By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
I want to take a minute to talk about a very serious condition that I, along with many others, suffer from called FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out. Okay, okay, busted...it’s not a real medical condition, just trying to keep it light over here. While you might totally be chuckling at this idea, FOMO is real, and it can bring some real negativity into the lives of those that experience it! Let me explain...
The basics of Fear Of Missing Out, or FOMO, is the feeling that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing something better than you are. It is rooted in envy and jealousy. FOMO can cause you to have low self-esteem or start “not enoughing” yourself. Since you are constantly thinking about what you are missing out on, you are missing what is happening around you. You feel discontent, unhappy, disconnected. Pretty much the opposite of living a fun, inspired, intentional life!
Let’s take a quick assessment to see if you suffer from FOMO by asking yourself the following questions:
If you said yes to at least 2 of these questions, I hate to break it to you, you have a diagnosis of FOMO. The more you said yes to or the more a question resonated with you, the more severe your case is. Do not worry, DreamChaser! As a previous sufferer of FOMO myself, I have 5 ways to start you on your road to recovery.
5 Ways to Start on Your Road to FOMO Recovery:
1. Be present in the moment
The essence of FOMO is thinking about what’s next or what you might be missing, therefore, taking measures to be present is the fastest way to get your FOMO in check! Slow down and pay attention to the here and now. Practicing mindfulness can help with this, finding joy in the here and now rather than what might be.
2. Limit your social media
Social media feeds into your FOMO, big time. Employ strategies to make it a little harder to get sucked into mindlessly scrolling like putting your phone in a different room, remove the apps from your phone home screen, turn off notifications, or employ an app that enforces time limits.
3. Get your priorities in check
Time is our most limited and valuable commodity. Take a moment to understand what you really want and add value to your life versus what you desire, think quality over quantity. Say “no” to those that are not truly a priority, then, and this is crucial, LET IT GO!
4. Adopt an attitude of gratitude
Being grateful for what you have helps combat feelings of not being enough, envy, and jealousy. It’s impossible to feel these negative and life-sucking thoughts when experiencing gratitude.
5. Enjoy the process
The road to FOMO recovery takes time to unlearn bad habits and establish new, better serving ones. As you release the hold FOMO has on your life, you should notice more fun, enjoyment, and less stress. You create lasting moments and memories as well as deeper, more meaningful relationships. Not only do you start enjoying life more but so does everyone else around you!
Know what? Even if you don’t suffer from FOMO, you can benefit from these tips! Go out and live the fun, inspired, intentional life you deserve!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Affirmations have found themselves on the receiving end of jokes, groans and eyerolls for years, the skit from Saturday Night Live featuring Stuart Smalley often comes to mind. You know, the awkward and overly bright fella looking in the mirror saying, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And, gosh darn it, people like me”. Classic. It’s okay if you have a visceral reaction to the word affirmation that is best described as cringey, until relatively recently I was the same way. My inner monologue would have gone something like this, “S-u-r-e, I think about what I want and magically it just happens. Um...okay...”. My science mind could not wrap my head around this idea - it was way too out there.
But, as I dove further and further into personal growth and development, this idea of affirmations just kept coming up. I mean, for real, the accolades for affirmations are as abundant as the skepticism. This got me curious if there was truth to them. Had I changed my mind? Well, no, not yet. The only thing that changed was a willingness to explore something new. I had never tried affirmations so what did I really know, right?
Being the science nerd I am, I needed to know the how behind affirmations; how exactly did affirmations help? I discovered affirmations work in a very simple but effective way. For simplicity’s sake, you have two parts of your brain, the conscious and subconscious. The conscious brain is what you are actively experiencing and thinking about while the subconscious is everything else. You are bombarded with tons of information from your body and environment, and the subconscious acts as a filter so that your conscious brain doesn’t get overwhelmed. Affirmations work on your subconscious. You tell yourself as well as visualize your goal or dream as already accomplished. The subconscious feeds this to your conscious brain. Since the statement is not actually true, this creates a state of tension between what you are saying and what actually is. Your brain isn’t a fan of this tension or mismatch of information. The subconscious then starts to filter information to your conscious brain that will help you achieve the goal or dream you are desiring in an effort to match this affirmation with your actual state. Taking action on these cues will put you on the path to making your goals and dreams a reality.
That’s the misconception about affirmations right there - that simply by thinking about what you want, you will get what you want. Affirmations are not magical. They are a way to put yourself in a growth mindset of positivity and possibility. No matter how unlimited your thinking, affirmations are just thoughts and you still need to take action to bring those thoughts into reality. That’s the key step that is missing when it comes to affirmations; you have to take action!
The science seemed sound but would it work for me, the skeptic? That remained to be seen! The book The Success Principles by Jack Canfield gave some great next steps. He recommended making a specific affirmation for the goal or dream you were going after. This would help the brain focus very specifically on these goals. Here are the steps he suggests to developing your affirmations:
Want an even simpler way to accomplish this? Canfield has this simple structure for affirmations that follow the outlined guidelines: “I am so happy and grateful that I am now ___________”. Here’s a quick example of how to align a goal with an affirmation. Say you have a goal to lose weight; your affirmation could be “I am so happy and grateful that I am at my ideal weight of XX pounds”. Isn’t that easy peasy, lemon squeezy?
So, are affirmations working for me? Yes! And, they continue to work the more I use them and the better I get at making them specific. Affirmations make it easy to remember the goal I am working towards, keeping those goals front and center help with upgrading habits and staying on track. Upon reflection, I can attribute several subtle prompts or seemingly spontaneous ideas that I came up with or put into motion in my life that are moving my goals forward. Are they directly related to affirmations? That’s hard to say; the power of affirmations is in gentle but persistent suggestions or nudging in the right direction. My attitude, enthusiasm, and commitment to these goals has stayed exceptionally positive and possible with the needle moving the right way with the addition of consistent and specifically designed affirmations.
To live your very best life means to continually stretch out of the comfort zone. It means to set goals, reach them, then set them again farther. It takes mental fortitude to keep at this process, especially for those far off goals and dreams, to prevent burnout and remain focused. That’s one reason why we like to share different tools and strategies to help you on this journey. Affirmations are another awesome tool to add to that best life toolbox, DreamChaser. If something as simple as changing your goal to an affirmation can make the difference, why not give it a try? What do you have to lose?
You got this, DreamChaser! Shine on!
P. S. Want more info on how affirmations work? Check out this blog → https://www.findyoursoulshine.com/blog/affirmations-time-to-clear-up-the-misunderstood-perceptions-on-how-they-work
By Jackie White
How do so many of us stumble along through life only to arrive at another new year, birthday, anniversary, whatever the occasion might be, and wonder where did the time go? You might wonder what happened to all those grand plans and dreams you once had. The truth is there are behaviors that we have gotten so comfortable with that we have allowed them to stagnate our potential. Now, is the time for a get-real-with-yourself chat that puts you on the road to taking charge and moving your life in the right direction.
Gulp, who wants to do that? You should want to because sometimes it’s your own self that needs to kick your butt in gear! If you are tired of the same ol’ same ol’ then this is your opportunity to shift gears and move past all that’s been holding you back.
You should know that your behavior is driven by what you believe. There is a cost to that if what you believe is not serving you. These behaviors have been coined “Binding Behaviors” by Rha Goddess in her book “The Calling”. These patterns of behavior are keeping you tethered to a victimhood mentality and that sure isn’t where you want to be.
These 4 key patterns of behavior we tend to engage in cause us to continue to circle the swamp of mediocrity. To make a better life for ourselves we have to make a change. A change to be better, more empowered, and following the path of our true calling.
The four binding behaviors all have one goal in common and that is to keep you down. They tend to be fall-back behaviors that have protected us in the past. The truth is they are really bad habits we need to break so we can free ourselves to live fully.
The 4 Binding Behaviors
because we know better! Check yourself when you see yourself falling into these patterns. Eventually, with some mindfulness, you will begin to choose to not engage and the road will be cleared for endless possibilities!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Hey there, DreamChaser! How’s it going? Wow! We are well on our way to getting those goals and dreams that we set out for going into the new year. Err...maybe not. Did you, gasp, get derailed on your way? Just kidding...there’s no gasping required as well as no shame, justified excuses, blaming, or any other negative, unserving response. How would you feel instead if I told you getting derailed is an expected part of the journey to your goal?
That feels quite a bit different, doesn’t it? All that negativity that had hold of you should start to float away, releasing you from their paralyzing grip. In SoulShine Life Connections terms, those derailments are called roadblocks. Images and visualization are awesome tools for helping to get from where you are to where you want to be. When thinking of getting to your goals and dreams, envisioning a road is a powerful image. It has twists and turns. There are pit stops along the way, which are milestones you will hit on your journey. Occasionally, something unexpected happens! You go around a curve, and the road is under construction! Whoa! The GPS, or your goal action plan, didn’t have this on there! For a moment, you are stuck, confused, unsure of how to proceed. But, if you stay calm and don’t give up, you will see the detour signs! This detour might be longer or wilder but it will definitely show you something that you never saw before.
To expect an epic road trip, which is a fun way to think of going after those big goals and dreams, to go exactly as planned is unrealistic and, frankly, boring! In all truth, no matter how well you plan and anticipate these roadblocks, there is always something new that pops up. These unexpected roadblocks might just be life’s best teachers, if you choose to find the detour and learn from them rather than allow them to stop your progress.
In case you aren’t sure what form these roadblocks might take, here are 10 Common Roadblocks to Your Goals & Dreams:
This list is definitely not comprehensive as roadblocks can be as individual as the person at the wheel but these are definitely common ones that show up. Take this list and today’s blog as what it is meant for, to help you have your eyes wide open so you will enjoy more success and be better prepared. I’ve said this before, and I will say it again, there’s a fine line between grace and excuses. I’m giving you grace that getting derailed is part of the process. But, now that you know it is, it’s up to you to learn from it, apply the lesson, and move on so it doesn’t become an excuse. Today’s a new day...right now is a new moment. You’ve got this, DreamChaser!
By Jackie White
Hey kids, today we are going to use our imagination! Can you get that out and dust it off? I know, it might have been some time since you have used it, right?
Ok, we are going to imagine we are going on a road trip. For this road trip, we are near your home state, but you do not have a map. Have you ever been on a road trip without a map? You might wind up somewhere, but who knows where? It could be fun, for a while. It could be aggravating and time-consuming and you might end up in a dead-end town. Hmmm, maybe not a good plan.
Friends, let’s now take that road trip in another country where you have no idea about the language, terrain, weather, or localities. That’s getting a little dicier. You might be completely lost and you cannot communicate. Maybe there you are in the middle of nowhere and it’s beginning to snow heavily, now what? It’s a little scary.
Now, let’s take our little imaginations on what could be the best road trip of your life. The one that leads to the place of your dreams! Is that somewhere over the rainbow for you? How are you going to get there? Did I hear someone say you have a goal? Yes! I love it! How can you be sure that you are going to get to that goal and is it the right goal? Dang, where is that map when you need it?
Don’t worry triple-A is here! We can map it out properly so that you are assured you are following the correct path. You need 3 markers to align so that your road is paved with success!
The Alignment Trifecta For Success
1. Core Values: To determine what you feel in life is important, you should begin by identifying your core values. These are your beliefs that drive all other behaviors. Once you go through this exercise, you will see clearly what is fundamental to your definition of how life should be lived. Go to FindYourSoulShine.com/Resources for a list of core values you can work through.
Example: If one of your core values is “charity”, then an important part of your life is going to be about giving back to others
2. Feelings: Emotion is a tricky fella. It is part of everything we do, yet we do not take into account its power over how we behave. Some people really dislike acknowledging their feelings and they are reluctant to see how they drive your behaviors. Just pay attention here to what you are doing and how you are feeling. Think about how those two things are connected for you.
Example: Here is a very simple example. If you feel that you are not worthy of more
then you have today, that is you believe that you do not deserve anything more, then you will behave your way into making sure that you do not go after big dreams.
3. Habits: Habits are the behaviors that you repeat automatically. They can be good and not so good. We all know we shouldn’t be eating that candy bar, but sometimes we overindulge more often than not. Sometimes habits sneak in and sabotage our efforts when we aren’t paying attention. The key is to replace those bad ones with the good ones. Go to FindYourSoulShine.com/Resources for more on habits.
Example: We might be on a roll with reading every night as we had planned and then
one night we don’t, then the next night it happens again. You start binge-watching Netflix
instead. You aren’t really paying attention until you are a few weeks down the road and
you realize that you fell out of a good habit and replaced it with a bad one.
Your behaviors are a result of your core values, your feelings, and your habits. When aligned these are the winning combination that will take you from “I don’t know what I want or where I am going” to “I got this. I am clear and the path is set.” That would be a good feeling, don’t cha think?
Take the time to do the work. Find out your core values, pay attention to your feelings and habits, and then use your imagination to envision your life.
Here’s to possibilities!
By Jackie White
The Universe is big. I mean huge, no infinitely massive. I mean there is no word to adequately describe the Universe. It is glorious in all its wonder and mass and each day many of us are being drawn to a place I like to call the black hole of bad habits. I know you know what I mean. We have all been there.
We try to avoid it each year. We say this year I am not going to (fill in the blank with your most hated vice), but then we get pulled by a force that even Darth Vader would have a hard time dealing with. The force of bad habits sucks, no like, literally sucks all your good intentions out the door.
What exactly is it that has such a hold on us? Is it truly a black hole in the Universe? It feels like that sometimes, but that isn’t exactly it. Rather it is called...
--lack of motivation
--lack of self-discipline
--lack of skill
Nope. That’s what we think it is, but that is not what keeps us keeping to our bad habits. There are a few triggers to be aware of as you are trying to slay the bad habit, habit.
Stress: Stress tends to kick us into a survival mode of sorts. We choose to do the thing with the least resistance and that usually is going for the banquet of bad habits we have fed on over the years. Grabbing a cigarette or a bag of chips might comfort us for a time, but then may actually cause stress later because you were trying to quit smoking or chip eating and you went right back to that bad habit. The solution here is to actively manage your stress with positive things like exercise or meditation. These things will reduce stress and will help you avoid grabbing for the bad habit again.
Boredom: Sometimes when we are bored we look to those things that might spark a bit of excitement. We tend to idolize our bad habits in a way. For example, if you are bored you might think a great adventure would be to go out and get ice cream. The very ice cream you have been trying to quit because it has helped you gain weight over the last year. This one can be tricky because your social activities may be intertwined with your bad habit. You will need to be proactive to have a list of things that you can do to combat boredom that do not include your bad habits.
State Change: This is about needing to get up and do something different to either break the monotony of what you are doing or to interrupt what you are doing so to give yourself a break. These breaks often involve bad habits like eating, playing video games, or spending time on social media. State changes are often needed when working or doing a task you’d rather not be doing. Be aware of these times and add physical movement and stretching as solutions to changing your physiological state.
Environmental: These are triggers in your environment that can set off a domino effect of bad habits. Maybe it’s the bar you go to where you drink too much and eat crappy food. A person you over-shop with can be an invitation to spend too much money. The environment or a person within your environment will be calling your name to take part in your old routine. Avoid environmental triggers such as these and replace these bad habits with new activities and places that are stimulating but don’t fall into the bad habit category.
Mindlessness: People don’t think. It’s true, sorry. We get on auto-pilot and do the same dang thing over and over without thinking and then suddenly we have gained 20 pounds or we have accumulated so much junk in our house that it almost seems like it magically appeared. This just takes some self-discipline on your part, to train yourself to think about what you are doing and reduce the autopilot mode. Utilizing meditation and intention to start your day can help keep you on track with your mindfulness.
Habit breaking can be tough, but when you have a plan to combat each of the triggers intentionally you can avoid being sucked into the black hole of bad habits and rise by becoming a shining star! I feel like we should cue the Star Wars theme song here!
Go forth, be triumphant, and stop loving your bad habits and...
By Jackie White
Ahh, love is in the air! We find ourselves in the month of Valentine’s and love. Love is what makes the world go around and what makes life have depth and meaning. People are inspired daily by love and masterpieces of art and song are the result. Today we examine some of the all-time favorite love songs and how they can help us infuse more love into our own lives.
What is Love: We begin with the 1983 hit “What Is Love” by Howard Jones. In this song, he asks the philosophical question just what is love? Midway through the song, we begin to think that the answer is who the hell knows, but Howard figures out that love is letting people be just who they want to be. Isn’t that the truth? You can’t change others, you can only change yourself. Remember that before you keep banging your head against the wall wondering why someone won’t be who you want them to be. The moral of the story is that changing is about working on yourself, don’t expect others to change for you.
Love Will Keep Us Together: This is a great song, a comeback song for the songwriter Neil Sedaka and the duo of Captain and Tenille. Unfortunately, these days love may keep us apart due to the coronavirus. We have gotten creative to show our love even though we cannot be together. It is a good anthem for yourself, if you love yourself, you should be able to keep yourself together. Don’t have a Valentine? Self-love is a great thing to celebrate this month. Sadly, the Captain and Tenille found that love could not keep them together as they divorced back in 2014 after 39 years of marriage.
Spinning the next song of love...
Crazy Little Thing Called Love: Love can be all that and a bag of chips, but there is no truer statement than calling love crazy. It is. You can act crazy when you are in love. You can go crazy when you are in love and the people you love can drive you crazy. It can be a bit of a plane of insanity. But most of the time, we all feel it’s worth it. It’s the “good” kind of crazy, where you might get a little loopy, but are grateful for the love we have. Thank you to the band Queen who hit the nail on the head in 1979 with chart-topping veritas.
For those who aren’t quite sure, the next song vaguely speaks to new love...
I Think I Love You: Thank you Keith Partridge and the Partridge family for the best love song ever! Well, at least the catchiest. The Partridge family cranked out this bubble gum song back in the 1970s but it’s still probably the most over-used phrase in the lexicon of love. It seems every couple riding the high of the first few weeks or months of being together utter these words to each other. Then later they find out more about the person they “think” they love, only to find out they really don’t even like them all that much.
This brings us to the next entry on this list of love songs.
You Can’t Hurry Love: First released by the Supremes and then later by Phil Collins “You Can’t Hurry Love” is a catchy tune about nurturing love as it moves into full bloom. However, some people think they can hurry love by swiping right on Tinder, but c’mon people, we know that’s not love. Let’s move on.
Love Stinks: We all have been down this road. Yes, sometimes love does stink. The J. Geils Band sings “until the day you die, this thing they call love it’s gonna make you cry.” Probably so, but hopefully there are more laughs than tears. Through good times and through the bad, hopefully, your love will continue to grow. If not and the love of your life is turning into the stinky loaf of your life, it might be time to reassess the love you deserve in life.
And finally, we are to the pinnacle of all love songs...
All You Need is Love: The Beatles nailed this one. It’s true that all you need is love and maybe a job, but hey that’ll get you through life. Life is truly about love. Giving and receiving love is what raises the energetic vibration (positive energy) across the world. Don’t believe me? Experiments have been done where people have praised a plant. They told it that it was beautiful and they complimented it. Another plant managed under the same circumstances of heat, water, sun received negative comments and was bullied. The complimented plant flourished and the bullied plant began to die. This experiment is a powerful example of how important love actually is, not only for humans but for all living beings. So, take to heart the words all you need is love.
There it is my friends, the countdown of the 7 top love songs and how they each impart good life and love lessons to all of us. Take heed, spread love, be happy, and shine on!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Ever hear of, or watch, the classic movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray? It’s pretty old school so let me catch you up if it’s in the foggy recesses of your brain or, perhaps, you have no idea what I am talking about. The premise of this movie is a weatherman with a bad attitude, played by Bill Murray, is reluctantly sent to cover a small town Groundhog Day festival; in a strange twist of events, he ends up reliving the same day and events over and over and over again. The cyclic redundancy starts to drive him bonkers, which is rather entertaining.
Here’s the food for thought...do your goals ever feel this way? Well, maybe not the goal but the steps needed to get that goal? That you keep doing the same thing over and over and over again? This hamster wheel of will I ever get there?!?
We like to keep it real here at SoulShine Life Connections. If you have felt this way, you are doing everything right. Huh? Thanks, that was rather uninspiring. Stick with me a second! Here’s the thing, a well-orchestrated plan towards your goal should consist of simple steps or actions that you repeat over and over again so that they become a habit. Once they become a habit, you no longer have to think about them...they are just what you do and are just who you are.
Let's pause a second to play “would you rather” to help illustrate the point here. Would you rather have to think about choosing a healthy beverage or just turn to water? Would you rather have to think about exercising or just have it be part of your daily routine? Would you rather meticulously pick and choose healthy alternatives or just know what fuels you best? You get the point, right? A good goal with a well-executed action plan puts you on a repetitive cycle to not only get you to your goal but also create the necessary habits to keep you there. You aren’t trying to be healthy...you are a healthy person. You aren’t trying to exercise...you are an athlete or runner or yogi. You aren’t trying to read more...you are a reader. The goal is achieved...you just are these things you used to dream to be!
On the flip side, I also understand that it can get b-o-r-i-n-g in the process or, worse yet, in the maintenance phase after you have attained it. This boredom, especially without evidence you are gaining on that goal, may lead you to giving up or returning to unserving habits. And, that’s the last thing any of us want!
Back to Bill Murray and Groundhog Day...know what he did? After he realized he was stuck in this potentially maddening cycle, he started to mix it up a bit and went off-script. He tried different things...sometimes even crazy things. I can only assume for two reasons. One, because he was getting bored with the monotony. And, two, because he knew no matter how badly he screwed up, he got a do-over the next day. And, guess what? He found some new actions and behaviors that produced results that he enjoyed more than others...actions he never would have known existed if he didn’t just try.
That’s what you need to do on your quest towards your goals, DreamChaser! Get creative and mix it up a little with your action steps. Try new recipes or new foods. Try new workout routines or apps. Listen to a book or watch a favorite show while on the treadmill. Find an app to track that new habit. Schedule inspiring or funny reminders to pop up on your phone. Spice it up! Some of these trials will end up in failures...that’s okay because you get a do-over tomorrow! But, I guarantee that some of these trials will end up being those sought after “ah-ha” moments where everything comes together and it just clicks. Guess what? The good news is you can do those over, too!
Here are the takeaways I don’t want you to miss…
Remember, the point of your goals is to become that which you seek to improve. This is done best by establishing new habits. But, you can’t forget to infuse the fun, which is the key ingredient to keeping these going long term. Your habit may be to exercise every day but you can change up how you exercise to keep it fun, fresh, and interesting. There’s nothing wrong with the Groundhog Day goal cycle as long as you ditch the drudgery of monotony and embrace the freedom to try new things. Either way, you get a do-over...might as well make it fun and interesting in the process!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.