My dad lost his job and I thought it was my fault for 30 years.

When I was 5 years old, my dad lost his job.

I was awake, watching Looney Tunes, when I heard his alarm going off.

It continued for several minutes, so I carefully walked into my parents’ room where they were both passed out in their bed.

I remember standing there next to my Dad’s side of the bed, looking at him, looking at the alarm clock and not knowing what to do.

I remember thinking “Should I wake him up? His alarm is going off. But he’s an adult, so maybe he wants to sleep through his alarm? But then why would he set an alarm?”

It was an internal battle of not knowing what to do.

Then suddenly, my Dad’s eyes flew open and he looked at me, then looked at his alarm. He jumped out of bed and got dressed and out the door faster than anyone else I know.

I remember him asking me “Why didn’t you wake me up?”

I didn’t have an answer. I may have been perceptive, but I wasn’t yet able to put my thoughts and feelings to words.

He lost his job for being late one time.

Now I know he didn’t mean to blame me.
Now I know that it’s not a 5 year old’s job to wake her Dad up.
Now I know that my parent’s financial struggles had nothing to do with me.
Now I know I couldn’t have prevented any of my mother’s depression or my parent’s relationship problems.
Now I know none of it was my fault.

But for 30 years I thought it was my fault. For 30 years I thought I could have done something differently that would have changed the entire trajectory of my parent’s life and my life. For 30 years I was carrying guilt and shame that I didn’t need to carry.

Because nobody told me.

If you are carrying any guilt or shame from your past, I am here to tell you: it’s not your fault. Your choices wouldn’t have changed anything. It was all supposed to happen exactly that way.

If you have a life better than you expected, more than you dreamed of, you even have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet you still feel miserable, it might be because of guilt or shame you are unnecessarily carrying.

It’s time to put it down.

You’ll be better for it, I promise.

I’m launching a group coaching program January 27th. If you want to do the work of letting go of the shame, I invite you to schedule a free shame assessment here.

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.

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.

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