Today Becky Allen chats with Charli Muchow, host of the Fearlessly Inspired podcast. In this episode, Charli shares her journey of self reflection and discovery which has led her to live a more fulfilled, mentally positive life.
Chapters of Life
Charli went through a breakup during an engagement which she describes as a slap in the face from reality. Little did she know at the time, but it would act as a catalyst for internal analysis and positive future change.
Life is similar to a book with many different chapters. Within a chapter of life, we often believe that we have everything figured out. We think we know who we are and what we are doing. With the benefit of age and hindsight, we may look back and recognize that we were totally wrong as our younger self. Our thoughts about the world and feelings about ourselves have often morphed and evolved from previous chapters. The breakup for Charli was the ending of a chapter in her life. She was now in the unknown.
Now Charli recognizes that she “thought she was following her heart but was really following her ego”, which was evidence to her that she was disconnected from her heart.
Inevitably a breakup is a tough, filled with a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings. Charli, however, would choose not to run from these emotions and what was going on in her head. She wanted to reconnect with her heart in a healthy way for her future.
A friend gave Charli the advice of “being and feeling”. Observe what state you are in and then give yourself permission to go through those thought processes and emotions. It was time for Charli to take inventory on her life.
The concept of “being and feeling” would become a regular part of Charli’s life. She would take inventory and notice how she was feeling or thinking about all aspects of life.
“How do I feel in these clothes?”, “How do I feel when I hangout with this group of people?”, “How does this type of music, or scenery, or food, or workout make me feel”, “What am I thinking in certain environments or situations?”.
Answering these types of questions is the first step. Take inventory of what is going on and how it feels. For Charli, these notes are written down in a journal. Then, she consciously reflects on the answers in order to better answer and act on future decisions. Charli describes this as saying yes more to what feels right or leads to positive experiences, and saying no more to the activities that are not going to contribute to you in an advantageous way.
Charli says “doing this brought an unmatched awakening which led to an aligned, joyful and peaceful existence.”.
I Am and I Can
Negative inner dialogue can inhibit action and remains a struggle for many people. We can all be our own greatest critic. Feelings of loneliness, depression, self hatred and anxiety have only been heightened amid the COVID pandemic. At some point change becomes inevitable. Charlie reflects on this time for her, saying: “I didn’t want to hate myself. I didn’t enjoy looking in a mirror and not liking what I’m seeing.”
Charli shares her “I am” and “I can” practice to which her answers have evolved over time. Being intentional in this process has led Charli to make concrete changes little by little to her self image and actions in the world.
When negative inner dialogue arises, step one for Charli is to once again be mindful of what is happening and take inventory of what comes to the surface. Charli then writes down the statements.
Examples may include “I am ugly.”, “I am unworthy.”. Then, she practices writing the opposite answers to her previous ones. Statements like “I am sexy.”, “I am a joy to be around.”, “”I’m prosperous”, “I’m enough.” are jotted down in her journal. Charli has intentionally refined her answers to be timeless, not artificially limiting herself. She writes her “I am” statements daily.
Deliberately crafting answers and practicing regularly can help ingrain them into second nature thought patterns.
“The second thing was the “I can”, because if you are the harshest critic of yourself, you probably lack self confidence”. Charli notes she can often see a massive goal, and due to the size of it, she may underachieve, setting off a process of self hatred. In order to avoid this spiral, setting smaller, achievable goals can be an effective remedy. “I can make my bed everyday” was her starting point. After a week of making her bed, she could walk away with 7 minor victories, all contributing to completion of a small goal. The result was a slight boost in self confidence. Over time, the small wins eventually add up, giving you confidence to go after larger goals.
Initiating our own joy gives us the control to design our days and what really matters. Slow down, check in and allow yourself the freedom to discover who you are becoming.