fear is also used to describe phobias because it makes little sense to the rational mind and varies from person to person. Think to be afraid of going to the dentist, or afraid of shaking someone’s hands because they may catch germs.
Here is another example of what I mean when I said fear has no distinction. You cannot ask the person experiencing fear of any kind to define it. They feel it and experience it, whether it’s rational, primal, or irrational. For them, fear is fear.
When we think in terms of fear as it relates to it stopping us from achieving what we want, some may wonder how or in what way?
At least this is the question someone would ask who doesn’t let fear stand in the way.
Here are three examples of how fear paralyzes us.
Fear of Failure
It’s the reason most people don’t achieve the things they want from life. Fear at its core is having persistent irrational anxiety. And fear of failure is a perfect example.
Whether it’s failing at the goals we set, or simply failing to measure up to standards we set, or that others set. Taken to the extreme, it can take a toll on the beliefs we have in ourselves, our motivation, and our ability to accomplish what we want.
Fear of rejection
I think fear of being rejected is right up there with fear of failure. The idea of failing or being rejected imparts those same feelings of not being good enough, and experiencing the type of psychological hurt that’s hard to explain to most people. The fact of the matter is, we are all social creatures to some extent. We want to be accepted, loved, know that others appreciate and care about us. When we don’t have that, or fear not having that sense of belonging, we withdraw. We choose the familiarity of avoidance. This translates into not pursuing our goals, giving up on our dreams, of doing less than we are capable of. Because it’s easier to avoid the possibility of being rejected, or told we are not good enough. Then to accept and rebuff what other may think.
Fear of Success
Now I know, you are asking what person in their right mind would fear success?
If you really think about it, a lot of us fear the very thing we want to achieve. Success anxiety exists. I even found a name for it online. Fear of success is also called achievemephobia. It’s not so much that success is scary, but the unknown, as well as the mindset of not believing we are not capable enough, worthy enough and as a result, self-sabotage our efforts, letting opportunities pass us by, or giving up just when we are on the verge of success.
I recently read a quote by Jerry Seinfeld, the prolific actor, comedian and producer in which he said, “Fear of success is one of the new fears I’ve heard about lately. And I think it’s definitely a sign that we are running out of fears. A person suffering from fear of success is scraping the bottom of a barrel.”
I don’t think fear of success is a new fear. It’s a type of fear that is finally being recognized as existing. Before we would categorize others as lazy, or wasting their talent and a bunch of other labels, we used to decide why someone isn’t where they should be in life. While there may be fundamental issues why someone isn’t at their full potential, chances are, the culprit is fear itself.
However, wouldn’t it be nice if we were all just scraping the bottom of a barrel because we wanted to delay the inevitable?
So, how do we overcome our fears to achieve the things we want from life?
Start with Acceptance
Accepting that fear is normal and having it isn’t a sign that something is wrong with you is a great first step. We shouldn’t recognize it in any other way other than we are doing something different, or reaching beyond our comfort zone. When experiencing it, we should reframe our mindset and see it as a sign that we have done something that’s allowing us to grow stronger, expanding our ability to do more, regardless of the outcome..
Another way to overcome fear and to view acceptance is to choose to be a student and not a victim of failure
The fact is, we all fall short sometimes. How we choose to see our shortcomings or the things we didn’t quite accomplish as expected is up to us. We can either choose to learn from the experience and use that knowledge to do better the next time. Or we can be debilitated by what we didn’t accomplish and dwell in that negative mind space without seeing it as the opportunity it is.
We can also choose to take small steps to reduce our fears
This is one of my favorite ways to pull myself away from fear. By taking incremental steps towards what I am trying to achieve, I can do more and overcome fearful emotions. There are a few things that happen when we move slowly towards our objectives.
We not only diminish fear, but the impact of seeing immediate results can make a difference in whether we achieve or fail, do more or less. Small steps allow us to advance steadily towards our goals.
It also builds momentum, better habits and allows us to plan better. In retrospect, see our goals as more attainable.
There you have it. Three ways fear paralyzes us and prevents us from achieving the things we want, and three ways to strengthen our ability to overcome fear.
In getting the things we want from life, there are so many factors that can stand in the way. For many of us, these factors are singular. What’s an issue for one person may not be for someone else.
Still, there may be that person who simply isn’t aware that perhaps something is standing in the way of achieving the things he or she want from life. And perhaps fear is why.
I am doing this series because so many of us don’t realize we are personally responsible for why life is not as it should be and awareness is the first step in changing that reality.
Next week, I’m going to focus on another internal factor standing in our way. Commitment.
Episode 3 - Internal Factors Preventing Us From Achieving What We Want
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Internal Factors Preventing Us From Achieving What We Want
This episode of Evolving Life is the first in a series on the factors preventing us from achieving what we want. In this episode, we are going to focus on one negative or the internal factor – self-doubt.
Here we go.
I just published a post on my website fullrliving.com on overcoming our weakness to achieve our life goals. When I was writing the post, I thought it would be a perfect topic for evolving life as a follow up to my first episode on not giving up.
If you haven’t listened to the first episode, when you have a chance, take a listen. In that first episode, I talked about why it’s important to not give up and how not believing in ourselves is tied to the reason most of us give up so easily when trying to achieve our goals.
When I was writing the blog post, I decided I want to delve into the reasons I wrote about in the post, in Evolving Life. It also led me to ask a question. What’s the difference between those who are successful or on track to achieving their goals and those who are not even close and they’ve been working at it for years?
Follow-up questions: What are successful people doing differently? What is their mindset? Why is it so hard for some, yet seems so much easier for others?
Of course, the answer to these questions varies because we are all unique with our own individual experiences and reasons we are struggling or not. But here is the thing: I believe there are specific reasons some people achieve success with what they want to accomplish and others don’t or are struggling to make progress.
I want to explore these reasons because of something else I said in the first episode. That it’s easy to blame outside influences.
Let’s talk about what I mean by outside influences?
It could be a lack of money, because let’s face it, we need it to accomplish most things.
It could be the right tools. Depending on what you are trying to do, having the right tools matters. For example, it’s kind of hard to start a business online if you don’t have a computer and access to the internet, right?
What about the support of friends and family? How many of us try to do something, whether it’s starting a business or going back to school and someone we know tells us directly or implicitly that it’s a stupid idea?
These are just three examples. Can there be more? You bet, but these three are pretty on-point and I’m sure you get the idea.
Now, I’m not saying that these external influences are not, or shouldn’t, be a factor when we have objectives. They can be, depending on which one you identify with. But here is another thing. In reality, the internal thoughts and beliefs or our negative mindset, outweighs the external ones.
When we can overcome internal influences, aka negative mindset, we overcome the external ones. Finding money creatively, finding the right tools, telling the naysayers that what they think doesn’t matter.
I want to highlight these internal influences or negative mindset because bringing them into our consciousness can make a difference in our lives. Highlighting them can help us face the hard truth that perhaps this is why?
This is why I keep starting and stopping
This is why I keep coming up with excuses
This is why I’m in a job I hate
This is why I let others talk down to me
This is why?
Our mindset can change the trajectory of our lives. It can help us achieve the things we want to achieve and it can keep us from achieving a single thing. Imagine that. What we think, how we think, is like ants slowly moving towards their objective. It’s a slow process, but they get there. When it comes to what we think, it’s a cumulative process that shapes our lives.
So you have goals you want to achieve, the business you want to start, the degree you want to earn, you want to claim the distinction of achievement, something we all want.
But for you, it’s not happening. Right now you are laying in bed, or on a train to work, or sitting in traffic, wondering why things aren’t working out as you plan,
It’s time to step back and try a different approach. Ask yourself, What’s holding you back? What’s going on in your head? Could it be that internal negative influences are playing a part in your lack of achievement?
So what are these internal influences, and how will you know if you are experiencing them?
I wish I could say that knowing is easy and there is a tried-and-true method for knowing if you are a victim of these internal influences. The truth is, it’s difficult. It takes a lot of effort for people like you and me to reflect and be true to ourselves. You need to be willing to step back and acknowledge and accept the bad which comes with the good.
I can share these influences and highlight them for you. But you have to do the hard part and admit, and accept, and move in another direction.
So here are the first two. Come back next week for more.
Have you ever heard of or experience self-doubt?
I think self doubt plays a major role not only in what we achieve but don’t achieve. Referring to my first episode, could it be that self-doubt is why we don’t believe in ourselves and what we want to accomplish?
Think about it, when you doubt yourself, it’s because of negative thoughts you are having about things like your abilities, what you are feeling, your emotions. It’s a roller coaster ride you put yourself on that’s on a loop. It’s a vicious, continuous cycle of believing you are not good enough, period.
I love this quote by William Shakespeare
Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we often might win by fearing to attempt.
I just think most of us do attempt, we just start off on shaky ground by questioning our ability to implement the how, what, where, when process of achieving what we want.
It’s time to get off that roller coaster and take aways doubts power. Let’s start by sharing one fact and 4 steps for overcoming self-doubt.
The fact is, self-doubt is normal – Yes, you heard that right. Having a little bit of doubt keeps you from being conceited, arrogant, and pompous. And if slight doubt doesn’t prevent you from taking steps towards your goals, it means you are confident in your efforts and decisions.
While feeling a little doubt is normal and may even be healthy, what’s not healthy is when we hold on to the doubts and let them dictate our lives.
The first step to overcoming self-doubt is practicing self compassion
The reality is you are a human who isn’t perfect because none of us are. When you take doubts to the extreme, you are saying I don’t want to screw up; I don’t want to make a mistake. But, it’s okay to make mistakes, because mistakes are how we become better. It’s how we grow and become the best version of ourselves. Embrace the possibility that you may fail or have failed. If you are worried about failing, tell yourself it’s okay if I fail. It means you will know what not to do the next time. If you’ve failed. Then think about what you’ve learned from the experience. Try again. This time, apply what you learned from your past failure.
Don’t be your harshest critic
In reality, we are our harshest critic. In our eyes, our efforts were flawed. One of the best way to stop you from condemning your efforts is to think in terms of a friend or acquaintance. If a friend comes to you and asks you to critique his or her efforts, would you condemn them, even if you know they could have done a better job? Would you launch into a speech about how he or she suck and could have, should have, done this or that?
No, you wouldn’t. You would be kind, consolable, tell the friend what they did right, and tactfully share what could be better. Try this tactic with yourself, too.
Don’t Compare Yourself With Others
You know, that thing we all love to do. Compare ourselves.
We all experience things differently. Just because a friend, an acquaintance, a business competitor is doing better than you, it doesn’t make your efforts a lesser value. Instead of looking at other people’s accomplishments, focus on you. You can only control your journey and your efforts. Use the success of others as a motivation, not as discouragement.
Finally, consider getting professional help
If you find that your effort alone is not helping and excessive doubts are preventing you from moving forward and accomplishing the things you want to accomplish, then it’s time to seek a professional.
Two things to keep in mind here. First, I am a big proponent of getting professional help when you need it because no one can be 100%, 100% of the time. No one is perfect, and if speaking with someone about your inability to believe in and trust yourself is what you need to do, then do it.
Second, it doesn’t have to be a shrink. Professional help also means a coach, a mentor, anyone who’ve been there and accomplished a lot and has the life experience, the skills to guide you and motivate you to achieve the results you want.
I’m going to conclude by paraphrasing a quote by Jesse Owens. Because to get beyond our internal negative influences, it takes effort. He once said, We all have dreams, but in order to make dreams a reality it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self discipline and effort to make it happen. It’s your life, so make it happen.
Next week, we are going to continue with the series and focus on another internal negative influence. Fear.
Episode 2: Living An Authentic Life
Hello – Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Evolving Life.
And thanks so much for the feedback and praise.
Logistically, it wasn’t the best first episode, but as some of my reviewers shared, they thought it was authentic and I couldn’t ask for a greater opinion of the first episode.
I am going to work on making each episode better than the last. Starting with better equipment that will make your listening experience great.
Hopefully, you will notice the difference even in this episode. You certainly won’t hear page turning in the background. Let me know what you think. I would love to know.
And this is where I ask for your support to help make this podcast a success.
I’m asking only three things: Keep listening, please subscribe and don’t forget to share by telling others about Evolving Life. With your help and my efforts, I’m convinced this podcast will be a success.
Okay! With The logistics and acknowledgements out of the way, let’s jump right into this episode.
It’s about living an authentic life.
First, what does living an authentic life mean? .
Not surprisingly, it has a different meaning for each of us
In fact, most of us have a hard time understanding what it means to live authentically because its meaning is not precise.
What I consider living authentically will differ from what you consider it to be. From person to person, the answer will always be different.
So what is the general meaning of what it is to live authentically?
It’s embracing who you really are, and what you truly believe and living in accordance to what feels right for you.
The definition is so simple, but for many of us, it’s hard to adapt for many reasons. Some self-imposed. Others, society imposed, or simply because of the way we were raised.
Here is the thing, we live in a society that judges according to their personal standards and if you choose to live beyond their understanding of what’s quote, unquote, normal, then you are an enigma, or something is wrong with you, or you need help. It’s a double standard we all must live with because chances are, these same individuals who judge are not looking within to judge or monitor themselves.
Regardless of how others may consider you, living authentically is a standard we should all pursue, regardless of the judgements and lack of empathy. I’m going to share an example and a few tips on living authentically.
As you listen to each episode of Evolving Life, you are going to notice that I like to use life examples to make my point. In this episode, the life example is my sister. As a side note, I have quite a few of them, so I may have many more examples with them in mind.
This sister has evolved from when I first held her when she was born. Sometimes I reflect on the fact that not only is she an adult and married with a few children, one of which is a teenager, but she has changed so much. Or evolved, as I like to say.
I don’t want to refer to her as this sister, so let’s call her G. I believe G has come into her own sense of self because of many personal life experiences, some that were not so good, that have shaped her.
When I think of her, when I talk to her, I believe G is the epitome of what it means to live an authentic life.
It’s never easy when society, family, friends, people that have been a part of our lives from an early age, tells us that how we choose to live is not normal, or label us with some form of negative implications that are practically disheartening.
What’s not normal for these cynics is what they don’t understand, or because they believe they would have chosen differently. What’s really not normal for them but they don’t realize it, is their inability to be open-minded, and an unwillingness to learn and accept.
By the way, if you are thinking about sexuality right now, that my sister may be gay, you would be wrong. But as a side thought, isn’t it thought provoking how easily it is to remove religion and apply another noun and you are addressing the same issue?
I will not go into the specifics of my sister’s life, because she would probably kill me, but, for her, the divergence happened because she chose a religion other than the one she was raised with.
Thinking about it, she/we weren’t raised with any religion. We attended catholic schools, but our adult influencers, when we were young, attended baptist churches sporadically. So religion wasn’t specifically a factor.
What was a factor for my sister was judgment, fear, and rejection.
Judgement – because of what I’ve already alluded to. A predisposed definition of what is normal.
Fear – because of those who are incapable of opening their minds and experiencing something other than what they know.
And rejection, because what they don’t understand gets cast aside.
What has made my sister a survivor and a person who’ve learned to live the life she embraces and love is the realization of these five tips we should all adapt to live authentically.
Are you ready? Here they are.
1. Stop trying to please everyone
Trying to offer a different version of yourself to please others is exhausting. Being truly authentic is saying, “This is me, whether or not you like it.”
2. Trusting your intuition
Without a doubt, it’s scary when you choose to live your truth, to blaze your own trail and trust your own instincts. But to do so would mean being happy in your own life. Why would you want anything less?
3. Focus on forming a connection with pears, not impressing them.
It’s simple, really. Life is about laughter, love, happiness, and forming memories with the ones you love and cherish. Not living up to the expectation of those who shouldn’t matter.
4. Be indifferent to the actions of others
You can’t live authentically if you are constantly thinking about and worrying about what others are saying and doing.
- Instead of reacting to what others are saying, act out of your own power.
- Live according to your expectations, not other peoples.
- Be a leader, not a follower.
The bottom line is this. It’s your life. Choose how to live it.
5. Finally, embrace your choices
You will literally drive yourself crazy by adjusting and adapting your life to what others expect and see as lacking or complex in your life.
Ignore them. Embrace your complexity, your reality. It’s what makes you who you are.
I would love to know how you live authentically, and which of these five tips or any that have led to your authentic life. You can share your. thoughts at fullrliving.com/community.
Episode 1: Introduction & A Lesson In Never Giving Up
Hi there, my name is Merlene and welcome to the first episode of the Evolving Life podcast. I’m just going to jump right in by saying welcome and I hope this episode and all future episodes will keep you coming back.
If you are here, then you’ve read the description, and it interests you. I’m glad you are here and I hope you will continue to be a regular listener. It’s the first episode and I am already so proud of myself for having the courage to begin this podcast. I hope it resonates with you and you will keep coming back.
Let me tell you a little about myself. Again, my name is Merlene Campbell and I am an author, a blogger, an entrepreneur, and an idealist.
Taking on the distinction of an idealist is interesting because an idealist is a dreamer. An idealist is impractical and sees the world through a lens of perfectionism. I definitely don’t see the world that way. I think the reason I embrace the title has more to do with what I want from life and not what I think about life. If that makes sense. I want a life that’s perfect for me. I want to achieve certain things like financial independence, optimal health, most of the things we all want from life. Perhaps there is a better word to define that part of me, but that’s the one that sticks for me.
And here is why:
I’ve always seen myself as an average person. However, for me, average wasn’t what I thought it would be. For instance, I’ve never married, I don’t have kids or the preverbal white picket fence; I don’t have what we consider an average life. My average is the struggle, life struggle, financial struggle, dealing with the four letter word that starts with S and end with T struggle.
Average for me is making poor decisions that lead to consequences that involve a 30-day stay in a county jail, a felony record, and always dealing with why. Why did I do that? Why did I go down the rabbit hole? Why wasn’t I smart enough, strong enough?
I walked away from that phase of my life wrangled, but determine. At first, self-deprecating, but eventually yielding to understanding. You can say I am average. In that I’ve made a ton of mistakes in my life and paid dearly for one of them. Something I’m sure we’ve all done in our own lives.
You know what? There is one thing I can say about me that is consistent. I’ve always wanted more, and that’s the idealist in me. I’ve always wanted better for myself. I just did not know how to make it happen. I knew a long time ago that having someone in my life that inspired and motivated me would have been ideal. But, here is another clue about me. I never had that. Throughout my entire life, I have been my motivator, my only incentive to do more with my life. And sometimes it didn’t work, hence my 30 day jail visit.
I have a brother that I was not raised with. He grew up in England, and I grew up in America. He and I have had few conversations throughout our lives, but I’ve never forgotten one of the conversation we’ve had where he said to me to take care of myself because no one else will. I am sure if I called him today and ask if he remember saying those words to me, he would probably say no. But you know what? I never forgot.
Through my most trying times, my brothers’ words have resonated in my life. Take care of yourself, because no one else will.
We all should live by that motto. We all should have someone or something to emulate who can support us, to help us make the hard decisions, and the right decisions. This podcast will be that for anyone who needs it. The first few episodes will be about subject matters I share, but I hope others will lead the way and tell me what topic they want to hear about. Anyway, that’s an abbreviated back story about me. Let’s delve into the subject of this first episode. This episode is about not giving up.
This is an important topic for me because it is where I am right now in my life. I have this uncanny ability to take on projects, bring them to fruition, then abandon them before I get the results I want. I would work hard at making it happen, but then I stop just as soon as I complete the project. Let’s use building a website as an example. You build the site; you make sure everything on the site works; the graphics are good; the content is good. You are finished, right? No! What about promoting the site? What about optimizing the site? If you build a site, it’s likely tied to a business concept. The site being built, is that all that’s involved in meeting the marketing objectives of the business it’s tied to?
Sometimes we want so badly to achieve something that at first we will work hard to make it happen, but then our motivation wanes and we either stop and move on to something else, or we decrease our efforts and achieve nothing. Not what we intended when we initially started, was it?
Because we gave up too quickly, we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of procrastination, self-doubt, and just plain losing sight of our original intent.
Here is the thing: if we want to get anywhere in life, it’s up to us to make it happen.
And how do we make it happen?
I will not say what you are expecting me to say as a solution.
Do you know why?
Because if you are anything like me, you already know. Set manageable goals, pursue them incrementally. You’ve probably read the same books and blogs I’ve read. You know the logistics of what you have to do to reach a goal. However, knowing and doing are two separate things.
I’ve asked myself why do I stop short of reaching my goals? I’ve had to reflect and be honest with myself and admit a few truths to myself. I’m not saying that you may have the same issue as me, but chances are you do. Here is what I’ve had to admit to myself. I give up because I didn’t truly believe in myself. Sure, I had the skills to design and build that website, but who the hell am I to say offer a service when I know there are others out there who can do it better than me?
When we don’t believe in ourselves and we just go through the motions of meeting objectives without that conviction of believing in ourselves and what we are capable of, we will never achieve what we want.
It’s such a hard thing to admit to ourselves because it’s so much easier to believe we failed or didn’t meet our goals because of outside influences. But the truth, hard though it may be, is worth embracing because it could be the beginning of finally making shit happen.
That’s all for this episode. Thanks again for listening to the first episode of Evolving Life. You can find me here every Monday for a new episode. Join me if you can and let’s grow or, as this podcast is aptly titled, let’s evolve together.