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

Talk That Belongs in the Trash

By society’s standards, I’m a highly successful person. Great marriage, good career–I like my job where I am treated and compensated well– two lovely children, though they are still quite small, and my dream home. I’m happy and surrounded by good friends and a loving family. All that said: Why is it so much easier to listen to a few negative voices that want to tear me down versus the many many positive ones lifting me up?

You sound wonderful and charming, and I’m very sorry that there are any voices speaking negativity into your life. Your life sounds wonderful–enviable, even–and it’s my suspicion that the people who are speaking negatively to and/or about you probably wish that their life was as happy as yours.

Think about it: Do you spew negativity onto the people in your life? Doubtful since you’re a happy person. I feel you, sister. I do. I try to be positive and kind…to uplift those around me. And guess what? There are still people who talk shit about me. There are still people who try to bring me down.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”― Dita Von Teese

Your reaction is normal. Most people feel hurt when someone says mean things to or about them. Sometimes, we harbor deep insecurities that are triggered by those comments. Sometimes, we might wonder if we “deserve” whatever good fortune we have. Sometimes those “Debbie Downers” sound like our own nasty inner shrew which seems to lend some sort of credence to what is actually nonsense. Whatever the reason, it can be hard to put that talk into the right compartment–the trash bin.

My mom always said: Consider the source. I never really got it when I was younger, but now I do and try to keep that in mind when someone comes at me. Full Disclosure: I rarely succeed at first.

People who aren’t happy with their own lives sometimes feel threatened by other people’s happiness and success and want to rain on their parades. Newsflash: There’s plenty of happiness and success for everyone; no one gets ahead by tearing others down.

Those who speak negativity into your life are only projecting their own feelings of unworthiness and unhappiness onto you. Don’t let them steal your joy.

I hope you can let the negative voices go straight to the trash where they belong. Live your happy life! Enjoy your marriage and career and children. Especially if they’re little. Cause girlfriend, I’m warning you now: Tweens are no day at the beach.

xoxo