It’s been a rough summer for me.
I’ve lost a loved one to cancer. I’ve been busy with caregiving. I’ve navigated the real estate market with 62 showings and 20 offers, accepting one thousands above asking … all within three days. I’ve boxed and moved an entire house into storage by myself.
Even those few sentences sound like a lot, and there are MANY stories in between.
But as I spent time going through the motions, I had one thing that kept me sane: podcasts. Audiobooks. AirPods in my ear, listening to motivation to get me through one more day.
This was a summer thrust upon me; I would never choose. It was difficult at best.
I learned things about myself I’ve never considered before.
I learned things about people around me I never expected.
And a lot of it shook me to my core.
You have to take the bad with the good. I believe that’s how you learn to tell the difference, and appreciate the best of times.
But even for a girl who considers herself to be a glass-half-full person, I’ve been overwhelmed a lot these past few weeks. To the point of questioning everything.
My energy was low. I often wondered what I was doing. I felt like everything I did was for someone else. Me? I had little time to think about myself. And that caused me to rethink everything.
- Am I really doing what I want to do?
- Is this the track I want to be on?
- Is there something else waiting for my attention?
- Should I throw caution to the wind, and reinvent myself once again?
I have a toolbox I draw from in times like this. Yes, I need to remind myself my toolbox exists. But when I open it up, start remembering the things I’ve learned over the years, I realize that to be the main character in my life story, I have to think like a main character.
I have to remember I’ve set my life up intentionally, and focus on doing the things that keep me grounded and on the right journey.
Tip #1: No One Cares
How much of your day is done to prevent others from thinking about you?
You know what I mean.
You’re worried they talk about.
You’re worried they judge you.
You’re worried they think you’re strange.
You’re worried you’ll be “cast out” of the group.
Guess what? They don’t think about you nearly as much as you think they do.
And if they do judge you, or talk about you, so what?
What if you spent more time building a life YOU enjoy?
What if you focused your time and energy on being your own main character? Creating a life you LOVE every moment of?
Think you’d still worry what others thought of you?
A lack of self confidence comes from not feeling sure of who you are and what you do. The more in tune you get with your life, the more confidence you build, the more certain you are about what you have.
Love what you do. Love where you live. Enjoy every moment of the day.
When that happens, you’ll no longer have time to worry about what others think.
- What makes me want to rise up?
- What makes me walk taller?
- What makes my energy expand?
- What would get me up in the morning, no matter what?
Tip #2: Do It For You
Why do you do the things you do?
Is it for you?
Or do you tackle projects on someone else’s list?
The party is at your house because you have the “best” house. Your mom needs you to run errands because “nobody” can do it like you do. You’re in charge of the committee at work because “you’re the best.”
Are you seeing yourself here? Women are people pleasers. We like to do things for others. In some cases, we even convince ourselves we’re doing things because we “love” to do it.
Do you? Think for a minute. If you had all the time, money, and energy in the world, would you do it then?
Or would you be walking along a beach in Tahiti?
Or dancing the night away with a sexy partner in Rio?
Or sipping coffee and reading a great book in a hammock tied between two trees?
Or having a deep conversation with a favorite friend?
Too often, we build a life based on everyone else’s schedule without taking into consideration what we really want.
What do I want to do today?
Then start doing it. Even just five minutes a day.
Tip #3: Stay True To Me
Do it … or else.
Have you ever been in that situation? Where a friend tugs at your heartstrings, convincing you to follow along?
Or your mom lovingly pushes you towards something that’s good for her. Even though it doesn’t quite fit into your plans.
Or your spouse promises you “next year” will be your year.
We all make compromises. It’s a part of life. It’s a part of solid relationships.
But if you find yourself constantly taking a backseat, it can be difficult to navigate up to the driver’s seat and start taking control.
- What do I truly want?
- Do people respect my goals and desires too?
- Am I often dissed if I don’t conform to what others want?
- Is this what I believe in?
- Is this good for me, or someone else?
The more questions you ask, the more you’ll start to feel your own intentions bubbling up to the surface. A confident woman is one who stands her ground. She won’t take on a task unless it feels right to commit. She won’t say yes to things just for the sake of keeping the peace.
She’ll do things because it’s truly in her heart to do them.
Tip #4: I’ll Do It In My Time
Now that I’m back home from one of the hardest summers I’ve ever had, I’m taking time for me.
My husband asked me: Do you finally feel like your old self again?
My answer: No.
And I don’t think I’m going back there. Too much has happened.
But I do recognize that it’s going to take time to heal from all I’ve been through. And I’m willing to give myself the time I need to get there.
So I do only what needs to be done. Only what’s crucial for today.
Then I explore.
I’m walking even more than usual.
I’m reading books.
I’m listening to podcasts.
I’m cleaning my desk and throwing things away.
I’m moving towards things that inspire me.
I’m getting rid of things that no longer motivate me.
And I’m asking myself, “What’s next” again and again.
I’m pretty sure of my place in this world.
I know what I love to do. I know what I want my daily life to look like. I won’t compromise on giving up the life I’ve created.
But there is room for more.
I can switch the way I earn income.
I can change my investment strategy.
I can change where I live.
I can change how I spend my days.
And that’s where my focus is right now.
What’s working in my life. What’s not.
And I’m taking the time to recognize the two, and make changes accordingly.
When you’re ready for change…
Sometimes you can feel you’re ready for change so badly, but you get stuck in figuring out what to do next.
That’s where I’ve been the past few weeks. You too?
When I pull from my toolbox, I know one of the top things for me to do is calm my mind. Journaling is great for that. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without my journals.
A Self-Guided Journal Workbook for Personal Growth is the perfect guide to break that feeling of knowing you want more, yet can’t quite put your finger on why you’re feeling that way.