Are You Afraid of Letting Go?

Hello Rockstar,

I am so excited to be writing you its feels like it’s been forever! There have been so many pivots in my world recently I’ve almost developed thigh muscle definition- almost, and I couldn’t be happier to be here with you right now.

In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself. Deepak Chopra

Letting go of almost anything even if it’s something we’ve been desperately trying to release is hard. There is a certain comfort in our discomfort. Have you ever had a powerful urge to floss your cat’s teeth? No? What about one to scrub your refrigerator draws? Well, that’s exactly how my inconvenient resistance to letting go rears its ugly head. Just like that, I’m about to complete a lengthy project and scrubbing bubbles hijacks every molecule of my brain.

 

Fortunately, today I realize, that the source of my fear of success originated from the meaning I gave my slightly strained childhood experiences. Describing this untruth-I protectively kept snug in the pack pocket of my faded 501’s- as the biggest roadblock to my professional growth, is an understatement. In my head, the freedom acquired from monetary wealth equaled emotionally unstable little ones. That had to be the truth since it was my experience. Visualizing my kids as poster children for a Gerry Springer episode left me terrified, so my business excelled at the speed of a baby turtle. My witty mom in a failed attempt to compliment me for always achieving my goal (in the end)nicknamed me, little turtle.

 

 

The fed-upness of failing to reach my potential challenged me to make a real attempt at releasing my beat-up old baggage. Encyclopedia Britannica’s definition of old baggage aka belief is: a mental attitude of acceptance without the full intellectual knowledge required to guarantee its truth.

 

 

Common Old Baggage:

 

  • I’m not worthy of…
  • I’m only worthy when…
  • I won’t be loved as my true self
  • I can never have what I actually want

 

My business goal was transforming the quality of people’s lives by teaching them the foundational skills of intimate human connections. Science has proven there is nothing that has a greater impact on our overall happiness. I finally understood that inherent to my professional success was releasing my association of career advancement with a collapsed home life. This led me to get reacquainted-yet again- with the most important relationship I’ll ever have, the one with myself.

 

Shortly after identifying the kingpin of what was holding me back, I made a commitment to prioritizing the quality of my emotional well-being. When I’m fully conscious of who I am and attuned to my self-worth; I am open to an unwavering source of power. This is available to all of us!

 

In 2020, I hired a business coach, began group therapy, and like a sign from the universe; beautiful human connections and opportunities started presenting themselves to me. Collaborations with businesses in fields I didn’t know much about knocked at my door. Meaningful friendships we created and bloomed despite not being able to physically be near one another. Tami Holzman the Queen Connecter thank you for being such an integral piece of my growth and holding my hand through so many new-isms.

 

If there’s anything certain in this human chop salad we call life, it’s change. If we have a longing for something that never goes away, listen to it! That is a power greater than yourself guiding you towards what you always knew was meant for you.

 

Let go of the old and follow your heart to the place where anything is possible!

 

Rumi once said “what you seek is seeking you.”

 

There is an inextricable bond between gaining something extraordinary and releasing old versions of ourselves. It’s simply part of the process to the crazy amazing new chapter of our life.

 

My question to you is…

 

WHAT MUST YOU LET GO OF TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE?

 

Biggest Hugs,

 

Irene Abbou

Irene is the creator of the Happiness Within Reach program which coaches driven men and women to open their hearts to self-love while forming deep and meaningful interpersonal relationships with others. She is an ICF, ACC Certified life and business coach who holds two certifications from the University of Pennsylvania on Positive Psychology and is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy. She is also an Amazon best-selling co-author of the book How To Be Crazy Amazing During Difficult Times.

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THE ART of ATTRACTING NEW FRIENDS

Written by: Irene Abbou

Photograph by: Ben White

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born” Anais Nin

When I think about some the happiest times in my life, the moments where I felt the most a part of, belonging to a special tribe of sisterly love, where I could unapologetically be my introverted donut dreaming self, I think of moments shared with my soul sisters.

 

To clearly define these sisters and sometimes it was just a sister, it would be the friend I call at 8:15am when my 10 year old has me unraveling because he angrily slammed the door at carpool without saying good-bye but also the friend I reach out to when a Starbucks stranger boosts my confidence with a simple hello.

 

I was inspired to write this article because many of the women I have been blessed to interact with in my line of work have expressed a desire to expand their circle of friends and experience closer bonds. Although the dynamics of true friendships are complex, social researchers have been able to narrow down some key ingredients necessary to forge these meaningful mysterious connections. I will share with you some of these findings as well as other reliable tips on growing your friendship circle.

 

Be Approachable

 

Think about the characteristics of people that attract you and those you enjoy spending time with. Then, emulate these traits. People are much more apt to want to engage in a conversation when you give off friendly vibes (smile, make eye contact, ask people questions about themselves, speak positively, compliment them). Challenge yourself, make the first move and most importantly leave people feeling better about themselves because of your interaction. This becomes easier with practice and you’ll feel empowered stepping out of your comfort zone!

 

 

Join Groups/Classes that meet regularly

 

Studies showwe are likely to form friendships with people we see on a regular basis. Joining a group or class that meets on a structured day and time (that is interactive) is a great starting point for sewing the seeds of friendships. It adds another important element to forging friendships, which is being exposed to people with shared interests and passions. Think about activities you enjoy or have always wanted to try, and then research where you can connect with others in your area. Some places you can look into are local Meet-ups (meetup.com), gyms, volunteer organizations and continuing education classes.

 

 

Cultivate Self-Compassion

 

Self-Compassion is treating ourselves with the same non-judgmental understanding we extend to those we love most. It’s being our own best friend and acknowledging that we are all connected! This is key to friendship building, since it has been shown to boost feelings of positivity, increase self-worth and perceived life satisfaction. With these elements present we are naturally more joyful, recognize the best in others and engage in healthier more enjoyable relationships.

 

 

Allow for Self-Disclosure

 

Self- disclosure in friendships is the ability to have a meaningful conversation on a topic that goes beyond everyday surface talk. Progressing from acquaintance to friendship is often expressed by allowing people in to the deeper waters of our lives and them responding in the same way. I can remember when I knew Rochelle was someone I could see myself becoming close to. One afternoon she came to pick her daughter up from my house and she said, “I feel like the worst mother in the world and my girls are ass_h___s!” That was it. She had me at the pure courage of being truthful about a topic most moms put up a front with. Not everyone you feel comfortable enough to extend personal truths with, will become lasting friends; but with self-disclosure and reciprocity you are creating the potential for super-sized bonds.

 

 

Embrace Interdependence

 

Healthy interdependent friendships are a gift from the universe. It is when both parties understand the strengths and weaknesses of the other and embrace each other’s humanness. It’s about an equal amount of give and take. It implies being ok expressing vulnerability and relying on someone other than you once in a while. It also implies that both have developed enough self-awareness and emotional stability to not be draining the life out of the other or always taking. If you feel like you’re possibly too self-reliant to have developed this type of friendship, begin by pinpointing the root of this. What fears are holding you back from being more vulnerable? What beliefs or thoughts could you shift to become a better friend and allow potential friends to truly see how wonderful you are?

 

 

Elizabeth Gilbert author or Eat, Pray, Love and a woman that never ceases to inspire me, once wrote To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow- this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”

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