You say you’re fine, but you’re really not.
It’s like an automatic reply message when someone asks how you’re doing. You respond instantly saying you’re good, you’re ok, everything is fine.
I’d like you to think about whether you’re moving through your days feeling as fulfilled, open-hearted, and satisfied as you’d like to be. Exactly. I feel you. You’re not as good, ok, and fine as you pretend to be!
You think this is just the way it is. This is your lot in life. You accept the restrictions and the weight of your responsibilities, after all, most of them were your own choices.
You recognize that things could be worse, so you feel guilt or shame around wanting anything more. You’re used to telling yourself at least statements… At least I can pay my bills. At least I have a roof over my head. At least I got a few hours of sleep. At least I’m not sick or dying. At least I have a job.
It’s true, there are people that are less fortunate than you and gratitude is a helpful and positive emotion. But not so much so when you position it with “at least.” Because when you do that, you’re admitting that the way you feel and your situation right now is not what you’d dream it to be or you’d wish for, but it’s good, ok, fine – you know, it’s the least you can hope for.
Well, no more of that, sister! I want you to wake up and realize that you can be more than good, ok, and fine. And that you absolutely can achieve more than the least.
The first step forward in having your own back and in widening what you are willing to hope and dream for, is to get back in touch with yourself.
“Don’t be confused between what people say you are and who you know you are.” – Oprah
Your mindset, your attitude, your beliefs about yourself are the fertile soil from which more than only the least possibilities grow from.
If you lack confidence in your worthiness or your capacity to create more fulfillment, more joy, more ease, more peace, more fun, more love, more financial abundance, more wellness – than you remain stuck in the dirt, underground, like a seed that had so much potential but never even tried to sprout because it was good, ok, and fine living in the dark underground.
On the other hand, if you can imagine more for yourself. If you can admit you’re not as good, ok, and fine with the way things are as you say you are, then you are ready to move into action!
The most productive place to start is to go within.
It’s difficult to expand your vision for yourself of what’s possible for you if you’ve lost track of who you truly are. It’s like taking a trip without a destination or a map. You’re just wandering aimlessly. You might happen upon a bit of lovely scenery, or you might end up lost.
“Have the courage to ask for exactly what you want – especially from yourself.” – Spirit Daughter
A revealing and recentering exercise that can help you regain your sense of self, and the direction of your desires is asking yourself these three questions.
1. Who am I?
Not your name, height, weight, profession, roles in life – but how do you define yourself, your values, your strengths.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all knowledge.” – Aristotle
An effective way to refine this answer is to ask yourself what you want to be remembered for. i.e., she was a smart, funny, kind-hearted person who loved to help others – the kind of person who couldn’t pass up a friend in need or a stray animal without worrying about and helping them. Think about the traits you have that make you you.
2. What do I love and value most?
Focus on the non-material. i.e. time with my kids, quiet time with my partner, entertaining friends, traveling, financial security, my physical health, my sense of peace, freedom, helping others, my spiritual connection, my hobbies, fine dining, a safe and comfortable home, educational opportunities, animals, painting, singing, dancing, rock-hunting, gardening, whatever it is for you.
Every single day you are making choices – like what to eat, what to buy, what to save, how much you drink or smoke, what you say no to or yes to, social engagements, errands, whether to take a walk or scroll social media, what time you go to bed or get up in the morning, the clothes you put on, the feelings you have about others, self-judgments you make, etc.
Consciously or not, you’re making decisions that will either lead you closer or take you farther away from who you truly are and what you value most, which leads to the third question:
3. Does this [decision/activity/choice/thought] support who I truly am, what I value, what I love, the way I want to feel and the life I want to create?
Asking yourself these three thoughtful questions on a regular basis helps you to stay aligned with who you truly are and moving in a direction of what you desire most. Your answers – and the fact that you have enough courage and self-love to “go there” – help you to have your own back, to stick up for yourself, to be more authentic, and to follow your own intuition more consistently.
Over time, these questions help you to navigate stresses that threaten to push you out of what matters most to you. Without having your own back and staying open to what your heart is telling you, it’s too easy to get off-course and forget what your true north is.
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits
You are the sum of your daily choices (aka, your habits). Every little choice you make today that is better suited to who you are, what you want, and how you want to feel adds up over time and can make a huge difference in how fulfilling and satisfying your life is, and how close you get to your goals or, on the flip side, how off course and unhappy you are.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
Having your own back means not settling for the “at least” description of your life.
I guarantee you that the more you respect who you are, what lights you up, and what you truly desire through your daily choices, the higher the chances are that you will not only be feeling good, ok, and fine… but genuinely be beyond that… well into feeling peace, joy, enthusiasm, purpose, and fulfillment as you expand into the excitement of who you are becoming. – Marlene
Thinking it might be Your Time to Thrive? I help women looking for soulful guidance to clear and heal what’s blocking them so they can finally love themselves, live with less fear and anxiety, and chase after their dreams. Your Time to Thrive is a ninety-day healing journey to self-love, confidence, and optimism. This program combines one-to-one mindset mentorship with reiki healing sessions and personalized intuitive guidance leading to transformative personal growth. Read more here and schedule a free consult call with me to see if this is the right fit for you.
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2 thoughts on “How to Have Your Own Back and Get Excited About Life Again”
I agree with everything! Particularly the need to spend time doing the things that are personally important – outside of work and life chores. It is very very hard not always looking at the “to do” list and arriving at being able to explain to yourself that maybe you did NOT get to do (anything) the things that you wanted, but… At LEAST you “got the car inspected”. The lists of responsibilities are endless always. But sometimes you look at the rest of who you live with be it spouse or roommate or kids – and you think “wait = they seem to have time to do whateer THEY want to do”. it is a vicious cycle. Yesterday, I saw my husband talking to the young men who werestaining our deck. Two of the three are expectant fathers. I heard him actually say “Lower their expectations. If they do not depend on you to jump up, they will stop thinking you will”. he said it with a smile and a laugh but I remember the nights of me hearing the baby and he (I learned later) was just pretending to be in deep slumber. And = it made perfect sense. Your every little decision – make or break everything. I think that is why a lot of women (in particular) have actual trouble filling their time after their kids leave for school or adult life outside of the home. I have no problem filling mine now. I have learned to take time. Just not enough yet..
Right on point with all of it! Wisdom we wish we had twenty years ago, right?!? Better now than never! <3