This past Tuesday, instead of sleeping in until my now 5:30 am wake up routine, I woke up at 4:30. I groggily took Fitz out and shuffled across the kitchen floor as I made my morning cup of coffee. Normally, I would be gathering my workout attire and preparing for my morning routine of waking up, working out, watching the news and eating breakfast. Yeah, and a few workout selfies and catching up with my accountability group are somewhere in there too. That is my life now. The girl who use to roll out of bed at 7:45 and scramble to get showered, dressed and changed before work at 8:45. I struggle with this everyday because #notamorningperson. (Hashtags I use for emphasis with complete awareness that they are obsolete apart from Instagram or Twitter.)
But not today. Instead, I woke up and grabbed my morning cup of joe, notepad and pen and prepared for a meeting with a life coach I met online through a forum that we are both part of. Yes life coaching is a real thing and no I haven’t abandoned all my beliefs and become some hippy free spirit. I simply wanted perspective I knew that none of my friends, family or mentors could give me. Before I get into this meeting I want to mention that whatever you call them—life coach, guru, personal liaison, herbal therapist, Yoda, etc. It helps to have an objective third party who isn’t already and always privy to your life. They can offer you perspective that your subconscious is limiting you from. But I won’t justify that to you, you can try it out for yourself if you’re so inclined.
So long story a little less long, I met with this coach. I would say that I honestly did 60-70% of the talking during the hour that we met together but through that I was able to gain valuable perspective. Now, could I have gotten there on my own? Perhaps. I fear it would’ve taken a lot longer to reach that destination. It also would have been a lot more work and soul searching on my part. So, never be afraid to seek outward council, I don’t care how self aware you are.
Here are a few things we agreed upon:
- I use seemingly good big decisions to procrastinate from starting my life. Yeah, I’m not going to get into what that big decision I am contemplating making just yet but let’s just say…I’ve used as a means of “safe” procrastination before. Perhaps the answer to sometimes good/big things is “not right now.” In that I was challenged to ask myself what my motivation for making this decision is.
- Safe decisions are usually motivated by fear. What small/big decisions am I allowing to cloud my judgment and keep me from following my intuition. Fear can keep us alive or it can keep us from living. I have this fear of mediocrity and also a fear of failure. It perpetuates in a LOT of the decisions that I make. I just wasn’t labeling it as fear. It keeps me from starting things I know I should. One such thing is a book I’ve been needing to write for YEARS but let the idea that I had nothing worth saying or the market was already too saturated keep me from following that desire to follow my intuition in writing this book.
- Redefine what failure looks like. I think this idea of failure is alive and thriving in most of the decisions that we all make, and it keeps us from living our best lives. All too often the most fatal fear is the one that is small and seemingly insignificant. I make excuses a lot for not doing big things. I choose security over what aligns with my intuition. So, I derived this notion to analyze these big decisions that I will make this year and base the plan of action on what I define as success rather than what I want that won’t look like failure. Success is different for everyone and in these small/big decisions we are pushed to identify what it will mean in our own lives. And, it isn’t always/shouldn’t always be defined in a monetary value.
So what does ANY of this have to do with you, dear reader. I have a few nuggets of advice for you to carry with you:
- Become more self aware. Don’t be afraid to read books, listen to podcasts, read articles, attend workshops, journal, speak with outside resources etc. Learning who you really are and what motivates you takes more time than most people realize or are willing to do the work.
- Stop procrastinating. I was humbly punched in the gut with this honest truth.
Side note: One of the big things I’ve come to terms with in my life is that I’ve put an invisible placeholder in my future for a spouse that may NEVER come. This keeps me from making seemingly huge life decisions subconsciously and without a second thought. So creating a glorious life in which I’m excited to get up and go to work everyday, I help people, I travel often, I get more time with my family etc. etc. etc. is very scary to me at this moment in time because I ultimately don’t have anyone to share it with. And, now I’ve bummed you all out.
3. Stop allowing people who’s opinions you trust to speak the most detrimental lies into your future. If you believe that they believe you won’t succeed you are more likely not to even try.
4. Just do the thing. I say this a lot now actually. I know people are tired of hearing it. I say it with fitness, nutrition and working out. I also say this when people are trying something new. I have to say this to myself quite often actually! Do what scares you, what motivates you, what challenges you, what changes you and what will ultimately set your soul on fire! Go hard after that! DO the thing.
You should never stop improving. Never stop growing. Never stop learning. Just. Never. Stop.
I believe in you.