A coaching client, whom we’ll call Trish, sat before me despondent. Less than 15 minutes earlier, she was hopeful about how things were beginning to progress with your entrepreneurial efforts. She felt like she was finally finding her voice.
But now, she sat quiet and a bit distant. What changed?
In the midst of her sharing about her new possibilities, her father’s sad business experience came to mind. He had several brilliant ideas over the years, but time and again, his insecurity stopped him before he got started on them.
Instead of engaging in the demanding work of birthing an idea, Trish’s father would soothe his fears and insecurity by boasting about the brilliance of his idea instead of taking the action that manifesting a dream requires. People listening to her father’s boasting would take his ideas and successfully implement them.
Trish had watched this dynamic happen at least three times and unconsciously believed that her father’s failure was her destiny.
As she sat before me, I saw a worthy, successful woman be reduced to boogieman thoughts and despair. At that moment, she and her father were the same.
What she needed was distance between her habitual fearful thoughts and the truth: she was not her father; her fear belonged to her younger self.
Creating the life we want requires us to challenge our beliefs and mental habits. When the mind is hijacked by habitual panic or fear, we must remind ourselves of the truth and consciously work to free ourselves of the untrue. (In my book, The Little Book of Big Lies, I call such distortions lies.)
If you’re easily knocked off-center, there are things you can do to shift your energy quickly. For example, the next time something disturbs your inner peace, try this…
Bring your attention to your breath. Consciously slow your inhales and lengthen the exhales. This will help get you out of your head and into your body and heart. If you feel tense in an area of your body, lovingly rub that area. Soon, your shoulders will soften, your heart will slow, and your mind will begin to quiet. With the compassion you would show a child, tell yourself the truth.
Here is Trish’s truth statement: I am not my father. His story is not my story. Up until now, my younger self’s fear has directed my thoughts, but from this point forward, this can change for the better. I can create my success.
Though you will likely still feel saddened, anxious, or whatever emotion you felt before this intervention, there will be enough space to acknowledge the old story that is running and your feelings without buying into them. With the separation between yourself and the historical feelings, you create space for new possibilities.
Every moment you spend being present with yourself, you create a shelter. You’re building your capacity to be with and transform your experiences, no matter how stormy the conditions are outside. The more you use inner fitness practices to help you navigate life, the better you will become at managing challenging situations as they arise.
It takes practice and often some discomfort to install new patterns that allow you to stretch into the next best iteration of yourself, but with awareness and consistency, you can do it.
Let’s LIVE WELL & THRIVE!
Hollywood veteran Tina Lifford plays the vivacious breakout character Aunt Vi on the critically acclaimed television drama, Queen Sugar. She has played over 100 characters in her long-standing career, including notable roles on Scandal and Parenthood.
Equally accomplished behind the camera, Tina is the respected playwright of THE CIRCLE, a play about how seven diverse women navigate the choppy waters of life together; author of The Little Book of BIG LIES (released by Harper Collins in November 2020); and CEO of The Inner Fitness Project, a wellbeing initiative committed to making the practices and beneﬁts of “Inner Fitness” as familiar, well understood and accessible as those of physical ﬁtness.
Tina refers to herself as an Inner Fitness Advocate and Trainer, providing information and life strategies that build a strong, resilient inner Self capable of masterfully navigating life’s challenges and opportunities. In particular, Tina’s focus offers a lifeline to those who have come to the sobering realization that a mate, career, money and a big house…and even the kids they love deeply…don’t fulﬁll the “something’s missing” that only a rich relationship with one’s Self provides.
Through the Inner Fitness lens, Tina encourages everyone, no matter their age or gender, to acknowledge the Self that lives inside, embrace their innate worth and learn to take their power back from old hurt, in order to live well and thrive.
Tina Lifford is a graduate of the Spiritual Psychology Program at the University of Santa Monica and of the Coaches Training Institute, and is a licensed Spiritual Practitioner. She designs and facilitates inner health and wellbeing workshops, has a private coaching practice, and facilitates live online Inner Fitness workouts. Past partners include Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, Disney, Kellogg School of Management and The Smithsonian Institute. Visit her website at www.theinnerﬁtnessproject.com.