Gratitude Challenge 

For the month of March, I am going to be undertaking the challenge of keeping a grattitude diary.

1 March

  1. I was grateful for such a great swim today

2. I am grateful for the delicious pasta I made with tomatoes, cheddar and olive oil

3. I am grateful that my skin is clearer today ūüôā

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Overcoming out your limitations

Everybody has limitations. These limitations which have been imposed on them by other people. Limitations formed long before you had the ability to rationalise what you have been told. Limitations defined to you by your parents, by your teachers, by society in general. The danger about these limitations is that you don’t even realise you have these limitations. They are buried deep in your subconscious, hiding from you but at the same time limiting you and your achievements in life.

Your conscious thoughts and ability to rationalise and filter your beliefs only develop as you hit adolescent years. Think of when you were younger, you believed that a fat man in a red suit travelled around the world in a flying carriage and climbed down the world delivering gifts to every child in the world. Not only did you believe this, but you believed it occurred within a day. Around the world in one day. Seriously? As you grew older, you began questioning this. You began to think about it rationally as your conscious mind developed and you realised *spoiler alert* Santa does not exist.

The point of the above example is to show the lack of filter that children have and how easily they believe what is told to them. The older you get however, your bullshit filter develop and you are able to distinguish between what is real and what is false.

As Jen Sicero said it in her book ‘You are a Badass’:¬†It’s not your fault you’re fucked up. It’s your fault if you stay fucked up.¬†So yeah, everyone has these beliefs and these beliefs lead to¬†a definition of yourself, but that does not mean you don’t get to say,¬†I refuse to¬†accept¬†this¬†definition and I refuse to live within your definition of me.¬†This is¬†your life and you have the power to choose¬†exactly who you want to be.

So how do you discover these limitations if they are buried deep within your unconscious?

Step 1: I want you to grab a pen and paper and then I want you to identify exactly where you are lacking in life, be it money, be it love, be it fitness and then I want you to write down the first five to ten words that come into your head when you think of that word. For example:

Love: vulnerable; suffocating; controlling; run; inescapable; flee; real me not loveable

Step 2: I want you to go into the deeper meaning of these words. Try form a sentence on why it was these words that came into your head.

For example: Being in love makes me feel vulnerable as I feel as though everyone I love always leaves, from my biological father to my adoptive father to other people in my life. No one ever stays. They don’t want me in their lives. Maybe I am truly unloveable, I have built a facade of happiness and fool people into thinking I am a great person, but as soon as they see one flaw they flee, they realise the truth, that I am unloveable. And therefore they leave. So you can never rely on people because they leave so why let yourself be vulnerable and experience love when it is futile and is going to end anyway. Also love is suffocating, having to adjust your lifestyle for someone else, he tells you what to do, what if he extinguishes your dreams and desires in life as you become so eager to show you are loveable that you focus only on his dreams as its easier as you are not even sure what your dreams are anyway and then you wake up one day and realise your to do list for the day contains tasks such as put on the washing, iron his suits, make his lunch for work, take the kids to school, clean the house, while he is out working in a bank and probably having an affair with his secretary which is probably your fault as so much resentment has built up that you don’t find him attractive anymore and sex is the last thing you want from him. And you find yourself living a life governed by to do lists and parent-teacher meetings and then you wake up that day and realise all the dreams you once had, have been extinguished by him and you live to serve him and his needs.

Step 3: I want you to contradict the above using your rational sense. The above is everything I believe that is part of my subvonscious. No bullshit filter was used with the above. It was just pure emotion. So now put it through the bullshit filter.

Being in love is about being vulnerable. That is one of the points of love. It makes you vulnerable but if you are with the right person, being vulnerable is okay. They will make you safe, and they are probably just as fucking afraid of being vulnerable as you are and if they are not, they have other hangups in life. Your biological father did not leave you because of you. Him leaving his pregnant girlfriend is not your fault. You weren’t even fucking born yet mate. Get a reality check. Your adoptive father deserting you, was not your problem and you want it that way. You decided you did not want him in your life as he was like poison ivy poisoning all happiness in your life. Your mom did not leave you. She died. That was not her choice. I’m pretty sure she would have loved to see you grow up and get married and have kids. But cancer decided to kill her. Your friends did not leave you. They followed their dreams which led them to living in different countries and cities than you. They keep in contact, would they do that if they did not love you. Cop on. Its good you stand on your own two feet and you are well able for it, but its also good to realise that there are people there who love you and a lot of them. You are loveable.

Secondly everybody has their flaws. Show me Mr. Perfect and I will show you a robot. Its not possible, and your flaws is what makes someone relatable and human. I love my friends with their flaws attached. Its what makes them them. You are allowed to have flaws, you are allowed to be you and you are allowed to not be perfect the whole goddamn time.

Thirdly love being suffocating. Yes. Love can be suffocating sometimes. But if you have to give up your dreams in order to be with a person, then you are with the wrong person. End of. When someone truly loves you, they will support you in whatever endeavour (as long as its within their morals) you wish. Real friends support you no matter what. If you want to be a tunafish, then its my job to encourage you to be the best damn tunafish that you can be. Real true love is about compromise, support and encouragement. It a two sided affair and is not about one person giving up their life and dreams for another. Its about both of you encouraging each other to live your dreams together.

So do you see from the above example how I debullshitted my imposing belief about love. A belief which was instilled into me from a young age, from taking in the world around me sans bullshit filter. From seeing my parent’s marriage, to depictions on tv of love etc etc.

And that is how you destroy these limiting beliefs.

So to sum it up: pick an area in your life you are not happy about, jot down the words that come into your mind when you think about it, expand on those words and then apply the bullshit filter. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section and what areas you have applied the bullshit filter to.

Anger: the secondary emotion

Being angry is a natural human experience to have and can sometimes be of benefit by showing you your own limits and boundaries in life. However, being perpetually angry or constantly feeling like you are quelling you anger is not the way to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Anger is known as a secondary emotion. That means it is a cover up emotion as it is a reaction to one of the primary emotions such as frustration. However because it is such a quick reaction to feel anger, most people do not even realise that they are actually experiencing another underlying emotion such as frustration, humiliation or fear.

 

anger.jpeg

This knowledge will help you to deal with your anger. Next time you feel yourself getting angry, ask yourself why are you angry. What is causing this anger. Are you frustrated by your computer not working, are you fearful that your boss is going to view you as incompetent and fire you, are you feeling a loss of control in the workplace or are you feeling humiliated by the words being said to you. By identifying this underlying emotion, you will be able to better tackle the issue at hand.

In short, anger is a secondary emotion which means it is triggered by another feeling you are having. It is a healthy emotion but the actions associated with it, can cause issues in your life. 

Action step: next time you are feeling angry, before launching into a tirade of abuse or stifling that anger, take a second and identify exactly what emotion you are feeling be it fear, frustration, guilt, humiliation etc. Once identified, your anger will dissipate and you can focus easier on resolving the issue.