Have you ever said “yes” to doing something when you didn’t know exactly what it would require from you?
That’s exactly what saying yes to climbing my first fourteener was like when I said “yes, I’d love to do that… SOMEDAY.” When those words came out of my mouth, I hadn’t REALLY considered what it would require or what I was signing up for.
Two years ago, Jake and I were walking in my old neighborhood in Austin, holding hands, new in our love story, and talking about what it’d be like to climb a fourteener together. He’d already climbed several, more times than he could count. It was the joy he had as we talked about accomplishing it together that inspired me- still makes me smile.
At the time, I was 40 lbs heavier, addicted to sugar, working an unfulfilling sales job, and struggling with believing in myself.
As we were talking about it, I knew I’d have to become a different person in order to...
It has been said that 93% of communication is non verbal and 53% of that is body language. The funny thing about communication is that our tone and our body language not only communicate to those around us, but to ourselves as well.
The same is true for my self-talk ...it turns out it's quite similar to the way I talk to others. When i am critical and judgmental of others , I am practicing being critical and judgmental of myself. I am rehearsing looking for and accepting those negative thoughts.
The good news is that I love giving a good compliment. I love to be observant and try to discover what someone is working on in their life - where they are putting their effort, then to acknowledge that effort. It's connecting and it makes me feel like I am contributing to their process ...and anyone who reads this knows that I love the process.
It turns out that this joy of mine contributes greatly to my own positive self-talk. When I practice...
When I was in high school, I didn't have a curfew - I had to have a PLAN. I was allowed to experience life, I was allowed to have fun, I was allowed to take risks ...but my parents had to know my plan.
As youth ministers they had heard the same song too many times following a life altering bad decision:
"What were you thinking?"
Major consequences from not thinking. To combat this, I HAD to have a plan. I had to think in advance about what I would be doing, the choices I would be making, and the risks I would be taking. As long as i stuck to the plan, I was OK. When my friends tempted me to stray from the plan - it was easy for me to resist because I LOVED the freedom I had to make any plan I wanted. I wasn't willing to trade the momentary satisfaction of "a little fun" for the lifestyle I had created. I loved my plan - and I took pride in my plan. My parents fostered in me a pride in my process, the mindset to...
You're at the head of the class and you notice 3 students near the back fighting to hold back smiles. They're not breaking any rules ...but they are clearly attempting to hide something. Your mind starts spinning. Is my zipper down, is there food on my face?
...Or maybe they are excited because they are already realizing that this is going to be the most fun class they've had all day.
Which one is most likely?
(He checks is zipper) ...MUST be food on my face
Our brains naturally place 5 time as much importance on negative information, thoughts, or ideas as positive. Because of this we naturally think of the negative thoughts as true and the positive thoughts as "head in the clouds" fantasy. Negative thoughts get to be called "realistic" and positive thoughts are dismissed as "idealistic".
I have a generally positive thought pattern and it leads to a fair amount of helpful self-talk. When this shows up in tough life circumstance - my...
I've played in a lot of sporting events both home and away. I've felt the difference between support and heckling. As a 5-9 inch volleyball player, the wasn't one away game I played where i didn't hear some variation of, "Hey number 7, the NCAA agreed to a new rule this year, you're allowed to stand up!!!"
Now, of course you learn to not only survive, but thrive in that environment, but a "home court advantage" is discussed for a reason - it's just easier to show up under pressure when you're being supported vs verbally attacked.
Since we KNOW this is true and we WANT to show up well in our own lives, we always support ourselves ...right? Of course not, that would make too much sense. Instead we obsess on our short comings, live in fear of failure, doubt ourselves, then chastise ourselves mercilessly when let ourselves down.
What if you could stop doing that? What if you could recognize that this is a pivotal moment in the game and this is when...
What if one of your worst nightmares became an actual event in your life story? Imagine that you hear about a fire within 50 miles of your house - you're a positive person, so you decide to keep a cool head and be responsible. You make the choice to evacuate ...just to be safe, or maybe a good example to your neighbors. Maybe you could even make it an "adventure" as you pack up your kids and head to a friends house for a sleep over. A bunch of smiles, laughs, and "don't worry, it will be OK's."
The next day, however, it's ALL GONE ...the house, the stuff, the photos, the toys, the hot tub, the second car ...the surfboards!!!!! It's ALL GONE. How do you react? How do you present yourself to your kids? How long can you stay strong? What do the private moments look like? What happens to your marriage? What happens to your health? What happens to your fun? What happens to your LIFE?
Well - Matt...
Have you ever played sports with an injury? It's a vulnerable spot to be in. There are very real limitations to how you'll be able to perform, so you're faced with a choice:
Compete, or don't compete ...or compete, but blame your short comings on your injury.
Now the emotional adult, will either choose to compete or choose not to compete
"I choose not to run" - Jerry Seinfeld.
If you choose to compete as an emotional adult, you risk being judged, you risk people assessing your ability, people measuring your value ...all based on a performance below your potential. That's scary!! It can also be empowering and freeing. You will be forced to show up for YOU. Forced to remember it's not about THEM - that it is OK for people to be wrong about you. Forced to check in on the source of your value, the foundation of your self-worth. Is it in winning? Is it in your friends' opinions of you? Or...
"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
Why would I want to take responsibility when the OTHER person is in the wrong? Basically there are three reasons that get unpacked in this podcast.
1. I'm only hurting myself
2. I can't change what happened no matter how mad I get
3. I'm giving away my freedom
If you look back over your life, you will notice that as you got older you gained freedom and you gained responsibility - the two are directly proportional. The same is true for your emotional maturity. As you take more responsibility for how you feel and your emotional responses, you gain more freedom from the events of your life.
Why can some athletes make a bad play, shake it off and come right back on the next one when others stew, fume, and sulk about it so they make 4 more errors on their next 4 opportunities ...EMOTIONAL...
Our life is filled with events - and those events determine our experience ...or DO they??? Jack Canfield says that our experience is actually the SUM of our life's events PLUS our response. That's a big deal it means that we have a say over our own experience of life. Viktor Frankl goes one step further to say,
"In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way - an honorable way - in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment."
The bottom line is that we respond to each event of our life with maturity, or with immaturity ...or more bluntly as an "Emotional Adult" or an "Emotional Child". The more time we spend in emotional adulthood, the more fulfilling our experience of life. As with many things, the first step toward choosing on purpose is recognition.
Have you ever been in a situation where you simply decide to show kindness ...even though the odds are against any chance you would have received it if the tables were turned? Those moments are powerful reminders that kindness, thoughtfulness, and love are not really about actions being earned or deserved - they are about a choice we are making about how to show up in life.
Remember the end of Wonder Woman when she resists her rage and chooses love ...or The Return of the Jedi when Luke won't give in to the Dark Side. Even though deep down we all kind of wanted to see him kill them both!! These scenes are examples that we have a choice ...and that anger doesn't win the day.
Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Jesus - these are all people who chose respect, kindness, and love over anger, hate, and violence ...and they ACTUALLY made a difference. When I watch the movie of their life, there's this part of me that wants them to lash out, I want to see...
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