Do you remember being motivated by quotes like, “The sky is the limit!” But is it? I have come to learn that the sky is NOT the limit, our belief system is. You don’t believe me? Ok let’s play a little game…
Raise your hands as high as you can. Ok, now raise them higher.
If you’re like the majority of my class attendees at SALT Retreat in March, or any other time I have done this exercise – chances are that your hands went up a little bit higher the second time. Why? I asked you to raise them as high as you did; yet you were able to raise them higher the second time.
Like the limit quote, like the raise your hand exercise we ALL have an internal dialog, our inner voice or our mind that tells us our limits.
What does your internal dialog say when you make a mistake like dropping something heavy on your toe? Do you immediately say things like “Man, I’m an idiot” or do you say “Ouch that hurt” – what are you saying to yourself?
How many of you have gone to lunch with girlfriends and said things along the lines of:
It’s a good thing you have a hat to cover that greasy head
Woah, it’s called a brush
One of your eyes is bigger than the other one
Your smile is crooked
That double chin though
Why do you do dumb things
YOU WOULDN’T! I have observed these hurtful things NOT being said to a friend…but about themselves as friends back and forth. Somehow tearing yourself down in the name of friendship has become ok. Let me tell you a secret: It is NOT ok.
Being self-critical does NOT help you become a better person. It doesn’t build immunity against someone else’s criticism to you. Beating yourself up can be paralyzing.
You remember this one: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Uh, what a STUPID thing to say. I’m pretty sure you can right now think of several hurtful things that people have said that you’d much rather be smacked by a stick or rock instead. At least I can.
Words are a BIG deal. What do you say to yourself?
Now, I know none of us are perfect; we will never be perfect in this life. (Well Perfectly Imperfect is a different story and I embrace it!) However, it doesn’t give us a green light to criticize ourselves. Neuroscience confirms that our thoughts shape our reality.
In my Precious Moments Journal from when I was 16 (don’t be jealous!), I was so sure that by this time in my life that I would be married to a Returned Missionary in the LDS Temple. We would own our home, my husband would love his job, and we would have amazing kids and would be so happy.
Guess how many of those things are true? 0%! I have referred to myself often in silence as a failure for not reaching any of my goals. The truth is…Failure is NOT the opposite of success; it’s PART of success. I AM successful.
BUT…I am a returned missionary; I have visited over 20 temples and work in the Gilbert Temple once a week. I have owned several homes, I love my job as a Certified Life Coach and I “have” more kids than any single person. I adore my nieces and nephews, my teenagers and my friend’s kids. The Lord has answered every prayer very differently than I prayed for them. When we change what we think, we change what we do and get.
So what changed? My MINDSET & my SELF TALK.
Our minds are brilliant but sometimes our minds (self-doubt) can be our biggest barrier. Often times our brain is a victim of itself.
You guys…. LIFE IS MESSY! Sometimes we make it messier than it needs to be. Let me tell you about Anxiety Girl. She lives in my head and sometimes she makes unexpected visits. She flies around with her cape making all kinds of messes in my head. I don’t hate her, she’s part of me but I have learned to understand she has a purpose, and also that she is a visitor. A very brief visitor.
You’ve seen the movie Inside Out, right? (If not you have GOT to!) Here’s what I love that it reiterated: Our emotions are real. It’s part of our earthly experience to feel them, let them serve their purpose. Joy couldn’t be joy without Sadness.
One of the best explanations of the planned role of opposition is in the Book of Mormon when Lehi is teaching his son Jacob. He said, “It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, …righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good or bad.” (2Ne. 2:11)
Marjorie Hinckley said, “I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, with my hair expertly coiffed, and with long perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my skirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to now that I was really there and that I really lived.”
Yes, life can be MESSY, but it is also beautiful! So how do we change from messy to beautiful?
We could talk about this for days but I want to give you 1 thing to work on today. A Gratitude Journal.
It might seem silly and it may not make your tough situation easy – at least not yet. Gratitude takes us out of the self-loathing state – when we are looking for the messes and not even realizing it.
“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is rough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time rail journey – delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts—interspersed only occasionally by beautiful, vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to THANK the Lord for letting you have the ride.” – Gordon B. Hinckley.
There is both scientific and spiritual proof that gratitude creates a physical reaction in the body. The more you practice gratitude, the more attuned you are to it and the more you can enjoy its psychological benefits.
Psychology Today says, “Feelings of gratitude directly activated the brain’s neurotransmitter dopamine. An increase in dopamine makes the brain say, “Oh, do that again.”
Elder Utchdorf said, “Gratitude is one of the most important human virtues & one of the most common human deficiencies. Gratitude does not develop without effort.”
Yes, my friends, life is messy. Life is beautiful. You are beautiful. We may not be where we want to be yet in this life but I can assure you that the kinder you speak to yourself, the more gratitude you show, the more you will align yourself with your True Self!
I could talk about this for days but I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes.
Let’s UN-BECOME all the hurtful words, all the judgments, all the negative things we say and EMBRACE who God designed us to be. Our TRUE SELF!Cami DeWitt is an Arizona native who has lived her life between the White Mountains and the Sonoran desert, with a splash of Utah in between.
Although she had the typical teenage dreams of a perfect Plan A life, she continues to learn that the Lord answers her prayers in many different ways and usually differently than she expected.
Cami D. did not marry a returned missionary, but she is a returned missionary who served in North and South Dakota. She hasn’t been married in the temple (yet!), rather she has been attending the temple for nearly 20 years and currently serves weekly in the Gilbert AZ Temple. She hasn’t purchased her dream home (husband yet to be found), but she has owned several homes. She does not have children of her own, but she “has” more children and teenagers than any mother she knows!
As Certified Life Coach, Cami D. uses her humor, her relationship with the Savior, her spiritual gifts and talents to key into the specific needs of her clients as they rediscover their individual worth and their true self.
Cami D. shares real life and motivational thoughts on her Instagram account: @coachingwithcamid and helps give deeper insights through her blog on her website: www.trueselfnow.com.