Growing Pains – Steps to Taking Overall Wellness to the Next Level

Know yourself and your motives for true transformation.

Shannon Kaiser – ‘The Self-Love Experiment’

There are a lot of reasons that I shouldn’t struggle with depression and anxiety the way that i do.

I am becoming a mother, FINALLY have a career that I love, have a husband and dog and home that are full of love, and I have amazing friends.

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?!

This is the question that I have been asking myself for the past year as I embark on this journey to find my joy and end my depression. I have taken action, I have read all the books, I have made new and better habits, and I have removed negative “basement dwellers”* from my life. Yet STILL I am struggling with crippling depression and anxiety on a daily basis. I have been in a cycle of doing great, waking up early, being productive, feeling happy and then crashing and self sabotaging and having to start all over again. This has been really discouraging for me at times, but mostly it has challenged me to really look at why I stay in these negative thought patterns when I know that I can be free from them.

The Following are reasons and thought patterns that I discovered within myself (that apparently a lot of people deal with) that are keeping me from my potential:

  • I have inherited a lot of self deprecating, negative thought patterns from my family – this is a topic for another time.
  • I have not taken the ACTION needed to change my negative though patterns. This takes work and intentional daily affirmations and practice.
  • I have a powerful OVERWHELMING feeling of unworthiness – this has been called the “impostor syndrome”**
  • I have a tendency to wallow in self pity and blame my state of mind and circumstances on those around me – this was an early adopted coping mechanism for me and has been very difficult to overcome.

I have up until this point in my life not taken any action necessary to overcome these patterns. I have certainly noticed the roller coaster that I’ve been riding. At the bottom instead of thinking “what can I do differently to not go through this again” I have simply acknowledged the pattern and then proceeded to try and ignore it again.

Here is what I have done in the past year to overcome my habits of self sabotage and depression:

  • Counselling! I was forced into a lot of counselling and other such nonsense growing up and was extremely reluctant to pursue this option. Once I hit rock bottom about a year ago and decided I was willing to try anything to feel better, I hopped on betterhelp.com and got my stubborn sad ass into therapy. This is first on my list because it is arguably the most important step that I have taken on my journey to overall wellness and happiness. My therapist is literally a life coach – teaching me how to overcome the craziness going on in my brain. She also is someone that I can process through my PTSD with – some things are just to much to process on our own! Or with your closest girlfriends over coffee for that matter, let’s be real.
  • Exercise! This one may seem so OBVIOUS and annoying but here me out! Getting out of my comfort zone and into the gym on a regular basis has really helped me in so so many ways. 1) I feel sexier 2) I feel proud that I have done and am mastering something WAAAY out of my comfort zone 3) Exercise releases “happy chemicals” (endorphins) which my brain is not very good at making on its own 4) It gives me a place to grow and push myself outside of my mind, career, or relationships. If I can do 25 burpees after running 15 min then I can do anything!! This has been HUGE for me.
  • Being ok with not being ok. I kept my depression and anxiety to myself for a long time, even my husband didn’t know the extent of my mental battle. As soon as I was open with my husband, friends, and counselor about what was going on inside my brain all day it helped more than I can put into words. Especially with my husband. Once I was honest with him about what was going on, it explained a lot of my behavior and I was able to educate him on how to support me through my healing. This has helped our relationship dramatically! I still struggle with being honest about my journey, but strive to be honest about it as much as I can.
  • Reading all of the books ! I have committed to consuming one inspiring or self-help article/chapter/youtube video/ etc everyday. This has really helped me change the dialogue in my head from destructive to constructive and positive!
  • Taking action!! I have ACTUALLY been doing the things that I have been talking about doing for years to advance my career and become the woman I dreamed I would be as a girl. The key here is that I have been taking action and moving forward WHEN I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT. I still struggle with feeling qualified and “ready” for all of the wonderful responsibility that I have now. However, whenever I feel like that I just look at where I was a year ago, at all of the beautiful people and things in my life, and am reminded that I can handle it and that I do deserve it.

Well, I hope this has been helpful. The only reason I am sharing my story is to let someone out there know that not matter your background, circumstance, mental illness, or past you CAN have a life that you love. It will never be perfect, but you are worthy of the dreams and happiness that you were born with.

That will be all!

*basement dwellers: comes from an analogy that I learned in my time as a Mary Kay consultant. The analogy is to imagine life as a very tall building. Many people find themselves in the basement – a place where mediocrity, complaining, and being broke are all things that are common place. Once you decide that you want more for your life and start climbing to the balcony – where all the wealthy, happy, helpful, awesome people are – other basement dwellers will try to bring you back down to their level. Mostly because you moving forward brings acute awareness to their miserable or mediocre way of life and they don’t like that! Getting from the basement to the balcony is hard for a lot of reasons but especially because of people that you know and love that try to keep you in the basement. It is really really important to respectfully remove these people from your inner circle, especially if they don’t support your growth or grow with you. An example of this would be if you decided to stop smoking and your friends all continually teased you about this and said things like, “Well it’s only a matter of time before you cave and smoke again” or “Want a cig? Oh wait that’s right your too goody two shoes for us I forgot. We’ll be outside” (Lame example – but I think it illustrates this concept well)

**impostor syndrome:  “can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. They seem unable to internalize their accomplishments, however successful they are in their field. High achieving, highly successful people often suffer, so imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. In fact, some researchers have linked it with perfectionism, especially in women and among academics.”

https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome

Your Blog is Your Resume!! Lessons Learned from my First Application to a Freelance Writing Gig

It’s been a while guys. I keep avoiding writing because I keep reading other blogs that are more put together and polished then mine. I keep thinking, “What could I possibly have to offer or say that hasn’t already been said?”, and many other such silly things.

It’s funny the things that we tell ourselves when we are stepping out of our comfort zone.

I’ve stopped playing the comparison game though. I am no longer giving thoughts of self doubt and comparison the space they previously took up in my life.

Recently a friend of mine recommended that I apply for a position at her company, finder.com. It was a research/writing job in the Personal Finance field,and I happen to have a lot of knowledge and education in. What a golden opportunity!

Here’s what happened:

1.) I spent 6 hours composing an email to their hiring manager for the US along with a BEAUTIFUL resume.

2.) Their hiring manager got back to me right away, and asked me for some writing samples. I naturally sent a link to my blog.

3.) She emailed me back saying, in short, that I was not the best fit for the position. They needed someone with more financial experience.

Let me just say that I am in no way dissing finder.com, I think it’s a fabulous company and browser, and their hiring manager was extremely thoughtful and prompt in our communication about this position.

In fact, I highly recommend you guys check out finder.com There is tons of great content there that have helped me make some wiser consumer choices. Go check them out!!

Back the story: The moral of the story is that – even though I made an immaculate resume – my blog told my story for them. In this virtual land that I am trying to find my place in, my blog is my voice, my resume, my very own piece of the internet.

What a learning curve! Needless to say my inspiration and why for why I started my blog have been affirmed and redefined. I am here to share my journey and what I have learned in hopes that I will add value to the lives and minds of my readers.

You guys are awesome and feel free to share any thoughts or comments!!

http://kaylabowenphotography.com – photos

A Quick Blog for Thought

For some reason, this whole blogging thing is not coming as naturally to me as I thought. I keep sitting down in different parts of my house at different times thinking that if I can just find my zen that the writing will come naturally to me.

But it just hasn’t yet, thus emphasizing the lesson that I am learning about self discipline and working even when I don’t “feel inspired”

I really don’t “feel” like writing at all.

HOWEVER, the whole reason I started this blog is to create a space were people can be authentic, and find success authentically. I want to be and facilitate conversations and places that are on another level. Words, stories, songs, projects that all point to genuine happiness and the greater good.

And that all starts here, with me sitting here making myself do what I am supposed to be doing, even though I don’t feel like it right now.

It’s a common misconception that if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, that it “never feels like work”

This I have found to be partially true, but leaves out a major part of the story.

What I think the experts and success stories in our lives are trying to tell us is that walking in your gifts isn’t soul sucking like a “job” would be. This much is true, I don’t think that anyone could argue with that.

BUT, what they often gloss over are the moments when you really just don’t feel like working on your passion project because of (fill in the blank) reason. They don’t talk about how REAL the self doubt and objections feel, or how they had days where they didn’t spend any time moving towards their goals at all.

So many people never ever talk about the really real mental battle that entrepreneurship can be and often is.. This brings us back to the point of this post:

Watching the interview in the link below with Lilly Singh* was truly such a breath of fresh air for me. It was so refreshing to hear her acknowledge the fact that she has bad days too, and that there are no “tips or tricks for success”-just a lot of hard work. Hard work on a mental, spiritual, and physical level is what takes you where you want to go.

This interview is absolutely fabulous and an absolute honor to watch. Shout out to Tom Bilyeu* for consistently creating fabulous content with some of the coolest people on the planet.

Watch the damn video, take notes, and have a killer week! Cheers!

https://youtu.be/6Yy9wuA4xuo

Lilly Singh : SUPERWOMAN

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnYMOamNKLGVlJgRUbamveA

Tom Bilyeu : Impact Theory

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnYMOamNKLGVlJgRUbamveA

Getting to the REAL Reason “Why?” : Why having a “Why” is so Important in Business and in Life

A “Why” is a term used across the “self-improvement” and Entreprenurial worlds. Essentially, a “Why” is the strongest most compelling reason why you want to do whatever is you daydream about. A “Why” is key to success in life and business, and therefor is very powerful. A true why will make you cry (or if you are not the crying type) it will at least make you have a strong emotional reaction.

You can have more than one “Why” and your why will change and go deeper with time. For example, I had a business coach when I worked in direct sales that had two main “Why’s”. Her first initial “Why” was that she needed to make a career out of direct sales because her health kept her from pursuing her career in the restaurant industry. It was either live off the government and live a mediocre life, or find a way to make an income on her own time that is flexible for her health. That, as you can imagine, is a really strong reason “Why” and got her pretty far in her business. However with time, she began to need another “Why” to take her to the next level and organically realized her passion for coaching. Her new and deeper “Why” is helping other women realize their best lives and full potential.

A compelling “Why” for doing what you’re doing is so important! It keeps you motivated even through the toughest decisions and times. A “Why” is the underlying theme of your life and your work!

Another reason a “Why” is so important, is it acts as an inner compass. Keeping you on track and in alignment with what dreams and your plans of achieving them. It will help you clarify what is the wrong or right decision in any situation. When you are in touch with your “Why”, you become stronger and much harder to sway away from your path to success.

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“Journaling on and thinking on these topics should get you pretty close to your ‘Why’ if not right on it. Your “Why” should go deep, it should go to your core, it should literally physically move you. When I realized my deepest ‘Why’ I cried for about an hour.”

So… This is all great girlfriend, but how the hell do I figure out what my “Why” even is???

Here is a quick exercise you can meditate and journal on to get to your true “WHY”

Make sure you are in a good state of mind. Pick your most creative time of day, and set aside part of it to really get in touch with yourself. Then sit down and journal on these questions.

1.) (Start on the Surface) What do I spend my time on during the day, week, month, year? 

  • Don’t spend too much time here, just break down what it is you do and spend time on. This is to give yourself perspective.

2.) What would your ideal life look like by day, month, year? Where are you? Who is with you? What are you doing?  Where are you making an impact? 

  • Again, take your time here. Take even more time than with the first question. REALLY let yourself DREAM AGAIN.

3.) What are you naturally very good at and enjoy doing? 

  • What is it that you wish you could do more of? What do people come to you for help or advice about? What do you get complimented on the most?

4.) Let’s just say that you made $20,000 a month, what would you spend the money on? Daily, monthly, yearly? 

  • I know, money isn’t everything, but  this question will help you figure out what’s really important to you. We spend money on things that are important or meaning full to us. Maybe make a prioritized list? Get creative!

5.) Literally write down 50+ reasons why you want to do _______. 

  • An example would be you want to start an online boutique but have been too timid to take any action. Write down 50 reasons why you want to start that boutique so badly! Economic freedom, love of fashion, a way to connect other women to cheap cute clothes, etc.

Journaling on and thinking on these topics should get you pretty close to your “Why” if not right on it. Your “Why” should go deep, it should go to your core, it should literally physically move you. When I realized my deepest “Why” I cried for about an hour.

When you get to your “Why”, put it in a mission statement! Make it memorable and palpable so that you can find it and draw energy from it when things are tough. You can do this by putting it on your vision board, car dash-board, mirror. Somewhere it is always accessable for inspiration. Eg. “I started this Amazon FBA business as a way to earn a living, wealthy wage and spend more time with my family. My boys are 7 and 9, and I won’t miss another game or another lost tooth because I’m working 60+ hours a week for someone else’s dream .”

Get Specific. Get Creative. Do not underrate the power of inspiration.

Do not underestimate the power of “WHY”.

 

24

Here I am,  just another millennial that quit her job, started a blog and hoped for the best.

And you know what the worst part is?

Having to explain what I “do”. Especially to my future husband’s grandparents who built their fortune with their bare hands on a farm back East.

I usually just stick to saying that I work from home, or I only mention my Amazon FBA business.

So how did I get here? It’s a long story, but basically I got bit by the “entrepreneurship”  bug 3 years ago haven’t been able to keep a “job” for more than 6 months ever since. And not because I keep getting fired, but because the pull towards the life that I want has been so strong that it’s made it impossible for me to stay happy at any jobs.

I walked away from several promising jobs/careers from ranging from Finance to the Wine Industry, baffling friends and colleagues alike.Basically my cycle was: I’d get a job out of necessity (need of liquidity, networking, etc) and would quit as soon as I thought I was ready to be self-employed.

Not very functional.

Why on Earth did I do things that way? Here are the top ten reasons it took me until 24 to figure out what the fuck I’m doing with my life.

1.) I came from a poor working class family, and didn’t even know what the word “Entrepreneur” was 3 years ago.

2.) I had poor financial management in my first business, and put myself $10,000 into debt. I have spent the last 2 years paying that off, and am bootstrapping from now on.

3.) I had to do literally thousands of hours worth of research on ways to work for yourself. After discovering podcasts such as The Tim Ferris Show*, and Travel Like a Boss* I decided I wanted to make money online. Thus many more hours of research figuring out where I fit in on the Internet.

4.) I got really discouraged after my first business failed, choosing to believe that I was not cut out for entrepreneurship or success. It took me almost 9 months to climb out of that crippling depression.

5.) I was homeless or nearly homeless for about a year after fleeing an abusive relationship-naturally that set me back emotionally and monetarily.

6.) I played the blame game, doing what I had done my whole adult life. Avoiding taking personal responsibility for my life because I felt it was out of my control.

7.) I suffer from what some would call “analysis paralysis”, a term I first heard on the Project Life Mastery* channel. This is when you over-analyze a situation/proposition/etc to the point where you don’t take any action for fear of making the wrong choice.

8.) I always thought I would be a famous singer. In fact I was so convinced of this that I was not at all prepared for real life after high school.

9.) I made poor choices in friends and priorities for a number of years.

10.) I learn best by trial and error, which is a lengthly and costly way to learn. I am better at doing my homework now, as supposed to being spontaneous. However I still believe that sometimes the best way to get where you are going is by following your intuition. Even if you are not sure you know where it’s taking you.

I will write another post about what I actually do with my time soon. I promise.

I suppose all I really want to make sure I get through to you is that no matter how many wrong turns or mistakes you make, it is important that you never stop following your inner compass and searching for more. You are unique and no one else in the world has what you have to offer, or can do what you do best better than you.

Thank you, come again. DSC_0179

 

Podcast – The Tim Ferriss Show

http://www.travellikeabosspodcast.com/

https://projectlifemastery.com/