Day 5: Money, part 1

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Today’s blog is going to be a two-parter. Because this is a big topic for me, and it’s Friday night and I choose to believe (see that? I recognize this is a choice!) that I don’t have the energy for one long blog post about money tonight.

I definitely have some negative paradigms about money.

And I’ve searched for books on how to change how I feel about money, and would you believe there aren’t many? (If you know of one, please tell me!)

So I guess I’ll have to write that one too (remember I’m also going to have to write Codependency at Work).

Here’s what I’m starting to learn:

  • There is no point hanging onto money. It’s worth nothing unless you put it to good use.
  • Don’t be stingy with your time and money because you’re going to spend it all before you die anyway – you can’t take it with you!
  • The best way to spend your money is on your personal development and well-being. Invest in yourself because nobody else will until you invest first.
  • Rich people are comfortable with money. That’s why they have it and don’t worry about how to get more.
  • If you are shocked when people are willing to give you money, you need to work on your paradigm. It shouldn’t shock you to receive money for your product or service.
  • Sometimes we create paradigms for others that they don’t actually have. My mom told me this awhile back, before either of us knew what a paradigm was. In so many words, she told me, “Don’t assume the person you’re selling to doesn’t have money. You’re taking away from them when you do that. See everyone as abundant. If you believe God takes care of you and me when we need money, wouldn’t you also believe that he’s taking care of others?” She floored me when she said that. Mind=blown.

I did not grow up around money. We were never left wanting, except for one time when my dad was in a bad mood and lied to me that we couldn’t afford the pack of Juicy Fruit gum I picked up at the grocery store. I bawled.

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Only 25 cents

Learning this material, learning about the Laws of the universe, I know now that whether I realized it or not, my childhood built up some paradigms that have led me to believe I am not someone who gets money. I was not taught to know how to build wealth, and I acted as such.

Now, I’m shifting that paradigm. I am moving up to a higher frequency and acquiring a new vibration. I think this is a big one for me. I should probably think of myself as “easily accepting of new paradigms” and maybe this will be easier and quicker than I think. Whew, this is getting deep.

The Law of Attraction states that you don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.

So…am I wealthy?

To be continued…

Day 4: Recovering from Codependency

About 11 months ago, I realized I was a codependent. If you’re like me, you aren’t sure what that even means! What the heck is codependency? The short story is…I made the thoughts, feelings, actions, and opinions of my then-husband more important than my own. I thought it was my responsibility to make him happy. I did everything I could to make his life as pleasant as possible, and didn’t even realize that I was compromising myself in the process. In the end, neither of us respected me. And then he left me.

The woman he left me for called us “classic codependent.” At the time, I was enraged that she thought she knew anything about me. Fast forward 2 years and I pick up “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie. I cannot tell you how happy I was to have a diagnosis!  This book explained everything that was “wrong” with me. I sat there with my sad book about having been an insecure wife and I was grinning from ear to ear. Now that I knew I wasn’t alone, and that there was an explanation for my stupid behavior, I saw myself becoming unstoppable. Now that I knew the problem, I was ready for the solution.

That was the beginning of my transformation. The most important day of my 180. The second most important day was when I found Codependency For Dummies, another brilliant book, this one by Darlene Lancer.

So what made me think I was codependent? Here’s the list I wrote shortly after discovering the books. (FYI, I’m writing in past tense because I personally don’t believe one has to remain a codependent for life).

  • I looked to others for approval
  • I thought my actions determine others’ emotions
  • I wanted to control things and people
  • I was angry when I can’t control things
  • I’m great at knowing how other people feel / I’m super empathetic (one might say this is a benefit of being codependent)
  • I didn’t really know who I was, or what I liked
  • I loved to give, but never dared to ask for what I wanted or needed – I didn’t want to put anyone out…
  • …and yet I would get upset when people didn’t treat me as well as I treated them
  • I fed off praise and compliments (okay – I still do 😉 but I don’t starve without them anymore)
  • I settled for being needed and didn’t see any guy wanting me just for me
  • All I wanted after my divorce was a replacement of my husband. I thought, perhaps subconsciously, that I would be incomplete until I found a new man.
  • I prioritized being a “cool” wife over being respected. I’d rather emotionally die than tell my husband he couldn’t do something.
  • I worried about others’ abilities to get things done. I put no trust in anyone else, not in my personal life and certainly not at work. (“The Codependent at Work” is not yet written. I may have to write it myself…)
  • I spent a lot of time worrying about other people and how to control or manipulate them.
  • I would get upset when I felt pressured, because I wanted to say no, but felt guilty for standing up for what I want. I wouldn’t even dare call it a need because who was I to be so greedy as to need?
  • I felt crazy because I didn’t know right from wrong. Saying that now sounds ridiculous! But these books confirmed that I wasn’t the only one with this worry.

If you have read about codependency, you’ll know that the definition started as a way to define spouses of alcoholics, and their attempts to control or manage their partner. Co-dependent roughly means they became dependent on the alcoholic to be alcoholic – they in turn got to be the caretaker. And if the alcoholic wasn’t alcoholic…there would be no need for care. Kind of a messed up perspective, huh?

I don’t know that I needed my husband to be depressed. But I certainly felt like my very purpose in life was to help him not be.

And guess what? The caretaker might feel all high and mighty, vitally important to their partner…and yet they’re not doing a damn thing to help. Me? I not only facilitated his bad behavior by “not calling him out on his bullshit” (something, by the way, he loved about his new woman!), but I also internally could not handle the truth of our relationship and I acted out by having an affair with his friend. I’m not proud of this. I’ve never discussed this publicly. I hurt and subsequently lost my friends. I did something I never imagined myself doing. All because it seemed easier than acknowledging the truth that I was unhappy in my relationship. I hurt him…because I didn’t want to hurt him.

Nowadays, I’m all about truth. Even if it’s painful and takes time to trudge through, I know that being honest with others and especially myself is absolutely essential to my entire existence.

Looking back at my symptoms of codependency list, here’s where I am now:

  • I look to myself for approval, instead of needing it from others. My opinion is more important than any other opinion. And ironically, I find that when I like the things I do or say, others usually do too! Not that it matters, though… 😉
  • I don’t bother trying to control, manipulate, or save others. I know now that people are going to do what they’re going to do – AND I should respect them enough to let them! ONLY if they come to me for help or advice will I dole it out to them. People are adults (most of them :D) and they should be treated as such. This is the best thing you can do for another human being (well, besides giving CPR or donating blood or something). I am me, and you are you. I am responsible for me and my feelings, and you are responsible for yours. Isn’t that wonderful? It’s so freeing, for both of us!
  • I’m learning to give up control. My self-esteem does not hinge on control anymore. I’m learning the “hakuna matata” mindset and it’s lovely.
  • I am less likely to get angry these days. More often than not, I simply notice the things that used to make me angry and just kind of watch them play out instead of reacting to them. (However, I am not in a relationship, so I can’t say I’m not getting angry at a partner’s misbehavior – when I do find another man, I intend to be very clear with my boundaries and expectations, and not accept anything but).
  • I also firmly believe that feelings are okay. Problems only get worse when you try to suppress feelings. Feelings are natural and normal and when you can say to yourself “it’s okay that you feel this way,” you will more quickly be out from under the spell of them.

I could go on and on about this stuff! But at this point, I’ll just say let me know if you want to know more. All there is to say now is that after reading these books…and going to a therapist weekly for a couple of months…and continuing to apply what I’ve learned, I have a truly healthy self-esteem and I am in control of me. I’m so excited for my continued codependent-free life!

Day 3: Feeling Good!

I love this song!

Every so often, I get to feeling like I really get it. You know? Like, whoa, I understand life! I’m in harmony with everything around me and nothing can bring me down.

But I know that life is a constant ebb and flow of both good and bad. The law of polarity states you can’t have something without its opposite.

So, fine, I’ll expect that this perfect feeling won’t last forever.

But…I won’t let that get me down either.

What I want to do today is write down WHY I’m so positive. What’s been going on to put me in such a heavenly vibration?

  1. I have control over me. No one can make me do or feel anything. I get to decide what I do and how I spend my time.
  2. I know that other people’s bad attitudes aren’t my problem. They aren’t even their problem, because the ideas that got them to the point of having a bad attitude were chosen – and they can be unchosen. Dude, I know – I’ve certainly had my share of bad attitudes. Again, ebb and flow 🙂
  3. I woke up with a new alarm song 😀 This is my favorite Paul McCartney song and video! I am not a morning person* so it was a huge deal that I not only listened to the alarm play, I spent the 4 minutes rubbing my eyes, opening my windows, and eventually dancing and watching my bedhead hair flop around in the mirror, hahahaha I’m so funny!

*not a morning person? Another paradigm that I can change!

4. All I want to do is study this material that I’m learning in the Bob Proctor Coaching program. I love what I’m learning! That there is no need to be afraid, that everything we need is locked up within us, and that it’s okay to take the time to believe it and reaffirm it, because it’s going to make life so much more rewarding. I was in a bad place before, and I am so grateful that I’ve chosen to get out of there and believe something better. I’m enjoying it so much that every day I get closer to believing, YEAH, I can do this full time! It’s perfect for me! I’m starting to see that my purpose, vision, and goals aren’t just a fantasy. Or rather, they are a fantasy and that’s what’s so exciting about what I’m learning – fantasy can become reality!

Alright, to quote Buzz McCallister, enough of this gooey sh… Show of emotion. Let’s enjoy this day!

Day 2: My Paradigm Regarding Sales

First things first: what is a paradigm?

Learning about paradigms has been the biggest eye-opener I’ve experienced in the last 6 months. This is a life-changer for me.

Every belief I have has been passed on to me from someone else. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have any control over what I believe. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be thinking and changing today. But think about it: everything you believe came from somewhere, right? You speak English because your parents spoke to you in English. You walk on two feet because you were taught that’s how to walk. I think I’m nice because my whole life people told me I was nice. I accepted that and I became it. And I really am very nice 😉

A paradigm is a multitude of habits that controls every single action and moment you take. The fact that you put your left shoe on before the right…or that you HAVE to have coffee before you do anything else in the morning…these are paradigms that you have chosen.

Paradigms are both positive and negative. Some paradigms improve your life, and others hold you back.

I have a negative paradigm that tells me salespeople are bad. And I really want to change this.

So I’m reading an article called “3 Steps to Change a Paradigm” by Bob Proctor:

“It’s time to address your paradigms and ask “why?” Ask yourself, “Why do I think this? Where does it come from? Where did I get such an idea?”

Why do I think badly of salespeople? What thoughts come to mind when I think of sales?

  • greedy
  • lying
  • sneaky
  • shifty (okay, I had to look that one up – I knew it meant deceptive!)

I guess that’s it. Now that I have to really think about it, I’m not so sure why I’m so wary of salespeople. Funny what you realize when you think!

What do I think is going to happen if I talk to a salesperson?

  • They’re going to trick me!
  • They’re going to trick me into giving them my hard-earned money!
  • They’re going to pull one over on me, convincing me that they know more than me, and I’ll be a fool, blinded by their promises and waking up tomorrow with “what was I thinking?”

Has this happened to me before?

  • Actually, yeah – a coworker fast-talked me into joining the rest of the group in a “steal” of a deal on bed sheets that were supposed to be, in her words, “ah-maz-ing.” They weren’t, at least not to me.
  • I can’t think of another example

So what’s really going on here? Well, in a future blog I’ll tell you about my journey to recovery from codependency and what I’ve learned about self-esteem…until then, let me tell you that a person with high self-esteem wouldn’t worry about getting tricked. I think maybe I’ve spent so many years assuming that I’m at risk, that salespeople are a threat to me…and I’ve lived with this assumption for 33 years…!

Well, not anymore!

I’ve actually worked in sales, not directly or solely, but my work-study job in college had me cold-calling fashion companies and asking them for donations to our non-profit campus boutique. I was even the top performer for 7 months straight! So how could I do that and hate sales?

My paradigm would argue, “It’s not sales if it’s a non-profit. You were only asking for donations, duh.”

Okay, fine. My current job gives me the option of making sales, which I have done a handful of times. How can I live with myself??

In each of those times, I didn’t lie to anyone. I believed in what I was telling them. I had a very pleasant experience with the buyers. Quite simply, they wanted what I had to offer. In exchange for money, I gave them access to our products, platform, and service, and they have benefitted from it. Wonderful!

So guess what: I’m in sales and I’m not shifty. How do you like that, paradigm?

Sure, there will be shifty salespeople out there. But…(1) they aren’t a threat to me because I AM capable of thinking twice about if I want or need or can afford what they’re selling – I’m not at their mercy as a helpless chump. And (2) I am allowed to say no. No one is holding a gun to my head to buy anything. I do have the option to say “no thank you!” Heck, I even have the option to say “please go away.” Ha! Take that!

Okay, so I’ve protected myself from shifty salespeople. But I want to go deeper. Let’s talk about what I really think of salespeople. Like…what kind of person goes into sales? Why on earth would you want to be in sales?? My paradigm has its hand raised: “I know, I know! Greedy, pushy, attention-seeking people!”

Is that the truth?

Attention-seeking…maybe. I’ve known some salespeople who missed their calling in acting. They seem to want to win you over with their performance. Ew. Are they a threat to me? Are they a threat to anyone? Of course not. My paradigms just have me noticing this kind of act…probably because I’ve been in acting and I want to act but I don’t want people knowing that so I just make fun of people who act the way I’d like to act! Whoa! Somebody call Frasier Crane, I’ve had a psychological breakthrough!

…moving on.

My dad is in sales! When he was laid off from his printmaking job of 20+ years, he had to get a new job. Mom told him this was a blessing in disguise, that he has a chance to do something brand new. This was in 1996, when he got his first cell phone. He was ob-sessed. We told him if he loved cell phones so much, he should – that’s right – sell them!  Would I call Dad greedy, pushy, attention-seeking? I really wouldn’t! But I can tell you that because he loved them so much, it’s no wonder he was consistently the top salesman. He genuinely just wanted to talk to people about cell phones all day.

I’ve been listening to Bob Proctor’s Mission in Commission series, and I love it. Mostly because it’s turning my paradigm on its head. He says selling is not something you do TO a person, it’s something you do FOR a person. He says really good salespeople are selling all the time. They truly believe in their product or service, and they’re enthused to tell the world about it!

That’s all they’re doing!

I can do that! I’m doing it now! By blogging every day, I’m selling my readers (and, quite honestly, myself) on these ideas.

Um, guess what: we’re all selling something. All the time.

What are you enthused about? What do you put out there in the world for others to see and hear? That’s what you’re selling!

Think about what you posted on Facebook today. Were you griping about politics? Boom – you’re selling the idea that it’s bad to vote for so-and-so, or good to vote for the other so-and-so. Did you post a picture of the dinner you made? I’ll tell ya, when I do that, I’m trying to sell people on the idea that I’m a good cook. (I really am! I believe it and I’m enthused to tell the world about it!)

What did you say to your coworkers today – that you’re tired? That you love your kids but they drive you crazy?  Thank God It’s Friday? What do you think you’re selling when you say these things?

If it goes that good salespeople are selling all the time, that they live and breathe and are excited to talk about what they’re selling…so it goes that what you’re so excited about and talking about is what you’re selling. Everyone is already selling something simply by talking about it. Talking is promotion.

So I really have no reason to hate, or be wary of, salespeople. I want to believe that people who sell are performing a service, and that they want to help you. My mom once told me that without salespeople, we could be missing out on really understanding a product or service. Salespeople KNOW what they’re talking about, and they want to share that knowledge with you. And shouldn’t they deserve to be compensated for their knowledge, and sharing, and the time they take to learn and share?

I am no longer intimidated by salespeople. If I am interested in what they’re selling, I can choose to listen to them. If I decide it’s not for me, and if my intuition tells me something’s not right, and if I’m annoyed by their acting skills…I can choose to say “no thanks” and move my body elsewhere.

And can I get into sales? Absolutely! But only if I’m selling something I believe in. (I can’t sell credit cards to bra buyers at a certain gigantic women’s lingerie store. I lasted less than a week at that job).

So now that I know how I’ve been programmed to think about sales, the last step in changing this is to “create an affirmation that will assist you in re-programming your mind, something that is the opposite of your paradigm. Write your affirmation on a card and repeat it daily.”

I am so happy and grateful now that I am aware of the value of salespeople. I appreciate salespeople for knowing what they know and being available for me to ask questions and learn about something that might or might not benefit me.

Day 1: It Begins

Hi! My name is Amberla, and this is my blog.

For the next 30 days, I will be writing every day on a new concept that I’m working to comprehend. Concepts include, but are not limited to:

  • paradigms
  • repetition
  • trying new things
  • The Laws of the Universe
  • decision making
  • better thinking
  • your environment
  • discipline
  • sales
  • money

My main objective of blogging every day for 30 days is to create a constant stream of new thought in an attempt to improve myself and my results. Change comes either instantly or through repetition. I can’t “will” instant change, but I can discipline myself through repetition.

And since writing causes thinking, I will write my little heart out.

Enjoy!