Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live the life of your dreams? To wake up every morning feeling excited, inspired and passionate about your life? If you want to be more engaged in your own life you need to find the courage to pursue your secret hopes and ambitions. Perhaps you want to run a marathon, write a book, give a speech or start your own business. What’s stopping you? What’s getting in your way? Chances are your number one obstacle is you…your shoulds, beliefs and fears. Want to blast away these roadblocks to your happiness? Then it’s time to get out the dynamite.
1. Unplug Your Shoulds
For many of us, should is one of the most commonly used words in our vocabulary. “I should call Linda. " “You should put your sweater on. " “I really should go to the gym. "
Shoulds may have been ruling your life for so long that they are almost invisible. They exist in the background of your mind, directing your choices and decisions. Shoulds get in your way.
They can make you feel miserable; they can make you feel guilty. They stop you from focusing on your passions by imposing an outside set of priorities that may or may not be what you want to be doing. To stop shoulds from blocking your path to fulfillment assess which of your shoulds can be eliminated and which are really wants or can be transformed into wants. Aim to become a “should-free zone" by using this four-step formula:
1. Stop. Realize you’ve said “should. "
2. Look. Assess your choices.
3. Listen. Differentiate between wants and shoulds.
4. Learn. Understand the consequences of saying no to the should.
By following this process, you will notice that you start saying no more often to your “shoulds" and yes more often to the things you want to do, which in turn allows your wants, passions and dreams to blossom.
2. Blast Away Defeating Beliefs
What you think can propel you forward or keep you stuck. Limiting and negative thoughts, about you, your abilities and the possibilities open to you, are best described as defeating beliefs. They are often very simple, even simplistic, yet they can have a profound effect on your life.
To liberate yourself from defeating beliefs you must first identify them. Pay attention to your words. What do you tell others and yourself you cannot do? Often a defeating belief lurks behind an excuse or a fear—particularly concerning the things you are most passionate about. “I’m too old to start this now. " “I won’t be able to make any money doing that. " “I have to be in much better shape. " “I don’t have time. " “It will never work. " When you explore your excuses and fears, you will discover your defeating beliefs and be able to create a plan to eliminate them.
3. Face Your Fears
Fear, in all its forms, makes most of us feel unprotected and insecure. It exposes our vulnerability. We become susceptible to the risk of success or failure, to the thoughts and comments of others, to loneliness or to our own inner critic. Yet feeling frightened can also be enlightening. Becoming aware that fear is playing a role in your life is often a gift. It gives you a chance to assess what is holding you back.
Don’t be afraid of fear. Instead, expose your fear to the light and determine whether it is real. Fear definitely evokes real physical responses and emotions, yet ironically the fear itself—the source of your trepidation—may not be real, it may be imagined or the product of worry. When you identify which fears are getting in your way, you can then take all proper and possible precautions to move safely through them. Understanding your fears will help you minimize them as you aim to pursue your dreams.
You have all the wisdom and power to blow-up any obstacle between you and your best life. When you use your dynamite to dispel your “shoulds, " overcome defeating beliefs and understand your fears, you gain the courage it takes to pursue and realize your life’s ambition. It’s your life, live it to the fullest.
© Copyright 2007. Lisa Martin. All rights reserved.
Lisa Martin is a certified coach who inspires working mothers to achieve success that’s balanced. Author of Briefcase Moms: 10 Proven Practices to Balance Working Mothers’ Lives, Lisa is a sought-after expert and speaker on work-life balance issues. Known for her very personal and practical approach, Lisa coaches working mothers to know what they want and get what they want.
With 20 years of entrepreneurial and corporate experience, Lisa is also the founder and president of Briefcase Moms – a work-life coaching and training company that helps organizations attract, engage and retain working mothers. A mother herself, Lisa’s powerful presentations and programs have helped thousands of women define success and balance on their own terms. http://www.briefcasemoms.com