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.

What’s the rush?

From a young age, I have always been in a hurry to get to the future:

I can’t wait to graduate high school and leave this town.

Then, I can’t wait until college.

Then, I can’t wait until I am married.

Then, I can’t wait until I have kids.

Then, I can’t wait until the diapering stage is all done.

Then, I can’t wait until they can make their own food.

Then, I can’t wait until the teen years are over!

And on and on.

Now that I have decided to start my own business, it’s all about when my business is fully off the ground and how much money I am making.

This comes from the belief that when you get “there,” life will be better.

But it’s not true.

Because when you get “there” you will still have your current brain.

Your brain will still see things the same way.

There will always be something else that comes up; a new problem to deal with.

This is really clear with money. No matter how much money one makes, their expenses seem to grow to fit the income.

So what if “here” is just as good as “there?”

Would there still be a rush?

I think this is why gratitude is so powerful. It helps us see that “here” is amazing.

The whole point is to have joy all along the way, right?

If we are in a rush to get to the next thing, are we really enjoying the now?

The results we get from an emotion of urgency won’t be nearly as good as results that come from fulfillment, joy or just plain ol’ desire.

Here’s an amazing quote to end on:

Sometimes anxiety sprouts not from how much we want, but how quickly we want it, how desperately we are trying to rush through the course of our lives. Who cares if you don’t achieve that big, huge thing this year? Would it be any less incredible next year? Or the one after that? What if, instead of pressuring yourself to achieve everything, right now, you committed instead to working toward your dreams every single day, a little at a time?

Brianna Wiest

My challenge to myself and to everyone else who can relate is to stop rushing.

Commit along with me to working toward your dreams every single day, a little at a time.

Go slow and steady.

Enjoy the moment.

XOXO,
Denita

An exercise for sexual triggers

If you have any history of sexual abuse or trauma of any kind, a likely experience regarding sex in your marriage is getting triggered.

I have a simple but powerful exercise to address this.

Journal out what happened to you. Try to remember as much detail as possible. This will most likely be an emotional experience. Pay attention to these emotions. Take note of what you are feeling and why. 

If you are afraid of being triggered, recognize that what you are really afraid of is feeling how you felt while the trauma was happening or immediately afterward. 

Let me use an example:

You might be afraid to be triggered because it makes you feel out of control. 

When you feel out of control, you want to shut down.

When you shut down, you get the result of feeling like you will always be afraid of trigger and feeling out of control. 

Notice that in this example, you are afraid of feeling out of control, but you already ARE out of control.

What if you could just feel out of control? 

Photo by Maia Habegger on Unsplash

You don’t need to be afraid of a feeling. 

A feeling is just a vibration in your body. 

You are human and therefore an expert in emotions. You feel emotions every day.

Releasing yourself from fearing the feeling takes off one layer of emotion and gets you closer to how you actually want to feel. 

Welcome the feeling. 

Name it when it happens.

Describe it in your body. 

It will come and go in waves, and eventually it may never come back.

Love you friend. 

Go forth and feel those feelings!

Not having time for sex

So many women feel like they just don’t have time for sex. 

I would like to share my time-management practice; it’s the best way I have found to manage your time— and I have tried many things! 

Time management is really mind management. Everyone has the same amount of time; seconds keep ticking no matter what we are doing. It’s how we manage ourselves in time that really makes a difference. (Which is why life coaching around time can be so powerful.)

I like to plan out my calendar one week at at time. It seems the most manageable without getting too far in the weeds or too far in the sky.

Photo by Kaylah Otto on Unsplash
  1. List out every. little. thing. you want to do or you have to do.
  2. Delegate or drop every task that you don’t really have to or want to do. (You don’t have to clean toilets. I promise. They will still work even if they are dirty.)
  3. Prioritize the remaining tasks from most important to least important.
  4. Write in the tasks on your calendar that have times associated with them: appointments with other people, etc.
  5. Schedule down time, play time and time to yourself. It’s ok to schedule blocks of time for you to do “whatever you want.” Make sure to do this first. If you don’t, it will never happen. Make sure to schedule your bedtime and wake up times. Don’t forget to plan in sex!
  6. Schedule the rest of your tasks starting with highest priority and working your way down until you have no unscheduled time. Be careful with transitions. They always take longer than you think they will.
  7. If you are trying to get something done and you have kids, assume it will take 1.5-2 times longer than if you could dedicated all your focus on it. I build in flexibility by limiting myself to one task per half hour block. Even if the task will take 5 minutes, I only schedule one task. Then when something comes up later, I inevitably have “extra” time.
  8. Follow your calendar no matter what, except for true emergencies. When someone asks you out to lunch, tell them “I’d love to but I already have something scheduled then! How about next Wednesday?”
  9. If something comes up that you weren’t expecting, ask yourself if you would have chosen it or what is on your calendar if you were planning ahead. It’s ok to change your plans, just make sure you aren’t doing it to appease your primitive brain.

Following your schedule once it is set is the key. You are going to have drama: “I don’t feeeeeel like doing this right now.” But recognize that when you planned your calendar, you were using your pre-frontal cortex, the part of your brain that makes rational decisions and plans ahead. When you don’t feel like doing something, you are using your primitive brain that doesn’t ever want to do anything because it is more concerned with conserving energy. This is not how we up level our lives. It will feel uncomfortable in the short term, but you will be so proud of yourself in the long-term. 

I am telling you, I have been able to get so much more done using this method. And I am a very organized and dedicated person. But I still have a primitive brain. The very first time I committed to trying this for a week, I got to the end of the week and had gotten everything done and worked ahead, so I had “extra” time. 

There is a little bit of trial and error and learning what works best for you. My recommendation is to try this for at least 3 weeks and see how it works for you. 

I would be so curious if you tried it and how it went! 

Good luck with making time for sex!

Sex and Money: something in common

It surprised me to realize that most of my clients who struggle with sex also struggle with money issues. Not all of them but most of them.

I started thinking about this connection to figure out why.

The first possibility is that they are not connected directly at all, but only correlated.

Maybe it’s just that my Latter-day Saint target market all feel like they don’t have enough money. They tend to have one-earner families and many mouths to feed.

Maybe Christians are just more conservative and both sex and money are problems separately. 

Maybe both problems are just rampant.

But something within me says the same thing that makes sex difficult makes money scarce.

Scarce. Hm….

Scarcity can be a mindset. 

Usually when you think one thing is scarce, that shows up in other areas as well. 

But is sex scarce?

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Upon further reflection, I realized that scarcity comes from a place within you. 

Scarcity comes from feeling like you are not enough.

And THAT is what most of my clients have in common.

They struggle with sex, because they don’t feel like they are enough so they don’t show up fully. They hide. 

When you feel like you are not enough, then there will never be enough money either. 

Feeling like you aren’t enough leads you to try to prove your worth. You start looking at things outside of you to show you are enough. 

If you make or have enough money than you are enough.

If you perform well, then you are enough.

If your kids behave, then you are enough.

If sex is good, your husband will love you more and you will be enough.

This is a subconscious drive within us to feel like we are enough, valuable.

Let me just help you out right now:

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Nothing outside of you is going to prove it.

In order to have enough money and good enough sex, you have to believe first that you are enough.

But friend- you are enough. Just the way you are. 

Lean into it.

Believe it.

Then watch your life change.

PS. Once you believe you are already enough, then everything you do will be just because you want to. It will come from a place of abundance. That energy fueling your actions will create more abundance in your life.

***

If you want to work on this, come join my email list or my Facebook group.

How do I feel sexy?

How do I feel sexy after having a baby?
How do I feel sexy while I am pregnant?
How do I feel sexy when I am having a bad hair day?
How do feel sexy when I am bloated?
How do I feel sexy when I want to lose weight?
How do I feel sexy when I haven’t exercised in a week?

How do I feel sexy? Period.

Two things:

  1. “Sexy” (in this case) is a FEELING. Feelings don’t come from how your body looks, what your partner thinks or anything else outside of you! Feelings come from your thoughts. It might seem like it comes from something else because your thoughts are so quick– like milliseconds, but they are there. Your thoughts might be so deeply embedded they don’t feel like thoughts, just truths that everyone would agree on, but they are still simply thoughts.
  2. What is the standard for what “sexy” even is? And who gets to decide? Is sexy tall, slim and tan? Or is it short, buxom and pale? Sexy is in the eye of the beholder. If your husband thinks you are sexy, then you are– to him. Everyone gets to decide what “sexy” is for themselves. EVERYBODY. Even you. So are you sexy?
Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

If you aren’t feeling sexy right now but you’ve been able to feel sexy in the past, think about when you did feel sexy and what you were thinking about yourself. What if that were still true right now? Is it possible anyone in the whole wide world could think you are sexy right in this moment? Could you be wrong about not being sexy? Just open your mind to the possibility that maybe you are sexy and you just can’t see it… yet.

If you’ve never felt sexy, ask yourself why? List all the reasons. Where did those reasons come from? What if they are all completely wrong? When you don’t feel sexy, how do you act? Maybe you wear sweats or pjs all day. Maybe you don’t shower or put make-up on. Maybe you act in a way that doesn’t coincide with your version of sexy… and then your brain sees how unsexy you are. Perhaps your only obstacle to feeling sexy is the thought “I’m not sexy.” What if you just never thought that? How would things change?

If you can’t get yourself there— maybe you are like, “No. You don’t get it. I have all this extra skin and stretch marks. It just IS ugly and not sexy.” Take a step back and think about how that makes you feel. Thinking you, or some part of you, is ugly or frumpy probably feels disappointing or ugly or shameful. Then how do you act? You probably want to hide in some way or just go eat that chocolate ice cream in the freezer, or scroll social media where you get more evidence that you don’t compare to “sexy.” None of that makes you feel more sexy and the result is more guilt, shame, disappointment and evidence that you are not sexy.

Just notice that thinking that way is not getting you anywhere.

If you were sexy, how would you feel? When you feel that way how do you act? How do those actions impact you? Do you see how the belief always has to come first?

So. Maybe you won’t be able to just decide you are sexy. But can you get one step closer? Can you think something like “I’m not sexy– yet.” or “Someone out there would think I am sexy.” or “Sexy is as sexy does.”

How do you feel sexy? No matter what? You do the mindset work to believe you are sexy. It’s simple, but not easy.

***

What questions do you have about body image, feeling sexy or mindset? I would love to answer them in the comments or via email.

Will a sex challenge save your marriage?

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

I stumbled upon this article yesterday and thought I would share it here. It’s by Heidi Powell (who I know nothing about other than this article) and it’s about how sex saved her marriage.

A friend recommended a 30-day sex challenge to her and her husband as a last-ditch effort to keep them from divorce. And it worked for them.

Many of my clients want me to tell them what to DO. How often should we have sex? How should I respond to his text?

What you believe and think is ALWAYS more important than what you do.

I am not saying a 30-day sex challenge won’t help your marriage. It probably will. Try it and see what happens. What I am saying is that it’s not about the sex entirely.

Ms. Powell even says,

“And was it the sex that did it? Maybe partially. But what I believe really changed us was our dedication to spending even 20 minutes every single day completely focused on each other.

So yes. Sex in marriage is important.

It helps us focus on each other. It leads us to pleasure and fun that we associate with one another.

But sex isn’t everything. For every couple who uses this 30-day sex challenge to save their marriage, there is a couple out there who wasn’t even willing to try it. What came before the sex challenge was a tiny belief that maybe it will work. A thought that maybe it’s worth trying. A commitment to stick it out for 30 more days.

Just like money and time, sex makes you more of what you already are. It’s a thermometer of the relationship of sorts.

Sometimes changing the thermometer changes the relationship. And sometimes you can’t even bring yourself to change the thermometer because your heart already isn’t there.

So what do you want your thermometer to read? Hot or cold?

If you haven’t completely given up on the relationship, it is possible to get back to a place where you are thriving. Maybe a 30-day sex challenge will do it. Just make sure your thoughts are also in the right place.

If you are thinking “how do I make sure my thoughts are in the right place?” I want to offer that I may be able to help you. Click here to get on a call with me and see what you think, completely free. I LOVE working with my clients and seeing the amazing results they are getting. I will be opening up coaching for 10 amazing women starting June 10th. Let’s chat and see if it’s a fit for you!

Sexual pressure after date night? Here’s what to do.

My husband and I decided to go on a dinner date tonight and talk about our family budget. We had some financial decisions to make.

On the way to the restaurant, I casually said, “What should I write about for my blog tonight?” and jokingly added, “Maybe the pressure to have sex after a date night?”

He replied, “Sure, but I still get sex, right?”

Oh the irony.

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

When we feel pressure to have sex– or do anything for that matter– our brains do not like that feeling and want to get far away from it. We do things that temporarily relieve the pressure, like eating chocolate, watching TV, scrolling social media, etc. It could even be sleep or read. Those activities feel better than the pressure-inducing activity.

The pressure to have sex creates a result that is anything BUT sex.

It seems counter-intuitive. It seems like if there is pressure, you would be more likely to just get the thing done, but that is not how the brain works.

The pressure doesn’t come from your spouse or the sex or anything outside of you. It comes from your thought that you should have sex. Or he wants you to. Pressure always comes from your thought about the situation.

What I recommend instead is to recognize that you always have a choice. Just because you go on a date night with your husband doesn’t mean that you have to have sex. When we see it as a choice, there is no pressure.

You may want to have sex. Or maybe not. But you might decide that you’ll have sex anyway because that’s the kind of wife you want to be. Or because it’s fun. Or because you want to feel close to your husband. Being intimate out of choice or desire will always produce better results for yourself than pressure.

***

I would love your feedback. Do you have a comment or question or a curiosity I can address in a future post?

You are enough.

You are enough. You are not broken. Nothing has gone wrong.

These are words I have to keep believing for both myself and for my clients.

In Emily Nagoski’s book Come As You Are, she says

[W]hat most of us want is to feel normal. (In fact, one of the normal things about your sexuality is to worry sometimes about whether you’re normal. Yes, being worried about being normal is… normal.)

page 326

Nogoski goes on to say that when we want to be normal, what we really want is to belong. This makes sense from an evolutionary point of view. Not belonging was very dangerous for early humans. This innate desire to belong keeps us alive.

Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

Last week I faced this desire in myself:

I’ve been wanting to clear up my money mindset. I asked my coach to help me move from scarcity thinking about money to abundance thinking about money. Twice. Both times, the coaching conversation went to my relationship with my husband.

I’ll admit I was a little frustrated at first. But then I got curious with myself. Why was this happening? What was really going on?

After much digging and reflection and tears, I made this realization: money and my marriage both make me confront whether I truly am enough or not.

There was this moment in my self-coaching that I thought “If he doesn’t think the same way I do, then I am all alone. And if I’m all alone, then nobody wants to be around me, and I am not enough.”

Now, logically, I know this doesn’t make sense. But it’s what my brain was telling me.

I realized that my scarcity thinking with money, (there’s never enough, you have to work hard for it, there is only a fixed amount, etc) stems from my scarcity thinking about myself.

And in that moment, even though I have done so much work on myself and my confidence, I recognized I still have so far to go.

This experience reminded me of a recent consultation call with a new client. I was explaining what coaching would look like and I had this impression to tell her:

You are enough. You are not broken. Nothing has gone wrong.

And she burst into tears. Because that is what we all want to hear.

So that is my message to you today also. You are enough. You are not broken. Nothing has gone wrong.

Grant yourself permission

Every day we grant permission in a million little ways both explicitly and implicitly:

We swipe our cards giving the vendor permission to draw funds from our bank accounts.

We allow someone to spritz us with perfume in the department store.

We yield the right-of-way as we drive.

We allow people to speak to us in both positive and negative ways.

We invite people into our homes.

We allow the dental hygienist to inflict pain upon our gums.

We lend clothes to our teenager.

We read a book and let it change us.

We don’t take the time to unsubscribe from that email we hate seeing in our inbox.

You get the idea.

Photo by 胡 卓亨 on Unsplash

But do we allow ourselves the same permission? Or are our lives run by shoulds and musts?

Do we allow ourselves to speak kindly to ourselves?

Do we invite ourselves into our homes, figuratively?

Do we yield to our own selves?

Or are we held back by cultural and family ideals or pressures we don’t even realize are there?

If you are an adult, you are allowed to do and think whatever you want.

That is a thought that can free you up.

You don’t have to have a savings account if you don’t want to.

You can do the “irresponsible” thing if it fuels you.

You can believe your body is beautiful. No. matter. what.

Now. This doesn’t mean that whatever you do doesn’t have consequences. Everything has consequences.

It just means that all the options are on the table. Even if they never seemed to be before.

In most cases, you are the one that needs to grant yourself permission.

So what do you really want, and what’s been holding you back? Is it just a matter of granting yourself permission?