Inside: These 12 lies keep many people stuck and hold them back from building a happy and purposeful life. Don’t let them stop you.
Most mornings I wake up drippy with gratitude and delight for this imperfect and beautiful life of mine. I can hardly believe how fortunate I am to connect with women around the world, have space to putter and read, a family to love, and opportunity to use my gifts to encourage and teach on a daily basis.
But not that long ago I lived stuck. Afraid to write, to try new things, to take a risk.
I was productive and busy yet I wasn’t showing up fully to life nor doing my deepest work in the world. This was in large part because I hadn’t yet learned to examine and challenge my thoughts.
I choose to live on purpose.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear but choosing to show up even when we’re afraid. In a similar vein, living a purposeful life doesn’t mean having life all figured out or always feeling confident but choosing to live awake and with intention each step of the way.
When we decide to step out and forge a life off the beaten path or one fully aligned to our core values and highest priorities, resistance tends to arise. Comparison and perfectionism clamor aggressively for our attention. And fear spins subtle lies or half-truths to keep us distracted and mired in complacency.
We need to wake up to the thoughts we believe about our worth and capacity to do hard things so we can separate fact from fiction, challenge the lies, and continue forging ahead – with joy and on purpose.
RELATED: Join me for a conversation with Jen Louden, Author of Why Bother? (my most marked-up book of 2020. We talk about Courageous Living & Relationships in the Messy Middle of Life – Watch Here!
Challenge these 12 lies for a purposeful life
1. My dream is impossible. It’s too big and will take too long.
When there is a huge gulf between where we are and what we want, we can feel incredibly discouraged. How will we ever get “over there”? Be willing to be a beginner and break that big vision down into micro-steps and take the longer view; if it’s worth having then it’s worth slow and steady work. We build a sense of competency as we experience small wins by focusing on small, consistent, purposeful steps. Just one at a time.
2. I’ll never be able to measure up or keep up.
This may very well be true … if your job was to measure up or keep up to anyone else or their path. But your job is to walk out your unique vision, to honour your wiring and build a “right-sized life.” Perfectionism will keep us from even starting but we can loosen our grip on a need for our life or dream to look exactly one way and decide to stay open to joyful possibility. Yes, you may never “measure up or keep up” to anyone else but you may build a joyful, purposeful life that is far beyond what you could have hoped for or imagined, simply because you stepped out.
3. I’ve tried before and failed. Why bother?
When we remove judgment and shame from the conversation we see all our life experiences as useful information that can be harnessed for our benefit. Not one of us will get through life unscathed – there is no shame in falling down – get back up. Each day is a fresh start to choose who and how we’ll be in the world; we can show up courageous and curious. Learning to pivot and learn from life experience is a sign of wisdom so shake yourself off, cheer yourself onward, and craft a new plan of action.
4. I’m a fraud, a phony, bumbling along, making things up as I go.
If this is you, celebrate! It means you’re in the arena. We’re all making it up as we go and rather than this being shameful, it’s amazing. This life is a crazy, beautiful, messy adventure for those who’ll step into the waters.
5. Every time I try something new, I go strong for a few weeks then fall off the wagon.
This is a really common problem that can often be resolved by choosing an “all or nothing mindset.” Adopting a more sustainable approach to life and goals can help us stay the course. We can build daily, weekly, and yearly rhythms that feel joyful and sustainable. We can remember that periods of rest are essential to productivity and creativity. We can learn not to run from discomfort when things feel hard. And we can practice quieting the noise of perfectionism that tells us that success looks like “all or nothing.”
NOW WHAT? Join me and a group of other growth-minded women inside the Brave & Beautiful Membership Community – a lovely and inspiring place to forge relationships and continue becoming who and how you choose to be in the world.