You don’t need permission to be yourself, but so often that is how it might feel like you’re living your life. Waiting for the signs and the sense that you are somehow doing it ‘right’. You look for those signs in affirmations from others. In the praise you get for a job well done. Or in how much you’re the envy of your friends.
Often times though, that praise is short lived. Being the envy of others isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, and waiting for others to affirm you can be flat out disheartening when the affirmations don’t come.
If you’re chasing those things, you are likely doing things you don’t want to be doing, to impress people you don’t care about impressing. Being someone you know you’re not meant to be.
Have you ever stopped to wonder if there was something wrong with you because you didn’t want to do it the way it’s always been done? I used to think there was something wrong with me. Well, ok, I have thought that more than I would ever like to admit and on many more occasions than one.
I used to think I was broken as a mom because..
I didn’t want to homeschool.
I didn’t want to be a stay at home mom.
I didn’t want to do all the Pinterest crafts or be the room mom, head of the PTA, or anything else like that.
Full disclaimer, if that is you, I’m glad. And I am sure you are rocking it. That was never my jam no matter how hard I tried.
And I used to feel so guilty. So bad about myself as a mom because I was comparing myself to other moms who were doing those things and seemed happy. Not to mention those were subtle messages I received growing up.
I wanted to have it both ways–I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. Have my own thing and be a stellar mom. But for some reason, I thought it was either or. Not ever both and..
You’ve felt that tension too. Not in the exact same way as me I’m sure, but it’s there. Subtly holding you back.
Living with the belief that being a good mom meant I had to give up the desire to have something of my own outside of motherhood broke my heart and stressed me out.
I was afraid I’d never measure up to what was expected of me
As long as I had my own thing going outside of motherhood and being a wife, and it seemed like if I wanted to be successful in work, I’d have to sacrifice my family and my marriage.
It felt like I was trying to cram myself into some other woman’s mold for her life. It never fit quite right, ya know?!
I wondered what the other moms thought of me for being career oriented and ambitious.
The problem with trying to hide bits of who you are or trying to manipulate them to be what you think they should be instead of who you really are is that you will never truly be happy or fulfilled. That, my friend will bleed into all the other areas of your life.
There will always be a hole, something missing.
You, like me, will feel like you’re simply going through the motions. Like you’re living someone else’s life swallowing the discontentment and unrest you feel deep in your gut.
But it won’t ever feel quite right. It won’t ever feel like you’re actually being true to the truest version of yourself…the one you were created to be.
There is more than just one right way for you to be a good ___________
It never really occurred to me that so much of what I thought made me a good mom, was conditioned..from society, from my own family, from other well-meaning people..but that none (or very little) was actually true.
In fact, your very reality right now isn’t real at all. It’s a version of reality that you’ve created through experiences, beliefs, and messaging that you’ve been taught your whole life.
Talk about mind blowing.
Has #momguilt ever gotten the best of you? Is shame about who you believe you are in your gut an old friend?
Have you ever considered where those feelings or thoughts were coming from?
If you’ve just sort of been going through the motions, and never really feeling like it’s a fit, it might be time to take a break from the race you’ve been running and examine what truly makes you tick.
Does that spark joy? -Marie Kondo
What brings you joy?
What feels like it is missing from your life right now?
Where do the thoughts and feelings of guilt or shame come from for you?
Mindfulness is such an underutilized skill, yet holds so many answers we are searching for.
By taking a step back, and asking yourself some simple, yet thought provoking questions, you will truly gain insight into how you’re wired. This is one of the best gifts I believe you can give yourself.
After you’ve gotten some answers, you must be willing to take the next, little, and super scary step. Step out of the mold you’ve been trying to make yourself ‘fit’, and into the bold, audacious, and ambitious woman you were always meant to be.
Nasty thoughts of comparison will creep in as you begin to forge your own way, so guard your mind.
I used to wonder all the time (and still do on occasion) whether I was going to ruin my kids if I didn’t do everything by the book? If instead of doing it the way it’s always been done, I created a new path.
I doubted myself a lot. In fact, I still do. But you know what?
Living in a more aligned, authentic, and intuitive way has only ever increased the joy, happiness, and contentment in my life. It will do the same for you too.
Why? Because even if you’re not doing it right, there is no one else to compare it to, because you’re following your own path. You’re running your own race, and in that, there can ever only be one winner. You.
When you’re the one writing the rules and setting the standards for what your life should like and not society. Not your mom (as well intended as she might be) or your ‘friends’ on social media, you become the most powerful version of yourself.
Tune out the noise, the guilt, the shame, and tune into the unique and beautiful purpose God has for your life.