Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world my beautiful, vulnerable self!

Posts tagged ‘Self-worth’

Obsessions Born in Childhood

Where Are Our Obsessions Born?

created with CanvaMany of us have something in our lives we can’t seem to get enough of, but did you ever stop to wonder why?

One of the things I find myself stockpiling is comforters. When I was young, my mom believed in bedspreads, but never comforters. I love snuggling into them on cold nights, or sleeping on top of their fluffy softness when it’s warmer. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I even had a bedspread on my bed! I seem to have passed this and a few other obsessions on to my daughter. Often, we’ll exchange comforters on Christmas (when she isn’t adding to my custom blanket collection!).

Years ago I had a friend who said his mother only let him own a couple of pairs of underwear and socks, while she spent thousands on beauty products for herself. As an adult, he had one of the largest underwear and sock collections I’ve ever seen in a man, and was always buying more.

Feelings of Deprivation

My mother also believed the only thing a girl needed was white bras. She herself might have created with Canvahad a couple in beige and black, but my sister and I only got white ones. Like my friend the underwear fanatic, I have a drawer full of bras in a rainbow of colors, but maybe one in white and another in beige for those rare times I buy a shirt that isn’t a bright color itself.

Whether or not my friend or I were actually deprived as kids, or just believed we were is immaterial. The fact that we believed we did without to the point of overcompensating as adults is what matters to us now. I may have slowed down acquisitions in recent years since you can only use so many comforters at once, or wear so many bras in a week. But it doesn’t mean I don’t browse the Kohl’s ads when those things go on sale.

Recognizing the Resentment Behind Our Obsessions

Underlying our obsessions is more than a fair amount of resentment towards, in both examples, our mothers. In my case, it was probably a large part of why I took so long to allow myself to grieve her death. As long as I held onto the resentment, I didn’t acknowledge or accept my need or even my right to grieve. The resentment justified my initial relief that she’d no longer be nagging or making me crazy with her suggestions to improve my life.

Those nagging, hurtful, helpful comments still give me pause. Looking at myself in the mirror at the gym the other day, I noticed my face was looking dull and mucky. It brought to mind a visit to mom’s house. She looked at me and said:

“Your skin looks muddy. Go in the bathroom and wash your face.”

Although I followed her instructions, I spent the rest of the visit like so many others; resenting her interference and her unkind observation. I know now she meant to be helpful, but she didn’t seem to know how to communicate kindness to me, nor did I know how to hear it from her.

Healing To Release Both Physical and Emotional Baggage

created with CanvaAs with everything else, letting go of old hurts is a process, especially when those hurts began before you were even old enough to remember. With each chink in my armor, each bit of mortar I remove from my walls, each brick I finally break loose, I find more pieces of resentment, hurt feelings, deep-seated emotional pain, and trauma. With each new discovery, I have to restart the process of accepting, acknowledging, releasing, and forgiving which I’ve learned is  the only way to truly expunge the old baggage holding us back from achieving the dreams we imagine.

Those resentments and hurts are like sandbags on a hot air balloon. In order to lift from the ground, you either need more hot air or less sandbags. Sometimes it’s a toss-up as to which is easier to accomplish. Some of those sandbags have been part of our lives for so long, they’ve practically fossilized. In some cases, we even mistakenly believe we have to remove them intact.

Gently or Roughly; Only We Know How to Make Changes to Ourselves

Breaking our fossilized baggage into more manageable chunks is often the more practical solution. But emotions and feelings are rarely something we approach with practicality as the motivator or key guideline.

In some cases, we want to rip off the bandage or cut off the offending part as quickly as possible with no concern for the pain and upheaval removal by force will cause. In others, we prefer to remove past events with surgical precision, making sure we keep the damaged piece intact as if we plan on displaying it in our personal museum.

Neither method is right or wrong. You won’t make peace with yourself more quickly with one than the other. Most of all, it isn’t for anyone else to tell you how to get the job done, or even when it’s time to release another piece.

Learning to Look Without Reacting

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dainec/3687658810/in/photolist-bEPm7E-934mpF-6fYkU-e4uZVD-e4AAXW-e4AAV3-6BSduj-3gGWHE-qeDbXE-qeGvKg-Embmi-pXhj22-4azrtU-pwagx-7HXhbQ-z5BPMY-z5BJvW-s12vnBIt’s kind of like looking at the Kohl’s ad, then looking at the pile of comforters in my closet, reminding myself I no longer need to add to the collection. Or opening my overflowing drawer of rainbow-hued bras and realizing I don’t even wear the ones I have often enough to wear them out since I spend my working hours 10 steps from where I sleep, making them superfluous unless I’m going out.

It’s looking at a drawer full of matched and mis-matched socks, knowing it’s time to weed out some of the accumulation and make room for better things I’ll actually use, or at least allow me to see what I have that’s still useful. Sorting through our old baggage is much the same. One day, we look at the closet and realize there’s clutter. We’re finding it difficult to find what we’re looking for because we have to dig through a lot of stuff we haven’t used in ages, and no longer need.

Clear the Physical Along With the Emotional

At that point, we begin cleaning out our emotional cupboard, sorting through things which Created with Canvahave outlived their usefulness and are holding us back from the greatness we deserve. We decide which ones we’ll rip out like a loose tooth, and which we’ll untangle carefully, making sure we don’t damage any of the pieces as we work out the knots.

Sometimes, we need to clear emotions which have become entangled in those knots or woven into the fabric of our life as we go. Those are the ones which require delicacy because they’ve wrapped tendrils around things we want to keep; feelings which make us smile or feel all warm inside.

Asking for Help

Our main concern is knowing when it’s time to let things go, and doing whatever we need to. It may be talking to a friend or a coach. It might be giving yourself a retreat of some kind where you spend time alone in self-reflection. For some, it’s physical activity like hiking, dancing, cycling, or lifting weights. For others, a quiet stroll through the forest or burrowing into a pile of blankets with a good book and their pets.

Wherever you find yourself on this continuum, please, let yourself release some of the crap you’re carrying. Allow time to dig in and see what you’ve finished with and need to let go. Reach out for help if you need it, and even if you think you don’t. You don’t realize sometimes how much you’re holding yourself back until you take an honest look at why you’re standing still.

Above All, Know You Are Worth the Effort

I, myself battle with huge insecurities regarding my writing. I admitted to my coach I’ve probably written over a million words in the last 9 or 10 years, but still struggle with believing in myself as a writer. From where she sits, it’s hard to believe, but here, behind all my own demons, both exorcised and not, a few remain who don’t have to work too hard to convince me I’m unworthy. At least I’ve reached the point where I know they have to go, and can start taking the necessary steps to identify and eradicate those who are still getting in the way of me and my dreams.

How can I help you start identifying and releasing your own demons? I’ve learned a few things in the years I’ve been working on mine, and would be happy to share some of the things that worked—and a few that didn’t. Don’t hide. Leave me a comment and start getting out of your own way.

Gratitude: The Strongest Tool in Our Arsenal

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful I discovered I could combine my love of writing with the road to achieving my dreams.
  2. I’m grateful for friends who’ve opened their hearts, shared their experiences, and helped me heal.
  3. I’m grateful for my coach, my daughter, and numerous friends who are continually making me see I am worthy, I am talented, and I do have expertise in an area or two.
  4. I’m grateful for the inspiration which keeps me writing 3 posts a week for myself, and helping others express their true, vulnerable, beautiful selves as well. This truly is living my dream.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; inspiration, motivation, love, friendship, dancing, community, demanding furballs, persistence, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws , of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Are Self-Limiting Beliefs Undermining Your Sense of Worthiness?

Recognizing Self-Limiting Beliefs

(This post is a follow-up to my May 14th Facebook Live which can be found by clicking the link)

Last year, I bought Neurogym’s Winning the Game of Money program and listened to the 12 weeks worth of audios dutifully not once but three times. Still, I hadn’t really made the progress with my business I’d have liked, nor had I broken through some of the barriers to my success. I finally set the program and all of its bonus materials aside for awhile, and focused on my physical health with much more success.

I’ve learned over the years that if something isn’t working or I’m just not getting it to set it aside and let the ideas percolate for a while. In fact, I’ve found that works for books I can’t, at first get into as well. (Most notable lately was Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now.) When the time is right, I’ll have an epiphany and be able to resume forward progress (or in the case of books, I might get bonked on the head when what I need to read falls off the shelf in protest for being ignored).

This week, I had one of those epiphanies. My business block had to do with a self-limiting belief about money, or more specifically, people with money. Somehow, I’d gotten it into my head that I wasn’t worthy of associating with people who were, by my perception, rich, or at least very well off. I know it’s silly as people are people regardless of their net worth, but the feeling was there and I needed to find its source and clear it.

Uncovering the Source of the Self-Limiting Belief

I didn’t have far to look. My mom was very conscious of money and people who had it. Most of my life she was trying to align herself with wealthy people, but anyone who knew her as well as anyone was allowed could see she wasn’t entirely comfortable around even those she called friends. Admittedly, my mom had more unworthiness issues than anyone else I know, but love and money were her biggest albatrosses.

We inherit many of our traits and beliefs from our parents whether we like it or not. Many just bubble beneath the surface, harming no one. But others, like feelings of unworthiness are diabolical creatures. They undermine our best efforts to follow our dreams; telling us in the most sincere, loving voices that we’d best turn our attention elsewhere. Like a rattlesnake hiding in the grass waiting to bite the unwary, our internal nay-sayer lies in wait for opportunities to chop us down to a size it deems appropriate. Why? Because change is our internal voice’s mortal enemy.

Many times, we don’t even hear the whispered voice telling us we can’t. We simply fail one time too often and give up, often just before the attempt which would have yielded the results we sought. We can silence the voice, but first, we have to recognize its existence and more, its methods.

In my case, that voice was particularly annoyed because I’d recently replaced It’s too hard! with I can! with regard to physical activities. I’ve been pushing my limits at the gym, and more recently, on hiking trails, with spectacular results. That voice was especially determined to knock me down to size, and where better than my dreams of being a successful writer and entrepreneur?

Lessons Are Like Dancing. What Works in One Area of Life Will Likely Work in Another.

But I’d learned a valuable lesson with my physical improvements. If I tell myself I can and keep trying no matter how many times I fail or have to take a step back, I’ll eventually conquer the next milestone and be able to move forward.

I also started looking around at my circle of friends. Most of them, admittedly, are from the dance community, but that makes more sense as I join some of them for hikes or other activities which involve self-improvement. People who engage in an activity like dancing on a regular basis are the last ones you’ll find sitting on a couch at night munching on junk food and drinking beer. In short, the antithesis of the people my ex attracted. I’ve come a long way from that place, though until now, I hadn’t realized just how far.

Surrounding Myself With People Who Embrace Change

People who have already eschewed the pull of the one-eyed monster and couch surfing are the ones who are more likely to challenge themselves in all areas of their lives. They’re the people who retire only to start new businesses or take on large projects. They’re the ones you can count on for help if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, or just need an example to follow to get you past a temporary road block. Often, they’re the same ones who are financially well off, but are also low-key about it.

So when I noticed how many of my friends are traveling at least once a year to Europe or South America or other exotic locales, it hit me. I already do fit in with those who are better off financially than me. And nobody cares! They simply accept that I’m at a different place in my life. I’ve made choices which temporarily put me at a lower point economically, but as that isn’t the basis of our friendship in the first place, it just isn’t an issue.

If it’s not an issue for my friends, why on earth should I make it one in my own head?

Recognizing and Eradicating Self-limiting Beliefs: I Am Enough

When it comes to self-limiting beliefs, the first step is to recognize them. The second is realizing the only one they matter to is ourselves. At that point, we can use whatever method works for us to release the belief. In some cases, it might be writing it on a piece of paper and burning it. In others, perhaps meditating on releasing the baseless and inhibiting belief. Still others might just bulldog their way through, faking it ’til they make it, as it were.

I tend to use a combination of techniques, but have added a new one this time and hired a business coach. We’re only really focusing on one area where I’m stuck and I’ve only purchased three sessions, but it will get me headed in the right direction. And I will also be ready to listen to the Winning the Game of Money audios as well as working through the tasks with more clarity and direction. Two of my biggest road blocks are now out in the open where they can be addressed and released.

I’ve learned already that I truly do have tenacity in far greater quantities than I gave myself credit for. Now I’m learning how I’ve been getting in my own way regarding money and social status.

There will be more discoveries and releasing to do along the way, but these unexpected successes will make it easier to negotiate the mine field of my own mind in the future. I’ll be more inclined to get out of my own way and ignore the voice telling me I’m not good enough or intelligent enough or determined enough…any enoughs at all. Because at the end of the day, what truly matters is that I am enough!

Get in Tune With Your Own Self-Limiting Beliefs

What is holding you back from achieving your dreams? What self-limiting falsehoods is your inner voice feeding you so it can avoid having to change? How are you going to clear those thoughts and replace them with the ones which will propel you in the direction you want to go? There’s never a better time than now to start shutting those who would get in your way down. And the worst of those will always be the ones inside your own mind.

Gratitude in the Virtual Tool Box

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for epiphanies.
  2. I’m grateful for the excellent examples my friends and family set for me.
  3. I’m grateful for learning to release self-limiting beliefs.
  4. I’m grateful for the skills and abilities I uncover as I stop letting my change-reluctant brain get in the way.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; energy, strength, inspiration, friendship, joy, success, motivation, encouragement, self-improvement, dream manifestation, health, happiness, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

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