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Ep #42: The Next Right Thing

Something I hear so often from the folks I coach is that they wake up looking at their huge to-do list for the day and they start worrying about which thing to tackle first, or if it’s even the right thing to do. If you can relate to these feelings of overwhelm and anxiety and want a solution, this episode is for you, my darling.

As we’ve been discussing the topic of failure in the last few weeks, today I want to talk about how to embrace failure and just do the next right thing. It can be so difficult to get out of the spin we throw ourselves into when we think about our big-picture goals, but asking yourself what the next right thing to do is can bring you so much relief and growth towards your goal.

Join me on the show this week as I show you how to set yourself up to do the next right thing, and remind you how failing on purpose is a vital skill to cultivate. This process is one of the deepest forms of self-care and healing we can do, so I hope you try it out.

To find out what I’ve got going on in 2020, including a six-month thought work and breathwork course, as well as amazing freebies I’ve got waiting for you, sign up to my email list! 

What You’ll Learn:

  • How my just-in-case thinking has kept me in scarcity and fear.
  • One question that has guided me throughout my career and to this day.
  • Why I choose to focus on the day-to-day and set aside a specific time to look at the big picture.
  • How to set yourself up to do the next right thing.
  • The key to staying the course towards your dreams.
  • Three reminders about failure that will keep you going towards your goals.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

 

 

In order to make your wildest dreams come true, you get to learn how to face your fears, understand that failure is perfect, natural, normal, and a thing to get really good at doing and feeling. This has been the topic for the last few weeks, and today, we’re talking about the concept of doing the next right thing.

Turning that to-do list into action by embracing fear and failure and doing what’s next for your own health, wellness, and joy. This is hard work and you can do hard things, my love. I know you can. Today, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of it all so stay tuned. Here we go.

You’re listening to Feminist Wellness, the only podcast that combines functional medicine, life coaching, and feminism to teach smart women how to reclaim their power and restore their health! Here’s your host, Nurse Practitioner, Functional Medicine Expert, Herbalist and Life Coach, Victoria Albina.

Hello, hello, my love. I hope this finds you doing so well. I’ve been doing a deep dive fall closet clean out, and oh my goodness, it feels so good. The crux of my work is to help folks just like you to declutter your mind and to live with intention.

To identify the stories, the thoughts that are keeping you stagnant, stuck, rolling around in indecision, fear, anxiety, stress, and to help you see the feelings, actions, or inactions, and results that come from those thoughts. So, I’ve been applying the same process to my home and I’ve been getting rid of like, the papelitos, the little things, the cositas, the chachkies.

Books I don’t look at and haven’t looked at in years, and the thousands of things that I’ve kept around, based on this immigrant story I heard growing up, that you need to have backups of a thousand different things, “in case the dictator comes,” which is an actual thought story that permeated my childhood once we moved to the US.

And I’m not sure if my mom actually said that, or if my kid brain made it up as a thing she said. I suppose I could just call her. But anyway, it got into my brain. And while I am by no means a hoarder, I did find four pairs of scissors while cleaning up. Three hammers. You guys, I live in a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. I don’t need three hammers.

And whether the dictator is coming or not, I don’t need socks with holes in them or a thousand bags of a kind of tea I don’t even like or drink, just in case. And I’m really stepping into an even deeper awareness of how that kind of just-in-case thinking keeps me in scarcity, in lack, in fear, keeps me toeing the line that capitalism has taught to me, to feel and fear that I am not enough, that I’ll never have enough.

So yeah, hoard the socks and the tea and the pens. How do I have so many pens? Stockpile, prepare, but not like in the loving, abundant, open-armed prepare and get ready, but in the worry way of it, which is not living in abundance, which is not where I want to be on the physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional planes.

So I’m clearing it out. I’m donating what’s worth donating, recycling, throwing, composting what isn’t, and I’m embracing abundance in a more minimalist lifestyle. In my small little perfect, but small Brooklyn apartment, in my mind, and in my energetic realm. Clearing out other people’s stories and beliefs about me, other people’s BS and fear, other people’s judgment.

I’m clearing it all out through thought work and breathwork, and damn, does it feel so good. I’ll be doing some shows on these topics about minimalism, about breathwork, on clearing your energetic field, and I want to make sure that you hear about it.

So do two things. One, subscribe to the show. That way, they all just using the magical power of the interwebs, just download to your phone every Thursday. And make sure you’re on my email list. I send good email and I’ve got some free goodies coming up pretty soon for the holiday season and I’d really love for you to win one and so I can send it to you and you can be excited. That’s really cool.

Well, I can’t control how you feel when you get a freebie from me. Maybe you’ll hate it. I don’t know. I just got to release that. Meanwhile, we’ve been talking for some weeks now about self-love and self-care through the lens of self-love and the think-feel-act cycle, which is the key to learning to manage your perfect mind so you can live the life of your wildest dreams. An intentional, conscious life.

Whatever your dreams or your goals are, they won’t come true until you take action to make them come true. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. That’s just physics. And one of the guiding questions that has been so useful to me each and every day on my path to becoming a healthcare provider, to setting up my shop, doing functional medicine, to closing the clinic and showing up here to do real root cause functional medicine work with you through life coaching and managing our minds is to ask, what is the next right thing for me to do?

I hear this so often from the folks I coach. That they wake up in the morning and find themselves staring down the barrel of a whole day, a full 24 hours, not knowing what to do next. With this huge massive to-do list sitting next to them but still worrying about whether they’ll choose the right thing to do, whether they’ll do it perfectly, they worry about getting it right, like that’s even a thing.

And all of that can lead your brain into a ton of overwhelm stories and anxiety and thus a belly ache and adrenal exhaustion. And all that spinning will never lead to the outcomes you want. It just keeps you stuck in those spinning emotions, stuck feeling sick and tired. Mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted.

And I get it. Your brain may want to have it all planned out, to know the exact next 473 things you need to do to launch your program, to start your business, to accomplish your goals. Your brain wants to know how it’s going to turn out so you can plan for a future you don’t even know about yet.

And while it’s wise to pause, plot it out, look at the big picture, it’s also so easy to get lost in the macro, the big picture, and to lose sight of the micro, the day-to-day. You can’t have a successful podcast with millions of downloads until you get a microphone. It’s unlikely you’ll finish that PhD if you don’t apply to the program first. Make sense?

So instead of spinning in the big picture each and every day and putting the weight of all of that, what will my life be, what is my purpose on this earth, why am I here, on your little back any given Wednesday, instead, having done that for years and having gotten nowhere with it, I’ve chosen to set aside a specific time each week to work on my business. On my life. To look at the big picture, to ask those big picture questions.

And on the daily, I let that go and I focus on the tasks in front of me that will add up to my goal. I ask myself what the next right thing to do is and I simply move forward. Day by day, minute by minute towards my dreams.

Because I value my mental and physical health, I value my limited time on this planet and I want to be of service to the world and myself every chance I can, versus wasting time spinning in the useless question of what is the most perfect thing to do next. That story gets you and me nowhere every time.

So how do we take thoughtful, courageous action in the service of our own goals? How do you set yourself up to do the next right thing? Well, I’ve talked about the three As before and you know I’ll do it again. Awareness, acceptance, and then action. Awareness, acceptance, action.

And I want to encourage you to go back and listen to the 4000 other episodes where I go into a lot of detail about this process if you want a refresher on awareness, acceptance, and action. It really is key and if we jump right to action without looking at our thoughts and our feels, you know baby, that’s not sustainable long-lasting change. That’s that quick fix business and we don’t do that in this family.

So awareness, acceptance, action is the start of taking courageous action, which means doing those three steps, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, and taking consistent, dedicated action until you meet your goal. Until you get what you want for your one perfect life this time around.

Sometimes those actions are small, like waking up and not grabbing the Instagram, not grabbing Facebook, but going to the gym. And then coming home, taking a shower, feeding yourself, and turning off notifications on your phone and your computer when you’re trying to do a writing project.

And sometimes, those actions, those courageous actions can feel enormous, like going to school, moving cross country. That’s the crux of it. Doing it and doing it, and you know I’m going to, and doing it well until you have your dream result realized.

This process is part manifestation, part thought work, part sweating it out and just doing what you told yourself you’d do because that’s what we do. We make promises to ourselves and we keep them. And key to this process of courageous action is learning to not give up, to stay with it, to not label failure as some terrible thing, especially when it feels scary or hard because you are dedicated to your result, your outcome, your dream.

You’ve dedicated yourself to going all in on your goal and not leaving your brain that cozy little out that most of us hold on to. The stories like, well, if this fails, there’s always plan B. I can always move in with my sister. I can always get a different job. I can always give up on this dream. I guess I’ll just be single and die cold and alone on a mountaintop because I’m not getting any dates on that one app.

Okay. And I hear these kind of stories a lot. In that line of thinking, that’s a dream killer from the get go. I want to invite you to let those stories go, which doesn’t mean you’re not putting money in savings and you’re not building that contingency as like, a thing that exists, but what I’m saying is to not walk around being half in on your dreams and half out.

Because it doesn’t serve you to let your brain have such an easy escape. Because when the going gets rough, and it will, it will, being an entrepreneur, being a grad student, being married, being in partnership, being a therapist, being a construction worker, life is challenging.

And if you’re only half in, you’re half out. And when the going gets rough and there’s things that you need to do to show up for your dreams, will half-in you do it? Half-in me never did. That’s why it took me a decade to start this podcast. I wasn’t all in.

Once I got all in, once I did the thought work and the breathwork and got in touch with the fear that was keeping me from taking action, I was able to let those stories go. I bought the microphone. I show up for you and for me each and every week.

And key to staying the course are courage and persistence, and reminding your brain that you really just need to do the next right thing. Just one more little thing. Write the email. Don’t fret about it. Send them email. Don’t worry if it’s perfect. Put in the effort. Do the thing, and release it.

It’s perfect because it’s done. And doing the next right thing and the next one and the next one is taking courageous action on behalf of your life and that is magnificent. I am where I am because I took courageous action for my own life. It took lots of small steps and lots of big ones. It took work for sure, and it felt hard and challenging and exhausting and so much along the way. Absolutely.

And sitting here talking to you, I’m so glad. I’m so glad I put the time in. And I know that you, you can fulfill your commitments to yourself too. And you can grow your own trust that you don’t BS you. I know that you can. I have that faith in you, my perfect love.

If I can do it, you can do it for sure. And trust, it feels amazing. Nothing in my life has been as healing as learning to do the next right thing from that place of profound self-love and being all in on my life. You get to choose a thought that helps you take the action you want to take. To feel into it and to get it done, whatever it is here for you.

What’s the next right thing to do here? Such a simple question, right? It helps let go of the stress, the drama. It’s just the next right thing. I am looking in this moment in my sweet little office as I’m hearing the rain in Brooklyn. I’m staring at this big beautiful piece of paper.

I grabbed a couple Sharpies and I wrote, “Do the next right thing, Vic. I know you can.” I put it up in my workspace so I look at it all day long. And I want to encourage you to do that too. To write that reminder on a Post-It, write it on your phone, post it in your workspace, your cubicle, wherever you’ll see it.

Take a picture, post it, tag me on the Instagram or the Facebook so I can cheer you on and so you can inspire others to learn to do the next right thing and to not get mired in thinking that each and every day is the day that you have to figure it all out. Collective healing is the key to collective liberation, right? So let’s show up for each other.

Let’s create the community we all want and need and let’s support each other along the way. So before I tell you about your homework because you knew there was homework coming, let’s remember. One, failure is a vital part of growth. If you don’t try and fail, how would you know what success looks like? Don’t fear failure, my darling. Embrace it.

Failing on purpose is a vital skill to cultivate. If you’re new to the show and you’re like, wait, what? I want to encourage you to go back and start with episode 34, which is about self-care, then we do thoughts, feelings, action, and two beautiful shows all about failure. You’ll wind your way back to this one, I promise.

Number two, every effort counts. Multiple efforts are generally required to get something done, and that’s nothing to get frustrated about. Fail, fail better, fail again, and love yourself wildly throughout the process.

Three, many of those multiple efforts will feel like failure. They don’t magically get you to your goal, and that’s okay. You get to learn something from everything you try and you can apply that learning to doing the next right thing thoughtfully, with self-love, and applying all of your smarts and best skills to it.

We don’t learn how to do the thing we want and need to do by endlessly reading about it, asking everyone about it. Just studying it. We learn by doing it. By trying, and yeah, likely failing, but it really is the only way through.

So here’s your homework, which does make a rather tidy acronym at the end, so wait for it. We start with, you guessed it, managing your mind, as we always talk about. Using awareness, acceptance, and action as our protocol. Next, set a goal. It can be big or small or somewhere in between.

I’ll launch a podcast, I’ll build a house with my bare hands, I’ll notice when I’m being judgmental or passive aggressive or having codependent thinking. I’ll notice when my own thoughts and feelings are keeping me spinning, versus just taking action and getting the next right thing done. Or I’ll be the first person to build a rocket ship in my living room and fly to Jupiter.

Yeah, that one was silly. Next, make a plan and break that plan into teeny tiny steps, which I’ll do an episode for you about that. Tiny steps. They’re vital and I have a lot to say about them. Next is act. Just do it, my darling. Just do the thing. The next right thing on the plan.

Evaluate. And this step is vital. Ask yourself if that next right step you took led to the outcome you wanted or not. If it failed, then ask yourself how you can do it differently. Or if it worked, ask yourself how you can build on it and let it inspire you and support you as you do the next right thing.

Next is adjust. So try something new or if you’re moving forward on your goal, if things are working, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. Next right thing, next right thing, next right thing. And continue to take action. Be the actor in your own life, my beauty. Not just a passive rider on the train from birth to death. Take action again and again and again and again until you get to where you’re going to.

So luckily, as promised, this all fits well into the acronym, MSMAFEAA, which is a great acronym. Okay, so I’m totally going to make t-shirts with that one on it. Do you have any idea how much I crack myself up with this kind of cheesy business?

God, I remember in high school I was so embarrassed by how cheesy I am and the jokes I would make and the things I would find funny and how often I was snorting at jokes. My thoughts about it caused me a lot of shame and embarrassment, and now I’m like, I am cheesy. Wearing it like a badge of honor.

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, I often post science jokes in my stories. The other day I posted one, it was two monkeys. They were chimpanzees actually, and one says to the other, “What rhymes with orange?” And the other one says, “No it doesn’t.”

Wow okay, that’s my brain if you were wondering about the brain of the mammal that talks to you every Thursday. It is ridiculous. Okay, back on track Vic. So that’s it, my loves. You’ve got it. Fail, fail better, fail again. Make more dad jokes and ask yourself, what’s the next right thing to do here? What’s the next right step?

The only thing I have to do in this moment is the next step. I don’t have to think about the entirety of my life, the entirety of the universe, the entirety of this project. I can just do the next little thing. To launch my business, to get that raise, to make concrete lasting change in my life, to find a partner, to achieve my dreams.

So apply these principles to those wildest dreams and release those failures, bad stories, and release the pressure of thinking you have to do things perfectly because what even is perfection? Let’s be real. Perfection stories, it’s just fear. That’s always what’s under it. Fear wearing a different sweater, but it’s just fear.

And it’s okay to feel fear. I feel it all the time. The key is to embrace it, to love it, to appreciate and honor it, and to take a risk, to fail, to evaluate, to do the next right thing. This process is one of the deepest forms of self-care I’ve ever heard of and this is how we heal.

As always, I’d be so delighted if you followed me on the social medias, @victoriaalbinawellness, if you kept in touch by getting on my email list, and I have a ton of really good free goodies. So there is a body scan meditation, there’s an elderberry syrup recipe, tips for staying healthy while you travel, couple other meditations.

I give good freebies so head on over to my website. I’m in the process of making a page that has all the freebies, so that’ll be dope. But check it out. I love giving you free stuff. I’m also going to be doing an Ask Victoria Anything show soon, so it’s going to be like a question and answer format.

So if you have questions for me that you’d like me to answer on the show, email them over to info@victoriaalbina.com so I can answer those questions right here on the podcast so soon. How fun? That’s going to be a blast. I’m really excited about that.

Okay my darling, thank you for tuning in. As always, it is such a pleasure to get to share my thoughts, my rambles, my wisdom, and my dad jokes with you. Deep breath in and out. Center yourself. Maybe put a hand over your heart. Remember my love, you are safe, you are held, you are loved. And when one of us heals, we help heal the world. See you next week. Be well, my darling.

Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Feminist Wellness. If you like what you’ve heard, head to VictoriaAlbina.com to learn more.

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VictoriaAlbina

Victoria Albina

Victoria Albina, NP, MPH is a licensed and board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, herbalist and life coach, with 20 years experience in health and wellness. She trained at the University of California, San Francisco, and holds a Masters in Public Health from Boston University and a bachelors from Oberlin College. She comes to this work having been a patient herself, and having healed from a lifetime of IBS, GERD, SIBO, fatigue, depression and anxiety.

She is passionate about her work, and loves supporting patients in a truly holistic way - body, mind, heart and spirit. A native of Mar del Plata, Argentina, she grew up in the great state of Rhode Island, and lives in NYC with her partner. A brown dog named Frankie Bacon has her heart, and she lives for steak and a good dark chocolate.

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