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I started the year reflecting back on 2022 and truthfully, it wasn’t my worst year ever, but it wasn’t my best year either.
After talking to friends, creators, clients, and other coaches, it seems that the consensus has been that this year has been tough for a lot of people. In fact, I just read this article by the Harvard Business Review titled, Was 2022 the Year of Resilience?
With inflation, supply chain issues, covid still looming, soaring gas prices, a devastating war, and talks of a recession…. It’s been a tough year.
That's why in this month's newsletter, I'm going to talk about my own recent experiences of stress and anxiety, and the mind shifts that have helped me tremendously.
#1) You’ve made it through 100% of your hard days
One of my favorite ways to work through difficult times is reminding myself of the worst moments of my life and the fact that I have made it through every one of them.
The day my 9-year-old son was hit by a car and life-flighted.
The day I failed organic chemistry prolonging acceptance to my graduate program.
The day I re-homed Champ (our dog) and wept as he drove away (if you’re not a dog person it won't mean much - I didn’t used to be, but IYKYK)
And of course, the day Dan was diagnosed with colon cancer and the day I buried him, wanting to crawl into the ground with him and never wake up.
Each of these moments were hard, and as these moments are, at the time, I felt like they were the worst moments of my life.
But I made it through, and so have you.
Think about that for a second.
You have made it through 100% of your bad days.
All of those days where you felt overwhelmed, overworked, and under appreciated.
The days where you were beat up, broken down, and ready to throw in the towel.
You made it through…. Every. Single. One.
Sometimes you just have to remember that time is always on your side, and that “this too shall pass”.
#2) “Ships don't sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them.”
Don’t let what’s happening on the outside, get on the inside.
And these days, it sure seems like there is a lot “happening on the outside”.
In a world that can sometimes feel out of control, the only thing you can control is what is going on inside of you.
I’ve had a lot of emotions this past year, with starting a new coaching business and watching my youngest child leave the nest. So much of my heart was wrapped up in my 4 kids (and still is), but I had to find new ways to create my identity.
Throughout the past year I had to constantly remind myself to recognize that I can’t let everything that’s happening on the outside, affect me on the inside - and to take it day by day.
Mindset is everything and the more you can work on creating clarity and stillness on the inside, the more you can escape the chaos on the outside.
If you’re looking to improve your mindset and haven’t already listened to my 4-day Morning Mindset challenge, you can do so here.
#3) “Bad days” are just part of the program
Do you remember when commercials were just a part of watching TV?
There was no getting around it.
Then television technology expanded and gave us the option to click a button and boom you could skip all of the commercials. And yet they still keep sneaking in one way or another.
Whether you’re watching something amazing on youtube and half way through you are forced to watch a few ads, or you're scrolling through your feed knowing that sponsored ads are just a part of the deal.
Heck, even movie theaters have planted commercials into the previews… one minute I’m watching a trailer about a new upcoming RomCom and the next thing I’m seeing is a commercial from a local plumber. What?!
Well what if that’s just part of the deal?
And what if bad days are similar.
They are just part of the story.
What if there is no getting around it (unlike Youtube or Spotify where you can pay to not have ads) - what if they are just part of life. We’re going to have good days and bad days.
It’s helpful for me to keep this perspective. To just know, that not all days are going to be great. I don’t need to attach any meaning at all to a bad day other than… “Oh hi, I see you, terrible rotten day.” Okay, well let’s just get through it the best we can, and know that a good day is waiting for you right around the corner!
# 4) Growth rarely feels good, but progress sure does
We all know that we feel so good once we have accomplished something hard.
But truthfully it doesn’t feel so good when we are going through the “hard”.
Metaphorically we want the muscle, but lifting the weight can sometimes feel a little exhausting and overwhelming.
This past year was a year of heavy lifting in the realm of “technology” for me.
I launched my first coaching beta-group in the beginning of 2022 which required a lot of new technology. A new website (I used Squarespace), a new email provider (I used FloDesk), a new calendar scheduler (I used PaperBell), and a new course platform (I used Teachable)...along with other things like learning Loom, Zoom, Asana, and Google Suites. I am a one-woman-show so there was a lot of frustration, pulling out my hair, and even some tears.
But the truth is that I learned new skills, dusted off some old ones, and grew significantly in the process. And growth and progress feel really good.
Honestly, there are some things that I would have done differently, for example, I just replaced every element of all that technology with newer all-in-one software.
I figure I have two ways to look at it:
I can look back and think “Oh my gosh, what an absolute waste of time.”
Or I can take a different approach and think, “I must have needed to take all of those learning stepping stones in order to be where I am today” (which I do believe.)
And in a world where you can think anything you want, why not think the thoughts that feel good.
Which brings me to my next lesson.
#5 Choose the thoughts that LIFT you
We all have some version of ourselves that we want to be.
We have an idea of how we want to spend our time, how we want to treat others, and how we want to show up in the world.
One thing I know FOR SURE, is that our thoughts play a big role in whether or not we show up as that person.
I listened to this podcast with a beloved church leader who said something along the lines of:
“If you have thoughts, and the Spirit leaves, stop thinking those thoughts.”
Boy did that hit me.
I’m a spiritual person, and I do my best to try and stay connected to God.
Previously, I hadn’t given much regard to the fact that my thoughts could impact having His spirit with me.
So for a few days I started taking note of the times when I was feeling peaceful, calm, confident, loving, compassionate, and kind versus the times that I was feeling anxious, irritated, stressed, worried or offended.
And do you want to know the only difference?
The circumstances didn’t change. Only my thoughts did.
I now love this concept : you are only ever one thought away from how you are experiencing your circumstances.
It’s proven and it’s powerful.
So while yes, sure, we are going to have bad days, the way we handle those days, and the thoughts that we choose, can make the biggest difference of all.
#6 You won’t feel like this tomorrow
I did a personality test once and it said I was a “fire”.
I’m not sure where that leaves me on the enneagram scale, but I am passionate, easily excitable, and sometimes a little too emotional.
Sometimes I get worked up. I let my mind start racing, especially when I’m really upset, and I let that “fire” run through my thoughts.
I recently watched this interview with Brene Brown, and being the “shame expert” that she is, she was talking about the times when she felt shame.
She said that she had learned to recognize the feelings and that when they were present she knew not to do anything, her rule is don’t “talk, text, or type” in those moments. (I need to adopt this same practice when I am hungry or tired :)
It's a powerfully simple tool - learning to practice the pause.
As Much as those thoughts and emotions feel all-encompassing in the moment, the truth is that they pass.
In your most stressed times, it's helpful to remember that you likely won’t feel the same way in the morning.
#7 “Calm is a choice”
I don’t even remember where I heard this last year, but it has resonated with me ever since.
I’m actually writing this email alone in a hotel room, half-way across the world, after nightmare travel plans went awry, waiting to be rerouted home.
As I was in the airport, trying not to lose my cool or my mind, this is the thought that kept running through my mind: calm is a choice.
Life happens. Crappy things happen. Circumstances that we can’t control sometimes happen.
But staying calm is a choice.
And studies have shown that something as simple as breathing can reduce heart rate, lower stress hormones, and even improve longevity. And the best part is that it only takes a few minutes and can be done anywhere.
Nothing is ever made better with added worry or stress, so why not choose to be calm instead?
#8 There’s nothing you can’t get through
I think of all the messages that I would want to convey, this would be right at the top.
One of my favorite verses is this:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
It's somehow like Paul knew that the same message that was so powerful almost 2000 years ago would be just as pertinent today.
There’s nothing that you can’t get through.
Call it a mantra, an affirmation, or a personal motto… this is what I wish we could instill in every young person today.
One of our basic human needs is for safety and security - but the real secret is that this comes from within.
Money, homes, and cars don’t really buy security. They can make us feel secure. But markets can crash and economies can fail. Real security comes from a deep sense of self-resilience and confidence knowing that there isn’t anything you can’t get through.
I love this quote by Henry Ford, "The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability."
I hope you enjoyed this week's email where I share some of the mindset shifts that have helped me. If there is someone you know, that might benefit from them, please forward them this email :)
My mission with these emails is to share the things that have helped me on my journey!
I would love to invite you to be a part of my Change Academy Coaching Program which you can learn more about here.
Lots of love,
P.S. - I am a big reader and rarely come across a book that I would give a 10 out of 10… but I just finished one! It's called Where the Wind Leads by Vinh Chung and I highly recommend listening to the Audible version. It was absolutely incredible, and I've thought so much about it since. On that note, are there any books you would give a 10/10? If so, please let me know!
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