Try to wander through a bookstore without spotting a self-help title about improving yourself, your career, or your relationships with others. I bet you won’t make it past 60 seconds. There are countless documentaries and videos out there promoting a new food or fitness fad, each positioned to be the next best thing. While I’m all about self-improvement and creating a life you love, let’s get one thing straight.
You are not broken. And you definitely don’t need to be fixed.
It’s human nature to strive for more. We work harder to move up in our careers and businesses. We align ourselves with the things we want in our lives. We work with others to achieve a sense of understanding and balance between us. We work on breaking bad habits. But there’s no single book, person, place or thing that can make everything all better in one fell swoop. If you come across someone or something that claims to be the answer to all your woes – run. New people, places and things can introduce you to new ideas. They can inspire you and they can show you a new perspective on things but they’re there to enrich your life, not fix it.
If you’re feeling the weight of things that are keeping you stuck as you try to move forward in life, here are 4 things to free yourself of right now:
1. The perpetual search. If you’ve done any level of work on yourself, you’re likely familiar with the onion analogy. We uncover one thing to tweak in our lives, face it head on and deal with it, and inevitably uncover another and another after that. If we’re in tune with ourselves and really looking to grow, it’s a lifelong process.
Sometimes this can become exhausting and overwhelming. This can happen when we’re constantly ‘on’ – looking for the next thing to change, shift or transform. In this place, we’re analyzing every situation and circumstance and questioning our response to them, trying to figure things out. When we’re constantly trying to figure things out in our heads, we’re actually doing the exact opposite of what this process is all about. We need to let go of our need to control and fix stuff. When we let go, tune in and allow things to flow to and around us, we’ll often find the very things we’ve been longing for.
2. The need to compare. Is there someone you know (personally or even a celebrity) whose life you’re convinced is the absolute best? Maybe there’s someone you aspire to because you think he or she has it together more than you ever will. You might be looking at someone who appears to be more successful than you in their business or career and you can’t help but think that you’re falling behind.
Do me a favour? Screw all that. I can guarantee you that they all have their own bag of bullshit to deal with. We can easily look at others and romanticize them in our minds. We begin to think that others have it better than we do. I used to think this way a lot until I started my business and approached other entrepreneurs who I thought were past all the ‘what the heck are you doing’ chatter we often face when we’re putting ourselves way out there. And you know what I learned? We all have our own version of insecurities, doubts and fears. For God’s sake even Beyonce gets nervous before a concert. So instead of comparing yourself to others, give yourself a pat on the back for being amazingly you. Which brings me to #3.
3. Beating yourself up. Sometimes when we’re busy comparing ourselves to our own ideas of why others are better than we are, we slip into judgement mode. We decide that we’re not good enough the way we are. We convince ourselves that we need more, better, bigger, faster X, Y and Z. Along with this judgement comes a feeling of lack. And when we come from a place of lack, we look around and see and create only more lack and less of the good stuff we want.
Start today by being kind to yourself. Rather than move through the thoughts of what you could or should be doing differently, or how you can become a better this or that in your life, focus on what makes you great. Grab a paper and pen and write out 10 things that you’ve done until this very day in your life that you’re proud of. It can be anything from winning that Spelling Bee in grade school to that time last week that you rocked someone’s world. We can often downplay the amazing things we’ve done and forget how awesome we really are.
4. Tunnel vision. Sometimes when we’re feeling stuck with something and can’t move forward, it’s because we’re blind to all the possibilities and opportunities around us. Feeling stuck or getting a case of the blahs is often a sign from our bodies that we need to shake things up a little, do something new and have some fun.
Go for a walk. Take a vacation. Book a staycation. Join a networking group. Pick up a new hobby. Journal out your thoughts. Paint something. Read a smutty mindless novel. You get the picture. Just do something different and have some fun. When we’re in the space of trying to make something happen or figure something out, we get bogged down with the details and get stuck running through them over and over in our heads. When we do something different and fun, we get our heads out of that stuck spot and allow ourselves to focus on something else. By seeing that there’s more to life than the stuff that’s driving us nuts, we can see beyond our limited perspective.
What can you let go of right now to help you move forward? I’d love to hear more about it in the comments below!
Much love, XXX