Ask Dr Ash – Hoping My Dad Will Be Different?

Ask Dr Ash – Hoping My Dad Will Be Different?

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QUESTION

Dear Dr. Ash,

Recently I was struggling with some time constraints in my life and after some encouragement by friends, I decided to reach out to my father for some help. I figured he could always say no, but I need to get past not asking for help and trying to do it all all the time.

He listened and after asking questions, said he didn’t know how much help he could be. I could feel myself getting upset and angry. After I told him how frustrated I am with everything, we got off the phone.

I realized that yes, getting actionable advice from my father would have been nice….but what I really NEEDED from my emotionally unavailable father was some acknowledgment. Saying something like “yes, I know this is hard. I’m sorry you’re going through this.”

But I will never get that. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my dad say “I love you, you’re so strong, etc.”

I know this part of my trauma and toxicity background and patterning, but how do you reconcile this? How do you accept this and not keep getting squashed by it even as a grown woman? How do I let go of the hope/expectation that he might surprise me one of these days?

Signed – Disappointed Daughter

DR. ASH

Dear Disappointed,

I’m really proud of you for calling up your father and asking for what you need. For asking for help even though you didn’t necessarily expect a positive response. And for writing in and asking for help!!! I know that probably wasn’t easy…..and part of you probably figured “I should just let it go”. But support is so epically important, especially when you feel that you can’t rely on your family for it…

This is Who He Is

Here’s the thing, this is who your dad is. You’ve known this. However, you have expectations that he respond differently to you. And THIS is what’s leaving you hurt. Not his actual behavior.

Expectations are a way that we end up punishing ourselves with disappointment and sadness when others don’t act as we want to. This is part of the codependent coping mechanism where you expect other people to act in certain ways in order to show their love of you.

Here’s an example: When I was young I used to get super upset every time I’d go out to lunch with my dad and he’d want to have a drink (Dad’s an alcoholic). Every time I’d feel “can’t he just not drink for a freaking lunch to respect our time together!” And get butthurt about it. But now I just go “well that’s Dad and he’s going to do what he wants to do”.

I’ve dropped my expectations of him being different. Instead, accepting him just how he is.

Not, this acceptance is not approval of his choices. It’s just the choice that I’m not going to suffer because he is choosing things I’d rather he not do. Or choosing things which disappoint me.

By having expectations that are about him being someone else I was actually acting co-dependently and hoping that he would become someone else to show me that he loves me… instead of accepting him, and what he could give, and how he could give it, exactly as it is….

And this is what’s going on with your situation. And why it hurts so bad.

Expectations are different than boundaries. Expectations are tied up in the toxic cycle that has you feeling that “if only they were different, they’d finally show you that loved you”.

*for more information on this make sure to download my free ebook The No Bullsh!t Guide to Life. In it, I give you exclusive access to a free 1-hour training on boundaries and how they’re different from expectations.

You Need To Grieve

The hard part is that when you finally realize this about someone, particularly family, you end up needing to grieve the loss of the person you wish you had in your life. To grieve the loss of the idealized father (or brother, mother, or friend) that you had built up in your head.

It can be incredibly difficult and confronting to realize that they’ll never be who and what you want them to be.

The kindest most compassionate thing you can do is learn to love and accept others for who they are. To not place those expectations on them that they be different in order to earn your love.

Once you accept that you’re never going to get the other person to do what you want them to do, to feel like you’ll never have them at your back cheering you on, then you’re free to drop the suffering.

Drop The Suffering

Think about it… when we know our coworker is a jerk we don’t get upset every time he acts assy…. we let it flow through us and we’re just like rolling our eyes like “oh that’s Bert. That’s what Bert does” and it doesn’t even affect us…

We don’t suffer over it.

We don’t fear that we’re unlovable due to their poor behavior.

We let it move through us and we move on.

When you grieve who you wish your father would be, you finally free yourself…

To let go of your need to keep them happy.
To be who they want you to be.
To keep HOPING for them to be different.

But with our families part of us always wants them to be different. To act differently. To be the caring, supporting, nurturing parents and siblings and uncles and kids we’ve always wanted…. and as long as we hold onto that expectation we keep hurting ourselves.

The only solution is radical acceptance. Radical acceptance of exactly who and what they are and exactly what they’re going to do…

The Dynamics Will Change

When you go through the process of grieving an idealized parent, sibling, spouse, or friend the dynamics between you will often change.

Don’t pressure yourself to have to “know” what this new dynamic will be and look like.

To redefine the whole thing all at once.

You don’t have to know all the answers.

Just choose in the moment what you want to do and what feels right for you. When I stopped talking to a significant family member because of their toxicity, I thought “I’m not going to talk to her for a while” then “I’m not going to talk to her for 6 months” then “I’m going to wait until I’m compelled to talk to her again” and that’s how it went. I did not make the decision to “stop talking to her forever”. I just chose one day at a time and continue to do so.

And that’s what I want to encourage you to do.

Choose one day at a time depending on what’s right for you here, now.

“The kindest most compassionate thing you can do is learn to love and accept others for who they are. To not place those expectations on them that they be different in order to earn your love.” – Click to Tweet

Got a Question?

Got a question for Dr. Ash? Send them to support@ashleegreer.com and you may find your question featured in one of the upcoming editions!

If you’re ready for a ‘hell yes‘ life, join The Abundance Revolution TODAY!

Anxiety. Fear. Playing Small. Stuckness.

You’re living in a prison of your own making.

It’s time to change that forever.

Download NOW for FREE!

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.

Ask Dr. Ash – How Do I Change The World?

Ask Dr. Ash – How Do I Change The World?

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QUESTION

Dear Dr. Ash,

Sometimes I feel like I’m not contributing anything to make the world better. And I’m not sure what to do when there’s so much needing help. It makes me feel kind of powerless and like I should be doing something to save the world. What’s the best thing for me to focus on?

Signed – Feeling Helpless

DR. ASH

Dear Feeling Helpless,

The single most important thing you can do to help the world is to focus on yourself. Only by focusing on yourself day after day will you be able to create an impact. And there’s a distinct and very simple reasoning behind this.

 

 When you work on yourself you’re showing up as a “model” that helps inspire everyone around you.

In psychology, one of the most powerful ways of learning is through watching someone else do something. So when your kids, or your neighbor, or your husband, or your friends see you doing things differently they get inspired too.

Whether that’s helping shift the neighborhood by picking up garbage, inviting neighbors to pop by for a cup of tea, or offering any help you can when an emergency hits (like the recent story about a Muslim family who offered help to everyone in their neighborhood during record cold temperatures last week).

 It’s not your job to change the world, or heal the world, or fix the world.

In fact, this drive is actually part of that codependent coping mechanism that I talk so much about.

Now, I do NOT mean this to say that we don’t help others, that we don’t contribute. Because nothing could be further from the truth.

 What I mean is that we make the most profound difference in the world when we contribute through helping and working on ourselves first.

 When we contribute our own peace, our own kindness, our own groundedness.

 When we show up fully present – not spinning in anxiety, or projecting our fears or anxieties onto other people.

 When we are open and authentic about who we really are we connect to people and create more lasting and deep connections.

You can influence others just through the energy you radiate. Haven’t you ever noticed that when you spend time with a naturally joyful and peaceful person that you naturally begin to feel that way as well?

Well, that’s how it works.

You change the world one person at a time. Starting with yourself (click to tweet).

When you approach everything you do with joy, gratitude, and not from shoulds, guilts, or shame you suddenly become a beacon that invites others to try doing the same.

When that moment that you share a smile with a stranger, not to “help” them, but to share your own joy – becomes a seed that plants possibility in the stranger’s heart.

That stranger may then open the door for a pregnant woman at the next spot. And she then tells a joke to a guy in line at the supermarket. Who then helps an old woman carry out her garbage at home. Who then contributes money to a charity.

Changing the world is like a stone thrown in a pond with ripples going outward. One ripple at a time. Beginning with yourself. And suddenly the entire surface is covered in ripples. The ripples of your enduring joyful presence create change that cannot and will not stop.

It’s through our every day choices that we change the world. And through removing everything that gets in the way of acting as our truest self. The you that is naturally self-trusting, joyful, happy, and peaceful (because THAT is your true nature!!).

 The idea that it’s your job to “change the world” is exhausting and actually breeds helplessness and hopelessness.

It’s sort of like looking at a mountain and asking yourself “how the heck do I climb that thing? Forget this, I’m going home”.

When we look at the big problems in the world on a global scale they feel far too massive to do much of anything about.

So what happens? You get stuck with anxiety, worry, and an impending sense of doom. All coupled with a sense of “ahhh fuck. But I can’t really DO anything about any of this!!”

 We go back again to the change starts with you.

 Start riding your bike to work.

 Stop using plastic bags, straws, and disposable containers.

 Start making your own chemical-free bath and body products.

 Start growing your own vegetables at home without pesticides.

 Take a course on how to spot sex trafficking or domestic abuse.

 Take a CPR class.

 Listen to your neighbor and just hold her when she needs to cry when her dog dies.

 Learn to sit with your own uncomfortable emotions and stop numbing them.

 Start showing up fully and authentically and allowing people to truly connect with who you are.

I think trying to solve all the problems, or wasting energy on anxiety and worry about huge things you can’t do anything about, are why so many people do nothing at all. They figure “well, I can’t do anything about global warming. So I guess I’ll do nothing”.

But imagine what would happen if we all just made 5 or 6 small changes each year?

Our world would become a radically different place in a single generation.

 But I don’t know where to start!

Start by planting seeds of joy. Finding ways to integrate more of what brings you happiness in your life. Drop out of the anxiety-provoking feeling of having to “do something” that you have no control over and let. It. go.

Ask yourself what you need. Right now. Chocolate? A hug? Sleep? Reaching out to that stranger who you see crying? Go do it. Without shame or shoulds.

Follow your intuition, your inner nudges, and do what feels right and in alignment with your own integrity and inner value system.

“Follow your intuition, your inner nudges, and do what feels right and in alignment with your own integrity and inner value system.” – Click to Tweet

Got a Question?

Got a question for Dr. Ash? Send them to support@ashleegreer.com and you may find your question featured in one of the upcoming editions!

If you’re ready for a ‘hell yes‘ life, join The Abundance Revolution TODAY!

Anxiety. Fear. Playing Small. Stuckness.

You’re living in a prison of your own making.

It’s time to change that forever.

Download NOW for FREE!

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.

Ask Dr Ash – Motivate Without Being a Nag?

Ask Dr Ash – Motivate Without Being a Nag?

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QUESTION

Dear Dr. Ash,

I have a lazy teenager (15). I have figured out that his laziness is, in part, because he lacks any internal motivation to be successful. I partly blame myself because I have “over taken care of him.” As a child, I never had anyone taking care of me. I took care of myself. So, now as a parent, I think I am taking too good care of my child to compensate for that.

First, is internal motivation something I can teach my son? If so, how? If not, how can I turn this situation around without turning into a shrew of a mother?

Signed – I Don’t Wanna Shrew it Up!

DR. ASH

Hey Don’t Wanna Shrew it Up!

Great question.

Internal motivation is definitely a thing. The best way to cultivate internal motivation is to help people connect with why a certain thing is important to them. Getting “good grades” in grade school didn’t matter at all to me (for example) and I got really poor grades. But when I got to high school I learned that grades would determine if I was able to go away to a good (and interesting) college once I graduated. This was enough to motivate me to work harder in school.

Different people also have different expectations and standards of what’s appropriate and what’s “good enough” and what they even notice (say, in the case of tidiness). I remember when I got to college my college roommate telling me at one point, about 2/3rds of the way through the year “do you realize that I pick up your soda can every day and put it in the garbage?”

The honest to goodness truth is that I hadn’t noticed. I hadn’t noticed at all.

Not everyone notices things like this as much as others. I am capable of overlooking a pile of clothing on a chair for weeks before it gets to the point where I have to do something about it. It just doesn’t bother me the same way it bothers other people.

The problem comes when other people decide that this “isn’t good enough” and “needs to shift”. I’m not a sloppy person by any means. I clean up sticky or dirty things like dishes quite quickly. But clutter, especially when I was younger, just didn’t phase me.

So if we’re talking about a specific degree of tidiness, then this can definitely be a matter of personal preference. And the desire to control the child and make them the same degree of tidiness that you find acceptable may instead cause you to “do it yourself” rather than nag and feel rude. Or wait on them to do it.

But what’s going on here is part of the toxic cycle of Everyday Codependency. You’re sacrificing your own happiness because of your belief that the other person needs to meet your expectations in order for you to feel happy.

Now, let’s extend this idea to the notion of say doing laundry. Every child at a certain age has to learn to do their own laundry. It’s never too late to learn. However, if you fear that you’re asking your child to do too much by asking them to take care of their own laundry then that’s again about you wanting to control how your child perceives you. Whether your child is perceived by others as clean or sloppy. So perhaps you teach your child to do his own laundry and then you let it go. If he chooses to wear dirty pants or stained clothing to school than that’s what he’s choosing. (again, you don’t even want to know how long I would go between washing my jeans or my sheets in college. It makes me shudder now).

“Failing and making mistakes is essential to learning.” – Click to Tweet

Very likely there’s a sense that if you don’t take care of these things that they will not get taken care of yourself. But what’s really happening is:

 You fear allowing your child to make their own mistakes and fail. If your son figures out that girls don’t like him when he stinks. Or that he hates the way his clothes feel when they have sand in them. But he’ll need to encounter something that will motivate him to do something differently. Then, and only then, might he begin to feel motivated to do things differently. But ONLY if you let him do make mistakes and fail. Only if you let him get uncomfortable first. If you continue to take care of the issue for him he will just wait until you’ll do it. Discomfort is generally a requirement to change something. So you must allow your child to experience the discomfort of his choices rather than protecting him from it!

 You’re afraid of setting boundaries. Setting boundaries isn’t so much about the setting of the initial boundary, but about the reassertion of the boundary. If the dog (for example) knows you’ll let him on the couch eventually. He’ll just wait you out to avoid sitting on the floor – giving you those puppy dog eyes the whole time. Just like your son who may wait you out till you eventually cave and do his laundry for him if he knows you’ll do it eventually. A boundary is “this is something you now need to do yourself” and standing by that boundary. Again and again. Especially when it gets uncomfortable.

 You’re assuming that your child’s level of motivation is your own personal failure instead of about your child. This is not fair. You need to let your child’s choices (especially once they hit a certain age) be about what they choose to do. If you continue to take responsibility for his choices then you will continue to shield him from failure, from making mistakes, and ultimately from learning. Because failing and making mistakes is essential to learning. But when you blame yourself if he fails or makes mistakes than you feel responsible for fixing those issues and so tend to swoop in so that you don’t feel bad.

 You may be too invested in being “liked” by your children instead of cultivating what will be good for them. Asserting and reasserting boundaries does not make you a shrew. Yes, there are certain points when it begins to lean into nagging land. But that’s the point when you stop nagging and you start allowing the other person to feel the impact of their decisions.

Bet you never really thought about it that way (#3). That the real reason you take care of your son and these issues is to save yourself the discomfort of feeling bad or feeling like you failed. Especially if you’ve ever felt as though your parents failed you you may be overcompensating so that you’re “not like them”.

Drop the fears and allow your son to be who he is. Stop judging yourself. Allow him to make his own mistakes and learn his own lessons. And hold fast to your boundaries with him and what you expect of him. I highly suggest writing down specific expectations and standing by them. Perhaps dishes in the sink and laundry done on his own. Then he knows exactly what’s expected of him.

 

Got a Question?

Got a question for Dr. Ash? Send them to support@ashleegreer.com and you may find your question featured in one of the upcoming editions!

If you’re ready for a ‘hell yes‘ life, join The Abundance Revolution TODAY!

Anxiety. Fear. Playing Small. Stuckness.

You’re living in a prison of your own making.

It’s time to change that forever.

Download NOW for FREE!

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.

Ask Dr Ash – Is it Intuition or Fear?

Ask Dr Ash – Is it Intuition or Fear?

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QUESTION

Dear Ash, I’m having trouble distinguishing between my gut instinct and a reaction based on fear/anxiety.

For example, someone new wants to collaborate with you on a proposed work project. It sounds like a great opportunity.

But there’s a feeling there that things may not be as peachy as they seem.

You wonder if the feeling is a gut reaction to the person/situation actually being too good to be true/something being off but you can’t pinpoint why. OR if the feeling is just you overthinking things (even if it’s only been a minute), jumping to fear-based conclusions that you normally fall back on to keep yourself down subconsciously.

Like the situation really could be one of those too good to be true but it’s actually true if you have the courage to go for it situations.

OR, it could end up being too good to be true and you end up screwed in the end. Hindsight is 20/20 but very unhelpful when trying to make decisions.

– Shifting out of Hindsight

DR. ASH

Hey Hindsight!

This is such a great question! And something that I often have clients ask me about.

Gut feeling, or intuition, is one of the most powerful forces in your toolkit for life. Yet many people don’t know how to use it effectively. They may often get nudges that tell them something.

But more often than not they come up with reasons that they’re nudges are wrong. One way this shows up is telling yourself you’re “being judgmental” when someone doesn’t feel right or you aren’t quite sure why you don’t like someone.

Instead of leaning into the self-trust that says “this is a sign and I need to step back and observe” we often brush our intuition aside, criticize ourselves for being judgmental, and then find out later that the person in question was not someone we wanted to get involved with.

I especially see this with people when they encounter a narcissist. They feel something is “off” but the person “seems so nice” and is so charming they convince themselves that they’re wrong and that they can’t trust themselves.

Yep, you guessed it, following your intuition comes down to self-trust. Do you trust your judgment? Do you trust yourself? Do you trust the universe (source, divine, God – or whatever resonates for you).

When you come from a background of Toxicity and Trauma you’ve often been taught not to trust yourself. This happens because of years of invalidation.

What’s invalidation? It’s when someone tells you that your inner feelings are wrong. To “suck it up” because you can’t possibly be hungry, you just ate. You can’t possibly be tired, you got plenty of sleep. You shouldn’t be sad, that’s stupid. Or you can’t trust your gut instinct, that’s stupid.

Your faith in yourself, and your trust in your gut, gets slowly stripped away by years of conditioning that tells you ever so subtly that you cannot be trusted. And that you absolutely cannot, and should not, trust your inner world.

So what happens? You discount it. You find reasons that your gut, or your intuition is wrong. You find ways to invalidate yourself even after those people are gone who gave you those subtle messages all your life.

So now, back to your specific question about whether it’s a nudge/ intuition/ gut or it’s fear because of self-sabotage… Yes, self-sabotage is a real issue.

Many people are afraid of success and so find ways to find “reasonable excuses” for not following through on opportunities that would lead to really amazing things for them.

But at the end of the day, both of these things are a false internal dialogue that’s telling you “you’re wrong. You can’t trust yourself. You can’t trust the world”.

When you get an intuitive nudge it feels like something is off. There’s not a good reason for it. The way I like to explain it is it almost feels like you put the movie on slow motion. Things slow down and you wonder if they should speed up.

So how do you differentiate this from fear? You sit with it. That’s right. You sit with the feeling that you’re getting and you have a chat with it. You ask it “what am I afraid of? What is it about this situation that doesn’t feel right? How do I actually feel right now? What’s the worst case scenario?”

You give the fear a voice so that you can actually hear what it’s trying to tell you. Only when you look that feeling straight in the face can you hear what it’s saying.

Only then can you collect data on what the feeling is telling you. You see, feelings are data. They are communicating information to us. And when we don’t trust our feelings and are disconnected from them, we’re losing out on a whole source of information that can help us on our path.

So when you close your eyes, slow down, take a breath and feel into it – how do you feel? (now this “how do you feel” exercise will look very different for a man walking toward you in a dark alley than a business opportunity. So keep in mind that this example isn’t meant to be blanketly applied to everything in your life).

  Maybe you feel an irrational level of fear, a fear of annihilation. That you’ll die. Why on earth would you feel that way for a business opportunity? That indicates that there’s very likely a subconscious fear motivating this that has nothing to do with the opportunity and has everything to do with your fears about what will happen if you succeed (or fail).

 Maybe you feel a small fear and are able to easily identify what it’s about. Perhaps this person has a history of biting off more than they can chew and shirking their responsibilities and making others pick up the slack. And your fear is telling you that this person may very well do this exact thing again during this collaboration. This is good data that can empower you to either not choose to collaborate or be VERY clear and get a contract with the person about who is responsible for what.

 Or perhaps when you really sit with the feeling it’s not exactly fear you’re feeling. It’s a sense of your feet being stuck on the floor and being unable to move forward. This can be two things. It can be resistance (which is often an indicator of #1 above). OR, it can be intuition telling you that this opportunity is not ideal for you. How do you tell the difference? Resistance looks like avoidance, like denial, like an inability to look at the thing that you’re considering. Intuition feels like a calm certainty. Even if the calm certainty is saying “don’t move” it actually wouldn’t feel like fear (in this example). It would feel like an inner knowing.

Some other things to consider:

 Connect with where you feel your intuition in your body. And get to know what your intuitive nudges feel like so you can easily identify them. The more you practice the easier this gets.

 Wait. Breathe. Slow down. And even ask yourself multiple times. Do not rush into a decision as the adrenaline of “I have to choose right now!” can often mask itself as anxiety, excitement, and fear. I will often step away from an opportunity and just let my emotions settle down so that I can really feel into how the situation feels to me before I make a decision rather than impulsively choosing based on adrenaline. I highly recommend you try this too.

“Following your intuition comes down to self-trust.” – Click to Tweet

Want to Know More?

If you want more guidance on how to tell the difference between resistance and an inner intuitive nudge to “wait,” there is a live masterclass in The Abundance Revolution about this exact topic next week on January 15th.

And for a limited time, you can try out the group for 2 weeks for only $22.

During this workshop, I’ll be sharing specific examples from my own life including a time when I was given the nudge to “wait” and didn’t listen with life-threatening consequences!

Plus, other times I was in category #1 above and was waiting when in fact it was just an excuse to keep playing small.

Plus, there’s a past masterclass in the group all about how to really anchor into what your intuition feels like and how to practice with it to make it stronger.

If you’ve always wanted to empower yourself to trust yourself and your intuition now is the time to join The Abundance Revolution. Just click the button below to check it out and join us.

If you’re ready for a ‘hell yes‘ life, join The Abundance Revolution TODAY!

Got a Question?

Got a question for Dr. Ash? Send them to support@ashleegreer.com and you may find your question featured in one of the upcoming editions!

Anxiety. Fear. Playing Small. Stuckness.

You’re living in a prison of your own making.

It’s time to change that forever.

Download NOW for FREE!

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.

Ask Dr Ash – Can What You Love Cause Burnout?

Ask Dr Ash – Can What You Love Cause Burnout?

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QUESTION

Dear Dr. Ash,

I’m an entrepreneur, a one-person operation. As such, I’ve battled and overcome burnout, a few times! I feel I’ve managed to take control of my work life but my “spare time” has been getting busier and busier. Fortunately, with things that I love doing. My husband is concerned that I’m getting too busy again and doesn’t want me to risk burnout again. Is this possible? When you love all the things that you’re doing does it add up and lead to burnout?

– Burning out from what I love

DR. ASH

Hey Burning!

Stress can come from the funniest places. The obvious sources like work, young children, or illness in the family. Or the not so obvious sources like celebrating the holidays, being overly busy, and not having enough downtime.

Stress And The Body

The funny thing about the body and the subconscious mind is that it doesn’t know the difference between the source of stress. It just thinks “oh no! We’re under attack! Put up the defenses!” whether you’re rushing around on vacation or caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s.

These defenses can look like frequent illness, finding yourself getting more and more short-tempered, or even getting depressed.

When I was a psychologist my colleagues once pulled me aside and told me that I was “somaticizing” my stress. I hate the term somaticizing because it’s basically a nice way of saying “it’s all in your head” in psychological terms.

And let me be frank – that’s a bunch of bullshit.

Here’s what happens. It’s not all in your head. But your brain is the most powerful organ in your body. You can literally heal disease with the brain. Scientists often discuss the placebo effect when they’re doing drug studies to describe people who are having a healing response without being on the active drug. Funny thing is almost no one is talking about how this essentially is scientific evidence that the mind has the capacity to effect healing properties in the body.

Well, the same happens in the other direction.

But the problem is, we tend to push down stress. We ignore it. We say “it’s no big deal”. Or, in a case like yours where the sources of stress are pleasurable, we decide that being busy “shouldn’t” lead to burnout.

Unfortunately, the body didn’t get that memo. It just responds to the cues that it’s short on time, that it’s getting less sleep, that it’s not getting enough downtime, and that you’re always rushing around. The subconscious mind is constantly seeded with thoughts like “gotta run!” and “gotta hurry up so I won’t be late!” and “omg I’m so busy!”. And that subconscious mind interprets everything literally meaning that it experiences this all as stress. Regardless of the source.

So yes, the short answer is, your husband is onto something here. When you get short on time, are constantly rushing, and have no time for downtime to “do nothing” and rest then there is always a chance of burnout. A good chance, believe it or not. Especially if you’ve experienced it before.

The Kids Call This FOMO

But I want to address something. Then how does this gel with the idea that we should follow our urges? That we should follow what feels best? Our deepest desires?

Well, ironically the pursuit of pleasurable activities in life can be just as motivated by “shoulds” as the goals and achievements. We feel we “should” go to the party. We feel we “should” take our friend up on that dinner invite. We feel we “should” see Beth because it’s been 2 months since the last time.

So we go and do the thing that feels pleasurable at its root, even though part of us really doesn’t want to.

These days they call this FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out.

But in fact, it’s not always a fear of missing out on the good stuff.

 It can also be a fear of letting people down.
 Guilt about not seeing someone more often or not attending their party.
 Shame about needing to rest or wanting alone time.

Fundamentally, this comes down to not attending to your own needs enough.

That’s right, self-care often means saying no to things which, on the surface, look fun and fantastical.

It means following the “I don’t wanna” as much as the “hell yes let’s do this”… BOTH are required for living a hell yes life.

But silencing the “no” is often what happens when you come from a background of Toxicity & Trauma. You feel like you always have to say yes or you’ll be abandoned. Or you’ll be left out. Or they’ll forget about you. It goes back to a corn gut-level instinct that you’ll be thrown out of the group should you say no to coffee that one time.

Sounds kind of absurd when you read it. And yet, you can feel in your gut that this is accurate.

Shouldn’t I Live Life To The Fullest?

As many of you know, I’m a world traveler. I’m currently living in Bali and have all of SE Asia at my back door. People often ask me “have you seen this? Have you done this? Why aren’t you traveling more??” and I say “I love to travel. But I travel slowly because I know I have time”. And frankly, I get stressed out and burned out when I travel all the time.

So the other reason you feel the need to pack in all the pleasurable things at once is that you fear that you don’t have enough time. That you have to cram them in now or you’ll lose the chance.

This is being motivated by a feeling of lack.

A feeling that there’s not enough (time, money, opportunities, nice weather – you name it). This comes from buried limiting beliefs that end up self-sabotaging you and driving you to make choices based on those “shoulds” rather than on what actually feels good at that moment.

There’s no shame in slowing down. There’s no guilt in saying no. There’s nothing wrong with finding time to just “be”… but the world has us believing that our life is more successful the more we cram into it.

So I’d urge you to slow down. To smell the roses. And to really deeply experience everything you’re doing.

Because if you’re jamming your schedule tightly with activity after activity – are you really slowing down enough to even enjoy any of them? Probably not as much as you could.

“There’s no shame in slowing down. There’s no guilt in saying no. There’s nothing wrong with finding time to just “be”… So, I urge you to slow down. To smell the roses. And to really deeply experience everything you’re doing.” – Click to Tweet

Want to Know More?

Want to know more about how to live a “Hell Yes Life” free of the “shoulds” and the feeling of lack that motivates you to constantly do do do? Then, join The Abundance Revolution for a special price up to 70% off through the end of December 2018. Don’t miss out on your chance to shift this whole pattern for good so that you can savor every juicy morsel rather than feeling like you have to hoover down the entire buffet because you may never see it again.

Learn more about The Abundance Revolution!

Got a Question?

Got a question for Dr. Ash? Send them to support@ashleegreer.com and you may find your question featured in one of the upcoming editions!

 

 

Anxiety. Fear. Playing Small. Stuckness.

You’re living in a prison of your own making.

It’s time to change that forever.

 

Download NOW for FREE!

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.

Ask Dr. Ash – Coping with Toxic Family Holidays?

Ask Dr. Ash – Coping with Toxic Family Holidays?

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QUESTION

How do you navigate the holidays with difficult family members?

I’ve recently become aware that my parents are narcissistic (my dad) and codependent (my mom). After trying to set some boundaries, I decided to take a break from them since I couldn’t get anywhere when addressing them. I’m really enjoying this break, but now with the holidays approaching, I’m feeling confused on how to proceed.

I have a 5-year-old who would like to see them, but they refuse to FaceTime during my break (it’s all or nothing). I honestly would like to not address them at all, or spend the holidays with them in any way, or wish them a happy birthday which is also approaching. I know they’ll use this against me later (look, everyone, I told you she was a bad daughter), but at the same time, the thought of contacting them exhausts me.

Any advice? Thanks so much!!

– HoHum Holidays

DR. ASH

Holidays can be a particularly difficult time when it comes to coping with family. Especially if there is a narcissist involved in the equation. But here’s the truth – no one’s opinion of you and your life choices matters except your own.

I know it can seem threatening and confusing when you fear that someone might use your boundaries and distance against you, using it as fuel to a fire that you are not a good daughter. But sit down and ask yourself for a moment – why does it matter? Why does their opinion of you matter?

It matters because the toxicity & trauma from when you were growing up has conditioned you to believe that other people’s opinions of you are not only very important, but a valid reflection of your goodness, your worthiness, and your value in this world.

So sit back for a moment and ask yourself – “What’s the worst that would happen if they say ‘look, everyone, I told you she was a bad daughter’. What would happen? What would the worst case scenario be?”. Perhaps you may have a few family members or people in your parent’s community think ill of you. What else? What other fears are lurking there? Do they offer financial support that they might withdraw? Or emotional support?

Chances are that the biggest thing that would happen is that you’d feel guilty and filled with shame for putting yourself first. For asserting that you deserve to have a happy and satisfied life and doing what you need to do to make that happy.

It’s not what they think of you that’s really bothering you. It’s the internalized fears about what you’ll think of yourself.

You see, no one can really make us feel anything. Think about it. If you were on a crowded subway and bumped into someone and they had the opinion of “look, everyone, I told you she was a bad person!” you’d probably brush it right off and go on with your day because you’ve decided that that person’s opinion isn’t valid. But since you decided, probably when you were young, that your parents’ opinions were valid you feel as though when you go against those opinions you’re doing something wrong.

You’re essentially activating the “bad girl” inside of you that fears being punished. The archetypal inner child that fears that if she breaks the rules she’ll be abandoned and never loved by anyone.

Of course, your adult self knows better than this. And lucky for you she can learn new ways of coping and can decondition all of that old toxicity & trauma that’s kept you locked into the cycle of guilt and shame that has kept you replaying the same patterns over and over.

Plus, as yourself this – if you had to choose either them being disappointed with you and feeling guilty about it OR you getting to be happy, relaxed and relieved which is more important? Which is more valuable?

The answer is pretty obvious to me 😉

“Here’s the truth – no one’s opinion of you and your life choices matters except your own.” – Click to Tweet

This month in The Abundance Revolution, we’ll be talking specifically about surviving the holidays with toxic family.

There’s a lot of other aspects to coping with toxic family during the holidays that I’m super excited to teach. Such as how to shape behavior, how to give yourself an escape hatch, how to deal with grief, anxiety, and depression during the holidays, and how to keep your sanity during a season we’ve all been conditioned to put everyone else first.

Join us in The Abundance Revolution Membership. In this membership, you’ll discover how to cultivate inner strength, self-trust, and resilience so that you can finally feel comfortable putting yourself first without feeling selfish. To decondition those old beliefs, heal the inner child, and finally get what you’ve always wanted. And for a limited time, you can try it for only $22.

Grab your spot today!

Got a Question?

Got a question for Dr. Ash? Send them to support@ashleegreer.com and you may find your question featured in one of the upcoming editions!

 

 

Anxiety. Fear. Playing Small. Stuckness.

You’re living in a prison of your own making.

It’s time to change that forever.

 

Download NOW for FREE!

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.