The Art Of Working Against Yourself

The Art Of Working Against Yourself

Maggie and Watson never like to stay in the yard. Our two strong and high energy dogs love to run free chasing whatever they are chasing. Sometimes they are just running for the sake of running. In our fenceless neighborhood, the dogs have no idea where our yard ends and the neighbor’s yard begins. They see no limits or boundaries. They just run.

Recently, we looked into installing an invisible fence, for their protection and our neighbor’s peace of mind. The technology is quite impressive. We define the parameters of where the dogs are free to run, and to condition them where their boundaries are a small device on their collars emits an uncomfortable charge as they get closer to the limits of their space. In time, the conditioning helps Maggie & Watson know their limitations almost instinctively. They’ll know how far they can go.

Kind of like us humans.

And we don’t even need a collar.

The greatest thing standing between where we are and where we want to be in life are the limitations we set for ourselves. The limitations we’ve conditioned ourselves to accept as true. Through the course of our lives we’ve set our own boundaries for how much we are willing to allow to be possible for us. Much like that invisible fence prevents the dogs from running free, our thoughts, both consciously and unconsciously, tend to keep us in our own yard, a fixed space that keeps us exactly where we are.

Understanding your limitations often requires you to look at your life from a different perspective. I never knew I had limitations, simply because I never thought I had anything to do with why my life wasn’t where I had wanted it to be. Blame is far easier than acceptance. How could I be undermining my own growth and evolution? Why would I do that to myself? Yet when I was able to step back and observe and listen to the stories I was telling myself, I could actually see how I had unintentionally constructed my own invisible fence of limitation.

Those stories of lack and shortage and unworthiness become hard wired into our emotional DNA every time we speak them to ourselves. And like the invisible fence, our thoughts train us as to where we will allow ourselves to go in life. We may see exactly where we want to be yet we’ll never let ourselves get there. All because of the limiting stories we repeatedly and often unconsciously tell ourself.

I’ve felt the inner conflict between what I told myself I wanted and what I was willing to allow myself to receive. The same mind which could envision the future of my dreams was the same mind working to convince me I would never attain it. I knew what I wanted for me but I would always find ways to make sure it never materialized. Until I started listening I had no idea this limiting and conflicting dialog was actually taking place.

Recognizing this conflict was my starting point in changing the stories I was telling myself. Our subconscious doesn’t care what we think about who we are. It just reinforces what we tell it and always finds ways for us to remain exactly where we’ve told ourselves we belong, even if we don’t want to be there. Abundance or lack. Worthy or unworthy. Your story is your story and you’ll never out run it or out work it.

The good news is we can always change the stories we tell ourselves.

So, what about you? What are some of the stories you tell you about you? Do you see yourself worthy to receive the unlimited abundance which is all around you? Or does life feel stuck and you’ve accepted that what is will always be?

Listen to those voices in your head. Step outside of you and just listen to what you say to yourself, especially when life gets challenging. Self awareness is the critical first step in understanding where you actually are in your life, and once you understand where you are it’s much easier to get to where you really want to go.

If you want a different life you need to tell yourself the stories that will make such a life possible.

And it’s possible.

It’s a great day to be you!

Time Really Doesn’t Care What You Do With It

Time Really Doesn’t Care What You Do With It

I hadn’t thought of it quite this way.

Just six weeks left.

It’s mid November and the year is coming to an end. Six weeks and it will be the start of a new year. It will also be the start of a new decade.

That’s the part which stunned me a bit.

Where did the last ten years go?

Most of the time I never think about time. The busy-ness of life often keeps my mind on what’s right in front of me. And the next thing you know a full decade has come to an end.

It’s interesting to look back at the decades of your life and reflect and remember what life felt like back then, what you did, or what you didn’t do. The victories and the defeats, the joys and the pains. A common denominator of the decades of my life is that the decades sort of just happened, simply unfolding in the way that they did. Kinda feels for the most part I was in many ways just going along for the ride.

Having collected many decades myself, being reminded that this one is coming to a close has surprisingly stirred things up within me. As I look back at the past 10 years there is a sense that I could have done better. Done better in the sense of showing up with far more intention and presence. It was a decade of transitions on many levels, but my initial assessment is that life during these last 10 years was more reactionary than intentional. Behold the glory of hindsight and experience and looking back in time and seeing how things could have been.

A younger, less-evolved version of me would have used this awareness against me. I can so vividly see that version of me calling me out for not making the most of those years, even though I have no idea exactly what making the most of those years actually would have looked like. Sometimes we can really hold ourselves to such unrealistic expectations, can’t we?

With my new found reality that I’m six weeks away from a brand new decade, I’m giving serious pause and envisioning what I want to become and accomplish and experience in the coming ten years. For the first time I’m setting clear intentions for myself going forward into the new decade, no longer content of just seeing where time will take me.

The next ten years are going to happen regardless of how I chose to show up for them. Time is indifferent. Time doesn’t care if in ten years I’m looking back wishing I had spent them differently.

That’s not a conversation I intend on having with myself in November 2029.

What are your intentions for the next ten years? What will be your priority? What do you plan to become and accomplish and experience?

The life you want isn’t just going to happen.

It’s a great day to be you!

Avoiding The Thanksgiving Surprise

Avoiding The Thanksgiving Surprise

Ever notice how when Thanksgiving approaches some people are surprised that it’s here already? Like it sort of snuck up on them and they never saw it coming?

And that leads to the obligatory conversation about how fast the year has gone by and wondering where the time actually went.

Like Thanksgiving, life, too, can often sneak up on you and before you know it you’re left wondering where the years of your life went. The speed of life can often feel like you’re just trying to keep up with it. When life is lived reacting to life itself there’s not much time left for living.

But isn’t living the real reason we are alive?

Time is moving and it’s not stopping. Not for anyone or anything. And since the clock isn’t stopping, isn’t now the time to make our life our real priority, to clarify and define exactly what the life we are here to live should look and feel like and then refocus our time and energy on making our vision our reality?

Don’t wait until the November of your life to start to living it.

You just might miss it.

It’s a great day to be you!

 

Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash