why we let ourselves down

If you’re anything like me (or most humans), you start off with good intentions, make a promise to yourself to do things differently, and then don’t follow through.

You may say things like, “I will only have one glass of wine tonight” and it ends up being 3 (or more).

Maybe you say, “I won’t spend anymore money on clothes,” which works fine until the next Patagonia sale.

You might even say, “ I will not go on a second date with someone that does not reach out to me first,” which you stick to like glue until you feel extra lonely on a Friday night.

WTF? Why do we do that? Why do we go against our word…especially when its our word to ourselves?

Here’s the deal. Most people (and to be honest, many coaches themselves) focus on taking action “no matter what.” That means the emphasis is on taking action even if that action goes against every thought running through your head.

So you think, “Having another glass of wine is going to feel sooooo good.” Then you fight that thought all night and you succeed and succeed…until you don’t.

You think, “Buying that will be soooooo fun!” Then you fight that thought…until you don’t.

You think, “I am so afraid of being alone the rest of my life.” And you fight that with all your might….until you can’t anymore, and give in to the booty call.

Do you see a pattern here? No matter how many times you’ve successfully taken an action (or non-action, like refraining from going out for that booty call), if the underlying thought doesn’t change, you will eventually give in to your desires.

Resisting a powerful thought or feeling does not work in the long-run.

My colleague, Brooke Castillo, likens resisting your desires to pushing a beach ball under water and trying to hold it there. When you are resisting your desires, you can keep it up for awhile, but you can’t keep it up forever. You eventually have to let go.

A side note for those of you that cringe at the idea of resisting your desires: This isn’t about resisting healthy desires. This is about those desires we have that don’t serve our higher selves.

If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know I talk about how thoughts create our beliefs, which create our feelings, which create our actions, and ultimately create our reality/life experience.

In order to change our feelings (like a strong desire) we need to change our thoughts. Yes, we can try to change the action through resisting, but in most cases, since the thought is still there, we eventually can’t keep up with trying to change the action.

Unless we change our thoughts, the feeling that drives the actions we take does not change and ultimately, our actions don’t permanently change.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could change out behavior and have it feel…easy? To have it not be a constant battle with our feelings? And to have that change be permanent?

If we want to create a new reality – not buying something we don’t need; not having “just one more” drink or one more slice of pizza; not going out with people who don’t truly appreciate and love us, or anything else that doesn’t serve our evolution as human beings – we need to change our thoughts about the situation.

Start here:

:: What feeling do you think doing x, y, or z will make you feel? Do you think it will make you feel happy? Strong? Loved? That’s your current thought. (“Eating this will make me feel better.” “Going out with them will help me feel connected/loved.”)

:: Notice that the way you feel after thinking that thought is often a shittier feeling than you intended (weak, needy, self-pity, self-hatred, etc.), which is why you do something that makes you feel shitty in the end (crazy, right?!)

:: What different thought do you need to have in order to feel the way you want to feel, that isn’t dependent on someone else or doing something that isn’t healthy for you? (“I don’t need this glass of wine – I like to feel energized and fully present every day.” “I am more than enough as I am.” “This is exactly what I am supposed to be feeling right now.”

Make that thought your new best friend.

Don’t worry if this doesn’t come easily. This is stuff I teach my clients over and over again, and I continue to practice it myself every day.

But you must start trying.


Ready to dive deeper into this? Check out Freedom School and see what everyone’s obsessed about. It’s not just group coaching. It’s a mindset revolution that you won’t want to miss.

Living As If Someone Is Watching (like your boyfriend’s friends)- The Value of Integrity

Days 224 to 235 – Living As If Someone Is Watching (like your boyfriends friends)- The Value of Integrity

Men are watching me. You see, I interviewed a lot of men because I’m teaching this relationship workshop in October, AND I have a free Jedi Juice call on maintaining your moxie with a man next week (Tuesday to be exact). I wanted both of these things to be uber-valuable, so I put together all the relationship books I’ve read, research, coaching pearls, and my interviews with oddles of men into a badass place at Freedom Junkie.

But now all these guys know about it because I’ve interviewed them or their friends. Including my boyfriend.

And they are saying to me they are really excited about it, because when I talk about what I teach, it is right on (of course! my peeps deserve right on!). Including my boyfriend. They want women to know these things (and to be fair, they admit they needed to learn some of the things too;).

So, as the Universe would have it, of course these last two weeks have been more challenging dealing with my shizzle. And I swear “they” are watching how I deal with it.

They listen to me express my vulnerabilities, either through listening directly (one amigo is visiting us out here in the Pribilofs), or maybe if Thai talks about it, or maybe if a girlfriend I talk to talks about it to her boyfriend who is Thai’s friend.

Of course, the degree to which that is actually happening is likely an exaggerated story too. Men actually don’t talk about that type of stuff that much to each other. But still, it affects how I feel and act. And they are genuinely curious as to if this shit actually works.

My classic vulnerability that you’ve heard a lot here is, “Right now I am not feeling very special in this relationship.” Which stems from comparisons and making up stories about my past and my boyfriend’s past etc. It’s exhausting when it happens – but over time leaves faster and faster after it visits. Thank goddess.

So now I am called forth to walk the talk even more. I thought I did that already most of the time (I think it is fairly impossible to do it all the time), but now I am feeling it even more because (gulp) people are watching what I teach!

It feels like pressure in some moments, but it is really a gift. I think it is one of the biggest gifts that coaching has given me – an even stronger desire to act in integrity.

It’s one thing to claim ignorance and make mistakes and say, “Oops!” It’s a little different when you know how to avoid it and do it anyway. Both, however, still warrant compassion (from others and ourselves).

In any event, the other day, I expressed my completely irrational vulnerability, owned it, stated I knew it was a story and that I had to get over it, but in the meantime, I needed more patience because it was going to take a bit more time. Our amigo heard it too. Then the two of them when on a hike and I thought for sure they’d decide I was a crazy woman by the time they got back. But they returned from the hike and my boyfriend said how he loved me even more than before he left, and our amigo asked me more details about what I was teaching and was genuinely interested. So I guess they didn’t think I was a freak for having had an irrational moment.

See – it’s not that others don’t want you to be perfect or not have irrational feelings. They mostly just don’t want you to blame them for it;)

Each time this B.S of not feeling like a special partner comes up, I don’t necessarily feel it less. Sometimes I feel it with a fury and it pisses me off that I still feel it that strongly. And sometimes it is indeed a softer experience. But ya know what? I get better at dealing with it. Each time, I can separate my story from the facts more quickly, which helps me get over it more fully since I can see the role I had in creating the problem to begin with. I can step back. I can observe.

Hell, I even crack myself up with my shizzle a lot of the time!

I also learn to meet my needs and wants more (and knowing the difference). When I feel it, I ask, ” What is this emotion trying to teach me about what I need/want more of right now?” Do I need to have more hugs today? More sex? A nice dinner cooked for me? Do I need to cry and still be loved fully so I feel safe? Then I ask for it. I try not to complain. I make a request.

Full On 365And, I remind myself I have all I need in myself to meet those needs if I’m not getting much help otherwise. Which releases those around me from a huge responsibility.

I think that other than learning how to re-write bullshit stories into new and more awesome ones (and watching the newer stories unfold), learning to love myself and feel inner radiant confidence in myself (ziji!) has been the other great lessons on this path. Combined, they truly do lead to more freedom – and FUN!

So go ahead and be imperfect. Just don’t blame others for feeling like shit. Whether people are watching or not, act so you can be proud in how you show up and respond (and if they are watching, show them exactly how badass you are;)

(In terms of other full-on activities for the week, check out this windstorm video …and that pick above is of an awesome beach with tons of seal on a gorgeous day in the Pribilofs 😉


Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, guide and Freedom Junkie™ She helps passionate people awaken their lives of freedom, adventure and purpose. Her monthly Freedom Junkie™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her “Full-On 365” blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting FreedomJunkie.com (note: it’s new look will be up to rock your world soon)!

Can I Trust You?

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”
~ Spencer Johnson

The ability to trust in all our relationships – not just intimate ones – allows us to take the risks necessary to grow. In addition, knowing how we decide someone is trustworthy is ultimately not so important for “protecting” ourselves, but rather, in a Ziji Up! kind of way, to also know:

Are YOU the type of person people can trust?

This often is about living with integrity.

People want to know where you stand, what you value, and if you act accordingly. It isn’t so much even WHAT those specific values are, or even about always knowing what is “right” or “wrong” (which, by the way, is often a futile effort).

Rather, whether someone trusts you or not is more about if YOU know what you value, if that somehow includes consideration of others, if you act consistently in the things that matter, and if you’re honest with yourself and others.

That is what builds trust.

For example, in romantic partnerships, trust isn’t only about fidelity, even though that is the way it is often used. In reality, whether or not your partner can trust you is also about wanting to know if you’ll consistently show up fully and authentically in the relationship in the context of the values you share:

*Can I trust that you’ll be home on time for dinner as you said you would?

*Can I trust you’ll keep supporting me in pursuing my passions in life?

*Can I trust you to bring home your share of the money to pay our bills?

*Can I trust that you’ll not spend us into debt?

*Can I trust that you’ll watch the kids the way I do?

*Can I trust that you’ll do the laundry and not ruin my shirts?

*Can I trust that you’ll be open to making love with me tonight?

*Can I trust that you’ll be honest with me?

It is about knowing, “Can I count on you?”

The greatest benefit to living with integrity is that ultimately this leads to you having more trust in YOURSELF.

And when you have more trust in yourself, your Ziji grows, you are more confident. You are proud of who you are and how you are in the world.

Then you will take more important risks. And you will stretch. And grow. And live full-on.

Take the rest of this month to observe how consistent you are in your actions. When you find an inconsistency, what can you learn from that?

Is it harder to stay consistent when you’re worrying about what others might think?
When you’re feeling insecure?
When you’re worried about disappointing someone?
When you feel you might not be liked by someone anymore?
When it is inconvenient?

One of my favorite poems about “showing up” is The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (I know…woo woo name but awesome poem). I invite you to partake:

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes, without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,”Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live, or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.