Five years ago, I made a pledge to work on my self-confidence and do it out loud so I could share insights and wins (and losses) with my #GirlsClub crew.
After monthly entries of Rise Up on Records where I share my Fears Failures, and F@#$ups, I can see an enormous difference (watch mine and more with #GirlsClub On Demand! They’ll set you free!)
It feels lately like I’ve reached the top of the mountain, and the view of my life “high on confidence” is pretty freaking different than any view I’ve had before. It feels amazing up here!
When I look backward, what stands out most is the noise. Constant worry, doubt, fear, images of catastrophes, and anger at those who got more than me. Yeah, anger. I’m better than he is, how’d HE get that title? There was seldom clarity nor vision. It was like my head was down and my eyes were at half-mast and there was constant static making me unaware of 50% of what was happening around me.
Ever watch a toddler interact with their space? They see the ball they want to pick up and not the four people they walked in front of, the sharp edge they narrowly missed, nor their friend standing next to the ball? Head down, low awareness, singular focused. A bit clueless. Exactly!
That singular focus was mostly always about proving myself. Nobody seemed to see my value and I was going to work harder and be better and earn that number one spot. Be clear, that spot is elusive because it was me who needed it proven. I was externally focused instead of internally, and when we’re trying to please others, we’ll never earn it. It’s a little ridiculous.
So now I stand above the fog. I see more around me. I see further out ahead. I notice people and interact with more kindness. I’ve slowed down and I talk more to strangers, I help other people and find more joy in the moment
(you know, all that crap your yoga teacher says and is hard to believe if you’re not lying on your mat listening to Zen music right after a good session.)
Yeah, it’s real. And it’s freaking awesome. So how do you clear the noise?
- Figure out what you’re avoiding. It is probably a fear, a failure, even a past trauma. These are big boulders that block positivity and insight and even cause physical damage. I’ve done some intense EMDR trauma therapy lately and cleared stuff I’d been avoiding. My health has improved dramatically. It turned down my overall stress level by about 40%. It gives me more room to handle more, slow down, enjoy the moment and worry less. The work is hard but worth it. Maybe it’s time for you too. Use those medical benefits and do 6 sessions before the end of year. It’s worth it.
- Really figure out what you want out of next year. Get beyond the title and the cash (sure, do those too but don’t stop). How do you want to feel? What hobbies do you want to resurrect? What quality interactions do you want with your kids or siblings or besties? Set an intention of how you want to feel each Friday night after your work week and really visualize yourself in your best life. Sometimes we’re so busy trying to prove and climb, we haven’t stopped to define what happiness looks like. Where’s your win? My journals from a decade ago have “Peace” written all over them. I didn’t know what it felt like, but knew I didn’t have it. I’m here now. It’s glorious. It starts by defining it. Your win may have NOTHING to do with the title and the cash. Start with the happy feeling and work outward.
- Break up. We are the sum of the five people we hang out with most. Sometimes we keep these toxic people because we’re supposed to – they’re family or long-time friends or whatever. But what if they were put in your path so you could get over them and evolve past them? I made big strides when I let these people go, and drew better boundaries around my own time and heart. We don’t have to believe they’re bad – just not good for us. You know who I’m talking about. Picture their face right now and then let them go like a balloon. Then say no to the next few offers, and stop inviting them. No, you don’t have to do the conversation. In my experience, they absolutely won’t get it. Make other plans with more positive people you’d like to be with more often. The people who got you here are not the same ones who will get you there.
- Ask for help. This is a new one for me. My level of independence is so high it’s actually unhealthy. I don’t ever ask for it and I’m also awful at accepting it (unless I’m laid out sick). I’m first in line to help others, but never have felt comfortable being the vulnerable one because it’s risking the let-down. Yes, I have a history of people not showing up for me, and it’s hard to sign up again. Last night I surprised myself with how easy it had become for me. I need help picking up my kids today from school as my hubby is having ACL surgery. Now that I’ve cleared the fog and feel more worthy, it was a delight to ask! I’ve learned (soooo the hard way) that people in my life – the right people – want to help me, and I do them a disservice if I don’t let them. If you’re always the giver and never the receiver, try this on for size. Without apology or a 3x favor return, ask for a favor once a week through the end of the year. It feels amazing!
- Double your fun. Some people call this dating themselves. Gift yourself the 20-minute break, the trinket, the coffee date, a spa service. Whatever you do for yourself now, what would happen if you doubled it through the end of year? Truth: for me, this means going all the way up to twice a week (it’s a start!). My gifts are alone time at home, sitting and watching TV, a yoga class, a massage, a drink with a girlfriend instead of going with the family to my mother-in-law’s. You’re welcome me! It’s not hard to give a working mom a break, but it’s damn hard to prioritize it. Now my goal is to double it. To do this, I’ll make a plan every Friday before I log off. I’ll look at the next week and find two spaces for me time. (Boom, there’s my resolution!)
I hope one of these speaks to you. I’ve tried each of these with some success this year. The journey never ends and I’ll never get it “right” but it’s a hell of a lot more fun.
If you’ve read this far and decided on an action, please do me the favor of adding me to your holiday card list. Tell me what action you’re taking. There’s nothing I love more than hearing from #GirlsClubbers!