How to Deal With Nagging Thoughts

Nagging thoughts are like ghosts with unfinished business. Their sulking is audible from a plane that you cannot see, begging for your attention, interrupting whatever it is you’re doing.

Once they have your attention they don’t let up. They look too much like the person you used to be and say all of the things you no longer want to hear. You want to put them in the past and lock them away, but something about the way they torture you keeps you from looking away.

You may think you’re safe when you haven’t seen them for a while, but they’re just biding their time, lying in wait until you’re at your weakest. On the day, when you’re not feeling too well, or you’re sad or angry, your nagging-thoughts-ghost will reemerge to deepen your sadness, anger, and frustration Before you know, it has possessed you and now control what you do and how you do it.

Why you should deal with the thoughts that nag you.

The troubling thing about ignoring the thoughts that nag you is that these thoughts tend to come from a deep within you, begging to be heard, understood, and resolved. How rare is it to hear something within yourself so strongly? For most people, it’s rare. By trying to lock away these thoughts into a vault, you are willfully silencing yourself.

It may seem like you’re doing it for your own good. I get that. You don’t want to allow those thoughts out to hurt you all over again. However, listening to these thoughts, dealing with these thoughts does not validate or justify them. Thoughts can be dirty little liars sometimes. You deal with these thoughts because you’re a boss-ass-bitch (bitch, bitch, bitch)… These thoughts shouldn’t have this type of control over your life. You deal with them so that they can stop nagging you.

It makes a lot of sense to deal with these thoughts because while this ghost is haunting you…

• It’s preventing you from truly enjoying the moment. When your thoughts wander back to that time or ruminate on something that hasn’t happen yet, it’s keeping you from being present. The present moment is the only moment where happiness can exist (or that exists at all).

• It’s stopping you from learning the lesson that comes with dealing with that problem. When you deal with your problem, you’ll gain skills that will help you deal with future problems. Also, the act of dealing with a problem tends to make the problem smaller. For instance, when you stopped worrying about falling off your bike, you realized how silly it was to worry about it at all.

• It’s preventing you from being authentic. While your plastering a smile over the sadness you feel inside, you aren’t authentic. While you’re pretending to be above such nonsense, you’re not authentic. The thing that’s nagging you only has this much control over you because it matters to you. Somehow it goes against your beliefs or the way you want to see yourself. It that weren’t the case it wouldn’t keep coming up to pester you. Remember when this happened; you’re not so perfect bitch, it whispers to you. Deal with it so that you can be true to yourself.

• It causes past insecurities to shape current realities. Though there is no short supply of lessons that can be learned from the past, the past is not an all-seeing crystal ball of life. Just because you were afraid once, it doesn’t mean you’ll be afraid forever. If the past did have this much of say, most people wouldn’t leave their house on the off chance that some unlikely disaster happened. Babies would never learn to walk; you wouldn’t know how to read or talk. If the past is an indicator of anything, it’s that mistakes are awesome.

To deal with the thoughts that nag you, you should..

• Commit to solving the problem. Before you can move forward, you have to make solving this problem a priority. The best way I’ve found is to 1) paint a vivid picture of what you’d become once the problem is solved and 2) your life having not solved the problem. For instance, your nagging-thoughts-ghost keeps bringing up the time you sucked at an interview every time you go to an interview. If you deal with this nagging thought, you will walk into next interview with confidence that exudes from you regardless of the outcome. You will speak articulately about all those things you know so well and impress your future employer.

If you don’t deal with this thought, every time you sit before your interviewer your tension will stink up the room. You won’t be able to call to memory the things you rehearsed. Your true shine won’t come through, and you’ll be jobless.
• Open the vault. Allow everything that comes with dealing with that thought come out of the vault – the hurt, shame, and frustration. For a moment let it all wash over you then away from you. Let yourself feel the feelings so that you can know what you’re up against. This part sucks but it’s a necessary evil. Part of the reason that these thoughts may be resurfacing may be because you never allowed yourself to go through it.

Let yourself feel it as long as you need. Cry until you’re sick of crying. Feel sad until you’re sick of being sad. If you think there’s not a limit to your tears, let me tell you, there is. Find it and you’ll be compelled to act. Don’t move on to the next step until you have felt the feeling and have LET THEM GO. You don’t want lingering feelings to stink up the next steps. If you find that your feelings keep coming back up, take a moment to feel them then let them go.

• Study your thoughts and feelings. Now that you have felt your feelings, analyze them.
— Are they irrational and groundless? If so, what makes you believe in them? A lot of the thoughts that nag you may tie into your personality. For instance, making a stain on the carpet doesn’t torment everyone. Is your defensiveness or perfectionism keeping you blind to the triviality of the problem?
— If your thoughts are sound, is there anything that you can do to change what you think or how you feel? Is it something about you that needs to change or the situation?
— Are your feelings about the past or the future? Are you pressuring yourself into thinking about some far off possibility? Or are you dwelling on the past?

• Resist the urge to have an opinion on your thoughts, bad or good. You’re a scientist right now. You’re just analyzing data. To make this easier, take yourself out of the context. Think about what a thought means instead of thinking of what it says about you. Because you are not your thoughts. Thoughts are notorious liars.

• Identify situations that trigger these thoughts. When are these thoughts most likely to appear? Do you find that every time you’re with so-and-so you think about that horrible time when…? What you may find through identifying the trigger is that your nagging thoughts may just be a warning to steer clear of something terrible. Your nagging thoughts ghost can see how what you’re doing right now is just like some other time something terrible happened.

On the other hand, this trigger may appear when you’re trying to push yourself. If that be the case, this may be a signal of some inner conflict that needs to be resolved. Maybe you need to store up some reserves of confidence, or you need to educate yourself more about what you’re going to pursue. I’ve found that most fears and insecurities come from not knowing.

• Remove the power the thoughts have over you by disillusioning the problem. If you’ve been holding off on an uncomfortable conversation, remind yourself that you’re talking to another human being. Everyone puts on his/her pants one leg at a time. If you don’t say anything to that person, you’ll only make yourself feel worse. Another powerful way to deal with a problem that nags you is to see how someone else who had a similar problem dealt with it. Their method may not be perfect for you, but it may give you some hints. Nothing is new under the son. If it’s your problem, it’s likely has been someone else’s.

• Take responsibility for your life. There are many systems in place that keep people stagnant: if you’re rich, you’ll stay rich; if you’re poor, you’ll stay poor. You only have two choices: 1) let the systems tell you your limits 2) tell yourself your limits. There are many people who have beat the system, so you can too. To do that you have to take responsibility for your life. No more so-and-so MADE you react this way. This is not to justify someone else’s bullshit but to keep you living your life, on your terms.

• Talk to a professional. Maybe you’ve had a traumatic experience that has shaped the way you see the world and the people in it. And for whatever your trauma may be, I’m truly sorry that it happened to you. Seriously. I joke a lot, but this is serious. I’ve had my fair share and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. If you don’t feel safe handling these thoughts on your own, talk to a professional. It’s the smart thing to do, and you’re a sharp cookie so do what’s best for you. If you’re worried about the stigma, don’t worry about the stigma. Most educated people today understand the need for the Mental Health Industry. For the people who don’t understand, I like to compare them to people who contested the Earth being round. If people leave you in your darkest moments, they don’t need to be in your life.
Lastly Remember……

• It may take more than one try to tackle this problem. It’s nice to think that this thought that has been nagging you for days, months, or years can be solved in one sitting but chances are it won’t be. And that’s Ok. In some parts of this process, you may have to let it soak overnight or scrub away at it until you can move forward. You’re doing this for yourself. Allow yourself to be thorough.

• Everyone has thoughts like this. You are never as alone as you think. For every terrible thought, there is someone who overcame it and someone who let it control him/her. Which are you going to be?

• Don’t beat yourself up. The pressure you put on yourself is likely part of the problem. You are so abusive that you don’t want to deal with yourself. Stop that. Please continue to be honest with yourself but don’t mistake honesty for abuse.

Once you’ve begun to deal with your nagging-thought-ghost, you’ll learn to accept your thoughts as they are because they’re mostly happening to you.

–You’ll begin cultivating a healthier relationship with your inner voice. That nagging ghost is not the enemy. You just need to handle some things, and it’ll pipe down.

–You’ll even begin taking steps toward creating an environment conducive to the thoughts you want to create. You want to think thoughts that make you better you’ll be better off after the nagging thoughts are gone.

I encourage you to go forth and deal with your nagging-thoughts-ghost. And if you have strategies that I missed, please share them in the comment.

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How to Face Your Fears

I’m going to go on a limb and assume that you know that it’s good to be afraid of jumping into a shark tank that is full of hungry sharks and you don’t know how to swim.

I want to talk about the fears that keep you at night. These fear aren’t a matter of life and death but can and will impact the course of your life. The kind of fears that….

… stopped you from doing something that you wanted to do.

… hinder you from having meaningful relationships.

… has made it impossible for you to become your beautiful self.

There is little room for these fears in a life lived to it’s fullest potential, and I believe that everyone can reach her/his fullest potential. You don’t have to be the rich or have an Ivy League education. And, your journey does not have to look like anyone else’s. You have the power to design your life.

Unfortunately, you cannot harness your power until you’ve started to face your fears.

My Story

The most recent fear I vaporized was the fear of blogging. I was afraid to put myself out there for three main reasons.

  1. I was afraid of what my friends and family would think: AKA Fear of Ridicule
  2. I was afraid that people wouldn’t like me: AKA Fear of Rejection
  3. I was afraid that no one would read it: AKA Fear of Failure

Because of these fears, I’ve started my blog, The Curious Queendom, about 4 different times. As soon as a family member caught wind of my blog, or a reader gave me negative feedback, or traffic to my blog dwindled, I swiftly took it down.

This last time I decided that I would keep it up no matter what. I haven’t made any major blog success, but my personal life is full of success because of my decision to keep my blog up. I want that for everyone. I want everyone to feel good about revealing that she/he is an alien from the planet Mercury without fear.


How to Face Your Fears

  1. Be aware of when you’re making decisions from a place of fear. This is harder than it sounds because humans are good at making excuses. You may tell yourself that you don’t want to go out because you’re a homebody when really you don’t want to go out because you’re worried about seeming weird or whatever. Get real with yourself and identify why you picked the more comfortable alternative.
  1. Make courageous decisions. Your fear lives and dies with your decisions. The only time fear has an impact is when you allow it to decide for you. When you are afraid, and you decide to lean into that fear, you have effectively killed it.
  1. Don’t wait for fear to find you; hunt it down. You know what scares you, and you know that it’s irrational. You know that you won’t burst into flames when you tell the boy of dreams how you feel. So instead of waiting for the perfect moment to present itself to you, take control.
  1. What’s the worse that can happen? The worse that can happen is usually not so bad. Being embarrassed or humiliated sucks but it won’t kill you. What seems so terrible to you today, won’t feel so bad down the line. Who cares that you peed your pants in the first grade? Kids do that sometimes. Who cares that you messed up a part of your speech? People make mistakes. It’s what we do.
  1. One step at a time. No one is expecting you to make an 180-degree transformation overnight. You should take your progress one step at a time. As long as you get back when you fall, you’ve made progress.
  1. Dwell on the good stuff. In a moment of fear, you may tend to look for things that validate that fear, the times you messed up, embarrassed yourself, or whatever. Let’s be honest, you have done brilliant things with your life. You have had moments when you felt like you were in a flow-like state. Think about those moments and use them to invalidate your fears
  1. Remember: Sometimes you’re going to give into your fear. No one is perfect. Striving for perfection just perpetuates fear. To avoid making a mistake, you wont even try. Mistakes are a critical part of learning. You learned how to walk because of all the times you fell. In a way, your mistakes are the greatest sign of progress.
  1. Practice the things you aren’t good at. When you give into your fear, try to figure out why then practice not being afraid.
  1. Life is an Adventure. Imagine the film Indiana Jones without conflict. He simply went to Wal-Mart and bought the last Holy Grail. Man, that would’ve been a terribly boring film. Your life will be full of conflict; and, quite frankly, you shouldn’t want it any other way. Embrace the craziness that is your life. Have fun with it. Laugh at your mistakes and learn from them.

I know that you are capable of living the life of your dreams. Now go out there and make it happen. NOW!


I originally posted this on B.G’s blog at Getting Through Anxiety. There she talks about her experiences living with anxiety and how she overcomes obstacles.  I thought it would be fitting for today.

Why You Should Build One Habit at a Time

At any given moment, there are several things you can do to make your life better. As you stand in front of the elevator, you wonder if you should take the stairs. When you’re playing a video game you wonder if your time is better spent reading a book. While you’re washing your hair with sudsy sulfates you wonder if you should go paraben free. If it were up to you, you’d fix all of your mistakes and imperfections at once, freeing you up to be the perfect person you want to be.

Oh, the fanciful realms of the imagination. 

So you try to do all of these things at once. It looks good at first but what inevitably happens is that you look like a bag lady. When ask to demonstrate your new changes, you shift around though your endless bags looking for the last place you saw it, dumping it all out on the floor, making a right mess.

All you wanted was to be the person to be the kind of person who can do what she wants: finds a problem, roots it out, and never looks back – the kind of person who is competent and in control, who doesn’t allow herself to get bogged down by the expectations of others or the expectations of herself.

The problem isn’t that you incompetent or out of control. Maybe you just need a new approach.

When I think about working on myself, I compare it having a conversation. Have you ever tried to talk to someone when he/she was preoccupied with something else? It’s downright infuriating. They don’t hear the jokes; they have to ask you to repeat yourself every few minutes. If they respond to questions, they do so with vague, noncommittal answers. By the end of the conversation, you don’t feel like they’ve understood you or even cared about what you had to say. And, if asked, they wouldn’t remember what the conversation was about.

If you looked over their shoulder to see what’s distracting them from your conversation you’d see that they are doing just as poor of a job at whatever that is too. They’re trying to juggle two things at once, resulting in mess.

I understand the urge to work on many things at once: if you don’t, you feel like you’re neglecting other areas of your life. But there are some compelling reasons to make one change at a time….

Why you should make one change at a time

  • Because, multitasking is a myth. You physically can’t concentrate on two things at the same time. You’re simply rapidly shifting your focus between two different things. When you shift your attention to something new you have to reset and backtrack to find your place – resulting in more wasted time.
  • Because of ego depletion. Willpower is not infinite. Each time you tap into your willpower, you leave a little less than you had before. If you stretch your willpower over multiple habits, you’ll deplete your reserves faster, leaving you to derail from you habit building.
  • Because, you’ll change faster. It may feel like you’re killing two birds with one stone but in reality, you’re pummeling two birds with the same pebble over and over again to death. What a gory, torturous death for those poor birds. Because you aren’t concentrating, it will take you more tries to get the job done leaving a bloody mess in your wake.
  • You’ll retain more information. Have you noticed how repeating an action reveals something new each time? The first time you hear it, it may seem small to you. Over time, you’ll develop an understanding of it beyond the surface. If you are doing multiple things at once, you’ll likely miss out on those small nuisances that make a big difference.

Once you’ve learned to build one habit at a time, you’ll find that you enjoy things more. Being singularly focused on one task helps you to be present and more accepting of your current reality. You’ll also avoid the debilitating feeling that comes with having too many options.

What are your thoughts on implementing new changes in your life? Is it better to fix multiple things at once or to focus on one thing? 

Please let me know what you think. I would appreciate if you liked my Facebook Page

 

Embrace Your Individuality

You’re at the edge of the diving board looking down into the pristine waters, contemplating how amazing the cool water will feel against your skin, and the cleansing powers making the dive will have on your soul. The bottom of the pool calls to you, beseeching you to come into the deep. You don’t even need to hear the call; you want it too. But… you can’t dive in – you won’t. No one else is taking a dive so there must be something wrong with the water. Or, maybe it’s not social proof that keeping you out of the water. Maybe you wore an unflattering bathing suit or some other thing is making you self-conscious.

One thing is certain: you’re not worried about your safety, no, no. Your worries are inconsequential. The worst-case scenario here is that you’ll look “weird” or that people may talk shit about you. However, the best-case scenario is that you’ll live your wildest dreams. You’ll find yourself surrounded by divers, by people who love themselves enough to be themselves despite what others want them to be.

 As a kid, I remember being fascinated by make-up and brightly colored fingernails, and tutus, and rain boots – just random, traditionally, girly stuff. If I could’ve implanted flecks of glitter into my skin, I would’ve. What fascinated me most about that world, the world of rainbows, unicorns, and magic, was that it was completely out of my reach.

I grew up in a very, VERY religious home. I don’t think I can emphasize enough how religious my upbringing was. My upbringing was so rigid that I ….

… wasn’t able to watch Harry Potter because it dealt with witchcraft.

… couldn’t so much as ask a question about sex, bodily fluids, or the like.

… couldn’t listen to non-Christian music.

… couldn’t play with makeup, fingernail polish, or anything like that. The list is extensive. I could make an entire post based on this list.

Now this isn’t a jab at my Aunt and Uncle (who raised me) or at religion. I know that they had reasons for what their strict rules. But now that I can make decisions for myself it is important to me to explore all of my interest no matter how unconventional they may be (as long as I’m not hurting any one).

A quote from Marilyn Monroe sticks out in my mind in moments when I want to explore something new.

What I get from this quote is that it’s ok to be ridiculous – in fact it’s preferable. I’d rather look ridiculous being myself, than look perfect being someone I don’t want to be.

If you too want to experience the joys of embracing your individualities, these 6 things will set you on your path.

Embrace Your Individuality

Trust your gut. Most of the things you want to do have no bearing on your personal health or safety. If you are yearning to try out a new recipe, try it. If you want to dye your hair purple, do it. If the worst thing that can happen is trivial, you should feel ok doing it. Caveat: don’t be impulsive. Your gut may tell you that’s it a good idea to text your ex when you’re drunk but we all know that nothing good can come from that. Feel free to put your gut feelings to the test. If it seemed like a good idea yesterday, it’ll be a good idea a week from now, month from now, and so on.

Have an open mind. Once you start this journey, you’ll start thinking of all sorts of things that help you express your individuality. There is no shame in that. This process is a lot like shopping: you see something you like, try it on, walk around in it, then buy it if you find that it suits you. A few months down the line, you may discover that it’s uncomfortable or that the colors don’t work then you’ll make further adjustments in the future – no big deal. Don’t expect to get it right on the first try and keep your mind open for the future.

Develop your fuck-it attitude. A big obstacle to embracing your individuality may be that you’re afraid of failure or of looking a fool. Mistakes are not the end of the world. Mistakes are a good thing; trust me. You journey to learn the alphabet was full of mistakes. What if you just quit trying to get it? You wouldn’t even be able to read this post.

If you’re worried about what other people think, just stop. STOP IT. Your life is your life. At the end of your life, it will be you who will have to answer for what you’ve done – nobody else.

 

 

What’s your why? When ideas come to mind, question them. Why does this idea strike you? This is important for 2 reasons: 1) You’re still getting to know yourself. Asking yourself “why” only helps you solidify your vague image of yourself. 2) It prevents you from being a passive participant in life. You, as an individual, stand for something. Going with the flow is a good thing sometimes, but sometimes that phrase is just an excuse. Instead of being true to yourself and telling someone no, you just “go with the flow” to prevent conflict. Don’t fall into this trap. Find your purpose and align your actions with what you believe.

Accept differences in others. If you judge others, no doubt you’ll judge yourself. It’s just the way it goes. Being an individual is not a competition therefore what so-and-so is doing has nothing to do with you. Give others permission to be themselves and soon you’ll feel ok about being yourself.

It’s going to be uncomfortable. Making the decision to embrace your individuality is not an easy one. People typically respond to things they don’t understand with consternation. You can’t let that stop you. Once upon a time, it was crazy to believe that the world was round. Eventually, people wised up and got used to the idea.

Please, for the love of *insert spiritual guide*, be smart about it. Before you do anything think about these things.

  • If you’re in an emotional state, it may not be a good time to make any decisions, especially permanent decisions.
  • Being yourself should never be used as an excuse for behavior that is harmful to yourself or others.
  • Being an individual is not an excuse not to stretch yourself and try new things.
  • Your true self is not above reproach. Just because you vehemently believe something it does not mean that everyone has to believe in it too.

This post was inspired by a change I made in my life. Notice anything different?

 

Notice anything different #lippiercing #StillKindaSore #whathaveidone

A photo posted by Sharon Douglas (@queeninquisition) on

 

I would love to here your thoughts. How do you feel about individuality? How do you express it?

If you like what I have to offer, I would appreciate if you liked my Facebook page. Thanks for your support!

5 Strategies to Become More Present

 

 I’ve had many moments while in the mist of conversation that my mind was totally somewhere else. I have so much going on in my head that the person talking to me would need to storm around naked, while juggling balls alit by fire and riding a pogo stick to get my attention. They would do all of that and they would still only grab my attention for brief moment.

This is problematic, as I’m sure you understand but this isn’t even the worst of it. My lack of attention not only impacts my conversations with others but every aspect of my life. As I walk around my house I can see the many things I started then forgotten about:

  • A cold cup of tea waiting for me to add the honey
  • A half eating bag of chips turned on it side because I forgot it was on my lap as I rushed to do something else.
  • The beginnings of a story that I can’t even remember starting.

It’s like there are so many things occupying my mind that I can’t feel any of them. It’s just noise. I’m sitting in a crowded room, full of stimuli but am deaf, dumb, numb, and blind to it all.

When I was trapped in that vicious cycle, I remember wanting to be more than a bystander to my own life. I wanted to soak in all of the pleasures and pains of life. I wanted to feel something.

A lot changed for me when I got wind of the concept of being present. It’s strange because the concept is simple – so simple that it’s kinda insulting:

To be present is to be singularly focused on one thing, to be totally engrossed in the task at hand..

What could be simpler than that, right?

Right…. Kinda

Obstacles to being present

See it’s simple but not always easy. There are obstacles that you may not even be aware of that prevent you from staying in the moment. Some of these obstacles may seem like good qualities at first glance (and in some circumstances they may be), but they don’t help when you’re trying to be present.

  • Being results-driven. You’re the one climbing the mountain thinking about how cool it will be to look down from the top of the mountain to avoid thinking about the here and now.
  • Being a perfectionist. Concentrating on perfection can make it difficult to enjoy the present. Instead of living through the mistakes, you want to cover them up a quickly as possible, making it impossible to be present.
  • Being an idealist. I love idealistic people. I am quite the idealist myself but dreaming of a better world can keep you out of touch with the world you currently inhabit.
  • Multitasking. You do many things at once meaning you can’t concentrate on any one thing at time.
  • Reliving the past. You’re reading a book but thinking about that time something cool happened or something terrible happened. It pops up for you at random moments throughout your day, interrupting your focus.

If you’re like me, quite a few of those qualities describe you. It’s ok. Now that you know, you can do something about it.

 

How to become present.

To conquer your obstacles to living in the moment, you should…

Be more deliberate with your actions. When you do things deliberately you recognize the importance of your small actions and give your small actions just as much respect as the big actions. Being deliberate will change a 4-step process into a 10-step process. Let me show you what I mean. If you’re not deliberate when you wash the dishes, you may describe the process as

  1. Make dishwater.
  2. Scrub dishes clean.
  3. Rinse them off.
  4. Put them in the dish rack.

Doing the dishes deliberately would look like this.

  1. Warm water to optimal temperature.
  2. Place soap into tub.
  3. Run water over soap to lather.
  4. Clean dishes of excess food and debris.
  5. Stack dishes in a way gives you room to wash them.
  6. Place dishes into soap water.
  7. Clean each side of the dish until free of food and grime.
  8. Place the dish into the dish rack,
  9. Ensure that the dish will dry properly in the position you place it.
  10. Pour out dishwater when complete.
  11. Rinse out the sink.

If you reading these list and thinking to yourself that doing the dishes deliberately would take too much of your time, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While speeding through things and not seeing the importance in the small things, you’ll probably end up having to do things over and over again to get it done correctly. Being deliberate not only helps you stay present it removes the need to do something more than once.

 

Appreciate the all of your emotions. The hedonist in you wants you to believe that everything is supposed to be rainbows and butterflies – like the only emotion worth feeling is happiness. That simply isn’t the case. Sometimes you’re going to be sad, angry, and scared and it’s a totally appropriate reaction to what you’re experiencing. If you wake up to find your house is on fire, your fear will help you make it out of there alive. If you have a job that you hate, your anger will help you to either change the culture of your current job or change to a job that better suits your needs.

If you never felt ‘bad’ emotions, you’d never appreciate the ‘good’ ones. Life is a mix bag. To live it to the fullest and be present, you have to take the good with the bad. 

Use all five senses. Savor the moment by being aware of how what your doing impacts your senses. Let’s say you’re eating breakfast. Take a moment to smell your food. Feel its texture on your tongue. Notice of the nuisances in the flavor. Hear the crunch as you bite into it.

 Deal with the thoughts that nag you. If you find that the same thoughts interrupt your ability to be present you need to set aside sometime to deal with those thoughts. They keep coming up for you for a reason. You need to find closure on it so that you can move forward with your life.

Practice mindfulness with small tasks. To get good at anything, you have to practice. Think of a small task that you can devote your full attention to. For instance, making a cup of coffee or tea. Take each moment one by one and focus on each aspect of the process. Avoid the temptation to go into autopilot mode.

Once you’ve overcome your obstacles to being present life will never be the same again. Seriously. You’ll find peace in your current moment. You’ll no longer need to escape to the past or future to find happiness. You’ll learn to deal with your problems instead of pushing them under the rug.

 

I did  a presentation on this on my weekly livestream on Facebook live.  Check it out!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Do you consider yourself a present person? How has it influenced your life

Or

How has not being present impacted your life?

Let me know in the comments. If this was helpful to you please feel free to share it and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter.

Have a great day 🙂

<3 Sharon  

 

 

 

Using Your Values to Find Yourself

Finding what’s lost or stolen increases in difficulty when you don’t know where to look. It becomes even more difficult if you’re in desperate rush to find it. You retrace your steps and look under the pile of clothes 4 times. On the fifth look, you notice that your shirt doesn’t quite sit right, indicating that something lies beneath it. Bada bing, bada boom, you’ve found what you’re looking for.

I imagine that the search to find yourself is similar. However, finding yourself goes beyond knowing where to look, you may not know what you’re looking for.

Wouldn’t be easier if the search to find yourself was more like the hot and cold game. As you searched, something is there to let you know that you’re getting warmer or colder.

“Guess what.”

“What?” you say because we’re like besties and you’re totally into this game.

“I’m getting ready to tell the thing that will let you know when you’re getting warmer or colder on your search to find yourself.”

“Wouldn’t it have made more sense just to tell me the thing instead of telling me that you’re about to tell me about it?”

“Hey, hey, hey, I’m asking the questions here.”

Your Values 

Values are your principles of behavior. They help you to sort what’s important from what’s not. They’re also your guidepost to find congruence in your thoughts, words, and actions. Examples of values include:

Authenticity

Sympathy

Excellence

Understanding your values helps you to find yourself because they represent your fundamental beliefs. Because you decide what is important to you, values are always personal, and unique to your life and your story. 

Uncovering Your Values

A good place to look for your values is in those extremely emotional times in your life. I’m talking about both the good and bad moments.

Take a moment to think about a time that you were happy. What were you doing? Who were you doing it with? What values (at least 3 values) were you displaying?

For me the answer to that question would look like this:

I was really happy when I finished a short story about a girl with a screwed up view of sex. Though I wrote the story alone, I shared it with my husband and sister. I displayed self-expression, discipline, and social consciousness.

Now write the inverse.

Take a moment to think about a time you were really sad or angry. What were you doing? Who were you doing it with? What values (at least 3 values) were you displaying?

For me the answer to that question would look like this.

I was angry with myself after I snooped through my husband’s phone. I did it alone for obvious reasons. I displayed dishonesty, distrust, and manipulation.

Wow that was hard to admit but it’s da truth. Be honest with yourself when you’re writing this stuff down.

Now you should have a small list of the values you want to keep and the values you want to change. Before we move forward turn your negative values into it opposite.

For me it would look like this:

Dishonesty ———– Honesty

Distrust ———– Trust

Manipulation ———– Authenticity

It’s important to change the negative to the positive because you want to focus more on what you want to have in your life than on what you don’t want to have. I’ll explore this topic some other time.

Take Action

Think about your everyday life, are there times when you aren’t exemplifying your values. What can you do to change that? How can you add more value-based activities to your life?

Now, I want to stop for a second to make sure that you’re doing more than just reading this post. If you haven’t already, try the exercise. You may think that you’ll get to it later but later never comes. It will only take a second. Knowledge without action is useless.

What values do you have/ what values did you uncover? How do those values signify who you are?

Finding Yourself? 2 steps to get you started.

There are many benefits to living a more authentic life, chief among them is happiness. When what you do is aligned with who you are, there is where you’ll find your bliss.

You get into a stage of needing to find yourself after years of not being true to who you are. You’ve gotten so good at covering up who you are that you can no longer reach yourself. It’s like now you have to go in and dig yourself out of all of the rubble and debris – the lies, insecurities, fear and doubt.

It won’t be easy but if you take deliberate steps toward you can get there (or anywhere you want for that matter).

To get started on your journey, here are two preliminary steps to finding yourself.

1) Stop trying to be perfect

A big obstacle to being yourself is eliminating your need to be perfect. While you’re trying to live up to the unreasonable expectation of perfection, you end up disguising everything about yourself. Because your true self isn’t perfect; your true self makes mistakes. It’s just a part of being human.

Perfection also has a nasty way of paralyzing people. There may be something that you’ve always wanted to try but you won’t give yourself a chance because if you can’t be perfect at it, why should you even try.

2) Write a diary or make a video diary

There are so many benefits to having a diary:

  • To chronicle your life
  • To have something to leave to your love ones
  • As a reminder to be grateful.

But in regards to finding yourself, it helps you start a conversation with yourself. When you write or record your thoughts and actions, you see your life for what it is. One of the reasons that you may not know how you feel or who you are may be because you haven’t put it in words yet. There’s a quote that says, “An undefined problem has infinite solutions.” How can you get to your answer if there are infinite solutions?

Journaling can help you get some definitions. You can no longer hide from yourself. You get to stand before yourself everyday and tell it like it is.

Last piece of advice: Take things one moment, one step, one day at a time. When you try to cram it all in, you just burn out. So if you can’t write in your journal everyday, find a time that works best for you.

My Story

I know I said “you” quite a bit like none of this applies to me. Well, I’m not above any of it. I spent an incredible amount of time worrying about what others thought about me, which hindered me from being myself. It’s one of the reasons it took me so long to get into blogging as well as live video streaming because I felt that maybe I should have a job that would give me a plaque to hang on my wall. People might judge me.

I have to be very deliberate when making decisions to make sure that I’m deciding from a place of sincerity and authenticity. It’s one of the reasons I just began live streaming on Facebook Live. I’ve always wanted to make videos, but couldn’t find the courage to do it. So I made a decision to get over myself and just do it and though I was nervous. I think it turn out ok.

I will try to do a Facebook Live Post every Tuesday, meaning I will have live post up tomorrow if you’re interested. Check out my last post below.

If you want more of this go ahead and subscribe to the live feed. You can do that by clicking the little arrow down button to turn on the notifications.

If you’re looking for yourself, what is standing in your way? If you confident in the person that you are, how did you get there?

Don’t Hurt Yourself.

There were times in life when I felt that each morning I started my day by walking into the bathroom with a gun aimed at my reflection. I’d pull the trigger, and my reflection would break into a million pieces, each piece containing a little reflection of me. They would cover the ground until I swept it away.

It was dramatic as I’m sure you can see, and I didn’t even mention the soundtrack: nothing but the violin… that plays itself… no one to love it.

It’s not as if the image in the mirror was the problem. Even when I was far from confident, I was a little vain.

My soul (which is located somewhere behind my eyes) was the problem. She stared back at me with such longing and desires to actualize. She reminded me of all the things I wanted for myself and was insufferably cheesy. She would take to saying things like, “But we can do anything we put our minds to,” and “You’re special; you really are.”

“Shut up. Just STFU,” I would say. I was kinda abusive to my soul back then. I don’t think I would ever treat anyone else the way I was treated her.

I wanted to believe her, but I think our souls are immune to the pressures of society. She could never understand what it felt like to fail and have everyone watching.

Despite the way I treated my soul, I desperately wanted to feel comfortable in my skin. So I made a bargain with myself: I would earn the right to be myself by building up a strong foundation on people pleasing. If people liked me enough, I could do whatever I wanted without worry of retribution.

Needless to say, I was wrong about that.

Did you know that there are people out there who are unapologetically themselves, all the time, REGARDLESS OF WHAT PEOPLE THINK? I wanted that. I needed that.

So I decided to confront the girl in the mirror. And of course, she had her arms wide open to receive me, a welcoming smile on her face, her stupid smiling face. It was the smile that broke me down in the end. As I cried and thrashed about, she held me.

She showed me how I’d been working against myself for so long. She taught that I had the ultimate say in the course of my life and that I would never achieve anything as long as I was in my own way.

You get in your own way when…

  1. You have goals but find yourself doing everything but tackling them.
  2. You beat yourself up.
  3. You think negatively about yourself.

 

None of those things will serve you. All of those things will obscure your path.

I can confidently say that today I’m a more comfortable in my skin than I’ve ever been, and it’s all thanks to a few soul lessons.

200

  1. Find yourself. If you’re getting in your own way, it’s probably because you don’t know who you are, or you forgot somewhere along the way. The confident you is buried under all that insecurity. Start looking at your insecurities as something separate from you because guess what: insecurities are separate from you. They are something you possess not who you are.
  2. Treat yourself with respect. It’s pretty sad how badly we treat ourselves. Yes, it’s good to be honest with yourself, but you shouldn’t beat yourself until you’re paralyzed. And beating yourself up is paralyzing. It scares you into never wanting to feel such shame again.
  3. Be present. Looking too far ahead can also be paralyzing. You see the destination as so far ahead of you that you wonder if it’s worth the effort of trying. I know that this is hard to understand, but you CAN NOT predict the future. I’m sorry to break it to you. All you can do is live in this moment. You neither exist in the past nor the future. You are now. You can only exist in the present.
  4. Realize that you’re untouchable. You have complete say of what you allow into your system. You control the way everything impacts you. When you are feeling ashamed, it’s not because someone is making you feel ashamed. It’s because you are making yourself feel that way.
  5. Don’t quit, cuz this process is not for the weak at heart. You have to be willing to get it wrong sometimes and still get back up to try again. Because you’re gonna get it wrong… A LOT. Accept it and get back up.

Lastly, don’t forget, you can do anything that you put your mind to, and you’re special; you really are.

 


I originally posted this piece as a guest post at the WishingWellBlog.com, in a post called  Working Against Yourself. Enjoy 🙂

 

Changes, Curious Collaborators, and Chatting

Hey everybody. After some deliberations, I’ve decided to change my posting schedule here on the Curious Queendom. It’s experimental, as I’m trying out some new tactics, but I’ve decided to post once a week, on Mondays. It was a hard decision because I love posting twice a week, but I’m trying to make room for something very exciting. I also wanted to give myself time to create high quality posts.

To foment this new change, I started this Monday. Check out my Monday post: Why You’re Burning Out.


I also wanted to take a moment to thank Mia from Okaay Then for giving such an amazing interview. It was loads of fun to write and a great learning experience for me. Together we unlocked the mysteries of fierceness in Finding the Courage to be Fierce. If you haven’t checked out the post yet, please do! And please go follow her and read all of her stuff while you’re at it.

As a token of my appreciation, I hereby pronounce Mia, of house Okaay then, a Curious Collaborator (heehee).

Queen Mia

Happy Monday, everybody. I can’t wait to see what’s in store 🙂

Why You’re Burning Out: Take Care of Yourself First

This is important. It is one of the most important things I’ve ever learned: You cannot skimp on the necessities. In the past, when I tried to get deep into a new change in my life, I would start to neglect some of my necessities under the pretense that I was working hard. I thought that losing sleep and not eating was a sign of dedication – it’s not. The truth is that there is enough time in the day to get work done and take care of you. And, in the end, you’ll get every second back.

 
When it comes to the necessities, everything I fail to do creates a lack. It’s not as if I could choose not to sleep and that’s the end of it. For all the time I miss on getting that good sleep, I get a minus hanging over my head. This negative number is so negative that it starts to inflict its negativity on everything else I do. If I’m trying to write an article while I’m sleepy for instance (ahem), it will take me a great deal longer to complete that article than if I were rested – not to mention the tax it collects on creativity.

 
Or let’s say I stink, and I need to be in public for whatever reason – like grocery shopping. Instead of being focused on the task at hand, I am worried about the stench from my pits. This diverted attention makes it near impossible not to rush out of there, leaving behind one thing or another. And… And… Confidence takes some real hits here and when is there ever a good time to be low on confidence.

 
While you’re out in the world exhausted, stinky, and hungry, you are making yourself the breeding grounds for disease, unhappiness, and stress. To make it worse, you have all the tools you need to take care of yourself. It’s like having the best construction crew begging to build your house but deciding to build it by yourself with a glue gun and cardboard boxes. You may get the job done, and the house might stand for a good couple of days, but when it rains, that house will come crashing down on top of your head. And you will die… maybe.

 
I can say these things so confidently because I’ve fallen into this trap so many times. It took me a while to see the light. After a lot of trial and error, I know what I need to maximize my potential.

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1. Sleep. I am a completely different person when I don’t get enough sleep. I like to get about 6-8 hours of the stuff. Every (good) health professional in the world will tell you the importance of good sleep and the many benefits. Sleep improves memory, lowers stress and depression, and increases your ability to learn. Imagine losing out on all of these benefits while you’re trying to get work done. It just doesn’t make sense.

 
2. Healthy food at regular intervals. Food is my fuel. I need it just to get my wheels turning. If you’re like me (meaning you don’t have someone to cook for you nor can you afford to go out every night) the decision about what ends up on the table starts at the grocery store. The next piece is working up the motivation to cook said food – another day my friend.

 

 

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3. Physical Fitness. Physical fitness has a particular importance in my life. It could be due to my time in the military, where being physically fit was a requirement for keeping my job. Working out gives me more energy, makes me feel strong, and makes me feel happy. There has never been a time that working out left me feeling regret, maybe a little soreness, and the sweaty feeling of victory.

 
4. Time for Hygiene. If I feel grimy, I can’t confidently attack my day. Brushing my teeth, taking a shower, these things are necessary. They keep me on my grind and out of the doctor’s/dentist’s office.

 
5. Play TIME! Playtime, for me, is vital. I need time to get away and reap the benefits of my hard work. For me, playtime can be playing video games, reading a book, or watching a good TV show – just something to help me relax or spark creativity. When I don’t have time for fun, it just makes me wonder what I’m living life for. I don’t think I could call my life successful if I didn’t have fun.

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6. Socializing. When it comes to chitchat, no one enjoys it more than me. Okay, maybe someone likes it more, but I find that hard to believe. It keeps me feeling connected. It also opens up my mind. Most of the things I write about are the result of lengthy (sometimes heated) conversations with the people in my life. Conversation helps me understand myself and gives me a way to contribute to the lives of the people around me.

 

7. …And direction. If I don’t know what I’m going to do for the day, it’s doomed from the start. A part of providing myself with direction is recognizing that I have basic needs and adding them into my schedule.

 
Now if you’re looking at this list of things and thinking about how many hours these things subtract from time for productivity, cut it out right now. Let’s crunch some numbers.
Weekly Schedule: 168 hours
Weekly Time AllotmentSleep – an average of 7 hours of sleep a night: 49

Food – Three meals a day, 45 mins each: 15 hours and 45 mins
Workout – 5 days a week for 1 hour each: 5 hours
Hygiene for 1 hour a day: 7 hours
Play Time – every day for 1 hour: 7 hours
Socializing – every day for 1 hour: 7 hours
Planning for the week 1 hour a week: 1

Total: about 92 Hours
Time remaining to work: about 76 hours

Ask yourself do you work more than 76 hours a week. The answer is probably no! Even if you’re looking at this list and thinking about all of the things that are unaccounted for, like travel and paying bills and other unexpected time consumers. If all of those things take, I don’t know, 20 hours a week, you still have 56 hours available for work.

 
So just do it. Take care of yourself. Start getting rid of all those negative numbers hanging over your head that keep you from living a balanced life. Start reaping the benefits from feeling good all the time.

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