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Worry KILLS WONDER
From the outside, Amber’s life looked incredible: She’s smart, talented, beautiful, and connected with all sorts of influential people on both coasts. She’d been on the front page of the New York Times, had an impressive resume, and a growing social media audience…
But inside, she was full of worry.
Like many of us, she was using her success, her appearance, her resume, and romantic partners to give her the things she could not give herself… validation, love and approval.
She convinced herself that the stories she’d created in her head were true.
“If people really knew who I was, they’d know I’m not enough.”
“I can’t succeed. There are too many people out there who are better, more prepared, smarter, more qualified than you.”
“If I express my feelings I’m being needy or dramatic. Better to just keep them bottled up and not burden others.”
In her 20’s she had a boyfriend who told her, “I love you, but I can never tell you that again.”
Instead of asking, “Why can’t you ever tell me that again?” she lived in constant fear that if she did something wrong in the relationship, another man who loved her would up and leave. It would validate the fear that she had that she was unworthy of love.
She developed anorexia.
She stopped being herself.
"I was so afraid for him to see me for who I really am, because I thought that if he did, it wouldn't be enough."
She was so concerned about the approval of others that lived her life completely devoid of any sense of enjoyment or wonder. She was terrified to let down her guard. She was completely caught up in the fabricated reality created by believing stories in her head.
Her deeply-held belief in these untrue stories kept her feeling insecure, empty, and full of worry.
Can you relate?
We All Have Stories
We all have stories running through our heads that are holding us back, and keeping us from enjoying life. Here are some examples off the top of my head from my life and the lives of some people I know in my life:
“If I stop being sad about losing the love of my life, it must mean our love wasn’t special. I have to hold onto the pain and mourn forever.”
“If my kids suffer and I don’t suffer with them, it means I’m not a good parent.”
“If she found out I look at porn, she’ll see me as a fraud, a liar, and a failure as a husband/father.”
“If I express my pain or emotions, it makes me less of a man. I’ll lose the respect of my peers, partner, or children.”
“I’ve made too many mistakes to be forgiven and offered another chance.”
“If I can’t make everyone happy, I’m a failure as a woman.”
The list of stories we believe goes on and on… and the more we believe these stories, the more stress and pressure and strain and worry we put on ourselves, and the less we actually enjoy life.
It wasn’t until Amber asked herself some important questions found in Byron Katie’s work, which she calls, "The Work" that she was able to overcome her insecurities and addictions, and truly discover joy, happiness and wonder in her life.
Start by writing down the thoughts that are stressing you out. What are the things you’re worried about? What stories are you telling yourself over and over that weigh you down?
Question 1 - Is it true?
Take a moment and ask yourself if the story you tell yourself day in and day out is true.
Question 2 - Can you absolutely know it's true?
This is an extra opportunity to double check that the story is, in fact, 100% true.
Do you have any evidence that might prove the story to be untrue?
Are there men in your life who have loved you and never left? Have you ever shared your fears or feelings and had someone grow closer to you rather than pushing them away? Have you ever not accomplished everything on your to-do list and still had people love and appreciate you? Have you ever experienced joy or happiness and realized it didn’t take away from the significance of your loss? Have you ever shared a deep, dark secret with someone and they didn’t leave you?
Question 3 - How do you react - what happens - when you believe that thought?
What happens in your body when you tell yourself your story? Do you feel panicked, depressed, heavy, anxious?
How does it affect your relationships with the people you love when you tell yourself this story? Does it make things more or less tense? Are you a better version of yourself? Are you more likely to go all-in in, or do you hold back?
How does it affect your relationship with yourself when you believe the story? Are you more kind, or are you cruel? Are you more forgiving, or do you punish yourself?
Question 4 - Who would you be without the thought?
How would your life, or your relationships be different if you didn’t believe your story? How would you feel? Would you prefer your life with or without the thought? Would your life be more or less worried/anxious/happy/peaceful/wonderful with or without the story?
As Amber started to unravel the lies she’d been telling herself, she realized something important. She was happier. She was more confident. She was more calm, at peace, and she felt worthy.
"You're born worthy. Worthiness is not something you achieve or earn. It's something that you inherently are." -Amber Rae
Debunking the bogus stories you've convinced yourself are true opens up your life to a sense of freedom and wonder.
Check out the whole interview to hear more about Amber Rae's story, and how you can stop telling yourself these liar-liar-pants-on-fire stories that are holding you back from a life you can truly fall in love with. Or, you can read her awesome new book (link below).
Video of The Interview
About Amber Rae
Called a “Millennial Motivator” by Fortune and "The Brené Brown of Wonder” by Mind Body Green, Amber Rae is an author, artist, and speaker whose work invites you to live your truth, befriend your emotions, and express your gifts.
Her writing blends raw, personal storytelling with actionable aha! moments and has reached more than 5 million people in 195 countries. Her public art has spread to more than 20 countries, and she's spoken to and collaborated with brands like Kate Spade, Apple, Amazon, and Unilever.
Amber has been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Fast Company, BBC, ABC World News, Tim Ferriss's blog, and more.
Previously, Amber helped launch six best-selling books as Chief Evangelist of Seth Godin's publishing experiment and started an "accelerator for your life" called The Bold Academy.
She lives in Brooklyn and around the world with her fiancé, Farhad.
Check out more about the book here.
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