I've found one of the biggest reasons we lack confidence is that we tend to measure our lives according to the external standards of our culture. And there are some pretty intense standards out there across the board. So even if we have accomplished a lot, we tend to focus on and feel crappy about the areas where we don’t fit the mold.
We fixate on how we don’t measure up. We get stuck ruminating on the shoulds, and we start to feel behind and discouraged.
"I should weight X, I should make this much money, I should be married by now."
And though we may genuinely want some of those things, a healthy body, more money, a loving partner; when we are trying to live up to how things are supposed to be, we are pretty much guaranteed to fall short no matter how well we do. There will always be someone better looking, someone more successful, someone more happily married, someone who is a better mom or dad.
And look, it’s damn near impossible to have it all together as our culture demands of us.
So what's the solution? We have to ditch the dreaded shoulds and choose instead to discover and live by the standards and values that truly matter to us.
When I was obsessed with healing my acne, it literally consumed nearly every free moment of my time. But when I finally stepped back from it for a moment with the help of my coach, I realized that I didn't actually care about it that much. I mean I didn’t want acne of course, but it is far more important to me that I use my energy to do my work in the world and build this business. Clear skin doesn’t make me a better coach or a better friend.
So I let it go.
I started focusing on what really matters to me, and fast forward a few years later, I’m like a gazillion times happier. And bonus, when I stopped stressing and freaking out about it, eventually my skin cleared up on its own.
So, ditching the shoulds and living by your own standards. Powerful stuff. And it sounds simple, but it can be pretty challenging to tune into our own truth and intuition when we haven’t been taught how and there is so much noise designed to distract us.
People will often tell me they can’t hear their intuition or they doubt if they even have gut instincts. If this is you, please know that’s totally normal; and I assure you, you do have a strong intuition, you just have to practice tuning in.
Two questions, that I absolutely love, for connecting in with what really truly matters for you are:
- What does success truly mean to me?
- What does failure truly mean to me?
Defining success and failure on your own terms can be super enlightening. It may be that you are already more successful than you think or that you’ve been pouring your energy (like me with my acne) into projects or people that aren’t in alignment with your truth.
Whatever you discover, know that it is all good. It’s never too late to start taking a few baby steps in the direction you want to go (if this is overwhelming, hit me up, I can help).
If you are curious to dive deeper into connecting with what’s really true for you, Brittany Hopkins, Anne Talhelm and I are leading a retreat this September in Crestone, Colorado to help you do just that.
You can get first dibs on all the details about the retreat as we release them by signing up here. You’ll also get access to a really fun worksheet I created that gives you step by step instructions on how to connect with your intuition. Plus two yoga videos from the amazing Brittany Hopkins of Container Collective Yoga (one where I was the yogi “model” while Brittany leads the class, eek!)
I’m super excited to hear how it goes for you defining success and failure on your terms. And for you to go deeper with connecting to your intuition with this free guide.