So today’s Pep Talk is allll about how to freakin’ take action on the thing you’ve been thinking about in the back of your mind for wayyyy too long at this point. And I’ve broken this into 2 parts. In part 1 of this episode, I’m going to share the #1 thing holding us back and then part 2 will be more tactical…basically the how-to part in breaking through.
So let’s dive in shall we?
So on this podcast, we talk about decisions that we make in life that are sometimes pretty dang difficult to make. And for a lot of people, it’s way easier to just stay stuck somewhere that’s okay then it is to make the decision to level up to something better.
And we’ve all been there right? Where something is good enough that we can deal with it and it’s fine. Maybe it’s a relationship where it’s just vanilla. Right? It’s bad…but not yet bad enough to where you are taking action to leave. Which is just the worst in my opinion because it’s like this slow boring death of mediocrity and settling. No one wants that…but we often have blinders on that keep us from really getting perspective!
And for a lot of people, good enough IS good enough. And we talked about this in episode 8…which if you haven’t listened to it I highly recommend tapping on that one next as it’s hands down the most downloaded episodes so far. How when you’re looking at making a decision in your life, you gotta tell yourself “If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a heck no.”
Okay so but why do so many people settle for “good enough?” Good enough jobs. Good enough relationships. Good enough health.
Well to answer that question we need to start by looking at one thing…and that one thing is called FEAR.
And how can we tell if fear is in the driver seat? The easiest way to know is to listen to yourself (so listen to what you say out loud to other people and what you say in your head to yourself) and see if you’re coming up with excuses.
Excuses are often the very first sign of fear.
Excuses are like smoke and fear is the fire. SO if you see smoke it’s a sign to go “Uh-oh…I better take a moment to look at this situation with clear eyes).
And yes, some excuses are good. If you’re considering doing something dangerous or something that you know maybe you shouldn’t try…then let’s hope your intuition is shouting at you. Trying to tell you all the reasons why you should probably just take a melatonin Sharon and go to sleep.
But what I want to talk about today are the kind of excuses we create in our minds when we have something in our lives that we KNOW we SHOULD be going after.
And gosh, sometimes those excuses don’t even come from us but from the people around us who have their own mental baggage and opinions. Have you ever had an idea or been excited about something only to have someone else totally take a squat on your enthusiasm…like they literally pooped on your party and you were left feeling totally deflated.
Well it’s important that we talk about it in today’s episode because women especially give way toooooo much value to the opinions of other people.
Maybe it’s because women are among the worst at giving unsolicited opinions and advice to others…I don’t know. But the point is, when you’re considering taking a big leap in your life and pursuing something that feels right to you and your gut…then we need to really build a protective wall around that and just go after it no matter what your friends or well meaning loved ones say.
I’ll give you an example. When I was a freshman in college, I decided that I wanted to be an attorney. And not just any attorney…I wanted to be an attorney that helped women. I wanted to be the female Perry Mason for women’s rights.
I became very fired up about this vision for my life.
I had my entire wardrobe picked out in my head (because obviously that’s important). But it would be all pencil skirts, blouses, I’d wear my hair in a low ponytail…this was going to be lawyer uniform where I’d look all “Legally Blonde” but with brown hair and the opposition would underestimate me and I’d sit across the mediation table and slit their proverbial throats with legal knowledge bombs.
At least, that’s how I pictured it all going down in my head.
My father was an attorney and had his own law firm…so I grew up doing secretarial work in his office and I knew from a young age that I could be a damn good attorney.
So I was actually excited to tell him about my thoughts. And I thought he would have been excited!
Anyway, I told him later that summer…I think we had just finished dinner. And I only said a couple sentences before he interrupted me and said “You don’t want to be an attorney. There are already too many attorneys in the world.”
I sat there feeling a little throw off and confused. I was dripping in disappointment because I had allowed myself to create expectations for this conversation.
And he continued on saying how difficult it would be for me to get a job as an attorney because there were too many attorneys. And also, being an attorney isn’t conducive to being a mother. And I needed to choose a profession that would allow me to be home with my kids during non school hours.
He was slightly old fashioned.
Anyway, I felt crushed. I went to bed that night and decided to put the idea of being an attorney out of my mind for good.
My father wasn’t trying to be mean or dismissive. I mean, he didn’t have support from his parents to go to college and so he had to hitchhike from Oregon all the way to Northwestern University to go to college. He made that happen and didn’t listen to the naysayers in his life…
And looking back, it was 100% on me that I allowed someone else’s excuses and limiting beliefs to invade my own thoughts and passions. I had not yet developed the strength of conviction…to where I could have listened to his words and just smiled and nodded knowing that nothing he was going to say would change how I felt. But that was a lesson I still had yet to learn.
So we need to put blinders on when it comes to making decisions in our lives. Other people love to give advice…but this is your life. You get to create your own roadmap. Let them focus on their own….you do you.
And it’s funny, a few years ago my older brother and I were talking about this conversation I had with our dad and he laughed and said that dad had told him the same thing…that he shouldn’t become a lawyer because there are too many lawyers in the world. And God Bless my brother because he just kinda shrugged and became a lawyer anyway. And he’s built an incredibly successful career doing what he loves…
Just goes to show…put your blinders on and follow your intuition.
So now let’s talk about part 2…now that you’ve put your blinders on and you’ve tapped into your intuition and decided that THIS is something that you really want to do.
- Maybe it’s start your own online business
- Maybe it’s applying for a different job
- Maybe it’s leaving a relationship
- Or moving to a completely new city
Whatever IT is for you…you feel it in your gut that this is something you are wanting to do.
Okay, so what next?
So, what I’m going to say next is going to be very uncomfortable for many of you. If you’re someone who likes things to be perfect…likes to plan out everything down to the smallest detail before beginning Or if you’re someone who really enjoys overthinking things..than you’re probably going to make a face throughout this next part of the episode.
But that’s okay.
You’re planning skills and overthinking habits can actually help you in many areas of your life…but NOT in this area. Let me rephrase that…perfectionism + overplanning and overthinking will HOLD YOU DOWN when you’re taking a big leap in life.
It may work fine for you if you’re just taking steps. One foot in front of the other. But we’re not talking about stepping today. We’re talking about leaping forward on something.
So let’s put your perfectionism + overplanning and overthinking in the same trunk of the car we put fear in during part 1 of this episode. Just imagine you have a giant cadillac sized trunk…it’s going to hold everything just fine.
Okay, so here’s what you’re going to do next.
You’re going to take action on one thing. I always say here that when you’re in your head, you’re dead…so we’re going to get this thing you want to do out of your head and INTO the physical world through action.
And despite what many people like to say, this doesn’t need to be Massive Action.
Size doesn’t matter.
It matters with some things…but not this one.
Psychologically speaking, our brains don’t really care if it’s a small or big action here…it’s going to create the same energy flow.
So about 13 years ago I was really into style blogs. They had just started to become a thing…blogging was still fairly new. I read the same ones every week and just really really loved them…so much so that I would think about starting my OWN style blog. I would think about it on the way to work, while sitting at my desk, while I was eating lunch, I would think about it all the way home from work, while I was eating dinner, as I lay awake in my bed at night.
You get the point. I basically thought about it all the time. I was annoying myself with how much I thought about it.
But weeks and months passed and I didn’t do anything about it. I think a whole year went by and I stayed stuck in this fear cycle with all the usual suspects: You know…the “who am I to create a style blog?” inferiority complex. The “I could never be like them” comparison complex. Also the “I’m not techy and I wouldn’t even know how to begin?” excuse complex.
I had alllll of the complexes…
And then one night, I had just poured a glass of wine and I thought “F it…It’s time to figure this out.” I think I got tired of my own BS. So I sat in front of the computer for hours…I mean, I don’t even think I went to bed until around 2am that night because I was just in the zone.
When I did go to bed that night, I had a blogspot blog and a blog name…which is hilarious because I came up with the name Marionberry Style after my 3rd glass of wine and it was NOT a well thought out name at all. But that’s kind of my point…it doesn’t really matter!
I had taken imperfect action…and it ended up being perfect.
Because everything worth building is a result of someone who is willing to fail forward.
To take imperfect action again and again and again…refinement takes place during the journey. NOT before the journey begins.
If you were to look at ANY style blogger who has been around for a while and saw their photos from the early days of their blog, you’d see ridiculous outfits. Horrible camera quality. Hilarious poses. But they all had to go through that in order to get to where they are now. You gotta put in your reps in order to get the muscle…it just doesn’t show up.
I don’t know if you follow Christine Andrew from Hello Fashion Blog, but she shares old school photos of her early days on the blog every 6 months or so just to kinda poke some fun at herself but also to remind people that she didn’t just wake up to the blog and the Instagram following she has today. She put in the reps and failed forward over and over and over again.
People think success looks like the shiny outcome…but real success looks like work and messiness and learning and refining. And doing that over and over and over again.
So you want to go brain dead and take one small action toward the thing that you’ve been thinking about for a very long time now.
If it’s moving to a new city? Then you’re not going to bed tonight until you’ve spent some time researching neighborhoods in that city.
If it’s starting an etsy business, then it’s creating an etsy account.
If it’s applying for another job, then it means tonight your head doesn’t hit the pillow until you’ve freakin applied to at least one job.
We don’t need to overcomplicate this. That’s actually a huge problem in society today and with so many “quote Experts”…everyone wants to overcomplicate crap that doesn’t need to be complicated.
Perfection doesn’t exist.
And that’s good news for you…because you can create effort. Even if it’s just 10 minutes worth, you can make those 10 minutes of effort into 10 minutes of putting in reps to improve your life. And at the end of the day, those 10 minutes are going to leave you thinking “Dang, I really can do this.” And then you’re going to show up for another 10 reps the next day and then the day after that.
And then even after you’ve built your blog, your online business, you’ve moved to your new dream city or quit your job to start a job you’ve been dreaming about for years…you’re going to continue to grow and evolve. Because evolving is at the heart of what lifes about.
We’re never standing still. We’re either evolving and moving forward…or we’re moving backwards…there’s no such thing as staying where we are.
So chin up and shoulders back girl…it’s time to take that leap.
Thanks so much for listening today…I can’t wait to see you next time!
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