Personal-Development in the Car!


I may have complained in a previous post about my 15-minute drive to and from my daughter’s high school every day, but here are a couple truths: first, I never HAD to drive her. I could have figured something else out. Instead, I chose to. That by itself opens my mind to all the reasons I wanted to, and there are several:

  1. It gives me the feeling that I’m a solid mom (which mom doesn’t want that? Be honest!);

  2. It sometimes provides the opportunity to genuinely chat with my sweet girl, when she’s up for it;

  3. Where some might see it as an interruption in the day, I have learned to see it as structure --it’s given my daily calendar some anchor points around which to build everything else; and finally,

  4. On the leg when I’m alone, after dropping my daughter off, I get to indulge in self-development podcasts, knowing for certain it's not a form of procrastination since, what else can I do while I’m driving?!

So in the total of 75 minutes last week when I was alone in the car, driving there or back, here’s what I gleaned from all those self-development gurus about my journey towards $100K:

Via MindValley, two mega entrepreneurs, Jon and Missy Butcher, taught me that there could be a synergy in striving simultaneously toward seemingly disparate goals, rather than a competition between them for one’s attention/time.

If you’re like me, then you spend one or two months telling yourself you’ll focus on X, and THEN you’ll be able to focus on Y. A personal example is this: I think I should FIRST focus on my physique, and THEN focus on creating video content to sell my fitness programs. A non-personal example is this: I’ve heard friends say they plan to first lose weight, and THEN spend time finding a partner. On the surface, these plans make sense, because the second thing seems to follow naturally from its prerequisite.

But what if that weren't true at all? Through their Lifebook strategy, Jon and Missy Butcher invented a way for people to envision their ideal selves in twelve life-categories and to pursue them simultaneously! The pair suggests that the very act of clarifying each goal and creating new daily habits for them ALL has the side effect of generating links between them --when you work toward your highest relationship goals, for instance, then you don’t resist coming home from a day of working toward your highest career and financial goals. One effort supports the next.

Combining this teaching with one from my fav coach, Brooke Castillo, I discovered that my resistance to synergistically working on all my goals at once is rooted in my beliefs about each goal. Taking the personal example I offered above, the thought that I needed to improve my physique before I could legitimately shoot a video probably means I believe that I have to look a certain way in order for viewers to think I’m legit. Or taking my friends’ examples that they want to lose weight before pursuing relationships: they probably believe that people won’t find them attractive enough as long as they don’t conform to a certain weight limit. The problem with all that, despite its logic, is that it gives all our power to entities over which we have no control!

The antidote, Brook teaches, is identifying the FEELING you *think* something will give you once you attain it. Doing that can help you see all the ways in which you can have that feeling now, without attaining it --the physique, in my case, or the weight loss in my friends’ cases. And then, once you already have that feeling, letting it be the driver of the actions you take will generate the outcomes you want. Building muscle from a place of feeling legit, or losing weight from a place of feeling attractive, will be a lot easier than from feelings of self-criticism.

This is key in understanding Brooke Castillo’s teaching that our circumstances don’t cause our feelings; rather, our thoughts about the circumstances do. So, whether or not I develop a 6-pack before I shoot my videos won’t change how my videos are received, but how I show up energetically in those videos will. And whether or not a friend loses weight before looking for a love-connection won’t change her ability to create a love connection. But seeking a lover while feeling irresistible will. Once you accept that changing the circumstance (your job, your spouse, your home, your car…) won’t change how you feel, you are free to stop needing the change. Then you can make the change just because you want to, and not because you’re desperate to fix yourself.

With all that in my head, imagine the power of the next thing I learned, this time from Brene Brown. She explained that the difference between guilt and shame is that guilt, in one’s head, sounds like: “I DID something bad,” whereas shame sounds like: “I AM bad.”

This is neither subtle nor insignificant. If you’re an adult child of a bad divorce or some other complicated life circumstance, like me, then you might be living with what you thought was a chronic and prevailing sense of guilt. The fact of it has always mystified you because, at least intellectually, know you didn’t DO anything wrong. There has just been a baffling background feeling that you had. One you’d simply learned to live with, since you can’t think of anyone to whom you should apologize and make it right.

It might be counterintuitive if you feel empowered by the sudden and resonant discovery that all along, it has been shame rather than guilt underpinning your life’s actions, but it actually makes sense. The discovery is empowering because it means you DIDN’T do anything wrong, and if you’ve struggled for years with boundary-setting or self-advocating or leveraging a wimpy sense of self-efficacy, it’s probably because you’ve been telling yourself (consciously or not) that you’re BAD all these years. Imagine the poisonous ripple effect that that loop-thought has on a person’s life!

Time to hold such a thought up to the light. Examine it with compassion. And find a replacement thought that is more accurate. Treat yourself like a character in a story you’re writing. For decades you’ve been a flat character with a unidimensional flaw. Write yourself some complexity and richness! Give yourself all the negative AND positive attributes that you truly possess! And embrace them, the whole YOU! Think how that will change the way you show up for everything in your life.

Especially if you have a crazy goal like making $100K from practically zero doing something you’ve never done before! :-)

Keep trucking, ya’ll. With compassionate self-talk all the way.


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