Live YOUR Life

How do I gain confidence in myself? I’m always putting my life on hold because I’m constantly worried what everyone else thinks…never have the confidence to do what I truly want. Then I end up making choices that make me miserable because I didn’t speak up.

Hi Honey, first…you’re not alone. More people–especially women–than you could imagine can probably relate to your feelings. For me, this has looked like working jobs that were not what I wanted to do instead of writing (what I wanted to do). Why? 1. Writing wasn’t consistently lucrative. 2. Sharing your thoughts publicly opens you up to all kinds of whack-a-doos weighing in. 3. Pursuing your own dreams can feel selfish while taking care of others feels noble. And of course the ever-present: Who are you to ______ ? But it’s never too early or too late to start.

For most of my life though, I worried way too much about what people thought. I wanted people to like me and think I was a good person. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it can lead to pathological people pleasing and inauthentic behavior. We don’t need anyone else to tell us we’re good enough.

Here’s the thing: No matter what you do, people will have something to say about it, so you might as well do what YOU want to do. The only people who will criticize you following your dreams are the ones who don’t have the courage to follow their own, and guess what? They don’t get to make decisions for you.

How do you gain confidence? Oh sweetheart, I wish I had a magic answer. I’m still learning too. Acting as if you already have it is a good start though. Take steps in the direction of where you want to go. Read Daring Greatly by Dr. Brené Brown. Remind yourself if people weigh in on your choices that unless they’re living your life, they don’t get to call the shots. And don’t internalize other people’s stuff.

Here’s the thing: It’s almost never about us. People think and talk about us way less than we think because everyone is pretty wrapped up in themselves. What is one small step you can take today in the direction of what you really want? It could be as simple as a google search or writing down your dreams in your journal or on a post-it note. Do it. And then take another step. And another. And before you know it, you’re living the life you want.

You can do it!!

Let me know how it goes. And if there’s any way I can help or support you, I will!

xoxo

This is Supposed to be Fun?

Lately, it seems like all I do is scream at my kids. I’m a pretty happy person with a normal amount of stress. I have a good marriage, a great job, and I’m not overwhelmed–any more than other working moms. I don’t need medication or a vacation from my life. But I always hear people talking about how these are the best years of your life and you should enjoy them, and I really just feel like…I can’t wait until they are grown and not arguing constantly over who looked at whom or who touched what. I’m not a bad mom, but every morning I wake up vowing to enjoy them more and yell at them less, but most nights I go to bed feeling like I fell short. I love my kids so much it hurts, and I don’t want them to have bad memories or baggage.

Oh honey…reading this I can tell what a good mom you are and that your kids are so very fortunate God gave them to you. I have children in various stages of development: an adult woman–23, a teenage boy–16, and a tween girl–10. In 23 years of parenting, I’ve had a million realizations, but one is that I’m best with babies and adults. If I can hold, bounce, snuggle, or stick a boob in your mouth, we get along. If we can have wine and talk about feelings, we’re golden. It’s the years in between nursing and drinking that keep me in flux. Parenting teens and tweens and preschoolers–can we agree 3-year-olds are assholes–is not that much fun.

I promise you’re in good company. I wake up every morning with the intention of doing better, and many nights I go to bed beating myself up. Here’s the thing: All of that beating ourselves up means we’re paying attention. We’re trying. If you go to bed at night and don’t question at least one thing you did or said during the day, good for you; you might be a psychopath. I’m kidding obviously, kinda, but isn’t awareness always the first step whether we’re addressing addiction or overeating or yelling at our kids? We can’t change anything until we realize there’s something that might need to be changed.

You’re not alone, friend. I’ve felt this more times than I can count. And I’ve had this discussion with so many great moms because I surround myself with fabulous women who overthink their parenting. Never had it with a bad mom though…go figure.

Here’s the thing: If you wake up every morning trying to do better, you’re probably already doing great. Give yourself a break. I yell at my kids too much. But I also say, “You know what…I’m sorry I yelled about that. I was feeling [insert whatever emotion or baggage I projected onto the situation] and reacted inappropriately.” They’re well-versed in Brene Brown and Shefali Tsabary.

We’re human. We fuck up. That’s not going to change. But we can accept those times we fall short as normal, own our behavior, and keep on keeping on. Works in progress, sweetheart, works in progress.

If you haven’t already read this article by Glennon Doyle Melton, I suggest you read it, frame it, tattoo its wisdom somewhere on your body, because it’s pure gold.

xoxo

Fear Sounds Like Your Worst Enemy

I have been so afraid to “launch” this website. But I realize now that my fear was based on what people would say about me. How people would judge me. So I said to myself exactly what I thought those would say:

Who does she think she is?

She’s not a good writer.

She’s fake.

She’s full of herself.

She needs attention

What kind of credentials does she have?

She’s a bitch.

She’s stupid.

And then I realized: Being a listener is my gift, and if I don’t use that gift to help people, then that is actually selfish.

So I listened to a lot of podcasts. And I read a lot of books. And Liz Gilbert, Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed and Glennon Doyle Melton gave me the courage to cast that fear of rejection aside. I’ve learned that some people will criticize even your most kind and genuine efforts, but that shouldn’t stop you from being kind and generous.

My goal in making this website was not selfish or ego-driven; it was motivated by the desire to help people feel heard and validated. It’s so important to have someone who listens to us. In so many conversations, other people are only waiting for a pause so they can respond. They’re so busy formulating their opinions or coming up with a witty comeback that they can’t process what we’re sharing. Not very many people hear, and fewer actually listen.

So…here it is, friends. Be kind 🙂