‘I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings’.
Regret Number 3 – The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying
Welcome to Part 3.
What feelings came up for you after reading that feelings are the key to achieving the life you really want?
Today we look at those things that can send us off track and prevent us from living the life we’re truly meant to.
- Not Being Honest With Yourself
It’s not always easy to be honest with ourselves. There’s a lot of noise out there telling us who we should be and why. Some of it’s from well-meaning people close to us.
The thing is that no-one knows what’s in your heart but you.
The problem with not being honest with yourself is that there’s a part of you that knows and can feel it. We can shut that part of ourselves down for a while but ultimately it has to speak.
It does so through illness, breakdowns, weight issues, lethargy, excessive drinking and so on.
It’s why noticing how we feel and being honest about it is so important.
Are you asking for what you want in life? I mean REALLY want? Or are you settling for what you think you can get? There’s a difference. One comes from the head and one comes from the heart. One requires courage and one requires an acceptance of the status quo.
If you were to reflect from your heart, how happy are you with the things in life that matter to you? If you were really honest with yourself what would you change?
Your job in this moment is to simply answer the question from your heart and NOT try to work out the how.
Have you ever noticed how much energy it takes not to make a decision? To not think about something? To go to and fro. It’s not the decision that’s hard, it’s the lead-up to making it. That’s the exhausting part.
The thing we often fear about making a decision is the consequences. We often imagine a worst-case scenario that rarely, if ever, eventuates. We try to control the outcome.
If you knew you’d be able to handle anything that came along, how would that change the way you make decisions?
Making a decision from where you are is the easiest way to do it. Decisions are rarely fatal and what they do is allow you to identify an appropriate next step and keep moving forward.
Take a breath and go. Make the decision then make the decision right. Feel the relief. Repeat.
- Fear of Judgement
The biggest judgement I experience is my judgement of me. I’ve realised I can be quite the picky one when it comes to analysing me. Once I learnt to look at my judgement of me from a more compassionate place (as I would with a friend), the judgment of others no longer concerned me.
Think of it this way. If you weren’t judging you, would you actually care about the judgement of others? It’d be like water off a duck’s back because you’d be secure in the knowledge that what you were doing was right for you. It’s when you yourself haven’t brought into that that the judgement of others feels so strong.
If you’re noticing some judgement from others and it has a bit of sting to it, it’s your sign to notice the places where you’re being your own worst critic and show yourself some love.
- Fear of Conflict
What does conflict meant to you? Do you see it as a necessity in life for things to change, something to avoid at all costs or something in between?
Does it excite you or scare you?
We all have our own degrees of comfort with conflict. What some may see as a conflict is merely a passionate discussion for others.
What if on the other side of conflict was a feeling of peace, excitement or certainty? Would you go there?
So often we avoid conflict because we don’t want the messiness in the middle, yet that’s where the magic happens.
A problem with conflict is that the outcome is never guaranteed. We can’t really know how someone else will react or respond to something we say or do. Sometimes we don’t feel we can trust our own response or reaction. The only things we have control over are how we choose to show up and how present we are in the process.
If we’ve experienced conflict in the past and it didn’t go well, it can be really scary to go there again. It can also depend on whom you’re in conflict with (the power dynamic) and the degree to which you believe it’s going to negatively impact your life.
How do you know when something’s worth it? My question is always ‘What’s it costing me not to?’ and I let that be my guide.
I also have a 3-time rule. If I find myself letting go of something but it comes up for me again 3 times, I know I have to address it.
I also begin with the end in mind. What’s the essence of what I want to get across and how do I want to feel at the end of the conversation?
There are people who won’t agree with your choices in life. How will you advocate for you?
Whose? Yours or someone else’s?
Understand who you’re trying to please and why.
When you uncover that the path becomes much clearer. Choices can be made and you can create from a place of security. Not outer security but inner security. A place within you that knows what’s right for you. A place that you can trust.
The rest just becomes noise.
Stay tuned for Part 4 – the anchors to support us.