They’re called blind spots for a reason.

One day last week I took Mason to school. I’ll preempt this by saying that we do a lot better when we can start our mornings slow and methodically. Fun fact, someone asked me once why I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I told them it was because I didn’t want to have to wake up to an alarm clock. That’s still true. Anyway, no matter how much I front load this kid- put your snack in your back pack, lay out your clothes, set your alarm, etc etc the night before, he will inevitably forget something the next morning. This time, it was his mask. 

The long and short of it is that I was more than irritated at the lack of responsibility and the number of excuses he was spouting off like a broken faucet. In the midst of my “mom speech” and in response to him telling me that he believes he’s always responsible, I found myself saying “you don’t know your own blind spots.” 

I further explained in 11 year old terms what that meant, dropped him off, said I love you, and went about my day but I couldn’t get that one phrase out of my mind. 

Nobody knows their own blind spots. It’s why I have a coach I’ve invested 4 figures into and why my own client roster is almost full. We are all looking for help to see our blind spots. Where do we need more work? 

What part is holding us back, keeping us from reaching our fullest potential? What part of us as an individual is continually sabotaging our relationships? Everyone has a blind spot or even a few. Some are more toxic and hurtful than others. But without bringing them to light and working through them, we continue to stay stagnant, never moving forward into the best version of ourselves. Isn’t that the point of life, to grow and become the best version of you possible? 

I was working with a client this morning and she was talking about how far she’d come in the last 2 years. It’s so important to reflect on those wins but when I asked her why she started this journey in the first place her answer was shocking. Her ex-husband had made a comment that she needed to “stop acting like such a victim.” This one comment sparked a wildfire in her soul and fueled her personal development so that he, nor anyone else would ever be able to tell her she was a victim again. She’s not. She’s powerful, impactful, and thriving. She is truly an inspriation and living into the absolute best version of herself every day. All because her blind spot was made visible. Granted, the fuel was significantly more blazened by the person who said it but the results have given her more confidence in herself and her abilities. She’s a better mom, a better teacher and a better friend throughout! 

The beauty is in the process. Deep within the hard. It’s undeniably hard to self-reflect and get honest with what needs work. It’s also liberating, rewarding and ego-boosting when you can honestly say you’ve done that work and are making the world, even if it’s just your tiny corner of it, better because of the work you did. 

So what version are you living into right now? How can you bring your own blind spots to light?

XOXO,
Kameran

P.S.- Have you checked out the 3 day relationship bootcamp I offered in my facebook group last week? It opened the doors to my 1:1 relationship course BETTER ME, BETTER US. This course is for anyone who knows they want a better relationship but their partner isn’t as committed to the personal development journey just yet. Check it out here.

Here’s what the world is missing…

Brene Brown is an incredible author that has dedicated most of her adult life to studying shame and vulnerability. I ran across one of her quotes the other day and it’s been playing on repeat in my mind ever since. She writes “in order to empathize with someone’s experience you must be willing to believe them as they see it and not how you imagine their experience to be.” 

Wow. How often do we shame or judge others because they describe their experience differently than what we think they “should”? Calling them dramatic, over the top, a hypocondriac, or something else. The question is, have we ever been in their shoes? Ever worked three jobs to make ends meet? Ever been a single parent? Ever been in the exact same circumstances they’re in? Simply put, the answer is no. No because no two circumstances are the same for every person.

In fact, just reading this email, your experience is going to be different than someone else’s. Last week, the email went out and I had someone unsubscribe. Ok, it happens, I wasn’t meant to help that person. Not but two minutes after getting the unsubscribe notice, I had someone else reach out to me and thank me for writing the message that I did. She needed it at that time and it helped her. Same email. Completely different responses. 

Life is even more complex than reading an email. Yet we shame others or find ourselves being shamed because our circumstances are different than someone else’s perception of what they should be. 

How connected to your neighbors are you? How well do you really know your friends? How well do you really know your spouse? Not who your spouse was when you married them but your spouse now, in this moment?  We are always evolving, changing and growing but we hold onto the way people were ten, twenty, thirty years ago. 

Empathy and compassion are two of the most powerful forces in this world. They are also two that are most lacked and most sought after. Our deep human desire to be seen, heard, known and accepted is lost in the sea of other’s need to check things off the list, get through each day and prepare for the race of the next day. 

This week, I challenge you to reach out to someone you think you know and get to know them on a different level. Ask them about who they are now. What makes them tick? What are they passionate about? What experience have they gone through that you weren’t there for them when they needed you most? Be open to understanding their situation not as you believe it should be but as they experienced it. If you’re married, start there. Often times empathy is the most lacked emotion in our marriages simply because we’ve been with our partner so long that we take them for granted and see them as they used to be rather than how they are. 

The world would be a much better place if we showed the same empathy and compassion for others that we so desperately crave ourselves. 

Enjoy your week and check out the FREE challenge I am running next week in my Facebook Group!! It’s going to be powerful!! 

XOXO,
Kameran

Are you really helping?

The story goes that a man comes in and asks his wife for help on something but before it’s all said and done, the wife completes the whole project for her husband because “it’s just easier that way.” 

In a couple weeks, he asks her for “help” on a similar project as before. She agrees but does the project for him again. This repeats multiple times throughout the course of the year and finally one day she says “Why don’t you learn to do this yourself? Why do I always have to help you with this?” 

The answer is within herself. When he came to her the very first time asking for help, instead of doing the project for him, she could’ve taken the time to teach him how to do it on his own right then and there. Thus, preventing herself from the irritation and time of having to do it for him repeatedly. “It was just easier”…but was it really? In the short term moment, maybe but big picture, was it really easier than taking a few extra minutes to teach him to do it himself?

As this situation unfolded before my very eyes, I heard him tell his wife “you’re more of a do the thing and I’m more of a ask for help on it kind of guy”. 

The problem is not with men and women. I see this issue with people of all ages, genders, stages in life, etc. We are becoming more and more a society of needing things given to us, done for us and asking not for help but to be enabled. Yes, I said it. 

See, helping is doing something for someone who cannot do it for themselves. Enabling is doing something for someone who can do it for themselves…a lot of the time, “because it’s just easier.” 

In that moment where we believe that it’s just easier if we do the project, several things are happening cognitively. First, we believe that it will take a lesser amount of time if we just do it ourselves instead of teaching others to do it. Secondly, we so arrogantly believe on some level that if we do it, at least it will be done right. Third, on that same level, we don’t believe in the ability or intelligence of the person asking for help. Think about that for a second. We are so arrogant to believe that we are better, smarter, more equipped to do the task than our counterpart. I will also add that too much of this starts to become a breeding ground for contempt- one of the most toxic traits to have infiltrate a marriage.

At the same time, let’s say for a minute that the person asking for help truly has the intention of learning in their asking for help. Well, you’ve just taken away their chance to better themselves by agreeing to help but doing it for them. 

Let’s flip that coin now and say that the person asking really doesn’t want help but is asking so it sounds like they do. This is a manipulation tactic to get someone to enable them. It’s entitlement, selfish, lazy and crossing a boundary that says “my time is more valuable than yours so I’m going to care not about the time you’re going to waste in doing something I could do but don’t want to.” 

As a parent, it’s easier for us to do something for our children than to see them fail as they learn. But in that, aren’t we failing as the parent by doing things for our children instead of teaching them to be independent and thrive without us? 

As a spouse, it would be easier to do all the things our partner asks of us but if, in the end, we are continuously harboring negative feelings for our partner because of it, we really only have ourselves to blame for allowing the disrespect and agreeing to enable them. 

As a boss, how are you creating an environment that promotes self-improvement, learning, and being a self-starter but also asking for help when it’s truly needed? 

Where are you helping? Where are you enabling? How can you honor your own boundaries and create better time management for yourself by saying no? In situations where you are asking, do you truly need help to learn or are you asking to be enabled?

XOXO,

Kameran

How much stress can you take?

Do you hit snooze every morning? Is coffee a MUST in order to thrive each day? Are you irritable, snappy with your spouse/kids? You might be burnt out. 

Ever heard of microstressors? A microstressor is something that happens in your day that gives you a small jolt of cortisol. It stresses your body but comes across cognitively as an annoyance, irritation or inconvenience. Examples would be: your alarm clock going off when you’re in the middle of a REM cycle, your spouse asking you to do something for them when you’re already running late, a child telling you at 7 PM they have a science experiment due that night or they need a certain shirt, brownies or something else for the next day, a car pulling out in front of you on the way to work, spilling your coffee, etc. Anything that makes you have to pivot or utter curse words under your breath. 

Your body is only equipped to handle 40 microstressors per day. 40. If you hit snooze each morning, that’s another microstressor for each time your alarm goes off. That being said, think of how many times you experience a microstressor each day. Is it more than 40? Anything more than 40 causes your body to release extra cortisol (public enemy number 1) into your system causing belly fat, exhaustion in emotional, physical and mental form, and a taxation on your adrenal glands. Tired, cranky and out of energy and patience all the time? Now you know why. All of these extra microstressors lead to burn out and chronic stress. Chronic stress then leads to chronic health problems. 

So how do you overcome them? 

1. Get 7-9 hours of sleep. The recommended amount is 6-8 but 7-9 are needed to thrive, not just function. Turn off electronics at least 1 hour before bed. Get a diffuser or sound machine. STOP hitting SNOOZE!
2. Meet your other physiological needs- food, air, water, homeostasis. If those needs aren’t filled, you can’t concentrate on anything. Kids are the same way by the way. My 10 year old didn’t go to sleep until late last night and this morning, I think I heard at least 10 times in 2 hours how tired he was while he was trying to concentrate on school work. Kids need between 11-13 hours of sleep every night to thrive too. Ever tried to have a serious conversation when you’re hungry? Doesn’t work so well, does it? 
3. Eat healthy, enough and often. When your brain is depleted from nutrients, you can’t concentrate and everything is more intense. 
4. Exercise but if you’re exhausted, don’t try to do a HIIT or something strenuous. Do yoga or go for a nature walk. 
5. Socialize with friends. 2 hours a week with friends can increase happiness by 40%! Encourage your spouse to go on that guys/girls weekend! They’ll come back refreshed and be a better spouse/parent. 
6. Progress over perfection. There’s a difference in being a perfectionist and just living in fear and “perfect” doesn’t actually exist anyway! 
7. Deep breaths. Search cosmic yoga for a fun resource for your kids to calm down. For you, 5 deep breaths every 3 hours, indulging in a hobby, journaling, meditation. All of these are fantastic! 
8. Time management. Prioritize, let go of the small stuff (does it really matter if your spouse didn’t fold the towels right? They fit in the cupboard, they’re folded and you didn’t have to do it. Let it go), delegate, partner up, share the resources you have, stop trying to reinvent the wheel…see number 6 on the perfectionist thing. 
9. When you or your child are having a meltdown, ask “what need isn’t being met here”? What do you need?
10. Set expectations clearly, early and often. Talk to your kids about your expectations for the day during breakfast. Talk to your spouse about your expectations for budgeting at the beginning of the month, for the job you’re requesting they do before they start it, etc. 

If you need more information on microstressors or expectations, I’ve done a video on both in the facebook group. Feel free to join and check them out! I do free coaching in that group 2-3x a week every week! 
Otherwise, I hope this has helped and I wish you a weekend filled with less stress! 

XOXO,

Kameran

How Clear Is Your Communication?

Every person has a fight style and a communication style. 

But what happens when the two combine? When you’re upset with your partner, how do you communicate? 

In many of the couples I work with, when an argument ensues, one of the parties will brush their wants and needs under the rug. Your partner comes in and asks “What’s wrong?” You answer with a harsh “nothing.” Your words (7% of your communication) say nothing. But your tone and body language (93% of your communication) say “something BIG”. 

Understand a few things here. 
1. Your partner is not you, they do not think, feel, communicate or operate the way you do.
2. Your partner is not a mind reader. Without clear, concise communication, your partner will not understand what you want them to. 
3. Your feelings, thoughts, irritations, triggers, etc are your responsibility. Communication is imperative to living a happy, fulfilled life with your partner. 

So let’s go back to our scenario. If you are upset with your partner, it’s your responsibility to let them know why you’re upset. If you are communicating “nothing” then their reaction is going to reflect that nothing is wrong and this is something you are working through on your own. The problem becomes deeper and a solution is never found. Additionally, this is a toxic behavior that is started when we begin dating as teenagers and we take this behavior with us through each relationship until we eventually recognize it for what it is and let it go for a more mature response. On a deeper level, we are hoping that our partner recognizes their own wrongdoing without us having to communicate it but that only leads to more disappointment when that hope is lost. 

So what’s the most effective way to communicate? 

Most wrongdoings between partners are simply because of mindlessness, not malice. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt (antidote) instead of assuming the worst (poison). 

Communicate a clear message that covers both the surface and the deeper levels. “I am upset because you said you would…. and you didn’t. I feel that you didn’t keep your word and I am disappointed because that lessened the character I believe you to have and left me feeling abandoned.” 

Sounds like a bunch of psychobabble BS, right? Ok follow me here. A simple 2-3 sentence message like this is powerful to the nth degree. Here’s why. 

  • I statements (I am..I feel…) take responsibility for your feelings and avoid blame, shame or guilt of the other party. It keeps the gate of communication open instead of saying “You didn’t keep your word” which then triggers defensiveness. 
  • You’re not sweeping your feelings under the rug. You’re validating yourself, your feelings and your equal partnership in this relationship. 
  • You’re hitting the underlying problem (abandonment and lessened character) which could be a repeated problem in your relationship. 
  • Simply stating facts avoids whining (defensiveness) or using contempt (communicating that you’re superior to your partner).
  • Saying “I’m upset that you said you would (a behavior), lessened the character I believe you to have (behavior), you’re complaining about the behavior, not criticizing the overall character of your partner. This avoids later problems and is more easily accepted than criticism. 
  • By shortening the message, it’s easier for your partner to hear, understand and stay focused than having a long, drawn out explanation. This hits high points, details and communicates needs. Everyone wins. 
  • A statement like this is less likely to escalate the conversation which avoids more hurt and promotes a healing, solution oriented environment instead. 

This message leaves an opening for your partner to now reply with a calmer, more productive feedback of “I’m sorry for leaving you abandoned and not keeping my word. In the future, I will…” 

I understand that toxic patterns of behavior are difficult to break but in an ideal relationship, communication and arguments are handled calmly, rationally and a lot less heated. If you’re trying to uplevel your relationship, this is the framework you’re ultimately working toward. It eliminates the 4 deadly horsemen of the apocalypse as well as gas-lighting which are all high indicators of divorce. 

I can tell you from experience in changing this exact behavior in myself, the latter, more effective communication technique produces much more satisfying results in the short and the long run.

I hope this helps your relationships and helps everyone move forward in a healthier manner.