Being chronically bored or in a state of not caring is easily masked as just going through the motions of our daily experience. It doesn’t mean we are emotionless; instead, it’s a way to numb the underlying feelings of something deeper. Before I knew anything about the work I do now with self-empowerment, I went through the motions of daily life but with the addition of chronic binge eating. I’d go to work, come home, binge/numb, declare I was bored and didn’t care about anything, go to bed and do it all over again. It turns out I wasn’t bored at all; I had years of trauma living under the surface of my dissatisfaction with life, and eventually, I recognized how I was just going through the motions to survive the pain I didn’t want to relive.
Reflect on what’s underneath the not caring and the boredom. Could it be a feeling of overwhelm, anxiety, fear, or something else? How can you bring those emotions to the surface and be expressed so you can shift away from just going through the motions? How can you invite more activities that spark fun and creativity to help shift your energy?
Recently, I discovered the concept that there is no such thing as writer’s block. Instead, it’s just internalized doubt and can feel like a physical or emotional block in the body. It can sort of feel like the hose through which our creativity flows is kinked. I denounced writing creatively for years because I figured my creativity hose was just plugged up of muck, and I had nothing of significance to express because I felt like an imposter. It turns out that loads of self-doubt kept the creativity from flowing, and once I learned to turn down the volume of self-doubt and rid of my imposter syndrome the hose unkinked, and I started overflowing with ideas. Are all of them amazing? No, but it’s not about always having the best ideas. It’s about letting it all flow so we can access the wisdom we want to share through our creativity.
Pause and notice where the kink or block exists. For example, is there a theme of feeling like your ideas or creations suck? Is there a bit of imposter syndrome clogging up your wisdom because you feel like you don’t know enough to be expressing something creatively? Trace the block back to the source (the part of the brain that’s trying to keep you safe) and reflect on what’s keeping you “stuck.”
We weren’t born doubting ourselves or our abilities. Any limiting or critical thoughts about ourselves came from early childhood experiences where we developed a filter. This filter taught us right from wrong, good from bad, and what we deserve and don’t deserve. And the filter is not always an accurate representation of the world or your place in it. It’s just a filter that can easily skew reality.
The disbelief that I harbored about myself and my skills kept me in “creating a business” mode for a full two years before I finally launched. And guess what, during those two years I wasn’t creating much of anything; I was living in chronic self-doubt. I took little-to-no action to prove to my brain that it was right, that I couldn’t do something different. Now, I have to remind my brain almost daily that I can do hard things as I build new neural pathways, and I’ve taken more action in the last year than I ever had while in “creation mode.”
When in self-doubt, instead of proclaiming you can’t, show your brain (and your filter) that you can by asking this: “How can I”? Make a list of all the ways you can do the thing you say you can’t to begin to reprogram the subconscious filter that is limiting you.
4. DISPLAYING SELF-SABOTAGING BEHAVIORS
Self-sabotage is not a conscious habit, meaning we’re not actively trying to make things hard for ourselves. What’s happening is that our default behaviors live in our subconscious mind, and our subconscious mind will choose the path of least resistance at any given time. Even if we want to break out of our fast-food for four nights per week habit and try to combat it by buying a bunch of groceries, we may find ourselves feeling overwhelmed with making meals, so we repeat the pattern.
It’s not because you want to throw your groceries away; it’s because the desired change you wish to experience isn’t hardwired into the habit-forming center of your brain and whatever habit is stronger takes precedence over new habits. Nothing changes if nothing changes, and our role is to bring awareness to the unconscious behaviors that keep us in sabotage mode.
Become aware of the chronic habits that override your new habits, like not giving yourself enough time to prep meals for the week because you’re working extra hours or taking on too many shared responsibilities. And how can you create new habits without trying to change your entire life overnight? Consider slow, sustainable steps to experience real change.
5. CHRONICALLY TAKING LESS, ASKING FOR LESS, OR NOT ASKING AT ALL
I used to think being a people-pleaser and over-giver made me a good human. But truthfully, this was a lie I told myself because of the lies I learned about the actual value I bring to the world. The behaviors that resemble self-sacrificing are linked to not feeling worthy. Mainly not feeling worthy of having enough, being seen, or asking for help. However, you, as you are, are inherently valuable and worthy, but were likely accustomed to this idea that the more you do, give, work, hustle – the more value you provide. That’s a big fat lie derived from outdated capitalist and patriarchal systems that see people as machines.
You are not a machine. You are a deserving unicorn of excellence simply because you are here.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for improving our internalized beliefs about self-worth, but small daily reminders of your inherent value add up to new thoughts, which equates to a big payoff in your mindset shift. Reminders can be in the form of daily affirmations about your inherent value posted to your mirror or stated upon awakening. And try reframing your beliefs around what actual value is versus what you made to believe based on past conditioning and experiences.
6. BELIEVING THAT THE ONLY WAY LIFE CAN GET BETTER IS BY MAKING A BIG SHIFT
This one’s tricky. From personal experience, I can recount times in my life when making a significant life shift like moving from Maine to Seattle solo in my early 20’s was one of the best things I’d ever done for myself. And while it was amazing, I was trying to escape the life I had created. In some instances, making a significant career shift, a life-changing move, or ending a long-term relationship can be incredibly empowering and can affirm our ability to improve our lives.
But wherever we go, there we are. So while my life was better in Seattle than when I lived in Maine, I was the same person with the same internal wounding and pain. This inner wounding and pain translated into self-doubt, fear, and not fully experiencing all that was available to me because of my limiting views of myself. I experienced an expansion of myself AND a reminder of what I hadn’t healed yet. Sometimes we see these alternative options to our current situation as the greener grass, so it’s helpful to understand if you’re acting out mainly escapism or empowerment before making a giant leap.
Reflect on the allure of this big transition. How will it support you? What will you have to continue to reconcile within yourself after this change? Are you willing to try this shift even if it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped? What are the risks and rewards of both of your different options? I love writing a pros and cons list for this very reason. Don’t force the list; play around and see what you uncover as you reflect on your options.
7. WISHING SOMEONE WOULD JUST SAVE YOU ALREADY
Like #6, wishing someone would save us from our reality teeters on the edge of escapism, meaning if you could have someone take away all the fear, confusion, debt, pain, then maybe life would be amazing. Sometimes we wish for this in our partners, in friends, or in some distant relative that is hoarding a pile of money you *might* get access to if they remember to include you in their will.
When I was a child, I fantasized that my life partner would save me from the turmoil of my home life, like meeting him would take away all my pain and trauma from childhood, and we’d ride off into the sunset. But after a series of disappointing realizations about how no one can truly save me, I learned that only I could save me. Only I can pick myself up when I fall. Only I can create a life of peace, ease, simplicity, empowerment, abundance, and safety.
Ask yourself where are you giving your power away in your current situation? Where can you take your control back? What empowered decisions can you make and aligned actions can you take to move away from the victim mentality and be your hero?
Which one of the inconspicuous signs surprised you most? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.
And if you’re ready to redirect your “just getting by” energy into thriving energy, you can book a free 20-minute consultation by clicking on the button below to get clarity and support for your new path.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, diagnosis, and/or therapy. Always check with your own therapist, physician, or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.