Three Things I Stopped Doing to Enjoy Life More

 

I was cleaning up in my craft room last week and I came across a journal from 1997.

Y’all! 1997!!!

How I still have this journal I don’t know, but reading through it made me think about how far I’ve come and how much I’ve changed. What came through loud and clear was just how long I struggled with the things I wrote about in my journal.

Maybe you recognize some of the struggles...

  • Feeling like I’m not enough
  • Feeling my body wasn’t what it should be
  • Having a loud inner critic pointing out all my faults
  • Caring too much what other people think

...And on and on and on.

Gladly, I’m beyond those struggles, and you can be too, sweet friend. Seriously, if I can do this, it’s possible for anyone.

Feeling better doesn’t happen overnight, but there are clear things I stopped doing to help me get past the crap and move forward in my life.

 

I stopped feeling like I don’t belong.

For years, no matter where I was, I felt like I didn’t fit in.

Mommy and me class.
At lunch with the girls.
Dinner parties for my husbands work.
At the mall. Pretty much anywhere.

I assumed so much about other people. I assumed what they liked or didn’t like, and I assumed they had all their shit together and were five steps ahead of me. I was REALLY hard on myself, too, feeling like I didn’t have much to offer to conversations or relationships.

Here’s what I know for sure about this...you can’t belong anywhere if you don’t first belong to yourself.

Brene Brown talks about this in her latest book Braving the Wilderness.

She writes,

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”

Damn! Truth bomb!

Learning to love myself, exactly as I am, and reconnect with what I love and what brings me joy helped me to eventually belong to myself. It helped me to stop searching for the evidence that I DON’T fit in, but instead walk through my days knowing I do.

 

I stopped chasing perfect.

Y’all. Perfect doesn’t exist!

So much of my angst was because I wanted to be perfect in everything I did. And the real kicker was, when I didn’t measure up to the perfect vision in my head, I beat myself up about it. I talked a lot about this in this post.

I was able to let go of perfection by learning to live with intention and celebrate my progress. I started using things like Powersheets to get clear on goals and to be encouraged by making little by little progress, and embrace that DONE is better than perfect.

Friends, life isn’t happening TO you. You get to decide how you want to spend your time and how you want to feel. Take control and you’ll be amazed at what you can do!

 

I stopped believing all the crappy things I thought about myself.

A lot of my struggles were stories I was believing about myself, stories I bought into somewhere along the way. I learned to turn down the volume on my inner critic. I learned how to think new thoughts.

It’s hard to rewire an old story, but it can totally be done! It kind of goes back to the Brene Brown quote above...when you’re looking for something, you’re gonna find it. And when you say something to yourself over and over and over again you’re going to believe it. Create a new story for yourself, and change what you’re telling yourself over and over again to something more positive and loving and kind.

For me to do that, I had to start looking for evidence of new stories. Evidence of enoughness, of celebrating my progress instead of perfection, of loving my body for all it does and can do today. It feels so much better to tell myself positive things and look for the goodness in my life and find that it’s there in abundance.

And here’s a little BONUS for you, because I love you. This one is something that you can begin to implement TODAY!

I stopped taking everything so seriously.

Friend, it’s HARD to be perfect. It doesn’t feel good to chase perfection and constantly be falling short.

The more perfect I tried to be, the more serious I was about #allthethings. From what I was wearing for a dinner party to the goodies bags I was making for my son’s birthday party, I wanted it all to be perfect. There was no time to relax or have fun because I constantly felt “on.”

But here’s the thing...life is supposed to be FUN! Life isn’t meant to be hard, and again, there’s no such thing as perfect. (Are you starting to see how passionate I am about the perfection thing?)

I had to find the little things that brought me joy and make sure I included them in each day. I had to embrace imperfection and learn to celebrate the DOING of things, not the OUTCOME.

What do you notice about all these things?

Well, I’ll tell ya. They all required a shift in my mindset.

The mind is a powerful thing and the habits and old stories you’ve fallen into can absolutely be changed into good habits and more positive stories. You are worth the time and effort it will take to get there!

Do you have any old stories you’d like to change? Do you need to let go of perfection? Hop into the Facebook group and continue this conversation!

 

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