Types of Women I Admire [Developing My Fuck-it Attitude Part 3]

I used to safeguard my feelings with a lock and key. I convinced myself that I didn’t want to share my feelings because I had to protect them to keep others from hurting me. In reality, I was just ashamed of my feelings. I was ashamed of being myself. I was just ashamed.

My aggressive self-awareness made it impossible for me to get out of my head. And because I was always in my head, I could clearly sense the stark difference between other girls and me.

Other girls could ask the same question I asked, but something about them demanded attention and respect while something about me didn’t even warrant an upwards glance. Other girls walked the streets like it was a catwalk. I could barely walk down the street once I felt the gaze of a stranger.

It took me a long time to get over this injustice. A part of me felt like I should stay the same and the world should just accept me as I am: insecure, unconfident, and too self-aware. The types of women I’m going to talk about today showed me the error in this thinking. Accepting my flaws because I wanted “to be myself” was just a cop-out. Of course, no one is perfect, but to stay the in my old ways is akin to condemning myself to being afraid of my shadow.

Though each of these of women has different qualities that make her special, there is one thing that strings them together: They don’t give a fuck about what anyone thinks.

So… yea.. mad respect for that…

They are unapologetically themselves and empowered me to be the same. And, if they can teach me something maybe they can do the same for you.

1) She says what’s on her mind.

She the kind of woman that believes that showing her weakness does not make her weak. She knows that everything she feels is important. Feeling cold is imperative to feeling warm.

She has no fear of attacks because secrets can’t be used against her. And because she see’s the world clearly, she knows that she’s never alone.

Though she says what’s on her mind, she does not use it as an excuse to be rude, offensive, or insensitive. She uses her thoughts to get a better understanding of the person she’s talking to. She doesn’t preach nor is she trying to convert her listeners. She just wants to be real. If her realness is in opposition to your realness, she moves along to someone who’ll better fit into her tribe.

She speaks her mind because she is proud of herself and how she feels. She wouldn’t settle for relationships that belittle or dismiss her.

2) The spotlight loves her.

She’s the kind of woman that posts pictures of her fails and successes because… why the hell not? She doesn’t do it for attention; she’s just too busy experiencing life to be self-conscious. She already knows herself; therefore, she doesn’t feel the need to prove it to anyone. Her natural state is realness, and you’ll see what she stands through her actions.

Something about her nonchalance towards attention makes you want to give her more of it. You can’t look away.

Though you want nothing more than to give her your attention, when you’re around her, you feel like you’re the center of the universe. She empowers others to shine their brightest because it’s not in her nature to judge.

The spotlight loves her because it’s a phenomenon to see someone so authentic. She shines because she loves life, wants to experience all the facets of life, and does so unabashedly while welcoming anyone with the courage to join her.

3) She takes charge.

She’s the one people look to when the room goes silent because all have witnessed her outstanding track record of honesty and integrity. She’s not afraid to say what needs to be said. She does it out of love for her team and because the right thing isn’t always popular.

In everything, she is calm, confident, clear. When she assigns a task, she provides purpose, direction, and motivation. She doesn’t stand over your shoulder and micromanage your every click of the keypad. She gives you room to complete the task like the adult you are.

She’s the leader, but she recognizes the contributions others have made to her success. She attracts and retains top-notch team members and isn’t afraid to let them know their worth. You always know where you stand with her because she sees the value in having adults work for her as opposed to children.

She takes charge because she has vision. She sees a task laid out before her and she relishes the opportunity to approach it creatively. She loves what she does and makes you love it too.

4) She cares about the world.
She’s the kind of woman that does what she can and finds purpose in being of service to others. She seems superhuman though that is not her intention. She’s as ordinary as they come and knows that any person can make a difference.

Most of what she does for others, you will never know. She doesn’t help others for validation or praise; she does it because of her strong moral compass. She knows that all acts are important, no matter how small.

She doesn’t have to be the one to make the change. She knows her limits and will gladly step aside when a more qualified candidate appears. She does not seek glory. She seeks justice.

When you’re around her, you can’t help but care and support her causes. She cares about the world and knows that she can make a difference. Her passion will leak on you. Being a friend to her is likely one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, and slowly but surely you’ll become a better person.

5) She makes her dreams come true.

She’s the kind of woman that will overcome any obstacle in the pursuit of her passion. When she sees a challenge, she is not intimidated by how large it may be. She slices it down into little parts and gets to work. She knows that she must put one foot in front of the other thus does not get caught up in how far away she stands at the moment. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all

She has total confidence in herself because she knows that if it can be done, she can do it. She doesn’t need to tear people down to validate herself. In fact, being around her makes others believe that anything is possible.

If she comes up short, she is not ashamed to ask for help. She’s willing to learn because she knows that knowledge is power.

She takes care of herself because she believes in balance. Ambition is but a component of what fulfills her. She seeks fulfillment in friendships, family, health, and wealth with the same intensity.

She makes her dreams come true because she knows that she’s worth it. All around her wish her the best because she remains humble no matter how awesome her achievement.

These ladies exhibit qualities that anyone could admire. For me, it has been a pleasure just to be witness to their awesome. I’ve seen enough people possess these qualities that I finally believe it’s possible for me to be this cool too. Hehee.

Which lady was your favorite? Is there a type of woman you admire that I didn’t mention? Let us know about her.

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Developing My Fuck-It Attitude Part Two: The Mouse

Between the ages of 20-23, I attracted a certain kind of man. I played my role in this weird attraction, but I’m saving that info for Part 4 of this series. The men I’m going to talk about in today’s installment earned a spot on my journey to developing my fuck-it attitude because they either

A) Held up a mirror for me to see myself.

Or

B) Possessed some insecurity that changed the way I react to the world.

To save you the time of trying to learn all of their names (and because they are remarkably similar), I’m going to name them all Mouse.

When I met Mouse, I would think about him for days on end, wondering about what he was doing, and how cute looked while doing it. Since the relationship was new and I didn’t know much about him, it gave me plenty of room to fantasize about his character and to completely configure him in my mind the way I wanted him to be.

My fantasized version of him was so vivid that it overpowered the real man I saw before me, so even when he showed me his true colors, I didn’t see it. I dismissed his bad behavior as a one-time thing or the result of a bad day. When the fog lifted, I was left wondering what the hell I got myself into and wallowed in a big dose of self-pity:

Why can’t I just find a nice guy? What’s wrong with me?

For me, the fog lifted on Facebook.

Manipulation

One day, I was visiting Mouse when he asked: Would you like to see pictures of my ex-girlfriends on Facebook.

Me: No thank you. No, not at all.

* Mouse flips open laptop, goes to Facebook and pulls up Hot Girl Number One. *

* Me, confused AF but silently accepts his trip down Hot Girls 1-5 memory lane. *

If you’re thinking, what the hell, you have the right of it. This is manipulation in its most elementary form. I get the feeling that he either wanted to make me jealous or wanted to prove to me that he’s highly sought after. Either option makes my skin crawl.

I can barely recognize myself when I think about the fact that I said nothing. I should’ve said something; I should’ve called him out. But at the time, I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable, so I took on all of the uncomfortable feelings onto myself. Making others feel uncomfortable was so hard for me that it could make me feel guilty. If I look at my life, I see too many instances of me putting someone else’s comfort above my own.

If a man pulled a stunt like this on me today, he would swiftly be kicked to the curb. However, there wouldn’t be a story if I didn’t stick around. And what happened next was even more unsettling.

Control

I’m a bit of a talker. I love to talk. I quickly learned that Mouse had a lot of “isms.” Most significantly, he was sexist.

His idea woman…

… did all the cooking and cleaning.

… never went out to drink. She should only drink in the confines of the home not because it’s a control tactic (no, never that) but because she should be afraid of the big bad world and submit to the protection of her lover.

“… learned quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” 1 Timothy 2:11-15.

If he had his way, I would be praising him, as he was the only one that could save me of my feminine ineptitude. Though I never gave into his subtle control tactics, I didn’t leave him which only made things worse. My silence made him believe that I was impressionable and waiting to be molded into his perfect mate.

Looking back on it, I wish I had defended my beliefs. I think I didn’t because I didn’t want to push him away. My need for companionship outweighed my beliefs, which is frightening to think of.

Insanity

When you don’t give in to a manipulative, controlling asshole, he turns insane. Mouse became insane. He started showing up out of nowhere and not respecting my needs for space and privacy. It got really bad. Infringing on my space was the last straw, and I finally broke up with him. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the last I heard of him.

He went on a Facebook slander campaign against me. I blocked him on Facebook, my phone, and everywhere else when I first noticed his crazy showing, so I didn’t get to see everything posted. However, our mutual friends gave me the highlights.

Though I wanted nothing more than to put him in his place, I knew Mouse all too well. I believe his slander campaign had to purposes: to humiliate me and to get me start talking him again. Because I wasn’t rising to his bait, he started sending messages to me through other people and all types of other nonsensical games. It was exhausting explaining to people not to send me his messages. He wanted to get to me, and I wasn’t having it.

This is the one time in this relationship that I showed my strength. He didn’t know that I had it in me to never speak with him again, but I did. He thought he could bully me into being with him, but he couldn’t. Eventually, the slander campaign stopped… I guess. I really wouldn’t know. Maybe he’s still talking about it.

I’m proud that I left him, I just hate that it took me so long.

Results

It took me a few kicks of the horse to get out of this dating pattern. It took both recognizing the signs of a jackass and ridding myself of the insecurities that attracted jackasses. This would require another post altogether (more on this coming soon).

Anyway, long story short, this whole ordeal taught me a few things and ultimately helped me on my path to developing my fuck-it attitude.

1) I am my number one priority. Clearly, there are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, I am my number one priority. If I have to choose between my comfort and someone else’s, I choose me. If I find myself in a situation where my happiness is in jeopardy, I have the wherewithal to make a decision that makes me happy. In the case of Mouse, he and I both were focusing on making him happy. There wasn’t enough happiness to go around because our opinions differed so greatly. I’ll never make this mistake again.

2) I will not become vulnerable to my desires. I desperately wanted to be in a Hollywood romance. Therefore I put up with more than any sane person should. The more a person wants something, the more foolish he or she is likely to become in pursuit of it. I learned there is such a thing as too high a price for what I want. Putting myself last is too high a price. If I want something, I name the price I want and won’t pay a penny more for it.

3) If I don’t stand my ground, others will take advantage of my instability. I have strong beliefs that aren’t worth sacrificing for anyone. If I don’t have the courage to act on my beliefs, I may as well not believe in them. If I allow my actions to align with things, I don’t believe in who’s to say I don’t believe in them.

Though this experience was rough, it taught me a great deal; therefore, I wouldn’t trade this experience in.

If you had an experience with an ex that you’d like to share, please let me know in the comments. Do you think I missed the marks somewhere? Let me know. Let’s have a conversation.

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Developing My Fuck-It Attitude Part 1: The Snake

Not all people are benevolent forces. I learned that from a woman that I will call the Snake. When I moved in with her at the tender age of 19, I had no idea that our meeting would light the embers to one of the most important changes in my life:

Developing my fuck-it attitude.

Anyway… The Snake was my roommate, and she’s also a distant family member. She and I didn’t get along. We had different values. I’m ok with that.

It took a while for me to see the truth because the Snake has a split personality and is a lying lump of human trash fire. Around me, she was always nice, fun, and carefree. Even thinking about the way our relationship began creeps me out.

She never made me think that she thought ill of me, but I heard what she actually thought about me from everyone else. I don’t put much stock into gossip, so I didn’t believe them. Eventually, the evidence was indisputable.

Exhibit A: At the time I lived with her, I was 19 and in the States, that means you can’t buy alcohol. She was well into her 30s – maybe almost 40. (I don’t know… I considered her my elder. ) She would buy me alcohol then tell my family that I was an alcoholic. This is not an exaggeration.

If being an alcoholic means to drink less that 2 drinks a week, I guess she’s right. But if she truly thought that was the case, she should find her way to the local AA.

Exhibit B: I went out of town, and she called to tell me that the girls I was staying with were complaining that I was always in their rooms. How she proclaimed to have heard about my doings is still unknown to me. Especially considering that I quite literally was never in their rooms. The girls and I barely had a relationship to speak of. She just made that up on some blind assumption.

When I think about the fact that she made it up, I can’t help but wonder why she would want me to believe it. The only thing that makes sense is that she was trying to make me feel isolated. If that was the case, and I truly believe that was the case, she’s also a manipulative lump of human trash fire.

These things are all bad but what really takes the cake is Exhibit C:

She accidentally sent me a message that she meant to send to someone else. The message said, “I just kicked Sharon out. Now she’s outside crying.”
LOL…like LMAO.

At the time she sent it to me, I had just walked outside to take out the trash. She had not kicked me out. I was not crying.

You’d think that after that she’d just come clean. No, no, no. If you know The Snake like I do, you know that she just tried to cover it up.

She went on to tell me that she was just sending me a message that my mother sent her when I was 15 and ran away. For me, this is comedy gold. My mother does not text. She certainly didn’t text in 2006. And if she had, why would the Snake keep a four-year-old text message. The amount of bullshit is unreal.

Even to this day, she has nothing to do with my life but she still talks shit and lies about me. The reason I even know is because at the occasional family gathering her remarks find their way to my ears.

The thing that really gets me is how everyone just accepted what she said about me. The way my relationships with certain family members changed after living with her still baffles me.

So, though I’m upset with the way things turned out, it taught me 3 important things:

1) People are far more likely to believe something bad about you than they are to believe something good. Worse still, people prefer to hear the bad stuff. I could try to manage people’s perception of me but what’s the point if one loudmouth asshole can change everything. If I’m honest with myself, these people have no room in my social circles. I much prefer the company of discerning peeps.

2) The people that are still in my life would’ve been in my life regardless of what The Snake or anyone else said about me. If people are going to talk mess about me, it comforts me to know that my true allies would never buy into it without giving me a chance to speak for myself.

3) People are effed up.
Though I would be hard-pressed to find something nice to say about the Snake, I know that she’s not evil incarnate. She’s just insecure and needs to put others down in order to feel good about herself. Honestly, it’s pretty sad. This is not excusing her behavior; it is accepting reality. She’s not any good for me, but maybe she’s good for someone else. And, I know that I’m no good for her because I cannot control my facial expressions long enough to sit through her bullshit.

I just want to be happy. If being myself means that I have to lose some people, so be it.

This experience is one of four stops to on my journey of developing my fuck-it attitude. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share the other 3 stops and culminate the experience with my guide to not giving a fuck. Hope you enjoy the ride.

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How Curiosity Healed Me

I’ve always been a curious person – not as in strange (though that isn’t far off) but as in inquisitive. Today, when something piques my interest, I know healthy ways to explore it; however, a younger version of me would want to know what fire is, touch it, pick at the scabs, and then dunk her hand in acid.

After making a series of bad decisions in my adolescence, I began to close myself off to being curious, thinking that curiosity was the problem. I closed myself to the point that I didn’t even want to think about my problems and was happy to pretend that they didn’t happen at all.

I became quiet and unobservant. Even looking back at the time feels like a blur, like nothing happened during that period and I blacked out.

It was in dealing with past traumas that I learned the importance of remaining curious and fostering a healthy curiosity. I learned I couldn’t heal a wound if I don’t let it get checked out, sanitized, and patched up. My wounds were just out there, oozing with blood, putrefying, and I was pretending that my lightheadedness would just go away on its own.

How curiosity healed me.

As my curiosity expanded, I became less and less judgmental. I used to look at my past judgmentally. How could I do that? What kind of person lets this happen? Seeing the past from this judgmental perspective was like walking into darkened room, blindfolded, and with shackles around my feet. I couldn’t so much as get a real idea of my problem because I allowed my judgments to shape the problem instead of seeing it for what it was. It was after having a conversation with someone that I realized I had this habit. I was talking about my problems and he said, “No need to get all judgy about it.” He said it so off-handedly that it made me rethink every conversation I have about my problems.

I saw my problems as lessons instead letting them harass me. With the fog of judgment gone, I began to get curious about my problems. Why did it happen? Could it have been prevented? In these questions, I understood something fundamental: I can’t change the past, but I can shape my future. Since the past is well beyond my reach, I may as well stop pestering myself about it.

I also learned that all of my problems could be solved if I wanted them to be. People tend to get stuck in the wallowing phase of the problem. The more curious I became, it became more difficult to wallow. I was too busy fixing the problem.


I became both more accepting of mistakes and willing to be wrong. Most people like to be right.
It just feels good. I think that the fear of being wrong often keeps people from thoroughly investigating a problem. I know that was a part of the problem for me. So instead of allowing myself to heal, I just allowed myself to be satisfied with the fact that I was right about my sadness… It’s weird but.. yea..

The more I investigatrd my problems, the more foolish it seemed to allow my problems to stay problems. I began to find possible solutions, discover holes in those solutions, and just kept looking. Each time I made a mistake, I got closer to the healing I needed.. As I analyze the happenings instead of wallowing in self-pity, I was able to come up with solutions. Having solved the problem, I could forgive myself and move on.

I realized that I deserve to live a happy and healthy life regardless of the things that shamed me in the past. Yes, I’ve made shitty decisions. But, you know what, I’ve paid the price for them. The amount of time I spent dogging myself is all the retribution that needs to be taken. I still have a full life ahead of me, full of opportunities to make great and shitty decisions alike. I can only take my life as it comes and try to do what right when the time comes.

Regardless of what may happen, I will pay the price for it then move on and try not to repeat my mistakes again.

I defined my own standards. When I wasn’t curious, I had to accept things at face value, meaning that others set my standards for me – a dangerous way to live. I began to research the things I thought to be true. Some of them remain true; some did not. I allowed the new information to help shape my standards. Not all things are tolerable, and I had to let those things go.

This crucial phase of my development put me back in the driver’s seat of my life (as cheesy as that sounds). I have the final say on what I allow in my life, and I exercise that authority every day.

I developed healthier relationships. I’m a firm believer that broken people tend to hang around people who like to tear them down. I had quite a bit of that in my life. The more I came into my own, the less bullshit I accepted. I stopped hanging around people who gossiped, people who tore down others, and people who tried to tell me where I belonged. I found that it was better to go through a period of isolation than to be around shitty people.

The people who fill my life today have made my life better just by being their awesome selves. I began to attract people who had similar standards to mine.

… to be compassionate.
… to be openminded.
… to have a love for learning.

With their help, I became more awesome too.

I created the woman I wanted to be then became her. When I wasn’t curious about my life, I just felt that I am who I am, and that’s final. I was a shell of a person, coasting through life, hoping that everything would be ok. As I became more , I learn that I steer the course of my life. I thought of qualities that I admired and the way I wanted to impact the world then took steps to become that. There will be things that happen to me that are beyond my control, but I can always control the way I react and the way I perceive them.

I became happier. One of the best lessons curiosity taught me was that life is an adventure, full of happy, sad, angry, and content moments. It released of my need to hide pain. Instead of hiding it, I could explore it, try to understand it, fix it, and become better than before. Now, I love my pains, I love the freezing cold, I love the sweltering heat because they are a part of my one life. I am happier.

To me, curiosity is like a coin with teleportation properties. When touched, it has the power to change the way I see everything and opens me up to more than I could ever imagine. When I think of the role it’s played in my life, I see triumphs and traumas, unexpected pleasures and shame all mixed up into a bowl. Though I would like to go into my bowl and pick out the things I don’t like, I can’t as it happened and cannot un-happen. So I accept my bowl the way it is and love it more for the cracks in its surface.

Because of my curiosity, I no longer peer at my past experiences through the spaces in between my clenched fingers. I look right at them.

If you are wondering how curiosity can help you, feel free to ask questions below.

Or

Share your experience on how curiosity healed you.

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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.

If you loved what you read, please like the Curious Queendom Facebook page. Thank you for your support.

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?

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