When you try to do all the things

Be with you.

I’ve mentioned this before, that in the past I used to think I needed to DO all the things in order to prove my worth, because I used to think I wasn’t “good enough.” I wasn’t even conscious of this as a choice I was making–I just thought it was how I was supposed to do things. 

I’d do things from a sense of internal pressure–to take classes to learn a certain skill, to exercise only for weight loss, to do activities where I could meet new people, to be on nonprofit Boards, to volunteer my time in other ways. I ended up doing so much in order to feel like I was “good enough” that I ended up exhausting myself and feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.

Only looking back, and through the self-awareness work I’ve done through therapy and coaching, I see that I was “doing” in order to prove myself as worthy and valuable. Because I thought I wasn’t good enough, I thought there were things I could DO to feel good enough. 

Now I know that worthiness comes from within, that I can choose to have the belief “I am already 100% worthy.” And that belief is available to ALL of us. We get to choose to believe it (or not).

Sometimes we do things to “avoid” ourselves or “escape” ourselves. Maybe we’re not used to being with ourselves, or we don’t like being with our own thoughts, or maybe we might not like being with ourselves as our only company. 

If that’s the case, I want to offer that the most important work to feel “good enough” comes from learning how to like ourselves even more.

To do this, we need to know what we think about ourselves. Are we acknowledging ourselves for who we are and what we like about ourselves? Not what we DO, but who we ARE as people. Many times, when asked about ourselves, we talk about what we DO or the roles we have. But how often do we talk about what we like about ourselves? 

Some self-acknowledgements could be:

“I like myself for being generous” / “I am generous”

“I like myself for being kind” / “I am kind”

“I like myself for being understanding” / “I am understanding”

“I like myself for being intelligent” / “I am intelligent”

“I like myself for being ambitious” / “I am ambitious”

“I like myself for being amazing” / “I am amazing”

This is not to say that we’re doing this in order to feel “better than” other people–which for some of us, doing this type of work can feel uncomfortable because we’re not supposed to be “boastful.” 

No, this work is for us to acknowledge ourselves and who we are and what we like about ourselves. To feel “good enough” or valuable comes from within ourselves. When we slow down and spend time checking-in with ourselves, we get to know ourselves even more. We start to find out what’s true for us, about us.

And if we happen to see things in ourselves that we’d like to change or improve upon, we can always do so, but from a place of compassion and care for ourselves. Instead of from a place of not feeling good enough.

So now I do things because I want to, from a place of knowing that I have value to contribute–not in order to get a feeling of value from “out there.” 

Your turn: What if you stopped doing all the things to prove your worthiness and value and started spending time checking-in with yourself? What’s good about you? (Think about who you ARE, not what you DO, to answer that question.) How can you enjoy being with yourself even more? How can you enjoy being YOU even more?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

Your Future Self knows how

. . . to do it.

Many of us are used to looking to our past to determine what our future could be. 

We may think, “Well, I’ve only made $75,000 a year before, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make more than that” or “I’ve never lost 30 pounds before, so I don’t know if I can do it” or just “I haven’t done that before, so I probably can’t do it.”

When we really look at those thoughts, it’s almost silly that we’d think them. Just because we haven’t done something before doesn’t mean that we’ll likely be unable to do it. That’s just an easy excuse, a way to shut out possibility. 

How did we ever do something before we did it? By just doing it! 

And learning from what we found out when we did it. Data gathering: “This seems to work. That didn’t really work. So I just have to do a bit more of this than that to keep going.” 

Get a feel for it. Do it wrong. Get a feel for it. Do it a little more right. Repeat.

We didn’t know how to walk before, or ride a bike, or drive, or graduate from high school, or get a job, but we took the actions–and continued to take the actions–needed in order to do those things. To achieve those goals.

We had the desire to grow and learn, and we had the desire for an outcome. We had a strong “why” – a strong reason for wanting to make the effort to achieve the outcome. 

So what gets in the way now of achieving those seemingly impossible goals? 

Our thoughts. Which create feelings. Like fear, doubt, defeat. 

Thoughts create our feelings, feelings drive our actions, and our actions (or inactions) produce the results we get. 

So let’s think thoughts that create the feelings: determined, focused, excited, passionate.

If we’re basing what’s possible on our past, then yes, we will only be able to see what’s possible based on what we’ve already done. 

But if we want to go beyond what we’ve done before, we need to look to our future and keep our focus there. 

Our Future Self believes in what’s possible. Our Future Self knows that they can do it. Our Future Self is living the dream–has made the money, lost the weight, stopped drinking, has the partner, feels good. 

So instead of thinking thoughts that create obstacles towards our goals and the feeling of “defeated” ahead of time, we can choose thoughts that create momentum and the feeling of “determined.” 

What does our Future Self who’s already achieved the goal think and feel? Let’s start thinking some of those thoughts. Let’s start feeling some of those feelings.

When we choose intentional thoughts on purpose about what’s possible for us, we get to feel the intentional feelings created by those thoughts. Then we get to be intentional with our actions and inactions. And ultimately, we create the results we want.

Your turn: What do you want to create in your life and why? What would you get to believe and think about yourself when you achieve that goal? What would you get to feel when you achieve that goal? What if those thoughts and feelings are all available for you to believe and feel about yourself right now? Guess what? They are.

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

When you honor yourself

Respect yourself.

How many of us know how to connect with and listen to our body’s signals and messages to us? Most of us didn’t really learn how to do this anywhere. In fact, we were likely taught the opposite–how to ignore and disregard our bodies: to keep going when we’re tired, to push through the pain to get it done, to always be productive and go after the next thing. 

After undergoing emergency open-heart surgery that saved my life and while going through the recovery process, I finally learned how to listen to and honor my body. In actuality, it was because I didn’t know how to do that sooner that I got to the place of needing emergency open-heart surgery. I wasn’t understanding my body’s signals that led to my body’s illness. 

In the past, when I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t allow myself to rest without feeling guilty, like I shouldn’t be taking the time off. And guess what happened when I felt guilty for resting when my body needed it? I created more stress because I was feeling guilty about resting and thinking I should be doing something else!

Resting when our bodies need it can be a hostile cycle if we’re not aware of what’s going on in our minds during the time. Part of us knows that we need rest and another part of us thinks about all the other things we “should” be doing but aren’t. So while we’re resting, there’s cognitive dissonance–we’re not at peace with our decision to rest. 

And also, it may be uncomfortable to be with ourselves and all of our thoughts! The thoughts we can avoid when we’re busy doing all the other things we do. 

One way to be at peace with resting and caring for ourselves is to be compassionate with ourselves, to accept that we need to rest, and to consciously choose to rest: “I am choosing to rest and care for myself. There is nothing else I need to do right now. This is important and resting will allow me to do the things I want to do later.” This may help to decrease cognitive dissonance.  

This relates to more than just resting. It relates to what we choose to eat, drink, and do with our bodies, as well. 

As for being left alone with ourselves and our thoughts, it could be helpful to just notice what comes up when it’s just us and our thoughts. (This could be the topic of a whole other email!)

So, instead of ignoring my body’s messages, I learned to slow down and check-in with my body, to familiarize myself with its signals. I learned to ask the questions: “At what cost?” and “What can I do to take care of myself in this moment?” 

And when the answer came, I gave myself permission to listen to and honor it. It could mean deciding to sleep in instead of going to the gym, or remembering to breathe deeply, or drinking some water, or choosing to eat (or not eat) something, or canceling evening plans after an unexpectedly tiring day at work. 

A realization that I came to while learning to listen to and honor my body more, was that by not listening to my body, I was disrespecting and disregarding myself. 

Self-care became a way to show myself respect and love, to regard myself with attention. How often do we expect love, respect, and attention from others when we might not even be giving these things to ourselves?

In the past, I thought that by pushing past my body’s needs, I was “being responsible” and getting things done that I thought I needed to do. But by not taking care of my body, that was actually being irresponsible. I see that now, but I didn’t see it in the past–likely because many of our social messages told me the opposite. 

When we begin connecting to our body even more, we learn how to regard our body with attention, to listen to what our body needs. Then we can honor it by supporting it in a healthy, caring, respectful way.

Your turn: What can you do today to start connecting to your body more? Are you open to asking yourself the questions: “At what cost?” and “What can I do to take care of myself in this moment?” What might happen if you decided to give care and attention to yourself, to slow down and check-in with your body first?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

When you beat yourself up

Stop it.

How does our sense of self-compassion motivate us differently than our self-judgment?

Most of us are used to judging or punishing ourselves into action. This might sound like: 

“I’m so disgusting, I need to workout extra hard today.” 

“I’m such a loser, I have to figure out how to make more money.” 

“I’m so inadequate, I need to find a partner.” 

“I’m a mess, I have to get this right.”

Whatever it is, we think mean things about ourselves in order to “motivate” us to do what we think we need to do in order to feel better about ourselves. “If I stop beating myself up, if I accept myself the way I am, I’ll get complacent and lazy, and never change.”

We think we need to beat ourselves up in order to take helpful actions. We might be in a rush to get “over there” because we think that’s when we’ll feel better about ourselves. Beating ourselves up may have gotten us results in the past, but at what cost to the relationship with ourselves? 

When we have a self-judging narrative, everything we do can feel punishing:

  • Instead of seeing a healthy plate of food that will nourish our body, we see a restrictive, limited diet
  • Instead of doing a workout and celebrating what our body can do, we see it as a way to burn calories and whip ourselves into shape–sometimes even as a penalty for “not eating right”
  • Instead of staying happy in a new relationship, we find ways to prove that we’re not worthy of happiness
  • Instead of becoming aware of how we talk to ourselves, we beat ourselves up for beating ourselves up!

Kindness, love, and respect for ourselves doesn’t start when we hit a certain goal of ours. 

In fact, when we do hit that goal without doing the work of self-compassion and acceptance, the reward will likely be temporary and we might still not like ourselves the way we thought we would when we finally get “over there” by hitting that goal. It’s because achieving goals doesn’t create our feelings. Our thoughts create our feelings. 

Kindness, love, and respect for ourselves can start right now, exactly as we are. 

Decide that that’s possible. 

When we have compassion and acceptance for ourselves exactly as we are at this time, we can start making the changes we want to see in our lives from a place of care, love, and patience. It’s about our relationship with ourselves. So that in the long-run, we are where we want to be with ourselves and in our lives, loving and accepting ourselves along the way. No matter what.

Your turn: Are you open to feeling accepting of yourself as you are? If not, what’s getting in the way? What are some of the self-judging thoughts you’re aware of? What are some self-compassionate thoughts you can have about yourself instead? What would happen today if you found some self-compassion for yourself in a situation where you usually beat yourself up?

Feeling challenged by finding more self-compassionate thoughts? Book an exploratory session here to build your self-compassion practice.

Subscribe if you want to receive this content directly in your inbox.

Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

Being indecisive is “easier”

Just decide.

Have you ever needed to make a decision about something but you allowed yourself to be indecisive about it instead? 

This could look like overanalyzing the pros and cons, asking other people for their opinion more than once, doing “more” research, switching back and forth between one decision and another, and procrastinating on taking action.

It can be worrying about whether it’s the “right” or “wrong” choice.

So we let ourselves stay in the mode of “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.”

Our brains want to keep us safe and staying in “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” is one way it does this. 

When we keep telling ourselves “I don’t know” or “I need more information” or “How will I know this is the right choice?” we block ourselves from deciding, because deciding can be scary. 

Deciding means we will have to take action. 

Deciding means stepping into the unknown. 

Deciding means we could potentially fail. 

Deciding means possibly having a difficult conversation.

Deciding means we may have to take on more responsibility.

Deciding means we may be successful beyond our wildest dreams.

All of that can feel scary. And all of that will also help us grow if we’re willing to see our decision as an opportunity for growth. If we’re willing to learn what there is to learn from this choice, even if it ends up being the “wrong” choice. 

Personally, I don’t believe in “wrong” choices–they’re just experiences to learn from. And we can always change our minds.

Also, think about how much energy goes into being undecided. Our brains keep going over and over the options, the pros and cons, the potential outcomes, the worst-case scenarios, etc.–sometimes for hours or days or weeks. For the same decision. 

That’s a lot of brain space that could be used for more productive means. Like creating the life we want. But instead, we think and think without creating forward momentum from all that thinking.

One thing that is powerful when making decisions is to like our reasons. Are we making this decision because it’s the “easy” choice, where we don’t have to stretch or expand ourselves? Are we making this choice from a place of self-love or self-sabotage? 

When we like our reasons for our decision, there is liberation in deciding.

We won’t know what will happen until we decide and take the next steps. 

Your turn: Do you recognize when your brain is keeping you safe by being stuck in “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure”? Are you willing to just decide instead, to like your reasons for your decision, and to have your own back? 

Will this choice move you toward an inspiring future or will it keep you stuck in the past? What’s the worst-case scenario if you make the decision you want to make? How will you be able to survive it? 

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

Trust yourself even more

How you do it.

There are different ways we learn how to trust (or not trust) ourselves. One of these ways is by doing (or not doing) what we say we’ll do–especially when it comes to ourselves. 

Most of the time, we’re used to doing what we say we’ll do for other people. Likely because we know the consequences of not following through: the other person will feel let down and disappointed and possibly change how they think about us, and then we’ll feel guilty for having disappointed them and think we need to make up for it somehow.

But what happens when we say we’ll do something for ourselves and then we don’t do it? Let’s say we put on the calendar an hour to do one of the following things: go to the gym, do a yoga class, take a walk, journal, read for leisure, or cook a healthy meal.

But we end up blowing ourselves off during that hour by using that time to keep working, scroll on social media, go out for drinks instead, or do something else besides what we had planned for ourselves. 

When we’re the ones not keeping our commitment to ourselves, we feel a double whammy–we’re the ones who are let down and disappointed AND we’re the ones feeling guilty about letting ourselves down. That feels doubly bad. And yet we might not even feel the need to make up for it somehow.

Knowing this feeling, the next time we go to make a commitment to ourselves, we might preemptively avoid disappointing ourselves and feeling guilty about it, so we might think, “Why bother? I’m not gonna do it anyway.” 

And then nothing moves forward around keeping commitments and building trust with ourselves. 

That’s how a defeating mindset begins when we think about making commitments to ourselves. We diminish our trust with ourselves when we don’t commit to what we say we’re going to do for ourselves.

To build trust with ourselves, we can take small steps. “Today I’m going to get up from my desk at 2pm and drink a glass of water and walk around the office/house for five minutes.” 

And then at 2pm, we do what we say. We get up, drink a glass of water, and walk around for five minutes. When we do this, there’s a sense of empowerment, a sense of accomplishing something and fulfilling a promise to ourselves–no matter how small.

“It feels good to do what I said I would!” Hi five to self. Celebrate that and remember the feeling. 

This is how we start to strengthen the muscle of trusting ourselves more, knowing that we can have our own back. We can continue to make another small commitment to keep each day–it could be the same one!–until it’s just automatic for us to keep our word to ourselves. Until it feels uncomfortable when we don’t keep our word to ourselves. 

When we get even better at keeping commitments to ourselves, we build even more trust with ourselves. We start to know what it truly feels like to have our own back–no matter what. 

And this trust with ourselves allows us to have our own back when making the bigger decisions and bigger commitments that we want to make, to have the lives we want for ourselves.

Your turn: You make decisions based on you and what you want for yourself; no one else can make these decisions for you. When you trust yourself to have your back no matter what the outcome is, there is no “wrong” decision. Just an opportunity to learn more about yourself and what you want or don’t want. What are you willing to do today to build even more trust with yourself? 

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

Does your day “come at” you?

Step into it instead.

Do you look at your phone and check work email the minute you wake up?

This used to be my morning routine: the alarm on my phone would go off. I’d turn it off and since my phone was in my hand, I would immediately check my work emails. I wanted to see what my day might look like. 

It seems like a productive thing to do, right? To “prepare for your day.”

I want to offer that when you do this, your day might appear to “come at” you. 

All the requests from other people and all the time you need to spend on emailing others for info, looking for info, and creating responses once you have the info. Along with the other meetings and projects you had planned to do that day–or last minute meetings and projects that have popped up overnight. 

It might be overwhelming. Starting your day immediately feeling overwhelmed likely doesn’t contribute to productivity in a way that serves you. 

What would happen if you didn’t look at your phone and check emails the minute you wake up?

I’ve talked to clients who said they feel anxious just thinking about not checking email first thing.

What if instead, you have an alarm that’s separate from your phone? And what if you took five minutes after waking up to start your day in a way that you want? 

This could look like intentional breathing, a short meditation, or some gentle movement and stretches for your body. For five minutes. 

It could look like lying in bed and recalling a dream you had or just savoring those five minutes for yourself in whatever way you want. 

It could look like writing down your thoughts or drinking a glass of water to rehydrate your body and feeling it flow through your system. Five minutes for yourself.

It could look any way you want it to look. This creates space for you to step into your day the way you want to. Instead of having your day come at you.

Your turn: How would your days change if you stepped into them the way you want to? What would happen if you start by exploring with five minutes to yourself at the start of your day, without your phone? And what if you could stretch that to 10 minutes? What about 20 or 30 minutes?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

I wish I learned this in school

Who’s responsible?

We’ve all likely heard the saying that “You’re responsible for your own happiness.” It likely makes sense on an intellectual level, but how many of us actually embrace this?

If we’re responsible for our own happiness, that means we take responsibility for how we’re feeling–with any emotion. 

We learn the opposite from adults and sometimes even in school. We hear adults say, “You hurt Jimmy’s feelings. Say sorry!” or “Did she hurt your feelings by doing that?” And we’d likely think that “Yes, she hurt my feelings by doing that.”

Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” 

What’s really going on is that we’re making what someone else says or does mean something about ourselves. We’re basically agreeing with what they said or did, which is the only way something can hurt us–if we let it. If we think it’s somehow true about us or if we somehow deserve it. 

Again, intellectually, this may make some sense. Living it and practicing it can be harder though, because we’ve been conditioned to believe that we cause other people’s feelings and that other people cause ours. 

But we know from the Model that our thoughts create our feelings. Always. It’s not the external circumstance that creates our feelings, even though it’s so easy to think that the circumstance is causing us to feel something. It’s what we’re thinking about the circumstance that creates our feelings. Our thinking creates our feelings. 

So in that sense, we can see how we are responsible for what we feel. Once we really become aware that this is how it works, we can be intentional about how we want to feel. Which means being intentional about how we are thinking.

I think some of us have a misconception that someone else is supposed to help our lives be great. When we abdicate ourselves from taking this responsibility, who do we think it belongs to? 

I used to want someone to come save me from my life when I was feeling dissatisfied, like things were missing from my life. 

You know what was missing from my life? ME. I wanted someone else to take the responsibility that is mine, to help my life become better than it was. To create more income for me, to find opportunities for me, to find a partner for me, to find a place for me to live, to help me eat healthy meals, to take care of me. How could someone else do this if I wasn’t willing to do it for myself? 

No one is going to do it for us. No one is going to live our lives for us. That’s our responsibility. We get to take care of ourselves and our lives. Intentionally. 

We have everything we need within us to take responsibility.

And that is great news. Because then we realize we can have the exact life we want when we take responsibility for creating it and caring for ourselves along the way. Intentionally.  

Your turn: What have you been giving responsibility to someone or something else to fulfill for you? Are you willing to take responsibility for this? How might your life be different if you started taking even more responsibility for what you want? How might your life be different if you practiced intentional self-care?

Dive Deeper: Do you feel any resistance to the idea of taking responsibility in this way? If yes, why? What if those thoughts are just limiting beliefs about what’s possible for you?

Want to learn more about the Model and how your thoughts create your feelings? Sign-up for an exploratory session here.

Subscribe if you want to receive this content directly in your inbox.

Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

Why should I feel uncomfortable?

Stop buffering.

This week we’re talking about buffering. What is buffering? 

We buffer to avoid feeling emotional pain or uncomfortable emotions.

When we buffer, we use external things to change how we feel internally. This means engaging in an action to put a buffer between us and a feeling we don’t want to feel. The action could be something like overeating, overdrinking, overspending, over-Instagraming, over-Netflixing, overworking, over-cleaning, or over-exercising. It could be anything if we’re using that thing/action to prevent ourselves from feeling an emotion.

These things become false pleasures that have a net-negative outcome: When we overeat, we gain weight. When we overdrink, we end up with hangovers and half of the next day is ruined. When we overspend, we go into debt or don’t meet our savings goals.

If buffering is what we do to avoid pain/discomfort, it makes sense that when we stop buffering, we’ll feel pain/discomfort. But most of us don’t understand this, which makes it almost impossible to stop buffering.

We have to be willing to feel uncomfortable in order to move past our buffers.

An analogy for this is like stepping into a house and turning on the lights and the house is a mess. The obvious and easiest answer is to turn the lights back off (to buffer) so the mess will “go away.” But the mess doesn’t go away–you just can’t see it now because the lights are off.

It’s similar with emotions. Avoiding an emotion doesn’t make the emotion go away—it just helps us not to see or feel it. We pretend it isn’t there, but it is there, and it’s there for a reason.

In order to figure out the reason, we need to stop buffering and turn the lights on. Then we need to remember that yes, the mess seems overwhelming, but we can handle it, we can clean it up. Turning the lights off prevents us from cleaning because we can’t see. Going unconscious by buffering has the same effect.

When we stop buffering, we’ll likely experience temporary pain. And the pain isn’t caused by the lack of buffering. What we need to do is stop buffering ourselves long enough to find the cause of the pain. 

When we give up our buffers, we’ll still get upset, but we’ll deal with it differently. We won’t head for the ice cream, which will just make us feel sick or regretful. We’ll deal with it by becoming aware and examining why we’re upset. Soon, we won’t even want ice cream or chips because the pleasure we get from food—or whatever buffering actions we’re doing—actually diminishes, and the pleasure we get from taking care of ourselves and fueling ourselves increases.

When we trade the false pleasures in our life for real well-being, we gain confidence, and that confidence creates more confidence, which creates even more confidence.

Instead of using external things to change how we feel, we can use our minds to change how we feel. Or we can even choose to feel and process the emotion in the moment.

Your turn: What feelings have you been avoiding? What are the false pleasures you’ve been engaging in? In what way would your life be better if you didn’t have these false pleasures? Are you ready to stop buffering and willing to feel some discomfort instead, to move towards real well-being?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

Not having it all together

No need to hide.

In the past, I wanted to portray myself in a way where others would think I had it all together. That I knew what I was doing. That I had everything I wanted. That I was “fine” and living a “fine” life the way I wanted to.

But I was hiding. I wasn’t allowing myself to be open and vulnerable. To be real and tell the truth. Why?

Patriarchal concepts, especially within my private equity job, played into my perception of myself. I used to armor myself, metaphorically, to put forward a competent, self-sufficient, capable version of myself who wasn’t emotional or sensitive. Who was there and could do the job no matter what, pick up the pieces for others–even at the expense of myself sometimes. 

I didn’t give myself space to be authentic, partly because I didn’t know what that even meant for me. Who was I? What did I want? What brought me joy? I didn’t know the answers internally–I based what I wanted on external, societal, patriarchal values of what I “should” want or have for myself as a “successful” person. 

I didn’t allow myself to be known because there were parts of myself that seemed unacceptable to me, because I thought they were weak. And I didn’t want other people to know about those parts. 

It wasn’t until I started therapy after going through emergency open-heart surgery that I had a chance to look more closely at how I was living my life, by questioning beliefs I held that weren’t actually serving me, to redefine what success looked like and meant for me, to understand why I had armored and hid myself. 

Through therapy, coaching, and deep self-care practices, I learned how to accept more parts of me, to start telling myself the truth about what I needed and wanted, about who I am. I learned how I can share myself with others in a more authentic way, to hold space for myself and for them to show up in real ways, not in people-pleasing ways. 

I continue on this journey and I get to learn even more about myself and others along the way. I’m passionate about sharing how self-care can shift us to a place of self-acceptance and eventually to self-love

Self-care is not just about bubble baths and massages–it goes beyond that, if we’re willing to see how powerful it can be. 

Your turn: What parts of yourself have you been hiding and why? How would your life be different if you learned to accept those parts of yourself? How might practicing powerful self-care help you show up differently in the world, for yourself and for others?

Go beyond bubble baths. Find out more here. 

Subscribe if you want to receive this content directly in your inbox.

Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.