78 Life Lessons on my 40th Birthday

I was shooting for 40 life lessons on my 40th birthday, but I kept going and ended up with 78. Which of these do you like the best? Are there any you disagree with?

  1. Be kind to everyone no matter what. (Thanks Mom!)
  2. Don’t borrow money. And if you have to borrow money, pay it back ASAP. (Thanks Dad!)
  3. People will judge you wrongly. Keep being you anyway. 
  4. People are highly imperfect. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at first. 
  5. Whatever happened with your parents when you were a kid wasn’t your fault. 
  6. Money, or lack of it, can cause a lot of heartache if you let it. 
  7. Be honest. It’s always the best way. 
  8. Sometimes your mistakes can save you. 
  9. People you love can and will hurt you. You don’t have to add to the pain by refusing to forgive them. 
  10. Good people do bad things. Everyone is human. 
  11. The hard things in life make us who we are. 
  12. You can do hard things. 
  13. God is listening. And it’s more evident when you watch for Him in your life. 
  14. If you follow your feelings you can’t go wrong. 
  15. Nature is a gift. Use it wisely. 
  16. You never forget the most pivotal moments in your life. 
  17. There is a strong connection between our bodies and our minds. Don’t ignore the cues. 
  18. People can love you when they don’t even really know you. 
  19. You know so very little. Accepting that fact will serve you. 
  20. There is always something to do. Don’t let it be a reason to not rest or enjoy yourself. 
  21. You literally can’t make everyone happy. Stop trying. Focus on making yourself happy. I.e. you can be the juiciest peach in the orchard, but there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches. 
  22. The little moments are the big moments. Try not to miss them. 
  23. When you trust yourself, there isn’t anything you can’t figure out.
  24. Your net worth has nothing to do with your self worth. Unless you let it. 
  25. Never be afraid to be yourself. This whole life is meant to help you figure out who you are. 
  26. Guilt and shame are only useful if they lead you to change. If they are making you stuck, let them go. 
  27. Children are our best teachers. 
  28. Love is always the answer. In every situation. 
  29. You don’t get married to complete yourself. You get married so you always have someone to love. 
  30. You can just decide to be happy. 
  31. You can’t make anyone else feel something. And they can’t make you feel anything. 
  32. Sometimes you have to go down the wrong path first to know what the right path is. 
  33. Friends can be the family you never knew you needed. 
  34. Stay calm when you are swimming. Panic will increase the odds of drowning. 
  35. Travel seems glamorous. What’s really glamorous is the destination. 
  36. Every problem is a belief problem. 
  37. You rarely get what you want unless you ask for it. 
  38. If there is a rule, there’s probably a reason for it. But also, sometimes rules need to be broken. That’s the exception to the rule though. 
  39. Distraction is the adversary’s most effective tool. 
  40. Always ask how spicy the sauce is. 
  41. Everyone is boring, until you get to know them. 
  42. People are more the same than they are different.
  43. For many people, outer order contributes to inner calm. 
  44. If you don’t know what to do, start with the dishes or laundry.
  45. There is always a choice. Always.
  46. Mastering your urges is the way to the life you want. 
  47. Always bring your wallet.
  48. When you are upset and don’t know why, try 1. Drinking water, 2. Eating 3. Moving your body and 4. Sleep.
  49. When working with electrical, always turn the breaker off.
  50. Doing It Yourself is worth it in most cases. Except HVAC and drywall. Hire those out. 
  51. Wear your retainer. Even if it bugs you. 
  52. Always wear your seatbelt. 
  53. Water is the best beverage. 
  54. Find a meditation practice that works for you and practice it regularly. 
  55. Always give the compliment when you think it. 
  56. Feelings matter. More than you think. 
  57. Sugar has the same effect as cocaine to your brain. Consume it carefully.
  58. Observe a sabbath for both your physical and mental well-being. Especially take a sabbath from things that you find yourself addicted to. 
  59. If you are thinking it or struggling with it, so are lots of other people. 
  60. Every human has the same value. Nobody is more or less than anybody else. Knowing this brings true confidence.
  61. Getting started is often the hardest part. 
  62. How you start your day makes a big difference. 
  63. Let the music move you. 
  64. Someday you’ll understand why you need this moment. 
  65. Instead of asking “Why me?” ask “Why not me?”
  66. It is a rare situation that has a right and wrong way. Just do what feels right to you.
  67. Time is on your side, not against you.
  68. You are 100% worthy and valuable just the way you are.
  69. “Beautiful” is an opinion.
  70. Your thoughts are your most powerful asset. 
  71. It is easier to keep a clean room than to let it go and clean it later. The same is true for your brain. 
  72. If you can’t enjoy the current moment, you’ll never enjoy a future moment.
  73. What you think other people think of you, is really what you think of you. 
  74. You can’t change something if you are judging it. That includes yourself. 
  75. What you really want is always a feeling. 
  76. Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone. 
  77. The prize is worth the price.
  78. No matter what it is, you are worth it!

What you are overlooking when it comes to getting more done

Trust and commitment are the missing links between YOU and GETTING MORE STUFF DONE.

In order to get anything done, you need one of two things: 1. commitment or 2. trust.

Most of us work off of unconscious commitments:

You brush your teeth every morning and night, because you are unconsciously committed to avoiding cavities.

You eat regularly because you are unconsciously committed to solving your hunger.

You stop what you are doing to help your kid because you are unconsciously (or consciously) committed to being a good mom.

You clean your house, at least to a minimum baseline, because you are unconsciously committed to avoiding the guilt or pressure that comes with having a messy house.

So you already do a lot. This is only a short possible list.

But you still have more stuff to do.

Stuff that seems to always get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.

Stuff that you think you don’t really want to do.

Stuff that doesn’t NEED to be done, so it can be procrastinated.

Stuff that only matters to you– nobody else is going to do it or maybe even care if it’s done.

Stuff that requires decision making.

If you want to get THAT stuff done, you have to be able to trust yourself.

Either you have to bring these tasks into your conscious awareness and have commitment to doing them– which means anything that might come up to distract you from them becomes less important.

OR

You make a plan for getting them done, and then you trust yourself to do it.

Reminder, trust means that you believe you will do what you say you will do.

When we don’t trust ourselves, we almost never follow through on getting the “extra” stuff done.

But in order to get that stuff done, we have to trust ourselves.

So it’s a catch-22!

Conscious commitment is how we get ourselves out of that loop.

And here’s the irony:

Building trust in ourselves leads to doing things over and over again, and then they become unconscious commitments.

So whether you want to get a big project done that you have been procrastinating, or you want to build healthier habits, trust and commitment are the keys.

If you want help with trusting yourself, getting more stuff done, or creating healthier habits I would love to invite you to join me on a free call where I can help you see where you are going wrong and some next steps to implement. Go to calendly.com/denitabremercoaching/convo to choose a time that works for you! I look forward to seeing you soon.

What fulfilling your purpose really is

When we say, “I want to fulfill my purpose,” we often mean, I want to figure out what my purpose really is, and then act on it.

This implies that you don’t know what it is already, or that you don’t yet have a purpose.

Let me just make this really simple for you: Your purpose is to return to live with God someday. That’s it. That’s all. Are you doing what is necessary?

Awesome. Now what?

If you look up “purpose” in the topical guide, the first thing is says is “See also, Desire.” It also lists “Will” as an alternative to look into.

This makes me think that our purpose is just our desire, aka, our will.

Huh.

Then if you check out all the scripture references below Purpose in the topical guide, desire can be replaced for each one, and it is enlightening:

Every desire is established by council.
A time to every desire under the heaven
This is the will that is desired upon the whole earth.

I could keep going, but you can check it out for yourself here.

I have heard it said by my coaching mentors, there are only two reasons why people hire a life coach:

  1. Because they know what they want (their purpose), but they need help doing it, or
  2. Because they don’t know what they want. (their purpose)

I love that I get to help people discover and live out their purposes, their true desires.

And I love that it always starts with my faith.

If any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to meet with me for free. Let me help you figure out your purpose or how to live it. You’ll leave this free 60 minute session with a deeper understanding of yourself and some next steps. Sign up here.

In the meantime, go think about what you really want.

Becoming the Woman the Lord Intended

My whole life I have been driven by wondering who the Lord wants me to be and to become her.

Can you relate?

How do I know? If an angel were to come declare it to me, could I– would I– do whatever it takes to be her?

Am I falling short, or am I on the right track?

In the Bible Dictionary under “Faith” it says, one effect “of true faith in Jesus Christ [is] an actual knowledge that the course of life one is pursuing is acceptable to the Lord.

The first time I read this, it was like getting the breath knocked out of my body! How did someone write these exact words that describes what I yearn for so much?

Here’s what I have come to know in my almost 40 years on this earth:

  1. I am already her. God created me before this earth life. He gave me talents and gifts and desires that make me uniquely me. I can’t NOT BE her.
  2. My actions do not determine if I am being the woman the Lord intended. My actions come from who I am. I can’t act or earn my way to being her. Being is in our identity.
  3. Behind this question- how do I become the woman the Lord intended me to be?– is the desire for God’s approval. And what I would think I would feel if, somehow, I could know I had God’s approval. For me it’s love. Maybe confidence. Maybe free.
  4. I am making it too complicated (and I’m sure you are too). God’s work is to help me and everyone else achieve eternal life. That’s it. It’s not more than that. I have made covenants and continue to do the work to stay worthy of eternal life.

So now I just decide that I believe I am the woman the Lord intended me to be. Already. Done.

Now what?

{Let me just be clear: I am not saying that there aren’t things God wants us to DO. He certainly had a work for Joseph Smith, and I am sure he has a work for each of us.}

Now we get to do our work FROM the confidence that we are the person God wants us to be. Our action isn’t geared toward figuring that out– FOR being the person God wants us to become. We are that much closer to accomplishing our work in the world…. which will help us become our future eternal selves even more!

So go do it, Sister! Don’t spin in questions and doubt about your identity. Just assume your identity is set and go from there. Obstacles will define you even more and help you learn and grow yourself.

I can’t wait to see what you do! Come back and let me know.

Love,
Denita

To all the LDS ladies: You are enough. Really, you are.

You. Are. Enough.

No. Hear me: You are enough! Right now, exactly the way you are.

You are enough for the job, for the calling, for the kids, for the husband, or for whatever else is going on in your life.

You have done everything “right.” And you still feel a lack in your life.

It’s because what you DO doesn’t determine how you feel.

You kept the standards of the Church. You served the mission. You never say no to a calling. You got married in the temple. You had the kids.

And now you don’t know what you want or who you are.

It’s because you were doing all those things for the wrong reasons, and now you are tired of chasing your happiness.

You thought that if you did what everyone told you, you would feel better. You would feel good.

Wrong.

I know– the way our Church leaders talk make it seem like that’s what will happen. They say that if you are obedient, blessings will come. If you have the Spirit, everything will work out.

They aren’t wrong, and you aren’t wrong.

It’s just that you took their words and made it mean that you should DO certain things. And certainly there are certain actions that qualify or disqualify us.

But it matters with what energy you check all the boxes.

Stop focusing on the actions! Stop trying to go to the temple every week or show up to every single activity even when you don’t really want to. Stop going through the motions of your calling and wondering if it’s really worth it. Stop putting on the make-up because someone might see you. Stop dwelling on what you said or did that you shouldn’t have.

Stop it all.

And start believing.

Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Believe that the doctrines of the Church are true. Believe that you are blessed and that more blessings are coming. Believe that the one blessing you reeeeeeally want is on it’s way. Believe that you are exactly where you need to be on the path that will eventually bring joy and fulfillment. Believe that you can feel joy and excitement and fun NOW. Believe that your desires are not bad and don’t make you bad. Believe that you are enough exactly the way you are.

When you truly, madly, deeply believe these things (and more), you will start to FEEL them in your body. That’s how you will know you believe them. And then what to DO will become clear.

When your mind is in the right place, your actions will be too. You will keep the standards of the Church for the right reasons or not at all. You will do the calling or go to the temple or read your scriptures because you love the Lord, not because you are trying to “get blessings.”

The Lord wants you because He loves you. But he isn’t going to force or chase. You have to come to Him for the right reasons. If you feel like he is ignoring you, maybe he is just waiting for you to truly love him first. Maybe the blessings you have already received match devotion you have already given.

God is asking us to raise the bar, to lengthen our stride, to be more committed. By necessity, that means that some people will be left behind. We are in a refining time in our Church. We are at a turning point. And it feels uncomfortable. It’s supposed to.

The question is: what do you really want to believe? Not because it will bring blessings, but because it feels right to you?

I hope you want to believe you are enough. Jesus Christ made you so with his sacrifice.

***

If you want help with your unbelief, let’s have a conversation together. This is why I’m here. I promise I won’t try to get you to think or do anything. I am only here to help you discover who you are and what you want. But I am the perfect one for you, because I have lived with the Gospel and without it. I understand both ways. And I don’t think there is a right or a wrong way for you. I just think there is a way. Figuring it out is your work. I can be your loving, gentle, non-judgmental guide.

You are only one click away: calendly.com/denitabremercoaching

When Striving to Be Better Backfires

Are you always striving and trying to improve?
Do you hold yourself to high standards? 
Do you deeply want to do your best? 
Do you find yourself wondering if you are doing the right thing? If there is a better way?
What if there is no “best?”
What if there is no “better way?”
What if “perfect” is just an illusion?
What if we are asking the wrong questions? 
When we think about doing our best, it assumes we aren’t our best already.
When we wonder if there is a better way, we assume the current way is not good enough. 
Always striving for higher standards implies we are not already good enough.
These underlying beliefs leave us feeling depleted, defeated, hopeless and helpless. 
From these emotions, we do LESS, smaller.
Perhaps you will say, “But it’s TRUE!” 
I ask— Is it USEFUL?
Take a moment. Take a breath.
You are enough.
Right now, exactly as you are. Flaws and all.
If you can allow yourself to believe that, you will feel love, hope, confidence, and motivation. 
From those emotions you will be able to get so much more accomplished and become so much more than feeling the need to always do your best. 
Accept the way you are now and watch yourself do more than you’ve ever been able to do before.

Negative emotion never comes from God.

While I was listening to this podcast today, (it’s so good, go listen to it!) I had a bit of an epiphany:

All positive emotion is from God.

All negative emotion is from the adversary.

In my opinion, these thoughts line up with this scripture:

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

Moroni 7:16

Kurt Francom suggests that God is never disappointed in us in the podcast I mentioned. He gives lots of great evidence why this is. So I thought to myself, “Where does disappointment come from then?”

My first thought was that it comes from ourselves. But as I thought more, I came to the conclusion that the person who is ultimately the most disappointed is Satan. He must be living in disappointment from not keeping his first estate. And for centuries, he has seen how he missed the boat.

So what if God really never has any negative emotion toward us? What if he is just cheering us on, encouraging us, listening, loving?

I like to think of him watching us as if we are mice in a maze. He might be amused, but He is still also being our fan.

And what if, because of the principle of opposition in all things, Satan is the only one discouraging and confusing us, tearing us down, and making us feel bad?

I used to think there was a place for negative emotion such as guilt if it compels us to make positive changes. But now I see that guilt is just a mis-match between our personal values and our behavior.

Of course, it is human to feel negative emotion. It is part of being here on earth. We are in a fallen state.

I like to think that the mortal part of us naturally listens to the adversary. And our spirits naturally listen to the Spirit.

If we are never confused that the Spirit will only offer us positive emotion, then if we are feeling “bad,” we know that is coming from the adversary.

So, who do you want to listen to? And can you give yourself permission to learn from the negative emotion and listen to the positive?

The Productivity Trap

Thinking productivity will create your feelings or make you feel better is a trap.

When we accomplish something, we might feel better for a moment, but the effect is temporary. So then we have to do more and more to feel better and better. It leaves us feeling exhausted and confused.

We use willpower to get stuff done, which is why we are perpetually tired. Then when we are tired, we don’t get as much done. We are consistently falling short of what we know we are capable of.

This leads to shame, because there is a disconnect between what we believe about ourselves and what our actual results are.

Then we want to feel better. So we think, “Doing something will make me feel better!”

And the cycle continues.

The Productivity Trap

This Productivity Trap is draining and makes us want to give up because we can never quite reach our goal in a way that feels good.

There is a better way. I call this Positive Productivity:

  1. Decide what you want, and make sure you like your reasons. Don’t do anything IN ORDER TO feel better.
  2. Commit to it.
  3. Do the next thing on the path that you think will get you to your goal.
  4. Take action despite your feelings… you will have negative emotion, but it is not a sign to quit. (This is where mindset work comes in.)
  5. Evaluate.
  6. Repeat steps 3-6.

Each of these steps is much more nuanced than what I can outline in one blog post, but if you follow these steps, coaching yourself around your emotions as you go along, you will be able to be productive and feel good while you do it. In fact your emotions will FUEL your action instead of your action DRAINING you.

If you want to get out of the Productivity Trap and into Positive Productivity, schedule a free consultation with me. My program will help you feel better so you can get stuff done without exhaustion or doubt to create the life you really want.

The Missing Link

Feelings. Emotions.

What do you think about them?

How do you feel about your feelings?

So often in our American culture, emotions are frowned upon. Feelings are some kind of weakness.

Unless, of course, you are feeling positive emotion.

But what about anger, frustration, despair, sadness, grief, overwhelm, fear, insecurity, embarrassment….?

Are those “bad?”

Ironically, when we block ourselves from feeling negative emotion by resisting, reacting or avoiding them, we also block ourselves from feeling positive emotion too.

So often— maybe 98% of the time?– I see people who are struggling and feelings are the missing link.

We are self-aware about our thoughts.

We know what we want the results in our lives.

But we don’t know how to take action. We don’t know how to get there.

I think feeling is the how.

Let yourself feel whatever emotion you are experiencing right now.

What is it?

Where is it in your body?

Tell me more. What specific sensations? Hot? Cold? Sharp? Dull? Big? Small? Tight? Loose? Open? Closed? Heavy? Light? Does it have a color? A shape?

Get creative with those adjectives.

The only way to stop feeling your negative emotions (and to start feeling the positive ones) is through the emotion.

You will gain peace when you are ok with feeling exactly the way you are feeling right now.

Denita Bremer is a life coach who is on a mission to help Latter-day Saint women feel happier and more fulfilled so they can more effectively do their personal work in the world. If you are interested in a free life coaching session, sign up here.