How to step into something new…
I can’t believe it’s November already.
>>This past year has been one of a kind.
>>This past year has been one for the books.
>>This past year has been a good one…for me.
Last year I decided that no matter what I did, what I stepped into, what came my way, I was going to approach it with a good attitude and a never give up mentality.
It’s November and I don’t think we say it enough…
I’m proud of myself.
*Proud of myself for doing new things.
*Proud of myself for stepping into unknown territories.
*Proud of myself for doing things even when I didn’t want to do them.
Here’s what I’ve learned…
Thinking about doing something new is only step one… Well, it’s more like a Pre-Step, like Pre-Kindergarten.
And then it’s deciding to pull the trigger. But I’ve discovered that there cannot be ANY doubt in your mind that what you are about to do is wrong, not going to work, a bad idea.
I’ve been working really hard this past year on catching myself immediately when I see ANY doubt creep And when it does I noticed one thing…
If your decision you are about to pull the trigger on is DIFFERENT IN ANY WAY get ready for doubts, a struggle, or an internal debate that it’s not going to work.
This realization was KEY in my pressing on.
And I want to share that with all of you today.
If you want things to change, get better, be different (call it what you want) you NEED it to be uncomfortable or at least have that feeling for a moment that’s your signal that you are stepping into uncharted territory.
AND THAT IS A GOOD THING.
I was nervous the night before I got married. I knew I wanted to marry my husband and had known I was going to marry him since the 8th grade.
That night looking at myself in my bathroom mirror, I had a wave of doubt run through me if this was the right decision.
But I knew that the doubt I was feeling was nerves from something new, the unknown.
And because I pressed on, we’ve been married for 14 years, have 3 amazing kids, and built a life we love.
>>>>>When you get to the edge of what is familiar you have a choice.
Go back into your typical patterns and stay exactly where you are…. Or press on.
*Press on even when it’s hard.
*Press on even when you don’t want to.
*Press on even when your decisions don’t fit into the status quo.
You guys I created my own pain relief cream. Not a cream I’m filling in my garage.
Like my own REAL product. (Find out about STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream)
How did this happen?
I made a decision I wanted to do this and every step after that decision was made I did not like my old thinking or learned feelings and responses derail me from the goal.
To step into something new:
I took risk.
A lot of risk.
I invested my own money.
And now have to pick up the phone and call people.
Ask others for support and help and put me out there every single day with the chance others may not like me.
But I know and choose to never let doubt and negativity loom in my mind for longer than it takes to think that thought even for a second.
It’s exhausting to be on yourself like a bloodhound hunting in the woods. Constantly calling yourself out on thoughts, beliefs, and actions most don’t even see happening.
But now almost a year later of this diligent practice. I’m bearing fruit (I had a lot of internal negative self-talk to work through).
I see those periods of discomfort as markers I’m moving in the right direction and mentally stop and breathe, think, and feel the positive outcome. Where before things not working out always loomed in my mind.
THAT WAS MY ISSUE.
I was doing all the right things but when I got to the edges of my familiarity I was canceling out all my efforts with my internal dialogue, thoughts, and intentions.
I created a pain-relief cream!
I created the BEST online program I have ever built!
I coach business clients who want to hear what I have to say!
I get to work with people I never thought possible!
I share this not to brag, but to hopefully inspire you. I did this.
To step into something new:
*I allowed myself the right to think bigger than what I was.
*I allowed myself to dream bigger than I thought I was allowed to.
*I allowed myself to be bold despite the negativity would come up against.
You can do this.
You can step out.
You can get there.
Stop saying 2020 is horrible.
It’s different and that’s that.
Figure out a way.
Stop using 2020 as a reason to stay where you are.
I know this might not be what you want to hear. But it’s the truth.
I saw 2020 as the best time to step up my game and reach for more. Even when most of the signs around me said it was a bad idea.
What can you do today?
I’d love to hear about it.
Recovery from an eating disorder or any addiction can feel like an uphill battle. Admitting you need help is the first step. However, what comes after that is usually everyone around you telling you what you should do.
How you should act.
What you should or shouldn’t eat.
What you should stay away from.
What therapist you shouldn’t see.
What book you should read.
And for anyone who has been struggling with addiction, directives like that can surely trigger a relapse.
I struggled for years trying to step into recovery, only to find myself drowning in a sea of failure. The harder I tried, the more I felt like I was failing. Not meeting everyone’s expectations of what they think recovery should be like.
So I hid my progress, or should I say lack thereof. I felt like the fear of failure on top of being an addict was just too big to uncover. So I lied. I lied to everyone around me on and off for years that I was in-fact “better.”
I want to let you know that there is hope. You can do this. And it all starts with you deciding that you have had enough.
Coming to a place where the fear of judgment is outweighed by the fear of living with an eating disorder. A life cut short because this could eventually kill you. That was my greatest push. I didn’t want to live this way. I didn’t want a family, to be married with kids, living in secret, Living a lie. I didn’t realize it but I had observed addiction in my household growing up. I had observed co-dependency not knowing it. I took it on as “normal behavior.”
For a big part of my life, I didn’t think it was fair that I didn’t get a choice in the matter. But I wanted a choice for my kids, and the biggest truth… I didn’t want to die.
I believe that conventional wisdom may have your best interests at heart. But unless you have actually struggled with this kind of hell, seeking help itself, and then receiving it can be overwhelming. It’s a struggle all it’s own.
The following tips are my suggestions to consider as you work fully into recovery. What I did, what worked for me, and what I hope for you to consider so you can live the life you have always dreamed of.
1. Say It Out Loud
For years I couldn’t even get myself to say it out loud. That I had a problem and that I needed help. What I recognized is if I couldn’t even say it to myself, how was I going to say it to someone else? Today, look at yourself in the mirror. Look in your eyes and compassionately tell yourself “you can’t do this alone anymore, you need help. I have an addiction, and I deserve a future without this addiction”.
The first time I said this, I could barely get the words out. I was so ashamed. So afraid. But also so relieved. For several years I kept talking to myself in the mirror. So I could hear and see me. Eventually, those conversations turned into forgiveness, and conversations on how to move forward. Working to stay positive is essential. Try using affirmation exercises or mantras to help curb the negative inner voices.
2. Make A List
Addiction can make you short-sighted. It can, in the moment, leave you unable to see the future. It can also fog the past.
You weren’t always like this. You have also done a lot of great things. You are a good person, despite what your addiction mind says to you.
So today make a list of all the things you are good at. All your talents, gifts, and reasons why people love you. I had so many talents I wasn’t giving myself credit for. I was a great writer, amazing with kids, super creative, and later on, a pretty kick-ass yoga teacher. I had many gifts, but my addictive mind made seeing those things (especially in the heat of the moment) very challenging.
So make a list. Do not hold back. Everything you can think of. Even if in your head, mid-sentence your addictive mind says “that’s not true”. Don’t believe it.
Call this journaling. Or simply and officially putting out to the universe how you are an amazing person. Hang this list on your mirror and read it every day.
3. Allow Yourself to Feel Whatever You Feel
I was overwhelmed, and to be honest, I felt a lot of guilt. Part of addiction is guilt. Guilt for what you did or didn’t do. How you may have felt that things went a certain way because of you. And the overwhelming feeling of not being able to control them.
I had a lot of anger, frustration, and grief when I began to step into recovery. I was very angry with family members. And yes, very angry at myself. It appeared that everyone kept telling me to forgive this person, don’t blame that person. It’s not their fault.
But here’s the thing. I was not at a place in my recovery to be able to do that. I had spent 10 years perfecting the art of not feeling. Now I was beginning to feel all this stuff, and here are outsiders telling me that those feelings aren’t fair to others.
So I’m telling you as someone who has been there and made it successfully to the other side: Feel what you need to feel. Don’t attach to it. But give yourself permission to be pissed off. Mad. Happy. Sad. Angry. Whatever. Those are your feelings and you are entitled to them.
There will come a time when you are at a place where you can now do something with them. You have felt them enough. And now you don’t feel the need to have them. That will be the time to look at forgiveness, or releasing, or allowing yourself to see your situation with family or friends in a new light. But please know, it is okay to feel what you feel.
4. No One Expects That You Can Do This Alone
I had in my head for years that I needed to do this all by myself. And I was wrong. Not only does no one expects you to do this alone, but it is 100,000 times more difficult to do it all by yourself. I thought I had something to prove to myself, or my parents, or my husband. But the truth is, the only proving I needed to do was that I would do anything to get my life back.
So I am going to ask you what I asked myself, “How bad do you want it?” Once you decide that, everything becomes an option. I realized I could not do it anymore on my own. And that pushed me to a place where I finally opened up to my mom that I was not better, and needed help.
I cried when I told her this. I felt both humiliation and relief. I was free. Free from this life. Finally, I could really get better.
Sending myself to an out-patient treatment was the best decision in my recovery. I needed to be with others who were struggling like I was. But also I needed accountability, ideas, and a place to be honest. When you enter into specialized eating disorder treatment programs, the entire game can change for you. It did for me.
5. Buddy Up
I didn’t realize this until I entered into out-patient treatment, but having someone there that “gets you” and understands your situation without judgment was pivotal in my recovery success. I would come home from treatment and go back into my life. Although my family knew I was in treatment, it wasn’t like I could or even felt ready to open up about how I was feeling or when I was struggling.
Through outpatient treatment, I connected with a woman named April. At the time, we lived an hour apart, but that didn’t matter. She got me. And we made a pact to call each other when we were struggling. When it was hard. When we felt alone. When we just wanted to use food, or our additives to punish or run away. Calling her helped me step over hurdles that I struggled with for years.
Letting April into my life changed everything. It helped me feel safe. It reminded me that I wasn’t alone. I felt no judgment with her. I believe everyone needs a buddy, a sponsor, someone in their corner. Someone that is just there for you. That gets you. That has been in your EXACT shoes. I want to encourage you to find that.
6. Try Yoga
Yes, I am serious. I would not be here if it wasn’t for yoga. I found yoga before I found treatment for my eating disorder. And Yoga taught me how to feel. Yoga taught me how to be still. Yoga taught me how to be patient. Yoga taught me how to feel, and not be afraid of what I felt.
When I came to the out-patient treatment, I realized right away that I was further along than many of the women there. Not because I thought I was better than them. But because I had a different perspective. I had done quite a bit of work that I didn’t even realize prior to treatment.
I don’t suggest choosing yoga over treatment. But I do whole-heartedly believe that yoga can be the difference between making deep changes to truly live addiction-free and the lesser.
If you don’t choose yoga, choose something that asks you to be quiet. That challenges you to get uncomfortable in a safe place. Something that allows you to come as you are. That may mean shopping around for the right style or teacher. Now almost twenty years after embarking on my yoga journey, it still serves me. It still uncovers aspects of my addiction and recovery. I am so grateful to dig in because I have a lifelong toolbox I call yoga to help me.
Never Lose Hope
Despite all the obstacles and unfortunate circumstances that I was handed at an early age, I overcame them. Every time I was beaten down, I kept getting back up. I never lost hope. I never gave up. Deep down I always knew I could get through this.
Sometimes that voice was faint. That spark small. But even at my lowest of lows, I never lost hope. I believe that if you are alive and breathing on this earth, there is still a purpose for you. Your life still has value to contribute.
Today, it is because of trudging through addiction into recovery, overcoming the loss of my daughter, and facing adversity in my personal and professional life that I get to stand here and offer gratitude for my life. And at the same time help others find their light and develop tools to help them shine.
It’s the “how” and “why” I created the HOPE Process: Helping Others Purposefully Excel. How I built a toolbox of tools that actually work. I want that for you. I believe in you.
An eating disorder is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. But they are treatable, and there is hope. With the right tools, support and perspective on life you can do this. Everything I have created in my professional life is because of what I have been through. I am actually grateful for it.
Yes. You heard me.
The thousands of classes taught, trainings led, book and blogs written, and my newest program coupled with online coaching is all because of my journey.
Practices for a Positive and Productive Life Masterclass – All of these things are for people just like you. Because I know what it’s like to struggle. To feel like no one gets you. To feel like you just want to give up. Don’t give up. Never give up. Never lose hope.
Why? Because I am living proof that believing you are worth it, is worth it.
A Message From Hope
An eating disorder is a real and complex mental illness. It is something that no one should ever have to face alone. I 100% believe in every suggestion above. However receiving proper treatment from a qualified professional is above everything essential and necessary for your health, safety, and future. If you do not know where to reach out, orr if you cannot afford treatment, connect with National Eating Disorders Association Hotline for help.
The 5 Best Books to Read Right Now!
I’ve never really shared with you all some of my favorite reads. In the last few years I have to be honest, I’ve shifted over to an audio book kind of girl. This helps me maximize my time and due to a head injury, staring at words doesn’t really help my cause.
And the last several podcast I have been a guest on have all asked me what I am currently reading. So I’m going to tell you right now. What inspires me behind the scenes. And as you all know, I believe we always get exactly what we need at the exact right time. And some of these books have taken me months to read through, as you can only take in so much before your brain is full.
And other books I have read (or rather listened) through in hours! And then over again.
Some are very motivational, others parenting, and some the art of selling (which when you read between the lines has everything to do with all the mental garbage we carry with as to why we resist, or over indulge in things we don’t need).
I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do.
Here are my 5 BEST books to starting reading right now!
Best Book #1: Sell or Be Sold by Grand Cardone
And I know what you are thinking. Why would I want to read that? I’ve read it 4 times now. And it has taught me a LOT about confidence and believing in what I offer to the world. I didn’t want to read it at first, and you’ll see why. We often resist what we need at that time as an unconscious means to stay safe.
This book taught me that even though I love what I do, I am very good at what I do, my self confidence when it came to asking people to work with me, buy my product or support my cause would fall flat. Not because my offering was crappy. But rather I didn’t truly believe I was worth the investment.
And this book helped me evaluate my words, actions and thoughts as to how I was the one sabotaging my own business. This best book pick was a game changer when it came to building my business.
Best Book #2: The Dolphin Way by Shimi Kang M.D.
The best parenting book I have ever read! I recommend this book to everyone when in conversation about parenting. The book is insightful for the parent that is willing to step back and evaluate how they interact with their kids. WARNING: Not a book for parents that bubble wrap their kids (or maybe it is).
Words cannot even describe how much I love this book. And maybe because it game me reinforcement in my parenting choices of no team sports before they are a teen. Let them fall, give them responsibilities. Step back so they can step forward. No technology. I could go on, but this best book is for all the parents out there who are open and read to step back so their children can step forward.
Best Book #3: Meditations from the Mat Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison
This is not a new release by any means. But still my go to book for daily devotional. 365 days of inspirational messages to keep you on track. I often share these messages in class, but most importantly this book helps bring meaning to my day, and is a surprisingly insightful combination of all beliefs, faiths, and philosophies.
It always amazes me that when I just open this book for a daily inspirational message that it is exactly what I need to hear that day. I have learned in my life to trust that the Universe always has your back. And that we are always being guided. You do not have to practice yoga to grab this best book pick. It will surely speak to everyone who reads it.
Best Book #4: Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
I just recently finished this book. And it is everything many of us are thinking, but few say. And everything we need to hear out loud because deep down we know it’s true. If you are looking for a reality check (for lack of better words) this would be your grab).
Girl, I see you. Biggest take away from this read: it’s OK to choose you. And in doing so, everything else will have more clarity, focus, and purpose because you are not trying to be everything for everyone. Including your kids. I’ve wavered with wanting to be home with my kids but feeling a huge pull to follow my passion and use my gifts RIGHT NOW. Rachel, you are my #4 best book pick because you helped me make a mind-shift that when I choose me I choose my kids at a higher quality.
Best Book #5: How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell
This book is one of my favorites in his series. It’s small, but packed with knowledge. We can all use a reboot on our thinking at times. And this book gives it to you in bite size pieces. Get out your highlighter, because you are going to need it.
I bought this book at an airport a few years ago and it’s still my airplane book. I take it when when I travel. And open it up and just read a few pages. Again perfect timing. This book reinforced the need to organize and prioritize mentally. And in doing so the physical experience became so much sweeter.
Every step we take no matter how large or small on the path to bettering our lives deserves a pat on the back. I know from my own personal experiences that when my mind has time to wander (I’m not talking about meditation) it’s a dangerous road to go down. And I spent years digging my way out. Books assist me in my journey. And these five are my best books because they have all taught me something in a big way. And I want to share that will you.
Anytime I read something and it makes me self evaluate…That is a huge shift for me. And that means a huge win! So I can then dig deep and develop personal insight and decide what information I need and what I can leave behind.
Stepping off the struggle bus: 3 steps to getting off.
Struggle has become a household word. And for some…a badge of honor.
It seems in today’s world we are all striving to “get somewhere”. And there is nothing wrong with that!
Having goals, hopes and dreams keeps one motivated, focused and driven.
But what happens when you find yourself stuck on the struggle bus?
What do you do when you just don’t know what to do next?
Everything is blurry, overwhelming, and just too big to handle?
I use to spin my wheels and struggle (and still do on several occasions), hide in the comforts of what was familiar, easy, and “going good”.
But within those gates I would complain, cry and do I dare say pout about how I felt like I constantly had one foot on the struggle bus, and that I “couldn’t” get it off.
I’ve been an entrepreneur all my adult life!
I was taught to grind (in a sense that struggle was the way and method), to put your head down and keep going.
And for most of my life that has served me well in the notion that I don’t give up easy.
But now almost 35, I have realized that it’s perfectly OK to hop off the struggle bus and see what else is out there. Who else is out there, and what other buses are driving around to… HELP? And even if I fall stepping off, I’m at least off.
See it’s funny, I was never really taught collaboration and that there are truly others out there who WANT to help you.
See, I was taught survival.
And clawing my way out of an eating disorder, survival was essential.
But there comes a time when you evolve past that and need, and you begin to step out of survival mode.
Or at least you begin to see you that you want to do that.
That process for me. Stepping out and off the struggle bus was HARD!
I’d get one foot off and freak out and grip the struggle bus tighter. Even though I hated it, it was comfortable and familiar, and I did not want to have to go out there and “figure it all out” all over again… Talk about overwhelm.
So when I started taking my teaching to a larger audience both off and online I wanted to remove all the barriers of entry.
I want to collaborate with you, help you off the struggle bus, and I’ve been, there so let me remove all the “I can’t do this” objections.
Do you want to know what I found…
What I discovered when I started to reach out to help others?
The same thing I did to countless people when they tried to reach out to me. People didn’t do it. They still didn’t come to class, invest in themselves, in what I had essentially created just for them.
I had paved the way (just like others did for me).
Did they not want it?
Was their grip too tight, just like mine to the struggle bus?
Did they too have one foot off just enough to feel free, but comfortable at the same time?
In the last 20 years of my life I have discovered one vital thing…You can’t make someone grow, step off the bus, or even look up at the horizon if they are not ready.
I remember a time when I was that very person. Nothing my parents, my school teachers, my counselor could say was going to change my mind and my ways. I liked the struggle bus. I did. It was comfortable, predictable, familiar, and as horrible as it was for my well-being, it made me just happy enough to limp by in life.
I don’t want that for you.
When I see someone struggling, I see myself flash before my own eyes, reminding me of my own struggle and how essential it SITLL is to keep pressing forward and surrounding myself with others, ideas and tools that help me to press on and stay off the struggle bus.
Here are my 3 best tips for stepping off the struggle bus:
1. Invest in yourself. Misery loves company and when you are caught in that cycle of struggle, your inner state will often refuse help, ideas, and making any kind of positive investment in yourself. You’ll find reasons also known as excuses to not do things like take a yoga class, invest in a workshop or online course, or even something as simple as take a nap or vent to a close friend. Step one to stepping off the struggle bus is to believe you are worth the time and investment. And if you don’t, do it anyway.
2. Pick your friends wisely. They (not sure who “they” is) say you are the accumulation of the 5 people you most frequently surround yourself with. So, make a list and see with your own eyes who those people are. Stepping off the struggle bus is all about coming to reality with where your life is right now. And then beginning to make those decisions as to how to move forward.
3. Call yourself out on your excuses. I started to notice that whenever someone would suggest something to me, offer me an opportunity or the most perfect program or offering came my way I would always tell myself some excuse I would disguise as a “reason” as to why I couldn’t do that or have that.
I challenge you to call yourself out on those moments then trace it back. So, I began to ask myself on those occasions “Why Hope, why can’t you”. And what I discovered is all those moments (yes, I said all) traced back to unworthiness and fear. Nothing real and legitimate. If it was about money, it was really about a fear I had around money not thinking I deserved it. Or I would hype my life up that I am “so busy” that I just don’t have the time to do such a thing, which in all reality I wasn’t willing to make the time and put myself out there that I was of value and worthy. I challenge you to try this and free yourself by stepping off the struggle bus right now.
This message may have hit a chord with you, and if it has, I want to welcome you to the first steps of stepping off the struggle bus and beginning to open your eyes to the idea that you are a rock star!
And as you begin to step off, if by chance you are ready to look up, I’ll be waiting here.
Having removed all the barriers as to why you can’t step off with my personally crafted programs made just for you (well, in all honesty, just for me, because most people create great things based on their own struggles, breakthroughs, and divine moments).
Want to take a look? Just hop on over HERE and take a look. Whose ready to step off the struggle bus and make a change?