We all do it, right?
We are making progress, taking steps in the direction of our goals, experiencing some level of success along the way… and then we do something that stops us in our tracks.
We make a poor decision, we say something we don’t mean to, or we let procrastination settle in.
Before we know it, we feel like we’ve taken a dozen steps backward and we feel like shit.
We promise ourselves, “I’m never going to let this happen again!” Yet next month we repeat the same or very similar cycle and we’re back at square one.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why are we able to clearly see our faults looking backward and not in the moment before it’s too late? How can we increase our level of awareness, so that we make the right decisions at the right time?
Let’s break it down.
The simple answer is a lack of self-awareness.
Think about it - if you were aware of everything you were doing and the consequences of all of your actions all of the time, then you would easily be able to notice if you were about to sabotage your own progress.
The problem is that we become ignorant to the long-term effects of our decisions in the present moment.
We think to ourselves…
Whatever logical thought we have, if it allows us to let off some steam and relax then we’ll take it.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for doing so, but if we’re not conscious about our choices then we allow them to perpetuate for days and sometimes even weeks!
What we fail to see is that by choosing to back off from our positive progress, we set in motion the energy of apathy.
An analogy I love is boiling water.
If you get a pot of water, turn on the stove, and begin raising the temperature, eventually the water begins to get really hot.
If you put a lid on the pot, the water reaches boiling temperature faster than normal.
But, if you take the lid off, all of the steam that would accelerate the boiling process is released and it takes way longer.
Taking a long break, allowing yourself to procrastinate, or turning to negativity is like taking the lid off and letting the steam out of the pot.
All of that energy that you’ve created in the direction of your desired outcome is dissipated and you’ll most likely have to start from scratch.
Increasing our awareness is the only way to overcome self-sabotage, so let’s talk about that now.
The truth of who we are is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Our spiritual nature is infinite and we experience it through oneness. Our human nature is finite and we experience it through duality (up/down, hot/cold, right/wrong, masculine/feminine, me/you, etc.).
Since our human nature is in the duality of life, we also have two sides to our human nature. We have a part of us that wants to move forward and we have a part of us that wants to stay in our comfort zone.
It’s the second part of our human nature that causes self-sabotage and if we are not aware enough to recognize which side of our human nature we are operating from, then it’s inevitable for us to halt our forward momentum.
The good news is that you can develop your awareness to such a high degree that you can consistently side with the part of you that wants to progress everyday and say good-bye to self-sabotage for good!
To help you get there, we need to talk about the emotional factor.
We are often wrapped up by our emotions, right?
No matter what emotions we are experiencing, whether it’s fear, happiness, anxiousness, joy, anger, excitement… we are primarily in our body and in our mind.
We stay here most often because it’s familiar for us in the human experience. But, it’s only a part of who we are. Remember, we are also spiritual beings.
As a spiritual being, you have access to a great power that can completely change your life. This power is the capacity to notice what you’re noticing.
In other words, you’re able to notice what thoughts you are entertaining and what feelings you are experiencing. By noticing what you’re noticing, you have the God-given ability to choose to amplify positive thoughts and emotions, as well as dial down negative thoughts and emotions.
This is in essence siding with the part of your human nature that wants to move forward! It’s simple to say, but not easy to do, especially when you’re stuck in negative thoughts and emotions.
This takes discipline and practice, but the rewards are worth it.
Side with the part of you that wants to move forward today and have a great day!
In December of 2017 I packed my bags, filled a moving van with my furniture, and took off with my Dad and my cat, Autumn.
I was moving from my home in Queens, New York to the mile high city of Denver, Colorado and the trip was exactly 1,803 miles.
I’m sure you’re wondering, “Why? What’s the motivation for moving across the country?” I’ll get to that later, but first let’s talk about the lessons I learned and how they can impact YOUR life right now.
If you’re more of a cliff-notes kind of person, here are the lessons I learned:
Pretty straight forward, right? Let’s dive into each.
I am blessed to say that my Dad offered to help me move.
As we traveled for 4 full days, we probably spent about 22 hours in the crowded van, which is no easy task even if you love driving (which both my Dad and I do).
On top of that Autumn was confused, tense and crying for dear life.
When my Dad was driving I’d have her on my lap in her pet carrier, but even my pets wouldn’t calm her down fully. We couldn’t let her out either because there were places she could crawl through to the back where all of my stuff resided.
Needless to say, sitting for hours at a time with an alarmed cat in your lap is far from ideal.
After the first day or two of driving, I realized that I was completely out of balance!
I wasn’t eating healthy because we were getting fast food for most meals; I wasn’t exercising because I was exhausted after a full day of being on the road; and I wasn’t doing anything for my business because I was either driving or comforting Autumn.
At first, I felt awful. But then, I had an epiphany…
I was living in complete harmony with what I wanted to be doing.
Yes, my life was out of balance, but what the hell can you expect from driving across the country with your entire life in the trunk? It was one of those moments where I thought, “DUHHH, of course it’s going to be like this!”
At that moment, I decided to enjoy life to the fullest, in whatever way I could during this time. I let go of the need to be in balance in all areas of life and this is what freed me.
I turned my attention to how awesome it was to have my Dad right by my side as we took this epic journey; I noticed how wonderful it was to have the ability to move across the country with all of my things safely packed; and I began to drink in the wonderful views we were passing by.
Just by shifting my perception, I was able to welcome in all of the many blessings that were right in front of me.
That brings me to my first question for YOU. What’s out of balance in your life that you can’t do anything about right now and how can you acknowledge that you're living in harmony?
When you accept a situation for what it is and discover how you can enjoy your life anyway, you liberate yourself from SO many negative thoughts that would destroy your chances for happiness and fulfillment in the present moment.
This leads us to the second lesson I learned on this road trip.
During the many hours my Dad and I spent in that moving van, I had countless opportunities to grow.
Did I recognize these opportunities at first? NOPE.
Like I said before, I was pretty preoccupied by all of the negatives of driving across the country in a van where you can barely move.
It wasn’t until I made the shift in awareness of being in harmony over being in balance that I was able to see the growth filled moments I had available to me.
It was on the third day when I was driving in the flat lands of middle America when I woke up from a trance. I felt as if I was hypnotized by the straight road, the light music from the radio playing, and the occasional rustle of my Dad or Autumn adjusting how they were sleeping.
Waking up from that road trance was the moment I knew that there had to be some way to use this time wisely.
What I’ve learned over the last 6 year of studying personal transformation and human potential is that when you ask a specific question in your mind, you’ll receive a specific answer (much like doing a google search, only with the Infinite).
So, I asked, “What can I do while I’m driving to grow and expand my awareness?”
Almost immediately ideas started flying in.
I’m sure there were more, but those are the ideas I remember. I took action on all of them and it was life-changing.
I am so grateful for having asked that question because I not only turned the mundane activity of driving into time for personal growth, but I also grew closer with my Dad.
Here’s my second question for you. What mundane tasks do you take for granted in your life and how can you infuse the possibility of growth in that time?
Your ideas might surprise you.
Now, on to the third and final lesson.
If you believe you can achieve your lofty goals on your own, you’re kidding yourself.
I don’t mean to be harsh, but this is the truth.
The quicker you learn it, the better off you’ll be.
Show me any person you consider a success and I’ll show you their support team. That can come as their coach, their mentor, their parents, their brother, their friends, their teacher, and heck even their dog!
As human beings, we are hard-wired to be in community and help each other. You could say it’s in our DNA or our genes.
The reason we have such amazing technology and such an advanced civilization is because we supported each other.
NOTHING of great consequence ever comes as a result of one single person. One person may take the credit or be in the spotlight, but I guarantee they have a team that helped them achieve their greatness.
Why this matters to you is to check in and see if you’re allowing yourself to be supported or not? Your life depends on your answer.
At the very least, the life of your dreams depends on whether you humble yourself to ask for help.
This truth hit me like a ton of bricks when I finally arrived in Denver and moved into my new apartment. One man in particular helped me more than I could ever repay him for: my Dad.
Without my Dad, I would probably still be living in New York. He’s the one who got us a killer deal with the moving van because “he knew a guy.” He’s the one who took off 5 days of work to help me drive to my new home. He’s the one who helped comfort Autumn as I was driving and he’s the one who helped me move all of my heavy furniture in.
Once I really thought about all of the amazing help my Dad gave me during this time, my mind just kept on going and there are a thousand more things I know my Dad has helped me with throughout my life.
I can honestly say that if it weren’t for my Dad, I wouldn’t be living my dream right now. THANK YOU, DAD. I LOVE YOU.
Funny enough, one of the reasons I moved to Denver was because I had always dreamed of snowboarding in the Colorado mountains. That dream was instilled in me by my Dad when I was very young and just learning how to glide down a mountain.
I’m proud to say that we both lived out our dream that December and it was even more thrilling than I had ever imagined.
Hey, it’s that time. Your third and final question. What support do you need to build your dream and progress further in your life?
Having the willingness to accept support from others is a sign of strength and understanding, not weakness. Ask for help today.
This is the longest blog post I’ve ever written, so if you’ve made it this far congrats!
I hope you’ve found value out of what I learned. If you did, it would mean a lot to me if you’d drop a comment below with your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
Lastly, I want to reach out and give you a hand up in life if you’re feeling stuck or if you know you need help, but you don’t know where to turn.
If you don’t know me, my name is Kevin Carton and I’m a certified Life Mastery Consultant (just a fancy name for a life coach). If you’re ready to take your life to the next level, then let’s talk.
Between my busy speaking, teaching, and coaching schedule, I carve out some time each month for strategy sessions. A strategy session is a 30 - 60 minute call with me where I’ll help you get clear on what’s holding you back right now, what you’d love to create in your future, and your next best steps to take in the direction of your dream.
This call is worth $250, but if you’re ready to invest in achieving your dream, then it’s my gift to you. I have a limited number of times available and they fill up fast, so if you’d love to have this complementary call with me, click here now.
Talk with you soon, my friend.
Believing in you.
A few questions arose after I published my last blog post about "Who Are You?"
Thanks to the wonderful questions from Rufaidah and Geetika, this post was formed. Here are their questions for you to ponder as well:
“How do you differentiate between who you truly are and what society considers as appropriate? Because we are the product of our environment, or at least that's what I believe. If I was raised up in a different society I, of course, would not be the same person I am today, and so who I truly am would be different. So how do I differentiate between who I AM and what society imposed in me the image of who I am?” - Rufaidah
“All our life we keep doing things for others & they become so habitual of us being around them 24/7 that the day we tell them that I want to do things for me, I want to live my life, all hell breaks loose. I understand we can't please everyone but how to get away in doing what we want?” - Geetika
Both of these questions point to the desire we all have to do what we want, whenever we want to do it. I firmly believe we all have that capability, but the obstacles in the way often shut down that desire.
The odds seem stacked against us and our dreams, so is it even possible to achieve the life we long for even if we really do try? And how can we feel free to do what we want with our life?
I believe we absolutely can live our dream life and feel free to do what we want, but it takes work.
Let’s start with the people around us: our family, friends, co-workers, etc.
Whether it’s your mother, your father, you best friend, your boss, or your grandmother, they all have a concept of who you are in their mind.
This is normal human functioning - you have a concept for each of these people in your mind, too.
The danger is in believing that these concepts are all the person is and all that person will ever be. This is why “all hell breaks loose” when you do what you want to do and strive to change your life.
What you want to do most often doesn’t fit the other person’s concept of who you are and so their reaction is some way of trying to keep you aligned with who they believe you are.
Let me share with you the best way I have found to move forward in doing what you want even in the presence of people who want you to stay the same. It’s simple.
Have compassion for them.
They are most likely just trying to protect you from failing, hurting yourself, or making a mistake. They aren’t in your head, so don’t expect them to fully understand why you’re doing what you doing.
With compassion, you can understand where they are coming from and still move forward because what you want to do matters to you. That’s the only way you’ll ever drown out their negativity.
For example, in 2014 when I discontinued getting my doctorate degree in pharmacy, my parents were livid.
Okay, my dad was livid. My mom was silent.
I wanted to leave and do something different because I discovered I no longer had a passion for pharmacy.
I wanted to help people heal holistically and I wanted to treat the underlying cause of someone’s illness, not just the symptoms.
My parents understood my reasoning, but they wanted me to finish the 2-3 more years of graduate school I had left and THEN do what I wanted.
If I hadn’t been so convinced that what I wanted to do was right for my life, then I would have caved in and fit myself into their mold.
My burning desire to help people in a different way overcame the gravitational pull to the familiar. I did leave and I have never regretted it.
The sad truth is that the expectations of our loved ones can be silent killers of our dreams if we are not careful. When we are careful in protecting our mind and we do move forward in doing what we want despite what others say, we become a beacon of light for others to follow.
When we are careful in protecting our mind and we do move forward in doing what we want despite what others say, we become a beacon of light for others to follow.
Now, let’s talk about society.
The environment we grow up in and live in has a profound effect on how we live our lives, but I don’t believe environment can ever dictate who we are.
For example, I grew up in the suburbs of Queens, New York living in a small 2 bedroom apartment with my parents and two brothers.
There’s a great contrast between the way I lived my life growing up and the way a child growing up in Cairo, Egypt lived simply based on what I saw during the time I visited. If I was swapped with that Egyptian child growing up, then yes I would be a different person in many ways.
However, who we are is different from everything we learn from the day we are born. Our preferences, our beliefs, our perceptions are all based on knowledge we gained as we evolved as human beings.
Remember, who you are is more than anything you’ve ever learned.
How you differentiate who you are from what society or your environment has imposed on you is by going deep within your mind. You must first be able to see through the illusion of separation that is created when we look at other people’s skin color, intellect, possessions, or beliefs.
This is not some “woo-woo” feel good talk. This is real. Science has proven that at the core of who we are, at the subatomic level, we are literally all the same. We are energy. The only difference is in the physical manifestation we see with our eyes.
By recognizing that you are not different from your neighbor, you can begin to shed the layers of what society believes about you because it’s simply not true.
Society says you can or can’t be or do something based on your level of education, your age, your sex, and even your sexuality. I don’t believe society’s presets are intentionally created to hold people back; I believe that they’re created based on a group of people’s best thinking. That’s all.
From this place of understanding about the people around you and about society, you can boldly choose what you want to do and stick with it, knowing that you are serving YOU.
This happens in small moments at first, so don’t expect to change your entire life in one meditation session or in one day.
Radical shifts CAN happen that quickly, but allow the process to unfold in its own time.
It took decades for you to grow into the person you are today, so enjoy the work of unlearning what you’ve learned about your potential and the possibilities for your life.
You are so much more than you have believed yourself to be up until now.
You are life expressing itself in human form and life always desires growth. That feeling you have inside of you to do what you want, to forge your own path… that’s life. Say yes to life by saying yes to yourself.
What does saying yes to yourself mean to you? What would you do differently if nothing or no one was holding you back? Leave me a comment below, I'd love to hear from you.
Can you answer the question, "Who are you?" without listing your name, what you do for work, where you live, and what you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
Difficult task, right?
"Kevin, why does this even matter?" Okay, okay, let me explain.
You see, if you identify who you are with what you do or what you have or even what label you use to distinguish yourself from your brother (a.k.a. your name), then you don't get to know the real you.
By using the typical answers to respond to that question, you describe everything that makes up your life EXCEPT who you really are.
Furthermore, most of the typical answers change over time! Even your name can change if you want it to.
So, I ask again...
Who Are You?
If your answers are now, "I am a deep-thinker, I am a change-maker, I am a life-long learner," then you're getting closer.
These answers still describe what you do because they are activities. They do play a part in who you are, but they still don't satisfy the question.
Let me ask one more time...
Who ARE You?
Maybe your answers are now, "I am compassionate, I am funny, I am a good listener" or something similar. Great, now we're getting somewhere.
These answers go a bit deeper, but they describe qualities of being (hint, hint) rather than getting to the core of who you truly are.
Let's take it a step further and bring it home.
Take a deep breath with me for a moment. Inhaling through your nose...
And exhaling out of your mouth...
What did you just do?
You exercised a natural ability that is available to you based on the vehicle you inhabit to have the experience of being human.
Yes, you are human and you have a body, but you are much more than that.
You are a magnificent spiritual being having a human experience. You are life, you are energy, you are spirit and you are alive.
You are a magnificent spiritual being having a human experience. You are life, you are energy, you are spirit and you are alive.
Breathe that in for a moment... (Feel free to take another deep breath)
Maybe you've known this for a little while and maybe this is new to you. Either way, let it sink in a bit deeper today as you read this.
The power of knowing this is immense because knowing who you really are gives you the capacity to change EVERYTHING in your life.
By knowing that you are not your history, you are not your story, you are not your body, you are not your emotions, and you are not your thoughts, you unlock the storehouse of unlimited possibilities that is always within you. Always.
The only reason people do not change their lives is because they relate more with their current circumstances than with the power that is within them to create a new future.
I encourage you to read this post again and again. Let it simmer in your mind and allow it to stir up great thoughts of possibility for your life. You are incredible and when you begin to believe that about yourself, your whole world can change.
I believe in you.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friend or loved one. Be a blessing in their life and give them the gift of awareness.
Today I had an eye-opening conversation with a dear friend of mine, Lois.
She is actually the reason I am writing this right now and I am forever grateful.
In our conversation she asked me, "Do you have a blog? Who you've become is inspiring. A lot of people would benefit from hearing your story and what you've overcome."
I created this website a week prior to this conversation and I've just been waiting for "the right time" to write my first post.
Truthfully there never is a perfect time to start anything.
However, when you continually get nudges from the Universe to do something that gives you life, it's time to take the leap of faith.
So with that said, here I am sharing with you my story.
I can't think of any better way to give you a picture of who I am today than tell you a short story of one gut-wrenching decision I made back in May of 2014.
After 5 months of internal arguments, I dropped out of the Pharmacy program at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Ironically, I also graduated with a bachelors of science because I did successfully complete 4 years out of the 6 year program.
So I guess you can say I'm a graduated dropout. 🙂
To most of my friends, family and advisors this was a shock!
I gave up an almost guaranteed 6-figure salary and basically burned the bridge of ever practicing pharmacy again.
As crazy as it sounds, when I told my parents that I was finished, I felt as if a 10-ton boulder was lifted off of my back.
It was the happiest I have ever been in my entire life up until that point.
The challenge from there was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life; what value did I truly want to bring to the world?
Since our pleasure comes from our labor and not our leisure, I wanted to do something I truly loved.
Even though I didn't have that pinned down when I made the decision to drop out, there was something in me that knew there was something more for me in life.
Our pleasure comes from our labor, not our leisure.
I have a feeling most people have these nudges too because most people are not doing what they'd truly love to do.
Whether it is because they don't have the money, time, experience or they're too old or too young, there's always an excuse that can be made.
Don't give into these fallacies!
The world needs you to do what you'd love.
What I've learned is that you are a unique expression of life and life is always seeking a fuller, freer, more expanded expression of itself.
You doing what you'd love to do is expansive; you can feel the expansiveness of your being when you are expressing yourself to your fullest.
That is what life is about.
However, getting to a place where you can do what you'd love to do is not easy.
With my decision came a lot of changes that felt like being thrust into a hurricane.
On the outside looking in, it seemed like I had no control of what I was doing or where I was going.
I can tell you though that I knew something great was going to reveal itself to me.
I had faith and I still hold the same faith that I've been put here for a reason. I have something to give to the world that would fulfill me completely.
Although I am still in the discovery process, I know that one part of that is teaching yoga and another part is inspiring others to make the same decision I did.
Not necessarily drop out of college, but just make a decision to do what you'd love to do.
I have the firm belief that you are here for a reason as well.
You have something to give to the world that would give you a sense of worth unparalleled by anything else.
If I learned anything in the past year after deciding to begin creating a life I'd love to live, it's that once you step towards your dream life, people and situations will come "out of the blue" to help you.
It is the most enriching experience to have your faith and belief reinforced. If you're reading this and you're not happy with where you are or what you are doing; have faith.
The challenges you will face along the way are meant to help you grow into the person you need to he to accomplish whatever it is you want to accomplish.
If you don't believe you can do it, then believe in my belief.
You can do it.