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Be true to yourself. We’ve all heard it that advice at one point in our lives. We all know it’s totally the best way to live. But are we really living it?
In the most recent newsletter I sent out to my tribe (if you’re not on my list you’re missing out on some really great content that I only share with my peeps – sign up below) I shared that the #1 regret of people who are dying (according to Bonnie Ware) is:
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Let that one sink in a little bit.
I would’ve guessed that the #1 regret would’ve been, “I wish I would’ve spent more time with the people I love.” Or, “I wish I would’ve taken more time to do the things I love.” Those regrets were there, but they weren’t #1.
I wish I’d had the courage to be true to myself. Wow.
I vividly remember what it feels like to be drained by life. Drained by the day to day monotony of my J.O.B. Drained by all the daily expectations that were on my plate. Expectations like:
- Creating exceptional human beings. No biggie.
- Feeding and clothing said human beings.
- Helping those exceptional human beings gain practical life skills – so that they can eventually do life withOUT their mama 😉
- Cook three healthy, local, organic, Instagram-worthy meals per day.
- Maintaining our budget so we can get out of debt.
- Coordinating everyone’s extracurricular activities. As well as medical appointments. As well as birthday parties and playdates. Oh, and don’t forget the holiday activities – Easter egg hunts, holiday parties, Halloween costumes.
- Managing work tasks and expectations. With the added bonus of working for a really crappy boss.
- Being an amazing and sexy wife.
- Volunteering at my children’s school(s). Volunteer at our faith community. Volunteer to shoulder the needs of my friends.
- Managing the shuttling of the kids and all of their extracurriculars.
- I can go on. But I know you don’t need me to. You totally get it.
And within all of the swim team shuttling, commuting and cooking I’m supposed to find time to figure out who I am, what I want and what I value in life?
Um, yeah. Right.
I barely have time to breathe each night. Let alone have space for deep introspection.
I want this for you. I want you to have space so you can be true to yourself. No regrets. Because, really, that’s why we’re here! You’re the only YOU there is. Your goals are just waiting to be conquered so you can THRIVE.
I’m not saying you need to quit your job and move into a tiny house with your family. (Although, if that’s your vision and lines up with your values – than go for it, girl!) All I’m saying is maybe we should listen to those who have gone before us. Let’s not get to our end and have the same regrets.
Live and be true to yourself NOW. Don’t let others define your life.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E.Cummings
Here are 9 strategies I’ve used, and now you can use, to be true to yourself. Instead of true to a dream that was never mine!
1. STOP THE COMPARISONS.
Stop comparing your clothes.
Or comparing your job.
Stop comparing your marriage.
Please stop comparing your Instagram feed.
Stop comparing your car and house and stuff!
And most definitely, stop comparing your kids. All I’ve ever found comparison does is breed resentment and a victim mentality. “I’m as good as she is! Why can’t I have the nicer house? I deserve it just as much.”
Eww. Just stop. Once you do, you’ll be able to breathe deep, find who YOU are and create a personal vision. And then decide what YOU really want. Without basing that vision on someone else’s life.
2. CREATE A PERSONAL VISION & DEFINE VALUES FOR THE LIFE YOU WANT.
I talk about this ALL the time. Sidenote: You can get my Workbook for Defining Your Values HERE.
Basically, this is your compass. If you have a personal vision and values defined, it will be easier to decide which direction you would like to go. Imagine having to make a big life decision but having a defined vision and life values to guide you in making a choice.
Sounds amazing, right?!
3. CREATE A CIRCLE OF POSITIVITY.
I’m not saying no one is allowed to say no to you or your ideas – but having a circle of friends who will support you through your failures and successes is crucial to continuing again!
In my experience, sometimes friends have an easier time supporting you through your failures. Watch out for these friends. They’re sneaky. If they can’t support you through your success there is likely a negative block there. Maybe pride or envy? This can be really draining and lead you down a path that may not be what your heart would’ve chose. Since you’re likely NOT choosing based on being true to yourself.
But those friends who support you, especially in your success, those friends are worth their weight in gold. You will find so much power in the love of those friends.
Nurture and foster those friendships. They will sustain you during times of confusion.
Actually, they’ll sustain you always. They’re your people.
4. DON’T HAVE DEBT.
This allows for so much flexibility in choosing which direction you’d like to go next. Only because we’re debt free have I been able to launch this business. We’ve cash flowed everything. And while I’m not raking in the dough quite yet, it’s OK. We’re OK. We’ve planned for this and we don’t have giant debt payments hanging over our heads keeping us awake at night.
That, my friend, is freedom. Do the work and get some.
5. CREATE A GRATITUDE PRACTICE.
Tony Robbins has a gratitude practice that I’ve recently adopted. There are 4 gratitudes that you say daily (They are actually part of my morning journaling practice). Here’s the basic formula:
1) An opportunity that is happening today that you’re grateful for.
2) a relationship you’re grateful for
3) something that happened yesterday you’re grateful for and
4) something right in front of you that you’re grateful for – something tangible.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle
Which leads me to…
6. BELIEVE IN ABUNDANCE.
Like really believe it.
If we believe in the opposite of abundance, we’ll call this lack, then:
1) There’s not enough to go around. And,
2) if you don’t get your slice of pie FIRST, then you won’t get a slice of pie.
Lack breeds envy and greed and makes us those friends I was talking about above. Those friends who can’t be happy for others’ success. We want to have it first. Because, with lack, if we don’t get our success FIRST then we never will.
Gah. I hate that shit.
Deep breath. There’s another way.
Imagine trusting that there’s always enough. Knowing that there are infinite slices of pie to go around. Fishes and loaves, people. There is so much everywhere. Be grateful for your slice AND your friend’s slice.
This mindset shift alone will move you to stop worrying about being left behind and be true to yourself and your dreams. Deeply.
Yes. I mean it. Did you keep a journal in college? Remember all those break ups and roommate fights you wrote about in a fury. And then, after some fierce writing you found a sense of calm?
Anyone? Oh, was that just me?
Anyway, according to Julia Cameron “once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [daily expectations anyone?!] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.” Sounds amazing, right? It totally works. I write all about my process here. Just try it and see what happens.
Also, I made a printable for my specific routine. It’s a life changer. Try it out for FREE by filling out the form below.
8. PRACTICE SELF AFFIRMATIONS.
This can sound a bit crazy woo-woo if you’re new to this topic. Just bear with me a minute.
Our self-talk is constant. Incessant really. If that self-talk is deflating and defeating then we’ll go through life with a negative attitude and a victim mentality.
But, if we take some steps to change that negative self chatter into a positive self affirmation, well, that’s life changing shit right there.
The way we think and the thoughts that we choose to believe are just that, a choice. Choose to affirm the truth.
Try these on for size:
1) You are learning a new way of being in the world.
2) You are curious and are working towards defining your goals.
3) You are a magnificent human being with gifts to share.
4) The universe is on your side.
Listen friends. You totally got this. Print out my Daily Journal Sheet and try it for a week. 7 days. See how your mindset shifts. You’ll begin to notice all the goodness in your life. The abundance. You’ll surround yourself in those amazingly positive friends. Your friend’s Instagram feed will leave you feeling happy for her life rather than spiteful and envious.
This stuff works. Give it a shot. And if you do. I’d love to hear about it.
I’m totally and completely rooting for you,
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