A February Fast

As we usher February out the door, consider purging your life of these 5 disempowering behaviors:

  1. REQUIRING understanding from others. The key to not caring what others think of you is to give yourself what you need. Give yourself understanding by believing in yourself and being willing to stand in the truth of that self-belief regardless of popular opinion toward said belief. Stand tall when you’re being shaken! Picture yourself as a tree, imagining your self-belief as the roots of that tree. The tree can’t be uprooted if the roots continue to grow stronger and deeper. Growing these roots will require training yourself to become deaf to voices of self-doubt that endeavor to invade your thoughts and render you powerless, including the Dark Shadow Voice coming from within.
  2. Carrying unnecessary weight. And yes, it may show up on the scale in pounds, whether you realize it or not. I’m talking about ANY form of dead weight in your life and that absolutely includes people. While challenging by nature, decluttering is not only necessary, but also grants you a magnitude of freedom. It’s made easier by having an effective dead weight determination method in place. Here’s mine: That which depletes you with little or no replenishment is dead weight. It’s a simple assessment tool for a reason; that reason being clarity rather than emotional response. Your life is determined by what you fill it with. Careful attention must be paid to what you’re reading, watching, and listening to, and above all, WHO you’re engaging with. Obviously, it’s much easier to discontinue a reality show habit that leaves you feeling anxious and brain-dead after viewing it than to distance yourself from a longtime friend. Hence the necessity of depletion assessment, so that it’s not a question of love, loyalty, or the worth of this person, but instead, a matter of clear-cut survival. Is this person depleting me? Yes or no– with no gray area for which the co-dependents among us can rationalize the other person’s right to deplete us.
  3. Leaving wiggle room.  As easily evidenced by dogs and kids, people know when you mean no or if there’s wiggle room to change your mind. Empowered individuals don’t leave wiggle room when they’ve arrived at a solid yes or no because they don’t need their answer to be made okay with you through apology or explanation. If you have difficulty being solid when it comes to your yeses and noes, adopt the no-answer-off-the-cuff policy. This is especially helpful for those of us who may agree to things unknowingly simply because we get caught up in the energy of the moment and fail to slow down and think mindfully. Train yourself to reply to every request made of you by answering, “I’ll check on that and get back to you.” Then take the time required to ascertain a mindful response you’re at peace with before you give your answer, thereby eliminating the need for excuse or apology.
  4. Rescuing. Are you a helper uncomfortable witnessing another’s navigation of a difficult circumstance when you could just swoop right on in and “help” by saving them from it? Hey anonymous superhero, I get you! But STOP. Adults are grown people who can take care of themselves. Back off and allow their situation to unfold accordingly. It was necessary for me to see it this way: every time you think you save someone else from something that was meant for them, you are an interference. Taking over what they were meant to experience doing for themselves just postponed their inevitable life lesson for another day when you won’t be there. Because you’re not meant to be.
  5. Bullshitting yourself about yourself.  Personal empowerment lies in the acknowledgement of your own truth, regardless of how scary, offbeat, or irrational you may find that truth to be. Empowered individuals become that way by deciding daily to stand in that truth, weathering the difficulties this requires while having faith in their ability to do so. They become aware that being empowered is not about being unkind, selfish, or unsympathetic to the needs of others, but rather, living within a realm of self-belief that allows them to embrace their own self-worth without negating anyone else’s.

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