Tag Archives: belief

You’re Nobody’s Fool: Realistic Optimism

can or cant you're rightIn a culture whose mantra has become, “what you believe, you conceive”, we could use a cold bucket of reality to wake us up every once in a while. While I tend to look on the bright side of things, I wouldn’t consider myself an optimist.  Quite frankly, I think these definitions are too oversimplified to be helpful.

I think we can all agree that being a “Debby or Dan Downer” with things in life can be just as bad as expecting to shit out rainbows for breakfast everyday. Total realism, on the other hand, is like a dry piece toast; edible but not enjoyable. Extremes in any form are not healthy, no matter which way you slice it.

I like to think of myself as a Realistic Optimist which I define as, someone who goes into a situation filled with the hope of a good outcome, but who is realistic enough to know when enough evidence to the contrary says it is is time to walk away.

So, I find promoting the idea that “what we believe we can make true” without any caveatsOptimist-Pessimist-Realist-Quote is both irresponsible and untrue.  For example, no matter how much we may believe and conjure up all our will power, hope, and commitment towards changing someone, we cannot make an individual do something they don’t want to do.  We cannot make them change.  We cannot make someone care. We cannot force love. None of these things are possible through the power of thought.

You don’t need to put up with someone’s crap just because you want to show how positive you are. Or how kind you are. Or how loving. Here’s another newsflash, they are not going to change for you. They are an asshole despite you. You sticking around will only wear you out. It will not cause them to change.

I promise you that they will not wake up one day and say, WOW!! Because she’s/he’s stuck around all this time while I’ve busted up every boundary she/he has, taken all my shenanigans in stride, and given her/himself up for me, I’m TOTALLY READY TO SUDDENLY BECOME (WO)MAN OF HER/HIS DREAMS NOW.

Bengen_optimist_pessimist_realist
Translation: (L-R) My glass is half full. My glass is half empty. My glass is half past eight 🙂 Good German Humor..

It is fine to give someone chances, but have a time limit in mind.  Showing yourself less love will not make someone change unless you want that someone to be YOU. You have not been put on this earth to martyr yourself.  You don’t have to stay in a place that sucks. You can do better. It may not feel like it at first, but being alone is better than having your soul sucked out by someone else who means you and the relationship no good.

What do you think?

with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Write a Love Letter to Yourself: (HINT: The waiting is over ;)

Dear Self,

Please hug yourself more. Accept the beautiful person you are. Please love yourself and nurture your soul.  There will never be another you and another version will never do. Just be YOU.

Do you know that you have a smile that reminds people that joylove letters to myself still exists in this world? When you laugh the child in you comes out to play. Protect her and check-in often. She’ll keep you true to yourself.

Please make choices that honor yourself beyond all else. It’s ok to be lost sometimes.  But if you want to know your purpose when times get hard or confusing —  remember it is what drives you, not just what you can do. Please also remember that no matter what, the love you have for yourself is the most important kind of love there is. Just look inside and you will find the right answer waiting for you.

You are both bright and compassionate. You can trust your heart and mind. Never let anyone try to convince you otherwise. It hasn’t always been easy for you and you are allowed to admit that too. Pat yourself on the back more often, because no matter how down and out, you’ve always made it through.

You have a resiliency that keeps you bouncing back long after others would have laid down for the count.  You are a true champion because you’ve learned what’s worth fighting for and what’s not worth the effort anymore. Never be afraid to stand up for who you are and what you believe in.  Never silence your voice –especially in the face of violence or exploitation.

You are beautiful inside and out. Stay true to who you are. People say you look younger than your age. Somehow, despite all that tough times, you’ve managed to hold on to hope and see the glass half full. You don’t act your age either. What a wonderful thing that is to still believe in magic. Remember what you truly believe always shows through. Your face will always tell the story of YOU.

As you go through life, remember to forgive – yourself and others. You will have to do it often, so develop that skill early and thoroughly.  When you feel like judging yourself or others, just stop. It doesn’t serve you or anyone else.  Try instead to understand others perspectives.

With all that you have learned and everything you are thus far not to mention the places you’ll venture off to, there is no doubt in my heart that you will find all of the true loves you are destined for.  Just keep being YOU and loving the heck out of yourself.

Love,

Myself

— with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Just be Willing

frustration Yesterday I was down for the count with a stomach virus and that gave me a lot of time on my hands I’m not used to having.  As I thought on the changes I’d like to make in my life, I scoured the internet for resources to teach me HOW to get there.  I settled on “You Can Heal Your Life” , by Louise Hay and immediately downloaded it onto my Kindle.  I’m so glad I did.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels like their life isn’t working and hasn’t a clue where to start.  I devoured the book in one day and  put it into practice when I woke up this morning.

One of the chapters of her books asks you to write down all the negative things you were told as a child by adults and  compare them to the negative things you say about yourself.  Then look at what’s happening in your life and see if the negative outcomes match the negative thoughts you have about yourself.  By golly, they did!  I was hooked!

The theory here boils down to this – you get what you think you should.  So, if you think positively you should see it show up in your life the same way you do when you think negatively.

Just to give you an idea of the negative thoughts that go through my mind, I’ll make a list of my top 10.  Perhaps, you share some of these as well.

You Get What You Think

  1. Nobody is there for me
  2. Nobody respects me or sees my value
  3. Nobody listens to me
  4. Everybody picks on me
  5. I’m never happy in my jobs
  6. I’m bad with people
  7. I don’t know what I want
  8. I’m a failure at life
  9. I never have enough money
  10. I never meet the right guys

Ok, so guess what I have in my life right now with these thoughts?  I have difficulty with people at work, I don’t get respect, I am surrounded by constant conflict, don’t have enough income and I don’t in fact meet guys that feel right for me.  Surprise, surprise!!

expect good things

Change Your Mind

So, today I decided to start to retrain the brain.  I selected a few general affirmations and a few specific ones that spoke to me and repeated them throughout the day.  Here’s what I chose:

General Affirmations

  1. “I approve of myself”
  2. “I am willing to change”
  3. “I am willing to release all my resistance”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for…(ie. approval)
  5. “I now realize that I have created this condition.  I am willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that is responsible for this condition.”
  6. “I trust that the universe is providing for me everything that I need and I am safe and well taken care of.”

Specific Affirmations

  1. “I am willing to release the need to be unworthy.  I am worthy of the very best in life and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.”
  2. “I am totally open and receptive to a wonderful new position, one that uses all my talents and abilities, and allows me to express creatively in ways that are fulfilling to me. I work with and for people whom I love, and who love and respect me, in a wonderful location and earning good money”
  3. “I am willing to release my need to be noticed”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for praise”
  5. “I choose to let go of my anger, so that I make better clearer decisions.”

Entering a Brand New Day…

As soon as my alarm clock went off I committed myself to saying 5 things I’m grateful for before I could sit up on my bed.  Then, I read the affirmations above before I was allowed to stand.  Finally, I walked to the mirror and read  http://aplacefortheheart.co.uk/louise-hay/louise-hay-affirmations/ while looking into my own eyes.

Throughout the day, I reminded myself of those affirmations.  I even brought my index card of affirmations with me in case I forgot.  When a negative thought came in, I said STOP! and replaced it with a gratitude and another affirmation.

One of the great pieces of advice that was offered is that you don’t have to know “HOW” it will happen you just have to be “WILLING”.  Basically, the change in mindset will send a signal to the universe that the expectations have changed.  Be patient and consistent.

It’s Working!

Already today, I noticed MAJOR differences.  First and foremost, I literally had ZERO conflict in my work day at either job. That’s 14 hrs conflict free. I haven’t had a day like that in months.  Even when I got a rude email, I took a deep breath replied kindly, let it go and went on about my day.

I received more smiles, more cooperation, warmer relations and even had an easier time in traffic leaving me with enough time to get some shopping done, order dinner, and get 15 min. in a massage chair all before my next job started.

The point is…it all went smoother.  I was calmer.  I felt like I was in the moment and I enjoyed my day!  This was enough to convince me to carry on using this new method.

I’m looking forward to discovering what I can create by simply changing my own thoughts.

How have you brought about change in your life by a simple shift in focus?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

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Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

If you’ve ever had to do something you’d rather not do just to achieve a goal, this post is for you.

What follows is a recount of some of the things I had to do to get my house back post-divorce. The point of my whole long drawn out explanation and partial life history 🙂 is to ask you to remember two things in this life when you’re losing hope.   

When my business starting bringing in less and less contracts, I knew I had to come to terms with it and move on to something else. It was tough to walk away, but the market was changing and after a good run for 8 years, I saw the writing on the wall.  My husband and I had talked about whether we could make it work on one income while I found an alternative. Everything was set.  Or so I thought….shortly after he asked for a divorce.

He walked away like it was nothing and left behind a long trail of responsibilities for me.  First and foremost was my house.  A house we’d bought only 6 months prior.  It was a huge sum for me to have to find every month and selling it would have offered me no reprieve since it was when the housing bubble burst.  I couldn’t rent something either because I didn’t have a paycheck anymore and it would have cost me almost the same as my mortgage.  Catch 22.  

To add to the stress, our divorce agreement stated that I had one year to refinance it into my name or my ex- could sell it outright.   Originally, he offered 6 months.  I negotiated for more time.  Apparently a year felt generous to him in a failing job and housing market.  Not that he was paying for a darn thing. Apparently, he just didn’t want to be bound to me in any way.  Who was this man?

No time to answer that one, it was time to put the pedal to the metal and get the heck out of dodge.  

I didn’t have a lot of time to wax longingly about my “dream job”.  I needed money and fast!  I sent out application after application and zero, zilch, nada.  Here I was with a B.S. in Biology and an MBA struggling to find work in anything I was qualified for.  I thought the whole world turned upside down, not just my personal life.

I finally turned to craigslist to see if there was an opportunity.  I interviewed and accepted a job doing face-to-face fundraising for charity.  If you’re not familiar with this, it’s basically stopping people as they walk by and trying to persuade them to make monthly donations to assist less fortunate nations of people.  It turned out I was good at this.  Poverty was something I could really talk about. I’d seen and worked with it so much in my travels. I knew how people’s lives were impacted.  Frankly, I was also pretty hungry to pay my bills too so that was a big motivator.

I tried to refinance with this job and about a month out from finalizing, the company I worked for did a “corporate restructuring” and decided to drop their program.  I explained my situation and expressed my frustration to the loan officer on the phone.  I said, “What do I have to do?  Get a job at the bank that holds my mortgage to finally get this settled?”  

The customer service representative took what I said seriously and asked me about my background.  I explained it to him.  He said, would you be interested in becoming a personal banker because you’d be qualified for it?  I said, honestly if it helps me get my house back, I’ll do it.  He told me to put an application online at the bank website and assured me he’d talk to someone in HR on my behalf. We became friends on FB.  I didn’t expect much to come out of it.

Back to the drawing board.

More applications sent out, only the sound of crickets in return.  Hello again, craigslist.  This time, I scored a job that was freelance. They called it a “unique hair opportunity”.  I thought ok. My mom owned a hair salon.  She taught me a lot.  How bad could this mystery job be???  

Well long story short, I became a trained “Lice Remediation Specialist”.  The company supplied me with everything I needed and I’d get called or texted to go out to a job at someone’s house.  It wasn’t too bad actually.  It helped pay the bills so I was willing to do what I had to do.  I knew that I couldn’t refinance my house with that kind of job though.  So, I cranked up the engine again to find the next step. 

I resolved to get that bank job. In no way did working at a bank appeal to me.  But I was running out of time and money.  I reached out to the loan officer and asked him if he’d heard anything about my application.  He got into contact with HR and I went in for an interview.  I got the job.  

I worked a very difficult 6 day/ week schedule.  I didn’t like the work one bit.  I just kept telling myself it’s for your house. Eye on the prize.  I was running out of time.  My ex- was dialing up the pressure with his not so helpful reminders about the 1 year time limit that was coming to a close.  

I put in my refi application.  Then, the communication seemed to drop dead and no one would return my calls.  When I finally reached someone, it was after I received a letter stating that they couldn’t refinance my house because I’d been in the job for less than 1 year. Everything else was fine. Credit score excellent, no major unsecured debt.  None of this was a problem.  I couldn’t believe my ears. 

I was furious that my employer didn’t mind having me sell mortgages and investments to other clients, but wouldn’t even back me with one that THEY held!!!  

I had heard that this bank was planning to acquire another bank that I was affiliated with.  I figured while I’m on the inside I’ll do some research. I learned that their criteria were less conservative.  So, I thought, let me see if I can get a loan through them before the acquisition.  Within one month, I got the loan and I was at closing.  The house was FINALLY in my  name and for a payment I could afford!

I quit the bank the month after that. I wanted nothing to do with them.  It was hurtful to me to be put in the position to be used to sell mortgages to others while realizing my employer wouldn’t support refinancing my own home.  

I had had so much stress with jobs and this house refi that I wanted something easier and consistent for a while.  I needed to chill and get my bearings.  So, I heard about this gym that was going to open from a friend in the fitness community I was involved in.  I applied for that and got that job.  I’ve worked there for over a year now.  I knew it couldn’t last forever, but I needed a breather before I moved on.  It’s been good to me and served its purpose.

And now I have yet another new job that has some better benefits than the last one….and on and on it goes….where I stop?  I’ll know it when I feel it.

Remember two things as you go through this life and face challenges:

  1. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

  2. It’s only temporary.

When you feel like you’re going to lose it.  Even when you’re ready to tear your hair out.  When you feel like a failure.  Even when no one else has got your back and you feel as lonely as a child in the wilderness. 

Say to yourself over and over again, Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do,__________(insert name). It’s only temporary, _____________(insert name).  

I still have not arrived at a place that I feel completely comfortable in my own life.  And I have to remind myself of this mantra from time to time.  But when I look back I see that despite the fear and confusion and uncertainty, I did carry on.  It took a lot of perseverance and even more patience, but I did reach one of my goals after all. 

Consider making this your daily mantra for all the challenges you face.  And remember, there’s another step ahead of the one you’ve taken.  There will be solid ground beneath your feet.  Just do what you have to do to get through, then take the next step.

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Make no mistake, YOU are a success no matter how big or how small the result.  Let’s help each other out by leaving comments and sharing so we all feel a little less alone in this world.

What kinds of challenges have you had to face where you found yourself doing what YOU had to do to get through?  Share your success stories with us. 

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉