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.

Sexual rejection and its antidote

Rejection is a powerful emotion.

When we feel rejection, it usually means we aren’t likable, or we aren’t good enough.

This comes from primitive times when we were hunter-gatherers traveling in a pack. Being kicked out of the pack meant certain death.

But it rarely means death in our modern culture today.

Our brains are so scared of rejection that they would rather feel fear or guilt, or almost any other negative emotion.

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Rejection shows up in the bedroom frequently.

The spontaneous-desire partner may get turned down, and then they feel rejected.

When we feel rejected, we want to do anything to get away from that negative emotion, so we stop initiating sex or withdraw. We may get whiny or nag (not attractive).

Just notice that the rejection is just a thought in your mind.

Maybe your partner turned you down because they didn’t feel sexy.
Maybe your partner turned you down because they were really tired.
Maybe your partner turned you down because they were in a bad mood.

Notice, none of these reasons is about YOU.

But when they say no, you make it mean that they don’t like or love you the way you are. That you aren’t good enough.

What if it really only means they were tired or angry or feeling frumpy?

Sometimes we reject ourselves ahead of time so we don’t have to feel failure.

When we think others are judging us, we feel rejected, and then act in a way that is not in line with who we are, but instead who we think other people want us to be. In a sense, when we act in a way that is for others and against our true authenticity, we are rejecting ourselves. Because the alternative is to be true to ourselves and then someone not liking it and feeling rejected.

So if you are going to be rejected either way, why not do it in the way that feels authentic to you?

The antidote to rejection is self-love.

If you accept and love yourself no matter what, then what other people say and do doesn’t mean anything about you.

AND. You get to feel love, because when you love you are the one that feels the love.

So whether you are initiating sex, or dating, or are just out in the world being you, love yourself. Accept yourself as whole and worthy just the way you are.

Who knows? Maybe you loving yourself will be the inspiration or permission someone else needs to do the same.

***

Does this post resonate with you? If so, you may want to check out my 20 Questions to Ask to Improve Your Sex Mindset.

What does God think about sex?

With it being the Sabbath, I wanted to give you some thoughts about sex in religion and how the two can go together.

Many women have this belief that sex is dirty or wrong. But it is also the way to create children, which are “an heritage of the Lord.” Sometimes the messages around sex, coming from religion get a little mixed up.

God created man and woman. If God is a perfect, and he created our bodies, then our bodies are perfect. The female body has a tiny little organ that is meant strictly for pleasure: the clitoris. Why would God create the female body with a clitoris, in which the only purpose is pleasure, if he didn’t want women to have pleasure during sex?

Your sexuality is an essential part of you. It’s like the color of your eyes, your preference for certain foods, etc. I believe God wants us to each love ourselves and see our true potentials and work toward them. But what happens when we try to repress or ignore an essential part of our selves? (It doesn’t feel good!) We can’t work toward something we are ignoring.

If part of our identity as a child of God is to be good and pure or righteous, and we think that sex is dirty or shameful, then the two are in opposition to each other. We have to first accept sex as something that God wants for us– something that can help us to reach our potential. We must view sex as beautiful and good. It has to align with our identity for it to feel good and bring us closer to God.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

What if sex was akin to the sacrament? Partaking of the sacrament is eating a symbolic piece of bread and drinking a symbolic sip of water. They represent Christ’s body and blood, respectively. We actually ingest them into our bodies as a way to literally become more like Christ. We have to allow “Christ” to enter our bodies. When we have sex, we are allowing someone else’s body to enter our bodies. It requires openness and vulnerability. When two people willingly partake in this activity together with shared goals, it brings them closer together. They share a part of their souls with one another. Biologically speaking, oxytocin in released during this process, which quite literally bonds them together. (This, in my opinion, is one reason we are taught to keep sex within marriage. Complete fidelity could suggest bonding in this way with only one person.)

Of course, I have no way of knowing the mind of God. But these ideas help me to think of sex as a holy, sacred act that brings me closer to my husband and also closer to God. I love the simple image of a triangle with husband, wife, and God at each corner. When we individually try to get closer to God, we naturally become closer to one another. And when we try to become closer to each other, we naturally become closer to God.

Thinking of sex this way helps me drop any guilt, shame or negativity in general and compels me to try to make sex a regular part of my marriage. I hope the same is true for you!

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This is day 4 of 30 days of blogging. Comment or email me if you have a topic you would like me to write about. You can also follow me on instagram or facebook if you don’t want to miss a post. Click here for my 20 Questions to Improve Your Sex Mindset pdf.

Guilt was never meant to be carried

What role does guilt play in our lives?

Guilt encourages us to act according to our values. And if we have violated them, to come clean and make things right if possible.

But sometimes guilt is not necessarily a fact, but a perception we have. One definition I read said guilt comes from a wrong, either real or imagined.Our thoughts can’t always be trusted.

And sometimes we have done something wrong, but even after we have tried to make things right, we still use that wrongdoing against ourselves. We beat ourselves up, bringing up the past and holding onto the real or perceived offense to justify why we aren’t good enough.

We can internalize lingering guilt into shame. Now instead of “I’ve done something wrong,” it becomes “I am wrong.” When this happens, guilt is no longer useful.

I coached a client this week who was letting guilt keep her from the life she wanted. When I probed a little further, she confessed to me that because of something she did 35 years ago, she didn’t feel like she deserved a good life now.

That’s like saying, “I smoked for a while 35 years ago. I regret it, and I quit. But now I don’t deserve to be healthy.”

I say absurd.

Photo by Asdrubal luna on Unsplash

We all deserve a good life now, regardless of what wrongs we have committed in the past.

Guilt was always meant to be a signal to make things right. It was never meant to be carried with us long-term. It’s a slippery and heavy sucker and difficult to carry. It takes a lot of energy and focus to keep a hold of it.

If you are carrying guilt with you, maybe now is the time to let it go?

Have you come clean? Have you tried to make it right? Are you still beating yourself up over something that happened long ago? Are you holding the mistakes of a child (relatively speaking) against yourself as an adult?

I promise, you deserve better. You deserve a wonderful life. You deserve joy and pleasure and peace.

Let it go and focus your energy on being the person that has the life you want.

I would be happy to help you let go of the guilt and shame. It’s not easy when you have been holding onto it for so long.

***

PS. I have ONE spot left for a free 6 week coaching package. If you are a Latter-day Saint wife and want help with your sex life, click here to schedule a free consultation call to see if my program is right for you.

Could connecting with your body be the way to results in your life?

Laura Tremaine’s most recent 10 Things to Tell You podcast episode talks about connecting with your body. She discussed “the miracle of our bodies and what makes us come truly alive” with her pilates instructor. This podcast episode spurred in me some reflection about WHY we should connect with our bodies.

I identified three “problems” that keep us from connecting with our bodies. I am sure there are many more, but this is a bird’s-eye view:

  1. We are taught that our bodies are magnificent creations and we should be grateful for them, receiving a body is an essential part of Heavenly Father’s plan, yet when we are talking about our bodies, we often focus on what is wrong. We do not truly embrace our bodies as a gift from God.
  2. We are numbing ourselves– disconnecting ourselves– from our bodies, because we think it will make us feel better. But it generally has the opposite effect.
  3. Many adult women do not have any activity in which they feel true joy in their bodies. This is a problem because emotion is a vibration in our bodies. If we are to feel true joy in this life, it is going to happen in our bodies, not in our heads.
  4. We don’t recognize that our emotions come from our thoughts. In our culture we are taught that our feelings come from outside of us, specifically other people.

Feeling the emotions and sensations in our bodies is THE way to getting the results we want in our lives. I’m not just talking about fitness goals, but EVERY goal. Our emotions drive our actions which bring results. So often we think we are feeling the emotions but really we are just thinking thoughts that feel awful.

Photo by Rima Kruciene on Unsplash

So how do we overcome these problems? Here are some ideas:

  1. Participate in an activity that brings you genuine joy. Like a butterfly sensation in the pit of your stomach. Children are great at this: swings, trampolines, bike riding, finger painting, rollercoasters, etc. It doesn’t have to be complicated. (One suggestion is sex, if it is fun for you.)
  2. When you have an emotion– good or bad– let yourself feel it. Where is it in your body? What does it feel like? Use as many adjectives as possible. Don’t resist or run away from it. Just sit in the emotion.
  3. Be grateful for your body and what it can do. Write a list of every little way your body has been a blessing to you. Dig deep here if you feel embarrassment or shame around your body.
  4. Pay attention to when you engage in any activity to distract yourself or numb yourself from feeling something. This could be snacking or overeating, scrolling social media, sleeping, TV watching. Can you just feel the feeling instead? Remember it is just a vibration in your body.

We need to get into our bodies and feel our feelings if we want to obtain a fulness of joy in this life. AND a fulness of joy requires a fulness of sorrow. This is how our capacity is expanded.

I hope you found this thought provoking or helpful in some way. If you would like help getting into your body and feeling your emotions, I would be honored to partner with you. Click this link for a free 45 minute consultation: calendly.com/denitabremercoaching