Freedom Blog

Friday, February 28, 2014

Worrier or Warrior?

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Worrier or Warrior?

Written by Steven Griggs |

“Never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time. Some people bear three- all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.”
E.E. Hale

“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”
E. Joseph Cossman

Worry. It’s a sneaky thing. Worrying is just a symptom of fear.

It is actually a very comfortable place for your ego personality to hide out. It becomes consumed and distracted running through all the negative possibilities that it can imagine might happen.

“What if the car breaks down?” “What if I lose my job?” “What if I can’t pay the bills?”

It is endless. Once you have developed the habit of slipping into worry, it can become a part of your daily script.

It can become overwhelming and pervasive. I recently heard someone say they were worried about going out shopping because they might get hit by a car……..  !

You can see how far this can go, it can get crazy.

Sometimes having a bit of worry is OK, it could be just a fleeting thought of concern that acts like a warning signal. It’s telling you to remember something that could come up later or reminding you to take some other proactive action.  This is not really worrying.

The worrying I’m talking about is all consuming. It becomes a filter that you see the world through.

In general worrying is self-indulgent and really very polluting and toxic, first to anyone you are ‘worried” about and then especially to yourself.

By worrying about someone, you place a huge burden on that person. You are taking any fears or doubt they may already have and bringing their focus onto it and then they really start to worry and it expands…..

Not to mention how much you are trashing your own energy by focusing on negativity.

And by worrying and thinking about negative possibilities you are actually attracting the negative results you are worried about! You are sending out the vibration of what you don’t want instead of what you do want as an outcome.

And that’s what you’ll get- the exact thing you were worried about!

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There is a concept called “Pareto’s Principle” or the 80/20 rule. It says that 80% of the things you worry about won’t happen and the 20% that do happen won’t be as bad as you thought it would be.  

So try to remember that.

But how do you shift from living in fear or worry?  You need to move up a level or two on the emotional scale. It’s difficult to shift in one fell swoop into very high energy level, it is much easier to move up incrementally.

Try this. The next time you feel yourself worrying, sit down and draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. (This is a variation of an exercise called “Clarity through Contrast”).

On the left side, write down what you are worried about (what you DON’T want).  You can list several things or just the dominant worry you are having today.

On the right side, write down what you would prefer to happen (what you DO want).

Now go down the list of items, which thought feels best? What you DON’T want or what you DO want?

When looking at what you DO want, try to see how it would look and how it will feel when it happens. It feels better, right? I’ll bet much better.

Can you feel the shift?

By focusing your attention on the desired outcome and feeling it, you can shift towards new possibilities instead of being mired in limitation.

So the next time you feel yourself slipping back into worry, try to remember what you DO want. Or since it is difficult to stop some thoughts, (you can try saying “cancel!”, it works for me) tell yourself I’ll think about that later, then when you can, take another look at your list.

Don’t let your mind be sabotaged by fear. 

Be a warrior not a worrier.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What Are You Expecting?

No Limits | The Freedom Blog®

What Are You Expecting?

Written by Steven Griggs |

“Keep high aspirations, moderate expectations, and small needs”            William Howard Stein

“When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have”                                                                                            Stephen Hawking

“I got no expectations, to pass through here again”
Rolling Stones

Expectations are desired outcomes. We desire something and when it doesn't happen we are disappointed. We experience contradiction.  This is because we view the world out there as something we can control but the truth is we can’t; we can only control our responses.

Yes, we can influence some things and maybe manipulate other things but that can lead to trouble because you develop the feeling that you can control most things. But it’s the things that happen that we can’t control that cause us to be emotionally upset or angry.

In the physical sense we have a bit of chemistry to overcome. Our brain releases dopamine when it is pleased. So when its expectations are met and our brain is pleased a small amount of Dopamine is released into our system. This gives us a quick feeling of pleasure and well-being. Larger amounts of Dopamine are released if you exceed your expectations.

This “reward” for meeting our expectations can result from the smallest form of having your expectations met. For example, being on a deadline and looking up and seeing you have 30 minutes more than you thought you had or having the light turn green just as your reach the intersection. Both of these events cause Dopamine to be released.

Conversely, when you have an expectation that is not met, you not only don’t have the flush of Dopamine, you actually have a more negative feelings come up. This can even dip you below where you would be normally. In some instances you might even have a momentary feeling of fear.

Having expectations is the real source of all unhappiness.

This is because you are constantly living with contradictions of the ego. Your desired outcomes don’t match with what is actually happening.

You looked forward to a clear warm day and it rains. You have an appointment and your car won’t start. You were hoping to get the new job and you didn't.

It never ends.

So what do you do? You have to learn to become detached.

You have to learn to accept what is not what you would wish it to be.

For example when your expectation is a sunny day but you get wind and rain, look at the weather and accept that this planet has a lot of weather and without it the entire planet would be a desert. So you accept the weather and put on a raincoat or pick up an umbrella.


No need for an emotional reaction or frustration or even anger. It’s just weather.

So try stepping back from the emotional engagement of contradicted expectations.

Accept “what is” and roll with it. Expect everything.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Don't Look Back (Or Forward)

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Don’t Look Back (Or Forward)

Written by Steven Griggs |

“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t let the past steal your present”  Terri Guillemets

How many times a day do you reminisce or review the past?

And how many times a day do you find yourself dreaming of the future?

We are all doing it constantly.

If you really think about it our days are made up of a constant stream of reviewing the past and looking into the future.

You aren't really doing anything in the present because it doesn't really exist.

The truth is that the present is the meeting point of the past and the future.

It is the split second between when we are moving from what is going to happen next (the future) to what has already happened (the past).

It feels like the present because you can see yourself doing whatever you are doing right now and it looks like the present because you can say “I am right here in the present” but it isn't and you aren't because your present, which was the future, has just become the past.


So the present doesn't really exist. It’s not really somewhere that you can “be in.”

Just as you are saying the word “present” you have already gone from the future to the past.

So there is no middle ground, no place where the present exists. It’s a constantly moving moment that exists as an infinitesimal gap between the future and the past.

The closest thing to the present is the immediate future and the most recent past.

But we constantly hear people talking about being present or staying in the present moment.

But how can you?

How can we exist in a present that doesn't really exist? What are we to do?

The key to expanding your moments of “present” is to reduce the amount of time you spend thinking about the past or the future.

You will still be going from the future to the past but you can refocus your viewpoint.

You can reduce your mind’s need to time travel and keep it close, keep it right here, right now.

As best you can.

Try to focus on the things going on around you.

Feel your body, feel your breath going in and out. Feel your body resting on the chair you are sitting in, feel your feet on the ground.

See the clouds rolling by, the birds in the air, the wind in the trees.

Smell the smells, taste the tastes, feel the sun on your face, really “be” with the person you are talking to.

Step away from your mind’s endless churning, from its constant searching and reviewing.

Reduce your visits to the past and future, I say reduce because you can’t eliminate your memories or stop dreaming of future possibilities because it’s a basic part of our human mind, but you can pull back from your need to dwell in the past or the future.

Make a renewed effort to stay right where you are every day.

Every time you start drifting off into past recollections or looking forward too far, pull yourself back.

Get back to now.

Not the present but now.

Focus on what is happening “now” even if “now” is moving instantly from future to past.

It’s the closest we can get to the present.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Power of No

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

The Power of No

Written by Steven Griggs |

  “Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”                                                                                                                                       W. Clement Stone

"Life is all about balance, too much and too little can kill. The best way to balance life is by setting your boundaries and learning to say Enough"             Anonymous
Why do we almost always say yes, when we really want to say no?
What is it that makes it so hard for some of us to say no?

I think we have a built in instinct to say yes. It is probably an ancient human trait to look out for our family and our tribe. In ancient times the tribe was all important. It took a group to survive and prosper, so teamwork was essential.

You would have a problem or possibly be ostracized if you said no or refused to help someone in your village. It would be unthinkable.

But today is a different world.

Most of us are already overwhelmed and operating at a slightly chaotic level. We have enough to do without taking on some else’s problems.

But it is hard to say no.

In many conversations, especially with family, there are so many unspoken issues and feelings swirling around that any request for a favor is never straight forward, it always gets colored with feelings of obligation or guilt.

And some of us are pleasers and it is very hard to say no when you are a pleaser.

Some of us thrive on a higher level of chaos. Saying yes to other’s requests provides oodles of opportunity to be overwhelmed. It feeds right in to our martyr complex.

I have been guilty of being a pleaser for a large chunk of my life. I was always thinking of the other person, always putting someone else’s needs before mine. I never thought of putting myself first.

I was the poster boy for the Pleaser Hall of Fame.

But you can’t allow yourself to be pulled in to serving other people’s needs.

First of all, if someone is asking you for something or asking for a favor, why?

Why is it really necessary to ask anyone to do something for you?

I don’t.

I can’t think of the last time I asked anyone to do anything for me. Maybe I have and just don’t remember it right now but I really can’t think of any time.

But again, why is someone asking you to do something for them? What is really going on?

Is it an emergency? Is there a dangerous situation that they need help with? If so, OK.

Is it helping with a family situation or maybe babysitting a family member’s kids for a few hours? That’s OK.

What I am really talking about is the kind of person who is probably a little oblivious and self-centered and has no problem asking for favors. They are the opposite of being a pleaser, they are probably a taker. But then again maybe they are overwhelmed and stressed out because they have too much to do.

They probably have a hard time saying no too.

Most of us have full plates with our careers, our families, and all the complexities of today's connected lifestyle.

It can be too much. We humans aren't born with the bandwidth to handle all of this stuff.

But the real truth is that when you say “No” you are really saying “Yes”.

You are saying “Yes” to yourself, Yes to protecting and nurturing yourself. Yes to living a simpler, quieter and less stressed life. You are also affirming that you are in alignment with who you are.

Yes, you can help others, and yes, you can do favors for other people but only if it is truly something you feel OK with and don’t resent doing. If you feel for an instant any type of resistance within yourself, stop, withdraw the offer and don’t do the favor.

You have to take control.

If you say yes and don't mean it you are just setting yourself up for problems by creating resentment and anger. This will be smoldering and stewing within you and will affect your health, not to mention your relationships. That is not good.

Just say, “I’d really like to help but I can’t right now”. Or “ No thanks today’s not a good day for me” and move on.

Don’t explain or give a reason about why you’re saying no. If they persist and try to talk you into it then you’ll know for sure you made the right choice.

So don’t argue or explain or offer to do it later.

Just say nothing.

Create a huge pregnant pause and wait. Let them fumble around and try to regroup.

It will be interesting.

I’m not saying to be mean or hurtful, just be firm and loving when you say “no thanks”.

It will be difficult at first and you may feel guilty but watch the other person’s reaction. If they react negatively you just got a good insight into their real agenda. And you probably aren't at the top of their list.

But if they are understanding and considerate then maybe you’ll offer to do them a favor at a later time when it’s more convenient for you.

But either way remember: say “No” with love but start saying it today.