5 Tips for a Happier Valentine’s Day (Single or Not).

More proposals are staged on Valentine’s DaImagey than just about any other day of the year. Restaurants and weddings are booked solid and the flower/florist industry makes an absolute killing.

What more would you expect from the “most romantic day of the year”? Single or in a relationship, negotiating Valentine’s Day and coming out the other side,  relatively unscathed can be challenging!

Valentine’s Day is THE day when you can totally lose all sense of your own self-worth, feel convinced that you are unloved and unlovable and feel very, very alone.  

It is also filled with the three biggest anxiety and depression inducing things known to woman or man: Guilt, Comparison and Expectation and sprinkled with loads of “shoulds”.

 

Expectation Beliefs:  
“It’s Valentine’s Day, so you should get me something or make a big, romantic gesture or it means you don’t love me.”
Or:
“I shouldn’t be alone on Valentines Day. Why doesn’t anyone love me?”

Because Valentine’s Day is SO commercialized and “in your face” there is a very powerful expectation that if you don’t get a public or secret declaration of love, everyone will think there is something wrong with you. Even worse, you will think there is something wrong with you!

Tip 1. Drop the expectations!
The reality is, it’s a huge marketing day for the card, floral, hospitality and retail industry! Like any marketing, it is driven by making you think that you need it by making it seem necessary. Love may drive a lot of the Valentine’s Day sales but so does guilt! It IS just a day and it does not invalidate your worth or mean that you are not loveable. Don’t get sucked into your expectation or fantasy of how it should be.

Comparison Beliefs.
“Rita’s husband always makes such a huge fuss of her for Valentine’s Day. Why can’t my partner be like hers? Maybe he doesn’t really love me.”
Or:
“Everyone else I know is in a relationship and I’m still single. What’s wrong with me? Why am I alone?”

Tip 2. Stop Comparing!
Valentine’s Day is RIFE with “Compare and despair” Syndrome. You see everyone else’s relationships though rose colored and highly unrealistic glasses and tell yourself a story about what you think their life is actually like and how bad your life is in comparison. Comparing puts you in a no-win situation. You are either “better” than them or “worse” than them. Don’t compare as it’s only going to make your feel bad AND you are comparing yourself to a story that only exists in your head.

Guilt Beliefs:
“I HAVE to buy something for Valentine’s Day or I’ll never hear the end of it!”
Or:
“I feel so guilty when my friend see’s what I got for Valentine’s Day. She tries to hide it, but I know it really upsets her that I am in a relationship and she isn’t.”

Tip 3. Dump any Guilt!
Guilt always leads to resentment and guilt always needs punishment and we are so good at punishing ourselves. If you truly resent or feel pressured into spending big on Valentine’s Day when your heart is really not in it, you need to discuss this with your partner and be honest. Then weigh it up. Do you genuinely like seeing them happy? Is there a payoff for you? Can you compromise? Doing things purely from a feeling of guilt and obligation will only lead to resentment later.

When it comes to guilt about your friends, unless you are dancing around them, sticking your red roses in their face and singing “I’m loved and you’re not” then how your friend feels has nothing to do with you. If Valentine’s Day is wonderful for you, ENJOY IT! Your friend is responsible for his or her feelings, not you. NEVER feel guilty about being happy.

Tip 4. Keep things in perspective.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have any magical power to drain you of your essential lovableness and self-worth. Only YOU can do that by what you choose to think. It’s just ONE day out of 365. See it for what it is, brilliant marketing and leave the rest! You have nothing to prove about either you OR your relationship just because of one day in the year.

Tip 5. Reclaim Valentines Day for YOU!
Sick of torturing yourself by reading all the “I love you” notices in the paper? Tired of resenting your partner because they never get you anything or make a fuss unless you nag and pressure them?

Give yourself the Valentine’s Day that YOU want in appreciation of how much you love and value YOURSELF! Buy yourself some flowers. Write yourself a love letter or card. Get yourself a gift that you love or do something special for yourself just because you can and just because you DESERVE it!

You get to choose how you want to feel this Valentine’s Day and every day so remember, let go of your expectations, comparisons and guilt and do what feels good for you.   

Need some help feeling good about you? Do you keep attracting the same relationships over and over again? Just not feeling “good enough”? Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation by phone or skype to discuss how coaching or hypnotherapy with me will change your life for the better. Find out more at my website.

Kerry Jeffery.

Advertisements

Stop letting the “Beach Body” Myth steal your Summer!

Image There are very few things in my life that I regret and this is one of them.

I truly regret all of the things that I didn’t do, all of the things that I didn’t allow myself to experience and all of the things that I didn’t enjoy because I was totally consumed with my body shame. 

I missed fabulous summers on the beach because I didn’t have a “beach body” and if I actually did go to the beach, the whole time that I was there I felt anxious, ashamed and highly self-conscious.

I was waiting for the “beached whale” comments to be made or I was cringing inside every time I felt someone looking at my body and I felt ashamed to be there, as if I almost needed to apologize for my presence.

Stripping off down to my bathers made me feel sick and exposed. Walking from the “safety” of my towel down to the water to swim and then having to walk all the way back was terrifying and confronting because I imagined that everyone was looking at me and laughing at that fat girl on the beach.

I never really relaxed and enjoyed laying on my towel in the sun because I was too focused on holding my stomach in or worried about how my thighs looked or trying to find a way to sit that didn’t make me look fatter.

Summer was always a time that my body shame and anxiety was magnified 1000%.

Easier and much, MUCH emotionally safer to just stay at home, thinking and hoping that the next Summer after the next diet, would be so very, very different because I would finally have my “beach body”.

I love how things can change.

This morning, I took my son and one of his mates down to my favorite beach on this glorious, Melbourne, Summers day and I took my beach body with me.

I lay on my towel, soaking up the gorgeous sunshine and the sensation of the sea breeze on my skin and felt my body becoming totally relaxed and at peace.

I walked down to the water, laughing with delight with the boys at how cold the water was, and set a strict “no splashing” rule in place until I got my courage up enough to stop inching into the water and dive in.

We jumped and splashed and floated and I made up a great game called “MINE” in honor of the seagulls from “Finding Nemo” which involved me swimming up to one of the boys shouting, “MINE, MINE, MINE” wrestling his boogie board away from him amidst much screaming and laughing and then swimming/running off madly through the water, pushing the board in front of me, still yelling “MINE, MINE” with two 12 year old boys in hot pursuit.

I have to say with a sense of great satisfaction and pleasure that I won most of the battles!

My beach body today is pretty similar to the beach body I have had most of my life.

What IS different is my attitude towards myself and my body.

I honestly had no self-consciousness at all.

Not.

One.

Bit!

I didn’t waste a second wondering what someone else was thinking or saying about me OR my body, I was too busy enjoying every single moment in THIS body that I have right now and it was an absolutely magical day of laughter and play and pleasure.

I have a “beach” body and so do you, no matter what you look like or how much or how little you weigh.

The body that you have right now is the way it is right now.

You can love it and support it and nourish it or hate it and despise it and feel ashamed of it.

Trust me, love and support and nourishment FEELS so much BETTER!

Get out and feel the sunshine.

Float amongst the waves.

Swim in the ocean.

Explore the rock pools and look for shells and build sandcastles.

Lie on the beach and feel the sea breeze on your skin and let all of your body just relax.

Don’t wait to have a mythical “beach body”.

Don’t miss out on another summer or another party or another opportunity for fear that your body is not good enough.

Don’t let your body shame ruin your summer or your life.

If anyone has a problem with your body, remember: It’s THEIR problem, not yours.

Need help letting go of your body shame? Come on over to my website and contact me. I have a fabulous new program in the works to help you eliminate your body shame, heal your relationship with food and give up any guilt about eating.

www.lovetransformslc.com

I am planning many more beach days this Summer, what about you?

best wishes

Kerry

How much are you willing to be loved?

Every now and then, you hear something that really stops you in your tracks and makes you think.

At this years “I Can Do It” conference in Melbourne, Robert Holden gave me one of my most fabulous “Ah-HA!” moments that I have had in quite a while.

Robert had been talking about love and how we all want to be loved and the significance of how your belief (if you have one) in the God of your understanding being an all loving and all forgiving force is so comforting.

He posed the following question:

“On a scale of 1 to 100%, how much to do YOU believe that God loves you?”

Feeling quite smug, I quickly came up with 100%. Yes, the God of my understanding, call him/her/it what you will, loves me 100%. Absolutely. 100%!

Then Robert posed his second question which blew me away.

“On the same scale, 1 to 100%, how much do you ALLOW God to love you?”

This question hit me right between the eyes, especially as a therapist who works with the tools and concepts of self-love, being deserving and worthy.

When I checked in with myself, the percentage of how much I ALLOWED myself to be loved and feel loved did not even make the 50% mark. So I took the question further.

How loved do I allowed myself to feel from everyone else in my life?

As comfortable as I was at GIVING love, telling people I love them, giving affection and support, there were blocks within me, getting in the way of allowing me to fully RECEIVE their love, that I had no idea that I had, until that point in time and that question from Robert.

This was a powerful, transformative moment that set me off to do more work on myself to discover what those blocks were and how to get them out of my way.

Feeling loved is all about feeling DESERVING.

We are taught to give, but we are not taught to truly receive and ALLOW all of the good feelings and gorgeousness that comes from someone expressing to you that YOU matter to them. That they SEE you and acknowledge you and are grateful for who you are.

We do it with strangers when we dismiss a compliment without thought or acknowledgment.

We do it with friends when they want to be there to help us or support us when we feel broken and vulnerable but we don’t ask or tell.

We do it with our children and the people who really love us because, at some level, we don’t really believe that we deserve it or that they don’t really see how flawed and unloveable we are.

So here is YOUR challenge. Answer these questions for yourself:

1. Out of 100% how much do I LOVE the people in my life?

2. Then out of 100%, how much do I allow myself to receive their love?

If the figures are different, ask yourself why?

Do I feel deserving of love and appreciation?

Do I feel that I am loveable and worthwhile?

Then, challenge yourself to truly allow and feel deserving of the love and support and affection and appreciation you are given.

  • Start asking for help, support and reassurance when you need it.
  • When you get hugs, SINK into the hug and the moment and let it fill you up. Relax and truly feel it.
  • Accept compliments with a simple “thank you” and let the compliment in!

Endless giving leaves you feeling empty and depleted, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Truly allowing yourself to feel loved and believing you are worthy and deserving fills you up and recharges your soul.

Need help feeling loved and deserving?

My Signature Heal Your Life Coaching Program will give you all the practical skills and tools you need to really feel worthy and let that love in.

http://www.lovetransformslc.com/heal-your-life-signature-coaching.php

I would love you to leave me a comment about any “Ah-Ha” insights you have about how much you deserve to feel loved.

Kerry

Think you can’t sleep? Why your sleep beliefs are keeping you awake.

Cant-SleepWe all know that feeling. Tossing and turning. Looking at the clock and mentally adding up just how many hours sleep we could get before the alarm goes off if we could JUST GET TO SLEEP NOW!

Waking up in the morning feeling tired, cranky and very sleep deprived and thinking thoughts like “I haven’t had enough sleep. Why can’t I sleep? If I just had more sleep I would feel SO much better.” Every night worrying about not getting to sleep, not staying asleep or not getting enough sleep.  Sound familiar?

You have tried hot milk, alcohol, counting sheep and even sleeping tablets but you are still having trouble getting to sleep, getting enough sleep and staying asleep.

It’s time to go to the source of the problem. It’s time to start changing your thoughts and beliefs about you and sleep from you + sleep = trouble to you + sleep = peace.

Presenting:  The four most common issues that get in the way of a good nights sleep:

1. Worrying or “busy brain” syndrome.

You can get into bed feeling tired, sleepy, so wanting a good nights sleep and “HELLO” your brain is wide awake, racing at 100 mph on 10 different subjects at once OR you are worrying. Worrying is a form of focused attention where we are either telling ourselves a very realistic and vivid story about all the things that could go wrong and how we would feel, OR an attempt to solve a problem.Worrying gives you the illusion that you are actually doing something about the issue when the reality is, all you are doing is telling yourself a story about all the horrible things that could go wrong. Not productive OR conducive to sleep!

How do you stop “busy brain” syndrome?

  1. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes each night before bed to write your “to -do” list or brainstorm ideas. This gets a lot of the stuff you worry about getting done out of your head and onto paper and will help clear your mind. Keeping a journal is also wonderful and I highly recommend beginning a Gratitude Journal. Keep your Gratitude journal beside your bed and before you sleep, write down something that you feel truly grateful for. It could be something you experienced during the day like a compliment, something cute your child said or anything you really connect to with a feeling of heart felt gratitude. As your journal builds up, you will have lots of positive memories to read through and if you make this the last thing you do before you sleep, you are going to sleep with warm fuzzy feelings that help you relax AND creating a positive association with going to bed. Win-Win!
  2. Get yourself a worry chair. When your brain is buzzing and you just can’t relax, set up a worry chair in your home. Choose a hard kitchen or plastic chair and put it in a spot that is preferably cold and not that comfortable. Then, sit in your worry chair and for the next 5 to 10 minutes, indulge in some intensive WORRY. Run your scary stories, tell your tale of woe, stress your little heart out! Trust me, by having a hard chair in a cold place with nothing to do but worry, your bed will soon begin to look VERY inviting! Also, you have given yourself 100% permission to worry which helps you get it out of your system. NEVER stay in bed when you are stuck with busy brain syndrome. Get up, write it out or go to your worry chair. Make sure that your bed becomes and STAYS a place of sleeping, comfort and pleasure.

2. Pain.

Chronic pain is high on the list of things that will keep you asleep. If you suffer from chronic pain, first check with your Doctor and take his or her advice. Most pain can be reduced by deep relaxation or applications of heat such as wheat packs or comfortable hot baths or showers. Gentle stretching or physiotherapy regularly depending on your condition can help reduce the pain and strengthen your body and exercise really helps alleviate stress and enables you to feel calmer and more relaxed. Hypnotherapy is fabulous and EFFECTIVE for creating deep relaxation that assists with reducing pain. If hypnotherapy is something you want to try, consider my “Rejuvenation” hypnotherapy MP3 that you can download here for just $9.99.  It’s specifically designed to provide deep, healing relaxation for people with chronic pain or illness and I have had lots of positive feedback from my clients who have used it.

3. A negative sleeping mindset and ritual.

We all have a ritual before we go to bed. For some of us, it’s as simple as getting changed, brushing teeth and slipping into bed for a solid 6 to 8 hours of glorious sleep. Here is the secret that these lucky people share. They expect it to happen! All the beliefs they have about going to sleep and sleeping, support and set up the good nights sleep that they get. You will hear them say things like “I can sleep anywhere”; “I never have a problem going to sleep”; I am looking forward to a good nights sleep tonight”; or “I have always been a good sleeper”. Their self-talk and their beliefs about how easily they sleep becomes their reality and they have a positive expectation about going to sleep.

If your beliefs about sleep are along the lines of “I always have trouble sleeping”; I never get enough sleep” or “why can’t I sleep?” you probably also have anxiety as bed time gets closer, worry that you won’t get to sleep tonight, worry that there is something wrong with you because you can’t sleep, fear of what may happen if you don’t get enough sleep. All of your thoughts and beliefs around sleep are centered around fear and anxiety. You have a negative expectation about going to sleep and your experiences only add more weight to your beliefs and it becomes your reality.

What is your sleeping self-talk? If you identify as a “poor sleeper” you really need to change that affirmation. As strange as it sounds, you can change your sleeping experience by changing your thoughts around it. When my youngest child was a baby, I was living on broken sleep constantly and found myself saying and thinking things like “I will never get back to sleep” and worrying about how little sleep I was getting each feeding time through the night. During the day my dominant thoughts were all about how little sleep I was getting and fear that I was not getting enough sleep to function. I made a conscious effort to change my sleeping story. At night I made my dominant thought “I go back to sleep quickly and easily”, kept that thought consistent and made it my mantra.

It took some time but as the weeks passed, that’s exactly what happened. I supported myself during the day by thinking “I always get the sleep that I need” and it really made a huge difference to me. Make your mantra something like; “I always sleep well”; “I always get enough sleep”; “It’s so easy for me to sleep” or “I sleep deeply and wake refreshed”. Be consistent, actively work at changing your affirmations about sleep (yes, every thought IS an affirmation) and see what happens. You have nothing to lose and much to gain and best of all, it’s free!

4. Midnight Pit Stops.

Whether it’s prostate problems, pregnancy peeing or just getting older, trips to the toilet at night can really get in the way of a good nights sleep. How do you reduce your midnight pit stops or make them more manageable?

  1. Stop drinking liquids after 7pm. Those cups of tea or coffee or glasses of your regular evening nightcap could be coming back to haunt you after midnight. Try putting a liquid limit on yourself each evening and see if it helps you. I know from experience that when I started doing this, I went back to sleeping through the night. If you need to take medication before bed, take it as early as you can with as small an amount of water as you can.
  2. If you still wake for an after midnight pit stop, train yourself to “toilet sleep walk”. This is an effective habit that I discovered for myself during pregnancy and I am sure I am not alone in making this discovery. I surrendered to the fact that I WOULD be waking up and I practiced staying in a half asleep, relaxed state to “sleepwalk” to the toilet and go back to bed. I created affirmations to support it (refer to issue 3 above) and most times, I went straight back to sleep after my toilet sleepwalk. Problem solved.

So there you have it, my top tips to get better sleep. Try them and let me know how they worked for you and if you are a chronic insomniac, some hypnotherapy sessions to help dissolve those old patterns may be just the thing you need!

Happy Sleeping!

Kerry

www.lovetransformslc.com

How the “naughty food” myth keeps you stuck in shame and guilt.

ImageI was waiting for a friend in the reception area of a gym a while ago and as I waited, a woman in her mid 60’s came in, freshly tanned and looking very relaxed.

She was obviously a regular member, back from a holiday and as she chatted  with the 20 something receptionist I was so stunned by their conversation that I wanted to slap them both.

Seriously!

It went something like this:

Gym girl: (smiling) “Oh Mavis, how was your holiday, did you have a fabulous time?”

Mavis:  (looking a bit uncomfortable) “Oh yes, it was wonderful but I got a bit carried away with the food I think”. 

Gym girl: (now with a ‘tone’ in her voice) “Really?  Why? Were you NAUGHTY?”

Mavis: (looking a bit guilty and ashamed). “Yes, I’m afraid I was. I couldn’t resist the dessert buffet. I at SO MUCH bad food.” (Nervous laughter).

Gym girl:  (looking disapproving): “Oh well, better go and work off those desserts then.”

Mavis: “Yes, I’ll have to work extra hard to make up for it.” (nervous laugh).

What made me want to slap them both?

Firstly, the obvious disapproval of a 20 something girl to a woman old enough to be her Mother over a simple act of eating, which is a very pleasurable part for most of us of the whole “holiday experience”.

Secondly, the obvious shame that “Mavis” seemed to feel  and how willing she was to accept being labeled as “naughty”. (Did I mention she was 60 something?)

And thirdly the fact that what Mavis ate on HER holiday was freely up for judgment and discussion!

Then I started noticing this behaviour EVERYWHERE and ONLY from women.

  • Friends on Facebook who were posting about  going out for dinner and being “naughty” for having desserts or cakes or chocolate and “joking” about the extra exercise they would have to put in tomorrow.
  • Clients who express guilt and shame about eating “bad” or “fattening” food.
  • Women in conversations casually labeling themselves as “naughty” or “bad” because of something they ate and the conversation almost takes on the tones and hush of a church confession.

“Forgive me sister for I have sinned. I ate a wicked chocolate cake. I indulged in a sinful ice-cream. I pigged out on a block of family sized chocolate and I feel SO ASHAMED!

THE EATING SHAME HAS TO STOP AND HERE’S 5 REASONS WHY:

  1. Eating is NOT naughty. It just isn’t. Unless you are 5 years old and you took ALL the chocolate for yourself after you were told to share some with your siblings. Even then, the behavior was naughty, NOT the eating.
  2. Eating is NOT a shameful activity. We all need to eat or we would die. If you feel ashamed about eating we really need to talk about the judgments and labels you are living with or the story you are telling yourself about your body and weight.
  3. When you feel guilty about ANYTHING, guilt ALWAYS REQUIRES PUNISHMENT. Always. When you feel guilty you will believe that you are either a) deserving of punishment or b) find a way to punish yourself. You will find a way to punish yourself and when the guilt is about eating, you will generally decide to go on a diet and exercise plan, the stricter, the better!
  4. Shame and guilt are dis-empowering. You can’t make positive choices from a place of guilt and shame. You will just keep equating feeling “good” with eating “good” food and feeling guilty and naughty for eating “bad” food.
  5. There are NO bad foods! Are some better nutritionally? Hell yes! But when you label something as “bad”, how can you possibly feel good about eating it?

Giving yourself labels like “bad” or “naughty” or “weak” or “undisciplined” or “disgusting” and accepting those labels from others WILL NOT HELP YOU CHANGE! It just keeps you stuck in the cycle of shame and guilt.

When you can see food as just food, with no labels, no moral weighting, no other emotionally loaded JUDGEMENT, it will free you from a MASSIVE load of unnecessary guilt and shame.

Contrary to popular belief, shame and guilt won’t get you thin or keep you there.

True change, lasting change, REAL change only comes from self-acceptance, self-love and self-support.

When you love who you are, you feel that you deserve to be nourished.

When you love and accept your body, you start listening to it and knowing when it wants to be fed.

When you support yourself, you give yourself the tools to stop punishing yourself with food by either eating more than your body wants or depriving your body of nourishment and calories.

Stop the food and eating shame.

Stop accepting the labels.

Stop calling your eating either “naughty” or “good”.

And most of all, tell the girl behind the counter at your gym to mind her own bloody business and stay out of yours!

Still feeling the eating shame and guilt and need some help?

Come on over to www.lovetransformslc.com and ask me about the Diet Free Body Program and how it can help you change your relationship with food AND your body.

best wishes

Kerry

 

 

 

 

 

What if we stopped wanting to be beautiful?

ImageAll of my life, I yearned to be beautiful.

Growing up as a fat little girl, born into a family where the women are gorgeous, my favorite fairy tale was “The Ugly Duckling”.

One day I hoped I would transform, preferably overnight and sooner, rather than later into someone who was slim and beautiful and I would be the swan.

If I was beautiful, I could have everything I wanted.

I would be worthy.

I would be loveable.

I would be desirable.

I would be popular.

I would fit in at home, at school and in a society that showed me everywhere what women were supposed to look like.

Thin. Gorgeous. Beautiful.

I spent half my life pursuing beauty with the promise that the next diet would be “the one”.

During my life, I have lost a significant amount of weight at least twice. Once it got me the title of “runner up Slimmer of the Year” complete with my story in a magazine and a set of professional photos that my Mother told me “made me look like I was a model”.

I didn’t feel comfortable with my new found beauty.

People treated me differently. I was congratulated, exclaimed over and got lots of attention. Some of it was positive but much of it showed me a side of people that I really did not want to see. Much easier and safer I decided, to be fat and invisible and just have a pretty face.

My decision was perhaps, not quite as conscious as that but the attention, flattery and often sleazy behavior were so surprising and uncomfortable for an introverted soul who had spent most of her life believing that losing weight and finding beauty would be the answer to her every prayer.

I discovered that losing weight only gives you a smaller body and that it didn’t magically grant confidence, self-love and happiness ever after.

As I work with my clients now, this yearning to be beautiful and everything we attach to  what beauty represents, is at the heart of so much of our self-hatred and self-criticism.

For my older clients especially, what I hear repeated so often and with such sad regret is; “when I look back at myself as a child, as a young woman, I was NEVER as fat or as ugly as I thought I was. I wasted so many years hating myself and thinking I wasn’t good enough. I only wish I had realized then, how beautiful I was.”

Now the debate that I see playing out, partly as a rebellion against “thin is beautiful” and the “war on obesity” is “curvy is beautiful” with the battle cry “real women have curves”. In the inevitable arguments that follow that women who are not “curvy” are still real women, the goal, the object, the desire is STILL to be considered beautiful.

To be seen as beautiful.

To feel beautiful.

To be accepted no matter what size, shape or weight as being inherently beautiful.

But what if we as women stopped wanting to be beautiful?

What if it was just not on the radar anymore?

What if we were only described for who we are?

What if we said, “my daughter is so brave and strong; my sister is so kind and funny; my mother is so wise and loving and resilient, my grandmother was fearless and confident and she let nothing get in her way.”

What if we stopped chasing unattainable, ephemeral beauty and just allowed ourselves to be as we are, accept ourselves as we are?

What if our focus was on the WHOLE of who we are, the deep, wonderful depths of our souls instead of the shape of our thighs, the lines on our face, the shine of our hair, the weight of our bodies?

How much pressure would be removed? How much anxiety and shame and guilt and despair would just vanish from our lives?

What if beauty were no longer the yardstick against which all women measured their self-worth and self-esteem?

How I wonder, would the world change, would we change if who we ARE was so much more highly valued than how we look?

My definition of beauty is so much more now. Beauty to me is kindness, generosity of spirit, a loving heart, courage, wisdom, patience.

I no longer yearn to be physically beautiful because I know that defining myself in such a limited way ensures that I will never be good enough and even if I put my whole life into its pursuit, physical beauty is a fleeting, temporary thing.

My goal is beauty of the soul. Integrity. Courage. Love. Wisdom. Compassion.

To grow and stretch and be a better human being instead of a human doing everything she can to reach an impossible, marketing driven standard of photo shopped perfection.

Who would you be if you stopped wanting to be beautiful?

Do you suffer from “Self-Limited Happiness” Syndrome?

something so greatHappiness.

It’s the ultimate thing that we all want isn’t it?

“Being happier” is one of the key goals that sends many of my clients to work with me.

They want to “feel happier” about their bodies, relationships, jobs and lives.

The funny thing that happens when we start examining exactly what “happier” means to them, is that all these fears, anxieties and limitations about happiness start coming up.

The biggest and most self-limiting belief goes something like this: “If I really allow myself to feel happy, then when my life turns back to shit, it will hurt too much and I won’t survive it.”

When we dig a little deeper, the logic behind this belief becomes something like this: “I know how to deal with being unhappy or lonely or depressed. I know the rules, I know what to expect, it’s familiar and there is something safe about it, even though I feel miserable. But if I let myself get too happy, if I starting believing that happiness can last, if I start getting too comfortable feeling good or loved or looking forward to things, if I get dumped, if I am rejected, if I am disappointed or deceived or wrong, I can never go back to how I was before I knew what real happiness was like. I will know what I have lost and what if I can never be that happy again? I will end up worse off than I was before.”

I call this cluster of beliefs “self-limited happiness syndrome” because the majority of us DO have limits on just how much happiness we will allow ourselves to feel and how long we will allow ourselves to feel good.

How do you self-limit your happiness?

  • You shrug off compliments, don’t believe them or immediately tell the person why they are wrong to compliment you.
  • You don’t celebrate your wins or constantly minimize your talents and abilities.
  • When something good happens, you are always on edge “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
  • You don’t believe people when they say they love you or like you.
  • You can hear 50 positive things about you in one day but the one negative comment is the one you focus on and replay in your mind.
  • You have beliefs like; “good things never happen to me, I always get disappointed, everyone always let’s me down, nothing ever works out for me or I can’t trust anyone.”
  • You don’t allow yourself to really love with all your heart “just in case”.
  • You have a secret fear that the moment you finally get what you have always wanted, you let down your guard and are truly happy, that you will get really sick, or someone will die or something terrible will happen to take your happiness away.

Self-limiting happiness syndrome, is a protective mechanism that we create to reduce the risk of experiencing emotional pain, heartbreak and disappointment.

The bigger the potential happiness, the greater the fear of losing it.

There is a belief that by self-limiting our happiness, keeping it small, not really allowing it in that we somehow avoid drawing bad luck, envy or tempting fate to strike us down.

You may feel somehow “safer” but self-limiting happiness syndrome means that you risk never really living, never truly experiencing the full, glorious happiness that could be yours if you could just let go of your fear of losing it.

Waiting until you feel safe, waiting until you feel good enough, waiting for some perfect moment in the future to be happy is only keeping you from the happiness you can be experiencing now if you are willing to trust.

Trust yourself that whatever happens, you will be ok in the end.

Trust that you are deserving of happiness, love and joy.

Trust that somehow, someway, things are working out as they are meant to and that you have more courage than you believe.

In the words of Sarah Addison Allen “happiness is a risk. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not doing it right.”

Where are YOU limiting your happiness or do you want to share in the comments how you learned to overcome your fears and claim your happiness?

Need some help in overcoming your self-limited happiness syndrome?

I specialize in giving you the tools, confidence and motivation to reduce your fears and boost your joy and happiness!

Visit me at www.lovetransformslc.com and let’s talk about how I can help you overcome self-limiting happiness syndrome.

Warm wishes

Kerry