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Episode 46: Confidence in Times of Change

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Podcast 46: Confidence in times of change

It’s safe to say that we’re in changing times, right? With COV-19 right now each day it seems like there’s something new happening in the world – which is how it’s always been, change has always been a huge part of life but globally we’re all being given the opportunity to share a collective change.

Think for a moment about recent changes that have affected you. For me, church services are canceled, my daughter’s first prom was canceled, hopefully, postponed, I had live in-person events that were canceled, music lessons, jobs put on hold, stores closing, gyms closing, big events canceled, sports canceled, shelter in place restrictions are in effect in many areas, there are several things, right?

And when these things happen our minds want to freak out. Our brain does not like anything new. It can’t guess or know the outcome and it’s wired to go to the worst. Which is one reason why change is so difficult for most of us. We all want certainty and security. We want to predict what tomorrow will bring so we can make plans and feel confident that things will look and play out as predicted.

So how can you create that confidence when things are changing globally and we’re not really sure what tomorrow will bring?

This is what I want to talk to you about today. 

I want you to think about what confidence is, what certainty is, what security is. We think it’s relying on outcomes for certainty, or knowing that you’re safe for security, being able to do things for confidence which is why we get ourselves into a bit of a mess sometimes. 

These three are feelings. They don’t come from the things happening in the world. They come from your thoughts and what you’re choosing to believe and focus on.

It’s not that things are a certain way that you feel certain, it’s that you BELIEVE that things will look a certain way. I’m sure you’ve been certain about some things before and turns out you were wrong, right? But it didn’t change that you felt certain.

Here’s what you have to realize, your feelings fuel your actions.

When you feel certain what do you do? What actions do you take?

My husband and I were talking about this actor in a movie and I was certain that he was from this other movie. I had a thought, “he’s for sure on that show”, that thought created certainty for me. I knew it. I was right. I felt certain. Because of that certainty, I was bold in declaring my rightness. I stood up straight and tall and could stand up to opposition because I knew it, I was certain. I created a reality for me that was on solid ground. 

Then I found out that my was husband was right and even then my mind was like, noooo…that can’t be right.

We need to realize that there are two facets to what we want. 

There’s the surface layer, what we think we want. And right now that’s for the antidote for the virus. We want life to go back to normal. We want to be able to go out shopping and know there’s going to be what needs available to us. We want to visit with friends and family. We want to travel and keep our vacation plans. We want to be able to work and send our kids to their classrooms.

And we think we want these things because if we had them we’d feel differently.

This is the key, my friends – there’s what we think we want – surface layer – which is that the circumstances change because then we believe we’d feel differently.

If there was an antidote for the virus how would you feel?

If life went back to normal how would you feel?

If you could keep your travel plans, how would you feel?

These feelings are important because THAT’S what you REALLY want. We have a tendency to mix up the circumstances as being responsible for our feelings with what really creates our feelings and that’s our thoughts and what we think about the circumstances.

This is critical to remember because this is why we struggle with change. We can’t rely on the circumstances so we feel confused, insecure, worried, anxious, and unsure. What we need to learn and realize is that change is inevitable. Things are always changing. The news always has plenty of change to report. Change really is the only thing we can rely on and none of it has to be a problem if you can learn to meet your needs internally.

We don’t need the circumstance to look a certain way if we know we’re going to get what we need emotionally. This is how we can start leaning into change, embracing it, and flowing with it. We do need stability and certainty but it doesn’t ever come from the circumstances. It comes from inside. It comes from your thoughts. 

So today I’m going to walk you through something I call the three A’s of change and this is teaching you how to embrace change and feel confident in what you can control your thoughts and feelings. This is the stable ground you need – not the outside circumstances.

This is also how you cultivate confidence because if you’re relying on outside things you’re going to be disappointed. 

Confidence is knowing that you’ve got you. That you create your feelings. That no matter what the circumstances are around you that you’re going to be okay because feelings don’t come from things and circumstances, they come from what you’re thinking about. 

This you have control over. 

This you can create certainty in.

This you can cultivate confidence by learning to trust yourself to give you what you need which will always be a feeling.

This is where my three A’s come into place.

The A’s are: Awareness, Acceptance, Application

Most of tend to want to jump straight into fixing things or focusing on the how. 

This feels uncomfortable how can we fix it so I don’t have to feel uncomfortable anymore. We want to fix our circumstances so that we can feel differently. We want to know HOW and

We can’t jump straight into the how – into the application until we really know what we’re aiming for or what’s blocking the feeling we want currently.

For example, you might be feeling really overwhelmed. All the sudden your kids are home and now you’re homeschooling, you’re the activities director, you’re the gospel doctrine teacher in the home-centered church, you’re the meal maker, the handwashing police, you’re a million things right now and no doubt you’ve created a looooooong list of things you “should” be doing and you’re probably feeling stressed, frazzled and overwhelmed. 

So you want to change it so you can feel happy again or at least not like this.

A lot of look for ways to get us to happy or cope with these negative feelings. We stress eat, we look for sugar, fat, and salt, we turn to Amazon and shop online, we might try a lot of things but they’re not working because it’s getting things out of order. It’s trying to jump to the third step first and it doesn’t work.

So we start with the first A, Awareness.

Before the how, before the step by steps, before the checkboxes, before trying to change the circumstances because it won’t work – First, comes awareness. 

Sheryl Sandberg said, 

“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”

You can’t change anything if you’re not aware of it first. we think we know what’s going on with us. We think we know what we want but when we start to inquire, we find out that what we really want isn’t a clean house. What I really want is to feel at peace, to feel content, to show up loving and when I do show up loving, it’s amazing, the house is much more likely to get cleaned because people tend to want to come out and serve and help and be around loving people instead of frustrated, crazy mom who is yelling to get things done.

So start with awareness, you have to inquire and really figure out what’s going on. Why is this a problem for you in the first place and what’s the feeling you really want? Once you find the root cause, once you become aware of what you want, you can’t help but want to find a way to create that for you.

Be curious. Allow yourself to ask questions, even questions you think are obvious.

CIRCUMSTANCES never creates or causes us to feel an emotion. Only our thoughts do that.

It’s our thoughts about the circumstance that makes us feel frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, and the like.

Awareness is first. Even if it seems menial or really obvious. It’s not. Allow yourself to be curious. Why is this a problem for me? What do I think I want? And what do I really want? (which, hint, hint…will always be a feeling)

This new awareness, this new insight into yourself is key and leads right into the second step: Acceptance

Sometimes we hear the word acceptance and we feel resigned almost like, I guess I have to just accept it that this is the way things are now. And that’s not what I’m talking about here. 

The definition of acceptance is 

  1. favorable reception; approval; favor.

(https://www.dictionary.com/browse/acceptance)

Notice, favorable – not resentful or resigned. Acceptance is a gift you give to yourself. Think about some things you’re resistant to. What do you think about it? How do you feel when you’re resistant to it? What do you do when you’re resistant to it? 

We are resistant to a lot of things – daily there’s something to be resistant to. Whether that’s being in the slow lane on the freeway and every other lane is moving except yours. Whether that’s family members not doing what you think they should be doing. Maybe it’s your own body not looking or feeling the way you think it should. 

What are you resistant to? 

Thinking someone should do something for you and they’re not? Or they should STOP doing something? 

Resistance is the opposite of acceptance. Acceptance is a favorable reception. It’s giving your approval or favor. It’s like Eckhart Tolle said, 

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

One of my go-to – absolutely love thoughts I use is: “This is my favorite.” I know, it sounds kind of funny at first but it really works. Thinking this thought gets me out of resistance and into acceptance – into working the circumstance favorably as if I had chosen it. 

When we were in Disneyland I used that go-to thought a lot. We went to Disneyland years ago during Thanksgiving week and I swore at that time that I’d never go back during that week because it was so crowded and uncomfortable. I didn’t like it. So when my husband suggested we go again this year I was resistant to it at first. Then I did some thought downloads and cleared up my thinking and got really excited to go.

When we were there it was packed. The app that I had showed that the park was at like 98% capacity. There were tons of people and a few times that I started to feel resistant but I just told myself, “oh this? This is my favorite.” And immediately by saying that to myself, it allowed this space for curiosity – how could this be my favorite? How could I look at this moment as if I had chosen it?

I found several reasons why it was my favorite. We got to meet and chat with new people. We got to hear tons of accents from people all over the world. We got to share in this joyful week with so many happy people and see how they interacted with each other.

When we in long lines and I started to feel resistant to it, I just said, “Oh, long lines? They’re my favorite” which immediately prompted the question in my mind, how are long lines your favorite? How could you accept this moment as if you had chosen it?

Because I asked myself those great questions, my mind – which is incredible – all of ours are – came up with great responses. It’s my favorite because I get to play games with my kids. We get to spend so much time together in excitement for what’s to come and anticipation. We played 20 questions like the entire time. My kids never got tired of it. We all took turns and got really creative. It was so much fun. And when I look back if I could have chosen between getting on all the rides super fast or waiting in lines – which really weren’t even that long considering the week and the crowd index – I would choose the wait – it is exactly how I would want it – it really was my favorite. 

Spending that time together, seeing each other’s faces when they think they had the answer was priceless. I would choose that again and again.

Acceptance is more than just resentfully resigning to – well this is what I guess I HAVE to do. I just HAVE to accept it. No, not at all – how could this be perfect for you? How could this be your favorite? Ask yourself those great questions and be curious to the answers – your brain will astound you with the insight and possibilities it comes up with.

Acceptance is loving what is. Not just having to deal with it – it’s loving.

Think about what’s happening right now in the world. It’s a circumstance. How can you look at this as something you would have chosen? How can this be your favorite?

I’m seeing the most amazing things happening right now in the world. People, experts, professionals, corporations, humans are getting online because social distancing – and sharing their unique talents and gifts. My cousin is an amazingly talented animator and he’s offering free drawing classes for kids via zoom. It’s a live class with a professional animator that most people wouldn’t have ever had the opportunity to explore. 

Museums are opening their virtual doors to explore. The NYC public library is closed so they put over 300 titles online for you to read and learn from. Distilleries are donating their unused alcohol to use as hand sanitizers, The Met is airing operas that you can watch from home. I saw a health instructor in Spain offering exercise classes from his rooftops so people in quarantine can still feel connected and exercise together. In Italy at 6:00 each night people gather on their balconies and sing together.  The film industry is offering movies that are currently in the theaters to be streamed live so you’re not missing anything. Stores are opening early for seniors only so they can get what they need without having to navigate through several people at once. 

People are amazing. This is why this is currently my favorite.

How is it yours?

How can I look at this moment as if you had chosen it?

Sometimes this step isn’t a fast one. Sometimes we stay here for a bit longer and that’s okay – there’s so much growth that happens in this phase. Don’t rush this step and stick with it, it’s worth it!

When we accept the moment as if we had chosen it – when we look at things and ask, how is this my favorite – we open a new door full of possibilities and learning.

This step is such a beautiful one. That’s why I say, don’t try and rush through this – the goal here isn’t to feel good either – there are times when I don’t feel good but it’s still my favorite because of who I became in the process. There are things that happen in life that I want to feel sad or disappointed in. I wouldn’t change anything from those moments either. They’re still my favorite and above all – we can always access love and joy.

Joy is different than happy. Joy is allowing all of life’s experiences and seeing how the contrast plays an essential role in our lives. Looking at things through the eyes of joy means seeing the whole picture – it’s seeing the darks and the lights in the beautiful painting of our human life. It’s choosing the darks as well as the lights and as the Scripture says, being able to “Count it all as JOY”

When we feel this way it’s easy to know what the HOW is. The HOW shows itself. When we show up loving and feeling JOY – the kind that Heavenly Father intended us to have – “Men are that they might have JOY” – we know what we need to do. We know what the next step is.

We can APPLY – and that’s the final step. Application.

We’re too quick to want to jump into application. We want to dive straight into the HOW. HOW do I do that? HOW do I get to where I want to go? But we miss so much becoming by doing it that way and the becoming is the real reason we’re here in the first place. It’s not to get somewhere but to become.

This is the how. Once you’ve taken ample time to be in the first two steps, to get out of resistance, to accept this moment, this experience as if you had chosen it, now comes the how – how can you create the feelings you need?

How can you contribute? 

What gifts can you share?

You don’t have to be a professional and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  I have friend who started a music practicing group on Facebook. It’s designed to encourage and motivate people into practicing because it’s kind of hard right now to want to practice when you’re contending with the thought, “what’s the point?” Because things are canceled or postponed. So people hop on they record their practicing and it helps. It’s motivating. If they can do it, so can I. 

What can you share?

Apply. Find the need and then ask yourself for the HOW. How can I create that feeling I need for myself right now?

How can I create connection right now in a time of social distancing? 

I just had three of my friends hop on Marco Polo to start a new chat just so we could see each other’s faces during this time. It was so fun. I love Marco Polo. Connection created – and notice, it didn’t come from changing the Circumstance. It started with her thought, “I want to see my friends and connect because we can’t see each other in person right now” – connection created.

Don’t skimp out on these steps, this is the transition you’re needing. You don’t need anything in the world to be a certain way. You just need to listen to yourself, figure out what the need is – what you want and then what you REALLY want which is always in your control!

The steps are: Awareness, Acceptance, and then Application.

Elder Uchtdorf says it similarly, he says, “Believe, LOVE, DO”

Either way, it still gets you to the same place – making lasting change, becoming your best you in the process, and learning how to count it all as joy.

Try it out this week – start with awareness – don’t just operate from default or auto-pilot – really dig deep and ask yourself questions. Get coached – I promise, it’s transformative! Sign up to work with me -Join the membership. It’s amazing. We work on incredible things. The people in there are powerful and I love them!

Awareness, Acceptance, Application.

You can do this!

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