Your Search for Meaning

Are you searching for the meaning of life?  Does it feel like a treasure hunt for only you to find?  Yet you look around you and see so many others finding their treasure and you wonder what the deal is.

I have been around so many people who are waiting for the next clue or the big reveal that will finally show them what their meaning and purpose is. They’re waiting for someone to tell them what to do as if there is only one right way. Allow me to set the record straight: The meaning of life is not something you find…it’s something you create.

Stop trying to figure out what you’re meant to do in life, and instead, figure out what meaning you want your life to have.  Do you want to be known for your knowledge or financial success?  Or maybe how you impact a particular field of business or a group of people?

There is no wrong answer.  Do good and be great.  That’s it.  Maybe you’ll be known as an awesome parent or loving partner.  Perhaps an entrepreneur who found a way to monetize a passion.  Or maybe someone who performed their job, no matter what it was, to the best of their ability. It’s possible you’d simply like to be that person who brings joy and happiness to all who know you.  Maybe volunteering is your passion.  Or cooking.  Or running.

There’s no barometer.  There’s nothing to measure yourself against.  This is a game of one.  Solitaire.  Your greatness has nothing to do with others’ greatness.  There is no competition.  I know this may be difficult to understand, but I promise this is true.

Whoever or whatever you’ve been comparing yourself to, you need to stop it.  It doesn’t matter.  We are all on our own independent journey.  It truly doesn’t matter where anyone else is on theirs.  It has nothing to do with yours.

What do you love to do?  What brings you the most joy?  Do that.  The answers to these questions may or may not be your career (aspired or actual).  That’s ok.  Being a great parent or partner may not add to the bank account, but it sure makes a significant difference in your corner of the world.

Making millions, holding power, having the biggest home or most expensive cars mean little if you don’t love what you do.

I want my children to say I impacted their lives in a way that will carry on for generations.  I want my friends and loved ones to say I made their lives better just for knowing me.  I want my work to influence others and challenge them to be better because of my support and leadership. That’s it.  Can you measure that in a house or car or bank account?  Do I have to be featured in People magazine or win a Noble prize to confirm my accomplishment?  Nope, I don’t.  I just have to know I did good and I was great at what I did.  That’s it.

So, what’s your dream?  What would you like to be known for?  Tell me in the comments section.

If you would like some support on designing and creating the life you desire, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of a complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

*A version of this post was originally published in March of 2014

The Top 4 Stressors and How to Combat Them

We tend to think of the “big things” as the most dangerous stressors.  Like health issues, sick parents, loss of a loved one, job loss, things like that.  Yet, that isn’t entirely true.  Other chronic stressors that impact our health and well-being include things like traffic jams, noise and credit card debt, all of which weigh on us.

Stress is the greatest ager of your body in general.  In an American Psychological Association survey on stress, the top 4 sources of stress are money, work (if employed), family responsibilities and health concerns. Let’s talk about ways to minimize the stress in those 4 areas.

  • Money – There are numerous FREE resources on this topic, but here are some “back to basic” tips
    • Awareness – It’s important for you to know exactly (not roughly) where you are spending your money. Backtrack or plan to note every expense for an entire month.  Putting this information in black and white in front of you will likely be very illuminating.  Just like you can’t play your hand until you know what cards you were dealt, you can’t make a financial plan until you know what you’re habits are.
    • Plan It – Once you have an awareness, you can come up with a plan or budget to get yourself in a healthier financial state. Don’t eliminate all “feel good” expenses, just get more creative about them (have a picnic dinner in your backyard instead of going to a restaurant).
    • Make it a Family Affair – Don’t hide your financial situation from your immediate family. Improving this area will require efforts from the entire family.
    • Earn More – Many financial experts state that no one gets rich by working more but rather by investing more. However, some circumstances require more immediate action.  Offer up your talents to friends and family or get another (short-term) job to supplement your income.
  • Current Job – Yes, these tend to pay the bills, but that’s little comfort if you have to drag ass to get there every day. Here are some tips to improve your work situation.
    • Plan Your Day – To the best of your ability, try to foresee obstacles. Reacting to fires is more stressful than preventing them.
    • Take Regular Breaks – Granted, there are some days when we are bombarded and can’t take five minutes to pee, but these should be the exception, not the rule. Stepping away from your work space can do wonders.  Take a walk, find a quiet space (your car or a bathroom stall if you have to) and just chill.  Breathe, meditate, relax.  This will re-energize you.
    • Consider Your Perspective – If an outsider looking in would scoop up your job in a New York minute (and most would), give thought to the lens you’re looking through. Are you spending too much time focused on the crappy parts of the job and not enough on the parts you love?
    • Prepare For and Check-Out the Other Side – No one gets paid enough to work long-term in a job they hate. If there is no end or reward in sight, it’s time to polish up your resume and see what’s out there.  Check employment sites and start getting your name out there for consideration.
  • Family Responsibilities – Often these float our boat, but other times they feel like they could sink us.
    • Talk About It – Talk with others who have walked (or crawled) this path before you. They likely have tips to help you.
    • Give Up the Guilt – There’s no training manual for being an awesome partner, parent or caregiver. Do what you can.  You’re going to screw up, make mistakes and maybe even fail in an epic way.  Learn from your mistakes, move on and try to do better next time.
    • Share the Pain – You don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of resources available to you.  Using them doesn’t make you weak…it makes you resourceful.
  • Health Concerns – Sometimes these issues are within our control and other times they aren’t.
    • Control What You Can Control – If you’re at risk for something, take any steps you are comfortable with to prevent it. If you are already battling something, do what you can to minimize the effects. That’s all you can do.
    • Eat, Sleep, Love – Eat nutritious, healthful foods, get your sleep and love and laugh often.
    • Stop Wondering – The anticipation of something is often worse than the actual exam. Get that mole checked out.  Get the colonoscopy, mammogram or pap smear you’ve been putting off.  You know when something doesn’t feel right, get it checked.  No one cares if you’re being paranoid.

In all of these areas there is one super important step you must take: Take care of yourself.  You need to take some time just for you.  Your family is depending on you, your job is depending on you and you are depending on you.  Take care of this machine that is your body and mind.  It has needs.  Meet them, maintain them so that you can provide all that you do in the other areas.

In the comments section, share a tip that could help someone else who is walking a path you’ve already traversed.

If you would like some support on designing and creating the life you desire (including a self-care plan), then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of a complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

*This post was originally published in June 2015

Looking for a Sign When Making a Decision

When we have tough decisions to make – decisions with no crystal clear right choice – we often look for signs. In a recent conversation, I was asking someone which path they were going to take and their answer was they were just going to sit on the fence right now until they got a sign letting them know whether to go left or right. Of course, it would be nice if we received confirmation from the Universe that a decision is the exact right one, but that’s not usually how life works.

We have all faced decisions where we just weren’t sure we were making the right one. During this time of uncertainty, we likely “sat on the fence,” too. Trying to keep a foot in both places while awaiting the confirming sign from the Universe. But if you’re at the crossroads of a decision, the Universe has already sent you the sign. The sign is a change is necessary. THAT’s the sign. The beauty of the human experience is there are rarely two options with one being clearly right and one being clearly wrong. There are many options, with some better than others, but all of them come with pros and cons.

When faced with a difficult decision, the lesson may be found in the deciding, not in the actual decision. There have been numerous studies that show once we make a decision, we tend to believe it was the right one. Although perspective has a lot to do with this. If you are looking for reasons why it was the right reason, you’ll find them, but if you’re looking for reasons why it wasn’t, well you’ll find those, too.

You always have the resources to make a decision. Whether that’s based on your own gut instinct, life experience, or logic, the answer lies within you. When you are clear that there is an unhappiness, unsettling or some other ongoing discomfort alerting you to the need for change, that’s the Universe telling you that you’re ready for it. It’s only when you get lost in your head, and doubt your intuitive skills and abilities, that you start questioning your readiness for change. Trust that the Universe is sending you a sign – a sign that you’re ready. You’re ready to face this uncertainty. You’re ready to find the answer. You’re ready to make a change. You are being challenged to change. It may be a small change or a big change; it may be a change in your behavior or your perspective, but change is necessary.

Stop doubting your ability to make this decision. You are resilient and life is trying to provide you with another beautiful lesson. Embrace it, lean into it, and move forward.  The sign is there, it’s within you, it always has been. But you cannot truly move forward while keeping one foot firmly planted in yesterday. Commit to forward movement, even if today it’s just a baby step. Trust that you have all the tools you need to make a decision, because that’s the sign the Universe is trying to send you.

Your turn! Share in the comments section a time you trusted your inner wisdom and made a tough decision.

If you would like some support on paving your own path, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of a complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

How Habits Influence Who You Are Today

We all have habits. Good ones. Bad ones. In-between ones. But we’ve got ‘em. These habits have greatly influenced the life we are now living. I think of people in my life and how their habits have impacted them. The cousin who has protected her skin from the sun for the past 30+ years, looks 15 years younger than her peers. I know someone so bitter over a divorce that happened over 20 years ago and she can’t figure out why she has such a hard time connecting with men. Then I think of my habits and see which ones I happily broke (smoking) and which ones continue to haunt me (procrastination).

Our habits make us. Whether our habits are eating sweets or having an optimistic attitude, they are impacting us today. Habits are sneaky. You don’t always see them until they’ve already made themselves at home. Like a houseguest that doesn’t leave until you make them. And that’s just it, really. You have to make the bad ones leave and invite the good ones to stay. In both cases, there’s a period of adjustment. Even though you know that mooching houseguest was no good for you, you still may miss her. She was crazy and no good, but damn, she was fun. Then there’s that good houseguest who you know is good for you, but he’s just so…boring. Like an uncle that is trying to interest you in reading more intellectual works and all you want is to watch a trashy TV show in peace.

Here’s the thing. You have to look these habits in the face and really decide if they stay or if they go. It’s not gonna get any easier. You’ve got to do the hard work. The you tomorrow is not going to want to do it any more than the you today. So stop waiting and just get to work.  Don’t you wish you could say, “thank goodness my younger self did that hard work then so I wouldn’t have to today.” Maybe you can say that about some things, but I’m willing to bet there are other habits that you’ve been carrying around for a while now.

It’s time to figure out which habits need to go. What is something you can do today to start developing that good habit and evicting that bad one? You don’t create a habit in a day, but you can start it in one. Figure out a first step and do it now. Right now. Find someone who already has this habit developed and pal around with them. They’ll be a good influence and will support you while you work on developing the habit for yourself.  Want to get better at saving money and spending less? Want to get off the couch and hit the gym? Want to start seeing the good in life instead of all the bad? Whatever habit you want to break or start, today’s the day. Write down 10 things you could do to make or break that habit and get started on just one of them today. It won’t stay difficult. It will get better and easier. Do your future self a favor and start today. Baby steps count. If you want to start living a healthier lifestyle you can start as small as committing to eating an extra serving of vegetables every day. And then do that every day until it becomes a habit. Then you can add something new to start building into a habit. Easy-peasey, right?

Now it’s time to share some wisdom. How did you make or break a habit? Share in the comments section.

If you would like to work together on developing healthier habits and living the lifestyle you desire, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Coping Mechanisms That Get In Our Way

We all have stress to varying degrees. It’s how we deal with that stress that determines if we reduce it or increase it. Sometimes stressors are external like a looming deadline, demanding boss or difficult family member. Other times, they are internal like when we worry what others think of us, try to uphold an image, or live a perfectionist lifestyle.  No matter what your stressor is, you likely have coping mechanisms that are in place to help you deal with them. And that’s good…maybe.

There are plenty of coping mechanisms to choose from. They are all intended to make us feel better, but over time, they may actually have the opposite effect. If we find a way to ease our stress, that’s not so bad, but these coping mechanisms become habits. And when that happens, instead of just being along for the ride, they start driving our decisions. I’ll use one I see A LOT: wine.  Me and many of my lady friends love us some wine. Long, stressful day at work? Wine. Argument with a spouse? Wine. Something to celebrate? Wine. Before long, this habit permeates other areas, because the triggers start to increase. At first the trigger was stress. Then, since wine usually comes out in the evening, it started showing up not just on the stressful nights, but every night. One glass turns into 3 glasses and now a habit has formed and you’re stressed more because you just don’t feel good anymore.  See how sneaky those little buggers are?

What to do? First, identify your coping mechanisms, the unhealthy ones, I mean. Alcohol seems to be a pretty obvious one, but there are plenty that are more insidious. Smoking, yelling at people, guilting others into or out of things, emotional eating, complaining, playing the victim, excessive exercise, over working, spending too much time on social media…the list goes on.

Then you need to identify your triggers. What is going on, in your life or in your mind, right before you start using that coping mechanism? Looking for a pattern will help you uncover them , too. Like the wine example I used that started off as a stress reducer and ended up being an evening habit. Sometimes there are a few layers to these triggers before you find the original one. For example, maybe when you were 16, your high school sweetheart broke up with you. You consoled yourself with a container of Chunky Monkey. The next time you hit a stressful moment (that chemistry test) your memory reminded you how good that Chunky Monkey made you feel. Now you’re 47 and guess what you turn to when stress hits (or even when it doesn’t)?  You guessed it…Chunky Monkey or whatever naughty food you’re into now. You now have the added stress of weight gain, sugar crashes, and the like.

Once you’re clear on the unhealthy coping mechanism and its trigger, you are ready to replace that bad boy with a healthy coping mechanism. These are things like going for a walk, playing with the dog, meditating, talking your feelings out with a trusted friend, getting a massage, listening to relaxing music, and whatever else you can think of that you feel would be a healthy coping mechanism to reinforce.  As with any, it’s not hard to overuse any one, so be cautious that you’re not using any coping mechanism in excess, even the ones that seem healthy at first glance.

One thing is certain and that is stress ain’t goin’ nowhere, so we have to learn to deal with it in a healthy, productive manner so that we can reduce it without causing other stress (for ourselves or others.)

Alright, that’s enough from me. It’s your turn. What’s your favorite healthy coping mechanism? Share in the comments.

If you would like to work together on developing healthier coping mechanisms and habits, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Knowing is the Easy Part

Most of us have personal goals. We have things we want to work on and improve upon. Knowing what to do is usually the easy part. It’s the doing that’s tough. Let me impart a warning: Disrupt yourself before someone or something else does it for you. There are things you know you need to do. If you don’t take it upon yourself to start working on them, life will eventually do it for you and will likely have greater time pressures than you would have now.

I’ll use health as an example. Let’s say I want to lose 20lbs. I KNOW what I need to do to lose the 20lbs. I could disrupt myself and start eating better and exercising more. But I keep putting it off while the scale continues to climb. Then I go for my annual physical and the doctor tells me I have high blood pressure, I’m pre-diabetic, and I’m making my heart work too hard. Guess who just disrupted me? The doctor. She tells me I need to lose weight to turn these issues around before they start creating even more serious problems. How much do you want to bet that I’m kicking myself because I knew what I needed to do before things got so dire?

Where do you need to disrupt yourself before someone or something else does it for you? Are you drinking too much? Do you need to face the problems in your relationship? Is it time to learn some new skills for work? Are you ready to address your depression? Do you need to stop charging up those credit cards? Are you ready to stop enabling a loved one? Is it time to eat better and get more exercise? Only you know the answer, but wouldn’t you rather make the decision on your terms?

So, how can you get started? DO something. Don’t think, or plan, or graph, or participate in any other form of “research” or “preparation.” DO something. It doesn’t need to be big, but it needs to be something. Need to stop drinking? Dump everything in the house. Need to discuss relationship issues? Set up a time to talk. Need to start exercising? Go for a walk. Today. Right now.

If you give your mind enough time, it will find a way to talk you out of it. It will reason with you and explain why tomorrow will be a much better day to get started. But tomorrow always stays tomorrow. You need to stop thinking and start doing. You are racing against time. What is one action you can commit to right now to disrupt yourself and start proving to yourself that you can do it? Start there. Stop blaming others, or your circumstances, or the unfairness of it all, and take back control. Take action and create the disruption you know you need to be the best version of you.

Tell me in the comments section how you have disrupted yourself in the past and how it led to greater wins.

A great place to start taking action is scheduling an Empowerment Session with me! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session that is sure to leave you feeling motivated and excited about taking more action to make your life better!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Taking Time for Rest and Reflection

I think back to when my kids were young, and I feel like I’m busier now than I was then. I think we all are. We’re just so busy. We’re always doing something, and when we’re not doing something, we feel guilty about it or make excuses for it. But it’s important to take time to rest and reflect. To be curious and wonder, and imagine, and consider possibilities. While on the outside it may appear we are doing nothing, on the inside we are doing very important work.

Rest can take the form of sleep, meditation, or just quiet time in your own space. Rest allows our bodies to heal and repair. But there are other ways to rest from our busy-ness and that involves activities that may not look like rest. Here are some examples:

  • Spending quality time with friends and family – What’s important here is the “quality” aspect of these gatherings. You need to genuinely enjoy time with these people in order for it to be considered rest. This could be a picnic, a leisurely walk, time by the pool, a shared dinner, or a chat over tea. These types of connections leave you feeling lighter and relaxed.
  • Sitting quietly with your eyes closed – This can be a more formal method of meditation, or just you being aware of each body part and focusing on relaxing each one.
  • Eating natural, easy to digest foods – We put our bodies through a lot of extra effort when we consume too much processed, hard to digest foods. Some toughies include: dairy, fried foods, spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol, carbonated drinks, beans. Try replacing a heavy dinner with a lighter one, like salmon and brown rice. Also, drinking lots of water throughout the day helps, too! (9-11 eight-ounce cups per day for women, 12-13 cups per day for men is the general recommendation)
  • Deep, relaxing breathing – Focus on your breath and fill your lungs with oxygen. Take a deep breath in for four counts, then slowly release for 8 counts. Focus only on your breath. Do this for two minutes and you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
  • Nap – Short naps (20-35 minutes) can recharge you and make you more productive. They can also help minimize the effects of lost night sleep.

Reflection may seem like a luxury, but it serves an important purpose. Reflection is the process of looking back on your actions, both good and bad, considering their outcomes, and using those conclusions to direct future actions.  Reflecting like this improves your problem-solving skills and strengthens higher level thinking. Give yourself some time to reflect on the following questions:

  • Am I using my time wisely – Sure, you may be busy, but are you busy in the right way? Are you balancing the areas of your life appropriately?
  • Am I being true to my values and beliefs – It’s all too easy to do what is accepted by others, but that may mean being untrue to yourself so much that you lose your own identity.
  • Have I set goals and made a plan to achieve them – Getting lost in auto-pilot is all too common. Make sure you don’t lose sight of a future by your design. You don’t want to realize in 20 years that you followed everyone else’s path.
  • What behaviors and tendencies have I improved in over the years – Noticing where you’ve grown and improved is an important step in the reflection process. It reminds you that you can change any aspect of yourself that you want.
  • What behaviors and tendencies do I need to work on – There’s always room to become the best you. Considering the stage of your life now and the future you desire, consider what areas need some attention and effort.
  • What actions do I need to take that I’ve been putting off – We all do this. We can get fearful or overwhelmed by “next steps.” Taking the time to consider what the next small step is can gradually lead us a little closer to achieving what we need and want.

Making rest and reflection a priority in your life can mean the difference between “passive living” and “active living.” Living is meant to be an action verb – so get living by incorporating more rest and reflection in your life so you can truly live a life that YOU design.

Share in the comments section your favorite way to rest and/or a reflection question you love.

If you would like to work together and turn your reflection into action, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Your Life – Are You In the Audience or On the Stage?

Life plays out differently for different people, but there are generally two places to interact from: The Audience or The Stage. There are those who observe life from the audience perspective. They tend to see life happening to them. Those who are on the stage are active performers. They tend to see life as very much in their control. Where you choose to be greatly determines how you feel about your life. Let’s take a closer look at these perspectives.

Audience Member

  • Often a victim of life’s circumstances
  • Feels as though everyone else’s needs come before their own
  • Has many “reasons” to explain why their life is the way it is
  • When things go right, they often feel “lucky”
  • They often see others as smarter, better, or better positioned than them
  • They feel powerless
  • They may have moments of wanting to take control of their life, but ultimately talk themselves out of it
  • They tend to complain
  • They think they fall short compared to others
  • Tend to be “people pleasers”
  • Often deal with issues as they arise, as opposed to planning for them or taking preventative measures
  • May wish for things to be different, but just don’t see how it could work for them

Stage Performer

  • Excited at all the possibilities
  • Sets goals and achieves many of them
  • Has many stories of overcoming obstacles
  • When things go right, they often feel proud
  • They don’t regularly compare themselves to others – they embrace their own uniqueness
  • Even when faced with unexpected challenges, they recognize that they get to choose how to handle them
  • They often try new things and aren’t afraid of failure
  • Instead of complaining about others, they self-reflect and control what they can control
  • Failure does not define or deter them
  • They balance their self-care and taking care of others
  • They plan and goal set to avoid obstacles
  • When they desire change, they take action and make it happen

So which one sounds most like you? I can honestly say I’ve spent significant time at various stages of my life as an audience member.  I was guilty of all of those things. I also left my “seat” and approached the stage, but got scared and returned to my seat. Maybe I chose a seat a little closer to the stage, but I still sat. Other times, I approached the stage, owned it and then gradually backed away to the comfort zone of sitting. There were times in my life where I actively chose to be an audience member. Maybe because I was just too tired to do anything else. Still other times, I sat in order to observe and learn from others who were excelling on their stage. There is no judgement here. There is no right or wrong. It’s up to you. Where do you want to be most of the time? Is it where you are now? If it isn’t, then you know what you need to do – you need to take action.

Tell me in the comments section one area within the Stage Performer list that you’d like to strengthen, and why.

If you would like to work together and find the strength to get up on your stage, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Are You Using Your Superpowers?

Yes, you have superpowers. You have strengths and passions that because of their unique combination, make them special. Sure, there are likely plenty of people that are great at the same thing, but they don’t have the same combination of skills that you do. That makes you pretty freakin’ special!

When life gets busy, it can be easy to take these strengths for granted. In fact, we can get so busy focusing on our weaknesses or just trying to survive each day, that we may forget about our strengths and how far they’ve brought us.

I’m reading What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty. The character Alice falls at the gym and hits her head. After speaking to others, she realizes that she has no memory of the past ten years. (You’ll get that book review in an upcoming monthly newsletter that only VIP subscribers get – so subscribe if you’d like in on that.) Anyway, that made me reflect on how much I’ve changed over the past ten years. It’s kind of startling when I think about it. This also caused me to realize something important – it was my strengths that brought every good change I’ve experienced.

Interestingly, it wasn’t always the strengths I recognized that brought about important change. I have often relied heavily on my sense of humor, my love of people, and my optimism to help me get where I was going. But when I look back on the last ten years, there were different strengths that propelled me forward. My willingness to be honest with myself about my shortcomings, my willingness to change, and my willingness to work hard were the ones that showed up the most for me. And I hadn’t really given those strengths any credit before realizing this.

I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and suggest that maybe you’ve done the same thing. Maybe you’ve forgotten that you possess many great qualities, strengths and passions. Maybe there are others you haven’t really paid much attention to. Try that exercise. Think about who you were ten years ago and compare that to who you are today. I’ll bet you’ve grown and learned lots of lessons. I’ll wager that you’ve overcome hardships and difficulties in large part because of your strengths. I bet many of those strengths will help you grow and evolve even more over the next ten years.

Knowing that, are there any strengths you can identify that will help you get where you want to be ten years from now? What aspects of your life would you like to be different and how could your strengths help you get there? These introspective questions can help you achieve your goals. Work on taking an inventory of your many strengths and passions. Bringing these superpowers to the front of your mind will make them that much more accessible to you when you need them. These are “tools” that are at your disposal whenever you face a challenging situation.

A great way to honor these superpowers is to share them, so tell me in the comments section a superpower you possess and how it has helped you in the past. Don’t be shy. Remember, your individual strength may be shared by others, but yours is in a unique combination of others you possess so shine some light on it by sharing in the comments!

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How Our Beliefs Can Limit Us

We all have belief systems. There are things we believe to be true. Mechanically, our brains help us to hold onto beliefs by “proving” them to be valid. For example, if you believe most people are good, you will find plenty of examples in life to prove this to be true. Likewise, if you believe most people are shady, you will find evidence of this as well.

The challenge with beliefs is that they are often limiting. This is true for both negative and positive beliefs. For example, if you believe that everyone is just out for themselves, you may be missing out on connecting with someone who truly wants to offer you support because your beliefs will convince you that they must have an ulterior motive for wanting to help you. Likewise, if you believe that you are so skilled and confident that you really don’t need anyone else’s help, you may face the same problem as the negative belief. You will not accept help. In both of these examples, your beliefs limited your results.

Beliefs, in and of themselves, are not “bad.” It’s up to you to determine which beliefs you’re willing to part with or consider alternatives to. Consider any that may be holding you back. These can often be identified as “reasons” you can’t escape a difficult situation. For example, you may believe if you leave your job, you’ll never find a better one or make the same rate of pay. There are plenty of examples of people leaving a job, struggling a bit, and then catapulting to a whole new level in their career. You may believe that being vulnerable in a relationship makes you appear weak, but if you look, you’ll find plenty of evidence suggesting the opposite is true.

So how can we alter our beliefs or at least be more open to others?

  • Question your beliefs – When you catch yourself, you can ask, how did this belief come into existence? Was it childhood or a bad experience or a scary event? Are you even sure you actually believe it?
  • Avoid totality statements – Words like, ‘always,’ ‘never,’ and ‘every’ should serve as red flags to you. Challenge those totality beliefs.
  • Think of times a belief has been untrue – If your inner critic keeps telling you it takes a long time to learn new things, try to think of times when you picked up on something quickly. Our brains like to make connections, so change the direction to finding examples that disprove our beliefs.
  • Try starting a belief statement with “sometimes” – Instead of making a belief so permanent, like “I’m awkward when meeting new people,” change it to, “Sometimes I’m awkward when meeting new people, and sometimes I’m very comfortable.” This opens up dual beliefs that can open up new perspectives.

When we loosen our grip on our beliefs, we will naturally open up to other possibilities. We no longer need to be confined and limited by what we believe. This opens our minds to new ideas, solutions, and approaches to life. We can be more creative, innovative, and flexible when we can look at the world with alternate views. This can also be very beneficial to our inner world and the beliefs we hold about ourselves.

In the comments section, share a limiting belief you once held and how changing it opened up new possibilities for you.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com