Eight Obstacles to Attaining Balance and Solutions to Resolve Them – Part 3

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by Theresa Conti

Although the world around us continues to change, we have the ability to remain empowered through our thoughts, decisions and attitudes.

In Part One of Eight Obstacles to Attaining Balance and Solutions to Resolve Them, I wrote about Mental Chatter, Beliefs and Self-Talk – and how they work both for and against us.  In Part Two, I addressed Fear, Vulnerability and Shame and how to meet, embrace, and work through them. (To read the posts, see my July 9, 2020 and August 4, 2020 articles.)

Today’s post is the third and final section of the series, and concludes with Denial and Overindulgence, an interesting contrast!

As always, I hope you find today’s post helpful and would love to hear your comments!

Obstacle #7:  Denial

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to

 experience the world in the way they have been told.”

 – Alan Keightley

As children, we may have been taught that it was selfish to follow our dreams.  When I was growing up this was especially true for girls. Our job was to put others’ needs first, and our own needs last.. Although I am dating myself, our role models were Donna Reed from the Donna Reed Show, and June from Leave it to Beaver. Fortunately, role models have changed since then and continue to evolve.

Our parents, teachers, cultures and history influence our behavior and what we think is acceptable and attainable. For example, my parents lived through the Great Depression. They, and most people in their generation, came to believe that resources were limited, and if they didn’t take what was available, they might not have another chance to get what it was they wanted – whether it was something tangible, like a job, a home, or a relationship, or something intangible, like an experience.  Granted, this was a difficult period in history, and called for extreme measures. However, in time, the Great Depression passed, but people’s beliefs often remained the same and were handed down to future generations. 

Denial comes in many forms. For instance, we may deny ourselves a vacation, because we think we shouldn’t spend the money, even though we may have more than enough to take it. Or, we may think we’re not talented enough to realize a goal or dream, and hold ourselves back from pursuing it. Or, we may fear losing someone’s approval if we don’t agree with them, and not express our own opinions. But denial comes with costs, including our health and happiness.

Perhaps it’s time to dream. 

Solution #6:  Visioning: Creating a New Reality

“The brain, in many ways, doesn’t distinguish real from imaginary.” 

– David R. Hamilton, Ph.D.

Step 1

Following up on Courage, (Solution #5 from my August 4,2020 post), think of something you’ve always wanted to do, to have or to experience, but haven’t done yet. It could be writing a book, learning to sky dive, starting a business, traveling abroad, or moving someplace new.

Step 2:

Close your eyes and visualize yourself engaged in the experience, noticing the intricate details: 

  • Where are you and what are you doing?
  • Are you alone or are there other people with you? 
  • If there are others with you, who are they and what are they doing?
  • Notice your environment. Are there any animals, trees or other life forms present?
  • What do you hear, see, smell or taste?
  • How do you feel as you engage in the activity?
  • What does the air feel like on your skin? 
  • Are you warm, hot, cold or neutral?
  • What are you wearing?
  • What benefits does the new activity provide for you?
  • How does it support you?
  • Stay with the experience and see what else you notice.
  • See yourself healthy, happy and successful, as you fulfill your dream or goal.
  • When you’re ready, open your eyes.
  • Write down your experience in as much detail as possible.

Tips:

  • As an alternative, put on some soft music, record the visualization and listen to it. It may help you to relax and have a deeper experience. 

NoteFor guidance on how to implement your vision, see “Solution #5: Embrace the Future You!” of Eight Obstacles to Attaining Balance and Solutions to Resolve Them – Part 2.

Obstacle #8: Overindulgence

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” 

 – Rumi

Overindulgence can stem from stress, anxiety, boredom, feelings of unworthiness, and from denying our needs and feelings, as well as our dreams and goals. Like a good friend, it informs us that there’s something in need of our attention.  It can include food, alcohol, shopping, sex, exercise, work and other people, to name a few! In other words – anything that distracts us from our inner being.

We all indulge from time to time – eating that second (or third!) piece of cake, binge watching a Netflix series (or two!) or having that extra drink –  and its’ not a big deal – it’s when overindulging becomes habitual that it signals there’s a problem.

When done consistently, overindulging slows us down, robs our energy, creates shame, and inhibits creativity. In other words, it steers us away from living full and authentic lives.

Solution #8: Staying Present

When tempted to overindulge, stop for just a minute. Notice how you feel, and if there’s something  triggering you: a thought, a memory; a difficult interaction, something you’ve seen or heard, feelings of insecurity, or fear when taking steps to pursue a dream or goal or doing something new.

Take a breath, staying present as you allow the feelings to surface and flow through you. Continue breathing, as you remind yourself that, in this moment, you’re safe, and it’s okay to feel. If you’re at home, you may find it helpful to journal. If you’re in public, take note of your feelings and do the exercise when you’re alone. If the sensations are too intense to handle, stop and seek support from a therapist, coach, mentor or trusted friend. 

When I was in my 30’s, I was smoking nearly two packs of cigarettes a day, and decided to quit the habit.  When the urge to light up came over me I took a walk instead of smoking. While the desire was initially strong, it usually passed within minutes. Replacing the habit with another behavior was key.

Stopping  habitual behaviors – even momentarily – helps us become more mindful and supports us in making empowering choices. 

Resources:  For additional reading, check out Pema Chodron’s books, such as Welcoming the Unwelcome and Uncomfortable with Uncertainty. Eckhart Tolle, Michael Singer and Dr. Joe Dispenza are also wonderful resources. 

With love,

Theresa

Article and Photo Theresa Conti 2020

Bio

Theresa Conti was born and raised in New York. She is a Certified Life Coach, Energy Healing Practitioner, Workshop Facilitator and Author with more than 25 years’ experience.  Her books include Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Life and Love Yourself, and I Am the Treasure. 

Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, and develop inner resources, like confidence, courage and resilience, so they can live with greater ease, realize their goals and dreams and better meet life’s challenges.

She offers a 30-minute complimentary consultation to get acquainted, discuss your goals, and see how you might work together. She can be reached at Theresa@reconnecting2you.com.

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Theresa Conti
Theresa Conti was born and raised in New York. She is a Certified Life Coach, Energy Healing Practitioner, Workshop Facilitator and Author with more than 25 years’ experience. Her books include Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Life and Love Yourself, and I Am the Treasure. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, and develop inner resources, like confidence, courage and resilience, so they can live with greater ease, realize their goals and dreams and better meet life's challenges. She is also a qualified English teacher and editor and often brings her coaching skills into her teaching to facilitate her clients’ learning. She offers a complimentary consultation to get acquainted, discuss your goals and see how you might work together. She can be reached at Theresa@reconnecting2you.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Theresa,

    Comforting words. I especially appreciate reading that overindulgence is ok if not overdone! Sometimes I just need to break my own rules.
    ❤️

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