success

How To Achieve At Anything

When I was a kid, I used to watch True Life on MTV.

Have you ever seen it? It’s this documentary show where they find 3 people who all share a common obstacle and then record their life as they struggle with it. The intention is to give viewers an insight into other people’s hidden struggles. For me, I just thought it was entertaining.

Some memorable episodes were “True Life: I have Epilepsy” and “True Life: My Parents are in Porn”, I mean honestly, this show had everything! But then one night, as I laid curled up on my couch in PJs, “True Life: I’m Going To Fat Camp” came on the screen.

I immediately turned the volume up. Three people were up to go to fat camp. One that really wanted it, one that was being forced to go by her family, and a third. I don’t remember much about the third, but I’ll never forget how emotional I got over the other two.

The one who wanted it, let’s call her Mary, saw fat camp as an opportunity. She worked her butt off just to get the money to be able to go and, when she got there, she utilized everything they had available to her. She saw fat camp as her path to better health and happiness and she wasn’t going to waste it for anything.

The second girl, again let’s make up a name - Jenna, didn’t want to go. She knew she needed to lose weight, but the idea of going to a fat camp upset her. Jenna wanted to do it on her own, even though she hadn’t been successful on her own, and her parents insisted she go. She was miserable and didn’t want to participate in anything at camp. She saw it as if it were a prison that she couldn’t stand to be in. She ended up sneaking out and getting candy bars with another girl and getting kicked out of camp.

I cheered at the TV when her parents had to come get her.

I tell you this story because these two girls both had the same goal and the same opportunities available to both of them, but only one had success. The only real difference between these two were their mindset, and that was the main driver of success versus failure.

You see, it doesn’t matter what you know or how much opportunity you have, it’s how to choose to use it. Every action comes from a thought first.

When you have a goal in mind, start to notice how you feel about that goal. Do you think you’ll hit it? Why or why not? Once you start to understand your thoughts around your goal, then you can start to shift your actions.

The opportunities, tools, tips and tricks are all available to you in abundance, but if your perspective sees them as negatives, then all you can get from the situation is negative.

If you want to find success in your journey, to achieve at anything, become aware of your mindset and start shifting your thoughts to gratitude and positivity. That energy will always lead you down the right path to health, healing, and happiness.

Because, True Life: Perspective Matters.

How To Start Loving Yourself

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If you know me in person, you know there's two things I talk about AD NAUSEUM: Dating and self love. 

I'm obsessed with both, not surprisingly, because they're essentially the same thing. 

I know it seems silly, but it's important to love yourself. Really important. Based on my experiences through research, coaching, and self work, I'm a firm believer that you'll never be able to hit your goals (or maintain them) without developing an authentic relationship with yourself. 

I only know it because I've been working on the relationship with myself for a few years now and, I'm not gonna lie, it was really weird to start.

Most of the time, it felt uncomfortable and awkward. Kinda similar to my actual dating life, really, and I struggled HARD to accept it - even from myself!

But the moment I opened the door for a serious relationship with myself, one based on commitment, trust, and appreciation, I started to receive an incredible natural high.

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Let's bring it back to dating... 

It's similar to the high you get from starting a new relationship with someone. That giddy feeling. I couldn't believe that it was possible to have those same feelings by developing a relationship with yourself.  

Here I was, giving myself the love, attention, and care that I seek in a partner and I still got butterflies in my stomach, felt that excited/nervous feeling, and an all around happy attitude for life. It's that powerful high that develops into deep rewarding love and commitment. 

It works the same way when you're making the connection with yourself.

When I started flirting with myself (I kid you not, actual FLIRTING), I realized how awkward I felt. As I pushed myself through self sweet talk, I started wondering WHY it was so uncomfortable. Shouldn't I be comfortable enough at this age to act weird without judgement while I'm home alone? 

You'd think... but instead, I judged myself hard. My mind was racing. I made fun of myself for looking stupid and I pointed out every single "flaw" I would have picked myself apart for had I been out flirting with men. 

Once I realized that the judgement I was feeling was all in my head, I forced myself to ignore it and persevere. 

I wanted to be confident and comfortable with myself. I wanted to enjoy my own company. And damn it, I wanted to think I was as sexy, cool, and dateable as I hoped any man would think I was. 

But as I pushed myself through the awkwardness, I started wondering where these negative thoughts about myself came from. Who said I wasn't good enough, cool enough, or sexy enough? Who said I was these awful things that I told myself in my head? 

Then, it hit me.

We're taught to hate ourselves from a very young age. Everywhere around us, we're bombarded by media, telling us that we aren't good enough (and here's a product to help change you into becoming a "better version" of yourself). We listen to other people complain about what they don't like about themselves, what they don't like about others, but we rarely hear people talking themselves up in a positive light. It's absolutely absurd!

As a society, we've set up social norms on what's attractive or worthwhile and if we don't fit into those standards (surprise, no one does!), we get upset and beat ourselves up. 

Once I realized that, I made the decision to counter those thoughts. I don't care what society has designed to be beautiful because that isn't my idea of beautiful. That's taking someone else's opinion and giving it such a high personal regard that it becomes a fact. A fact that works directly against me!

I knew I deserved better than what I'd been giving myself so I made a commitment to change in my best interest. I was finally going to be an advocate for myself because if I wasn't going to love myself, how could I ever expect anyone else to?

So, I turned away from the negativity and the hate and I poured all my energy into love. These are the steps I took and I highly suggest 

How To Start Loving Yourself in Three Easy Steps

  • Stop being so judgmental. The very first law of Deepak Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Success promotes practicing non judgement. Now, that doesn't just mean judging yourself (although it's a good place to start!), but it applies to all people/situations. If you're in a place of judgment, it's hard to see things with love, and you have to break the cycle of judgment in all respects. Being judgmental is just perpetuating society's standards and we've already touched on how those standards are simply opinions. Make it a challenge to point out one nice thing about everyone you see each day, even if you don't like them. Make sure to include yourself in that daily challenge when you look in the mirror in the morning. By focusing on the things you like, you'll retrain your brain to start automatically looking for those things (and stop looking for things to judge!)

 

  • Take yourself on dates. YUP. I told you it was weird, but part of cultivating a relationship with yourself is through actually dating yourself. Get dolled up for yourself, pick something fun that you've been wanting to do, and then go enjoy it. Whether that's people watching at a cute cafe, checking out a museum, or taking yourself out to dinner - it's important to spend some time alone with yourself so you can get to know who you really are! 

 

  • Be mindful of your self talk. Obviously, I'll want you to tell yourself that you love yourself, but I know that can feel like a lot all at the beginning. There's no shame in moving slow (in fact, its encouraged!) and your self love can develop as you progress.... again, similar to a partnership. That being said, you're never going to like yourself (or love yourself) if you talk shit about yourself, whether that's in your head or out loud. Notice when you say things about yourself that aren't nice and then call yourself out for it. Point out the parts of you that you like and put your focus on that. Make it your mission to point out your positive characteristics as often as possible instead of harping on the negatives. 

This is self care. This is self love. This is the art of healing. 

And if you're struggling to say it to yourself, please know, I love you, sweet soul. 

Love & light,

Carolyn Rachel