Most of us have some kind of hobby or leisure activity in our lives that we absolutely love.
Music, knitting, scrapbooking, sewing, horseback riding, photography, painting, travel, dance, reading and the like. Some of us have pursued careers related to hobbies. Some of us haven’t yet…but are thinking about how to find time to do more of what we love…perhaps something to consider as part of our midlife adventure.
And then there’s another group of us.
This group has something they love to do, but they don’t allow themselves to fully enjoy it.
Is this you? Actually, you may not even know how much you let your negative, critical thoughts ruin the time you spend on your hobby or passion. I’m calling this “love squelching” because you’re definitely silencing and suppressing your enjoyment of what you love.
Let me explain.
I had two conversations recently where “love squelching” was going on.
Very different passions. One thing in common. Both of these amazing women were not allowing themselves to fully enjoy things that they loved.
The first instance of “love squelching” was about music. This gal absolutely loved music and had played both as a hobby and professionally in the past, but hadn’t really played in a couple of years now, to the point where all she could think was, “I suck; I don’t even know where to begin.” And every time she saw her instrument, she felt bad – guilty about not playing and sad because she knew she loved to play, and wasn’t.
The second example of “love squelching” was about sewing. This gal loved sewing. She posted something beautiful that she had made on Facebook. I commented about how great it was and her reply was that she wasn’t really that good at it because she didn’t have formal training.
Can you see it? Negative thinking about something they love.
Repeated mistreatment of their passions.
Squishing the enjoyment right out of what the have done all their lives with excitement.
The bottom line is that thoughts create feelings.
When you think these types of negative thoughts like “I suck at it” or “I’m not formally trained so I’m not that great,” you don’t feel excited, happy or content – even though you love doing the thing you love.
In fact, you are more likely to feel bad…like you’re just not good enough. When you don’t feel good enough, you’re not likely to sit down and do what you love. And the result is likely to be that you haven’t made time to do what you love. You will prove your thought that you suck at it or aren’t good enough.
These two examples show you how easy it is for the negative thoughts to sneak in to your thinking.
Even about things we love. And thoughts are so powerful. They create your feelings. They create the outcomes in your life.
These women were not letting themselves love what they loved.
What can you do to allow yourself to love what you love?
Start by pausing to notice your thoughts and how they make you feel. Tweak your thoughts so that you feel the way you want to feel!
Imagine the difference when you practice thinking something like “I love playing” or “Sewing makes me happy.” The immediate feelings are things like anticipation and feeling good. When you feel good, you’re more likely to enjoy what you’re doing. You’re more like to actually do what you love. This result is a completely different outcome.
How about you? Do you let yourself love what you love? Or is there “love squelching” going on in your thinking too?
This is the type of thing that we talk about in my life coaching practice, where a common focus is teaching women how to live the life they want to live, so they don’t have regrets. There is typically a lot of love squelching we have to get through.
Remember, the first step is being aware of your thinking. Gotta be fierce to bust through this stuff, lol. But it’s sooooooooo worth it. Living more intentionally is what it’s all about!
Check out my freebie to learn more about how you can bust through your midlife funk, find out what’s missing and live the life you’re dreaming about.
I can’t teach you how to sew or be a better musician, but…I can totally help you get better at loving what you love.