Why the world needs you to be yourself: how living up to others expectations is holding you back

Listen up, sister: The world needs you to be FULLY yourself. Not some watered down version of yourself or a knock off of someone else.

In today’s show, we are talking about why the world needs you to be yourself + how living up to others expectations is holding you back.

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From early ages as women, we are conditioned by subtle and overt messages from our families, the media, and the world around us telling us who we should be, what we should look like, and how we should live our lives. These messages are holding you back.

We weren’t created to live like anyone else or try to live up to others’ expectations. We were each beautifully and wonderfully made. With unique gifts, talents, dreams, and ambitions. There is a special purpose you were meant to fulfill. But we will never reach our potential if we let feelings of unworthiness, guilt, and shame dictate how we show up in the world around us.

We will never be the wives, moms, women we were created to be as long as we are chasing some one else’s idea of what that looks like. Believe it or not, the quirky, weird, and embarrassing things about you are exactly what you should be leaning into and sharing with the world around you. Sister, you are already loved, cherished, and more valuable than you could ever know. You don’t have to earn that by how you look or what you achieve.

If you are exhausted from working your butt off to earn others’ approval or praise, this episode is for you.

Welcome to The Strong[HER] Way, a place where you can be who you were created to be, so that you can do what only you were created to do. I’m so glad you’re here!

If you love what you hear today, please leave a review and share with your tribe <3

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Being in the best shape almost cost me my marriage

Being in the best shape almost cost me my marriage

I fell for the lies.

I used to think if I was in better shape I’d somehow be a better version of myself as a wife, mom, coach, or whatever other role I had in my life at the time. For me though, better shape had everything to do with how I looked. Not necessarily how I felt about my body, or how healthy I was mentally, emotionally, relationally. Being in the best shape almost cost me my marriage.  

And while on some level being in better shape did make me a better version of myself, it also made me a worse version of myself. 

A crazy thing started to happen, and it was so subtle I didn’t notice it until it was almost too late or really even until after the fact. 

The more ‘fit’ I became, the more selfish I had become. 

I was obsessed with myself, with my body, with the food I ate. To the point that my marriage was crumbling. 

There were times I thought about leaving my life, and my family behind. Starting over in this new, amazing body I had invested so much time and energy into building. 

You see, I think we are sold this idea that if we were in better shape the whole world would open up for us, and our problems would melt away…kinda like the fat on our thighs.

The reality is, if you’re just doing the work on the outside (and not also on the inside), you will have new problems. 

You can’t fix the outside, expecting it will heal the broken places on the inside. 

I was afraid of letting myself go, giving up my fitness obsession. Or my thoughts about having a certain body. 

My identity had become so wrapped up in my body. 

While my fitness journey may have started out as a healthy endeavor to get in shape to be a healthier version of me. 

It was fueled by negative emotions from the get go.

You see, I didn’t start out feeling ok or at peace with my body. I wasn’t grateful for what it had survived to that point. 

I was at odds with my body, and blamed my weight for my problems.

With anything there is a point of diminishing returns. Meaning more isn’t always better. Just like doing nothing is not better either. 

I think there is always the temptation to teeter between two extremes. This is dangerous because you’ll always either feel like you’re totally out of control or fall into the false sense of control that being too much of anything provides.

I fell prey to the lie that our relationship would be better if I was in better shape. That I needed to change my body in some massive way to be a better wife. 

What actually needed to happen was I needed to become a better wife by focusing a little less on myself and more on loving my husband regardless of what my body looked like. 

He didn’t care if I was a size 0 or a size 10. 

Here’s an outline of how I backed off of my fitness obsession little by little.

I didn’t realize just how much time and energy was spent on worrying about food, what I was eating, my weight, or what I looked like until after I left diet culture behind.

Thinking less about my body has opened up so much more time for me to think about my husband, yes, but also so many other things.  

The most ironic thing is I am to this day, as confident as I was at my smallest, if not even more. 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight because you think it’s what you need to do to be more worthy of love from your partner or you’ve lost the weight, and now you’re frantically trying to keep it off, there is a better way.

And I want to show you how to get there. The Mindful Eating Project is opening soon. Fill out the form below to get more info, and just for doing so, I’ll send you a FREE gift that will help you get more of your time back. Who doesn’t want that?!

Renew your mind and think differently

“You must first master a knew way of thinking before you can master a new way to be.”

-Marianne Williamason

It all starts in our minds. Our thoughts inform our feelings and it is often how we feel about something that informs our actions. Which repeated over and over form our beliefs about ourselves, others, and our environments. I believe this is why the Bible talks over and over again about guarding and renewing your mind. We were not created with negativity in mind. However, that is sadly the soundtrack that most of us hear on repeat.

It is important to realize that if you are merely listening to your thoughts, the chances of those thoughts being negative are almost always 100%. I don’t believe this is how it’s always been. When you look at kids, up until a certain age they don’t seem to have that kind of vulnerability towards negative thinking about themselves. Sure, some kids seem to from early ages, but when I look at kids, I see courageous little beings with the belief that anything is possible and that they are capable of doing whatever they set their minds to. In fact, just the other day my 7 year old son  asked me to reach out to one of his gaming heroes to see if they could team up and play a game together.

I was taken back for a second by his unwavering hope and belief that he would actually get to do this if he simply asked for it. It breaks my heart to say that as of yet, his wish has not come true, but there is an equally powerful lesson in the let down as well. And I can only hope and pray that I help him navigate this in a way that encourages him to continue reaching for the things that seem impossible.

So, what’s this got to do with you and me?

francisco-moreno-67179-unsplashWe often start backwards. We try to implement new ways of being before we ever even think about what is going on between our ears. The catch is, if we don’t attend to our thoughts our new behaviors won’t last long. Even if you can create new habits. You will always run into self-sabotaging behaviors.

Sometimes the thoughts will feel foreign or phony at first. When that happens it is worth exploring why that is. I know it is hard to see what it isn’t there yet and have faith that it is in the waiting, but it is. That next level version of yourself is waiting for you to discover her and to reveal her to the world around. It is not about faking it until you make it, but more about slowly becoming that vision of yourself starting in your thoughts.

How would she carry herself?

What would she eat?

How does she dress, do her hair?

Does she have good relationships with others?

What does she read?

Craft up that vision, and put yourself in her shoes. You may not know exactly the answers to those things yet, but you can take a good guess, because she is you. She is the future you. Start thinking like her and you will cultivate the ability to behave like her too. Bit by bit. Thought by thought. If you’re ready for new outcomes, welcome new thoughts.

P.S. I’d love to hear from you, my inbox is always open. Drop me a line and let me know what thoughts you are committing to exile this week! alisha@alishacarlson.com

 

XO

Alisha

Time for the next chapter…

I realize it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, and I’m sorry for the absence. The past several weeks have been nothing short of a thrilling roller coaster ride to say the least. There had been a stirring in my heart for several months and I finally decided to take the leap and make some changes. No matter how seasoned you are at any one area of your life anytime you start to make changes old feelings, thoughts, and habits start to come back to the surface or completely new thoughts start to show up.

Change is great at making you see the areas of yourself/ your life that need some improvement. It can be so scary and so overwhelming, but it can also be so exciting and so refreshing if you let it. Every new level you climb to will bring out new devils to deal with, but be encouraged–you can and you will do it. Because you realize that the change is needed and is long over do. So, here are some of the things that have been happening since I last checked in:

-Launched a brand new website (check it out and let me know what you think). This one is huge for me! I am so tickled with how well it turned out, and I really feel like it captures the essence of who I am, what I do, and how I want to serve others.

-Created and am launching my first coaching program, Ditch the Diet Mindset and Rewrite your Food Story. This was a labor of love for sure and I am so happy with the final product. I cannot wait to get it into the hands of the women that have been craving something like this. No calorie counting, no food obsession, no bingeing, no restriction.

-Went back to my roots with my own nutrition. As someone that has spent years dealing with the issues around food mentioned above this feels really dang good. I let myself slip back into some old habits and patterns that were not serving me well. So to be in this place of grace and freedom around food again is precisely what I had been missing.Find Your Thrive Alisha Carlson

– Learning each day to balance between being wife, mom, coach, and entrepreneur. This is always in change. Each day, each season requires something new. Sometimes the learning curve feels too steep, but I have faith. I know that no matter what I can get done in a day, it’s enough. I hope you hear that. I hope that becomes a truth for you as well. It’s all about grace, my friend!

Despite all that is happening, all that has yet to happen, all the unknown, and uncertainty there is peace amidst the chaos. There is nothing quite like that peace of mind.

I’d love to hear what is new in your world! Drop me a comment and let me know what changes are on the horizon for you in this next season. How can I come along side you as you walk through this change? It’s better when we do it together!

 

Until next time, friend!

xo

Alisha

 

 

Ladies, it is time you let your light shine…

Ladies, it is time you let your light shine…

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within”

-Maya Angelou

 

Nothing that is unless you let it. Don’t be so quick to give your power away. The light may be merely a flicker at the moment, but continue to feed that fire until it becomes an all consuming flame.

One song comes to mind when I hear this quote…this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. What ever happened to that confidence? Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m going to let it shine. You were made to shine too. Don’t let anybody or anything talk you into hiding it.

That yearning for something more is put there for a reason. Don’t ignore the call on your heart. Feed the flame and one day it will be the burning fire you desire it to be. Nothing can dim the light that shines from within-Maya Angelou

It is hard to do this on your own though, isn’t it? That is why having community is SO important. If you are looking for that community, for that tribe, then look no more. We’ve got you covered. Search Find your T.H.R.I.V.E on FB and join the other women on this journey with you.

 

xo

Alisha