Category Archives: Motivation and Implementation

Lesson No. 36: Adapt

Routine versus adaptability. Now there’s a quandary if I ever heard one! Our two most human traits are always at odds. We are both creatures of habit who thrive on dependable things like routine and familiarity, and creatures ready for anything life throws our way—even when we think we can’t manage we typically find a way to make the necessary adjustments.

Bottom line: we’re capable of both. But one is far easier than the other. Any thoughts?

You guessed it: routine! It takes very little effort (if any) to stay in our comfort zone and go throw the motions of all that has now become habit. It’s sort of like living on autopilot.

But adaptation requires effort because it involves breaking habits. And we all know how hard it is to break a habit! Adapting means changing. Which means cutting things (and people) loose and making sacrifices. It can get messy. It’s not usually fun. Sometimes it’s downright painful. But in the end, it’s what had to be done. And often our lives are better for it.

I recently broke my a number of my own routines and am now in the midst of adapting to my new life. It’s all rather disorganized at the moment—which hurts my mildly OCD brain. The most challenging part is that I seem to be resisting the need to cut things loose. I’m trying to bring my old routines with me and fit them alongside my new ones. But there aren’t enough hours in the day! Turns out this new chapter in my life isn’t the minor shift I thought it would be. It’s big! It’s going to require a huge overhaul. So…

Lesson No. 36: Adapt.

It’s time to make sacrifices and sizeable life changes. And this could even end up impacting these Monday ramblings of mine. Time will tell, and I’ll keep you informed as I go. But for now, darling, remember that it is in your nature as a human to be able to adapt. So no matter how scary or ugly it may feel in the moment, you can do it. And sooner or later you’ll be very happy you did.

with truth and elegance,

Vanessa

PS–To witness my journey on a daily basis (pictures included!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Vanessa_Bork

Lesson No. 35: Not Everything is About You

If you know me at all, you know how strongly I believe in the concept of self-awareness.

It’s one of the most important things for our wellbeing and for our ability to have something to offer the rest of the world. By seeing ourselves in a light of complete honesty, deeply understanding who we are, embracing all aspects of our self, and treating ourselves with genuine love and compassion.

This is essential.

But self-care of this nature should come with a disclaimer:

Lesson No. 35: Not Everything is About You.

See, it’s very easy to tip these scales too far in the direction of self-love and wind up in the realm of narcissism instead. It’s so easy, in fact, that we can hardly be blamed for it.

To begin with, we’re already locked into our own body and mind. Seeing the world from this one perspective our whole lives. True empathy takes practice.

Now add to this the conscious effort to pay even more attention to yourself. To notice how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking about, how you look, why you do the things you do, how you react to different people and life events. Constantly reflecting on all of this so that you can get to know yourself better and love yourself more completely.

It’s a wonder we’re not all full blown megalomaniacs!

But the truth is that there are far more important things happening in the world than whether we’re personally having a good self-esteem day.

I know that may sound harsh, but I believe that when we get too wrapped up in ourselves and our own lives we get stuck—like a form of mental claustrophobia. And it helps to remember that there is a whole universe on the other side of our bedroom walls, or bathroom (selfie) mirrors, or inner turmoil.

Yes, we matter. But we’re not all that matters. So break out of your cocoon from time to time and just forget about yourself—focus on something bigger than you.

with truth and elegance,

Vanessa

PS–To witness my journey on a daily basis (pictures included!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Vanessa_Bork

Lesson No. 34: No One Really Wants Advice

People think that, as a coach (or the therapist I’m working on becoming), my job is to give people advice. Tell them what to do—step by step. Because they don’t know what to do with themselves and they need my instruction.

But that’s not how it works.

Sure, I offer insight based on my observations and my psychological knowledge, but I don’t tell people what to do.

No matter how expert I may ever become in the field of psychology, I will never be an expert on you. Only you are an expert on you. So I may guide you in a healthy direction, but all your choices are yours. I couldn’t possibly make the right decision for you—only you can do that.

Right now you may be thinking that if you’re really that lost in your life there’s no way you could make the right decision. But let’s do a little experiment. How much does the following statement make you cringe?

“You know what I think you should do…”

Are all your muscles clenching right now? I bet they are! Because, this is what I’ve learned: Lesson No. 34: No One Really Wants Advice. No matter how confused we may be feeling, we don’t actually want to hear what other people think would be good for us. What do they know, anyway?

It makes us angry and defensive. We automatically resist. Because the truth is that no one will ever know or understand us as well as we understand ourselves. Which means that only we can fix ourselves. Yes, we’ll need help and plenty of support. But we have to do the real work ourselves.

Which is for the best anyhow.

If we do it ourselves, it means more. We’ve come through the struggle and out the other side. We’re stronger for the journey. We can be proud of ourselves. And now we know we can depend on ourselves in the future.

So no, I do not give advice for a living. I support people in their journey of helping themselves. I am not a crutch. I am here to empower you to make the best decisions for yourself. I am an emotional lifeguard. And you are the champion swimmer in your own life!

with truth and elegance,
Vanessa

PS–To witness my journey on a daily basis (pictures included!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Vanessa_Bork