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Release Perfectionism and Reach Goals Through Self-Acceptance

Release Perfectionism and Reach Goals Through Self-Acceptance

Perfectionism is a stealthy beast. It puts a strain on bodily systems and cripples self-worth. It’s a fractured lens through which to see the world. 

The perfectionism lens can make us think we, and others, need to live up to specific expectations of what being human “should” look like.

There is no “should.” There is no one way for a human to be.

Self-Acceptance is the Key to Achieving Goals

We’re each on a journey, walking alongside one another with paths intersecting. We pick up tools as we walk which help us to see in new ways. 

Inside each of us exists polarities and paradox. We would like the world to see us as one way, but there’s always an opposite within us that we must also embrace.

We all have ignorance, anger, and pain. There is no possibility of knowing everything or being perfect. Striving to be something other than what you are will keep you from appreciating and sharing your unique gifts.

Nature isn't perfect, and She doesn't strive. We too are nature. Click To Tweet

I love this passage from Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics by Marsha Sinetar. It traces a bit of the root of perfectionism, a belief system we’ve all experienced as humans being, and presents an alternative to striving.

perfectionism

Release Perfectionism and Embrace Compassion

Be gentle with yourself. If you hold an achievement-based sense of self-love, you may feel your worth is in the efforts you put forth. Nothing can change your worth. We are all equal here, with or without achievements or specific qualities.

Exchange the perfectionism lens for the compassion lens. Instead of striving to be perfect, allow yourself to experience self-acceptance and compassion.

Empathy, fierce compassion, and persistence can create lasting changes and dynamic ripples in all the lives you touch. Your imperfection can create space for connection and understanding.

Whenever I feel judgment and perfectionism creeping into my perspective, I remind myself my goal is connection and compassion. We don’t need to be perfect, we just need to take care.

Mantra Practice

release perfectionism

So many personal development courses online prey upon our feeling something is wrong with us, promising quick changes and leaning on insecurities to sell products. They sell the idea we need to change ourselves to be acceptable or whole.

I believe when we let ourselves be, we make room for love. Love may not be all we need to make positive changes in ourselves and the world, but without it, we have no starting point.

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3 Things Every HSP Can Do to Finally Complete Creative Projects

3 Things Every HSP Can Do to Finally Complete Creative Projects

Don’t you wish you could just wiggle your nose like Samantha from Bewitched and magic would complete your creative projects? I’ve been trying to master that skill since I was in grade school. No such luck!

It can be hard enough trying to start, let alone complete creative projects, with so many things seemingly smacking you upside the head every time you try.

For highly-sensitive creatives (HSCs), it can be especially difficult. We’re deeply connected to our inner life and pick up on energy in our environment others don’t.

I’ve met plenty of fellow HSCs who also have depression, anxiety, and a lingering case of perfectionism that can add to the challenges of making progress and finding focus.

To have the energy and confidence needed to get going and complete creative projects, HSCs need a system in place to help carry them through and stay focused on what’s most important.

How do I get past a few of the biggest barriers to starting and following through with creative projects?

1. Become aware of emotional habits that breed doubt and drain your energy.

How you do one thing, is how you do everything. If you’re constantly hard on yourself, you will also be critical of the work you do. If you avoid conflict and challenges in daily life, you’ll likely turn away from challenges in your work.

If you’re ready to let go of emotional habits that no longer serve your needs, it can be exhausting keeping them up! It’s time to let go. Release judgment and exchange it for compassion.

2. Connect to your biggest source of confidence and clarity – your intuition.

“When we relax our tendency to grasp for a pat explanation and just be present with whatever is happening without trying to alter it, we can bring to bear a deeper, more intuitive knowing. That in itself changes our reaction and our perspective.” Tara Brach

We can’t know everything. If you’re waiting until you feel completely sure your project is ready to get out into the world, you will be waiting forever. If you’re searching for answers from everywhere but inside you, you’ll be searching forever.

You are your own best source of advice. Mentors can watch us evolve and show us what’s worked for others, and that’s invaluable. When it comes down to getting the work done, it’s just you. One foot in front of the other, you bring new ideas and visions to life.

3. Create a system to automate your workflow and free up brain space for creative work.

Just like our emotions and daily actions become habits, so does organizing thoughts and projects. When we develop a flow for working, it takes some of the pressure off our brains. We don’t have to think about where things are, what to do next, how to proceed each day. Having those everyday decisions already complete gives the brain freedom to focus on the harder stuff of being creative and producing the work.

Before I started using Scrivener in combination with a travel notebook, a large “business grimoire,” and iNotes, I had ideas and writing everywhere. I couldn’t see how everything would flow together, and I didn’t see how cohesive my content and vision actually were.

Having a system for working on content and projects saves me an incredible amount of time and energy, not to mention relieves my anxiety and helps me sleep better.

Do you want to know how I plan my products and launches?

My next post will be all about the systems I use to help creativity flow and organize projects in a flexible and clean content creation system.

If you’re interested in creating your own system for getting things done with less stress, sign up for my weekly newsletter. I’ll let you know when new content is up and send you a hand-drawn cartoon to brighten your day.

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Overcome Information Overload and Connect to Your Intuition

Overcome Information Overload and Connect to Your Intuition

Are you suffering from information overload? Do you have so many ideas you feel paralyzed and can’t start your next project? At this point, you can’t feel the difference between healthy realism and crippling self-doubt?

Many of us get stuck in the learning phase before taking on a new project or challenge in life. It can feel like a legit pursuit until you realize that project has been on the shelf for years and you’re still studying up on how to get started. At some point, you have to say to yourself – I’ve done enough research to start. You could also ask yourself, “What’s really keeping me stuck?”

We learn the most by doing. Any questions you have before you begin will be answered by actually trying things out. The fear of “doing it wrong” can hold you back from using what you have and taking a risk. I’ll tell you a secret – your project will only be amazing if you make LOTS of mistakes. The more mistakes the better!

We’re not talking mistakes you made because you didn’t put any care or time into your efforts. Even the best-laid plans will result in a good number of errors that couldn’t be foreseen by the maker. These are opportunities. We don’t start off with a completed masterpiece. It takes several iterations before your creation will be who it will eventually be.

how to hear your intuition

How do you jump off the information overload wagon?

  • Unplug from outside advice and focus on creating your thing.
  • If you get stuck, go ahead and gather research on your specific challenges, but use what you find immediately. Make a habit of using the information you gather right away. This will keep you doing instead of stewing.
  • While you’re at it, unplug altogether. Stop looking at news headlines, your Facebook feed, Instagram images, and tune into your inner voice. All of these platforms of connection take up real estate in your brain.

If you’re a highly-sensitive creative, social media will zap the energy you need to get things done, or even maintain your mental health if you have anxiety and depression like me. You can get off the comparison train, or the “everything has been done already” helicopter ride, by staying off these channels as much as possible.

Once you’ve started to clear your mind, get your ideas in order. If you’ve been keeping all your ideas in your head, or in too many containers, you may already have an entire project complete without being aware. Put all of your writing and ideas in one place. Focus on that realm instead of the what others are doing and never-ending preparation.

I use an amazing system to keep my projects in order and capture all of my ideas. I didn’t realize how much I’d written, researched, and fleshed out until I put it all into Scrivener. Now I can see I already have five courses written, all over 50% complete!!

I’ll be sharing this system, and a template for creating an online product from start to finish, in a course launching in early January. You can learn more about it here.

Once you’ve semi-closed the open portal of overwhelm (aka the Internet), it’s time to connect to your BEST and most original source of creativity, your own inner knowing.

Take action each day, and make lots of mistakes!

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Is It Healthy Realism or Crippling Self-Doubt?

Is It Healthy Realism or Crippling Self-Doubt?

People are always saying “trust your intuition,” but how can you tell when it’s self-doubt talking and not your inner wisdom? How do you know if you have a realistic perspective or if fear is keeping you from taking risks?

Starting anything is the hardest part of the adventure. Taking the first steps, usually alone in many senses, we’re afraid of how we’ll look if we fail. We’re afraid we won’t live up to people’s expectations if we succeed. We’re afraid of getting hurt, not being good enough, feeling exposed, or looking like a fool.

The reality is we’re lucky if any of those things happen to us. Life is a gift, and it’s fleeting. The world will not end if we look foolish, especially not if we laugh along and don’t take ourselves too seriously.

self-doubt

This is one of slides we go over together in my free mini-course, Get Started, Get Going.

The expectations of others aren’t what’s really stopping the success train. It’s likely fear of the unknown and limiting beliefs around personal capabilities.

Do you have two voices inside you saying contradictory things? These two perspectives keep battling over small details. One voice says you’ve got something special to offer. The other voice tells you nobody will care what you have to say. You’re too old, too young, or other people have already done what you want to do.

All of us have those competing feelings. Don’t let all that noise in your brain stop you from having a good time on this planet. Do your thing.

Look a little deeper, under the confusion and doubt. In the quiet space inside, you’ll find your wise inner voice. Trust her. Developing a deep trust in your instincts will help you see with a more balanced perspective and make decisions you can feel confident about.

We can tell ourselves any stories we want to corroborate our fears and keep us in our safe zones. We, humans, do it all the time – always looking for evidence that what we believe is true, especially when it comes to confirming our fears.

You might want to Pin this quick guide I made for you on how to recognize if you’re stuck in a fearful mode, or if you’re being realistic about your capabilities and possibilities.

self-doubt

You and I both know that making big decisions can come with a landslide of doubt and negative self-talk. On top of our own emotional challenges related to moving forward into the unknown, we may also have to deal with not-so-supportive external forces in our lives.

To make big choices and take on new challenges with confidence, plant your roots in mindful thinking and become familiar with how mindset effects time management and decision-making skills.

In my free mini-course, Get Started, Get Going, you’ll dip your toes into what it might look like to be your own best support system, building momentum and flow through consistent action and mindful thinking. Integrating these beliefs and practices into your daily life will help you feel more peaceful, powerful, and positive while taking on new challenges.

free confidence mini-course

[x_button shape=”square” size=”large” float=”none” href=”http://creativemindsociety.teachable.com/p/free-mini-course” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]It’s FREE, Why Not? >>[/x_button]

If you’re still wondering if it’s healthy realism or crippling self-doubt that has you standing still, take a leap. Do that thing, take that calculated risk, and you’ll quickly find out what was holding you back. Not only that, you’ll be free from it too.

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Don’t Let Sour Grapes Keep You From Enjoying Life

Don’t Let Sour Grapes Keep You From Enjoying Life

Have you ever heard the term “sour grapes” from the fable The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop?

The fox in the story attempts to reach a bunch of grapes on an out of reach vine. He fails in his attempt, and instead of accepting his failure, he says the grapes aren’t tasty enough anyway.

The book I’m currently reading, Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking by Daniel C. Dennett, prompted me to reflect on this phrase.

Dennett says, “… sometimes people pretend not to care about something they can’t have by disparaging it.”

He suggests one might simply mention the term sour grapes to encourage someone to reflect on their own about their thinking. The term is an “intuition pump,” as he describes it, that can catalyze one’s own intuitive powers and evolve their perspective.

A series of related examples I’ve come across recently ran through my mind. The most memorable being Trump saying he didn’t want Time’s “Man of the Year” distinction anyway, while Time magazine said it was not offered.

An author and mystic I deeply admire, Toko-pa, shared this quote from the book Wild Women Who Run with the Wolves By Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Esteson on her Facebook page,”It is a psychic fact that when one has given birth to a beautiful thing something mean will also arise, even if only momentarily, something that is jealous, lacks understanding, or shows disdain. The new child will be called down, called ugly, and condemned by one or more persistent antagonists.”

This quote, to me, rings with sour grapes also. The mean child being jealous of the beautiful child, not recognizing the value of its unique existence, letting shame burn a hole in its heart.

We’ve all experienced this feeling of sour grapes. Success and the pursuit of happiness are so lauded in our society, yet teamwork, humility, and compassion are often left untouted by the loudest voices. It’s no wonder we would feel ashamed by a failed attempt, or unworthy due to lack of achievement.

These sour feelings of disappointment don’t need to define our responses to situations. We are able to choose how we perceive things. If we fail, the opportunity to see the lesson, adjust our course, and try again is in our hands. If we see others succeed and shine, it’s our success too. We all play a part in one another’s wins and losses.

The truth is, we don’t know how anything will work out. The grapes may be out of reach. We may have wanted them badly and tried with our best effort to reach them. We may see others applauded and accomplished while we feel unseen.

Letting go of expectations for how our experience should look can make that sour taste turn into the lingering sweetness of gratitude.

Support others with compassion and generosity. Don’t let achievements be your definition of worthiness. You are worthy now. These strengths of character are the sweet grapes you’ve been longing for all along.

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Develop Productive Emotional Habits through Self-Awareness and Intentional Action

Develop Productive Emotional Habits through Self-Awareness and Intentional Action

Have you ever felt so upset by an argument with your loved one or friend it made your work-day suffer? You felt distracted, exhausted, and totally preoccupied with what you said or wished you said. When you went to bed that night, thoughts of the day bounced around in your head keeping you awake, starting a cycle that would continue to haunt you the next day.

Our emotions can overwhelm us in many scenarios throughout the day. In the moment, it can feel so urgent and important that you resolve these feelings somehow or you just can’t focus on anything else.

We’ve all been there.

If we aren’t too busy being taken down by our intense emotions, we may learn to see them for what they are – passing exclamations of our experience, secrets telling us how we see the world and what we want or don’t want.

We all have powerful emotional responses to particular triggers, but we don’t want them to keep us from creating and loving life. To learn to let go in the moment and accept what is with a sense of peace, we need to expand our self-awareness and the space between intention and action.

Why Is It So Hard to Change Emotional Patterns?

Emotional reactions are automated by our brain. It’s like riding a bike. Once we learn how to ride, it becomes automatic. We don’t need to focus as much attention on that particular process. We see situations that seem familiar, a chemical release is triggered in our amygdala, and the automatic response is set into motion.

We’ve got to throw a stick in the spokes to get our brains to respond in a new way. This requires us to intentionally examine those automatic reactions, becoming aware of how we’re feeling and creating a space where we can objectively choose how to respond. This is what neuroplasticity is – changing the structure of the brain, or neural patterns, through objective observation and intentional actions.

The Magic Happens Between Intention and Action

The gap between intention and action is where you meet yourself deeply. The wider we can make this gap, the more time you have to consider how to respond to a trigger that sets off your emotional patterns.

Our automated responses are fueled by our stories. Fear, pain, and unmet needs burn in this space. When we don’t look at these painful feelings and treat them with love and compassion, we continue to react to triggers in defensive and protective modes. This space between intention and action also contains vast beauty, meaning, and the opportunity to be vulnerable and open to yourself and others deeply.

We will often do anything to avoid looking at our true pain. It may be because it’s too much to hold, and we have other things on our plate. We might be fighting for survival. You will heal when you are ready. Practice these exercises with a gentle, loving heart. Take it easy, and trust in yourself.

The process of changing any habit is awkward until it becomes second nature. The first step is setting your intention and committing, and recommitting, to the process. By practicing new ways of seeing and being,  your growing awareness will open up a new world of understanding. Hang in there! It’s worth it! You’ll be able to use these skills throughout your life. We never stop growing.

The Goal is to Respond Rather than React

There are constant opportunities to change how we react to stimulus throughout the day. When someone judges us, we may react with defensiveness or turn inward and judge ourselves. A person might be obnoxious on the phone when we call customer service. It is possible to choose to take a deep breath, let go, and even laugh. We don’t have to hold on to what pains us by reacting negatively.

When we welcome whatever happens into our experience as if it was meant to be there, we make space for life and possibility – even when it’s not expected or preferred. Pushing experiences away only makes the pain more powerful. Accepting things we can’t control, and letting go of control, with a relaxed, compassionate heart will completely change your perspective.

This doesn’t mean all strong responses are inappropriate. Fighting for justice requires us to have fierce compassion. As Jack Kornfield tells us in his blog post Responding with Love and Courage, when we are working towards saving our own lives, or the lives of others, we stand up with strength and vigor. Anger is an appropriate response to certain situations, but it’s not a self-righteous anger. To work in this way requires just as much work on our self-awareness, practice in letting go, and developing keen clarity of purpose and action.

How Exactly Does One Become More Self-Aware and Intentional?

Self-awareness is the key to making that space between our triggers and how we choose to respond wider and more peaceful. There are many things we can observe about ourselves and how we interact with the world around us. When we illuminate our self-knowledge, we also expand our awareness of our connection to all other things and people.

I’ve created a journaling worksheet based on multiple exercises from the book Emotional Alchemy by Tara Bennett-Goleman, and from insights collected from live talks by Tara Brach. It can be downloaded here.

The worksheet will take you through steps to practice to create more space around your emotions and understand why you do what you do. Doing these exercises will help you choose actions and responses that bring you closer to your values and goals.

 

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Do You Want Your Emotions to Control You or Inform You?

Emotions play a part in everything we do. If we’re not intentional, emotions can run our lives for us. They can take us on a wild ride in a fictional reality, keeping us from being truly present in the moment. Taking a look into our darkness, exposing our faults and vulnerabilities, can be terrifying, not to mention exhausting. It’s a lifetime process, and it begins right now.

Meet yourself deeply, and you’ll be able to see others with the same depth and compassion. Give yourself the love and respect you need and want. Slow down, respond to emotional triggers with intention, and have power over what you spend time and energy thinking about and doing.

[x_blockquote cite=”Tara Brach” type=”center”]”We can notice our patterns and choose to pause, bring tenderness to the parts of us that feel ashamed, and remind ourselves that love is always loving us. There is a tenderness can hold us. We can pause and make fresh choices. It’s not the self that is getting out of a bad habit – it’s the waking up of our awareness. The hungry ghost begins to lose its power when its met with compassion. Pause, deepen your attention, sense what fresh possibilities might be available.” [/x_blockquote]

To hear about how to stay present without striving to change and tuning into your own intuition to make decisions, sign up for my newsletter and be the first to hear when it’s posted.

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