- Get that moment to yourself?
- Do something for yourself and NOT feel guilty?
- Focus on what's important to you?
- Overcome your fear?
- See your self-worth?
- Love yourself everyday and just the way you are?
- Be confident?
- Be FREE?
- Splurge on yourself? (Hello designer handbag and housecleaner!)
- Feel happy? Satisfied? Fulfilled? JOY??
- Revel in your accomplishments and not feel like a failure?
- Move from the negative thoughts and onto the positive?
- Let go of perfection?
- STOP people pleasing?!
When is it going to be time to just be YOU?
THE BEST FREAKING YOU?
Except I was no where close. Completely the opposite and the word I would use, even though it makes me cringe...is miserly. I used to be so miserly with myself...just like Scrooge. Except it was only with me and my desires.
I was incredibly generous to everybody else (I'm not just talking about money, although I loved getting nice gifts and making people happy that way too). But I was really miserly in how I valued myself.
Always putting everybody else before me. Their needs were worth more than mine. Things would fall apart otherwise, right?
Always giving value to what everybody else thought about me...or what I thought people thought about me and not allowing myself to breathe.
Always trying to be perfect so that meant I 'couldn't' and 'shouldn't' so many things!
Never allowing myself to splurge or enjoy my life unless it was for someone else. So much so that when my marriage was falling apart I panicked because who would I be if I wasn't in a marriage?!
My life only functioned because of the life I so desperately wanted to be in. Like I was at some party except I wasn't invited.
Until I had an epiphany one morning in March of 2013. A morning where I was walking on the trail behind my home under a clear sky. As I was strolling on the dark asphalt in the fresh air, I stopped all of a sudden as a realization waved over me.
"I have low self-esteem" - I said aloud (well not so loud so I didn't look like a weirdo on the path). As I realized this, I remember thinking, "that's funny," because I never would have thought that about myself. I thought I was doing everything "right" so shouldn't I be in a great place?
But the truth was clear in front of me. No matter how put together I looked on the outside or pretended to be, I was a shell of 'perfection', with a woman dying within.
No clarity on who I was, what I wanted, or what to do with my life. Constantly agitated knowing things couldn't go on like this forever.
I had stopped asking God for what I wanted because frankly...the one thing I was asking for was not working out (my marriage) and I didn't know my life outside of that. What was the point of asking for anything else when this was all the good I could possibly get...
Truth is, I didn't even feel worthy to ask. I felt alone and stuck and confused. Unable to imagine a life outside of the false one I so wanted to live.
Who was I? I didn't know anything except pretending my life was ok...keeping up the pretenses of 'normalcy.'
But deep down inside my painful secret was that I literally had no idea who I was.
So I kept walking that day and made a promise to myself to work on my self-esteem. When I got home, I went to a small dreams list I had in Google Docs and added the following item that I bolded and highlighted in green:
'IT'S MY TIME'
I had NO idea what that meant but this much I knew...things HAD to change. I could feel it in every part of my being...that it was MY time.
I had been extremely patient and good and all things sweet and nice...and guess what...it was time for ME.
Suddenly my dreams list started to expand. I took swim lessons, joined a hip-hop class, learned piano, and slowly by slowly, I started doing things I enjoyed.
In typical fashion, I had to share with everyone that I was working on my self-esteem. And people would be like, "Huh, I've never actually heard that, but what a great thing to work on." I remember my swim instructor telling me, "Oh, I've heard people say they're working on their diet but this is so new."
It's like I tapped into the thing nobody actually wanted to say out loud. Self-Esteem. Not for adult women who seem to be put together, at least.
We think about teenagers with low self-esteem and the extreme trauma that can come with it like addictions, eating disorders or really toxic relationships.
I didn't have any of those. In fact, you would see me as quite the 'success' and woman to be. A sweet, nice daughter/wife/friend with a great job and dinner parties on the weekend.
But it didn't mean that I wasn't struggling inside. It didn't mean day to day I often wondered, "Who am I? What do I want? What does it mean to be my best self? Is there anything more for me? Why am I never satisfied?"
When you've always grown up being the gold star student for everyone else...it's hard to know what your life means outside of that approval and people pleasing.
And so when I reflect back on this story and see how far I've come, I realize what seemed insurmountable at the time...is just a chapter in the life I'm living today.
A life of being my best self with a deep purpose.
Discovering all of me.
The power I was ashamed of and wanted to always tuck away so I wouldn't rock the boat.
The emotional side that felt a lot of things even if I was embarrassed to cry in front of others.
The immense drive to make a difference in the world and no longer putting it to the side for someone else.
It was when I stepped into being my best self that I learned and realized what it meant to be me. And I was pretty perfect the way I was. Not the perfect in who I was trying "to be", but just me.
Through the journey of discovery is where I finally began to live life. Getting out of my head and into reality. A reality filled with experiences I could have never imagined and would have never happened if I didn't claim myself. Tentatively at first, but now loud and proud.
My journey included so much:
- Culture - traveling to new places with new experiences and learning the world is a HUGE place with different kinds of people
- Adventure - flying trapeze and whitewater rafting
- Connection - with new soul sisters and deeper connections with the ones I already had.
- Love - with my new hubby! But most importantly with myself
- Purpose - discovering the soul driven work to help other women step into their own power!
- FREEDOM and FULFILLMENT
Oh, how I underestimated what's possible in life. How God truly had a better plan for me even when I couldn't see or understand.
I wouldn't go back and change anything but moving forward, I'm never going to let time pass away again putting myself last. I've learned how and why putting myself first is best for me and everyone around me...and I'm going to show you how you can do the same.
Are you in? Do you feel like it's your time? Are you ready for things to change?
In the next post here, I share the first step to shift your energy to transform your life. And this is something you can do immediately.
For now, start with your declaration! Say out loud 'It's MY Time' and comment below with what you're ready for! I'm going to hold this space for you and we are going to make it happen!!!
It IS YOUR time, beautiful.