Posts Tagged ‘extraordinary life’

10 Keys to an Extraordinary Life

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

When I am asked to summarize the essence of my book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life, I offer these ten keys. I hope they serve, on a daily basis, to help you create the extraordinary life you deserve.

TEN KEYS TO CREATING YOUR EXTRAORDINARY LIFE

1. Recognize that you are enduring.
Do you feel that you never have time to stop? Do you distract yourself with eating, working, volunteering, cleaning, etc.? Do you resent that you never have time to do the things your spirit longs for? Do you feel resigned rather than inspired? If you wake up most mornings feeling anxious, bored, or numb, looking forward to some imagined future time when you will feel happier – “when my children finally start school,” “when my bills are paid off,” “when I retire”-then you are enduring.

2. Release your self-judgments.
Your negative beliefs about yourself that are holding you back-you’re untalented, too fat, not smart enough, etc.- are probably rooted in your childhood. Why would you let your “inner seven-year-old” run your life? These judgments are real but they are only as true as you have believed them to be. Give yourself compassion for having carried the burden of your self-judgments. Replace them with affirmations and find new evidence to support your willingness to believe in them. Affirmations are as true as you allow them to be.

3. Question your limiting beliefs.
When you tenaciously hold on to the belief that the world works in one particular way (against you), or that there is only one right way to do something (and you are doing it wrong), or that your actions will inevitably result in a specific and predictable outcome (bad), you are strapping on blinders. Make a commitment to take off those blinders. It will take practice and patience to stay out of “limiting belief territory,” but eventually it will become second nature. You’ll quickly start to see that life no longer feels boring and predictable.

4. Drop your acts.
When you put on the armor of an act, you sacrifice your authenticity for protection. For instance, you think no one can hurt you if you’re tough enough…or that everyone will love you if you’re nice enough…or that everyone will respect you if you never admit to being wrong. Your acts will become your prison. Instead, give yourself joyful permission to become more of who you really are. You will feel free and you will find that who you are is much more interesting than any character you could possibly play.

5. Face down your fears.
What fear is keeping you from living your extraordinary life? Whatever it is—quitting your unfulfilling job, leaving an abusive marriage, telling the truth about your past—you must face it head on. Recognize that F.E.A.R. means “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Think of the worst-case scenario and see yourself living through it with dignity. Get support from others. Create an affirmation, such as, “I am now courageous.” Then, just do it. Remember that no matter what the momentary outcome of facing down your fear brings, your worth as a person is constant and never in question.

6. Free your feelings.
If you feel bored, you are probably ignoring or avoiding something. Make an effort to connect with your feelings. Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Check in with your body. Do you feel any tightness or pain? Give that pain or tightness a name, such as fear, hurt, anger, resentment, sadness. If your body feels light and open, give that an emotional name such as joy, love, happiness. Whatever emotions you feel and name, just allow them to be. If they change, let that be. Let yourself be. Learn to honor your emotions. Give them an opportunity to inspire you.

7. Heal your anger and resentment.
When you can acknowledge that your resentments are fueled by your personal regrets, you free yourself to step out of the victim role. It is not that you are letting others off the hook for unkind or unfair behaviors; they are still responsible for their intentions and actions. But the moment you uncover your regrets, you are empowered to let go of resentment.

8. Forgive yourself.
Make a list of the wrongs you have done to others and to yourself. See them as results of survival strategies. Acknowledge the consequences of these strategies to yourself and others. Grieve for your losses and your mistakes. Make amends with yourself and others. Create an affirmation to replace the self-judgments that drove you to using your survival strategies. And remember to treat yourself the way you would want others to treat you.

9. Know, speak, and live your deepest truths.
Commit to being truthful in all you say and do. Realize that being truthful is not synonymous with being honest. Truth is a complex blend of honesty mixed with compassion and vulnerability. When you are “brutally honest,” you are expressing your judgment but not expressing your truth. Your spirit knows the difference between truth and honesty. When you express your highest thoughts and intentions, you are able to live a true life, not just an honest one.

10. Create your extraordinary life every day.
To live in your truth is to allow your spirit’s energy into every cell of your being and into every thought and action. Here’s what this means in everyday terms: When you tell the clerk at the grocery store checkout counter that she has given you too much change, you make truth and spirit matter more than money. When you hear gossip and don’t pass it along, you make truth and spirit matter more than your momentary desire to feel important. When you tell someone you love him or her, unsure of whether he or she will say it in return, you make truth and spirit matter more than your fear of rejection. Make these decisions every day. It takes courage and commitment to be your extraordinary self. You will be amply rewarded with a rich and fulfilling life.

Read excerpts from Jane’s popular book, Enough Is Enough!, watch and listen to her TV and radio interviews on various topics, and sign up for her free newsletter, order her book, or have Jane as your personal life coach by clicking on stopenduring.com.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Sunday, May 27th, 2007
 
icon for podpress  .: Play Now | Play in Popup | Downloads 176

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). One doctor says it’s a chemical or genetic problem. Another doctor says it’s psychological. What do you think? Is there anything other than drugs that I can do to stop?
–The Leaf Duster

Dear Leaf Duster,
I’m not sure how your OCD manifests, how crazy your behaviors drive you, or what drugs you’ve been offered, so I won’t try to take the place of your doctor here. On the emotional/spiritual level, however, your OCD might be a type of cover up. If you want to dust leaves because you are procrastinating about doing something that should be a higher priority, ask yourself, “Why don’t I want to do what should be important?” Are you afraid or perhaps bored? These are the two most common reasons for procrastinating.

When we procrastinate, we generally can’t just do nothing. That would make us feel guilty on top of feeling afraid or bored. Instead, we fill up our time and mental energy with something—hence, leaf dusting or its equivalent. So if you notice that your OCD is more intense these days, ask yourself if you’re thriving as much as you could be. Are you treating yourself as a worthy person, deserving of an extraordinary, enriched life? If you are not able to answer these questions with a resounding, enthusiastic “yes,” then your OCD may be your spirit’s way of letting you know that you’re in Endurance.

So even if you get the OCD treated with medication and therapy, which is certainly a legitimate option, I encourage you to listen for the message that your spirit may be trying to communicate to you. Maybe it’s time to take a risk to get more out of life. Maybe your spirit wants you to play more, or challenge yourself with a new career, or go back to school, or volunteer in your community, or dust off that easel in your attic. Pay attention for a moment to that still, small voice within and let it guide you towards your next adventure.

Although you may always have some level of OCD behavior, I’ve seen, over and over, how OCD can recede from the foreground into the background when people let go of their fears, treat themselves with self-respect, and commit to fulfilling their dreams and aspirations.

Go to StopEnduring.com to read excerpts from Jane Straus’s book, Enough Is Enough!, view her seminars and TV interviews, listen to her radio interviews, make an appointment for a personal coaching session, purchase the book, or sign up for her free newsletter.

Why Your Truth Matters

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Why Your Truth Matters

If we don’t know our truth—what we feel, think, or believe—we cannot tell others our truth. And if we can’t tell others, we can’t let them in. And if we can’t let them in, we will feel lonely.

If we are afraid of speaking our truth to others, we will don disguises and acts. We will become “the good one” or “the competent one” or “the helpful one” or “the addict” or “the selfish one.” Others will come to believe our acts, causing us to become resentful that we can’t be ourselves without risking abandonment or judgment. Worst of all, when we are in our acts for too long, we risk forgetting who we really are.

If we are too afraid to live in our truth, we will feel disconnected from our spirit, leading to abandoning our future while enduring and surviving in a world that feels drab and predictable.

Knowing, speaking, and living your truth matters. You matter. You have unique gifts to offer, gifts that will become ever more apparent as you explore and trust your truths. Choose truth and you will flourish. Choose truth and you will find your courage. Choose truth and you will feel happier and inspired to live your extraordinary life.

Jane Straus is a trusted life coach and the author of the popular book, Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. To read her articles and excerpts from the book, watch her on TV, listen to her on radio, order Enough Is Enough, or to hire her as your life coach, visit stopenduring.com.

What Really Prevents You from an Extraordinary Life

Monday, January 8th, 2007
 
icon for podpress  .: Play Now | Play in Popup | Downloads 126

Dear Jane,
I am in love with a woman but she doesn’t love me. This prevents me from having an extraordinary life.

If you believe that someone else prevents you from leading a more extraordinary life, you are giving away your power, which will only fuel a belief that you are a victim. It is never someone else who stops us from manifesting our deepest truths and longings.
In Enough Is Enough!, I write extensively about how we choose our Acts in life—the thoughts and behaviors that cover up who we really are. The Victim Act is the most common because we can convince ourselves of it so easily. All of us know this one. Inevitably, it sounds like, “I can’t ____ because he/she ______.” It gives us an excuse to avoid responsibility and underlying fears.

Unfortunately, victim thinking also keeps us suffering unnecessarily. I encourage you to change your thought to, “I can ______ because I _______.” Say this ten times a day and within days, you will notice a subtle shift inside you. You will find ways to achieve your goals that were not apparent before. Ideas and opportunities will open up for you.

Free will is a powerful thing. If we give it up, we imprison ourselves. When we embrace it, we find that the key to our prison door has been in our pocket all along.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.

How to Know When You Are Fulfilled

Friday, December 22nd, 2006
 
icon for podpress  .: Play Now | Play in Popup | Downloads 177

Dear Jane,
How can I figure out whether I am doing what makes me happy? What are some of the symptoms of unhappiness, or must I wait for a life-threatening situation?

I wrote Enough Is Enough! to help others avoid having to go through a life-threatening situation in order to wake up to your spirit’s calling.

If you are having to ask yourself if you are happy, then you probably aren’t. Perhaps you haven’t yet had the satisfaction that goes with fulfilling your spirit’s purpose, so you don’t know what benchmark to compare your feelings with.

The symptoms of endurance or a less-than-thriving life are discussed in depth in my book. I will give you a short list here that you should find helpful:
Anxiety, addiction, depression, cynicism, hopelessness, helplessness, boredom, frustration, resentment, endless To Do lists, ruts, listlessness…the list goes on and on!

The most important thing you can do is to pay attention. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, don’t ignore yourself. You deserve to create a thriving, extraordinary life. Remember, others in your life will benefit also. As one bumper sticker says, “Become the person your dog thinks you are.” This is a way of saying that you owe it to yourself to like the reflection you see in the mirror. Time is precious and so is your spirit. Begin today!

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.