Embrace the Amazing Person You Already Are.
If you’re like most of our life coaching or therapy clients, you’re intelligent, objectively successful, and a kind person who many people love, respect, and admire.
And yet… You might not feel like you’re really as amazing as you could be. You believe that you can do more, be more, feel more clear about who you are, and feel better about the way you’re living your life. Most importantly, you believe you can be happier, enjoy your life more than you do.
You believe there’s a higher, and more self-actualized version of you somewhere inside of you. And if you’re like most people, sometimes you feel frustrated or get down on yourself when you can’t be the person you know you can be, all the time. Here are some tips to help you intentionally make contact with the best part of yourself, and allow more of that “real you” to take positive action in your life:
Tips For Cultivating Your Best Self
l. Notice when you’re already being who you want to be.
You know that feeling you have when you do something healthy, good or positive? Like the way you feel when you leave yoga class, or the gym? Or when you choose the kale power-salad for lunch? Or get some amazing feedback from your boss or coworker about what a good job you did? Or when you spend a gorgeous day outside, or in the company of someone you love? Or when you’re totally absorbed in flow? Or exhilarating yourself to embrace a challenge, or learn something new? Yes?
You DO have those moments. And all of those are times when your happy, best self is at the front and center of your life already.
When you intentionally focus on what’s going right in your life, it shifts your perspective and your mood. It helps you to feel like the person you want to be, which in turn helps you intentionally cultivate more of the you that you want.
2. Stop Beating yourself up.
Do you scold, and shame yourself for every little thing? Do you call yourself names? Do you sweep aside all of the positive, good things you have going on and criticize yourself for the negative, instead?
You’re not alone. We’ all internalize an inner voice that lives inside us, and that narrates our experiences. Many people, sadly, have come to believe that the “key to staying motivated” is to be ruthlessly harsh, demanding or even demeaning to themselves if they’re not perfectly perfect.
However, what we know from decades of research into positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and healthy human development, (learn more about evidence-based therapy) is that when people feel safe to learn from their mistakes, accepted and supported, respected and valued, they can grow and evolve. In contrast, people who feel that mistakes are catastrophic and who believe that they are intrinsically bad, worthless, or irredeemable will get stuck and paralyzed with shame and fear.
Decide to be an emotionally safe, supportive and respectful friend to yourself. (Read: “How to Love Yourself”) Cultivate an encouraging “growth mindset.” Learning how to accept yourself, and be affirming and compassionate with yourself just as you are, will (paradoxically), allow you to grow and bloom.
Want more inspiration for how to cultivate a growth mindset? Check out this video from Heidi Grant Halverson:
3. Stop comparing yourself to others.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Plato
It is such a common mistake; to believe that no one else feels the way you do, or doesn’t wrestle with the same stressors or pain- points. Especially as more of our social lives are dominated by carefully curated posts and photos, it can be easy to trick yourself into believing that everyone else is happy and has all this stuff figured out already. At a distance it’s easy to imagine that everyone is as gorgeous, accomplished, successful, intelligent and confident as they appear. As you appear.
And yet every singe person walking this earth (including me!) has a mandate to learn, grow, and figure out how to live intentionally, responsibly, mindfully, and happily. Every day brings new opportunities for us to increase our capacity for love and compassion — both for ourselves and others. Everyone has good days and days they wish they could do over. Oprah Winfrey herself probably has moments where she snaps at someone, or says something she regrets, or feels frustrated… or cries. Yes, Oprah cries too. We’re all on a path of growth and personal evolution. And you’re just like everyone else on the earth, trying to figure it out.
Except that you are woke. Sadly, many people don’t even consider the possibility that they can do better, or be better. They just do what they’ve always done (even if it’s painful and unsatisfying, or leads to not-so-great outcomes) without ever having the thought in their head that they have the power to choose who they are, and what they want their lives to be about. They may genuinely believe fate alone created their circumstances, and that they have no control over themselves, the results they get, or their ultimate destiny.
But you do. You know you have the power to grow and to do more. That’s why you’re reading this article. The fact of that is evidence that you are self-aware, and already actively embracing growth, and are already moving forward on your glorious path of personal evolution.
Here’s to you,
Lisa Marie Bobby
Why Is It So Hard To Change… For Long?
People start coaching or counseling eager to jump in and make new things happen. That is admirable, and enthusiasm is certainly the catalyst for great things. We must have hope in order to even try to change.
We all start out with grand plans and make sweeping, dramatic gestures to mark our transition into a better life: Buying personal productivity solutions, new workout clothes, cutting up all the credit cards, throwing away the half eaten bags of Ruffles, making solemn promises to be nicer to your partner, or flushing the cigarettes down the toilet. Things are going to be different now. These rituals of change feel like the door to a new life, and we feel very pleased with ourselves for several days.
But then…. it gets frustrating. Things get hard, get annoying, get boring, or we get upset and sure enough — snap right back into our old patterns. It’s easy to feel discouraged and get tricked into believing that you can’t do it.
But you can, my friend. You most certainly can.
You can have it all. You can have better relationships, lose weight, save money, achieve your goals, be healthier, sleep better and feel happer.
Your ability to change your life is the same as everyone else’s. What is the key to making lasting change? Listen to this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast and find out.
xo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
The Secret To Changing Anything. (And Everything.)
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Perfectionism: When Unrealistic Expectations Rule
The pressure to be perfect infuses every aspect of our lives: From our homes to our jobs to our appearance to our kids we can feel driven to perform perfectly. Trying to do your best and excel is not a bad thing in itself. The problem arises when anything LESS than perfection is unacceptable.
Of course we understand intellectually that being perfect all the time is impossible. But that doesn’t change the grinding feelings of failure and fear of judgment that rear up when we don’t live up to our own expectations.
Perfectionism is Paralyzing
If you are vulnerable to perfectionism you run yourself absolutely ragged attempting to live up to some impossible standard. But then messy, freewheeling life inevitably sideswipes your efforts. Your dinner party fails to meet your Pinterest-worthy standards, your garden is a weedy mess, your kids are grubby, or you’re late again… and a black hole of guilt and shame rises up inside you, making it difficult to enjoy the beauty and goodness that also exists in your imperfect world.
Many people who struggle perfectionism are incredibly competent, thoughtful, and thorough in everything that they do. However they can put SO much time and energy over-focusing on small details, it can make even the simplest projects seem overwhelming. The result, ironically, is procrastination, which leads to not having enough time to do a good job, which leads to more imperfection and feelings of shame and failure.
If perfectionism gets too powerful it can lead to total avoidance of tasks: Piles of unfolded laundry, tons of clutter, unfinished household projects, and even serious problems at work or school are the hallmarks of a severe case of perfectionism.
3 Keys to Overcoming Perfectionism
The good news? Perfectionism CAN be overcome. I know this, because in addition to working with many people who have struggled with and conquered perfectionism, I’m a perfectionist (in recovery) myself.
This episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast is all about how to help you overcome the anxiety and self-judgment that leads to perfectionism, and start enjoying you’re life again. (And being more successful and effective in the process). Listen and learn the three new ideas that will help you overcome perfectionism.
What’s Your Story?
Can you relate to perfectionism? Is it something that you’re currently struggling with, or something that you’ve already overcome? Either way, I hope you share your story in the comments and share your thoughts and wisdom with others.
— xo, Lisa Marie