I spend my weekdays interviewing job candidates for open positions within Fortune 500 companies. I then spend my nights and weekends studying for my life coaching certification and coaching clients toward achieving some of their greatest desires. In both scenarios I hear much of the same conversations going on:
“I can’t do this.”
“I feel stuck.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“My life would be better if I had x, y and z.”
And here’s the real kicker…
“I’m waiting for permission.”
After conducting hundreds of job interviews in 2012 I’ve come to the following conclusion: people are their own worst enemies. They get in their own way. They keep waiting around for things to get better. They are just too scared to take any action. They are being held at bay but what I call their “Inner Ick.”
I used to think that way myself, and I was desperate to find some sort of solution to my fears around work, life and relationships. I tried just about everything – from drowning myself in work to make extra money to going as far as taking a hiatus from dating.
I kept trying to “fix” parts of my life in an attempt to somehow make it seem better. I thought my negative mind was a result of my outward circumstances. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I had “aha moment” I’d been waiting for and realized that I had it backwards. In that one moment I knew I was on to something. I knew I had taken one giant step toward relieving myself of my own Inner Ick.
In reality, it’s our internal state that affects our outward perception. If we’re constantly stuck in fear then that’s how we’re going to see our outside world. On the other hand, if we come from a place of openness and positivity then we quickly start to see how much brighter our days seem. Doors open, opportunities come up, and things just seem to flow more easily.
After months of practicing positivity I like to think of myself as a glass half-full kind of gal, and I fervently believe that people are the co-creators of their lives. As a result I’ve come up with seven ways that you can stop being your own worst enemy.
Become Conscious of the Negative Conversation
We all come into this world with endless possibilities and an openness to love and life. Unfortunately, soon after coming out of the womb we spend all our lives being told what we should do and what we should think. We get hurt along the way, and for some this hurt becomes their primary place of function.
Some people spend a lifetime with the same negative record playing in their heads. They live according to fear, not love or possibility. This in turn affects everything around them – their relationships, their career, their health, their money and their lives.
The first step to overcoming this fear is to become conscious of when it appears. I often tell coaching clients to spend a week walking around with a notebook where they can record their thoughts. Every hour on the hour I tell them to do a mental scan of their thoughts to see if there was any negativity.
Once we start becoming conscious of our thought patterns we can actively start changing them.
Use Positive Affirmations.
An affirmation is a personal statement that can be used to reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and help you create the life of your dreams. The power of positive thinking is truly omnipotent and by retraining our subconscious mind we can start coming from a place of optimism and openness rather than fear.
Start a Meditation Practice
Meditating has not only proven to help people physically, it is also a great way to start retraining your brain. It helps you clean your mind and start fresh so that you can find the clarity you need to continue about your day.
I currently have a practice where I meditate twice a day. I meditate in the mornings before I go about my day in order to set my intentions and then again at night to get centered and wind down. It’s something I’ve come to rely on when I need to recharge and start over.
WorkAwesome recently posted a wonderful guide on how to get started with a meditation practice. Meditation Oasis and Gabrielle Bernstein also have a nice collection of free guided meditations you can use to get started.
Practice Saying “Yes”
If we’re constantly saying “no” then we’re shutting ourselves off from some amazing things. Stay open to new possibilities and practice saying “yes” on a daily basis.
Say yes to opportunity. Say yes to adventure. Say yes to that guy (or girl) that asked you out on a date. Say yes to finally starting your own business. Say yes to trying new things. Say yes to working out.
At the end of the day you never know where something will lead. Saying “yes” at least ensures that you open your life to some great things and switch up your routine every once in a while.
Move Your Body
It’s widely known that regular exercise not only helps you get fit, it also releases endorphins. Our bodies hold a lot of emotions – including stress, anxiety and negativity. By moving it we can start releasing the blocks, easing our bodies and consequently ease our minds.
Give Yourself Permission
One of the biggest factors for people being their own worst enemies is the false idea that someone has to give them permission to do what they want. This is probably because we feel tremendous guilt when our needs and desires are not in line with those of outside influencers like society or our families.
Here’s a newsflash: you don’t need to wait for anyone to give you permission. You are the creator of your own life and no one else. In fact, the only person you should be asking for permission is yourself.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
The “Compare Game” is a vicious cycle. We find ourselves constantly comparing ourselves to others and as a result see lack in our own lives.
We think that because our co-worker has a great relationship, a sweet paycheck or a fancy new car that we’re obviously not on par and therefore cannot be happy.
Guess what, it’s a complete farce. First of all, you don’t really know what people are going through – for all you know their relationship may be on the rocks and they’re in debt up to their eyeballs. Second, everyone has a different path and a different view of success and happiness.
Instead of looking onto others for what success and happiness should look like get clear on what success means to you – then go after it.
Being our own worst enemy has become an epidemic among working individuals. Fortunately, there’s a new conversation out there that is calling out our negative habits and helping people go after the lives they’ve always dreamed of. By following the aforementioned tips you’ll be well on your way to retraining your subconscious and working for yourself instead of against yourself.