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We all have triggers. Someone says something. Someone does something. Something happens. And it feels like we’re immediately in a specific state of being. And because it feels automatic, we feel like we don’t have control over it.
That’s not actually how it works. It just feels that way. What really happens is someone says something, we have a thought, and then we feel a certain way. We don’t notice the thought because it’s in our autopilot system.
The autopilot system is amazing. Our brain puts as many things in there as possible. Thank goodness we don’t have to think about every breath we take or every muscle we need to move to go about our daily lives. Have you ever driven home and don’t actually remember driving there? Or perhaps gotten to the bottom of a bag of chips or a package of Oreos and wondered who ate them all? Autopilot.
When our brain sees something we repeat over and over, it moves it to autopilot. There are some things in our autopilot system that we’d rather not have in there. Just because it’s a trigger doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. You simply need to take it out of autopilot, rewire it, and give your brain a reason to put it back in the way you want it.
Let’s say your ex-husband used to come and fly into a rage if dinner wasn’t ready on the table. Your new husband is nothing like your ex, but one day he comes home and asks what’s for dinner. You immediately feel yourself getting smaller and pulling into yourself. It feels like an automatic response.
First, find the thought. It might be something like “it’s happening again” or “I’ll never be good enough.” Now, decide what you want to think on purpose. Maybe something like “My husband adores me” or “I am enough exactly as I am.” Next time you notice the original thought, or the feeling it creates, or the action you take when you feel that way…. practice thinking your new thought.
Practice it as many times as possible. Be very intentional about it. The more you practice using your trigger as a trigger for your new thought, the faster your brain will notice. And once your brain sees that you’re repeating something over and over, it will want to put it into your autopilot system.
And there you have it: “My husband adores me” is now on autopilot.
Your triggers are not permanent. And they are not out of your control. You have the power to change them if you want to.
What would you like to put into your autopilot system on purpose? Healthy eating? Regular exercise? Incredible self worth? Not yelling at your kids? Choosing your relationship over being right?
So. Many. Possibilities.
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. Each year I get the impression that most women struggle with this holiday in one way or another. If you would like to improve your experience at all this year, this post is for you.
I’ve broken this down into a few specific categories for organizational purposes so you can scroll to the one that fits. If you don’t fit into any of these categories and none of the advice can be altered to fit you, please message me and I’ll personalize something just for you.
YOU THINK YOU FALL SHORT AS A MOTHER
Not Enough is part of the human condition. Our primitive brain’s job is to keep us alive, so it’s always on the lookout for danger, aka problems. That means, on default, it looks for all the things that are “wrong” with you — because those things might lead to your death.
Thinking you’re not enough is normal, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Your brain has only been looking for evidence that you’re not enough.
Give yourself permission to believe you are enough. Decide to believe it. Commit to believing it. And then tell your brain to find the evidence that it’s true. When you tell your brain to look for evidence, it will find it. You’ll have an experience with your kids that you thought was an epic fail, and then one of your kid’s will say something and DING — your brain finds the evidence you told it to look for — it was enough.
You don’t have to be a perfect mom. You are the perfect mom for your kids, even when you don’t show up the way you want to. Stop comparing yourself to other moms. They are the way they are because that’s what their kids need. You are the way you are because that’s what your kids need. Your kids were given to you for a reason.
Being you is enough.
YOU WANT TO FEEL SPECIAL AND BE CELEBRATED ON THIS DAY BUT THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE FALL SHORT OF MAKING THAT HAPPEN.
This is the one I hear about most often. “My husband didn’t make much of an effort.” “My kids don’t care.” “I give and give all day everyday, to everyone, and I can’t even have one day.”
Our husbands should know how to make this day special. Our kids should stop being selfish for 5 seconds and care about someone besides themselves. I get it.
But if we have to wait for our husbands and kids to step up and get it right, we might be waiting for a very long time. Another Mother’s Day will come and go with disappointment.
What if you had the power to make Mother’s Day exactly what you want it to be? Oh wait, you do. There are tons of options to go about this but the thing you need to remember is you have the power. You do not have to rely on anyone else to make this day special.
This might include planning everything yourself and even buying your own gifts. This might include telling your husband and kids EXACTLY what you would like them from. It might include gently reminding them when they forget (skip the part where you get frustrated). It might include deciding none of that matters and thinking about how much you love these people, no matter what they do or don’t do.
But what if I tell them exactly what I want and they don’t do it? You don’t make it mean anything. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It doesn’t mean you aren’t important. It just means they’re human. It’s only a problem if you make it a problem. You might decide that next time you’ll go ahead and plan it yourself. You remember that you love the crap out of them.
Here’s the truth: the things your family does for you do not make you feel special. They do something — you have a thought like “they love me” or “they’re making an effort”— you feel special. Your thought is what makes you feel something. That means it’s not your family’s job to make you feel loved or special. It’s your job. Only you can do it.
No matter what your family does or doesn’t do on Mother’s Day, decide to believe they love you. Decide to believe you’re special. Decide to believe you’re irreplaceable. Decide to believe that you are enough, exactly as you are. Decide to believe that you are the very best mom for your kids. It’s all true. Give yourself to permission to believe it. Create your own emotions on purpose.
YOU DON’T HAVE CHILDREN BUT WISH YOU DID
Focusing on this will, for sure, cause suffering. That’s what happens when we argue with reality. Reality is what it is. When you argue with it, you suffer.
So what could you focus on instead? You could focus on your mother. You could focus on everything you’re grateful for. You could focus on believing that this is happening FOR you, rather than TO you. Or any other number of options.
Decide what you want to focus on ahead of time. When you let your brain go wherever it wants, it’s like handing a knife to a toddler and then sitting back to watch the damage. Be the adult. Take the knife away. Tell your brain where you want it to go.
YOU’VE LOST YOUR MOTHER OR A CHILD
If Mother’s Day is hard for you because you feel a lot of grief, I have a few ideas.
The first is to plan your grief on purpose. If you want to feel grief on Mother’s Day, that’s a perfectly acceptable choice. Choosing it intentionally and liking your reasons for doing so WILL change your experience. It will be something you chose, rather than something that happened to you (against your will). And when you choose it, it will be easier to infuse your grief with love. You can swirl them together into something beautiful.
If this is the option that feels best, remember that you chose it. Welcome the grief like an old friend and invite it to sit with you. Don’t resist.
If you usually feel grief and would rather not… it’s time to practice some mind management. Decide on purpose what you want to think about this person and the loss of this person ahead of time. Spend this week thinking of everything you loved about them. Focus on gratitude. Stop arguing with reality (I shouldn’t have lost them, this shouldn’t have happened, etc).
On Mother’s Day, it will be your job to control your mind. Your brain will offer the same thoughts it always has. Do not be alarmed. Do not think you have failed. This is totally normal. Gently redirect it to the thoughts you chose to think on purpose. Spend your day celebrating them and being grateful for the time you had with them rather than grieving them.
You could also combine these two options. Spend half the day grieving and half the day celebrating. The point is choosing on purpose the kind of day you want to have. You get to create whatever you want.
YOU DON’T HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MOTHER
Our relationship with someone is simply our thoughts about them. If you want to have a better relationship with your mother, start thinking different thoughts about her.
Rewrite the story of your relationship with your mother. Start as far back as you can remember and come all the way forward to the present. Write this story with you as the hero. Bring what you want to the present and leave the rest behind.
For example, let’s say your mother was abusive. You can continue to tell the story of all the horrible things she did to you and feel like crap. Or you could tell the story of how you overcame obstacles, learned how to love yourself, and became the amazing woman you are today because of everything you went through.
I’m not suggesting you make things up or change the facts. Rewrite the story so that it serves you. Focus on thinking thoughts that create the emotions you want to feel towards your mother.
YOU MOTHER CHILDREN THAT YOU DIDN’T GIVE BIRTH TO AND/OR HAVE ANOTHER MOM
My step-kids never tell me Happy Mother’s Day. They don’t call me mom. From my perspective, they don’t even consider me a mother figure and certainly don’t treat me like one. And yet, I spend so much time “mothering” them, loving them, looking after them, wanting what’s best for them. I only tell you this so you know that I understand where you’re coming from.
But how they feel about me doesn’t affect me. We can’t feel someone else’s love. I can only feel my love. And I create that with my thoughts.
I don’t mother them so they will love me. I mother them because it’s the kind of mom I want to be, the kind of woman I want to be.
Don’t focus on what they give to you. Focus on what you give to them. Focus on being the kind of mom/woman you want to be. Focus on thinking loving thoughts about them, because then you get to feel love (which feels amazing).
If you want to celebrate being their mom on Mother’s Day, you can do it all on your own, no matter what they do or don’t do, say or don’t say. Think thoughts about them that make you feel love. Think thoughts about them that make you feel connection.
They don’t have to think of you as their mom or treat you like their mom for you to feel like their mom. It’s all within your power.
Regardless of the reasons you struggle on Mother’s Day, you CAN create whatever kind of Mother’s Day you want. This day can mean anything you want it to. You can have the experience you want. You can create the emotions you want.
What kind of Mother’s Day are you going to have this year?
We humans are funny creatures. We are constantly battling with ourselves over things we want.
I want to lose weight AND I want to eat what I want.
I want to get stuff done AND I want to watch Netflix.
I want a clean toilet BUT I don’t want to clean the toilet.
The battle isn’t very fun. In fact, we tend to make ourselves downright miserable sometimes. This is, in part, because we aren’t firm in what we really want. If you really want to lose weight, you have to want it much more than you want to eat the thing.
You have the power to stop the battle. But how?
I hate getting up in the morning. I’m always tired. I always want to hit snooze. I never want to get up when my alarm goes off. BUT… I want to get up early and get a jump on the day. I like getting things done and getting up early is one of the best ways I’ve found to make that happen. So I decided to tackle this battle I’ve been having with myself.
I noticed that the first thought my brain offers when my alarm goes off is “Ugh.” It’s not even a sentence. It’s just an overly dramatic sound that makes me feel miserable and starts my day off on the wrong foot. This sound is usually followed by “I don’t want to get up.”
So I DECIDED, from this moment forward, I’m not going to indulge in that anymore. I actually do want to get up and telling myself I don’t isn’t useful. So I told my brain it’s not allowed to go there anymore. There will be no more “ugh”s and no more “I don’t want to get up”s.
Next, I replaced it with something neutral: “It’s time to get up.” No moaning. No tone. Just matter of fact. It’s time to get up. And I practiced. My brain has been doing this ugh routine for a long time. So I thought it was going to be hard to change. But it wasn’t. As long as I’m intentional and stay conscious, my brain does exactly what I want it to.
After I practiced for about a week, I decided to take it further. I switched out my neutral “it’s time to get up” for a positive “today’s going to be a great day.”
Alarm goes off. Today’s going to be a great day. Immediately get out of bed thinking about all the ways I’m going to make today great.
I’m still just as tired first thing in the morning. But I’m not miserable anymore. I’ve stopped the battle within myself. Of course, in the moment, I still want to stay in bed and sleep longer. But I don’t let myself think about it. I skip the battle, I skip the part where I make myself miserable. I put down my boxing gloves.
When I choose my thoughts on purpose, and I’m very intentional about thinking what I want to think, rather than letting my brain run away and think whatever it wants, I have the power. I have the control. I can have what I really want without fighting myself over things I think I want in the moment.
How to Stop Battling With Yourself
Steps 3 and 4 may not be necessary in all cases. Sometimes you can go straight to the positive thought and skip the neutral one. Other times your brain throws a fit when you try to do that and it’s easier to stop at neutral first. Try it both ways and see what works best for you.
Let me know if you have questions on how to apply these steps to your exact situation. You have the power, my friend. Use it.
One of the first things I do with my coaching clients is separate out the facts from their story. We tend to think the facts of our lives are the problem. But we’re always wrong. It’s always the way we’re thinking about those facts.
When I first learned this principle and started separating out all the facts of my life from the story of my life, I realized everything I believed as far as religion goes, were just thoughts.
If it’s not a fact, it’s just a thought. Thoughts aren’t true or false. We can find evidence for both. And they are totally optional.
I had always thought of them as facts. God exists. That’s a fact. Except that it’s not. A fact is something everyone would agree with. There are many people who don’t believe God exists. And if we can’t even come to a consensus on that, everything else is, for sure, off the table.
I was very uncomfortable thinking about God this way. It felt wrong to say His existence wasn’t a fact, that it was just a thought I had chosen to believe. But I questioned all of it. Everything I had been taught my entire life. Everything I had believed was true. I took it all out of my brain and examined it.
And then I chose, intentionally, what I wanted to believe, knowing they were just thoughts I was choosing. No more facts.
Here are 3 powerful lessons I learned from doing this exercise.
Since today is Easter Sunday, my thoughts are on Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. I wanted to share some of the thoughts I’ve chosen to believe, thoughts that make my life amazing, thoughts that give me power, thoughts that are the foundation for everything I do and everything I am, thoughts that truly serve me in every way.
God, our Heavenly Father, loves us more than we can ever comprehend. He is always there. He is always listening. He always answers. He wants what’s best for me. He guides and inspires me. He helps me every single day. I trust Him implicitly.
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He suffered and died for all of us because of His immense love for us. If it was only me that needed saving, He still would’ve done it. He loves me that much. In Gethsemane, He felt every pain I have ever felt and will ever feel. He knows EXACTLY what I’m going through because He felt it. He understands more than any other person will ever understand. He is my brother. He Lives, and because of that we will all live again.
Death is not the end. There is a life after this that goes on for eternity. It will be a life full of joy where we can be with our families forever. When we lose our loved ones here on earth, it isn’t goodbye. It’s see ya later. We will be with them again.
This life is our boarding school. Our Heavenly Parents sent us here to live and to learn. We are here to learn how to master our physical bodies. This includes managing our minds and controlling our desires. We are here to grow and evolve.
The goal is to become the very best version of ourselves, not because there is anything wrong with us, just so we are ready for the opportunities that await when we go back home. Mistakes aren’t just ok, they are part of the plan. We are meant to keep failing our way forward.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this thing we call human life. We are each following our own path. Everyone’s path looks different because we each learn differently. We each need different experiences to learn what we need to learn to become the people we are destined to be.
There is no need for judgement. We don’t need to judge the path, judge ourselves, or judge others. Our path is perfect. And so is everyone else’s, even if we can’t see it or understand it right now. We’re all doing our best. We’re all just learning. We’re all brothers and sisters. The only thing we need is love and acceptance.
It’s interesting to think about the idea that nothing is a problem until we make it a problem.
Life certainly doesn’t feel that way. But it’s interesting to play with.
I got into an argument with my dear husband last week. After the argument I let myself be upset for a while. I didn’t try to push my emotions away or cover them up. I just let myself feel all the things.
Then I got curious.
What if none of this is a problem? First there was the situation we were arguing about. What if it’s not a problem that it happened? What if it’s not a problem that we disagreed? What if it’s not a problem that I didn’t handle it perfectly? What if it’s not a problem that we may never see eye-to-eye on this? What if it’s not a problem that my husband didn’t show up the way I wanted him to? What if it’s not a problem that I thought a bunch of thoughts that left me feeling upset and hurt?
If none of it is a problem…moving on from there is pretty easy. There wasn’t anything I needed to forgive or forget. Because there wasn’t a problem. I was able to show up as the wife I wanted to be, loving and affectionate, without a struggle.
I had another moment with my tween son. Like most boys his age, he speaks with a particular tone of voice accompanied by specific body language (oh, the eye rolling). Usually, I tend to get a bit irritated by this because I think something like “He’s so disrespectful.”
But what if his tone of voice and body language aren’t a problem? If I didn’t make it mean anything, I could feel the way I want to (love) and respond the way I want to (kind, loving, compassionate, understanding). I could show up as the kind of mom I want to be — regardless of his behavior. Because it isn’t a problem.
OK, I’m going to make the big leap… what if coronavirus isn’t a problem? Life always changes. People always die. The future is always uncertain. Life looks different right now but nothing has actually changed. This is just what life looks like right now. This is part of our human experience. It was always going to happen this way. What if it’s not a problem?
I know, I know. Your brain is freaking out right now. You’re thinking of all the problems in your life that are definitely problems. You’re, for sure, jumping to the most extreme examples you can think of. “You’re saying murder isn’t a problem?” (The answer, by the way, is I choose to make murder a problem.)
I get it.
You can absolutely decide I’m wrong and keep dealing with your problems. That’s totally available to you.
But what if I’m right? What do you have to lose by trying this out? Take the next week to question all your “problems” and see what happens. It’s just an experiment.
Here are a few questions to play with:
What if this isn’t a problem?
If this wasn’t a problem, how would I show up differently?
How am I making this a problem?
What am I thinking that is turning this into a problem?
Am I willing to look at this differently so it’s no longer a problem?
I hear “everything is just so uncertain” multiple times every day. We are all very focused on the uncertainty of the future.
Did you know the future has ALWAYS been uncertain?
You could get in a car accident. You, or a loved one, could be diagnosed with something horrible. Your spouse could cheat on you or tell you they want a divorce. You could lose your job. There could be a terrorist attack.
We never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. We just think we do. Three months ago you felt pretty certain what your life would look like today. But you were wrong.
Many of us were certain we’d be taking vacations this year, because we had booked them, paid for them, planned them, etc.
Many of us were certain we’d be working in our job, because we had no intention of leaving or doing anything that would get us fired.
We’ve been walking along the edge of a cliff all along but we were focused on the path ahead and didn’t turn our head to see the cliff on our right.
Now, something has gotten our attention. We turned our heads and see that we’re on the edge of a cliff and of course, we freak out. But we’ve always been walking this path. We just didn’t see or focus on the cliff.
Nothing has actually changed.
So now that we’ve noticed the cliff, how do we return our focus to the path ahead? How can we be certain now that we’ve recognized the uncertainty?
You can be certain in who you are.
You can be certain in how you show up in the world.
You can be certain that you’re going to be OK, because you always are; you always figure it out.
You can be certain that you’re kids are going to be OK. They are strong and resilient. You’ve taught them well and they will continue to learn through their struggles.
You can be certain that you will offer yourself grace when you don’t show up the way you want to. You are human and you’re doing your best.
You can be certain that God is watching over you, your family, and everyone else. He knows what you’re going through and will consecrate this for your good.
You can be certain that you’re going to feel a lot of emotions. It’s part of the human experience. It’s what you signed up for.
You can be certain that you’ll always take care of yourself and your family.
You can be certain in how you love those around you.
You can be certain that you’ll find new ways of doing things in this new normal.
You can be certain that you’ll get upset with your kids and short-tempered with your husband at times. And that’s ok.
You can be certain in how you face adversity.
You can be certain that good will come out of this, it always does.
You can be certain your kids are going to complain and argue. It doesn’t need to be a problem.
You can be certain that when your kids do complain and argue, you still get to choose how you want to respond. You can be calm when they are not.
You can be certain that you’ll use this time to learn, grow, and progress and become the next version of yourself.
The uncertainty of life has always been there. It will always be there. But there is so much more certainty. Be certain.
Intermittent fasting is all the rage these days since many people are using fasting to help them lose weight. There are multiple ways to incorporate it into your life but the overall idea is giving your body windows of time where you don’t eat so it can rest and repair.
Fasting improves metabolism, lowers blood sugar, lessens inflammation, clears out toxins and damaged cells, improves health issues, lowers risk for cancer, and enhances brain function, among other things.
But it isn’t exactly enjoyable.
I practice intermittent fasting every day and, rather than referring to my non-eating window as my fasting window, I call it my repair window. I like the idea that I’m giving my body the chance to take care of me so I can operate at peak performance.
But this article isn’t about eating or not eating.
Our lives look a little different right now. Most of what I hear and see on social media indicates that this change is very bad and not at all desired.
And that’s how it feels sometimes when you’re fasting.
But what if we all need this window to rest and repair?
We are spending more time at home with our families. Maybe our families needed a repair window for us to reconnect and remember what’s most important.
Since we aren’t running around, doing all the things we’re normally doing, we have more time for quiet reflection. We have the opportunity to look at our lives and decide if we’re living the lives we want to live, if we’re being the people we want to be. Maybe we needed a repair window to actually slow down and examine our lives.
Many have lost jobs, either temporarily or permanently. Maybe this repair window is exactly what they needed to decide if this is really what they want to be doing for work. And to tap into their true self and think of what they really want to be doing, and how to make it happen.
I’m not a climate changer, global warming, tree hugging kind of girl. I believe the planet is here for us, not the other way around. But I do love this planet and think we should always take care of things we love. Factories have been closed and transportation has been drastically reduced. When you look at the NASA pictures of China you can see an obvious difference. Maybe the planet needed a repair window to take a breather and reset.
Fasting feels uncomfortable. But our bodies need time to repair.
The situation we all find ourselves in may feel uncomfortable. Use this time to rest and repair. Repair and strengthen your relationships with others and with yourself. Examine your life and make repairs where needed. Take the time to determine if you’re really living the life you want to live and being the person you want to be.
Fasting is temporary. This won’t last forever. Might as well take advantage of this opportunity we’ve all been given.
You are feeling fear and anxiety because you are human. Nothing has gone wrong here. You have a human brain. The human brain doesn’t like uncertainty. It likes to be afraid. It makes perfect sense that your brain is freaking out.
But I want to tell you a secret.
COVID-19 is not the reason you feel afraid or anxious. People’s reactions and behavior is not the reason. The stock market is not the reason. The cancellation of public events and gatherings is not the reason. The empty shelves at the grocery store is not the reason.
There is only one reason you are feeling afraid or anxious.
Because of sentences in your brain.
Let me tell you why this is great news. You are not a victim. You are not powerless. The virus does not control how you experience your life. You get to choose. Because you get to choose which sentences you want to believe.
When you believe a sentence in your brain, it creates an emotion. Right now you believe sentences that create fear and anxiety. And that’s ok.
Step 1: Feel Your Feelings
Feel the fear. Feel the anxiety.
Get out of your brain and into your body. Where is it in your body? What color is it? What shape is it? Does it move fast or slow? Is it hot or cold? Is it tight or loose? Does it spread through your body or stay in one place?
Just like when we go back to our breath in meditation…Every time your brain tries to think sentences, go back into your body. Describe what the emotion physically feels like in as much detail as possible.
Step 2: Look at the Sentences
Understand that this emotion was created by sentences in your brain. What are those sentences? Why are you choosing to believe them? Are they facts (can they be proven in a court of law)?
If they are actual facts, does focusing on them serve you?
If they are not actual facts, that means they are thoughts. All thoughts are both true and false. Right now you believe the sentence is true. How is it false? Does believing it’s true serve you?
Step 3: Decide What Sentences You Want To Believe
You get to believe anything you want. If your current sentences aren’t helping you show up the way you want to, you might want to pick new sentences. COVID-19 is here. Now what? What kind of experience do you want to have?How do you want to show up? What will you need to feel to take the actions you want to take? What will you need to believe to feel that way?
It’s a choice. If fear is helping you do the things you want to do, great. Keep it. But if the emotions you’re feeling aren’t helping you show up the way you want to… you can choose different sentences to create new emotions.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
I know how to take care of myself and my family.
I can do hard things.
I am safe in this moment.
I always figure it out.
We have everything we need.
I get to decide how I want to show up right now.
Everything is happening exactly how it’s supposed to happen.
This is an opportunity to strengthen my relationships.
I am part of the solution.
Bonus Step: Imagining the Future
You have a lot of “What Ifs” running through your brain. You’re imagining a potential future. No matter what it is, it’s imaginary because the future hasn’t happened yet. We don’t know what’s going to happen.
If you’re going to imagine something… why choose to imagine things that create fear, anxiety, terror, panic, dread, worry, helpless, etc?
What if… there is a far worse virus in our future. But because of all the lessons we learned during the COVID-19 outbreak, we soar through it with flying colors and millions of people are saved that wouldn’t have been otherwise saved?
What if… the time you spend with your children during this period of social distancing will strengthen your relationships in ways that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise?
If you’re going to imagine… imagine something that serves you right now in this moment. Something that helps you feel gratitude. Something that helps you be present and enjoy your life right now.
We are going to get through this. Everything is going to be ok. Humans are beautiful and resilient. This is just one stop on our journey. Let’s enjoy the journey.
If you’re having a hard time navigating your emotions during this time, schedule a coaching session with me. I’ll guide you through these steps and help you create the experience you want.
Earlier this week my hubby said to me “I think you became a life coach so you could stay married to me.”
I didn’t argue.
I was really struggling in my 2nd marriage when I found life coaching. I was afraid we weren’t going to make it. Now the opposite is true. I have the best husband in the world.
If you’re struggling in your marriage, here are 3 steps you can take to change your experience.
Step 1: Learn to love yourself.
This is hard for a lot of people. At the core of all of us is some version of “I’m not enough.” It’s part of the human condition. But this is something you can learn, practice, and overcome.
You are 100% worthy and lovable exactly as you are.
Your spouse cannot actually make you feel loved. It isn’t possible. What really happens is your spouse says or does something, then you have a thought like “He loves me,” and then you feel loved.
It is your job to make yourself feel loved, not your spouse’s.
Think of your self worth like an operating system for a computer. When you are running “I’m not enough” your brain is on the lookout for evidence to prove this true. So when your spouse says or does something, you will think something like “He doesn’t love me,” “I’m not good enough,” or “There must be something wrong with me.”
Alternatively, when you’re running “I am enough,” your brain is on the lookout for evidence to prove this true. So when your spouse says or does something, you will think something like “That’s not about me, it’s about him,” or “He must be having a bad day.”
Loving yourself changes your operating system. It makes it so much easier to think thoughts that help you feel loved.
Your spouse is not the problem.
Step 2: Take care of your own needs.
It isn’t your spouse’s job to make you happy. That’s your job.
Spend some time figuring out what fills your vessel, what gives you energy, what you need to show up as the best version of yourself.
And then start taking care of those things. Add them into your life intentionally. Don’t wait around for someone to do it for you.
Step 3: Throw away your manual.
When you buy a new appliance, it comes with an instruction manual. Right now, you probably have an instruction manual for your spouse.
He should help more around the house. She should want to have sex more often. He shouldn’t spend so many hours at work. She should pay me more attention.
These are just examples, yours may be entirely different. Or they might sound like “A good husband…”/”A good wife…”
Your manual is there, under the surface, even if you haven’t verbalized it.
I’m sure you can give me very good reasons for having these expectations. And yes, I’m sure all your friends would agree with you. But so what? They are poison to your marriage. Just get rid of them. Throw your manual away.
Your spouse is there for you to love. Period.
When you can love them for exactly who they are, with no expectations, you will have a completely different experience in your marriage.
These 3 steps don’t require your spouse to change at all. You can have the marriage you want. You can be blissfully happy if you want to.
If you’re unhappy in your marriage right now, and thinking about leaving, I’m going to challenge you to stay until you’re happy in it. You will take yourself into your next relationship. If you’re still expecting your partner to make you feel loved, to make you happy, to live up to your expectations… you’re going to have the same problems in your next relationship.
Follow these steps. Take your power back and experience your marriage the way you want to. Once you’re happy, then you can decide if you want to leave or not. You may still want to, simply because it’s not what you want. But you won’t be leaving so you can feel better. You can feel better right now.
If you’re having trouble applying these steps, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ve been where you are. I know how to get where you want to go. I can help you find your way.