Stop living for an audience of strangers

It’s been two years since I left my job and life as I knew it. It was a decision that had been roaming in my head for months, but fear of the unknown held me back. I wanted change but was afraid of getting it wrong. I was unhappy but had no guarantee that leaving would bring me happiness.

It’s hard to envision a new life, a reality different from the one you know and have experienced. Through our experiences we develop a concept of what’s normal and defend it like it’s the only certainty in our lives. We are attached to our expectations and all the things we think we can’t live without. We are taught to be ambitious and want those things. Many of us are told to dream big and then we’re told what to dream, bombarded by images of an ideal life. So, we live in constant comparison and fear of inadequacy. And we forget what really matters. I had to leave to figure it out.

Change, particularly drastic change, triggers a destabilizing stressful reaction in most humans. Yet we underestimate our survival spirit and sense of adaptability. It’s just a matter of time before we are able to adjust and conform to a different environment, before the new stops feeling new and becomes our normal. Some of the things we were used to begin to lose value, while others gain new meaning. And we’re left to wonder, Why did I wait so long to make that change? What was I so afraid of? Judgement, I say, judgement.

Think about this… How would you live your life if no one was watching?

How would you live your life if you knew nothing about how others were living theirs? 

I’m not advocating for chaos or ignorance or isolation. But the idyllic vision of the American white picket fence was created by someone and unconsciously accepted by all. We overestimate the concept of happiness like it’s a state we can only reach once we’ve ticked off a series of boxes: stellar career, financial wealth, perfect family, numerous friends, etc. But is it what each of us really wants? Or, to refence another American idiom, are we just trying to keep up with the Joneses because we obsessively measure our life against that of the people in our network?

There was a time when our network was limited to our closest friends and family, people who truly mattered to us. Then came social media and the concept of friend started to broaden. Now, while I recognize the value of Facebook in the barriers it has brought down connecting people from around the world and building communities that bond and inspire, I can’t help but fear the damages of living with the daily judgement of, and comparison to, an immense audience of strangers. 

Who are the people in your life who know you deeply and accept you and love you unconditionally? The people who want your happiness and will celebrate it with you no matter their own emotional state? The people who don’t care if you’re a doctor or a comedian, or if you have children or pets? Those who do not pretend to tell you how to live your life and they do not condemn you for doing so in a way that’s different from theirs? These people should be your only audience. 

So, I challenge you. Silence the noise and focus on your own voice. Abandon those who do not support you. Take a chance. Make a change. Step outside the lines. Erase and redraw the lines.

Find the happiness that exists in every moment you get to choose how to live your life. 

Antonella

The Unruly Self

This post comes a little late, but with warm feelings and happy memories, even though it is very different from anything I’ve written in the past.

These weeks have been full of news, full of discoveries and full of uncertainties, but I have decided to embrace and accept them with patience and self-confidence, without letting me lose heart.
I took a kind of trip into the past, I tried to remember who I am based on what I liked over time. Freedom and music, my identity. It had been a long time since I gave myself such a space for myself, and it made me regain possession of myself in full.

Music, in particular, has a seductive effect on me. Listen to it, connect the words of the lyrics to memory and memories. Hearing the notes of the guitar accompanying a melody takes me back in time, and I have the extraordinary ability to remember every moment associated with it.
It probably doesn’t work for everyone, but every time I need to find myself, I throw myself on my favorite notes and start traveling as if I were in the world of Fantàsia. It is a simple but very powerful thing.

And I remembered. The unruly and rebellious girl who ran away from home to dance late. Who covered each other with friends to be able to do whatever we wanted. That she suffered because none of the greats liked everything she did, and she was constantly punished for being the way she was. And these experiences, these memories are now engraved in the lyrics of the music that I listened to and loved.
I looked at the photos of the past by now very distant, but only by listening to the songs of the time I associated those photos with the feelings I felt and the confusion of joy and pain I felt inside, and I was so excited that I felt again as I was at the era, naive, curious, enterprising, and nothing, absolutely nothing could have dissuaded me from having fun.

That way of being happy it’s what I’m rediscovering now, with more awareness and clarity.

Associations are important, let’s use them for a good purpose.

P.S. To my old friends (you know who), you are always in my heart!

Luna

I thought to be right it had to be easy…

I wanted it for so long. That one constant in a life of variables. A sense of stability to hold you anchored through the roughest, often unpredictable, storms. I dreamt of being found, despite my tendency to hide, and treasured like a rare jewel, adored, and protected. Much like when I was growing up, surrounded by men who taught me I was worthy of great unconditional love. I learned to have high expectations and was shown what to look for. I dismissed everyone along the way who didn’t have elements of my father or brothers. I waited for the one who would see me as they do. I waited for the one who would peel all the layers through to the darkest depths and love all of me, complicated and flawed. I waited for the one who would hold me tight and never let me go. I thought he would sweep in on a white horse and effortlessly whisk me away. I thought to be right it had to be easy. 

We had a wildly intense rocky start. He dove head in as I cautiously dipped my feet. He stood strong through the first waves, while I hurriedly sprinted out of the water. Before meeting him, I had been working hard to build my confidence. I finally felt I had control of my life, so I resisted relinquishing it. I hesitated in exposing myself to vulnerability, insecurity, and fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of betrayal. Fear of another heartbreak. 

He, however, never showed fear. He never retreated when I pushed back. He persisted, confident in his pursuit and sure of his feelings. He patiently uncovered the layers, and to my surprise, continued to find beauty even in my most unattractive traits. He looks at me as if nothing else in the world matters. 

Though we share similar values and cultural background, we quickly learned that our different upbringing and life experiences gave us a vastly different way to view the world and relate to others. So, often, our perceptions divide us. We interpret each other’s words, tones, and actions to mean something other than what intended. And we feel hurt, offended, frustratingly misunderstood. He stubbornly defends his ideas, his truth. But he just as stubbornly works to understand mine. He has the confidence to swallow his pride and the humility to recognize his own limitations, then move beyond them, in my direction.

He loves me in the way I always dreamt of being loved. He believes in the love we were taught to want as children but learned to refute as adults. No matter the size of his wounds, he hasn’t given up on that love. He fights for it, facing any adversity head on, prepared to sustain the deepest cuts, but never defeated by them. 

He gives with all of himself. Even when he’s hurt. He forgives. And keeps on giving. He takes on burdens so that others don’t have to. And he doesn’t get tired. He doesn’t allow himself to get tired. In a world where we’re constantly being encouraged to put ourselves first, he does the opposite. Because he wants to diligently fulfill his role as father, son, friend, lover, supporting and protecting, caring, and nurturing. 

My longest relationship before him lasted 1.5 years. His, 15. Accustomed to my independence, I continued making decisions as one even when I became a party of two. There is great pride in flying solo. It’s incredibly empowering to recognize that you don’t need anyone else, and quite terrifying to learn to count on someone else. But as he showed me, it is well worth the risk.

I was taught to aim high. And I did. But the quest for more fueled a persistent fear of missing out. The idea of having to make any compromises sounded too much like settling, a concept I proudly refuted for 37 years as I waited for just the right person. Yet when he stood in front of me, I almost didn’t recognize it… beautiful, rare, complicated, imperfect love. 

Antonella

Are you setting up a goal or expressing a desire?

With this post I feel rather ambitious, but in my opinion it is a really important topic to understand who we are and what we want.
At the same time, for some, it may seem trivial and obvious, but to me, it is very close to my heart since it has resolved a lot of uncertainties.

I have previously talked about how our desires are formed, and how the path taken to achieve them is equally important.
Unfortunately, however, the real question that always puts anyone in crisis is not “What are your desires”, but “what are your goals?”.
Often and willingly, when asked this question, we feel almost intimidated because most of us really don’t think that building a goal is something realistic, but rather a hidden desire, the fulfillment of which depends mainly on the events, not from us.
And of course, answering such a question is not easy if we think that the goals are our desires, as it would make us feel vulnerable, especially if they do not come true.

How many of you can relate to that?

I myself, until recently, had no idea that there really were any differences between the two, and I never gave them too much importance until, looking inside, I realized that what I was doing with my life, and the value I gave to it, depended on my choices and my actions, as well as my thoughts. Therefore, I had to act without fear to really feel that I was living a life of value.

And so I started working on it, and I tried to figure out how to create goals, the main step to get something out of life.

This made me realize how far I was from reality.

First, how to distinguish a desire from a goal?

According to the NLP it is useful to follow this pattern:

S – Specific

M -Measurable

A – Attainable / Assignable

R – Realistic / Rewarding

T – Timebound/ Tangible

So just ask yourself some questions?

If your desire is to find work as an astronaut, then ask yourself:
Is any kind of mission as an astronaut okay? Are you okay with fixing the bathroom at the International Space Station like Howard from Big Bang Theory, or do you want to go and discover new planets? Do you want to be an astronaut in space, or just training is enough? How many hours of work would you like to have per week?

Then I would ask myself if this goal is really measurable, that is, to what extent do you think you can define yourself satisfied with what you have achieved? When will the achievement of your goal be evident to you?

Another fundamental question is whether that goal, for what you feel, for what you have lived in your life in the past, is a concrete and achievable goal. If you didn’t have financial problems, do you think you would be able to?
But even more, an essential part of this process is to understand if the goal is in fact achievable: do you think that with the economic problems you have you might not be able to do it? Could someone or something interfere with your goal? Do you have to find another job in the meantime? Do you have the time to do everything?

Finally, the essential question is that of time. It is here that everyone, absolutely everyone, fails, because it is when they understand how much all the previous questions are important when we relate them to time.

All the questions asked so far make you understand very well how a desire is really achievable to make it truly a goal, but of all the questions, for me that of time is the most specific, and it is the one that made me achieve most things.

At first, I was cheating.
I didn’t even notice that I was cheating. I kept pretending to have these bizarre and obvious goals, with a date so far away, that when that date arrived I didn’t even remember my desire anymore.
Since, “I want to learn a new language”, “learn to play the ukulele” and “become a dancer”, all these wishes are absolutely achievable. If you reflect in these words I can only tell you to do it and with joy, but learn well to distinguish desires from goals because otherwise they can only bring you a huge disappointment if you don’t reach them quickly.

I also thought I had learned the distinction between the two when I tried to start using this NLP method to become a web designer. I gave myself quite a long time to learn everything, I looked for a community that would help me reach the necessary milestones, and mental support, I bought courses, I invested time and I also made a lot of progress, but I forgot, or better, I deliberately left out some fundamental things. If my determination were unalterable with the passing of time and difficulties, because unfortunately the more a goal is far away, the more external elements and factors will come to get me in trouble, then undermining mental health and physics.

So I took a step back and looked at the things I’ve done in my life. All those goals I have achieved in my past life have one thing in common: I wanted them, they weren’t insurmountable, I did them consistently and without thinking, they were quantifiable, they had an expiration date, and they made me improve as a person.

This, I repeat, does not mean giving up desiring, on the contrary, you will often and gladly find that things will come to you before you even ask yourself all these questions, almost by chance, but it is important to know how to recognize the real objectives, and to be able to teach the little people you raise and educate.

In addition to this method, there are also many other techniques to understand well how to create a goal or even just recognize it. There are goals so ambitious that to reach them it is inevitable to have the work of an entire team working together for the same goal, and you often have to create micro-stages to keep motivation and mood high (such as to become Olympians).

Meanwhile, I want to say that the biggest and most beautiful goal I have for this year is regarding this blog in which we have a well-defined time, a very strong team with Antonella, and a great motivation.

Luna

The truth about being single at 37

And why it wasn’t by choice!

I thought I’d be married by now. Being single past a certain age, for a woman, is often subject to scrutiny and judgement. There is no sugar coating it. And yes, times are changing as women are redefining their role in society to extend beyond antiquated stereotypes and limiting expectations, while demanding respect in their freedom to be who they want. But, let me be honest with you. I do not feel empowered by my status. I will not claim that I am single because I want it this way, because I value freedom and independence over partnership and compromise. It is not a deliberate conscious decision I made to remain unmarried until the age of 37. It is the factor of a series of choices and circumstances that knowingly or unknowingly have determined this path for me. 


I love love. I grew up in a beautiful family of 5 and dreamt I’d have the same one day: a life partner, 3 children, a simple life of mundane moments centered around family and grounded in tradition. I have always had high expectations for love. Blame Disney. Blame media. Blame my own parents. I have stood by my conviction that love, true love, should be an impossible-to-deny, overwhelming gut feeling that magnetically pulls you to the right person. I was prepared to wait for it, certain that I would know how to recognize it. And also certain that it would come before 30…

For many people it seems to work out that way. And when the number of wedding announcements and baby showers starts inundating your news feed, the proof of what’s “normal” becomes irrefutable. So you start questioning your actions, your choices, your own self-worth. Being single becomes something you have to explain, or justify, to preserve some pride. Finding peace and acceptance in what you can’t fully control (i.e., meeting the love of your life) is a great introduction to a journey of self-discovery and continuous development. 


As young adults we’re faced with the overwhelming responsibility to define our identity, which until a certain age was imposed, unquestioned, by our full-time roles as daughters, sisters, students. For those of us privileged enough to have been raised in a country like the United States, we are offered the chance to be who we want and reach great heights. Inspired by this goal, we start crafting our ambitious career paths and chasing fulfilment in them. Some find it. Others, like me, are left wandering, looking for something more, without really knowing what that is. For a while, I thought love was the answer. 


When I found love, I was on the brink of a career/existential crisis. His entry into my life gave me permission to shift my focus onto the one thing I had long been waiting for. My new role as his girlfriend became my whole identity and it filled me up completely. Until he shredded my heart in pieces and I no longer knew how to exist as my own person rather than part of a whole. I had to learn to face my weaknesses instead of hiding them behind the strength of another. I had to harness my own strength and learn how to love myself as I discovered the depth of my resilience. I was single once again, feeling a certain void in my life, but finally brave enough to look inward for the missing pieces. 


At 35 I started living freely. I ditched pressures and expectations, I fought shame and insecurity, and reconnected with my true self. I found the confidence I never had and a voice I had repressed for too long. I have never stopped wishing for that special someone, but I did stop feeling incomplete without him. In time, I opened my heart up again, overflowing with gratitude and love.

And love came flowing right back.

Antonella

The Unfolding of a Thought

Ok, I decided to start writing this post even though I have very little time, and I really have a million things to do. More than a post, perhaps this will be a booster post: short, intense and energetic. I need to really gather all my energy for this. All the positive and negative energies that I have inside me, as they are all needed!

Maybe I can’t explain everything exactly, but I’m sure I can explain how it got here. In Lisbon, with a new job and a new life.

It was February, under lockdown, closed at home with my mother, no money or prospects for the future. Resumes and rejection letters from all over. In fact, I had chosen to send my resumes on AngelList where they keep you in suspense for 1 or 2 weeks and then send you a detailed rejection letter in detail. I was rejected by 8 unpaid jobs, 14 paid jobs, and they didn’t even want me as a volunteer (because they didn’t want me to waste time looking for work).

Once I finished the jobs where I could apply I started sending them to Italy, where at least they don’t really reply to you, and although the ego is not to be fed, I think that at least I love mine enough not to ask him to stand there and take all the bull*. I mean, even the ego needs a little love occasionally. And so, of 42 resumes sent, I received one response from a job as a telemarketing saleswoman, at €500 per month on evening shifts that include the weekend, without a contract.

To say that I was depressed is an understatement because in addition to having no prospects, I also had the growing guilt that has been put on my shoulders by society that demands not to leave my old mother alone, and at the same time ask me to accept any job otherwise I’d be considered demanding.

And although I really wanted to be a good daughter, to show all the love I have for her, I had anxiety attacks every day, with the prospect of having to sacrifice my life in a place that never guaranteed me any right, where I would not be able to live alone, where I couldn’t feed myself, or be able to live independently. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t be able to be seen, and appreciated for who I am.

This blog, for me, was a real lifeline because I resumed past studies on NLP, and it forced me, somehow, to take back my thoughts and strength. As the director of my coaching school, Antonella Rizzuto, says in a recent Unicomunicazione post: “What you think is your world”, a way of saying that the map is not the territory.

And there I really sought my strength. I tried to accept my anxieties and fears, but also to dissociate myself from them, because after all I chose what to think. What I am I choose with the things I love, with the music I listen to, with the people I attend, with the ideas that I have of myself that are not still in a moment, they are not static, but are constantly moving, like thoughts.

And emotions don’t represent who we are, emotions are like a guide, and they make us realize if we’re really following our nature or if we’re stuck at a deadlock that we need to figure out how to unlock.

So, with a lot of courage, I collected every moment of lockdown solitude to try to connect more and more to the emotions that I relate to freedom and love.

Some days I spent hours alone in the terrace of my building listening to my favorite music and connecting to it while admiring the sky and trying to imagine myself in different situations while I continued to appreciate the present moment. I was looking for joy in admiring the sky, the freedom of birds in flight, and I was trying to remember what it feels like to feel free to be who I am, and to love me for who I am with all my limitations and vulnerabilities. I tried to let go of the idea that I could be everything. To be the perfect daughter, the perfect niece, the perfect cousin. I realized that I had only one responsibility to my mother: the responsibility of really living every day.
I can’t prevent the other things, I can only take them one day at a time.

And it was only when, looking up at the sky, I connected with the world, I remembered the 68-second rule.

Visualize what you want, down to the smallest detail, when you feel it can happen for a minimum time of 68 seconds.

If you’re able to keep that image undisturbed for 68 seconds, it will come true, or rather, the universe will slowly unfold it in front of your eyes in such a natural way that you won’t even realize that’s exactly what you asked for.

And this is how an insignificant opportunity on paper has turned into a huge opportunity for growth.

I’ve changed my country, and the city I live in now is absolutely wonderful. I have found a house exactly as I had asked it, I have met great people, and the job offers an incredible opportunity of growth that was exactly what I had asked the universe.

All this during one terrible pandemic, and with unemployment rate never as big.

My job now, is to remember who I am. A person with the faculty to think, and if you can think you can be who you want.

Luna

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche · 

Dreaming
Receiving

Enough with labels! And why we over-diagnose our emotions.

One of my readers recently expressed concern about my posts. “What exudes from your writing is that you’re an unhappy person,” she told me. I should specify that her feedback wasn’t unsolicited. I expressly asked for her opinion but did it fully confident I’d receive a wildly complimentary pat on the back. Her words left me a bit surprised but as I mulled over them, I completely understood. You see, the words came from my biggest fan, my most die-hard supporter, the one person I could never do wrong by, my mother (sorry mom!) She is also the one person in my life who rejoices most in my happiness and carries the heaviest burden of my pain. Even my tiniest frown can cause my mom great concern. So, I understood why my writing about insecurities and vulnerabilities would worry her. But I also wondered, do others echo her thoughts and find sadness in my words? And, do we have a tendency to dramatize what are normal swings in our very complex emotional spectrum? 

After a recent personal post on social media where I openly shared about a particularly difficult moment in my life, a friend of mine reached out to ask if I had considered seeking professional help. The tone of my post, I thought, was one of hope and compassion. Despite the difficulty of what I was experiencing, I had found the courage to give myself a hug and trust that all would be ok. That was the message I shared. I had hoped it would elicit an empowered fist bump reaction, offering some relief to others who might have been facing similar challenges. Instead, my one friend (and maybe others) interpreted it as a potential cry for help. While grateful for my friend’s attention and care, I was still quite taken aback from his response. And I wondered, is our increased focus on mental health rushing us into over-diagnosing basic emotions as symptoms of very serious conditions?

Both episodes have sparked a lot of thinking in me about how difficult it is to talk about emotions. On one hand, there’s a tendency to hide emotions in fear of burdening others, especially loved ones, or worse, being misunderstood. On the other hand, there’s the shame of what we are feeling, as we ourselves often have a hard time understanding it and end up believing there’s something just plain wrong with us. I certainly don’t want my mother to think I’m a sad person, but I do get sad. I don’t want my friends to think I’m clinically depressed, but I do have days of not wanting to get out of bed. It’s hard enough to talk about feelings. But even more so when they’re negative feelings. Pain, disappointment, anger, regret… emotions most of us struggle to properly express and explain. 

We learn to keep our feelings to ourselves from a very young age as we imitate the behavior often modeled by the adults around us. With the best of intentions some parents tend to mask their worries and shield their children from inconvenient truths. They avoid showing or even acknowledging many negative emotions. Yet when a child appears sad or upset, the parents expect him to openly share and explain what he’s feeling. Unequipped to do so, the child internalizes and represses, laying the first stones of a soon-to-be insurmountable emotional brick wall. As we learn to successfully bury our emotions, we become empowered by our strength and ability to compartmentalize as we’re praised for doing so. I don’t know anyone who’s comfortable crying in front of others and doesn’t instinctively fight to hold back tears, no matter the occasion. After all, the expression “there’s no crying in baseball” has been extended much more widely than the sport to remind us that it’s rarely socially acceptable to cry. So, repress we must. Unfortunately, the more we repress the more afraid we become of ever exposing any vulnerability. And that fear keeps us from deeply connecting to others and supporting one another. Alone in our deeply complex emotional states, we struggle to make sense of our often-erratic behavior.

Luckily, with the recent boom in the self-help industry, we are finally allowing our emotions the space they deserve and embracing them to help us improve our quality of life. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence have become fundamental skills at the basis of any good relationship, partnership, or even business transaction. But in our efforts to better understand ourselves and others, we’ve become obsessed with labels, which aim to neatly define us and openly embrace us. 

Labels normalize our weird. But sometimes we rush to them as a solution without properly understanding the problem. We find such a sense of belonging in them that we build our identities around them and use them to predict and justify our behavior rather than improve it. In doing so, labels have become our own limiting beliefs that keep us enslaved within static profiles unable to capture our true essence. 

I have claimed a myriad of labels throughout my journey of self-discovery and development. When analyzing my behavior in social settings, I went from thinking I was an introvert to an ambivert to a shy extrovert. Most recently, a trusted colleague suggested that I might instead be exhibiting signs of social anxiety disorder. My brain exploded. I realized that rather than working so hard to understand and define and diagnose our emotions, we should focus much more on experiencing them, free to be completely incoherent and courageously vulnerable. 

Communication is at the core of our existence. Yet we often fail miserably at it. We fail to find the right words. We fail to listen and reserve judgement. We shy away from conflict and tone down our instincts. We silently swallow things up only to violently spit them out in a torrent of resentment. When we don’t give proper voice to our emotions, we inhibit our ability to love and be loved. So, let’s talk about our feelings and cry and write outpours of personal reflections to help us better connect with the world around us and love it a little bit better each day.

Antonella

On bad feelings and emotions.

Lately I wanted to get the best out of myself. Take every opportunity that life offers and take advantage of it without paying attention to anything else.

I was raised and educated to only pursue freedom and independence. All the other things that put a limit on my life, fits tightly, and I push it away, regardless of the consequences, feeling numb, as if I was disassociating myself from them.

I always thought it was a great achievement to be able to select the emotions I feel, and I started practicing NLP for that very reason and to be able to make the most of the Law of Attraction.

Because, after all, that’s how it works. 

Feeling like winners helps us to win, feeling happy, helps us to achieve happiness, feeling loved helps us to attract lovers. Overturning emotions instead, always leads us into oblivion, it makes us doubt ourselves and attracts all sort of troubles.

Only lately, for me, everything has been working out too well.

I got what I wanted, and all I had to do was just be able to disassociate myself from the penetrating and persistent feeling of fear mixed with shame, insecurity that I felt as I could not do more and be imperturbable against the adversities of life. 

Against the curse of C19, against a difficult family situation, against loneliness, and against the lack of support in EVERY field of my life (family, love, work, money and health). 

Basically, it can only be said to have survived thanks to good new friends and swimming.

Personally I tried to find all the possible techniques to conquer the world, and I also managed to handle them quite well.  I was able to achieve the unimaginable … seriously!

I have tried everything: Soka Gakkai Buddhism, Brahma Kumaris Raja Meditation, Richard Bandler’s coaching and NLP courses, Eriksonian Self Hypnosis, psychotherapy, sports visualization, Abraham Hicks meditation, Reiki, the transcendental meditation, vippasana, traditional and untraditional yoga etc. and the conclusion, contrary to what people think, for me, they all work!

They work to improve yourself, to improve your body, to get more of what you want, to see yourself in a different light, and also to simply recognize ourselves better for who we are, but on one thing they all fail.
They don’t teach us to appreciate negative emotions when we feel them. Furthermore, they do not teach us to look them in the face and accept them when they come like a raging river. And we live in constant fear they might show up at any time.

Of course, there is psychotherapy that aims at pulling out these emotions, and recognizing them (at least so it happened to me), but when you go to therapy you know you are not alone in your thoughts, so you don’t look at the emotion in the face when they suddenly show up … It is a different approach.

Often these ghost emotions are associated with the past, and are able to take possession of your present preventing you from even dreaming anymore.

For me, every time, this situation is traumatic.

Being very good at managing thoughts, having this great ability to carefully select emotions in times of need, and the luck of being able to visualize what I want to achieve, I am always petrified in front of the disruptive recurring negative thoughts, and I realized that the only way I have to deal with them is to give them space, to hug them and to make them feel welcome. 

Ghost scary emotions help us too. They, too, are there to make us better.

Without them, without fear, without anger, without depression and despair, only with joy and peace we would be automatons without any glory, nor satisfaction.
Too often I see “spiritual minds” taking refuge in “light” and “blessings” they don’t feel.  Too often they have a real fear of facing the darkest parts of themselves, the fear of recognizing their obscene sides and the shame of finding they are actually vulnerable.

But when we all are.
This, more than anything, is the key to unhappiness, and there is no Law of Attraction that can truly make you evolve in this world if you are unable to admire yourself in the most fragile moments of your life, and value it.

With this, today I take my fear, my insecurity and my shame in hand, and I carry it with me on my new adventure in Portugal, where many new challenges await me, and where I will probably feel very lonely, but where I will always try to respect me and take care of myself.

Meanwhile, I thank the sweet people who have been my friends here in Rome, and made my lockdown days more special, and my swimming team, PantaRei that taught me resilience and passion. 

Luna

Photo by Mateus Souza on Pexels.com

I decided not to fake it and got rejected.

Last week I got a rejection letter from a prospective employer. It was after the last round in a lengthy interview process and a final performance I thought I nailed. I fully expected to get an offer. So, the “we were impressed but chose another candidate” message really punched my ego. The recruiter offered to collect and share feedback in case I was curious about where I fell short. I welcomed it, certain that the stories in my head could not have been any more pleasant than the truth. I was right.


“You didn’t seem excited about the role.” That was the main consensus amongst the panel of judges who had scrutinized my aptness for the job. There was no criticism about my qualifications or concerns for my ability to carry out the role. And most importantly, there was no mention of my flaws, a long list of imperfections that my brain had already been scanning through trying to figure out which one might have been the culprit. 


I figured it had to do with my being shy, my greatest insecurity when it comes to human interaction, particularly in an interview setting where confidence and assertiveness are expected. I thought they might have noticed how nervous I was. Maybe they saw my cheeks blush or heard my voice tremble. All aspects I fear make me a less than ideal candidate. Yet, as often is the case, the story I told myself was just that – a story. An elaborate tale made-up by my bitter alter ego, Stuart, who likes to eat Nutella and wallow in self-pity. 


I didn’t get the job because I didn’t really want the job in the first place. I just wanted the satisfaction of being the chosen one. I didn’t get the job because they saw right through me. Or better yet, I was too transparent. I voiced concerns about aspects of the role I didn’t find suitable. I gave honest answers when asked questions about my interest in the company and aspirations for the future. I didn’t pretend that working for them was my lifelong dream. I didn’t deny that I have personal passions and interests that a proper work-life balance should allow me to cultivate. I didn’t fake it and it cost me the job. 


That’s the price of being authentic. Staying true to yourself means that you can’t make everyone happy. Some people may like you and relate to you, others won’t. Some people will say YES to you, others will affirm a decisive NO. It’s a harsh reality for people-pleasing perfectionists like me. We are masters at conforming to our audience in order to elicit the desired response. But having to put up an act is exhausting. Even if effective at shielding us from rejection, the constant pretending inevitably leaves us tormented by the symptoms of impostor syndrome. I know this because I lived through it. Impostor syndrome is the nemesis of self-love. 


When you stop faking it, you find freedom. That freedom empowers you. It allows you to get to know yourself much better and learn to love yourself much more. Rejection always stings a little. It’s hard not to take it personal. Yet it’s quite egocentric of us to expect that the world will always, unanimously, unequivocally agree with us. Let’s instead be ourselves and celebrate what makes us different, what makes us unique. Even if that means not getting the job. The right one, I’m certain, will come along.

Antonella

Why we desire, and why we never get it done.

Aladdin's magic lamp, and the Genie that is coming out of it.

There is so much in a person’s life.

Why we desire what we desire, and why do we always feel the need to justify with ourselves what we desire?

I had the chance in life to get to know something about NLP and how to achieve our goals, how to set our goals, and how to determine when you reach a goal.

One thing NLP doesn’t explain, though, is why we desire what we desire, why we have certain attitudes rather than others, why, since childhood we are more keen on one behavior rather than another one.

There are probably tons of studies on the subject, but, one explanation that my intuition (and my intuition only) feels right is the one Abraham Hicks gives.

Desire comes from contrast, and contrast comes from the universe for our personal growth and spiritual expansion.

The fulfillment of that desire happens only when you are aligned with your inner self, and that you feel that spiritual expansion, all the other ways will not be satisfying.

This is really why most desires are so difficult to realize, and also why we always desire something that is so difficult to achieve.

Abraham talks a lot about desires, but when people ask questions they are mostly concerned about the outcome, and not so much on how to enjoy the trip.

All the desires in the world seem pretty common.

When we ask to express a desire, and it’s the outcome that we believe will make us happy, when actually, the fulfillment of a desire can be dangerous if you don’t align body and soul to it.

When thinking about “I want to become a superstar” I Imagine Britney Spears that had the talent, the capacity, the momentum to achieve that goal, supporters, money and fame, but did not have real family support and laws to protect her, that made it obvious that she was not happy. (And yes, she also attracted some herself with her songs, but that’s something else).

I don’t know if any of you have ever watched “Forrest Gump”, that is my favorite movie in the world.

There is a part of the movie where Jenny, Forrest’s all-time best friend says: “I want to be a folk singer and live on that!”.

The Universe is quite literal sometimes, it takes you seriously, and even though it is only a movie, it’s quite the way it happens in real life.

After a long time they didn’t see each other, Forrest finally has a chance to visit her, and he is so happy for Jenny who finally had her wish come true. She was singing a folk song on a stage and making money with it, not noticing that she was naked, and really unhappy.

The Universe will always provide, and it will always make sure your wish comes true, but how to get fulfillment from those desires comes only from us, and on how much we align to the process, not to the outcome.

A singer that doesn’t like to perform every day, can’t be happy and fulfilled by one time they had success with it.

An athlete that does win an Olympic medal, can’t be proud of what he has achieved if they took drugs, or if it was simply super easy for him.

I’m thinking, for example at Ian Thorpe, famous unfortunately for training while being in a suicidal state, while being hungover and for achieving all swimming goals anyway with ease.

Most of the people that are happy in life, have one basic skill in common.

They transform their desire in achievable goals, they consciously or unconsciously align with it, with the process. They overcome contrast, obstacles, pain and limiting beliefs to align with the process, not the goal.

And they enjoy.

It’s a little ironic that I write this right today, because I myself have a hard time following this path.

In my life I only had one true desire: being accepted for who I am, by being free.

Funny enough, life has given me an unsupportive, judgmental family, disappearing friends, unasked responsibilities, unwritten rules, and unstable codependent issues with partners.

Ironic, isn’t it?

But it’s always soothing for me to remind myself what would Abraham Hicks do if he was standing in my physical shoes.

I know what he would tell me. He would tell me to breathe. He would tell me to enjoy my breathing. Furthermore, he would tell me to enjoy what I do, to focus on what makes me feel good in each moment. And only when I feel so much joy that my body can’t contain it anymore, to change that desire in a goal and be specific about my desires. 

Because in the end, things are always working out for me and for all of us, we just have to better live with chaos, and accept what we can’t control.

Luna


I just simply enjoy listening to this, especially when I forget the potential of wellbeing we all have. ❤

You’re on your own and that’s the hard truth!

What the hell am I doing? I woke up nagged by this question today. Two years ago, I quit my job and left the country in search of purpose. On this quest for meaning and enlightenment, I rediscovered myself and gained a great deal of confidence. Yet today I still battle with the voice that tells me I’m not good enough. My coach encouraged me to give it a name, an identity. I called it Stuart, don’t ask me why. It was in one of those tap-into-your-unconscious exercises where you’re challenged to close your eyes, put your mind to rest, and just feel from your gut. I felt the name Stuart. 

Stuart shows up about once a week, typically in the absence of sun, in a shitty mental and emotional pattern that halts my progress, sucks my energy, and dims my light. Since leaving corporate America I started cultivating new dreams. I began envisioning myself as a solopreneur, aspiring to create something meaningful that would allow me to make a living while directly impacting peoples’ lives. This desire is so strong within me that it cannot be ignored. It drives me, it excites me, it simply feels right… Until Stuart tries to tell me I don’t have what it takes. I instantly believe him and lazily abandon myself to the overwhelming disappointment. I wallow in the confusion and resign to self-pity. Me, a solopreneur? Who am I kidding? 

It takes a lot of courage to build something from scratch, and on your own. Courage takes confidence. Confidence can be irritatingly volatile. Even on my best days, when I feel like hot stuff and virtually unstoppable, all it takes is one rejection, one negative comment even from a random stranger, for Stuart to reinforce his case: You see, you should just give up! Stuart then convinces me that the best thing to do is hide at home and avoid social interactions at all costs. My introvert side celebrates. It’s a great excuse to sink into the couch with whatever comfort food I’m craving at the moment and the latest bingeworthy Netflix series. Sadly, while we all need and deserve these moments in our lives, they are not a good solution for addressing self-doubt. Self-doubt is a lonely place to be. 

Here’s what I’ve figured out about loneliness. It accompanies us throughout our lives. And it’s best experienced with low levels of confidence. That said, it doesn’t matter if you have a million IG followers, the best of friends, a perfect partner, or the most supportive family in the world, you will still have to face loneliness. While you can (and should) lean on others and ask for help when needed, the hard truth is that in the end You’re On Your Own. Stuart tried to remind me of this today to deprive me of any lasting shred of fight. I wanted to dispute it. I thought about all the people in my life, those I can call and trust to go out of their way to be there for me, and I thought about the strangers, the infinite number of good souls out there who may be nothing like me yet they’re sharing similar paths, or similar challenges. I have no reason to think that I’m ever alone. Yet the feeling occasionally transpires and I just can’t shake it. So, today I decided to give into it and I quickly realized that I was about to face a great fear. The fear of facing myself. Of having only myself and nobody else to count on. Of myself being enough: good enough, strong enough, whole enough. As Stuart’s voice finally went quiet, I basked in a moment of pride for having had such courage. And the great thing about courage is that it reinforces confidence. Suddenly, I felt empowered. Alone, but not lonely. I recognize I am no master at self-love, but the only chance it has to grow is if I continue holding up a mirror.

Antonella

There are no AHA moments!

Two years ago I climbed mount Kilimanjaro with my dear friend Nellie. We wanted to do something adventurous and were inspired by stories of people who described it as a life-changing experience. I was excited. It was a time in my life when everything was feeling quite blah. I was two years post a devastating heartbreak and still mending the pieces. Work was inching towards total career crisis. Nothing felt quite right and I feared looming apathy. I needed something to reenergize me and inspire change. What better than hiking a 5895m mountain? I could picture myself at the top, head high, fists in the air, and the sudden clarity I so desperately needed. I wanted that AHA moment, some sort of sign from the universe that would illuminate my path. I thought I would find it there, at the top of that mountain, ‘cause down in the streets of New York I was getting nothing. Just my brain, my convoluted thoughts, and paralyzing confusion. No enlightenment and no awakening, no matter how many meditative yoga sessions I reluctantly dragged myself to.

Reaching the summit took 6 days. The final climb from base camp began at midnight. It was the coldest cold I’d ever experienced. I wondered at what point my numbing toes would get frostbite, and at what point the frostbite would be so severe to require amputation. It was pitch black. We were a group of 10, walking in a single file line, so all I could see were the feet of the person ahead of me, illuminated by my headlamp. At the first break I looked up and in the total darkness I saw what looked like a string of decorative lights. It was the group ahead of us. I wished I had more energy to appreciate the nothingness all around and the immensity of the starry sky. At about 6am the sun started rising and we regained our sense of sight. We were surprised to notice the Mars-like terrain we had been walking on, the other mountain peaks around us, and the distance still separating us from the top. I believe that’s when my exhaustion started manifesting itself as anger. My legs seemed reluctant to continue holding me up. I conceded them a break as Nellie encouraged me to pause and admire the scenery. “You need to look around and take it all in” she said, “or you’ll regret it.” Her inexplicable positivity angered me even more. Words would have required too much effort so I just grunted in response as I dropped to the ground. I took a look around and no words or pictures can convey what I witnessed. I acknowledged it in awe and gratitude, trying my best to take a mental snapshot, but quickly returned my attention to the bitter cold and distant finish line. I wanted it to be over. 

Ironically, the top of the mountain was not the finish line – possibly some sort of life metaphor for never emptying out your tank in case you’ve gotta go an extra mile. Yet another cruel realization was that having made it to the top didn’t offer any relief from the cold. In fact, the wind was even more ruthless up there. Through the pain, tears, and mix of incoherent emotions, we inched our way to another side of the mountain where the elevation reached its highest point, as marked by the celebratory can’t-leave-without-taking-a-picture-in-front-of-it sign. I could barely muster a smile. There were certainly no fists in the air. And no magical revelations. It was the experience of a lifetime. But my existential questions remained unanswered, even up there above the clouds.

After Kilimanjaro I decided that if I wanted a true life-changing experience I needed to change my life, so I quit my job and moved abroad. The anticlimactic truth is that I continued to struggle with not having answers and on some days, I still hope for someone or something to just tell me what to do. Free will is a great responsibility and when you’re a people-pleasing perfectionist, it’s a paralyzing risk of failing and disappointing – yourself and others. As I continue to navigate through uncertainty, I have found bravery and empowerment through the stories of others on similar journeys, learning that there is no shame in not having it all figured out. None of us do. Instead of being overwhelmed by the big existential questions, I now celebrate my many daily choices and small accomplishments, confident that they’re all leading me in the right direction and excited about the mystery of what lies ahead.

Antonella

posing in front of the Kilimanjaro peak sign

Do programs shape our identity?

It seems obvious, every time we decide to do something, every time we say something, or even when we think something, we assume it is us doing that.

I’m sitting in a café in Rome, looking at people working on their computers, I enjoy my aromatized water with mint and orange; I feel connected to all the people in this room; I feel connected to the wooden tables; I enjoy looking at the graphic art on the white clean walls, and the modern minimalist designs of the furniture in this café.

This kind of place is a perfect example of what the new modern digital era is. Fresh, minimalistic, friendly and enjoyable.

The more you meet people, especially millennials from everywhere, you will always find a sort of connection in this way. You may call it a fashion, or a trend, but in my perspective, this is a real program.

Programs are built in us constantly, and they are very useful for our happiness and well-being; unfortunately, most of the time we blame them like it is something that makes us weak and meaningless.

Parents are certainly the first ones to build our programs. Good and bad, right and wrong, happy and sad. Any good parent has to teach us the basics of life for our survival.

They teach what food is good for us; they make us listen to our first songs and watch movies with them; they decide when it’s the right time to praise us or when and how to reproach us.

Unfortunately, so often, they have the tendency to answer for us, especially when we are so young that we can’t answer for ourselves.

Imagine being a child, walking in the street with your mom, suddenly she gets stopped by another person, maybe a friendly woman we have never seen before and she says “what a cute little child!” .

A very innocent and common scenario in every person’s life, but maybe the woman didn’t realize that the child is too young to answer, to communicate or even express what’s feeling, so the quickest thing to do is to just hide behind the mother.

“She/He’s just shy!” often moms say. All this may seem very superficial and irrelevant, however this leaves everyone with a program in their mind that will stay forever.

The child is a blank canvas that can only absorb new inputs, new information, he will learn that they are cute and little from the lady. The child will learn that strangers can talk to him/her and it’s ok, they will learn that strangers can assume something about them. They will learn from their mom that they are shy, they will learn that hiding is something you do when you are shy, and that talking to strangers is unpleasant and being shy is a way to escape that situation.

This, of course, is just a simple case many people can relate to on how programs are built within us.

There is no awareness this is happening, and there is no awareness we are programming others. In reality, we automatically create these programs within ourselves constantly, every time we think and act, and we associate those to our identity.

We could say Neuro-Linguistic Programming is all about finding those programs.

Sometimes people think they might use NLP to re-program themselves to become exactly the way they wish to be.

If I really could do that, well, I’d probably try to re-program myself to be more like Beyoncé or anyone that I admire; but is it really like that? And is it really worth to try?

Fortunately, I have to say, no.

Of course, NLP gives you so many tools to find your inner programs, and also the tools to change them. But no matter how much you want to change yourself, you can only change yourself effectively to develop your true self.
You can only use it to find a kind of sweet spot where all your identities (son/daughter, dad/mother, artist, athlete, worker, citizen etc…), live peacefully together without going into conflict.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

Too far beyond the comfort zone

Do you know who you are? How do you introduce yourself to others? What’s your elevator pitch? I’ve always admired those who could blurb out a quick personal infomercial with confidence and conviction. In most scenarios I’ve observed, an intro includes a job title. If you don’t volunteer it immediately, rest assured someone will ask “And what do you do?” Rather than simply stating a profession, some people proudly elaborate on their key responsibilities and skills. Whether you’re at a bar making new acquaintances or at a conference amongst clients and colleagues, you should know how to present yourself. I used to struggle with this, never confident in who I was or what I was doing.

I’ve often heard people claim that what you do doesn’t define you, a mantra that I believe aims to lessen the pressures of having to be in a purposeful career rather than a job – something you do as a means to an end and nothing more. But even a job over time becomes your trade. It may not define you, but it describes you. It becomes part of you, of your world, of your existence. For those of us privileged enough to choose the type of work that we do, we should choose something that fits us and accentuates our best assets. I learned this the hard way. Whether in a temporary job or long-term career, you should always be yourself and celebrated for it. I, on the other hand, spent years trying to morph into an alternate persona that I felt better met the requirements and expectations of the corporate environment I was in. This is the hard way, the path of most resistance, where I thought I could never succeed unless I changed, but no matter how much I tried it was never enough, and I was constantly afraid I would be discovered.

As a young professional hesitant about my path, I embraced the “fake it til you make it” motto. In fact, it became my way of life. After graduating college, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I just needed to get a job asap to become financially independent and relieve my parents from that burden. They brought me to the U.S., land of opportunity, and put me through college. All I could do in return was make them proud. In the image of my engineer father, I aspired for a stable job at a reputable company with good benefits and upward mobility. I began my corporate journey as a customer service rep for an IT company. In pursuit of recognition and perceived success, I diligently progressed on a linear path within that field. I never asked myself if it was what I wanted. Anytime I felt uncomfortable within my professional role I told myself it was necessary in order to learn and grow. I believed that I was working to become a better version of me, determined not to let my perceived flaws hold me back. But in reality, I was repressing myself, trying to delete the parts that didn’t fit in, the ones that didn’t elicit the reactions that I wanted. My new mantra was “fake it til you become it.”

I was surrounded by successful people and I wanted to be like them. Unfortunately, that meant being a lot less like me. This strive to be someone I wasn’t inevitably fueled a lifelong struggle with impostor syndrome and eventual identity crisis. 

When we moved to the States, I was a shy and confused 14-year-old with a language barrier. Kids would occasionally approach me with initial curiosity towards the new girl from Italy. But they would utter words I didn’t understand, and my awkward reaction would quickly drive them away. Then I’d occasionally notice them making fun of me from afar or avoiding me in the hallways. I was too ashamed to eat lunch alone in the cafeteria, so I often hid in a bathroom stall. I continued to feel like an outcast in college when I would be thrown into the dreaded group projects with confident extroverts who would run the show and easily forget about me sitting quietly in the back just waiting to be told what to do. By the time I entered the workplace, the language barrier was gone but the shyness still alive and well. I went into every interview knowing I had to temporarily become a confident extrovert in order to get the job. It was like taking one long breath in and exhaling only once out of the room. I implemented every rule in the book. Sit tall on the edge of the chair to demonstrate interest. Offer a firm hand grip. Keep a clear and distinct tone of voice. I faked it, in many cases successfully, but occasionally betrayed by blushing cheeks and a trembling voice. While practice supposedly makes perfect, it’s hard to control the biological stress reactions in our bodies. I continued to struggle with these throughout my career, not only in interviews but also when offering my opinion during large meetings or when owning the spotlight during a presentation. However, I never shied away from the public speaking challenge. In fact, the fear was partly thrilling. It’s a bit like jumping out of an airplane. You’re terrified to take the plunge but exhilarated when you realize you’re still alive. Only, it never got easier. So I wondered, Where is the balance between stepping outside your comfort zone and living in constant discomfort?

I stayed on my corporate journey for 15 years before the resistance became too strong to tolerate. Everything in my body was screaming for change. I felt like I had silenced my inner instincts, my passions, my desires, in exchange for financial freedom and reputation. My “success” had granted me social acceptance yet instead of building my confidence it shrank my spirit. I was emotionally drained, mentally exhausted, irritable, demotivated. I needed a fresh start. I needed the space to free my spirit, listen to my heart, and give it a voice. Away from the prejudice of who I’d been and the pressures of who I needed to be.

So I left. My job. My city. My country. I leaped towards a new form of discomfort, the type that feels right, that inspires and ignites. I started rediscovering myself and learning to accept myself. It’s a deeply vulnerable but empowering process. It involves shedding layers of shame and insecurities to reveal unconditional love. I’m now able to appreciate the humility in my shyness. The self-awareness in my self-consciousness. I discovered empathy to be my greatest strength, my superpower as I journey through life chasing what brings me joy: people, connection, belonging.

This is who I am and what I’m doing. Confident that no matter where I am in life, I can only thrive in it by being ME. 

Antonella

Uncovering my limiting beliefs.

Here I am, writing my first few lines about this fresh path my friend and I decided to take.

We created this blog together because of the great interest we both have in the field of self-development, Coaching, and in my case Neuro-Linguistic Programming and even the Law of Attraction (well yes, but not in the way you might think).

I can’t claim to be an expert on the subject, but I can firmly say that NLP changed my life for the better, even if I forget very often how much impact it had in my life.

In this world, there are so many resources for self-improvement that you can think of.

I can easily say I have tried most of them hoping, passively, I would reach this great state of well-being and knowledge that would make me feel so good about myself that nothing would ever upset me anymore.

I genuinely thought I had to be good at yoga, read a lot of books, detox my body, do a lot of sports, go out only with successful people, avoid making mistakes, maybe some magic EFT, some auto-hypnosis and, maybe therapy, to become this perfect and successful person, extremely confident, with high self-esteem and self-worth.

Unfortunately, though, I realized that it’s the lack of self-confidence that made me do those things, this constant feeling of having to fix myself, of becoming something more instead of becoming my real self.

It was a time for me that everything was very, very confusing, everything was changing, and everything was new to me. In one year I have moved away from the country I was living for five years, I fell in love for the first time, and I was temporarily visiting my partner in New York while I was trying to plan my life again in Italy, where I had only my mother, very few friends, no jobs and zero interest in actually living there.

I seriously thought of millions of alternatives so that I didn’t have to go back to Rome, but I knew that anything I did was going to be wrong in the end, because the country I wanted to live in, was unfortunately unreachable for me, so the only thing for me to do was get deep into myself.

I found out about NLP exactly one week before going away from New York. It was in the middle of the winter, all this bad pressure was giving me GERD attacks and I read this article about NLP where I finally understood what it meant to have “mental programs” and ultimately, how to change them with your brain (neuro), and communication (linguistic).

There was an itinerant school in Rome that provided free introductory courses on NLP and Coaching and, with some real courage, I ultimately decided to sign up there.

It took great courage for me to start this path because I knew that these people have the power to manipulate you into doing something you might not want to do, and also because I knew that it would have changed me to the point of no return. Somehow, I knew it.

But I was at a point in my life where I had nothing to lose, I was burned-out of all my energies; I was constantly complaining about my situation; I was mad at my family for raising me in this ultra-negative environment, and I was mad at my parents for never providing a loving home for me, and never really explain to me how life is meant to be lived.

In my head, I knew it was my responsibility to get out of this negativity, but nothing, so far, was working.

In the introductory class, I was looking around and checking the other people, and, as usual, I was looking if there was anyone there that I could relate to.

I felt like I was an alien, a casual weird yogic woman surrounded by highly skilled men in a suit, women with perfect hair, makeup, and designer clothes, and young students with already more certainties in life than me. I tried to hide in the backseats, but since the class wasn’t full, right at the beginning of the lesson, they made me move in the front row.

“Of course!” I thought, “why don’t you even start asking me personal questions then?”.

And that’s exactly how it went.

The teacher started asking us specific questions about ourselves, and everyone who could relate to it had to raise their hand.

“Do you ever feel that you only like the same type of people?”, “Do you enjoy living out of your comfort zone?”. I look around, and suddenly everyone seemed nicer and nicer, each question they answer. Each and any of us there wanted to feel better about ourselves, feeling more comfortable in our skin, and we wanted to get some tools to make our lives a little easier.

On just that first day I realized I had a pattern I always followed to like people, and I did never gave a chance to anyone a little different from that, assuming that if I didn’t like them immediately, they also wouldn’t like me. Just on that first day, I realized what is a limiting belief, and how big that one was for me, and how many experiences in life I was missing just because of that.

You know how it feels when you have an idea about someone… not speaking to a guy because he’s too handsome and he would never like you back, and every chance you have you make fun of his attitude, his manners, etc. but then you never actually took the time and effort to get to know him and to show him who you are.

Well, this is what I was doing all my life with everyone, completely unconsciously.

I was always unconsciously assuming my bosses didn’t like me and were giving me unpleasant jobs on purpose. I was always assuming the friends I had were just really unaware of who I was, that’s why maybe they liked me, I was convinced that my relatives didn’t talk to me because I wasn’t worthy of their attention.

All those things hit me in my head like with a baseball bat on that first introductory course.

Because the words you use every day with yourself and with others have the power to give you energy or take energy away from you, limiting your capability to improve your life and effectively respond to life challenges. Your inner communication, when you meet new people, when you have a new job, when you try to do something new, often determines the outcome you will have.

With this in mind, I started this journey where I learned how to deconstruct my mental programs, and how to rebuild them with more intention and awareness, not to become perfect, but to live more happily and create better opportunities for myself.

Luna

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com