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Fear, overwhelm and feeling anxious are some of the most common emotions my clients list as causing them to feel stuck, unhappy, unable to change their lives.
Anxiousness is an emotion that I have learnt to look at with compassion, kindness and the firmness of a strict parent.
But it hasn’t always been that way.
For a very long time the anxiety that I felt, pretty much every day of my life, was something I ran from
I pushed it away with food, alcohol, partying, dieting, exercising, working, running miles and miles every day. I was not just mentally running from it, I was physically too.
I numbed out.
I did everything I could to avoid feeling it.
Not surprisingly, this approach didn’t work out all that well.
I found myself exhausted, overwhelmed, in a cycle of control, obsessive dieting and exercising, overworking, over drinking, over exercising. Basically ‘overing’ my life away.
I found myself feeling stuck in a life on repeat, of every day being about work, exercise, glass of wine, little sleep, repeat. I had spent a decade building my legal career, I had everything that is meant to make you happy and fulfilled, yet I was not clear on what the point of it all was. I didn’t feel fully alive and engaged, I was rushed, exhausted and uninspired.
Don’t get me wrong. There were moments of pleasure and fun, but most of it was pretend. The bottle of wine on a Friday night felt good at the time, but overall it was causing me more pain.
My mind and body were exhausted.
I was running from my uncomfortable emotions.
Hoping they would eventually go away.
Avoiding them by checking out.
Then over a period of time I realised.
Those negative emotions were never going away.
I could run from them, into a bottle of wine, my career, mindless TV, over shopping and exercising, and continue to feel unfulfilled, going through the motions, dusty and tired.
Or there was an alternative.
I could turn around.
Take a good long look at my life.
Be willing to feel uncomfortable.
And, finally, be honest with myself about what it is I wanted.
I had been unconsciously using this feeling of anxiousness as a reason to hide.
As a reason to not pursue my dreams.
As a reason to quit when it got hard.
I realised that if I kept waiting for it to go away my headstone would read ‘died waiting for the fear to go away!’
Are you waiting for the fear to go away?
Because we picked the wrong universe if we expect life to be all sunshine and unicorns all of the time!
Here is what I learnt, when I stopped running from myself, when I turned around and took a good look at the beautiful mess.
– I can handle negative emotions like overwhelm, stress and fear. I don’t need to numb out and avoid them.
– Numbing out with dieting, exercising, drinking and overworking in a job that no longer aligned with what I wanted for my life was causing me even more discomfort than the anxiousness!
– I am not my mind.
– I can decide how I think, feel and act, every day, every moment. My circumstances do not dictate this.
– I realised that I was never going to feel 100% confident in anything unless I was first willing to fail.
– I found the courage to feel anxious and do it anyway.
We all know that person who has been talking about changing careers for years, or losing weight, or leaving a relationship…but nothing ever changes. The same ‘problems’ on repeat.
We can all choose this.
To stay in a good job that we don’t love and live for the weekends.
To choose overwhelm and busyness, forever rushed and exhausted.
To keep overworking, over drinking, over procrastinating, overing our days away avoiding the fact we are uncomfortable where we are.
Same problems, old problems, year in year out.
We can choose new problems.
Who the hell am I?
What do I really want?
Who do I want to grow into?
Where am I going?
How am I going to get there?
We can decide between the pain of being stuck or the pain of growing!
The discomfort of a life on repeat or the discomfort of a life of new challenges.
So many of us use fear and anxiety as an excuse to quit, or to not even begin.
As a reason not to pursue our dreams.
To not do the work.
To hide in the cave.
Where in your life are you running?
Where are you not willing to look?
Perhaps it is in your relationship or marriage?
In your role as a parent?
Your friendship group or network?
In your relationship with yourself and your body?
In how you turn to food, alcohol, Netflix, shopping, exercise, work to avoid, to numb out from your life?
Tired? Bored? Disconnected? Half alive?
What would your life look like if you stopped running from yourself?
If you turned around?
Took a good look?
And were willing to feel uncomfortable?
You can do hard things.
You can choose new problems.
Ones that will move you forward.
Toward the person you want to be.
Toward being the best possible version of yourself.
You can choose today to turn up as your best self in your marriage, relationships, career, community.
Hard things are part of the deal of being human.
Hard things, when you choose them consciously, lay the path to your dreams.
We all have a choice, we make it every single day.
We either choose:
The same problems, a life on repeat, where every day is the same.
Or a life of new problems, ones we want to have, ones that move us toward growth, toward who we want to be, to freedom.
I promise you, choosing the problems you want to have, choosing the fear and anxiousness that comes with growth, with stretching yourself toward the person you want to be, is the most fulfilling, exciting, joyful thing you can do for yourself.
One year ago, I decided, yet again, to stop drinking alcohol.
I also decided to stop watching television, reading the newspaper and bull-shitting (aka people pleasing, lying, pretending).
The thing is, this time, that decision became a commitment that I honoured 100% to this day.
I have been thinking about that place I was in a year ago and trying to figure out what was different to all the other times I had promised myself I would stop drinking?
Maybe you don’t drink, or you have no issue with your drinking.
That is not the point.
Think about that thing you have been wanting to change, do, stop, start…for what seems like forever. That thing that you talk about (usually just to yourself), but never actually do.
Wine was that for me.
It was that thing I wanted to not want, I wanted to do other things with my time, life, nights, mornings when I didn’t feel particularly high functioning!
So, what was different…
I remember I saw the end of the year approaching and I was actually bored with myself and the same story I had going around in my head.
I saw the ‘silly season’ approaching and physically felt repelled by it.
It felt like every year, the same life, on repeat.
Half alive, half present, half myself.
And I did not want to waste another day bullshitting to myself.
I was ready to take my business and my life to the next level.
I wanted to grow as a parent, wife, coach and business owner.
I wanted different problems.
Wine was not a problem I wanted in my life any more.
People pleasing, saying yes to everything, making myself so busy that there was no time left for what really mattered were on that list as well.
So, I stopped.
And it was hard.
But we humans can do hard things.
And when we trim back all the stuff that no longer serves us.
When we let go of all the stuff that is not essential.
When we release all the baggage.
Like a rose bush that needs to be pruned.
We make room for our lives to flourish.
What is the problem you have had rolling around in your life for years?
Are you bored of it?
Do you want better problems?
Because if you do this.
If you commit 100% to removing that problem from your life.
Here is the result you will get:
Better relationships with those you love.
Clarity on what really matters.
Less superficial bullshit.
Less worry, ruminating, indecision, quitting.
Personal and professional growth like you could never have expected.
Fear and anxiety about all the new things you decide to do with your time, your life.
A sense of fulfilment and deep joy in knowing your strength, knowing who you really are, knowing that you are infinite potential, infinite possibility.
Don’t wait for January 1 to make the same promise to yourself. Get that one done and dusted today. Make 2018 about something far more important, far more exciting, make 2018 about new problems not old ones!
Who are you?
What do you want?
What is your plan to get it? By when?
For most of my client achievement is not the issue.
They set goals, they reach them.
They are effective, present, resilient.
They get it all done, plus some more.
But one thing I see that holds many back from functioning at a high level with optimal wellbeing over the long term is lack of clarity.
With thoughts like…
I am just going through the motions
Another day on repeat
So much on I never seem to be able to catch up
I’m good at what I do, but I am distracted
I feel frustrated, unfulfilled, yet life on the outside looks great, good job, nice family
I’m effective, grateful, I get it all done
I’m marching on, I’m just not sure where to…
And therein lies the issue.
Achievement is not their issue.
Clarity and alignment is.
To have clarity in our life we need to know who we are, what we are doing, where we are going and why it matters.
Clarity does not get delivered to us on the back of a unicorn.
It comes from asking questions, being curious and experimenting.
It comes from taking a good look inside.
Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you get clear on where to.
Who are you?
What are your values?
What are your highest priorities?
What do you want for yourself in the future?
What is it you are growing toward, into?
What is your plan for achieving your goals?
KNOWING WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.
Do your goals stretch you?
Do they inspire you?
Do you have a deadline for when you will achieve them by?
What is your strategy for getting there?
CREATING FROM YOUR FUTURE SELF
Do you focus on the past when defining your future potential or do you create from your future possibility?
Who do you want to Be?
What do you want to grow into?
What skills do you need to be that person?
How do you want to feel in the future?
How do you want to think, speak, act?
Imagine your ideal self in the future, your best self and describe that self in detail.
How can you live into that self from today?
How can your self talk support that future self?
What three words sum up that future self? E.g. loving, connected, serving, engaged, energised, present, fit, listening, leading…
How do you want to Be in these areas of your life:
In your family
Think about how you want to speak, what energy you want to bring, how you want to role model, lead, listen, serve. Describe how you intend to turn up in your life, in all areas.
How can you be more intentional in how you turn up in the world?
How do you want to be remembered?
Describe how you want the following people to remember you:
How do you invest in yourself? In your mental health and personal development?
What skills do you need to develop in order to grow into your future ideal self?
Do you make time for coaching, learning, reading, self directed education?
Are you actively seeking to develop your skills, your habits, your mind or are you distracted with television, social media, Netflix?
Why does what you do matter?
Do you connect with the people you serve? Your children, customers, family, community?
What difference do you make to them?
How can you serve and make a contribution?
When we are clear on where we are going we are more certain, assertive and focused.
We are more intentional about what we give our time, attention, energy and love to.
We are strategic and considered about who we are, how we show up, what we do.
We think better, we feel better, we get better results.
These ideas and questions only create value for you in your life when you answer and action them.
You are extraordinary.
Your life can be too.
You just have to take a look inside and decide who you are, where you are going and why.
So much love to you my friend.
PS. If you are ready to take this work to the next level you have to check out Your Life Designed. It is my monthly coaching program that brings together the best work I have ever done. SERIOUSLY this is a program that will change your life for the better. I guarantee it.
It brings together the latest research on human potential and high performance and teaches you actionable strategies to implement in your life. It takes the ideas, knowledge and learning to the next level, so that you get the results you want in your life.
How do we live with optimal wellbeing, perform at our best and stay sane long term?
This coaching program gives you the skills to consistently perform at a high level in all areas of your life with a sense of joy, confidence and fulfilment.
You will get clarity on what it is that you want for your future, what you want to grow into.
You will clean up your life, get a handle on overwhelm, learn to manage your mind, emotions, time and expectations.
You will identify what drives you, what you are deeply connected to, what your why is.
You will learn the essential habits that will ensure you maintain wellbeing, performance and energy long term.
This program will transform your life, I guarantee it.
If you do the work and after a year do not have more joy, confidence and overall a better quality of life I will give you your money back, all of it.
Your Life Designed.
Register here http://lauracarrocci.com/get-in-touch/
What follows that?
I am stuck.
I am lost.
I am angry.
I am not enough.
I am not smart enough.
How do you feel when you think this?
How do you act when you feel this way?
Who are you when you think like this?
I am going to get this done.
I am finding out how.
I am committed to love.
I am strong.
I am empowered.
I am generous.
I am kind.
I have something to offer this world.
How do you feel when you think this?
How are you inspired to act?
Be careful what you say to yourself and others about yourself and your life.
Speak it as you want it to be.
What are you inviting into your life?
So much love.
ps. If you have not checked out my monthly coaching program Your Life Designed you must. Coaching is the best form of personal and professional development for high functioning individuals. Your mindset is the foundation of your wellbeing, of your life. Investing in it is the best investment you will ever make.
Your Life Designed will change your life, I guarantee it. One powerful group of people, designing the life they desire.
Register you’re interested here: firstname.lastname@example.org