“What do you think is the best part of being alive?” I asked my son.
“Playing with my friends,” he replied.
“Yeah, that’s really important,” I told him.
When I walked out of his room I began to think about my own answer. I have thought about this before, but today I was enjoying ruminating on this question. I thought about how important our relationships are, but maybe the most important relationship we have is with ourselves. When we enjoy ourselves, life is so much easier.
Deep inside each of us is a treasure trove of goodness. We have these gems inside of ourselves that inspire and help us understand our inner voice. When we take time to dig into our thoughts and emotions, that’s when we find these gems.
I’m learning new stuff about myself all the time. It took me forever to figure out that I’m a designer at heart. I tried to be a marketer, a salesperson, a coder, a writer, and a speaker. Although I use all of these skills, I'm a designer to my core. I can zoom out to 25,000 feet and see the big picture of where we should take a project. It’s fun for me to be able to connect dots and help move a project forward from this perspective.
You may have noticed that you have innate skills that you haven’t used as much as you would have liked. This is natural. It’s hard to have a deep understanding of all your strengths. Some strengths come later as we age. I sometimes get frustrated with myself when I feel like I should be better at something than I am. My inner bully can come raging out and thrash me with such terrible language that I wouldn’t share with anyone. Last week I doubted myself and the presentation that I was making. I kept making small tweaks and I went too deep in the weeds. I just couldn’t accept that the presentation was good enough. I called myself an idiot, stupid, dumb, and the list went on like that for fifteen minutes. I felt like my brain was a pile of rocks, just smashing against each other. This made me angrier.
Then I realized what my subconscious brain was doing.
I could see that I was getting angry at myself for feeling stupid. This made things worse, but now I have the skills to cope with my crazy brain that loves to attack me. This was only possible because of all the digging I’ve done to uncover these thoughts and bring them to the light.
The cool part is when I stop and hold these thoughts up they sparkle. When I begin to chip away the coal and polish the stone, a diamond appears. It’s usually small, but this diamond shows me how to be happier. When I understand that this thought can give me energy, it gives me inspiration to dig deeper.
As I kept tweaking and trying to improve my presentation, I was allowing it to dictate my happiness. I was beating myself up because it’s what I’ve practiced for many years. If I chastised myself enough I would get my myself in line.
“Your brain is like a little puppy and your mind is infinite.” Jerry Seinfeld
Your brain wants to behave, but you either have to reward it or dominate it so it follows the rules. When you take time to dig deep you aYour brain is like a little puppy. You either have to reward it or dominate it so it follows the rules. When you take the time to dig deep you are training yourself to peel away your inner-armor, so you can see the opportunities in your struggles. You're doing the deep work to be your authentic self. This practice becomes rewarding because you feel lighter and more purpose driven. This training is not easy. Your brain doesn’t want to sit down and work through your struggles. Your mind wants to go off and sniff other dog butts. That’s why your daily routines are so important.
I prefer to reward myself when I do something positive. I struggle with motivation when I’m a tyrant to myself. Over many years I’ve gone from a dominating internal dialog to an encouraging and caring inner voice. This has taken many years, but the switch has helped me reduce my procrastination and take more consistent action. When I send out an outreach email to someone that I want to connect with I shake my butt around. It’s this physical celebration that helps me infuse this positive action into my bone marrow, so I continue to do it. It’s not about the results. I don’t care if they don’t reply back. I took action to reach out and make a bigger impact in the world.
Look at your own inner voice. How do you talk to yourself when you make a mistake?
If you are anything like me and ignored your inner voice for too long, it's time to dig a little deeper into these thoughts and emotions and learn from them. Take the time to ask yourself some tough questions. Understand what is going on inside of yourself, so you find these inner gems. These gems will release a lot of the hidden pain. Once you bring these gems to the light, clean them off that's when you see how beautiful they are. How much they can teach you about yourself. It becomes a game. A game that helps you become mentally stronger and happier.
It's important to learn how to do this for yourself. When you are struggling this is the time to dig a little deeper. It helps you understand a little more about yourself. You learn to become the captain of your own thoughts and feelings.
You can get the Dig to Fly Method printable. You can print it out tonight and go through the questions in less than 10 minutes. It will help your turn your struggle into a stepping stone. I'm a cynic at heart and I there are times I still don't believe it will work, but every time I take time to dig down into my thoughts and emotions I discover a little diamond that I didn't expect to uncover. It's not the Dig to Fly Method doing it for you, it's just you doing the hard work to listen to what is going on inside of yourself. You are taking time to build your self-awareness in a structured way.
Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash