Motivational Monday Vol. 12

I mentioned in a previous MM email that my "word" for the latter part of 2020 was HEALING and I was setting the intention to "heal" my body from years of stress and poor lifestyle choices, among other thingsStress is an incredible silent enemy and if compounded over time, can really wreak some havoc! 

And that is exactly where I find myself today, I won't bore you with medical details, but 2+ weeks ago I was diagnosed with disorders called PVVN and LPR.

As simply as I can explain it (or at least as simply as I understand it), is that I've damaged a nerve around my vocal cords (PVVN), which are now not working properly, causing me to be hypersensitive to just about everything...when I consume certain foods/drinks I develop symptoms such as a sore throat, hoarse voice, chronic cough (LPR), etc. 

And yes, this is incredibly confusing during times of COVID! 

The healing process is a journey, filled with trial and error and strict diet + lifestyle habits. For at least the next few months, I am not able to drink alcohol, caffeine, citrus, carbonation, my diet must remain 90% plant based (no fried or processed foods) and I mustn't eat dinner after 6PM...along with a slew of other restrictions.

My reaction to this? You have to be f*cking kidding me. 

My ego immediately leaped to the negative as I dwelled on everything I could no longer have or do. All I was seeing was how my life had to change and how much I desperately wanted it to stay the same.

The loudest dialogue I was having with myself was "How am I supposed to be social?" "If I cannot eat after 6PM or drink alcohol, how am I supposed to meet new people or go out at all? Who is going to want to hang out with me?" "How the hell am I supposed to date with this? As if COVID dating wasn't hard enough!"

These thoughts consumed me as I spent the next few days feeling sorry for myself. Then one day, I had a conversation with a friend that became the AH HA moment I desperately needed. Our convo went something like this: 

Friend: "Why are you so upset about this?"
Me: "I've told you already! I can't drink alcohol anymore or eat late or really eat anything I used to!" 
Friend: "Why does it upset you to not be able to drink or eat late?"
Me: "Because how am I supposed to socialize now? Everyone wants to go to drinks or late dinners and I cannot do that. No one will want to hang out with me now!"
Friend: "Why do you think you cannot socialize without those things?"
Me: "Well, I know technically I still can, but I won't be any fun and if I'm not fun, I won't be invited out again!"
Friend: "Why do you think you won't be fun if you don't drink?"
Me: "I just feel like alcohol makes me more fun and likeable. And I'm concerned that I won't be accepted without it"
Friend: "Ah ha! Why does it concern you whether or not people accept you?"
Me: "Because...because the more others accept me, the better I feel about myself. The more I accept myself."
Friend: " can only accept yourself if others accept you first?"
Me: "Oh man. I see what you did here. Well played, sir, well played."

And that's the moment I realized my friend psychoanalyzed me.

I was holding onto a belief about myself that in order to be "fun" and "liked" and "accepted" I must drink alcohol. I was telling myself in order to be liked by others, I had to ALTER who I was (since that is essentially what alcohol does), because I didn't feel like on my own, just as I am, would be enough for others to want to spend time or be romantically interested in me. I believed I wouldn't be accepted because I ultimately didn't fully accept myself. And I told myself that because of this, I wasn't going to be able to date or meet anyone new until I healed myself and got back to "normal." 

I repeat. You have to be f*cking kidding me.

This is a story I made up about myself and my circumstances. And that's all it is, a story. But do you see how powerful the stories we tell ourselves can be? I began LIMITING my future life because of a story I made up about myself in the present.

How many of you have a story or belief about yourself that is limiting or holding your future self back? 

Some examples could be, "I never went to college, so I could never get my dream job or be able to start my own business." "I don't have the credentials to apply for that new job, I'm not qualified." "I've had two relationships fail, there must be something wrong with me, I'll never be able to make a relationship work."

Do you see how the stories we tell ourselves control our future by limiting our potential? But a story only has power so much as we continue to read it. We can choose to close that book and pick up a new one, with a completely new story line or perspective, whenever we want. 

I challenge you this week to identify a story(ies) that is holding you back in your career, personal life or relationships. Once you identify, find a trusted friend (or you can do this by yourself) and have them ask you "WHY" over and over again, just as my friend did above. I promise you after 5+ "Why's" will uncover the real belief that's holding you back.

And once you can identify the root, you can dig it up and plant something new in its place.

I'm reminded of my favorite Tony Robbins quote, "Life is happening for you, not to you." While I started out feeling like a victim of this diagnosis, after my WHY conversation I realized just how much it's happening for me

I've been on a self-discovery journey over the last year to feel comfortable with myself, to fully accept and love myself. Every time I think I've gotten to that point, life throws me a curveball like this and I react in ways that show I still have more digging to do, more to heal and uncover. 

What if this diagnosis was the universe literally forcing me to continue to confront accepting myself completely as I am? Forcing me to live life by and on my own terms, to not care what others thought of me - to put my health and needs first. What an incredible life lesson this could all be. Certainly worth all the Doritos in the world!

What if your story could actually help you face your deepest fears? What if you were meant for this story and the lessons could be an invaluable gift on your journey to your best self?

So how can you take back control, grab a pen and rewrite your story? How can you look for the good and reframe the narrative so that it's happening for you, not against you? 

You have one life, filled with billions of fleeting moments. You quite literally don't have time to waste in a narrative that doesn't serve you. 

So let's write something that does.

Rooting for you!

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