The Saturday Morning Mindset

I’ve had this nagging experience lately that I just haven’t been able to put my finger on, but it is now, I believe, slowly starting to take shape and I figured I would share it with you guys and see what you think.

I got sick over a year ago and was forced to leave my 30+ year career. That was hard.

For men in general, we derive much of our self-worth through our careers. We are providers, we are problem solvers. We are meant to work, to have an impact and for many to be a leader.

To not have the health to perform the typical 40-hour work-week (ok, mine was 60+hrs per week which influenced my illness but that’s another topic) meant I needed to now reinvent myself.

That in itself was not an easy transition, letting go of the traditional employee mindset is completely counter-intuitive. But I believe in the end, being forced out of my career will likely turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

And trust me when I say that isn’t a statement made lightly. I am currently only 54 and living off my 401K retirement, and using it to seed my new business.

Yes I know, accountants all over the planet just groaned in unison.

So it is critical that I make this transition into entrepreneurship sooner rather than later. But talk about walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

There is nothing in my life that says success is just around the corner or even remotely a lock.

In fact, quite the contrary. Statistics are horrible for new entrepreneurial startups and everything is screaming that I’m wasting my time, that failure is imminent and that every day that I’m not looking for another 40-hour job that I can do from bed or computer desk is one day closer to the point of no return and self-insufficiency.

But the choice has been made, give it at least 1 year before freaking out. I’d say I made it maybe 4 months before I began freaking out.

And that’s where I’m at today. For the past month, I have woken each day with a sense of discomfort, some internal unrest that has been sapping energy, creativity, motivation, and commitment.

But I haven’t been able to pinpoint the source, or even recognize what exactly the emotion was. Everything has just been off, but off how?

And it hit me talking to an accountability partner earlier today. It’s just simple fear.

The Problem

Imagine the scene, you’ve worked a hard week and it’s Friday night and your off work. Feels good but your tired. You might go out, have some fun or stay in but you hit the sack wiped out.

But oh, when you wake up Saturday morning, there isn’t a care in the world; you’ve got the whole day.

You can sleep in, you can go for an early morning jog or hit the gym. You can call a friend and make lunch plans, hit the clubs later that night, even go into the office if you felt like getting a jump on next week.

No matter what choice you make for a Saturday it is the right choice because you are the master of this day and it will go any way you choose, and whatever you choose will be the right choice.

There isn’t a care in the world because no matter how far you push it, you’ve got another day off, all day Sunday, to enjoy just the same.

This is what I call Saturday Morning Joy, it is true freedom and it is how life is supposed to feel.

What do I want, what do I need, ok, let’s go… total freedom of spirit, mind, and soul.

But what happens when you get up on Sunday? Is it “I’ve still got a whole day off, how awesome, the best day ever!”

For some, maybe. But for most people I know, the dread starts to come in and the thought “ugh, I have to go to work tomorrow” starts to drape a cloud over our sunny disposition.

What???? This day is going to be less-enjoyed because of commitments more than 24 hours away that have no bearing on today?

And no matter what you engage with, there is always this nagging voice that interrupts the joy saying “don’t forget, you have to work tomorrow”.

And that is the feeling I haven’t been able to shake; for more than a month!

As an entrepreneur with a business plan, short-term and long term goals, financial stability at least for the short term, I should be thrilled every day.

This is it, the dream transition has begun. Every day I can choose to work on the business some, engage in social activity, change tasks. I am my own boss and I can do anything I want to or need to. Every day is Saturday.

But instead, every day I have been filled with a sense of dread that even if I am free today, I’m still not free. There is this weight that is stealing my ability to stay present, a weight centered around the unending insecure tomorrows, even if today is secure.

Once I realized that it is my thoughts and subconscious beliefs messing with my emotions I began to ask friends and mentors about the “Sunday Mindset”.

They all knew exactly what I was talking about, and the conclusion I drew I’m calling ACTIVE SURRENDER. 

The Solution

Everyone shared tales of how they pushed through the darkness of uncertainties that dominated different seasons of their life. And, in the end, they simply needed to do the actions of a successful person while surrendering to the fact that it was God who had to bring the miracles.

It ultimately became the opportunities, resources, and discoveries outside of their control that rescued them from their dire situations and carried them to the next level.

All they could do was remain active and faithful to the dream, but they also had to surrender the timelines and outcomes as to when the next breakthrough would come.

We simply move forward on faith that the breakthrough is coming without ever getting the assurance of knowing when and how it will come. 

I know many motivational speakers or coachers will say “you make your own breaks”, but the reality is, on some level, success only comes when we actively pursue through faith and trust that God will meet us in our efforts.

Active Surrender

So what does Active Surrender look like?

For me, I’d say it is staying rooted in the Saturday Morning Mindset.

True freedom is a state of mind, soul, and spirit and must not be based on physical circumstances. 

We won’t escape the feelings of anxiety, fear, insecurity or hopelessness until we change the often hidden limiting beliefs that are feeding them.  

We must recognize every morning when we wake up that we are free today to craft whatever we want with the next 12 hours of our life. Work, play, socialize, rest, dream, sing, dance, write, draw, create, destroy, we choose each activity.

I am not a victim, I am not trapped, I am not dead, I am not helpless or hopeless.

Quite the contrary!

I can do whatever I want today, and tomorrow I have the same freedom. Sure some decisions may come with huge repercussions, but if not making the decisions leads to unending misery then is it really a choice?

Change or die. Grow or die. Risk or die. Overcome fear and insecurity or die.

Live or die, the choice is ours.

We are all going to die, the question is, will we die without regrets?

If there is an aspect of my life that I feel trapped in, then it is up to me to evaluate what needs to change and start moving in that direction.

The Sunday Morning Mindset knows it is free physically but yet still feels emotionally captive to an unsure or undesired “tomorrow”.

It is a victim mindset that believes it is trapped, that nothing will ever change, and that we have no power to overcome the circumstances of our life.

Once we get the heart and mind right, then it’s back on course.

Focus on your “why” and get busy kickin’ ass 

If we can just choose to hang on to the Saturday Morning Mindset and remain Actively Surrendered we won’t just endure each day, we will tackle each day with enthusiasm, with a free spirit that lives without boundaries or limitations in pursuit of dreams and desires.

To successfully navigate risk in any area of life requires making peace with the unyielding pressure for assurances that aren’t coming.

The sooner we (I) get over it, the sooner we (I) can back to crafting our song and dance the day away.

Romans 8:28 
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.


So, how about you? Do you have a Saturday Morning Mindset or a Sunday Morning?

Feel free to join the conversation in the comments below.

Let’s do this!

George

 

 

 

Feelings Get A Bad Wrap


WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG

As I sit in this foreign territory on the other side of being an emotional hostage to my own inner-workings for nearly 5 decades I now see that I was fighting the wrong battles.

We are told by professionals and counselors, and hosts of lay-people (and which I eagerly agreed with) that my emotional fears and insecurities (and other less pleasant trigger responses) were irrational occurrences based upon childhood traumas and not based in reality.

It’s not hard to agree with that idiom, clearly, traumas and other significant events generate huge amounts of emotion that write patterns on the soul which come back to haunt us.

Simply put, the mindset is…  “feelings lie”

And so, of course, the logical conclusion is to treat feelings as the enemy. So many tools to reframe, process, let them pass, don’t wrestle with them just observe… all well-meaning tools to help “manage” the feelings so we can “function more normally“.

I have agreed with that statement and subscribed to the self-management tools of meditation, finding my happy place, changing my environment, and a host of other coping mechanisms for over 40 years of off-on therapy.

But now, in hindsight, I take great exception to this perspective.

If I have social anxiety it is because I believe social situations are dangerous.

I can throw a hundred different tips and tricks at my conscious mind to “manage” those feelings but that will never do anything more than help me “cope” on some level, but never thrive.

I see it as kind of like a “dry drunk”, someone who has learned how “not to drink” but still has all the same thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors as a drunk. Sure they won’t get a DUI anymore but they are still obnoxious people with broken insides.

And I can use that example, I had 14 years of sobriety and lived a pretty good life on the outside, but inside I was still operating under the premise that I’m not good enough, my feelings don’t matter, and that I need to serve others so I can like myself.

I was doing all the right stuff, and living an OK life doing what I believed others expected, but no matter how good a tooth looks on the surface, if the roots are infected there is lots of pain.

Today I define feelings differently.

Feelings are a 100% accurate representation of what is going on in our core subconscious belief system. 

Feelings do not lie to us! Yes, they can be destructive and wreak havoc, but they are not flawed! They are not the problem! Managing them is not the solution!

It is our core belief that we are flawed, that we are damaged goods incapable of handling a certain situation. And it is the Western Medicine system that profits from labeling us with PTSD, SAD, Addict, ADD, ADHD (ad nauseum).

As an example of this (I’m assuming) controversial viewpoint, I believe the 12-step formula initiated by AA many years ago is a wonderful program that can lead people to sobriety and very fulfilling lives. But I also struggle with “once-an-addict-always-an-addict”.

For me, being labeled an alcoholic meant “I will be an alcoholic my entire life, and life will always be hard, and I’m supposed to always need a drink… because I’m an alcoholic”.

That mindset (belief system) can scare me off of alcohol for the rest of my life, but I will never be free from the devastating effects of alcoholism, I can only manage and minimize the damage one-day-at-a-time.

THAT IS THE POWER OF BELIEFS

Like the movie Les Miserables, Jean Valjean was labeled a thief, so he acted like one. Once the Bishop “treated him differently”, Jean began to see himself (belief) differently.

His character, behaviors, feelings towards himself and the world around him changed almost instantly, but he first had to allow the thought “maybe I’m not a thief” to take root.

Today, I value my feelings greatly, for if I can clearly see an out-of-proportion response to a situation then I know there is a BELIEF that is out of alignment with my VALUES.

If someone misunderstands my motives and judges me harshly that is understandable and fine, not everyone will understand me, I’m a complex guy (haha).

But if in that same situation I find myself defensive, needing to be understood, and I have old feelings of insecurity arise, then I know that I have allowed myself to believe I am what THEY see, and I have stopped believing who I KNOW I am to be.

The battle is with our beliefs, not with our feelings, emotions or even behaviors. (That statement could use clarification but that will be another blog). Addictions and crazy behavior is simply our childish ways of trying to avoid feelings by shutting them down, which hopefully we now all agree isn’t possible.

The root must be ripped out or the pain will never go away (think Good Will Hunting)

CHANGE THE BELIEFS AND THE FEELINGS WILL FOLLOW

feelings2


If you would like help learning how to better get in touch with your limiting beliefs and learn how to arrest unhelpful thinking patterns dead in their tracks then give me a call, I’m here to help 6 days a week!  ~George @ Nikaos Coaching

Button-Free-Consultation-SmBiz-300x45

Where Does Freedom Begin?

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

This topic of FREEWILL or CHOICE is clearly an important one.

It is easy for us to say that we are ‘free to choose’ or that we have ‘freedom’, especially in America.

We are founded on the principles of freedom, of capitalism and democracy that says you are free to live (nearly) any way you choose, work at any job you choose, live in any town, city, or state you choose, drive any car you choose, etc…

If that is the case, however, then why is much of the population living unhappy and unfulfilling lives as if we are not free?

Do we even know what freedom means?

Do we even BELIEVE we are free?

We find ourselves stuck in unsatisfying dead-end jobs, feeling trapped in toxic relationships, out of options due to poverty, helpless due to physical or mental illnesses.

In all of life’s situations it is so easy to say “because of _______ I can’t have/do _______”


If that were true

  • it would mean we are victims trapped by circumstances and not free at all.
  • It would mean that every person in history who was in that same situation NEVER FOUND A WAY OUT because THERE IS NO WAY OUT.
  • It would mean that every person that is to come after us with similar circumstances is doomed because they fell into the very trap that destroys lives with NO WAY OUT.
  • It would mean our ONLY options are to succumb to addictions, take prescription meds, get on government subsidies, or stay in miserable jobs because we “need the money”, or stay in abusive relationships, be depressed, hopeless and powerless

(I’m not casting stones here… I’ve done, said and felt all those things myself)


But are those statements really true?

I think most people could get past those statements and agree that freedom means I have a choice to stay in this situations or to get the courage, drive, creativity, and self-worth to break free from the limits claiming to hold us captive. 

And what are those limits? I’m glad you asked!

As I see it, the more important truth here is:

WE ARE FREE TO BELIEVE WHAT WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE ABOUT OURSELVES AND OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

BELIEF REFRAMING EXERCISE

WHEN I CURRENTLY BELIEVE I CAN CHOOSE TO BELIEVE
I am not smart enough I can learn what I need
I am not skilled enough I can get the skills I need
I had a horrible childhood my past doesn’t define my future
I am my own worst enemy I am my best friend
I’ve tried before and failed to stop trying is to guarantee failure
But I’m afraid Faith cast out fear
But leaving my comfort is hard Staying miserable forever is harder
I need _______ to be happy I am happy while pursuing ______
I can’t do ________ I can do ___________
I’m depressed I’m empowered, alive, beautiful and FREE

Clearly, this list could go on for miles.

As you can see, this exercise is incredibly easy to do.

  1. Grab any piece of paper and make two columns.
  2. In the left column list the items that are the current “thought” limitations in life that are preventing you from true happiness and fulfillment
  3. In the right column counter all those limiting beliefs with an opposite reality.
  4. NOW CHOOSE TODAY TO CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS ABOUT YOUR LIMITATIONS

I know it may sound easier said than done, but after decades of battling my own demons, in the end, I realized it’s not difficult at all, it is a choice, it’s a decision!

I no longer choose to label myself as a victim of circumstances, today I am a warrior in pursuit of my dreams.

Most all of our problems in life stem from the disconnect we have from our UNDERSTANDINGS and BELIEFS.

We can say “I am free” and mean it, yet believe and feel we are trapped, helpless, and hopeless.

These are the subconscious limiting beliefs at the core of all of our indecisions, misfires, and our mindless and endless groundhog day experiences… nothing ever changes if we don’t’ change it. 

And labels are one of the biggest problems here. “I have PTSD”, “I am an addict/alcoholic”, “I have an eating disorder”, “I am poor”, “I am weak-willed”, “I don’t have time”, “I can’t because…”.

It we don’t first change the “I AM” statements we will forever be self-sabotaging any success we attempt or desire.

Once we discover that it is our BELIEFS that hold us captive and not our circumstances, we will then truly understand what real freedom is.

Real freedom is a choice.

And we are always choosing to live in the solution or be defined by our problems; whether we realize it or not.

It is a single decision to believe differently that can change a life immediately and forever.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” 

~ Henry Ford

Here’s to your best life now!! ~George 


Nikaos Strategic Coaching – I myself have overcome PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder and a host of addictions and am now living my best life, every day. Does that mean it is easy, no… but I am no longer held captive by my limiting beliefs and unhelpful thinking patterns and I have found freedom from believing that my severe childhood physical, sexual, mental, emotional and spiritual abuses made me who I was; today I am happy and at peace with myself and the world and I am boldly pursuing my dreams in every area of my life. And part of my passion, calling and gifting is helping others awaken their inner-warrior and find the same freedom I have found.

Learn more about how I can help you on your journey to true freedom