What I Know About …Persistence

I started running in June of 2018. I hadn’t been running in years, prior to this time. I remember driving in my car, and mapping a route which equaled one mile. This was my goal.

One mile.

The first time I ran this route – it was hard and I was certain I was going to die.

I’d recommitted to running in the hottest time of the year for Arizona. June! What was I thinking? I purposefully would wait until the sun went down for two reasons:

  1. The sun would no longer be blazing in my face and,
  2. No one could see me work through my struggle.

When I set my mind to something – I tend to go all in, or I won’t participate at all. It’s just the way I roll. With running – I had decided I was all in. I knew it was going to require commitment and persistence. I had to practice stepping into a space of consistency and discipline. I decided I wouldn’t let more than 2 days pass without either going for a run, walking, or doing some type of strengthening routine at home. Often times this meant that I opted out of other activities so I could honor my commitment to myself.

Fast forward 10 months to March 2019.

Since that first one mile run back in June 2018, I’ve completed 4 community races, increasing my distance and level of commitment each time. This past Saturday, I completed a 10 mile race with my dear friend, Krista Robinson. (She’s an amazingly accomplished runner and a Rockstar of a friend, by the way).

Completing this race has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. My goal – put one foot in front of the other. Run the entire race without stopping. Coming in first was not my focus. In fact, … there was a much older man, around the age of 80, who continually looked back over his shoulder to ensure he was staying ahead of me during the race. True fact, friend!

That’s o.k.! The only person I’d trained for was myself. The only person I was showing up for this past Saturday morning, was myself. The only person I needed to prove anything to, was myself. And… I am the only person who can now enjoy the sweet rewards of – Accomplishment, Dedication, Discipline, and Persistence.

If you need a little motivator, feel free to borrow this mantra which helped me on those days that were most difficult. This is a belief which my life coach, Brooke Castillo, speaks of often. I’ve embraced the words and now – it’s a part of my character.

“If my daily action is optional; then my results are optional. Results require action.”

Here’s to putting the power of persistence to work in your life as well.

What I Know About …The Power of Routines

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand the value and power of having a routine. Routines are amazing and powerful! I love the beautiful byproducts which routines bring into my life.

I haven’t always felt this way, and in fact, I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life resisting routines. Many people believe that routines create restrictions. They argue that routines can take all “the fun and spontaneity” out of life. I have found the opposite to be true.   

Here is quick list of what I’ve learned from implementing routines into my life. In short, adhering to a personal daily routine has created increased my feelings of freedom, productivity, and happiness.

What is a Routine – The regular practice of an activity, behavior or schedule. Routines are activities which are repeated at regular intervals.

Benefits of a Routine

1. Increases Efficiency and Reduces the Need to Plan Routines reduces the need to make decisions. It enables us to know exactly what tasks we need to do without having to contemplate, decide or think too much.

2. Creates Structure in Our Lives – It is a framework for our lives and daily activities.

3. Saves Time – Our routine predetermines our schedule, allowing us to use our time efficiently.

4. Instills Good Habits  – The secret to building good habits is repetition. Routines encourage us to repeat the same tasks over and over again. 

5. Prioritize Tasks and Build Momentum – Routines help us get the most important things done. We determine our most important tasks and do them first. 

6. Builds Self Confidence – Routines give us a sense of tremendous satisfaction and accomplishment. Both of these things fuel positive self-esteem.

7. Frees Up Our Time Contrary to what some people believe, following a routine that prioritizes repetitive tasks actually provides us with more free time to do as we please. 

8. Helps Us Achieve Our Goals -Successful people move toward their goals by doing the same things over and over again. Accomplishing goals requires small and incremental steps forward toward progress. 

Simply put, a routine reflects the conscious choice to live your life in a certain way through healthy repetition patterns. While establishing a routine isn’t always easy in the beginning, it is one of the greatest keys to success and happiness.

Routines require effort; yet, it’s worth the work! The rewards reaped far out weight the discomfort of time lost and opportunities left unanswered.  

Today is a brand new day, and it is never too late to start your own routine.

Our routine predetermines our schedule, allowing us to use our time efficiently.

What I Know About …Learning By Doing

We get two choices in life.
Jump in, show up, and do our best.
Or, sit on the sidelines and watch opportunity pass us by.

A few weeks ago, I learned how to create a website. I’ve never created a website before. It really put me outside of my comfort zone!

Designing my website brought up a lot of my own issues with technology. My brain was consumed with thoughts like, “This is hard.” “I’ve never designed a website before.” and, “What if this fails.”

I had to coach myself a lot to get beyond my discomfort. I had to stretch myself to become someone new, someone who could set aside fear, self-doubt, and my own insecurities and get out of my own way.

It was uncomfortable, … but it was also achievable!

I accomplished something new, and something pretty amazing friends!

In addition to achieving my goal, I also gained an increase in self-confidence, self-esteem and belief that I can do hard things.

You see, on the other side of all my doubts I discovered a new, more skilled and empowered version of myself.

I am really proud of the work I chose to embrace.

It would have been much easier to pay someone to do the job for me, but then I would have denied myself of a growing opportunity.

I chose to Learn by Doing!

Determine that you, too, will embrace a new challenge in your life.   

Get out of your own way and Learn by Doing! Growth and evolvement always feels and serve us best.

Believe that you, too, can do hard things. Start to Learn by Doing today.  

P.S. – Check out my website for a little more motivation.
www.samanthanielsen.com


What I Know About …Questions

Your brain is like a computer.
If you ask it a question, it’s going to work hard to generate an answer.

Our brain loves resolving issues and “connecting the dots.” It works hard to find supporting evidence for what we’re thinking.  Present your brain with a question, and it’s going to work to create and deliver an answer.

If you ask a negative question, your brain will provide you with a negative answer, which can lead to negative results.

Conversely, if you ask your brain a positive question, it will give you a positive answer and you’ll experience positive results.

For example, if you ask your brain “Why is losing weight so hard?” Your answers are all going to support negative thinking patterns and negative results because you asked a negative question.

If you ask your brain “How can I support myself in making great choices?” Your answers are going to reflect positive thinking patterns and positive results because you asked a positive question.

Questions work like magic! Purposeful questions help create and manifest results. The more committed you are to the practice, the easier it will become. Pretty soon – purposeful and intentional questions will be a natural part of your mindset.

5 STEPS TO GET ANY RESULT YOU WANT

Here are 5 steps to use questions to get any result you want.
1. Identify what result you want. – Example: I want to lose 5 lbs.

2. Create a question that presents the answer you want. – Example: “How can I support myself in making purposeful food choices today?”

3. Practice the question until you find an answer.

I repeated the question every night before bed, so my brain can work of finding an answer while I sleep. Do this consistently, and only focus on one specific questions. Let your brain practice constraint and do the work of generating new possibilities. Pretty soon, you’ll come up with the perfect answer.

4. Take action with whatever answer you notice.

Note – your brain is providing you with a new option and in our conscious minds, we may experience doubt about the effectiveness of our answer. Don’t give in. Recognize it, ignored it and execute on your answer anyways.

5. Don’t give up—take action until you get the result you want.

If your first solution doesn’t provide you with the results you desire; continue with the process until the right answer presents itself.

Rinse and Repeat!

What I Know About …Thought Management

Our brain is the most powerful tool on the planet. Everything which has ever been invented originated with a thought. Think about it, …. our phones, the car you drive, the air conditioning we enjoy, and even the creative plays, songs, and books we read… all came about because of a thought.

So how is it that most of us walk around allowing our brain, and our thoughts, to operate in autopilot. Rarely do we pause to reflective upon and even question a portion of the 50,000 thoughts which occur on daily basis.

We make it a point to shower each day, and even brush our teeth twice a day; and yet, we’re reluctant to take time to attend to the regular hygiene of our minds.

Ultimately, it’s our thoughts which act like the GPS system for our feelings, action and our results. Did you know this already? It’s true. Think about the last time you had “a bad day.” Your day probably didn’t go as well as you would have liked because you already had a negative thought and belief about how the day was going to unfold. Chances are good you were easily agitated or even felt sluggish because you’d already decided it was going to be a bad day. As a result, your energy was then reflected in your actions (or lack of actions) and at the end of the day, you didn’t have the outcome you would’ve desired.

So if our minds are the navigation systems for our thoughts, feelings, actions and our outcomes – then that means we can redirect and reroute the system when things aren’t ideal. Our thoughts are simply the sentences which we construct and entertain in our brain.

If you want to improve your thinking – change it up. Creating a better thought will invite and support better emotions; which then lead to actions and outcomes. This is the beautiful part of the human experience – we have the freedom to determine what we want to think — with or without anyone else’s permission.

Want a new result – start with a new thought.

Interested in seeing how you can up-level your life today? Schedule a discovery call with me at www.samanthanielsen.as.me

What I Know About …My Thinking

Our primitive brain desires to keep us safe by repeating patterns, behaviors and thoughts which are familiar. Our higher brain invites us to stretch, grow, take action and explore thoughts and new ways of being. Our higher brain is what pushes us to evolve and experience progress. Both our primitive brain and our higher brain are purposeful but one creates more value.

When I think of my brain, I often imagine my brain like a room that either has the light turned “on” or “off.” I equate my lower brain to a room which has the light off. When I am thinking proactively and being purposeful, it’s like being in a room with the light turned on.

Our primitive brain wants us to repeat comfortable behaviors. When we’re thinking and behaving from a primitive space, we naturally: 1) Seek Pleasure, 2) Avoid Pain, Discomfort and Evolevment and 3) Do The Bare Minimum by Expending The Least Amount of Effort/Energy Required. This is how we behave when the light is turned off.

Think about it for a moment – here’s an example. If you need to get the house cleaned on a Saturday morning and you’re trying to motivate your children, a typical response may be that they will stay on their video games (seek pleasure), pretend they don’t hear you (avoid discomfort), and then once you do get them into the bathroom with the cleaning supplies, they’ll wipe down the counter with a wet paper towel and avoid using a cleaning cloth and a cleanser (do the least amount of work required).

If this has ever been your experience, then you can rest assured that your kids are normal.

Engaging our higher brain requires that we act with purpose and intention. It requires that we over-ride our primitive desires and ask better of ourselves. It is not always a welcomed action; yet, we know working and thinking at a higher level always serves us best. And, interestingly enough… when we respond at a higher level, we increase our self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem.

These are the byproducts which I want more of, on a regular basis, in my life.

So, what do I know about my brain? I know that my brain, when unattended, wants to operate at the lower level and go through life with the light off. When this happens, I get to step up my game and choose better. Often, I will say, “Thanks brain. Your input has been noted. Now we’re going to do things my way.” Then, I choose to operate at a higher level by turning the light on.

Which space do you operate more frequently from? Are you a “lights on,” or a “lights off,” kind of player in the game of life?

Interested in learning how to become more aware of how your lighting is impacting your life? Come join me for a consult and learn more about how to up-level your brain with just a few simple shifts as well.

Click below to schedule your 30 min. discovery consult today.
https://samanthanielsen.as.me/schedule.php

What I Know About …Validation

Years ago, I had the opportunity to write a story, a reflective story of an experience I’d had in my younger years. My story was an intimate reflection of something that was dear to my heart. It took courage for me to put the words to paper.

I shared my story with people who were close to me. I asked for their insights and opinions. I believed I could trust and would handle my story with care. I was wrong.

In putting my story into the hands of others, I opened myself up to intentional criticism – which my friends took liberty in offering.

I was surprised by this response. I was hurt and felt mistreated in the way that they handled my story. They were dismissive and made demeaning remarks about different aspects of my story. All under the guise of “constructive feedback.”

It was a moment I’ll never forget. I had anticipated my creative writing being met with some curiosity and some level of critique, but did not anticipate these people taking a sucker punch to my gut in the way they that they did.

When I walked away from this experience, I thought to myself, “What was it that I was hoping to receive?” “Why do I feel so beaten down by what just happened?” And, it was in that moment that I realized I that I had been looking for validation. I was attaching my value to the validation I’d hoped to receive. I was seeking validation from an outside source, rather than from within.

Seeking validation from others is almost always a guaranteed way to feel disappointment. Other people’s opinions of our “stories,” our “achievements,” our “journey,” doesn’t matter. It’s my opinion of what I do, how I show up, and what I accomplish, that should matter most.

While I’ve learned this lesson before, I had a moment of forgetfulness. In seeking validation from others, what I was really doing was assigning more value to what their feedback of my work might be, rather than meeting myself from a place of peace, reassurance, confidence and validation.

While the experience create an unpleasant wave of emotions, it was was a valuable reminder that my validation, my self-esteem and my worthiness always comes from within. I am in charge of safe guarding and taking care of my own emotional well-being. I will always be thoughtful to the fact that the opinions of others are simply that. Just opinions. How I regard, cherish and treat my creations, my self-worth and contributions to the world is what matters most.

What I Know About …Quiet Moments

We all need quiet moments. Quiet moments to align our heart, mind and spirit to the inner promptings which speak truth. It is in the quiet moments that we become open to the insights which our mind and soul wants us to know. It is in the quiet moments that direction becomes clear and peace can fill our being.

Quiet moments don’t happen naturally in our busy world. The quiet moments are something which have to be created, cultivated, seek after and safeguarded. Quiet moments require that we disconnect from the noise, put down our phones, and step away from the commotion, purposefully; even if just a brief period of time.

We all need quiet moments, each and every day. It’s in these quiet moments that our inner voice assures us of our worth, assures us of our capabilities, empowers us to step into a higher and better version of who we’re meant to be.

Quiet moments invigorate, refresh and enlighten our minds. It is like hydrating our body after a hot summer day. It is in these quiet moments that I have found reassurance to many of life’s questions. Additionally, this is when I’ve also felt the greatest level of connection to myself and God.

Find a time, create a time, make the time for a quiet moment. Have a notebook and pen handy because the more you invite these quiet moments into your daily life, the more you will learn about who you are, where you’re going, and what brings you peace, joy, and satisfaction.

Know that when you start embracing these quiet moments – it may initially feel a bit uncomfortable. You may not know how to be still and tune-in with yourself. This is normal and can be apart of the process. The process becomes easier and more rewarding as you build consistency in this new space. Soon, it will be something which you desire and learn to seek after.

If you aren’t currently giving yourself the gift of a quiet moment each and everyday – I invite you to give it a try. The when and where are not important, rather it’s the executing of the quiet moment, on a regular basis, that’s of real value. I’ve learned to create quiet moments while sitting in my car, just prior to purchasing groceries. I’ve also learned to appreciate quiet moments in the closet of my bedroom just prior to preparing and serving dinner.

Quiet moments have now become my favorite moments because I learn to love and connect with myself in a more genuine and abundant way. Additionally, when I take the time to take care of myself, others are also blessed because I then serve them from a more genuine space of love and authenticity.

Here’s to creating more quiet moments in your life as well.

What I Know About …Friendship

Friendship is such an amazing gift! There is no monetary value which can be placed on a high quality friendship which sustains, supports, reciprocates and nourishes your soul.

Today, I woke up in a beautiful hotel room with dear friends, who I only see once a year. We all live in different states, we’re all in different places within our family life, and careers and yet; when we come back together –  none of that matters. It’s as if no time has passed at all.

Interestingly enough, we don’t talk much in between our annual get-away, and that’s o.k.

I love these ladies just as much today as I did a year ago; and even five or ten years ago. I know they feel the same way toward me.

These women are just some of the friends who were there for me in the early years, when raising my babies tested my belief in my mothering skills. These women loved me in spite of not having a clean house or not having showered for over 24 hrs. These are the friends who brought me a Diet Coke and listened to me cry when I felt like I was sinking into the midst of a black hole.

Likewise, I was “that” friend for them as well. Open, available, non-judgemental, supportive and receptive. These are the qualities of true, genuine, dear, and enduring friendship.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that it’s the quality of a friendship, and not the quantity of friends, which really matters most to me.  Let me explain.

Take a moment and stay with me as I draw a comparison, which I believe will really bless your life.

If I were to offer you a handful of pennies, or one shiny quarter, which would you choose. 

Initially, some of you might choose to have the handful of pennies. Having lots of coins in your hand may seem more exciting, because there are a lot of them. Think of it, you could sort them, stack them, count them one by one, and would probably feel abundant because you have so many pennies.

Now, what if I were to offer you only one shiny quarter. Physically, you don’t have the same amount of coins to hold in your hand, nor will it take up as much room in your wallet or your pocket. Additionally, you won’t be able to stack the one quarter in a variety of ways; it’s just one quarter. But, the value of the quarter brings a lot more worth into your life; because it’s a quarter!

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the shiny quarters mean a lot more to me than the handfuls of pennies. I’ve not always felt this way, I did not always know this truth.

There were times in my life when I longed for lots and lots of pennies. However, as I’ve matured and learned more about myself, and have traveled the unexpected paths of life, I can see that it’s the beauty of a single quarter that serves me most abundantly.

I would rather have a few quarters to lean on then a mound of pennies any day. And while my coin jar may not appear to be very full, it’s the value of just a few quarters which makes my life rich, happy and so rewarding.

Here’s to both being, and receiving, in the amazing bond, and unique experiences of friendship.