What Freedom Looks Like

I’m a big fan of this guy named Don Dalrymple. He’s my business coach and he’s also a pretty rad friend for several years now. I’m lucky that we’ve been involved in each other’s lives pretty tightly over the past year or so. He’s brought me a ton of opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise stumbled upon because he’s good at that kind of thing – pulling all sorts of pieces together from all directions to form a productive and successful business. That’s his jam.

The core of what Don aligns you with when you work with him is freedom. It’s an interesting concept to dance around because freedom is really super personal. I can’t tell you what your idea of freedom looks like and you can’t tell me – it has to be a concept we put into action ourselves or it’s basically meaningless.

I resonate with Freedom being personal in a big way because gurus are all somewhat full of shit when they tell you freedom is an exact science. You can read the 4 Hour Workweek or any of those types of books and memorize them cover to cover, but those books are someone else’s idea of freedom. If you can’t define what your own freedom looks like on your terms, you’re not really putting the concepts up against real-world situations in your own life.

Take for instance, drama. We all have it. Some of us are addicted to it (there’s a Donism right there). If you start really thinking about why people are in your life, you’ll start to see some patterns. Some people aren’t doing you any good. How many of us keep a friend or a family member around who makes them feel like crap, because they feel like they have to in order to be a decent person?

I’ve said this before, but for me, Freedom is disengaging myself from the anxiety that I constantly struggle with. I’m not exactly writing the book on how to do this yet, but some changes have made an impact.

Cutting Down On Caffeine and Refined Sugar. It doesn’t have to look like completely throwing these things out the window, but trust me, these things are stimulants and you can tell the difference when you’re not main lining them on a daily basis. Not that I was or anything…. 🙂

Deconstructing Harmful Thoughts. Thoughts can be our worst enemies. You’ll know this if you’ve rooted yourself into the anxiety feedback loop. It’s easy to do – you start attempting to intellectualize something that worries you so that you can make yourself feel better about it. Before you know it, you’re circulating in your own personal hell, catastrophizing and playing out scenarios that probably have little chance of happening.

The first step to deconstructing these thoughts is to realize you’re having them. I’ve been visualizing these thoughts as me driving a car, then slamming on the brakes, stopping them in their tracks. I give myself 10-20 seconds to trace the thought back to a source, then to apply reason to understand why the thought shouldn’t be so consuming. Then, I immediately think of something else to distract myself – singing, etc.

Self-Care. When you work like I do – which is all the time – it’s not always easy to do. But you have to. You must prioritize. Whether it’s taking a walk, a hot bath or taking a day off, there has to be some level of self-care involved in your cycles or you’re going to experience burnout. We’ve all been there and it’s not fun.

I’m really interested in knowing what Freedom looks like for you. I’m not done writing on this by a long shot, but it’s good to get some of these concepts out there. How are you doing this week?

Amber Turrill

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