Commit to your journey, commit to yourself

Welcome back. This is Dr. Kim Saft and we are ready to get started on your journey!

You want change? Then commit to following the series and doing the exercises. Essentially, commit to fighting for your right to live the life you want to live. A pretty worthy commitment, I’d say. To make that commitment, all you need to do is tell yourself, “I commit to the process”. “I’m willing to do the work, to put the effort in, to reap the rewards”. You can do that right? You’ve found your way to me and have read this far. You’ve got the desire, now just make your commitment explicit. Throughout the series, I’ll be giving you the opportunity to practice a new skill. Know that this is your opportunity to do something differently. Take the time and put your energy towards your healing and growth and do them!

Here’s your first opportunity.

Say it out loud and say it proud, “I commit to the process. I’m doing it”.

Nice. First success logged. Easy peasy, mac n cheesy.

The clients that truly succeed when working with me, and by succeed I mean

changing the way they think about themselves and the lives they are living, are the ones that show up each week, journal in hand, points they want to discuss in session at the ready, homework done. They are showing themselves they are willing and able. They approach our work together as going to school, they are getting a new education on themselves and how to live a fulfilled life. They show up for our sessions, ask questions, apply the lessons to their lives, and do the homework they assign themselves. They leave wiser than when they came in, with a whole new education.

These clients have gotten a masters in self-growth and it transforms their lives. With practice, repetition and consistency, change is possible. They are taking one step at a time. They are putting in effort. They are taking the lessons they learn in session and applying them to their thoughts and actions. They are making change, one baby step at a time. Totally doable, for them, for you, for anybody.

In order to rally your motivation for the journey ahead, get clear with yourself of why you are willing to put in the effort. Identifying your purpose for making change happen is like a beacon as you make your way through the dark and into the light. Your purpose will guide you and help you stay motivated to keep putting effort in, so you can create a life you love living. Think on what you want more of and what you want less of in your life. Maybe you want more inner calm and less internal anxiety. Possibly you want more authentic connections with others and less conflict. Ready for your next opportunity to exercise new skills? Time to get clear on why you are on this journey. What do you hope to get out of it?

I’m taking this journey, so that I may have more _______ and less ________.

I’ve consciously made these steps easy. One, because they don’t need to be

hard. Two, because I want you to succeed. To ensure your success, I’ve built in a new component that no other approach offers. Often, people will read a self-help book or ten. They might half-heartedly read a blog, listen to a podcast or video series but not really put themselves in the ring to do things differently. They will be semi-committed to the process of change and falter with making it happen. They lose hope that change is possible for them. Or, they might diligently listen or read every word, but struggle with applying the concepts and get frustrated, bored, or apathetic. They don’t do the exercises. They don’t do things differently than they’ve done before. Their old belief that they can’t do it rears it’s ugly head. They come to believe that change isn’t really possible for them. Maybe they will try one or two of the exercises in a book, halfheartedly, but won’t really have the support they need to commit to the changes. It can be a hard road to walk alone. Making change is easier with company, with the support of a group and a guide.

Join the Journeyers Club

In order to really offer you ongoing support and guidance, just like I offer my clients, I’m making myself more available than just a blog writer, talking head on a screen or a voice in your ear. I want this material to come alive. I want to really see you embrace the lessons you learn here and successfully apply them. I want you to live differently. I want to connect with you and support you on your journey. I want you to be successful, so I invite you to join the Journeyers Club. I already successfully do video sessions with clients all over the world, so I know the power of technology to aid in the journey. The Journeyers Club offers ongoing support so that you can ensure your success. You get to join a supportive community that is made up of people also doing their best to make changes in their lives. The Journeyers Club offers member-driven question and answer seminars for you to attend, blogs on transformation, an opportunity to distill the lessons and tools of the series and an online forum that brings all the Journeyers together to support each other. I’m here to guide the group, to offer support, problem-solve, rally motivation, and help you apply these lessons directly to your life. You don’t have to go it alone. You’ve got a whole tribe of change-makers, of Journeyers, to connect and grow with, to help you meet and exceed your goals.

To really provide you connection and support on your growth journey, join the Journeyers Club. Your membership in the Journeyers Club helps you know you are not alone on your journey. During the member-driven question and answer seminars, I unpack the lessons you learn here, address general questions that come up on the journey, and providing guidance on how to most effectively move forward.

The Journeyers Club is a complete platform for you to access to ensure you meet your goals and get ongoing support on your journey. How sweet is that? I believe wholeheartedly in our ability to make change happen. I see it in my office every day. I also know it’s easier when you aren’t alone on the journey. I want you to have all the support you need so you can be successful on your mission to live a life you are happy to live. In the Journeyers Club, you’ll have the chance to continue to practice applying the principles you learn here. I’m with you on the journey. By taking advantage of the opportunity to have ongoing support as you practice the skills, you are guaranteeing yourself success. Take advantage of all these support systems. Use them, use me, use whatever it takes to get you from where you’ve been to where you want to go. My goal is to make it as easy as possible for you. You get to transform your life, just as my clients have, by having access to me, and ongoing support; take advantage of it. Why wouldn’t you?

You might liken our work together as school for the soul. You are going to get a graduate degree in self-love and self-trust. You’ll learn how to: accept yourself with compassion, own your inherent power, be assertive, and create a life you feel fulfilled living. Learning is best accomplished with an open mind, an attitude of curiosity, and effortful determination. Raising your awareness is the first step. You want to understand how you have gotten to this point, so you know what you might want to tweak or change. Judgement of what you are becoming aware of will thwart your process though. When you judge yourself harshly, you are apt to shut down. Not the direction you want to go if you want to gain more awareness. It’s so important for you to keep an open mind as you are learning, suspend judgement, try and be curious instead. Then you can really gain all the insight necessary to help you make the changes you want to make.

So here’s the plan:

~ Commit to the process

~ Follow the Transform series

~ Do things differently than you’ve done before

~ Actually apply the lessons with the tools

~ Keep practicing the new skills

~ Join the Journeyers Club

~ Participate in the seminars and groups for ongoing support

~ Participate actively in the Journeyers Forum

~ Create new bonds with your fellow travelers

~ Create a new community of support for yourself

~ Gain self-love and self-trust

~ Have fun along the way

All these tools are available to ensure that you can make change and live differently. Follow the plan and, BAM, before you know it, you are living a life you want to live. You feel content and fulfilled. You are connected to those around you. You find meaning in your life and you love the person driving the train, you. You’ve got the tools, a guide, support, and a community. You’ve got all the opportunities you need. All you need to do is commit and consistently take one step at a time. Put the effort in and you will get results. Follow the map laid out for you, it’ll get you where you want to go and it feels oh, so good. So doable. You’ve got this. Go forth and conquer!

No time like the present, get going! Get a journal!

You’ve made the commitment to yourself, now it’s time to get a journal to record your journey. I encourage everyone I work with to get some type of notebook that makes them happy when they see it. Sure, an old pad of paper will work, but it isn’t really sending the message to yourself that you want to send. Remember, this is the fulfillment train you are on. Start out your process strong and get a journal that signifies you are starting something new, bold, and exciting. My clients often do their ‘homework’ in their journal, they record how things went, and what they want to focus on. It’s a place to reflect, center your thoughts, and really stay organized on your journey. Get jazzed, get excited. It’s your time. You are embarking on a new way of being, readying yourself to shed old, unwanted skin and building up a body, inside and out, that is loved completely. That right there is worthy of a new journal.

Use your journal to record all your responses to the questions and a space to practice using the tools you will be learning. It will be a keepsake that reminds you of where you started and show you how far you’ve come. Your journal is a powerful ally as you journey.

There are numerous benefits to journaling. Getting things out of your head and heart and onto paper gives you some distance, clarity, and perspective. It helps you start to see your puzzle pieces and how they’ve been going together all these years. It gives you a place to record your challenges and your successes. It’s yours and it will be a powerful tool on your journey. Get one and use it! How about one with stars all over it? Or the one with the unicorn? Whatever one makes you smile when you see it is a good one for you!

Bite-size pieces, please!

I’m a big believer in baby steps and taking in just the right amount of information so that you can work with it and not be overwhelmed. The key is to do things differently than you’ve done before, but not for you to feel as if you are getting buried in an avalanche of information. Just reading the series is not enough. I’m sure you’ve tried that before, reading a book or listening to a podcast and not getting anywhere differently than you were when you started. Seriously, how many self-help books have you read over the years in a desire to feel differently in life and then end up feeling doubly disappointed that you still feel the same way when you are done reading the book? For real change to occur, change within, you have to ‘do’ something. There are exercises throughout the series. Challenges for you to try. These 'Act on it' assignments are your opportunity to choose to do things differently and really create success. Make good use of the materials offered here. Apply the lessons by doing the exercises. Use the tools. You have the power to make change. You have choice. Exercise it. You are going to feel so good for it.

Everyone has to do their own work

It’s time for you to take responsibility for your own healing. This is your work to do, no one else can do it for you. If you are sick of feeling this sick, tired of feeling this tired, then you are ready to make changes. People only make change when the cons outweigh the pros. When the weight of hating on themselves is so heavy that they can barely carry it around. Life is a sluggish haze of self-criticism and contempt, of second- guessing themselves, and judging every little thing they do. I’m guessing you know the feeling. At this point in our lives, we all have automatic negative thoughts that are trying to stop us from even trying to make changes, let alone succeeding. Think of these automatic negative thoughts as ANTs. Did you catch that? ANTs is an acronym for Automatic Negative Thoughts. That brings up a pretty clear image, right?

Your ANTs are probably scurrying around right now, trying to make chaos of your plans to make changes. They are usually spouting some negativity. They might be telling you ‘change isn’t possible for you’, ‘you aren’t good enough’, ‘you can’t do it’, ‘you are too messed up’, ‘there’s no hope for you’. Your ANTs are actually trying to keep you safe by having you not try. They think if you don’t try, you can’t fail. Your ANTs are coming from the part of you that is scared. Remind those ANTs you are ready for a new track, on a new train, and have already committed to suspend judgement and go forth with an open and curious mind. Tell them to find another place to picnic.

Your ANTs think they know what’s best, they don’t

Your ANTs think they are protecting you by not letting you expose yourself. They fear the unknown and don’t want you to risk being vulnerable. They are worriers by nature and fear you getting hurt. They think they are doing you a favor by trying to derail your process, by having you stop before you start, but really they are just keeping you stuck in the place you’ve always been; it just seems safer because it is known. You know how to live the life you are living. It might not be good, but it’s known. We humans really like to know what’s going on, to feel in control. Here’s the deal, you can have the fears, be aware of your ANTs, and still move forward. One way to start moving forward, even with your ANTs scurrying around trying to thwart your process, is to just identify the ANTs, take note of the fears, doubts, and uncertainties you’ve got rolling around in your head. Take out your journal, list them all in there, and let them sit for a bit. Let them have their picnic feast on the pages of your journal and free up some space in your head and heart to do the work you are doing. You’ll learn to unravel them in a little while. You’ll even learn how to discredit them and stop believing in them. For now, just let it be enough that you are aware of them. Acknowledge them and move on. You have the choice to not feed into them, to not let them stop you from starting. You’ll get back to those fears in a bit, no worries! For now, just get them out of your head and onto the paper. Get your journal out, identify your ANTs, and move on anyway.

Try it: See if you can identify your ANTs. Get out your journal and, without censoring yourself, write down all the negative thoughts that are floating around in your head and heart that are trying to derail you from getting started on your journey. You don’t have to do anything with them. Right now, it’s powerful to just get them out of you and on to paper. Clear up some space and give yourself room to grow.

Example Journal Entry: To give you a start, here is a client’s entry when I encouraged her to do this assignment.

• When I think of my ANTS, I think: I’m stupid for having negative thoughts, but I do. I bet no one else thinks as harshly about themselves as I do, but I do. When I think about going to session and telling Kim how I feel about myself, I get really embarrassed and I don’t want to go. I don’t want to think about all this stuff. It’s hard and makes me feel ashamed of myself. Why can’t I just be more confident? My ex was right, I’m an insecure loser.

• At the root, this client’s ANTS were telling her: You are insecure. You are a loser. You are not confident. You should be ashamed of your feelings. This process is too hard and you can’t do it.

You can see how these thoughts would cut her off from being willing to look within, it was scary in there. As she came to trust the process, she was able to understand how these ANTs were old messages she got from her family of origin and had come to believe about herself. She learned she didn’t have to keep feeding into them and could choose another way. You will too!

Act on it:

Any time any new ANTs come scurrying into your head, just jot them down in your journal.

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