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If you’ve been on the Internet at all the past few years, you’ve surely seen a rise in personal empowerment. Which makes someone like me ecstatic, because I love that more and more people are working on themselves, not to mention this is how I make my living.
However, like many trends out there, I see an unintended downside. Here’s what it looks like:
People start reading self-help, attend a workshop, or hire a 1:1 coach to help them live their best life. And they walk into these endeavors with the end goal that sounds like this:
“I want to wake up every morning, jump out of bed and love the shit out of my life. I won’t let anything or anyone get me down. Good vibes only!” #blessed
When I see leaders in the industry making these promises for people, I cringe. Surely people understand this isn’t an everyday thing, right?
Also, because of the way the Internet works, it’s easy as pie to make up a story about the people we follow online. And I’m well aware that people do this when they see me online. They see the shiny website and think I walk around every day in leather pants with hair that makes me look like a Kardashian.
And the truth is– life is messy and hard for all of us. And to call out the elephant in the room, I absolutely own the fact that I have privilege. Many of us do. But, my point is this:
The goal in life isn’t about having every single day be a great one. It’s not about only thinking positive thoughts or even immersing yourself in gratitude so much that nothing else phases you. And it certainly isn’t about being fearless.
If I had one wish for people, it would be that they’re kind and compassionate to themselves. I know it sounds woo-woo and hokey, but it’s the truth. Because the reality is that you’re going to fall into those moments of beating yourself up. You’re going to have thoughts of comparison and worry, and you’re going to fall into those behaviors of perfectionism, people pleasing, and hiding out when you’re afraid. So instead of staying there, my wish for you is to see it, recognize it, be kind to yourself about it, and move forward.
I’m no stranger to honesty with you all and if you’ve followed me for any length of time you know I’m open about my own struggles. I can say with confidence and gratitude that my life is amazing. Most of it is this way because I’ve worked my ass off on myself, learning to be kind to myself, learning to forgive myself and others, accepting myself for who I am even though I spent a huge part of my life apologizing for the very human I was. When stuff comes up in my life– like old feelings and emotions resurfacing, or figuring out a disempowering belief about myself– now I get excited to work on it. It’s still hard and uncomfortable, but I look at it as a gift I’ve been giving to move forward.
I use the tools every day I know that help me be happier and more confident. I believe in personal growth. I absolutely believe it’s the key to happiness. And I believe this because when life happens to us, we’re better equipped to deal with it.
Life still hands me shit sandwiches sometimes. About ten years ago I got handed like a dozen shit sandwiches at once. And back then I wasn’t equipped to deal with it. I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions, I off-loaded feelings like anger and resentment onto others, and I was constantly running from shame by engaging in perfectionism and control.
Now, I don’t do those things as much anymore. Notice I didn’t say, “I don’t do that at all anymore.” Because again, we’re all imperfect people living imperfect lives. It’s about using the tools we’re given when we get handed those shit sandwiches.
So, please…don’t have your goal be “no bad days”, or think your life will be like those women who run through fields of daisies on a perfect spring day. Life can be really, really good, and when it’s not, use your tools to move through it.
My free e-book, 21 Tips and Tools for a Kick-Ass Life: No Bullshit Included is going away forever because we have a new website coming! If you don’t have it, click here to download it.