20 Nuggets From My Brain to Yours

  1. Belief is one of the most powerful skills we’re NOT taught to harness. 
  2. So many of us actually have no idea how to feel, process, and cope with our emotions. 
  3. All the bullshit your brain tells you really is optional.
  4. You can be right, or you can be happy.
  5. More does not always equal happy.
  6. Sometimes letting go get’s you where you want to be way faster than holding on. 
  7. Owning your shit means no one else can use it against you. 
  8. Fear is never a good reason not to do something. 
  9. There is no shortcut around vulnerability.
  10. You can’t ask someone to do something you’re unwilling to do yourself.
  11. Where ever you go, there you are (props to Machelle Galloway for this fave).
  12. Love is always the best option.
  13. Sometimes love looks like, “no.”
  14. All of the reasons you’re not doing something are usually the exact reasons you need to do it. 
  15. You’ll hear the message when your brain is ready to receive it. 
  16. You can’t get out of your way until you admit you’re the obstacle.
  17. Sometimes feeling good is scarier than feeling bad.
  18. Failing isn’t the problem; it’s what you decide to do after that counts. 
  19. Not all people are your people, and that’s okay. 
  20. If you’re resisting the bad stuff, then you’re resisting the good stuff too. 

You’re Never Going to Have Time

“I don’t have time,” is probably one the most sneakily powerful thoughts we have that we believe. I have a full-time job. I’m building a business. I have clients to serve, content to create, and coaching appointments to keep. I also have kiddos that need help with homework, school projects, and being reminded to put away their clothes, brush their teeth, and dear god, please shower. Let’s also not forget my marriage to the awesome guy holding it down during all this chaos. I have lots of evidence to prove that, “I don’t have time,” but that doesn’t mean I believe it.

Time is the only thing we can’t create more of. We can make more money, buy more stuff, find more friends. We only get 24 hours in a day, and we never really know how many years we’ll be gifted.  

This past weekend was the second anniversary of the passing of my husband’s father, and it has me thinking a lot about time. Primarily because we so frequently use it as the reason we do or don’t do anything. The truth is, you’re never going to have time, it will never be the “right time.” Extra time isn’t going to magically appear on your doorstep, announcing its arrival, so you feel comfortable making a decision. There isn’t a “more time” fairy godmother. You need only to decide it’s the right time, commit, and then take action to make it happen. That’s it. No, really, it’s that simple.

Does this sound like you? “Well, I just have so much going on right now, I’m not sure when I would fit it in?” Or how about, “the kids have soccer and gymnastics, Bill is working a lot of overtime lately too. I just don’t think we can do it right now.” The things that you are continually neglecting, your mental, emotional and physical health are all the things you should be making the MOST time for. You know why? Because when you fill your own cup, it has a compounding effect on all areas of your life. 

When you say “no” to yourself, you’re not just saying no to completing that activity at that moment. You’re saying no to the person you want to be, the parent you want to be, the partner you want to be, or the partner you want to attract. You’re saying “no,” to the life you want to have.  

Not making yourself a priority impacts everyone in your life. So if you’re not taking care of yourself and sacrificing your needs for the sake of your kids, husband, family, job, you’re actually doing them a disservice too. Because they don’t get all of you when you don’t have all of you to give. That’s on you. Hear me on this. THERE IS NO ONE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU. It is your job to have your back, fight for you, make you a priority, LOVE you enough to draw boundaries, and make the time. There will never be time until you make it. Stop waiting for the “right time” because it doesn’t exist. You make a decision, and you commit to it, that’s it.  

I’m not talking about some massive mental and physical overhaul here. So many times, we think self-care has to be some ginormous undertaking like meditating an hour every day, never eating bread and pasta ever again, and drinking kale smoothies every day. NO! That’s not reality, and it won’t help you be successful in building new habits. What do you love to do? What fills your cup? What makes you feel alive? What brings you peace? 

Some times that’s going shopping at Target with your Starbucks and strolling through the isles, ALONE. Some times that’s attending brunch or dinner with your girlfriends. It can be getting up a half-hour early so you can drink your coffee in peace on the porch. It’s taking the dogs for a walk or walking around the block on lunch. You could listen to a fave podcast in your car on the way to pick up the kids. Figure out what makes you feel good and then commit to doing it over and over again. 

I get up before my kids so I can do my thought download and empty my brain before the day begins. I listen to podcasts while I make dinner, fold laundry, or drive to the store. I ask my husband to hang with the kids or wait until they are in bed so I can take a bath. Sometimes it’s locking myself in the bedroom and watching even one episode of my fave Netflix show, all alone without interruption. 

I know, I know, I can hear you already. “I can’t do that, because I have to do A, B, C, and D.” Or, “My kids/husband would never let me do that.” I know you love your kids, your husband, the dogs, etc. But it’s not their fault you keep saying “yes” to them and “no” to you. That’s on you, friend. If you love them, then you’ll put yourself first. I know you want to argue with me on this. I know your brain is telling you that this sounds backward. I PROMISE you that it’s not. Just try it for a week. What is one thing you can do for FIVE minutes every day to fill your cup?? Decide what it is, commit to doing it every day, even when you don’t want to. You’ll be amazed at how just a sliver of the day dedicated to yourself can impact your day, week, and life. 

Still feeling like you don’t know how to do this or you can’t? Not sure what to do next? Then you’re gonna sign up for that coaching consult! No wondering, no worrying, decide and commit!

My Painful Pursuit of Perfection

One of my biggest fears has always been a fear of failure. I’m not even really sure where it stems from, but it’s led me to be painfully perfectionistic (is that a real word?). I used to believe that perfectionism was an admirable personality trait, and I wore it with pride. Here’s the thing, it wasn’t creating high levels of performance, it created paralysis. When faced with trying some new activity, if I weren’t 100% positive that I could ace it, I wouldn’t even try. That’s not admirable, it’s not honorable, it’s just failing ahead of time. Instead of pushing me to do more and be better, my desire for perfection kept me playing small. I used to think being a perfectionist helped my self-confidence. But now I see it was just cutting my confidence off at the knees. 

When I made a mistake, I would beat myself up endlessly. I would replay my mistakes in my head over and over mixed with an endless stream of self-criticism. “Oh my god, I can’t believe how awful that was. I’m never going to be good at this. That was awful, I sounded like a complete idiot. No one is ever going to take me seriously,” and on and on and on it would go. I thought to be a perfectionist made me a better performer, and that beating myself up would prevent me from making the same mistake again. Also, I realized being trapped in my own head was “easier” than dealing with the actual emotions I was running from, such as shame, embarrassment, or disappointment. I thought that beating myself up was necessary for me to improve. But it was actually slowing me down and derailing my progress. I’d be so wrapped up in my head obsessing about doing everything “right” that it prevented me from taking any action at all. The self-criticism felt purposeful, necessary even, but it was secretly stealing time that I could have spent taking action.   

My perfectionism has been a source of burnout. I’ve been so hard on myself that it sucked the joy out of everything; coaching, writing, studying, learning. I was so emotionally exhausted and frustrated from battling my perfectionist brain that I wanted to give up. This didn’t feel good. It wasn’t fun. Why would I want to continue doing anything that would just result in self-assault? So I would blame whatever thing I was working on that I thought was causing me pain, and I thought the answer was to quit. I blamed my blog, learning how to write copy, learning how to build a website, learning how to coach clients. Everything and anything could be used as evidence that I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t doing it right, or someone was doing it better. Striving for perfection wasn’t motivating me to be better, it was making me want to give up.

I was listening to a podcast about being a perfectionist by Jody Moore, another Coach, and felt like she was describing me. Being a perfectionist has not helped me excel or step up my game. Instead, it has robbed me of any feelings of satisfaction, fulfillment, or pride in the work I’ve done. She spoke about how, with perfectionists, nothing is ever “complete.” That’s me! I will edit, re-edit, take a break and then edit some more. But here’s the crazy part. It’s not like all of that re-work results in any sort of satisfaction because the whole time, I’m only focused on what’s lacking and imperfect instead of allowing myself to see the good. 

Here’s the other problem, the way we do one thing is how we do everything. Perfectionism shows up in my marriage, how I parent my kids, and my relationships with friends. I can be hyper-critical of my husband and my kids. I have a bad habit of expecting people to have the same level of expectations that I do and can become easily frustrated when they don’t. I frequently discount any progress or achievements in my business and personal life if they aren’t achieved via perfect execution. I’ll brush them off as flukes or luck, discounting the arduous work I’ve actually done instead of taking credit for the fact that maybe the reason I was able to get where I am is because of my efforts, my skills, MY VALUE. 

I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive for excellence or to continue to be our best selves. I’m saying that striving for excellence is very different than being a perfectionist, and you’ll know the difference by how you feel. Striving for excellence is motivating and creates determination. Even though it may require really hard work, striving for excellence doesn’t require a sacrifice of your self-esteem. Your beliefs about your value are not tied to it.

I’m still a recovering perfectionist. It’s something I continue to be aware of and work on every day. I am working on embracing good instead of obsessing over perfect. I’m working on gaining awareness surrounding my all or nothing mentality and that I tend to think in extremes when my perfectionist side is taking over. I remind myself that value is never conditional. I am valuable and worthy right now. I did a google search asking for the difference between perfectionism and excellence. I found a quote from Marc Winn, theviewinside.me that read, “Perfectionism is focused on “doing the thing ‘right,'” how things APPEAR, and if OTHERS think it’s done right. Excellence is about “doing the right thing.” It is focused on the REASON for a task, and the RESULTS for it to be a success.” I think that about covers it. 

PS. I only edited this three times, okay four. It’s still progress! 

If you thought the point of coaching was to have a perfect life, you’re wrong. But it can help you be perfectly happy with your life.  Schedule that FREE 45 min coaching consult. Don’t be scared. It’ll be awesome, I promise. 

Why you keep giving up.

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

How many times have you gotten super motivated, dedicated, PUMPED to start the new “thing.” You’re READY to find a new job. You’re GOING to start working out on Monday! You’re totally going to start eating better too! Then Monday comes, your alarm goes off, and you hit snooze again and again because going to the gym sounds way less appealing than staying in your snuggly warm bed. You get to work, open your packed lunch of chicken and veggies, and then a coworker tells you the café downstairs is serving their famous lasagna, score! You’ll eat better tomorrow, right?

Or you’ve got your coffee ready, your computer open, and you start looking for jobs. But wait, you see a notification that someone commented on your post on facebook. So down the social media rabbit hole, you go. One hour later, two hours later, no job searches performed, no jobs have been applied for which means no potential to get out of the job you hate now. Damn it, you did it again! This is usually followed by some self-loathing, beating yourself up for not doing “the thing” you said you were going to do, followed by some self-pity and resignation that maybe you just can’t do this. So screw it, you order take out, hunker down with your ice cream, and turn on the Netflix waiting for it to arrive. Sound familiar?

The issue is, we all want change, but we don’t want to do the work. I mean, we all know, from an intellectual level, that change is hard. But we seem to forget this when it’s time to DO the hard part. Let’s be REAL honest for a second, shall we? We don’t really want change, we think we do, but what we really want are the results. Why do you think diet pills are so popular? Who wouldn’t want to live a life where dessert was always an option, where you never had to feel deprived, could eat whatever you wanted, and still remain a 125lb jacked barbie doll thanks to the magic bullet diet pill?? Spoiler alert, that’s not how it works. Why aren’t you reaching your goal? Because you’re not comfortable being uncomfortable, so when things get hard, and the excitement wears off you bail.

We also think that we should WANT to do the hard things all of the time. So when the alarm goes off, and we have no motivation to do anything, we think something has gone wrong, or something is wrong with us. But there isn’t. Your brain is just doing its job of trying to keep you safe. And your mind thinks comfortable equates to safety and it will always want to choose comfort over effort, difficult, challenge, a.k.a 5 am workouts. What’s the cure for this? Do it anyway. When it’s time to do the thing, and you REALLY don’t want to, DO IT ANYWAY. You are not the issue. How early it is, is NOT the issue. Your lack of motivation is NOT an issue. Your brain is the issue. Your brain want’s you to conserve energy, too bad. Don’t listen to your brain. You tell your mind what the plan is. Not the other way around. If you want to reach your goal, you have to ANTICIPATE this, recognize it, and override your brain. Do the thing ANYWAY.

The other reason people give up, they expect perfection. They don’t allow for errors, mistakes, or a learning curve. This was me and every diet I’ve ever tried. I’ve literally been almost every size, from a size 2 to a size 18, back down again. Until last year, I’d been on a perpetual diet since I was 25. I’d start the diet and would be obsessed with eating perfectly. I’d start to have success, fall off the wagon, get frustrated, beat myself up, binge, and then throw my hands up like “I can’t do this shit, I’m out.”
Mastering anything takes practice, and that means messing up, failing, and doing it again. OF COURSE, you’re going to fail. You haven’t mastered the new skill set. If you HAD, then you’d have the fantastic body, relationship, career, already! Perfection is impossible, failing is necessary. I saw a great quote once that said something to the effect of “failure doesn’t mean the game is over. It means try again, with experience.” Whaaaaat??! Game changer.

So what happens when you do fail? You knew it was going to happen at some point because you read this excellent blog. You went off the rails on your diet, you skipped a workout, whatever the “fail” looks like for you. The “fail” is actually wholly unimportant. What you DECIDE to do next IS.

Are you beating the shit out of yourself for everything you did wrong? How you knew you were going to fail again? You knew you couldn’t do this. You knew this was going to be too hard and you should never have even bothered. This is just like you to screw up again!
Is this you? I want you to think about how this makes you feel when you do this. No, for real, take a moment and check-in with yourself and think about how that feels in your body when you are doing this. Not good is what I’m imagining. Actually pretty shitty is what I would expect. It feels shitty when I beat myself up.

Beating yourself up doesn’t serve you, EVER. This is practically a mantra I say to my clients over and over. Beating yourself up may feel purposeful, deserved even, but it does NOT serve you. For one, it feels awful, and feeling awful never drives positive action. Actually, it usually results in self-sabotaging behaviors done in an attempt to relieve our self inflicted misery. It’s not going to help you learn because you’re only focusing on the negative, not on what actually worked or analyzing a new approach, which also leaves you feeling powerless. It sure isn’t going to motivate you to keep going because who would want to try again after all that self-assault? So just stop, right now. Commit to stop beating yourself up. It serves no purpose and will not help you succeed.

Ready to stop giving up? Be okay being uncomfortable. Anticipate not wanting to do it, tell your brain you’re doing it anyway. Be willing to fail and be kind to yourself when you do, and you’ll KEEP GOING!

Are you digging all these blogs? You should come hang out with me in my facebook group. It’s called Blended Bosses Unite. We chat every Sunday about coaching concepts I use myself and with my clients. Come check us out!