In this picture I am in the high desert of Moab, Utah – joyfully riding my road bike. I just descended from a 4500 ft climb in the La Sal Mountains. This image captures me curiously looking ahead at how far I still needed to go. Although, seconds after looking back at how far I had come!
Are you where you want to be in your life? Can you honestly say that you’re happy and content right here and now, or are you still searching?
Most people are searching because we all have a desire to either find happiness or stay happy. Is it as simple as choosing to be happy? If it were that simple, we would all walk around with a permanent smile on our faces.
I agree that happiness can be distilled down to a choice. However we have to create the right internal and external environment in order to maintain a high level of joy in our life.
How often have you had an amazing experience that left you beaming with delight? Then not long after you were right back to where you were before the experience? One minute you’re feeling joyful. Then suddenly you find yourself being pulled back into the familiar state of self-doubt, worry and overwhelm. Why?
Unfortunately this experience is true for many. We get used to this pattern and accept it as the norm. We become okay with experiencing the highs and lows and ups and downs of life.
But wait, isn’t this how we build our resilience? Perhaps it is a part of how we develop a strong sense of resilience. Yet, does it have to be so dramatic? Can we somehow remain in a consistent state of flow with happy feelings, regardless of what is going on around us?
Is it possible to be emotionally resilient? Where we’re able to use our own emotions to master moving through life’s challenges without turning so many things into mountains that were originally just a bump on the map? I believe it is possible.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good mountain climb to challenge my stamina, physically, mentally and emotionally. What I don’t enjoy is when the mountain suddenly appears in front of me unexpectedly. In this case, I am not prepared for the challenge. I don’t have the right shoes, clothing, food or gear to make the trek.
It would actually be dangerous to attempt the climb without adequate preparation and supplies. This is a perfect example of when we are most likely to give up. We tell ourselves we just don’t have what it takes to succeed, or survive for that matter. So we don’t even try.
The truth is, we all have blind spots when it comes to conquering life’s challenges. In most cases, if we ask for a little support we can find a solution. Even to what we perceive as an unsolvable problem. Others can often see what we can’t see during times of distress that are being fueled by our own self-doubt.
High stress levels put our brain in survival mode. As a result our creativity to solve problems and shift our emotional state gets thwarted. This is why when faced with a big challenge that appears to be unsolvable, it’s important to turn to someone for guidance. This helps you come to a viable solution.
I can’t tell you how many times I put my head down and just walked away from something that was really important to me. This was when I doubted my ability to succeed and I didn’t want to fail trying. Can you relate? What I realize now is that if I would have asked for help, I would have been able to see that the challenge was totally doable. It was also manageable and even fun to conquer.
The lesson here is don’t try to always go it alone. When the going gets tough, stop what you are doing. Then find someone who is willing to help you see a solution until it is completely resolved.
Not only will this boost your confidence in your ability to thrive during difficult times. You will also boost your resiliency in a big way. I promise you will arrive at a new depth of happiness that moves you beyond your paralyzing self-doubt.
When was the last time you were faced with a pretty big challenge? Where your first instinct was to walk away and not even attempt to face it? What if in that moment, instead of throwing your hands up in the air in defeat, you sought out help? You gathered the right support to address the issue? What would be different today if you choose this option? How would you feel different about yourself? And your life’s accomplishments?
So often we have to get out of our own way. We have to drop our ego and our preconceived notion regarding how we think things should be. We get so attached to the outcome. So that when things don’t start to unfold the way we had imagined. Or they don’t look the way we had envisioned them to be. We get frustrated and try to control the outcome even more.
This pattern of thinking and behaving is what feeds our resistance. It also robs our joy in the process of creating and manifesting. We shut off the value to these energy flows and instead open the valve to fear.
The more we tap into the fear the more it becomes the primary source of fuel that drives our behaviors. Then after a short while we aren’t even aware that we’re operating under such adverse conditions. We blame the effort on the circumstances and avoid taking full responsibility for the outcome that we 100% created.
And so the pattern goes, we repeat this over and over again throughout our life. Often with no conscious awareness that we are even doing it. This robs our happiness and fuels our self-doubt. In my opinion is exhausting, not sustainable and overall just a real drag. Consequently, it negatively impacts our relationships, work and our outlook on life.
This pattern also causes us to feel very weary. We just can’t sustain the amount of energy it takes to drive our lives from this place of disconnect. What I have observed in my own life, as well as in my client’s lives, is that we either get physically, mentally or emotionally sick, get divorced, have a mid-life crisis, turn to drugs and alcohol, or go on a Netflix binge, or we figure our stuff out and hire a coach like me to be the catalyst for change in our lives.
What’s it going to be for you? It is ultimately your choice. Although that sounds like the easy part, it’s the hardest step of all to choose.
How do you choose what you want with so many choices before you? The truth is that we really only have two choices. Do you want to be happy or not? Do you want to work really, really hard and gain very little traction? Or do you want to learn how to be in the flow and gain a lot of traction with very little effort?
If you want to learn how to move beyond self-doubt and discover a new depth of happiness in your life. I am ready to assist you along your journey to make this happen with you and for you.
I have always had a difficult time relaxing or sitting still for any length of time. This was the case when I was young and it lasted throughout childhood and into my college years. I drove my parents and friends crazy with my anxious energy and need to constantly be doing something physically active.
Although, I was naturally coordinated and strong, I lacked confidence and mental focus. I also felt like I was never quite good enough at anything, regardless of how much effort I put into it. The chronic feelings of never being good enough had a very negative impact on my emotional well-being.
Unfortunately, none of my natural talents in the physical fitness arena helped me to develop my emotional fitness. This was a skill and a practice that I learned much later in my life. I wish I would have been taught these tools and practices in grade school and college. It certainly would have been a game changer!
You’re probably wondering exactly what is emotional fitness? How do you strengthen it? How is it different than your physical or mental fitness? These are all great questions and I’ll do my best to answer them for you here.
If we increase the movement of our body we can become more physically fit. For example, you can join a gym and hire a personal trainer. Or attend a group fitness class, learn to eat more healthily and mindfully. All of these actions have the potential to improve your level of physical fitness if done correctly and consistently.
Your mental fitness will also be challenged with your improved level of physical fitness because you will be moving out of your comfort zone on more of a regular basis. Overall, you’ll be challenged to move into a zone of greater possibility. However, In order to sustain this new level of fitness, you’ll need to be aware of how you’re feeling emotionally.
The truth is, how you feel emotionally is vital to achieving optimal health and well being. A high level of emotional fitness gives you the capacity to hold a greater vision for yourself. You will feel amazing from the inside out.
If you’re working hard at the gym to improve your physical and mental fitness, you also need to improve your emotional fitness. This is key to achieve long term success. Feeling your best will help you to stay inspired, motivated and engaged in your life.
Emotional fitness is about creating optimal positive emotional energy. It’s not always easy to be in a pure positive emotional state; however, we can condition ourselves to access this state more often and stay longer with ease.
The more positive an attitude you have, the better your life will be in every area. This is NOT the same as positive thinking, and nor does it ignore the downsides. Positive emotional energy enables you to see what is really going on. This is also the way successful people learn to generate success.
Positive emotions give you energy, while negative emotions deplete your energy. An electrical charge is sparked in your brain with each thought (whether this is positive or negative). This releases a hormone which in turn affects all of your mental and physiological well-being. If you think a negative thought, it is as though a sluice gate drops down and prevents any feelings of well-being. Conversely with a happy thought, memory or holding your body in a physiological state of well-being, your brain produces chemicals. As a result, you feel good.
When you are excited and happy you sparkle with energy and enthusiasm. When you are angry or depressed, or negative for any reason, you feel tired and frustrated, and eventually, burnt out. Emotional energy is a far more refined form of energy than the physical energy that it takes to move your body. Emotional energy is absolutely essential to healthy emotional functioning.
You can conserve your emotional energy if you don’t consume all your energy units in the expression of negative emotions such as fear, doubt, anger, guilt, and resentment. If your energy is conserved at one level, your body continues to refine it into higher and better energy. One hundred units of emotional energy thus conserved will be refined by your body into 10 units of mental energy.
Learning to become calm and relaxed is key to boosting your emotional fitness. When you’re more relaxed, you tend to be more genuine and more in control of your emotions. You’ll become more aware that expressions of negative emotion deprive you of the energy you need to be effective in the more important things that you do. Getting upset or angry over little things, or even large things becomes a waste of energy. By remaining objective and detached you’ll be able to view things as they are without becoming emotionally involved.
I strongly encourage you to learn how to stand back and refuse to take things personally. Don’t allow yourself to get drawn into arguments or other people’s problems and save you energy for more productive purposes.
The whole purpose of physical relaxation is to allow yourself to recharge your emotional and mental batteries. The aim of rest and relaxation is to build up your mental and emotional energies.This will in turn improve the quality of your life.
In summary, if you truly want to boost your emotional fitness, then here are three simple actions steps you can exercise right away:
First, keep your thoughts on your dreams and desired outcomes, and keep them off the things and people that cause you stress and negative emotions. This is not easy but it is very important.
Second, preserve your emotional energy by staying calm and positive in difficult situations, rather than allowing yourself to be upset and angry.
Third, take ample time to rest completely so you can recharge your physical and emotional batteries. The better rested you are, the more effective you will be.