I Self-Sabotaged

My sister Kelley came to stay with me a few weeks ago.

Late one night, we fought about parenting stuff – we clearly didn’t agree on how to approach a situation with one of our kiddos. Words were exchanged. It turned into an ugly spat.

I walked away from our exchange hurt. I felt disrespected and undervalued by my sister. I was also ashamed for letting myself walk into an unkempt, fiery version of me. Although I told myself to walk away several times, that the argument was better served with my best self… I didn’t. I stayed for the fight and escalated it.

The next morning, I could still feel the emotions of the spat with me. I went to the bathroom mirror looking for a pimple or blackhead. Having sensitive skin and acne scars from my old picking-and-popping days, I knew to leave the extractions to the estheticians. But it was too tempting… I wanted a distraction.

I leaned toward the mirror and squinted, finally finding a blackhead at the crease of my nose. I dug and squeezed, pressed and pinched until that blackhead was no more.

Ugh Danielle. Don’t do this. You know it’s not good for your skin.

But what did I do?

More picking and squeezing until I finally leaned away from the mirror to witness a face full of red splotches. I looked like Hellboy with chickenpox! Why, Danielle? You know this happens every time!

I knew my face picking would cause more harm than good. I knew I’d end up with inflamed spots around my nose, cheeks and chin. But I did it anyways.

That morning when my sister woke up, we said our “I’m sorry’s”. While there was still awkwardness in the air, the tension dissipated. And as the day progressed and I started feeling better, I regretted my blackhead binging episode even more.

So why did I do it? Why did I self-sabotage?

Several reasons…

  1. Because I was feeling low, and like attracts like. I felt in good company doing a low-vibing task (like messing up my face). And perhaps, without being conscious of it, it was also a way to punish myself for the shame I felt for not holding more grace during Kelley and I’s quarrel.
  2. My self-sabotage was also my own form of escapism. I couldn’t focus on my negative feelings about the fight because I was too busy causing another problem for myself.

I’m aware that I’ve been down this road before and I need to be more careful. I have a long history of self-sabotage; of making a good scenario bad and making a bad scenario worse because I perceive a lack in some way. I’m not good enough, smart enough, caring enough…

If you self-sabotage, there are a few important things I want you to know…

  1. You’re not alone. If you go to the gym and then binge eat before bed. Or if you keep racking up your credit card debt even though you don’t have the means to pay it off. There’s many of us in the same boat and with knowing that, I hope you’re kinder and gentler the next time you hurt yourself.
  2. Spending time in reflection can help you better understand why you hurt yourself and why you add more stress and challenges to yourself. This will help you pinpoint where you need more _______ (fill in the blank. Self-love. Discipline. Healing). Hint: Oftentimes, self-sabotage is a result of unresolved trauma.  
  3. Your awareness can lead to a change in behavior. Knowing your triggers and your self-sabotaging go-to’s (blackhead picking, for instance) will allow you to better cope and create a strategy that ensures your actions stay positive, or at least neutral during hard situations.

The next time I get the urge to pinch and pick, I’ll think of this blog and grab a stress ball, not my face.

Here’s a few articles I found on self-sabotage that may help you (and will definitely help me).


Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use after you self-sabotage, ‘I send love, grace and understanding to my destructive patterns. I can’t change the past, but I will change the future.’

PPS – Grab a pen and your journal. Spend a few minutes thinking about what areas in your life you self-sabotage. Is it with money? Time? Relationships? Health? What’s the one area you want to work on improving now? Next, identify some of your limiting beliefs around the topic at hand which may contribute to your self-destructive patterns. Do you believe it’s not possible to get out of debt? Do you believe you’re not worthy of love? Do you think you’ll be unattractive regardless if you lose the 50lbs or not? Once you have a grasp on your limiting beliefs, write positive affirmations for each of them and use them every day for the next month to build up your internal power and to help retrain your brain.  

Allow Yourself To Be Human

The other morning, when dropping Charlie off at Puppy Palace (yup! He’s spoiled and yes, they have a salt water pool for my ‘boujee’ pup), I led him into the main waiting room with no leash and collar on. This is usually fine but there was another dog in there I didn’t see. The Puppy Palace rules are, if there’s more than one dog in the waiting room, your dog should be leashed to avoid any unnecessary biting, fighting or other aggressive behaviors. If you’re not a dog owner, please know these types of behaviors are rare. Some dogs just aren’t fans of other dogs or people, especially if they’ve lived a hard life.

Charlie wandered over to the other dog and before I could grab a hold of him, the pups started sniffing each other. While neither dog showed hostility or bad juju toward the other, one of the workers had to separate them just in case.

Even though unintentional, I felt bad that I broke the rule. I sensed the worker was frazzled and perhaps a bit angry with me (I say ‘sensed’ because she had a mask on, so I couldn’t rely on regular facial clues). I wouldn’t blame her for being a bit miffed; after all, I should know the drill. Charlie has been going there for years.

“I’m so sorry about this,” I muttered with regret and sincerity in my voice. The worker didn’t reply, so I kept going, trying to make things right, “That dog is small and I didn’t see him as I came in. Again, I’m so sorry.” The worker walked away, never once acknowledging my apology.

How rude! I thought as I walked up to the front desk to sign Charlie in.

With my emotions high, experiencing a mix of Ugh Danielle. You’re so careless, and I can’t believe she just walked away from me, I unloaded on the young man at the desk.

“I’ve never had something so rude happen to me here. I gave an apology and that worker just walked away from me…”

The man replied with a warm smile on his face, “Oh goodness. Don’t be upset. She probably didn’t hear you. She’s hard of hearing.”

Whoa! I had never considered that.

I let out a sigh, “Wow. That must be it. Thanks for telling me.”

Just then, the worker came out and I couldn’t miss my chance to say sorry to her. This time she heard me. She was light and forgiving.

The second I got home from dropping Charlie off, I wrote a draft of this blog so that the encounter was fresh in my mind and I could perfectly capture the ‘don’t make assumptions’ moral. But while writing, I identified a greater depth to that moral: I’m human. I make mistakes. I feel things deeply. And I’ll never get every interaction right.

A few years ago, I would have thought about this situation for hours, beating myself up for not knowing the worker was partially deaf, for being too emotional or too quick to assume she was rude. But this time, as I sat down to write, I felt pride. My brain wasn’t tangled with questions, but instead I had clarity on why I made my assumption: I’m a loud person. I’d talked to this worker many times before and we’d never had troubles communicating. I was proud of myself for realizing there was no need to be mad with myself, it was an honest mistake – and as a human, I’m allowed to make many of those.

Instead of letting this uncomfortable encounter bubble inside of me for hours or days, I spoke my truth and within seconds I was rewarded with someone else’s truth. By expressing my emotions about the situation to the young man behind the desk, I found a truth that released me from purposeless emotion.

So my true moral of this story is: when we let ourselves be human, we can bring out the best in a situation.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you find yourself getting down on everything that makes you YOU, “I love myself as I am.”

PPS – Is there an awkward encounter you repeat in your head and you ask yourself: Why did I sound so lame? How did I make that blunder? If so, grab your pen and journal. Write the encounter down as a story. What did you do and say? What did the other person do and say? Once you’ve captured it, end the story with a lesson: What did you learn? Perhaps what did the other person learn? Read your now complete story and let all those negative vibes go, as this story is no longer negative: it has a lesson and that’s your positive spin.

I’m Having A Hard Time

A few months ago in my blog A Red Light Can Be A Green Light in Disguise I wrote about an unexpected family tragedy that caused my family shock, confusion and pain. It rocked our world and since then, I’d been believing the incident was finally behind us. It’s not. The darkness is here again. ‘The predator’ – a reference I’ll use to the incident and people associated with it – are back. And again, me and my family are hurting while trying to make sense of it all.

Staying strong during this no good, rotten, very bad situation hasn’t been easy. And that’s the message I want to share with you – I’m having a hard time. Me. The strong one. The spiritually in-tune one. The life coach. I am feeling the depths of pain in very real and human ways. And sometimes staying strong isn’t the answer; sometimes all you can do is stay afloat for awhile.

Recently I’ve:

  • Left work early because I couldn’t function and focus.
  • Stared at my computer screen for over an hour, too numb and exhausted to type a single word.
  • Cried and screamed, sometimes long enough for a headache to settle in.

And…

My house is trashed. Dirty laundry scattered on the floors and draped over bureaus because I’m too overwhelmed to clean. Empty water bottles and lunch wrappers littered across the passenger and back seats of my car because I can’t find the motivation to care.

Life has been hard. Really, really f****ng hard.

And even though at times I’m numb, or angry, or feel like I’m spinning… I’m okay with that. I’m okay with not being okay. And I want that for you too.

I want you to know that if you’re hurting, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of wild and crazy stuff happening in the world, and whatever your predator may be, you have valid reasons to be upset. I want you to remember that it’s okay to not be okay.

I want you to know that it’s okay to feel your emotions; it’s okay to grieve, to mourn, to cry, to throw a pillow at a wall and feel your frustrations. It’s okay to let it out. Not everything requires a positive spin right after something crappy happens. Some things just suck. And there’s something beautiful and comforting about that – so feel it all.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you realize that positive thinking feels forced, I trust myself to sit in the darkness and feel it all. I am not afraid.

PPS – Want more practice sitting in your emotions? Grab your pen and journal. Whatever your mood is right now – be it anger, grief or something else – find a song that matches your mood and listen to it. Write about the emotions that come forth as you take in the music.

Take Real Perceptions Over Blind Assumptions

A dear friend finally found the courage to share a piece of her writing with me. I had been asking for about a year, anxiously awaiting to experience her art. So when a piece of her writing hit my inbox, I was over the moon.

I wanted to make sure I gave her writing the focus and care it deserved, so I put it aside until I could fully enjoy it.

When I sat down four or so days later to read her work, I was not disappointed. Her piece was (and is) transporting. It’s deep with many layers written in a beautiful poetic prose with just the right pace. I wrote her back and told her all of this and encouraged her to submit it to a literary journal. Her response back to me: ‘Phew, I was worried you didn’t like it. I thought maybe that’s why you didn’t write back sooner.’

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Her reply reminded me that I had done the same exact thing just a few weeks ago. I gave an intuitive coaching session to a friend of a friend. I felt like I nailed it and she confirmed that with super nice praise and a warm thanks. A few days later, knowing she was happy with my services, I sent her an email and asked if she’d write me a testimonial. After a few days went by and I didn’t hear from her, I worried I had done something wrong in our session and that perhaps our time together wasn’t as impactful as she claimed it to me.

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Three weeks later, the friend of a friend wrote me back with a cheerful, “Hey Danielle. I just got back from a long and needed vacay. I still think about our session often. It was so insightful. Here’s a testimonial…’ And that testimonial was so positive and touching, it brought me to tears.

Since you’re still reading, I’m guessing this may be you too. That you worry about what others think. That you doubt your gifts and abilities. That you think if something happens or doesn’t happen it’s because of you.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to help you quiet your inner doubt when sharing your gifts with the world, “Like attracts like. The right people are attracted to my ideas, passions, offerings, and energy.”

PPS – One of the best ways to combat self-doubt is to remember how awesome we are. Grab a pen and journal. Fill in this list with your accomplishments – think both big and small:

In the last 7 years, I accomplished XXX
In the last year, I accomplished XXX
In the last month, I accomplished XXX
Today, I accomplished XXX

Are You In Or Out?

If you’re like me, you’ll do something meant to give you pleasure. My pleasure comes from things like walking in nature (hello my Florida mangroves!) or reading spiritual guidance books.  And if you’re like me, then you’ll feel a pang of guilt for doing that pleasurable thing… while you’re doing it!

As an example, you decide to eat a cookie because it looks oh so delicious and you want that sweet sensation of sugar and chocolate. With every chew, instead of savoring the flavors and allowing yourself that minute of pure joy, you give yourself a hard time: “I can’t believe I’m eating this many calories. I need to get back to the gym. I’m so fat.”

A few weeks ago, I caught myself doing this more and more. I was never in the moment and focusing on the present. I’d go for a walk and badger myself for not working longer on the computer. I’d eat a dessert and pester myself for not walking more that day. I’d meditate and bully myself for not spending that time cleaning the house.

If this sounds exhausting and counterproductive, you’re absolutely right. It was and is.

On one extremely self-critical day, I grew so aggravated that I snapped out loud.

“No more. You’re either in or out.”

Those words came out so passionately and quickly, I startled myself. I was grateful for this because I knew without a doubt I needed to listen to this advice.

And so I did. To get myself back to living in the moment, any time that pesky voice would tell me I should or shouldn’t be doing something, I’d ask myself, “Are you in or out?” If I was in, I’d quiet my judge-y thoughts and enjoy what I was doing. If I was too frazzled to truly be present, I’d stop what I was doing altogether.

Thanks to my recalibration, I’ve returned to fully appreciating something while I’m doing it. This has given me a sense of grounding, fulfillment and self-love.

I have many success stories to share. The other day, I had two helpings of pumpkin pie, thinking only about how much I adore the fall and how I love the taste of cinnamon. I’ve rewatched several Sex and the City episodes, my mind focused solely on Carrie’s cute wardrobe and Big’s warm smile. It’s been pure bliss. Chores, who?

So, for the next thing you do, are you in or out?

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to help you live in the moment, “I am here right now. All that exists is now.”

PPS – Do you want to strengthen your ability to live in the moment? If so, grab your pen and journal. Find somewhere outside to sit, or perhaps sit next to a window. Set your timer. For 5 minutes, stretch yourself to think about and write about nothing else but besides what’s literally in front of you (a squirrel eating a nut, an old wooden bench). If your mind wanders, gently ask it to come back, and keep on writing. The more you perform this activity, the stronger you’ll be at living in the moment. If this becomes too easy, increase your time.

Yup, I Was Scared

For the last few years, I’ve done a fair job maintaining my physical health and weight. I aim to walk at least 3 miles a day (ohhhhhh how I love my walks). I get my greens in, usually sauteed or blended in a smoothie. I say no to dessert (at least a few times a week anyways). But, that’s all I’ve done – maintain. I’ve stayed comfortable and content with the status quo. There’s been no strength training. No changes to my diet (which means lots of carbs and eating right before bed). No challenging myself to do better – to be better.

Over the last six or so months, a voice inside of me has grown louder:

“Danielle, it’s time to make your health a bigger priority. Kick things up a notch. You need to feel better – and look better.”

I always try and listen to ‘that voice inside of me’ and I even jazzed myself up about all the benefits – but I still didn’t take action. I continued to do the bare minimum for my health.

And the reason for my inaction was fear.

I was afraid that getting my body back into shape would be hard. That it would physically hurt. That it would require time and discipline. My biggest fear was that I’d have to face my reality – I have physical limitations. Thanks to an accident when I was a kid, I walk funny. As a result, I have back, hip and foot problems that prevent me from running and cause abnormal stiffness and pain. My physical limitations can also make certain exercises challenging and some even impossible.

Mountain climbers are difficult, side lunges hurt my back, and I can’t imagine how my body would react to a pistol squat. My physical limitations are like my Achilles’ heel, my sore spot (literally and figuratively). I feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I’m pissed off. Sometimes I casually work out, telling myself that if I were to push any harder, it’d just be painful so there’s really no point, right? Why face my limitations when I can just ignore them?

Finally, just a few weeks ago, I convinced myself to stop settling for mediocre and to push myself. That’s what my inner me has been craving.

The first step? DO.

I restarted a yoga practice I had before the pandemic. I began taking classes at Orangetheory Fitness (huge fan btw!). And I have started to be more responsible when it comes to meal prep and not eating right before bed.

What’s the result?

I’ve hurt. I’ve cried. I’ve been reminded of my limitations.

And…

I’ve felt amazing – looser, stronger, more energetic. I’ve cried (proud, happy tears)! I’ve been reminded of my strength amidst adversity.

When I think about my procrastination, it seems silly. The pros absolutely outweigh the cons and if I had started these efforts months ago, getting back into shape would have been a bit easier and I would have had more months feeling like my best me.  I choose to live my life with no regrets, but I do appreciate how important the time we have on this Earth is, which is why I wrote this blog for you.

So, what have you been putting off because you’re afraid? And how can you move forward?

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to help you overcome fear, “Fear stands for False Expectations Appearing Real.”

PPS – Do you want a deeper understanding of fear? If so, let’s get philosophical. Grab your pen and journal. What do you think is the purpose of fear? How do you think it has played a part in human evolution? How has fear played a part in your own life?

The Power In ‘And’

This is a long one and rambly, but worth it (in my humble opinion). I’m hoping it gives you new perspective, makes you feel less alone and gives you a resource to share with others who may need it.

Okay, consider these things for a moment: Peanut butter and jelly. Salt and pepper. Bread and butter. Cliché? Yes. But you may also be thinking, “Yup, those are things that go well together.”

Since we use the word ‘and’ a lot for the things we perceive as going well together, some of us have never considered that perhaps we’re not the greatest at understanding how that word ‘and’ may (and should) bring together two things we perceive as ‘not going well together’. 

Here’s an example: Amy says, “I love so-and-so and I have made the choice to no longer have her in my life.” Some may hear this and ask curiously or perhaps judgmentally, “Well how could you possibly love her if you shut her out of your life?”

From my experience, this limited way of thinking comes from our tendency to think in absolutes. We pigeonhole ourselves and try to control our reality by labeling it: something is either right or wrong, black or white, this or that. And to further limit ourselves, many of us only rely on our own lived experiences to make decisions about something or someone.

Oftentimes, this need to control something is out of unresolved fear or trauma. When we feel like the world is spinning out of our control, we try to regain command by placing people and situations into boxes. Compartmentalizing may help us feel like we’ve finally steered back onto a straight path.

In the beginning example, I think it’s easy to imagine that Amy has decided to no longer have the other person in her life because maybe she’s abusive or because they share different values and the relationship will never move forward in a positive way.

There’s a million and one reasons a relationship no longer makes sense, even if the love still exists. Would you agree? I believe all that matters in this case is that the decision-maker understands what’s best for them.

While I don’t think I’ve taught you anything new, it’s my hope that you’ll stay open-minded like you were with the above example when it comes to the harder things to grasp these days: war/no war, masks/no masks, vaccine/no vaccine, political belief A/political belief B. I want this for you and the world because we’re collectively hurting. On top of our concerns and worry, many of us are angry and anger prevents us from living our best lives. Anger causes health problems, relationship problems, and it’s a major roadblock to achieving our goals and enjoying everything this amazing world has to offer.

If you find yourself grasping to unhealthy things (thoughts, words, actions) as it relates to the world around you, I get it. I’ve been there before too – many, many times.

The first thing I’ll suggest is to check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I okay: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually?” and then “What areas do I need to focus on to feel better? What unresolved stuff should I focus on for me?” While I can’t change the things happening in the world (oh where is my magic wand when I need it?), I can promise you that if you focus on yourself, you will start to feel better and the world will start to feel and be brighter.

Also, don’t forget your curiosity and your ‘and’ statements. I think this heightened way of thinking can help you feel even more in control, because you’ll remember the sky isn’t even the limit when it comes to understanding and embracing this crazy thing we call life. And there’s a lot of power in knowing there’s so much more for us to learn and experience.

If you’re already open-minded and have your anger under control, then go YOU. You can help others by sharing this blog and if it makes sense, offering some of these gentle suggestions so that their life has more peace and balance.

While I don’t find it a part of my calling to discuss politics or anything controversial (I’m going waaaaaay outside of my comfort zone here as can be seen by my wordy and zigzaggy prose, so thanks for sticking around and supporting me), I do consider it a part of my life’s work to help the world heal from trauma and judgement habits. In our current state of finger pointing and name calling (and worse) that many of us have found ourselves in, I hope to be a source of light and guidance for those in need.

I’ll end with this: I want you to know it is my sincere belief that Sally can be a people-centric person with a heart of gold and may have voted a certain way. And that Franko can be well-educated, love our country and decide not to wear a mask. I believe that Henry, Joe, Lucy and Sue can do things I don’t understand, things I would never ever do myself and things that I wouldn’t suggest others do and believe they should keep listening to their intuition and experiencing life the way that feels best to them (while of course being a respectful human being that acts and lives as though we’re all connected, because we are. I hope this goes without saying).

As my mentor always says, “There’s no wrong way to do life. It’s all a learning journey.”

Geri – This blog is dedicated to you. Thank you for being a strong woman with strong beliefs and being open and kind to all walks of life. I channeled your light as I wrote this one. I’m proud to call you a friend. 

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you’re having a hard time making sense of the world, “Everything I need is within me.”

PPS – One of the first steps in any healing process is acknowledging you’re hurting. Grab your journal and a pen. What is happening in the world that is making you scared, sad, lonely and angry?  What is happening in your own life that is making you scared, sad, lonely and angry? What daily practices can you incorporate into your life to lean into these feelings and then release them in a way that best serves you and humanity? This could be meditation, short walks, journaling, yoga, volunteering and more.

Coitus And Communication

I was feeling a little frisky the other day as I stood over my husband Ron while he sat on my desk chair. I leaned into him and started to rub his arms and chest. After a few minutes of some light caressing, I let my hands trail down to his belly (yes people, belly. Sorry, but for this one I’m keeping it PG, well maybe PG-13). I then traced small figure eights near his bellybutton. Out of nowhere, Ron quickly moved my arm away from his stomach.

“What?” I asked confused.

Ron responded, “I dunno. I’m just feeling fat and don’t want to be touched there. I get embarrassed.”

This seemed really weird to me because for one, I don’t view Ron as fat, and two, wouldn’t me touching somewhere he didn’t feel sexy make him feel sexier?

Ron’s thought process got me thinking… When Ron and I make love, he rarely touches my stomach and thighs (which do have what I would consider some extra fat and fluff on them).

I said, “Wow. Okay, so do you not touch me on my stomach and thighs because you don’t want to embarrass me?”

“Yeah kinda. I’d never want you to feel uncomfortable.”

After 15 years of marriage – 15 years of Ron not touching me on my stomach and thighs I was stunned. I felt relief but also sad compassion. I internalized his lack of touching. I thought he didn’t find those parts of me sexy. I thought I was the problem and that he avoided those parts of me because they weren’t a turn on. But all this time, he was just trying to be nice.

Ron and I kept our talk going and we continued to learn more about each other. I realized he projected his own shame onto me, while I assumed his inaction was a message of displeasure. Talking through it was enlightening for us both.

If you haven’t connected the dots yet, I’m telling you this story to remind you to openly communicate with those around you – especially the ones you love. Hundreds of times I felt less Marilyn Monroe than I should because I thought something that wasn’t true. If I had just spoken up and asked the hard question (“Ron – why don’t you touch me there? I wish you would…”), I would have learned that Ron, in his own special way, was showing me love and respect.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to help you speak your truth, “Today I express myself honestly and with grace.”

PPS – Communicating what you want to say isn’t easy; it takes more than just courage to say it and say it well. Grab a pen and journal. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (10 being awesome) on the following communication necessities: self-confidence, active listening skills, body language, and having an open mind. Once you’ve rated yourself for each one, comb through your ratings and reflect. Is your communication style working? If one or two ratings are lower than others, it may be a sign to start working on YOU.

I made a mistake

A few weeks ago, I made an admin mistake at one of the colleges where I work. I won’t bore you with the mechanics of what I did (or more accurately what I didn’t do), but know I was in charge of something and dropped the ball. As a result, some students and teachers were unhappy.

When my boss sent me an email to bring my mistake to my attention, I:

  1. Read it and felt embarrassed and sorry
  2. Apologized and offered to rectify the situation
  3. Showed myself empathy and forgiveness and moved on quickly from the situation

While #1 and #2 didn’t surprise me (after all, I take great pride in my work), #3 did. As someone who has worked really, really hard to break self-judgment habits, I expected to dive into some form of self-bashing after #2:

“Danielle, how could you? Can’t you get anything right? What’s wrong with you?”

But instead, I marveled at how gentle I was with myself and how naturally #3 came. There wasn’t a single anxious heartbeat or bead of nervous sweat. My inner voice said, “Danielle, you’ve had a lot on your mind and it’s easy to understand how you made a mistake. Don’t even worry about it.” This felt amazing! It was as if I had my best friend there saying all the right things to me – and my best friend was me.

I wanted to share my snafu turned self-love story with you as a reminder that:

  1. You’re going to make mistakes too. Rather than be shocked when they pop up, let’s just agree to expect them moving forward. Even if you are caught off-guard, that’s okay! Honor the fact that you’re doing the best you can and show yourself care and compassion always, through the ups, the downs and the mistakes.
  2. The hard work you put in to break your self-judgment habits will pay off. Self-peace and self-love is possible. Just like I have, you can heal from your self-bullying and retrain your brain to be more open-minded and supportive.
  3. If you need help quieting your inner-critic, here’s my Guide to Combatting Self-Criticism.
  4. And don’t forget, I’m available for intuitive coaching sessions as well.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you’ve made a mistake, “I won’t let a mistake define my day, week – or life.”

PPS – Do you want some hands-on writing activities to help you work through your self-criticism? Don’t forget to check out my Guide to Combatting Self-Criticism.

It’s a part of being human

 “Color the entire page, even the background. You can’t move to a different picture until you finish that one completely. I still see some white space on the page…”

“Eat it all. I don’t care that you don’t like it.”

“It’s broken now so you’re not getting another one. Accidents don’t just happen. I told you to be careful…”

My strict Irish Catholic, Baby Boomer father instilled in me to fear wasting things, to value every possession. Living under Dad’s high standards was tough but I was a daddy’s girl and so I tried – and tried – and tried.

As a young adult out on my own, I’d try to ‘make Dad proud’ and not waste things. I’d use a pen down to its final stroke, use a dime size squirt of toothpaste and not a nickel. When I did waste (never intentionally of course), I’d feel guilty and beat myself up.

Danielle, you shouldn’t have overbought those strawberries. Now you’re tossing out half a carton. What’s wrong with you?

Do you really need those new shoes? You’ve only had yours a year now…

Danielle, how could you lose your purse at the mall? That’s not how you were raised…You don’t deserve to buy a new one.

In my mid-twenties, I slowly realized I didn’t have to carry Dad’s unrealistic expectations. I started to show myself compassion whenever I ‘wasted’ something. Positive self-talk was a go-to of mine when I made a perceived mistake. Danielle, it’s okay. You didn’t intend to drop and break the vase. It can be replaced… Usually a couple deep breaths and some words of kindness eased my nerves.

One of my favorite expressions to give myself when I need it most is, “It’s a part of being human”. This one phrase gives me a huge hit of love and forgiveness. It reminds me to embrace being perfectly imperfect.

A few weeks ago, I was reminded how far I’ve come from my self-criticizing ways. I left my earpods in my shorts and the hubby did laundry with them still in my pockets. The earpods no longer worked after they went for their swim in the suds. Although I was bummed (I mean $120 is a lot of money), I didn’t beat myself up. I gently told myself, “It’s a part of being human,” and I moved on.

It was a beautiful experience to pause and marvel at my personal growth. It’s hard breaking any type of judgment habit, but as the years have gone by and I’ve ‘wasted’, damaged, misplaced and over-indulged, I’ve learned to naturally and instinctively talk to myself in a loving way.

Healing is possible my friends. You don’t have to color the entire page or stay within the lines.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

PS – Here’s an affirmation to give yourself self-love in those situations you need it most, “I am at peace with who I am. I am enough. I am whole. I am love.

PPS – Are you trying to live up to somebody else’s standards, as opposed to your own? Maybe you’re the ‘party planner’ of the friend group, but you don’t want that responsibility anymore? Or perhaps your family expects you to visit frequently, but you just don’t have the time or desire? Whatever the case, grab your pen and a journal. Write that person a letter. How do their expectations of you impact your feelings and quality of life? What do you want them to know about your wants and desires? Now write a note to give yourself encouragement to speak your truth to that person. To start living life for YOU. Doesn’t that feel good? Now see if you can put your words into action.

A higher version of YOU

A higher version of YOU

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