Daily Thought Download & Self-Coaching

Last Friday I pulled the trigger and did something I’ve been wanting to do for months: I joined Natalie Bacon’s Grow You monthly personal development membership program. 

I’ve written about Natalie Bacon several times before on my blog (herehere and here). For those who aren’t familiar with her, Natalie is a former attorney / certified financial planner turned life coach. She’s the host of the wildly successful weekly podcast, Design Your Dream Life. She was trained by world-renown master life coach instructor, Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School (host of her own uber successful podcast, The Life Coach School Podcast). I’ve written about Brooke Castillo several times on this blog as well: herehere and here.

The following is how Natalie describes Grow You on her website:

Just like a monthly gym membership to get your body in shape, this is a monthly personal development membership to get your mind in shape.

This is life coaching for high achieving women who want to:

1. Master their mindset and rewire their brain.

2. Achieve impossible goals and live a life of purpose.

3. Make and have more money while working less.

I’ve listened to Natalie’s podcast for some time and absolutely love it. Like a Must See TV weekly line up, I have 5 or 6 podcasts I tune in to every week, and Natalie’s is one I take care never to miss. So when she announced in the spring she was starting a group coaching program, I was super excited. 

The membership program launched in May, but I held off joining because I had a lot going on over the summer in my personal life. Plus, I wasn’t sure I could afford it.

When I finally looked up the cost, I was floored to learn the monthly fee was only $49/month. That’s still no chump change for me, but it’s still far lower than other group life coaching programs I’ve looked into.  And when you consider Natalie was certified through The Life Coach School and trained directly by Brooke Castillo, the fee is a no-brainer. 

I feel like I’m getting into something amazing on the ground floor.

I’m at the point in my journey where I keep repeating destructive habits, despite being completely aware of them. That is the very definition of insanity, yes? Doing the same thing but expecting different results? By this definition, I feel insane often.

I know as humans we have the capacity to rewire our minds: to break old habits by thinking new thoughts and creating new neural pathways to create new results. 

This is why I joined Grow You. It’s been less than a week and I’m more convinced than ever I made the right decision. 

I’m excited to do the hard work.

I’m excited to learn more about how our minds work, and how I can use what I learn to give my own mind what it needs to grow and flourish. 

I know that doing this work will be so worth it. 

My future self one year from now will thank me for joining.

One of the first concepts I learned is the importance of mental hygiene.

Natalie likens this to taking a shower: Just like you take showers regularly to clean up your body, you should review your thoughts regularly to clean up your mind.

One way to clear your mind is to do a Thought Download. A Thought Download is simply getting all of your squirrelly thoughts out of your head and onto paper so you can see what’s going on. Since your thoughts create your reality, you want to be aware of what you’re thinking. 

The next step is to look at your thoughts with kindness, compassion and curiosity, without judgment or beating yourself up. 

When you see thoughts that aren’t useful or serving you, you implement the last step: choosing new, more affirming thoughts you’d like to think instead. 

I’m excited to practice this tool. I decided to share my thought download for today in this post. I have no idea if I did it right. I  wrote down whatever came to mind — basically, a written version of a verbal vomit. 

(Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with my thought downloads every day.)

If you have a lot of mental chatter going on, maybe a thought download would help you as well.

What do you think? Do you have a life coach? Are you in a group coaching program or a mastermind that’s really helped you move forward in life? If not, are you interested?

I’d love to hear from you.

Have a great Wednesday! 

Take care,

Kari

**********

Thought Download for September 25, 2019 – Unfiltered & Unpolished

On letting myself feel excitement

I am starting to feel hopeful that I’m finally on the right path in life with Grow You.

I’m hesitant to let myself get too excited. That’s a common theme in my life. When I was younger, I’d get really excited about something and someone would say I was “hyper” or “high strung”, or they’d tell me to calm down. After awhile, I learned to repress excitement. Now I find it hard to get truly excited about anything.

I wonder why I cared so much what other people thought back then.

Why did I let their thoughts dictate how I showed up in the world?

Yesterday, my oldest daughter suggested we make a trip to the local farmer’s market. As we walked past the various booths, she delighted over the loose leaf teas, the antique teacups and sugar and creamer sets, and the homemade soaps. I’m not sure why, but I was surprised to see this outgoing, curious sense of wonderment from her, someone who used to be so reticent and shy. 

I can’t say whether it’s her recent trip to Europe, or just her evolution as an emerging young adult, but her excitement and delight was so fun to see. 

At one point, she said, “I know, I know. It’s just tea, right? I need to just chill.”

I said, “No, I love that you’re excited. Let yourself be excited! That’s what makes life fun.”

As for me, I still have such a hard time getting excited and letting myself feel excitement authentically without the urge to tamp it down.

I don’t want to repress excitement or hope, or pleasant thoughts. 

Lord knows I don’t extend the same energy stamping out negative thoughts. 

No, for those thoughts I open the door and invite them to stay.

Or do I?

I’ve been trying to be much more aware of my thoughts. I want to make sure I don’t adopt self-deprecating thoughts like that one to replace the more obvious, self-destructive ones I’ve been working hard to eliminate.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Natalie Bacon lately. And since joining her monthly membership program (Grow You), I’ve had access to her coaching calls this month and all the questions members have submitted to the ‘Ask Natalie’ section.

One thing Natalie stresses is learning how to experience negative feelings without immediately trying to “fix” them. She encourages you to sit in the moment as a detached observer (the “watcher”), with compassion and curiosity, and try to isolate what you were thinking in the moment right before you felt the negative or unpleasant emotion. That thought is the key to understanding your behavior.

It’s hard to intentionally allow the thoughts to stay for a bit. It feels bad, but that’s the point. 

Natalie says the more you can embrace and tolerate negative emotions, learn from them, and not make them mean anything negative about you, the more emotionally resilient you’ll become.

That’s what I’m striving for: emotional intelligence, emotional resilience and emotional responsibility.

*****

On sticking to your calendar

In an effort to be more productive each day — both personally and professionally — I’ve been working to develop the skill of calendaring my day and living by my calendar.

So far, I’ve not followed my calendar 100%, but I’ve come pretty close.

It’s so interesting how quick I am to try to “renegotiate” or rearrange my calendar — even from the very first entry. (This is me trying not to beat myself up)

Today’s first entry was to wake up at 4 am, shower, get dressed and get completely ready to face the day (including hair & makeup). 

I had to wake up early anyway because my oldest had to be at work by 5 am, but I immediately found myself saying, “Well, I can’t make her late so I’ll just shower when I get back,” or “I need to look really nice for my appointment this evening so I’ll take a shower later in the morning when I have more time to spend on my hair and makeup.”

Natalie Bacon and Brooke Castillo warn that following your calendar will be hard because your brain will try to fight you and find every excuse under the sun not to do what you’re supposed to in favor of something more pleasurable and easy. 

Our brains are scarily manipulative. The excuses they come up with will seem totally legitimate. Like my excuses to delay my shower.

But doing what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it builds a level of trust in yourself that’s so incredibly valuable. It’s the foundation upon which self-love, self-awareness & self-confidence are built. It’s the path less traveled.

And that’s the path I want to take. 

I need to expect that following my calendar will feel hard, but it doesn’t matter. I need to follow it anyway because I’m learning how to follow through and to honor my commitments.

Ending thought: I am actively practicing developing this skill because I recognize its life-changing value and importance to my personal and professional development. It will be totally worth it. One month, six months, one year from now, I will thank myself.

Resources:

Natalie Bacon | Design Your Dream Life PodcastGrow You Group Life Coaching

Brooke Castillo | The Life Coach School PodcastSelf Coaching Scholars

18 Songs to Lift You Up and Get You Moving


Some days, you just gotta move to shake away the blues. Here are my top picks to get you moving or to just get out of your current funk.

Throw open the blinds, turn up the volume and dance like nobody’s watching. I guarantee you’ll feel better after. 

Can’t get up and dance? That’s okay. Sit in your favorite chair and just let your body move to the music.

My Top Picks to Get You Moving (with links)

Keeping Your Word To Yourself


Does anyone else struggle to keep their word, not only to others but themselves?

As I continue my journey of self discovery, sometimes what I uncover can be hard to face. But I know true and lasting change can’t begin until I start being honest about some of my most destructive habits.

I can trace so much of my anxiety, depression and stress directly to not doing what I commit to, not following through, or in some cases not planning ahead. (Because planning ahead requires keeping commitments)

Why do we continue to do things that cause us so much pain, embarrassment and shame?

For me, I think low self-esteem and perfectionist tendencies led me to constantly second guess everything I did. This eventually led to serious burnout, and now I struggle to believe I can do things without literally driving myself crazy.

I’m working to rewire my thinking about my capabilities by setting small tasks to accomplish each day. For now, my only goal is to make sure I complete those tasks.

We tend to load up our calendars and to do lists so we can accomplish more. That might be great down the line, but if you struggle to keep your commitments now, a large list can be daunting, no matter how small the tasks. Starting with one or two items can give you some much needed ‘wins’ and the motivation to keep the ‘completion’ streak going. 

Again, the goal right now is not how much you can get done, but to train your brain to trust that it will do the things you set out to do.

This is one area I’m excited to work on. It has cost me dearly in life. While it’s humbling and sometimes painful and uncomfortable to change, I know the pain of staying the same is far worse.

If you’re striving to make changes in your life, too, I applaud you. This is some of the most important work we can do.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Peace,

Kari 

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