Making the Commitment to Live Life.

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An incredible skill that I have learned in recovery is commitment.

If you have had some trouble making positive commitments in your life, then stick around and read this.

My Troubles With Commitment.

Throughout my life I had a terribly difficult time committing to much of anything. When I did commit to something, I looked good out of the gates. Over time though my commitment quickly descended into oblivion. Addiction had a grip on me for way too long. The only thing I really could commit myself to was numbing pain with chemicals. By the time I used for my last time, even my commitment to using disappeared, thank god…

Of course, I don’t really call the actions taken while in active addiction, my own personal commitment. I didn’t feel in charge of that process. I was more like a crazed squirrel, foraging to gather enough nuts to make sure it doesn’t starve during the winter. It was pure instinct. Pure instinct to protect me from the perceived danger of coming down. Insane or not, my brain was doing its best to protect me.

In fact, the way I ended up getting clean was because my family contacted Social Services, they worked out the process of terminating my rights to do anything but go to treatment for one year.

I was insane. They all knew it. Though it took some time to realize how crazy I actually was.

Help Commitment

Thankfully someone else made that commitment when I couldn’t do it for myself.

It wasn’t until I began waking up from my fog in treatment and at recovery meetings that I began making the decisions that would lay the groundwork for making positive commitments.

The Turnaround for Commitment In My Life.

During my time in treatment I realized that even though I was under state commitment, I needed to make this recovery and my life my own. So, when they said I needed to go to 2 recovery meetings a week, I decided to go to one pretty much every day. And when I had to earn points to go outside by doing homework, you better believe I was all over that.

I went above and beyond, to show MYSELF that this was mine. That this is my life and I am choosing to live. And that I am not being forced to.

This is the type of mentality that has helped me to have the last almost 10 years clean! As well as accomplishing many lifelong dreams like being happily married, becoming a father, graduating college and owning a home.

The level of commitment I have for life has grown immensely over the years. And the stakes have gotten remarkably higher. Even though the stakes are higher, the process of achieving goals stays the same.  Plus, I don’t get to relax just because I have achieved a lot in the last 10 years.

Commitment to Dream

Being All-in With Commitment.

My brain needs excitement. And to feel like I am living MY OWN life, I need to live above and beyond my current situation, while working hard in my current situation.

This is how a mind stays connected to building a great future reality, letting MYSELF know, my RELATIONSHIPS know, and even LIFE ITSELF know that I am ALL-IN. When we show that we are ALL-IN with our commitments, the amount of blessings come into my world is tremendous!

Life can be amazing, not so damn boring. This takes effort though and consistent reminders to keep moving.

If you are struggling with feeling like your living your own life today, you have some decisions to make. Right here and right now you can make the decision to make your life more of your own!

It’s not like anyone else can do this for us…

In our next article we will discuss living life on default. Which  is neglecting to make enough positive commitment with our lives. Living on default has horribly negative effects. I will talk about them, then lay out some important guidelines for staying off default mode and finding a life worth living.

Thank you so much for stopping by, if you enjoyed this article we would love for you to do a few things for us.
  1. Please share this article on your social media.
  2. Join our email list below, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
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Much Love,
Travis H

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Hello, we are Travis and Casey Hagen the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds to find healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. There is plenty for us to share with you about finding better ways to live. So please follow us on our journey as we share what we know, and continue to share as we invitably learn more.

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Allowing Expectations for Our Success.

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There are Necessary Expectations

To have all the things we desire most, means hard work. It also means putting ourselves in the position to have other people help us. As well as allowing them to increase the amount of expectation they have for our performance.

Let’s face it, if people around us aren’t expecting much, this is a life snuffing ordeal. If people are not expecting much, then what kind of motivation will we get from them? Probably not much.

But I suppose this is only for the type of life I desire to live. Some may appreciate a life with as few expectations on them as possible. I have before as well, and still do often. I have also found out that the ambition coursing through my veins will not allow me to be comfortable with a life of low expectations.

Don’t get me wrong though, most of the time when realizing someone is expecting something challenging of me, I do have that initial thought of “who in the hell do you think you are.” Our initial tend to keep us engaged in mindsets and behaviors that resist change. So, when someone recommends we do something that challenges our mindset, a defense mechanism coming up is pretty normal.

resist man.jpg

Reactions to Expectations.

I tend to resort defenses like over-intellectualizing or sarcastic humor to try to avoid allowing the advice they may be trying to impart into my skull. I get the feeling I reactively avoid the advice because if I allow them to see it make sense to me, then they may EXPECT me to follow through. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of feeling that someone is trying to control me.

I laugh there because there is nothing about allowing the other persons advice to be logical, that says I need to do what they said. Let alone have it “Control” me. But I might need to do what they preach if I am going to receive the results in life that I desire!

I don’t know what it is in my brain that has me believing that if other people expect something from me, that they have some sort of control over me. But I am guessing that I am not alone. The truth is that there are so many people that know a ton more about every subject available, than ourselves alone. And if we want what they have to offer, we are going to be able to allow them to influence us.

We need to allow them to expect some things of us and allow them to let us know when we am not meeting those expectations. This can be a very hard pill to swallow. Let’s look at some ways that we can help this pill go down a little more smoothly.

9 Habits for Allowing my Relationships to Have Healthy Expectations for me.

1. Stay on top of my decision making.

I find that it is easier to allow people to help me when I am consistently making the decisions I need to make. I tend to feel people are trying to control me more, when I am not feeling in control of my daily affairs.

2. Find Challenging People.

I find it important to have people around me that will help push me to be my most productive self. By having people that will help me actualize my goals instead of push their own on me, has taught me to have healthy relationships.

3. Find out Which challenge style works best for me

Some people may push their expectations for me like drill instructors, and others as gentle as can be. I tend to like a mixture of these, although I get annoyed at both. But if it seems like someone is trying to mother me, that is what I am looking for, the least.

4. Make sure the expectations are healthy.

I desire a healthy life so if the expectations people are having for me are not healthy, then I cannot meet them. I also will not be able to continue the relationship.

5. Follow people that care for me.

When I know that people have my best interests in mind, it definitely makes it easier to let them have expectations for me. Though sometimes these might be the ones I fight back against the most. But also, who’s advice I will likely end up following.

6. Choose credibility.

I find it easier to allow people to have expectations for me if I know they practice what they preach. If someone isn’t willing to follow their own advice they give me, it makes it much more difficult to follow their advice.

7. Stay Reminded of Rewards.

If I am having a hard time allowing someone to have expectation, I can keep myself reminded of why I am seeking advice from them in the first place. I am seeking because I desire something. Whether I am desiring the rewards I will receive from emotional support, business advice, parenting advice or whatever other advice I may seek.

8. Do Our Own Research.

Just because I trust someone doesn’t mean I should just be blindly following their advice. If I have extra questions for them, I ask them. If I need to do further research, then I do that too. If I don’t do my own research, I tend to blame the person I sought to help guide me.

9. Remind myself that its ultimately my decision.

No one makes our decisions for us. Even when we feel like they are. Reminding ourselves that we are not a victims to other people’s guidance, and that we ultimately make the decision ourselves helps a lot.

None of us have all the answers, but other people can help us get at least some more answers. But we need to allow them to challenge our current thinking and allow them to have some expectations for our growth. Their help is vital to growing in our own little worlds, but only we can allow them to help.

Never Stop Learning

That is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth on your path of becoming better at accepting healthy expectations from others. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list below, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
  3. Share this article on your social media.
  4. Follow our Facebook page!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb title=”My Life Experiment” image=”https://mylifeexperimentdotblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/9db50-3ca83-2-1.jpg&#8221; _builder_version=”3.0.106″ saved_tabs=”all” url_new_window=”off” use_icon=”off” icon_color=”#919191″ use_circle=”off” icon_placement=”top” background_layout=”light” use_circle_border=”off” use_icon_font_size=”off” global_module=”3875″]

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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Emotional Spending: Stopping it and Other Wreckless Habits

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Emotional spending is a tricky subject. Which has a very similar flavor to other compulsive and reckless habits we may be acting on.

Today we are discussing the difficulty of stopping these entrenched and reckless behaviors like emotional spending. As well as seeking ideas for helping us move on from having these habitual nuisances a part of our lives.

Emotional Spending as Compulsion not Addiction.

With emotional spending I am not really talking about full on addiction. That is its own beast. Though compulsions of any sort are certainly fueled by an emotional driving force.

We at My Life Experiment are addicts in recovery. Our experiences both before and while in recovery have taught us a great deal about the power of triggered emotions. We understand the process that can ignite bodily impulses to act out in ways we don’t actually desire. Sometimes it can feel easier to spending money, eating too much, or stewing in self-pity.

When acting out emotionally, we generally are not eating because we are hungry. Not spending because we need the thing, nor overthinking something because we desire to. These behaviors are compulsive. Meaning that they are difficult or even feel impossible to control.

When it comes to compulsive spending, some days are easier than others.  But generally, when feeling stressed, it is easy to want to spend money on things that aren’t really needed.

In those times, the brain is looking for a fix. It will be a quick fix, and likely won’t be helpful, but the brain is doing its best.

Working Through the Problem.

When it comes to emotional spending, full on shopping addiction, or any other negative form of acting out. If we desire to stop it, then we already know that we have a problem, but we also need to admit that problem as well.

The decision then needs to be made to knock it off. Meaning a commitment to stop acting out on the problem is required. Then we can set up a plan of action to take back our lives in the area in which we feel out of control.

The difficulty of controlling the impulse to act out can be tremendous. There are times when I have refused the impulse to pull into a drive through window or buy something that wasn’t needed. I have also felt the temper tantrum erupt inside when not giving the impulse what it wants. If you can relate, then I empathize with you. I have come to realize that emotional acting out including emotional spending, is really about pain.

Thankfully I have been in recovery from addiction for years now. In this recovery time I have learned essential steps for stopping behavior, so I can get to the core of the emotional pain.

Stopping these compulsive behaviors has not necessarily been easy. But through our experiences with stopping harmful behaviors, I have realized how important preparation is for setting ourselves up for success.

DAILY AND LONG-TERM SUGGESTIONS FOR CONTROLLING SPENDING AND OTHER UNWANTED BEHAVIORS:

1. Get Grounded in the Moment.

Staying present in the moment is huge when it comes to stopping acting out. When we go on auto-pilot, we are more likely to act out in ways that we didn’t want to. There are many ways to ground ourselves in the present moment. We don’t need to bring a yoga mat wherever we go or keep a gratitude list handy at all times. All I really have to do is slow down, focus on taking some deep breathes, and recite a few things am grateful for. I swear it brings me back into the moment 90% of the time.

2. Remind Ourselves of Our Commitment to Change.

It is difficult to remember all of the decisions we have made about changing behaviors. But we maintain the strength of our decisions by following them up with daily reminders of the commitments we have made. If we have committed ourselves holding off from spending money on fast food for a month, we need to keep ourselves in the loop on this. If it is a deeply entrenched pattern, then we may need to remind ourselves several times a day.

3. Anticipate Possible Problem Areas

Give thought to what is coming up throughout the day. If we are seeking to spend less money, we need to spot areas where we might slip up. We, need to set ourselves up for success. If we feel the desire to go spend a bunch of money, then we can plan our days to avoid situations that will create added difficulty.

4. Avoid Testing Ourselves

Intentionally driving by a fast food restaurant just to have a smell, doesn’t seem like a good idea. Just like walking around the mall just to see what is new, just to browse. Dieticians might say don’t keep cookies in the house if you don’t want to end up eating them, it’s all the same principle. Quitting a behavior is difficult enough without added tests.

We don’t need to test ourselves unnecessarily. Enough temptations will show up in our lives as a matter of course. Being around too many temptations may weaken our resolve and we might be caught of guard as a result of our weakened resolve. So avoid unnecessary temptations but of course don’t avoid living life. There is a balance to be found in this area.

5. Maintain Emotional Support

Making changes in our lives can create great emotional discomfort. When stopping an entrenched behavior pattern, there will be pain that needs to be worked on. Dealing with these emotions requires support. Some of that support can come from ourselves, but don’t overlook the amazing benefits of the support received by trusting other people.

Some of us may be able to take care of these behaviors with the support of our friends and family. But please, if it seems that you need professional support in some way get some help. Especially if these behaviors are effecting you and your loved ones in ways that are harming your relationships.

6. Put rewards in place

Rewards are crazy important when it comes to staying vigilant with moving on from old behaviors. When us writers for My Life Experiment quit smoking, thinking about what we would do with the saved money was huge in keeping us motivated. The knowledge that we won’t be wasting that $75 a week that was spent something we didn’t want in the first place was highly motivating. On top of that we actually were able to think about where that money would towards building a better life. Through the hard times of stopping an entrenched behavior this promised reward was very much needed.

7. Do Your Research

There is a ton of practical information on the internet or in the library about how to stop unwanted behaviors. Study up and learn how to take back control.

8. Be Firm but Kind

Stopping behaviors that are entrenched is difficult work. But hear this. When we feel like acting out in ways we shouldn’t we may have emotional pain going on. That pain of course, does not make it okay to act out. The most loving and productive route we can take is to ask ourselves what is wrong, and then work on what my body has to tell me. That is where the good stuff is.

As I said before, it can be difficult, and sometimes very painful to refrain from acting out emotionally. But in the case of our financial lives and the rest of our lives, the benefits of controlling our behaviors far outweigh the difficulties. It may not always feel like it in the moment, but over time the benefits stack up.

That is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth on your path of leaving behind emotional spending and other unwanted behaviors. If you enjoyed what you read then we would love for you to do a couple things for us.

1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.

2. Join our email list below, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.

3. Share this article on your social media.

4. Follow our Facebook page!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb title=”My Life Experiment” image=”https://mylifeexperimentdotblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/9db50-3ca83-2-1.jpg&#8221; _builder_version=”3.0.106″ saved_tabs=”all” url_new_window=”off” use_icon=”off” icon_color=”#919191″ use_circle=”off” icon_placement=”top” background_layout=”light” use_circle_border=”off” use_icon_font_size=”off” global_module=”3875″]

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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