Ten Things to Stop Believing if You Want to Be Happy, Empowered, & Stress Free
The general reaction to anyone who says that a stress free life is possible is disbelief.
Most people think the stress free life is a lie. Most people think feeling happy and peaceful most of the time is a lie. Most people think that suffering is simply a way of life.
They think that when something horrible happens we HAVE to spend a really long time feeling sad and guilty and distressed and overwhelmed and depressed. Because that’s just life. That’s the way things are.
I’m here to tell you that when we think this way, we’re giving away our power. When we think this way, we’re choosing to participate in our own destruction. We’re choosing to bet against ourselves. We’re deciding that the difficulties and the things that we don’t want are more impactful than the good amazing wonderful things that we experience from moment to moment.
I’m here to tell you that there are no rules that say we all have to grieve the same way, that we all have to be sad the same way, that we all have to deal with challenges the same way, that we all have to have the same response to experiences.
There are no rules that say how many times you’re allowed to change your mind, how many passions you’re allowed to have, how much time you have to spend with certain people, or what kind of clothes you have to wear.
But we live our lives as if these rules exist. We live not only as if they exist, but as if the rules are blackmailing us… promising to reveal our deepest darkest secrets if we don’t comply.
These kinds of beliefs create destruction.
So sure… We end up feeling negative emotions because we’re human and life happens. We feel negative emotions because those negative emotions let us know that something might be dangerous. They let us know that there’s something we’re experiencing that we don’t want... something that isn’t meeting our expectations.
The negative emotions let us know that we’re only seeing our experience from one perspective… and they give us the opportunity to recognize the perspective and decide if we want to keep it.
What if we don’t want to keep it?
Well, if we push past our initial reaction to look at life through the lens of what we like and what we can't stand, we can start to actually pay attention to how we interact with our experiences.
We can start to see everything we go through as an opportunity. This way, we can actually become the author of our life - we can write and then rewrite our narratives to empower us instead of constantly choosing to tear ourselves down. Want a course that teaches you exactly how to do this, step by step? Check it out here).
So... How do we actually figure out how to pay attention to our thoughts so that we can ultimately choose empowerment, alignment, and truth over despair, stress, and following the status quo?
How do we start framing our most challenging moments as generous opportunities to relax and go with the flow?
How do we release the resistance we feel to the things that seem too difficult to handle with positivity and grace?
First of all, we must believe it’s possible.
The ability to do this comes from a deep internal love for ourselves and respect for our own existence. Knowing that your ability to live fully, feeling it all and appreciating our ability to do so… and knowing that the appreciation is all we need to find a sense of peace… THIS must come first. Before anything else. Before we rush off to justify how terrible our life has been… or how challenging this experience is…
We have to love ourselves enough to stop settling. We must believe that it is possible to feel joy even when things around us aren’t going according to plan.
If you believe that certain experiences simply don’t make the cut… that certain experiences mean that you just get to accept defeat and succumb to the narrative that your life will never be the way you want it to be… that you just have to sacrifice your dreams and your joy and you potential… then you’ll make sure (consciously or unconsciously) that these things turn out to be true.
But… that isn’t the only option.
We can go the other direction. We can decide to value our peace and happiness. To value the things that are truly important to us - not the things that we feel we HAVE to value because someone else said so.
So this means if you’re a creative, artistic person… actually being a creative, artistic person however that manifests for you.
This means if you value your health - you actually make decisions that help your body function well and help you feel energetic and healthy… even if that means letting go of your social meat eating habit or your social drinking habit. Your values must come first. This is part of what it means to stop settling.
This isn’t always easy. It doesn’t always feel like the obvious, effortless decision. Because it isn’t your normal path just yet. You’re still going against the grain - against what you used to do (mindlessly) in the past… against what most of the people in your life do…
But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed. That just means you’ve got another great opportunity here!
An opportunity to flood yourself with the perspectives of other people who’ve done the work... people who are living the way you ultimately want to live. You have to know that it’s possible. You have to see it. You have to believe in strength and power of a strong, compassionate mindset.
Because once you know what’s possible, you can commit to a lifestyle. We can commit to a way of being. You can realize that the thing you think is hard and different and difficult is actually simple and possible and invigorating for someone else.
Without this commitment, we end up just TRYING really hard to be positive for a day or two. We end up feeling like we’re lying to ourselves. We feel like we’re rock climbing on a summer day in the middle of Arizona… and we’re not a human anymore… Somehow we’ve turned into a cute little clown fish who’s found herself really far away from her sea anemone home. We end up feeling really out of place.
Without the belief in what’s possible, we end up feeling like everyone who says they live stress free is full of it. We get mad and resentful, and then we give up. We go back to living the way we’ve always lived.
We think that no one must know how hard we have it. No one knows what we’ve been through. No one know why this is so difficult for me. No one knows what I’m up against. No one understands what I’ve got going on. That other person must have it so much easier. And then we amp it up even more…
We think, what about all of the other people in the world who have it so much worse than I do? Is stress free living supposed to be just a decision away for them, too? Is it right that they don’t have access to resources and joy and happiness and stability and health and on and on and on?
Do you see how that line of thought completely spiraled out of control? Do you see how as we went deeper into that perspective we just focused more and more on negativity and guilty and stressful situations? Can you see how easy is it to flow into arguing for you limitations and for the limitations of everyone around you? Everyone else in the world, even?
Do you also see how this does not serve you at all? How there are SO many other questions you could ask instead of the ones that take you deeper into a pile of self despair and self doubt?
But once you fill yourself with positivity, once you know what’s possible, once you can commit to living a stress free life because you’ve seen how other people do it… it feels just a little simpler to put the stress decreasing habits into action in your every day life.
It stops feeling like a lie. It starts feeling like an essential part of who you are. You will naturally start to focus on what's possible instead of what's painful. (Don't get me wrong, becoming aware of the pain is an important step in the process. I'm not saying to ignore or repress... But remembering not to stay in the pain, not to identify with the pain, not to be sucked into the pain is important as well).
And then you become an amazing example for other people who want to know how to do this, too.
Part of creating your dream life... part of being able to live with joy and peace and passion at the center of everything you do, means not only looking at how other people have done it… but it also means taking a look at how you speak to yourself.
And it means taking a look at your language especially when you feel like life isn’t going your way.
Because how we frame our experiences directly influences how stressed out we feel.
So before we begin to replace what we think with uplifting, empowering things... we have to become aware of the things we say habitually that create the stress in the first place.
The biggest issue I see with my students and clients? They don’t even realize they’re saying these things.
These self-defeating statements and beliefs have become a natural way of life. So much so that we don’t even realize we’re saying things we don’t have to believe. Instead of questioning them, we accept them as truth. We accept them as fact.
When we know what language to look out for, we can actually stop ourselves in the middle of the thought. We can pause.
When was the last time you caught yourself saying any of these things?
I should be doing better by now.
They don’t think I’m good enough.
I don’t know enough.
That was a complete waste of time.
It will take too long.
I’ll never be able to do that.
I need to be more like her.
I’ll finally be successful when.
Too many people know more / are better at this / are more qualified.
This is too hard.
One significant thing to remember about these thoughts is that they all argue for our limitations. They all interpret the situation as being in someone else’s favor. They’re all about focusing on what isn’t working instead of what is.
Not only is the focus on what isn’t working, but there’s a sense that what isn’t working isn’t worth anything and that finding out what will work isn’t possible. There is a sense of doubt. There is a sense of failure. There is a lack of awareness.
Just because things aren’t going our way doesn’t mean we have to doubt.
Just because we can’t predict the future doesn’t mean we have to accept that things will turn out horribly.
Just because we want to spend our lives growing and improving doesn’t mean we can’t live in the present moment with peace and acceptance and curiosity.
When something is challenging we don’t have to continue experiencing the situation while beating ourselves over the head with the idea that this situation is just way too hard and I shouldn’t have to deal with something like this…
We can choose empowerment instead.
We can chose wonder.
We can choose awareness.
We can choose to honor how we feel.
We can choose compassion.
We can choose empathy.
We can choose integrity.
We can choose focus.
We can choose mindfulness.
We can choose to be on our own side.
The thoughts that hold you back do not have to be habitual. We do not have to believe everything we think.
We can work with our thoughts and break them down so that we can get to the truth.
So if you’re thinking that you’ll never be able to lose weight or quit smoking or start a side hustle or finish school… in order to really work with that thought we have to dig in deeper. We have to explore. We have to question. We have to shift into our ability to think about HOW we're thinking.
What are the steps you can go through to get rid of this stressful belief? (Going through this process, by the way, is a HUGE form of self-care. To be able to speak to yourself how you wish other people would talk to you… and not because you want to give yourself compliments when you know they aren’t true… but because you respect and honor yourself and your path. THAT is power. THAT is love. THAT is where confidence comes from).
Anyway… The steps! Let’s get started.
1. Become aware that you’re thinking it.
Being able to change something starts with our ability to know what needs to shift. So identify the thought you’re having that make you feel sluggish, not good enough, or stressed out.
2. Ask yourself why do I have to be upset about this?
Typically it’s because we’re not getting what we want, what we think we deserve, what we think we need. And just feel the truth of your answer. You don’t have to do anything to change it. Just feel how it feels to be upset about something because you think you’re supposed to.
3. Get in touch with NOW. (Be here now).
Take a look at the thought you identified in the first step. What actually going on in this situation? If you’re thinking that you’ll never be able to reach a goal you set for yourself… realize that at this moment, you’re can only be where you are. You can’t know for sure what will or won’t happen in the future. Focus on what you CAN do now. That might mean taking tiny steps toward your goal… or it might mean giving yourself a break. And knowing that whatever you end up doing or thinking right now doesn’t mean that anything is impossible in the future.
4. Turn what you’re seeing in the present moment into an honest representation of the situation.
This means taking your present moment a step further. Ask yourself to describe what you’re doing right now. Focus on how it feels to do that thing without attaching it to your desired outcome.
5. Commit to finding joy in this situation right now.
Ask yourself what is one thing you’ve learned or become or gained because of this moment.
6. Let it all go.
Remind yourself that you don’t HAVE to do anything. That you have the ability to choose how you behave and what you think. And you can always choose again. Even when the disempowering thought comes up… even when you’ve had that same thought for years… even when you’ve got other people telling you that the disempowered thought is the right thought… you can always make a change.
If you loved this post and you want to really figure out HOW to do this in everyday life...
If you’re ready to let go of the beliefs that are holding you back and making you stressed out…
If you’re ready to figure out how to put these steps into action in simple and easy ways…
The Six Week Mindful Self-Love Course.
It teaches you everything you need to know about changing your beliefs and finding peace in any situation!