living a passionate life on purpose with power
There are two primary focuses that motivate women - love and fear. Love gives us hope. Love inspires. Love motivates us to pursue passion and seek excitement. However, fear causes women to retreat. Fear cause withdrawal from life. Fear will cause us to hide from love. Although women love the idea of being in love, we are terrified of the hurt and pain that often accompanies love.
Fear of rejection, fear of judgement and fear of inadequacy often prevents women from embracing love to the fullest. I'm not sure but I believe it was John Lennon who said without the ability to love ourselves, we can't truly love others. Self-love is the foundation to with all other love resides, including sisterhood - but that is another article.
Today, we are talking about what to do if fear is holding you back from engaging with your life to the fullest, in all areas of your life. I realize the phase, "live life the the fullest,' is a cliche often used to encourage people who may be feeling down or depressed. It is used to uplift and motivate people to move away from self-pity and onward into hope and joy.
In my mind, live life to the fullest means to maximize your potential, opportunities and all the possibilities available to experience your life without limits. Living life to the fullest is about your life on your terms, that's best for you and based on your unique expectations. So, that means, you can not live life to the fullest if you are following someone else's path.
There are many things in life that you may cause you to settle and accept less than what you expected. Nordstroms may not have that shoe in your size, in the color you want so you may have to change your ensemble to accommodate the available color. You can make the decision to settle based on how committed you are on that pair of shoes. It's your choice. Are those shoes worth fighting for? Is it worth calling other stores? Looking online? What I am suggesting is your life, is like those must-have, to-die-for, I have the perfect suit to match shoes - yes, we fight for them because we must have them, by any means necessary. (We all have had that shoe, we just had to have.)
Living your best life means getting out front, leaving the waiting room and being truly alive, whatever that looks like for you. Sleeping through life is not an option. Wake up, tune-in, engage, explore and experience life without self-imposed bounds.
Girl power is about making conscious decisions that help you to evolve and be empowered. Moment-by-moment, it is critically important that your thoughts, actions and habits are rooted in what's best for you. Self-care and self-love afford you the bandwidth to offer care and love to others.
Today is as good as any to implement a new habit. This moment is the best moment to adopt a new state of mind. Right now, is the beginning. Here are seven ways you can live life to the fullest in order to elevate your life passionately on purpose and with power:
What you give your attention to, grows. I can tell a lot about your values by looking at how you spend your time. You may not realize it but at any given moment, you can stop, check out what you're doing and that will tell you what is important to you right now. You may find, that this focus sometimes doesn't represent your values.
So....if you are taking time to go through your husband's phone to see if he's being loyal instead of giving yourself a facial after a long week of work...well...what do you think that says about what's important to you in this moment.
You get to decide how you spend your time, unless you have a newborn baby or sick child at home, in that case, the little one runs your clock for now. Otherwise, you can choose to do in life what makes you happy. You can participate in activities that bring you fulfillment. If you are not satisfied by going to work for example, you can volunteer, mentor, or pick up a hobby that brings a smile to your face. That is where you spend your most valuable resource, your time.
It's difficult to get what you want out of life if you are not sure about what you want, AND a plan to get it. It's cute to proclaim that you know what you want, but in order to achieve it, you must have a plan. As you know, a plan is your roadmap to keep you focused on doing what matters, first. It keeps you on track so you don't go off the ledge with people and things that aren't moving with your current. Yes, I said people. Everyone in your life is not headed in your direction Let them go left, backward or fall behind. Your goals will keep you on course and moving forward in your own lane.
Goals help to maintain clarity, they help you shift return focus to your priorities when you are distracted. Respect your potential, explore all viable avenues to getting what you want in life. Leverage your resources, adjust your plan where necessary and stay focused on the tasks at hand - investing in yourself.
The journey to living your life to the fullest with undoubtedly come with setbacks. You will hit brick walls, barriers and obstacles. You will uncover haters and those who are comfortable with who you have always been and do not want. to see your evolution. You may even find that you are your greatest sabotage. Your negative thoughts and discontented self-talk may serve as your greatest nemesis.
Understanding your emotional triggers, including memories, experiences or events will help you prepare for your journey to fulfillment. These unexpected intense emotional reactions are likely associated with a traumatic event in your life. It would be helpful to get support from a trusted source or professional care.
Let's dig deeper if you find yourself in super-reactive spaces because you are activated by someone else's behavior or words. If you find it a common place to either reacting angry, hurt or aggressive when you are triggered, please seek healing. Some women are triggered but do not react outwardly, they withdraw emotionally and totally shut down. Either response is intense because you have found the need to defend against a newly surfaced painful feeling.
Here are 5 strategies to heal your emotional triggers:
- Be aware of the most impactful emotional triggers that cause you the most pain and throw you off balance the fastest. Journaling is a good place to unpack these emotions and keep a record of frequency and intensity.
- Get to the origin or your emotional triggers. You may have to dig deep and go to spaces you have tried your best to avoid. If you find, the pain is unbearable, please get a professional to walk you through the process of bringing up painful memories.
- Reprogram your negative self-talk. You have the authority to change your mind. When a negative thought enters your mind, acknowledge it's presence and counter the thought with positive talk. For example, when your mind tries to tell you to stay silent when you know that you should speak up, counter that narrative by reminding yourself that you are smart, you are worthy and what you have to say is valuable.
- Act As If...This is more nuanced way of saying, fake it til you make it. The difference it when you tell yourself your behavior is fake, then it becomes a challenge to believe it real, even when it becomes a part of your reality. However, acting As If is implementing the habit of walking, talking and thinking positively until it is fully realized. This method offers a seamless transition into a fully integrated positive belief system.
- Embrace sisterhood. Surround yourself with a circle of sisters who provide a safe space filled with support, empathy, love and compassion. Often women have shared experiences that may lend to helping you shed the feelings of isolation and shame. Your are not alone. Many of us have triggers, we can love each other through the pain. We can lend a hand to move you through to the other side. We can challenge you, support you and celebrate the small wins with you.
- Lean on a coach or work with a therapist for issues that bring about strong unhealthy emotions. Instant uncontrollable rage or overwhelming sadness may indicate a higher level need more support. Click here to visit Psychology Today's to find a therapist in your area.
Liberate yourself from the burden of emotional triggers. Take back your power by stopping others from having the ability to spark unhealthy responses. It's not an easy journey, but it is one that is worth the investment of energy and time. Emotional and mental wellness is the key to your living a fulfilled life.
Take more risks. Not just any risk, calculated risks. When an opportunity presents what is your initial response? Do you take a long time to deliberate? Do you second-guess the decision to take a advantage of the advancement? Is it your natural response to review the pros and cons in order to lean into making an informed decision?
What does it mean to transition from your comfort zone to your growth zone?
- Comfort zone: feel safe and in control
- Fear zone: lack self-confidence, find excuses, be affected by others' opinions
- Learning zone: deal with challenges and problems, acquire new skills, extend your comfort zone
- Growth zone: find purpose, live dreams, set new goals, conquer objectives
While this journey may feel uncomfortable, taking a risk doesn't require you to move mountains. Getting out of your comfort zone may be speaking up for yourself in a meeting all the way to getting out of your own way to achieve a goal.
Asking questions isn't just about getting answers to the unknown, of course expanding your knowledge is critically important, but asking for clarity as a way to expand your ideas is very valuable. Curiosity forces yourself to think creatively and opens your mind to view things from varied angles. These new perspectives unlock your potential to engage in new possibilities and take advantage of never-before-seen opportunities.
If you are intrigued, ask. If you are interested, explore.
Opportunities generally aren't presented gift wrapped in a beautiful red bow with your name on it. Quite the contrary, opportunities are often subtle and are hidden behind an unrecognizable disguise.
It is important that you are actively looking for options, choices and a new avenues to get your needs met. It is essential for your life's fulfillment to seek ways for personal achievement and professional success. Do it with honor, integrity and transparency. Get what you want. Earn it and go get it.
Inside your head is your past, where you get your lessons and the future, where you set your expectations. However, the most important space is outside of your head, is the present. The only space that you can control right now is right now. What you do in this moment can certainly impact the future but the only thing you have direct impact on is this moment.
Living in the moment, inspires you to notice what is around you, how you are feeling and what thoughts are taking hold of your mind. When the chatter is running ramped in your mind practice mindfulness and meditate to help you to get in touch with your feelings and thoughts. Doing so will lead you to clarity about questions that need answers and feeling that need exploring so you can move forward in a positive way.
You know what I do that helps me live in the moment? I begin my day with 5-10 experiences I am grateful for. If I am feeling anxious, hovering over a negative emotion or recounting a memory that lend to my joy.
I give gratitude for the experience but it is present to push my growth. It confirms that I am brave. I am empowered. I am able. I am evolving and for all of the above, I am in gratitude.
For more on this topic see our article, "How Industry Influencers Use Mindfulness for Success."
If you have lived long enough, you have undoubtedly experienced the wrath of the hater. When these folks are on the outside looking in, it is easier to manage. However, when the naysayers come from within, it can be hurtful. When the people closest to you point out your flaws or seem to celebrate your missteps, don't take it personal. Their glee is not really about you, believe it or not their negative responses are more about their issues.
Women who live life to the fullest, understand there are some risks for trying. They understand that every winner loses but not every loser wins. Fulfilled people push through failure while losers sit on the side-line passing judgement on those are in the game trying to do better and be better.
Each of has an intrinsic set of principles that guide us. They serve as our North Star. They guide us when we are confused, they redirect us back to center when we have lost our way. These principles are called values, and they help us to determine what is good, desirable and worthwhile.
Your values are the basic and fundamental belief that guide your attitudes and motivate our actions. You values are the motive behind your decisions. They illustrate what you believe is important in your life. Values determine your priorities and they set the stage for everything you do in your personal and professional spaces. When in doubt, let your values be your lead. Here is a list of 500+ values commonly used by Industry Influencers, thought leaders and decision-makers, "The Core List of Values that Industry Influencers Use to Take the Lead."
Each of has an intrinsic ability to understand without the need for conscious reasoning. It's an instinctive feeling that is present before thinking out the details. Many of us had to learn the hard to trust the gut feeling that immediately gives us understanding without waiting for the opinions of others. Intuition is personal. You have your own guiding you and I have my own. It is important that I follow my gut while understanding that you must listen to yours.
Intuition is different from fear. Intuition is a nudge, it is a whisper to gently guide you. Fear however, screams, startles you and gives your body an anxiety ridden jolt. Understanding the difference will ensure you making choices that are rooted in your purest intuitions and not those tinged by your thoughts and emotions.
Don't overthink your intuition - by definition, it's "the ability to understand something instinctively, without conscious reasoning." Overthinking will dramatically interfere with the intrinsic value of intuition. If you want to do something or be with someone just do it but don't rationalize or work so hard to justify your decisions - it's your life. You have the right to ignore your intuition and go off on your own.
However, listening to your intuition will save you some drama. It will help you to avoid or get out of unhealthy relationships and un-affirming situations. The beauty of intuition is it is not guided by the colored lens of rules, preferences and expectations of others.
Note: Be aware of prejudices and unconscious bias. In many ways, these are the opposite of overthinking, they have similar effects on your intuition as conscious thought. As opposed to overthinking and over-analysis, prejudices and unconscious biases operate from a place of quick judgments your brain makes based on past experiences, stereotypes and personal backgrounds rather than reason and actual experience.
In order to get the full benefits of your intuition, avoid over thinking, over analyzing and relying on your prejudices and unconscious bias to guide your life.
True sisterhood gives you the love necessary to navigate both the light and the dark spaces of your journey. Sisterhood allows you to see the reflection of yourself in your shared experiences. It allows you to the best of who you are in the eyes of another woman. Women help validate your story. Your spirit is affirmed through sisterhood. When you are truly seen by another person it is meaningful. When you are understood by another woman, it is powerful.
Good sisterhood demonstrates honesty, loyalty and trustworthiness. Living a fulfilled life inspires you to engage, appreciate and enjoy sisterhood.
Sisterhood begins with genuine honor, appreciation and care for other women. Celebrating and being happy for women's achievement, no matter how small or big is a good start. Listen to women, be genuine and stand up for women. Make alliances and forge mutually-beneficial relationships. Build a space to support, inspire and challenge each other.
Remove all stains of grudges, jealousy, envy and resentment as they tear away at the fibers of an amazing experience of sisterhood.
These 11 habits will help you live a more fulfilled life, with passion and purpose. Be courageous as you enjoy the good things that come your way. Keep evolving to become a better and better version of yourself. Unlock your full potential, you are amazingly powerful. Stand in your authentic truth.
As always, I would love to hear from you. Share below the ways that you relish in your fulfilled life.