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How to Start Making Positive Changes in Your Life

How to Start Making Positive Changes in Your Life

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

“I want to change my life, but how?

 

 

Have you ever thought those words to yourself? If so, congratulations: As a therapist and life coach I know that wanting things to be different  is the launch-pad for any real and lasting change.

We think of the process of changing your life as a positive thing — one that is hopeful, and infused with joy. However, here’s the dirt: No-one ever, ever, changes because they’re just so happy with their life as it currently is. No. People actually change because they are frustrated, annoyed, hurt, embarrassed, experiencing negative consequences, or just completely worn out and exhausted from living the way they have been.

In fact, it’s that yucky, “Ugh I hate this” feeling (that we all dislike) is exactly the one you need to listen to if you’re going to change your life. But no one talks about that part. We see the victorious transformations… but not how to make the sausage.

The real, authentic change process is messy. It’s wobbly. It can be lonely. We try and fail, and try again. It doesn’t feel joyful, at least, not in the beginning. If anything, it feels hard, but it feels necessary.

How to Change Your Life

It’s not uncommon at all for our clients to show up for therapy or life coaching with us for help in feeling better. They’re feeling low, worried, or frustrated, and they genuinely don’t know what to do next. So, just like giving up and calling the plumber after you’ve futzed around with the leaky sink for three hours with no success, people reach out to us for therapy or life coaching.

“I want to have a better relationship,” “I want to stop my bad habits,” “I want to feel happier,” “I want to be healthier,” or “I need to figure myself out,” are all opening lines for transformational therapy or coaching. In all these situations people are saying, “I need to do something differently here, but I don’t know what yet.”

What they don’t realize is how incredibly smart and brave they already are for opening themselves up to growth. To guidance. To exploration. To understanding. It’s only then that their real journey can begin.

This sense of wanting more, and the awareness that continuing to do what you have been doing is just going to get you more of the same… that’s where it starts.

Inner Change Leads to Outer Change

The first step of any great therapy or coaching is the acknowledgement that something needs to change. (See above).

The second step is where we get to work pinpointing the current circumstances that need to be improved, or identifying exactly what’s happening in their relationships or careers that aren’t feeling good. That’s the external change where you try and do things differently. However, that alone is not enough to move the needle for most people.

Where the work — the magic, honestly — actually happens is when we start talking about what is going on inside of you that is currently supporting the results you DON’T want. Although it’s hard to believe, everything in our lives is the direct out come of all the choices we’ve made until now.

On our own, we don’t see it. We’re too close to it. We are simmering in the broth of our own feelings, judgments, automatic thoughts, and instinctive behaviors. Until we partner with someone else who can shine a light into our blind spots and help us see ourselves in a new way, we’re all destined to keep repeating our old patterns.

The truth will set you free.

Once you achieve self awareness, then everything else becomes available to you. Instead of reacting without thinking, you have choices. Instead of repeating old behaviors, you begin to act intentionally. Instead of feeling helpless or frustrated, you feel determined, hopeful, and empowered.

Before you know it, you’ve achieved a new way of being, thinking, feeling and behaving that will get you where you actually want to go in your relationships, your career, and in achieving your most important life goals.

You attain power over your life, your feelings, and your results in a way that you never thought possible before. Everything opens up, and you’re in control of not just yourself, but your future.

This is what happens. It’s what we do with our clients all day every day. But it’s still so abstract, isn’t it? It’s still hard to get a sense of what it actually looks like or feels like to be involved in meaningful personal growth work. You can read therapy reviews all day long, but that’s different than getting the inside scoop on what it actually feels like to go through it.

What Changing Your Life Actually Involves

So much of what we therapists and coaches do with our clients remains firmly behind closed doors. Because we respect the privacy of our clients (even with our reviews), we can’t peel back the hood and show you what the change process looks like for any individual. It takes a brave soul to raise their hand and say, “This is what changing my life actually was like — tell my story.”

It’s such a treasure when that happens though. We all learn from each other, and hearing how people just like us learned, changed, grew, and evolved, creates an inspirational path that we can then follow ourselves.

Today, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast that is exactly what we are doing. My dear colleague, fellow Denver therapist and online life coach Polly Drew has an inspiring story of personal transformation to share. She talks about the change process: From her first awareness that she had a problem, to how she got the motivation to start making changes, to the support and systems she needed to put into place in order to be successful in changing her life.

Polly is an incredibly wise, compassionate therapist and life coach who has helped countless people create transformation in their lives and relationships. She also practices what she preaches, and her own growth work has given her work with her clients depth, understanding, empathy, and power.

Learn how to really change your life on this episode of the podcast.

With love,

Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT & Polly Drew, M.Ed., LMFT

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

How to Start Making Positive Changes in Your Life

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: “Born to Become,” by Maya Johanna

Enjoy the Podcast?

Please rate and review the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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How to Start Making Positive Changes in Your Life

It's easy to see the positive outcomes of people who successfully change their lives, but you don't often hear about the ups and downs of their journey. Get the inside scoop and authentic truth of one woman's story on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. Read More
How-to-start-making-positive-changes-in-your-life-denver-therapy-online-life-coach-denver

Financial Success

Getting in control of your finances is a vital life-skill that impacts your emotional health, your relationships, your career, and your goals. Learn how, on this episode of the podcast featuring Profit Boss Hilary Hendershott. Read More
Financial Success How to Be Better With Money Online Life Coach Denver Therapy

How to Become Empowered

Do you feel ever feel depleted, resentful, or powerless? Turn it all around, by cultivating self-empowerment — the key to prioritizing yourself, setting boundaries, and creating healthy relationships with others. Learn how, on this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. Read More
self empowerment self awareness trusting yourself self care present moment awareness finding balance denver therapy online therapist online life coach

Financial Success

Financial Success

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

How To Be Better With Money

Money. Love it, hate it, it matters. Financial concerns can impact every area of your life, including your relationships, your career and even your self-esteem. Learning how to take charge of your financial success is vital to creating the life you want.

Money and Your Career

Think about your career: Are you doing what you love? Are you doing what you love but resentful and exhausted because you’re not getting paid enough for it? Or do you white knuckle your way through every workday at a job that you hate, because of the paycheck? Neither is ideal, and learning how to manage your money can be part of making positive changes in your career. 

Money and Your Emotional Health

How much money you have can make the difference between feeling safe and secure, and like you’re always scrambling and juggling to make ends meet. Furthermore, feeling like you’re failing financially can impact your self-esteem. Many people are carrying shame about their debt, or feel embarrassed by their financial circumstances.

Feeling like you never have quite enough can lead to stress and anxiety, and even feelings of depression. While money may not buy happiness, feeling like you generally have the resources to fund the lifestyle you enjoy can certainly impact the way you feel.

Have you ever said “no” to an out-of-town wedding because you felt like you couldn’t afford it? Or canceled your yoga class membership? Or slept less to put in a few extra hours on the job? Or denied yourself effective counseling or coaching, even if you knew it would really make a difference in your life? Or even made food choices that were less healthy, but more budget-friendly?

All of these scenarios are the intersection between your money and your self-care. Part of the reason getting a handle on your money is so important is so that you have the resources to nourish yourself, spend money on things that bring you genuine joy, or invest in something that fills your soul.

Once you have good financial skills, money can be a source of security and joy, rather than a constant worry. Really!

How Financial Differences Impact Relationships

We often think about our financial success in individual terms, but how you relate to money can also have a major impact in your marriage or partnership. When two people have very different financial goals, or relationships with money, financial differences can be a major source of conflict in a relationship. [Financial Therapy For Couples]

When couples fight about money, they’re often fighting about their values, priorities, and their hopes and dreams for the future. Over time, money fights can become bitter and entrenched, and can even lead to ruptures in your relationship. Understanding how to manage money as a couple is so important, it’s one of the skills we routinely teach couples in our Lifetime of Love premarital counseling class.

Improving the way you manage money as a couple involved both of you understanding your subconscious relationship with money, having open and honest conversations about your priorities, values and goals, and then working together to make a plan to create the financial future you want.

What Kind of Relationship Do You Have With Money?

The first step in learning how to be better with money is figuring out what kind of relationship you have with it... and then how to improve it.

Money always means different things to different people. For some, financial success means having a lot of stuff. For others, money in the bank means freedom and / or fun. Other people equate money with safety. Still others view financial security as a legacy to pass on to their family.

However, money is does not always have positive associations. You may, on an emotional level, feel that it’s wrong to acquire wealth or have too much money. You may have a subconscious belief that you always struggle financially, or that wealthy people are greedy and selfish.

Perhaps you’re intimidated by money. Many people are. Being fearful of making financial mistakes, or having anxiety about investing can lead to long term financial decisions that put you at a disadvantage.

Conversely, feeling comfortable with money and confident in your ability to handle it can turn it into a positive force in your life. One of the biggest issues that many people encounter when they are seeking to get better with money are their own — often hidden — associations, beliefs and emotions related to money.

Bringing these to the surface and deciding what beliefs are helpful to you currently (and which are getting in the way of your financial success)  will allow you to make real and lasting change in your relationship with money.

Get In Control of Your Finances

Part of becoming a whole person is learning how to cultivate financial success, according to your own terms. Learning how to be good with money is a life skill, just like taking care of your physical and emotional health, and learning how to have good relationships.

Learning how to be better with money is not just a matter of making a budget and stopping your $5 latte habit. Genuine financial success requires self-awareness, clarity about your core values, and intention — as well as a plan. Financial management is a vital life-skill that is learned, and once you have a tool-box of strategies to manage your money you can flourish in every way.

That’s why, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I’m speaking with Profit Boss Hilary Hendershott. Hilary is a Certified Financial Planner, financial advisor and a wealth coach. She has helped many people learn how to not just manage their finances, but create genuine abundance in their lives.

She’s here with actionable advice to help you:

  • Gain self awareness about your patterns with money
  • Stop sabotaging your financial success
  • Use your core values guide your financial decisions
  • Develop an intentional relationship with your money
  • Guide your money, easily and effortlessly
  • Create long-term financial peace

Listen to our discussion and get actionable advice from Hilary about how to start changing your relationship with money for the better, starting today.

 

xo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

Financial Success: How to Be Better With Money

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Enjoy the Podcast?

Please rate and review the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Google Play

How to Start Making Positive Changes in Your Life

It's easy to see the positive outcomes of people who successfully change their lives, but you don't often hear about the ups and downs of their journey. Get the inside scoop and authentic truth of one woman's story on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. Read More
How-to-start-making-positive-changes-in-your-life-denver-therapy-online-life-coach-denver

Financial Success

Getting in control of your finances is a vital life-skill that impacts your emotional health, your relationships, your career, and your goals. Learn how, on this episode of the podcast featuring Profit Boss Hilary Hendershott. Read More
Financial Success How to Be Better With Money Online Life Coach Denver Therapy

How to Become Empowered

Do you feel ever feel depleted, resentful, or powerless? Turn it all around, by cultivating self-empowerment — the key to prioritizing yourself, setting boundaries, and creating healthy relationships with others. Learn how, on this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. Read More
self empowerment self awareness trusting yourself self care present moment awareness finding balance denver therapy online therapist online life coach

How to Become Empowered

How to Become Empowered

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Living Like You Are Important, Too.

In our hectic, demanding lives, it’s easy to lose sight of ourselves: Who we are, how we feel and what we need. Even more challenging can be figuring out how to assert all-of-the-above in our relationships with others. This is particularly true if you’ve been existing in a toxic relationship or codependent relationship, or navigating the aftermath of a bad breakup. In the midst of stressful circumstances, attaining empowerment can seem out of reach — especially when you’ve been focused outwards rather than within.

What is Empowerment?

Empowerment can be thought of as one of the goals of self-actualization and personal growth. To be “empowered” is to feel confident, to trust yourself, to believe that your feelings are important, to consider yourself worthy of love and respect, and able to assert yourself appropriately in relationships. However it’s difficult to be truly empowered when you are out of touch with yourself, and feel disconnected from the type of life and relationships that feel energizing and nourishing to you.

Finding Balance Between Me and You

Self empowerment can feel challenging for people who care about other’s feelings, and who prioritize their connections with others. Why? Because for sensitive, caring people it can be easy to disown yourself and your feelings — making the way others feel, and what they need more of a priority than your own needs and feelings. Many people, especially women, can feel guilty when they ask for what they want. Furthermore, if you are in a relationship that does not support your empowerment, you may also feel like you’re risking having other people judge you or be angry with you if you start asking for what you need for a change. [Read: How to Stand Up For Yourself and Still Have Friends.]

However, at the same time, being dependent on other people to meet your needs or for the way you feel about yourself is inherently disempowering. If you wait for other people to take care of you instead of caring for yourself, you risk becoming resentful. And when you allow they way other people feel about you to define the way you feel about yourself, you become disconnected from yourself; transformed into a people pleaser, chasing the dragon of approval. [Listen: Stop Comparing Yourself To Others]

The last thing you want is to feel hollow, helpless, or increasingly bitter. While attaining empowerment can feel bold, or even scary, it’s really the only choice for a happy, healthy life and relationships. Believing that you are worthy of love and respect — and then behaving accordingly — helps you take care of yourself and teaches others how to treat you.

Empowerment Always Evolving

Empowerment is not something that you achieve and then have forever. For most people, living in a position of empowerment requires balance and constant realignment. To stay empowered means staying connected to your feelings, and the evolving landscape of your life. In this way, we can say that authentic, healthy “empowerment” is more of a life-skill than a destination.

Because developing empowerment is such a complex, yet vitally important part of the growth process for many people, I’m devoting an entire episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast to the topic. I’m also enlisting the support of a real-life “Empowerment Expert” to share her wisdom with you: my colleague Teena Evert, a fellow therapist and life coach on the Growing Self team. Teena specializes in helping people create empowered lives and authentic relationships, starting by focusing on how to build a strong foundation within themselves.

Attaining Empowerment

Teena and I are talking about many of the “pieces” involved with cultivating personal empowerment, including:

  • Mindful self-awareness
  • Building self-love and self-compassion
  • Why building a sustainable self-care routine is key to maintaining your solid foundation
  • How stress can impact your empowerment
  • The need to create balance by staying aware of your feelings
  • How to be assertive and set boundaries in relationships… while also being flexible
  • Trusting yourself
  • How to ask for what you need… while also having compassion and empathy for people you love
  • Developing a sense of self worth that is independent of external validation
  • How to not give your power away, blame others, or lose yourself in relationships
  • How to not fear your own power

 

How to Cultivate Empowerment in Your Life

Becoming a fully empowered person is a process, not an event. For most people, achieving this type of confidence and growth is acquired over months, even years of dedicated personal growth work. However, Teena shares many different strategies you can start using right now, to build your self awareness mindfully, treat yourself with compassion and respect, trust yourself, and start strengthening your feelings of empowerment. I hope her wisdom gives you insight into how to begin cultivating empowerment in your life.

Additionally, we discussed a number of resources on today’s show. Here are links to learn more:

Enneagrams – The self awareness / personality quiz we often use with our individual and couples here at Growing Self.

Cultivating Mindfulness Skills – Check out the “Happy Mind” unit of The Happiness Class.

With love and respect,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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Attaining Empowerment

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Sinead OÇonnor, “Just Like You Said It Would Be”

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Please rate and review the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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How to Be Your Best Self

How to Be Your Best Self

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 You Keep Falling in Love With The Wrong Person

Why You Keep Falling in Love With The Wrong Person

Do you attract the wrong people? Do you keep having toxic relationships?

If so, you’re not alone.

You’d be surprised at how many people come to us for life coaching, breakup recovery, individual therapy, or dating coaching hoping to achieve one goal: Having a healthy relationship. (And how to stop getting involved in unhealthy ones).

They show up to therapy or life coaching because they have, over time (or after the latest heartbreaking breakup) become aware that they are engaging in “non-ideal relationship patterns,” over and over again. They keep getting involved with narcissists, or people who treat them badly. They keep choosing emotionally unavailable men, or aggressive / controlling women. Whatever the sad pattern is, they want it to stop.

Above all else, they want to work on themselves to heal, grow, and ensure that NEXT time they get involved with someone they can love and be loved in a healthy relationship with a good person. And so we dig in.

Identifying Your Blind Spots

The first stop in figuring out why you keep choosing the wrong man or wrong woman is uncovering what unconscious motivations are driving your choices. Getting outside help in understanding your toxic relationship patterns can be a wise move, because of the entirely subconscious nature of the problem.  You don’t consciously choose bad relationships — no one does. You choose what feel  in the moment, are good relationships…. and then wind up having bad experiences. (That are often mysteriously, eerily similar to the past experiences you thought you were trying to avoid).

Unhealthy relationship patterns can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it’s old, unfinished emotional business from the past. Other times, your self-esteem or feelings of self-worth can get in the way. Yet other times, the root of the problem is imbedded in way you communicate or set boundaries with others. Because you are a complex, unique, individual, your truth will not be exactly the same as everyone else’s.

Avoiding Toxic Relationships

However, there is one very common thing that most people have done at least once, and which will almost always lead to heartbreak: Falling victim to “Black Hat Love.” Learning how to spot the one fatal factor that makes you most vulnerable to getting involved in toxic relationships can help you stop the madness, and finally create the happy, healthy relationship you’re longing for.

And that’s what I’ll be teaching you about on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

Have follow up questions for me? Leave them in the comments!

xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Why You Keep Falling in Love With The Wrong Person (And How to Stop)

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: “Bad Love,” by So Brown

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