Ep 224 The Key to Expanding Your Life

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Join me today as I talk about the top key expanding your life. Self love seems like a soft topic for some and yet it can be the most challenging work you do.  This is not about buying yourself flowers, massages and bubble baths.  Today I am sharing simple, quick important steps you can do in order to expand what is possible in your life.

  • The importance of self talk
  • What your self identity says to you
  • Soft skills in work and your personal life
  • Having compassion for your decisions
  • How having your own back increases your self trust
  • Where are you draining your energy vs loving your life?
  • www.michellebourquecoaching.com/connect to learn more about the new 6 month private coaching program

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Episode Transcript: (Transcribed by OtterAi with minimal edits)

You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque. In today’s episode, I’m discussing the key to expanding your life.

Bourque 0:12 Welcome to the It’s Your Time Podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.

0:37 Hello, hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends. How are you doing today? Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Do you do anything fun for that day? Remember, back in elementary school, when you had those little box Valentine’s, they were so much fun. We actually don’t do anything for Valentine’s Day. Really, I mean, every day is like Valentine’s Day in the Bourque household. And just ask Marc, actually, he says it’s like a new day every day. Because most of the time I am forgetting things and asking questions that really make him turn his head, you know, kind of like that dog hearing the dog was so Anyways, today, I want to talk to you about loving your self. I know, it sounds kind of soft to begin with. But it is some of the most challenging work that you will do. And it is the most important thing you need to do in order to start expanding your life. And I love when I see guys talking about being so soft. And I think of soft skills in the workplace, and would love to see some of them start attempting the soft skills, you know, things like empathy, effective communication, emotional intelligence, and how about some self awareness, self love encompasses all of that. And it’s such an important topic because it allows you the most growth in your life. It allows you to make the changes that you most want in your life without all of the judgment while having compassion. And I’m not saying you can’t make changes, if you don’t love yourself, and you don’t have compassion, and you don’t become aware of how you talk to yourself. And maybe you don’t even fully understand the identity that you think of yourself, I’m just saying that it’s going to take longer. And we know this is all about your time here. So let’s make those changes now and get you on the accelerated path. Right? I want to take this in a couple of different angles to discuss so that you as always take what works and leave what doesn’t. First, let’s start with the idea of compassion and curiosity. Oftentimes, I see people start learning the think feel do model that I discuss here. And then once you start seeing how what you are thinking is creating the results in your life. And maybe the results aren’t always ones that you love. That’s when you start having all sorts of judgment, I should think this or why do I keep doing this, and I will tell you shitting on yourself is one of the things that will for sure, hold you back, because it implies that you’re somehow doing something wrong, or you’re thinking it shouldn’t be done based on what others think. So instead, try saying, I could do this if I want it to. And I’m choosing not to because insert your reason, or I’m choosing to because insert your reason. It just allows you the ability to gain awareness around your reasons. And then I always like to ask, Do I like my reason? And there are many examples. I know I catch myself saying I should, for example, drink more water. And when I tell myself that I always feel like I’m doing it wrong or not enough. And then not enough story. Let me tell you that is a well worn neural pathway in my brain. And for many of my clients, we tell ourselves things like, I’m not smart enough. I’m not doing enough. I’m not thin enough. Whatever your flavor. It’s not true. It’s a story. You’re telling yourself. And it just because it feels true, doesn’t mean that it is true. And that’s why we are here doing this work, rewiring our brains to tell more useful stories and really pay attention to what you are doing. So when you’re thinking about how you haven’t done enough I want you to pay attention to what it is that you are doing. flip that switch because 

5:00 You are likely doing more than you even realize, and you’re just not giving yourself credit for it. Totally normal and to be expected. Remember, our brain is always looking out for the negative like that is the largest part of our brain. So we have to be intentional with telling ourselves that we did enough today, start doing that at the end of each day, instead of thinking of all the things that you didn’t finish. I know so many of you go to bed, because this used to be me as well. Oh, I need to do this tomorrow. I didn’t do that I didn’t get to this, I didn’t get to that. No, stop. 

5:38 Tell yourself everything that you did get done. And be intentional with reminding yourself of all of those things. That’s when you start seeing changes happen. Knowing that you could do the things, knowing your reasons why you are or are not. And knowing if you like that reason, those three steps alone are so much more empowering than telling yourself you should be doing XYZ, or you didn’t do enough today. And pay attention to all the places that you do tell yourself, you should I should lose weight, I should drink less, I should call on that doctor, I should be a better mom. Change it, I could, if I want it. Okay, let’s continue with some more self love, specifically around your identity. And before I get into the identity work, do you know what truly has the most impact on really building your self love or improving your self care? Either way you name it? The answer is watching your self talk. It takes no time at all. And it is the best thing you can do to increase your self love. Choose your words wisely, when you speak to yourself, because they matter. And that is what will lead us those words, what you are telling yourself is what leads you into your future self into your identity. Because we often say I am insert whatever. And then we believe I am, whatever it is that you’re inserting, or we might even say I am not, and then insert whatever that is for you. We need to be able to witness what we are telling ourselves because it is the most important thing that will determine our future self. Remember, the reticular activating system in your brain is always looking for evidence for what you believe to be true. So if you are telling yourself I am whatever that is what your brain is going to look for evidence to prove correctly. So be intentional with what comes after I am. Here’s a great question. What do you think of yourself? And how does that compare? Do you think to what others think? Or let’s get really crazy here, because it’s probably more appropriate to say what you think they think of you, right? That’s what it really is. And this came up recently, in a conversation with Mark, he was telling me that I don’t see myself the way others do. And he will say things like you’re a professional woman, and people think you have it together with a really great job. And in the past, I’ve always had the story I tell myself, I’m more like Kramer on an episode of Seinfeld. But that story, that identity, that keeps me playing small, it’s just not super useful, because then I might show up a bit more chaotic in my life, maybe not so intentional, in my mind. However, if I think I’m a professional woman who has it together, different way I show up. And it was interesting, because I recently saw a post on LinkedIn. And it was around leadership. And I think a lot of times people who are leaders may not even see that in them selves. And about four years ago, this came up I had a coach talking to me about being a leader. And I was like, huh, I totally didn’t see it for myself. But again, the beauty of coaching is that your coach is able to show you your blind spots. And usually your coach has more belief in you than you do because the coach doesn’t always have the stories that you’ve been telling yourself. It’s so much fun because having a coach allows you to see a different perspective about yourself and start stepping into that new identity. And when you can start to see that all of the thoughts are optional and not facts, then you can wiggle some of your old crappy thoughts and start working on thinking new ones on purpose in order to become your next best self. So in this case, I started to find evidence 

10:00 of how I am a leader. And can I tell you, and this is what will happen for you, too, when you shift the story, the results are different. I have had more leadership opportunities in the last four years than probably the 20 before it because I now believe I am a leader. And here’s a funny story. Because sometimes, this can be simple things that we think this work doesn’t always have to be the grandiose like I’ve dug in, and I’ve gone to my past and I now have been enlightened. It is literally what we tell ourselves at a small level, over and over and over every single day. And that’s what we start to believe is really a fact, right? These are the thoughts that just seem to feel so true, because we’ve told ourselves it for so long. And like I said, it can be so simple, because a couple of weeks ago, I was showing mark a picture of me, and my teammates, the ones that I just completely love and adore. And I told him, I look so short next to these people. And he looks at me and says, You are short, you’re short, and you’re old, and you’re skinny, and you just don’t see it. And I informed him that I for sure. I’m not taking on the old story, maybe the short. And here’s an interesting part of that story. Because I’ve mentioned here before, that I was 99 pounds in third grade. So for me, there’s a lot of rewiring of the brain to get to the point where I would ever call myself skinny. So that one we can just, you know, put to the side and keep working on. But that is my point. These are the stories that we tell ourselves over and over and over. And we think they are facts, but clearly, they are not. So what are the stories that you tell yourself about yourself? I want you to hear me when I say again, they are not facts. If they are helpful to you and getting to your goals, Rock on, keep them. But if they are holding you back, if they are beliefs, maybe from parents or teachers or family members, and they’re not helpful, start challenging them. What else could be true? How are they not true? Now, I’m not saying you go from I am someone who can never lose weight and keep it off to a thought along the lines of I’m amazing. And I will never have another struggle with food. That’s not the work here. You just start by going from A to not a meaning from maybe the thought I’m someone who can never lose weight and keep it off to maybe something more like I’m learning new ways to fuel my body in a way that works for me. This idea can be used around planning your time, relationships, managing your money, everything because how we do one thing is how we do everything. So instead of telling yourself that you have no time for self care, for example, maybe you start telling yourself, I am willing to take five minutes to just consider what I want today. self care is not always bubble baths and massages. It can be as simple as paying attention to what you are thinking. Like I said, changing your self talk is where the magic begins. And I promise you this, you start with 510 minutes to see what you’re thinking about yourself. You might be shocked. The thoughts are so unconscious, sometimes. I know I sometimes see what I write out that comes out of this brain. And I think Yikes, I would never speak to anyone like that. So why is it okay? That we do it to ourselves? It’s not, it’s just that you likely don’t even realize what is going on in there. And when you start seeing how you communicate with yourself, how you see yourself and drop the judgment that you have about things that you are doing or not doing. That’s when you start taking care of yourself. One of the biggest reasons this is important, James clear talks about it in his book, atomic habits, your habits, what you do daily, is the identity that you are becoming right. These are the goals that you want most in your life how you want to expand your life. So are you casting a ballot for your future self? Or are you spinning and the stories of the past? Here’s another example. I recently heard a person talking about how she never considered herself an exerciser. And when she started going to the gym to lift, she had a lot of shame about going in because her story was always that she was not an exerciser. And she knew that in order to become that identity. She would have to feel the shame and love herself all along the way as she went every day and now she has no problem going in and usually tells to do

15:00 means that they need to fix their form. What are you telling yourself that you are or you are not? Again, when you start paying attention to all of this, that’s when you start making the changes in your life. And you’re more likely to start saying no to things that you don’t want to do. You start setting boundaries, you start finding time to do more of what you want, you start becoming the next version of yourself, your life has so much more opportunities for expansion. And I say that, not because anything is wrong with where you are now. But as humans, we want to evolve. That’s what makes this life fun, folks, right? You are either a creator of your life or the reactor. And I promise you this, I’ve been both being the creator is way more powerful, way more fun, than when you are just reacting constantly. That’s when you’re draining your energy, and you feel like a victim to all of the external circumstances. And when we are in the victim mentality, we are not at our highest emotional intelligence levels. And we are not making the changes that we most want. So let’s work on creating more of what you want. Start noticing, decide where you want to make the changes and start taking action on creating more of those results that you want in your life. And if you are ready to get going with one on one coaching, let’s get on a call and you can discuss your goals and what you most want in your life. I want you to consider if I could wave a magic wand, how would your life be different? Whatever that answer is that just came to your brain. It might have just been a whisper but it is possible for you to go to Michellebourquecoaching.com/connect and schedule a call. We dive into all of this on a more personal level. And then you leave the call with at least one change. So much fun. Okay, friends, that’s what I have for you today. Take what works leave what doesn’t and tune in next week for another opportunity for transformation. Make it a great day. Take care 

17:21 Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one. Go to MichelleBourquecoaching.com and click on get started to begin


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