In life, there are moments that rock us to our core, challenge us, and force us to redefine how we perceive ourselves and our place in the world.
Starting a business, quitting a job, having a baby, beginning a new relationship, graduating from school, and other big life transitions are really hard to process. Growing and changing takes time, patience, and a constant awareness of your own energy cycles so you don't immediately turn to destructive or addictive comfort behaviors like emotional eating, drinking, or self abuse.
In the general cycle of my week, Tuesdays are almost always a low energy day for me.
This has been the case ever since I quit my job last August and had to take control and ownership of my schedule and time, and my life became one big chaotic whirlwind of constant change and growth.
I use tons of mental and emotional energy on Mondays, getting back to work, checking in with my coaches and clients, doing calls and training webinars late into the night, creating grand inspired action plans for the entire week, and so by Tuesday I wake up and feel the kickback. My confidence is low, and I feel like there’s no way I’m ever going to be able to actually do all the things I was so excited to put on my agenda on Monday. I basically start to doubt my ability to do anything, when just 24 hours ago I felt capable, confident, and on top of the world.
Do you ever notice that you feel overwhelmed, slightly panicked, and emotionally vulnerable right after a busy day or a high-energy experience? This is totally normal!
I used to always beat myself up on Tuesdays, berating myself for my inability to keep the momentum going and get shit done, but I’m learning that it’s only natural to want to contract after you expand. So I’m learning to do my best to listen to my body and my heart, and to back off a little bit. Sometimes it works, sometimes I still beat myself up a little for not being able to operate at 100% productivity at all times...even though I know deep down that's an unrealistic expectation.
Through these ups and downs, I’m learning that emotions we feel are temporary and pass like clouds over the sun. Just because you feel small and insecure, doesn’t mean you ARE small and insecure. Back off, do some self-care, and trust that your confidence and energy will bounce back!
So yesterday was Tuesday. I felt restless, unsettled, lost, anxious, miserable, strangely desperate, and ended the night in an ugly internal fight with my inner perfectionist.
I’m learning how to recognize and ignore that inner voice that tears me down, beats me up, and tells me I’ll never be good enough, but sometimes it creeps a little too close to my heart and I have to beat it back down.
Every month I am growing and expanding more and more as a person, leader, small business owner, and coach, and it is so. freaking. hard.
I want to do it all, have it all, and be it all, right now! But I have to shut my ego up and remind myself that it’s ok to evolve, to get messy, to play, to embrace the journey and not the outcome.
As a recovering perfectionist, embracing change is hard, and there are a couple lessons I’ve been processing this week.
I think they’re relatable to any type of change, whether you’re changing jobs, newly married, in a life transition, having a baby, losing weight, working on gaining confidence, or launching your own business.
CHANGE MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE
Whenever I'm pushing my comfort zone, I physically feel blown open, raw, and scared. This quote from Julia Cameron pretty much sums it up:
When we are changing sizes, we feel large, clear, and powerful one day, tiny and defenseless the next...this is good. This is healthy. It just doesn’t feel that way. We want to be “finished.” We want to be “good at it.” Unfortunately, change--and the risks that go with it--invite feelings of vulnerability.
LIFE IS NOT LINEAR
Neither is growth, change, or success.
When we’re trying to meet big life goals, or embarking on something new, it’s easy to want the process to be linear. To want a pretty, clear cut checklist to get you from point A to point B. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works.
We have to give ourselves permission to mess up, to go one step forward and two steps back, to make mistakes, to "fail."
I'm starting to believe that there's really no such thing as failure, just experiments and learning moments.
HOW TO DEAL WITH BIG CHANGE
(without resorting to emotional eating or destructive numbing mechanisms)
So how do we react to these growing pains when life is moving a million miles a minute and our comfort zones are growing faster than we might like?
It's easy to want to go into hermit mode and protect ourselves when we're feeling vulnerable, but that's not an option when you have things to do and a life to live.
It's also easy to turn to numbing behaviors, like emotional eating, self sabotage, over working, or drinking. Last night when I had my vulnerability breakdown, my first instinct was to head to the freezer and dig into Ben's ice cream with the biggest spoon I could find. Luckily I knew not to listen to my emotions...but sometimes you're desperate enough that you can't connect with your inner voice of reason and sanity.
Here are a couple ways I'm learning to not only cope with change, but embrace the lows and bounce back stronger than ever.
1. GIVE YOURSELF SPACE
Give yourself permission to wander.
You don’t have to hustle 24/7, work 12 hours/day, or tell everyone you're "busy" to be successful.
Mental white space and unproductive downtime matter, because that’s where ideas marinate and breathe and take shape.
Self care self care self care! Put on your own oxygen mask first. Journal, yoga, meditate, read empowering books, listen to podcasts, get outside for walks, be unproductive. Give yourself permission to evolve, to take as much time as you need, to explore and play and experiment as you get to know the new and bigger version of yourself you're growing into.
2. MOVE YOUR BODY
Simply getting out of your head and physically into your body is the fastest way to change your energy and pull yourself out of a slump. Bonus points for taking it outside! You don't have to do an intense workout. Walking, yoga, even heading to a park and skipping through the grass will probably boost your mood instantly.
Tell yourself you're going to move for 5 minutes, and then see how you feel! Keep going if it feels good.
3. KEEP GOING!
It doesn’t get easier, but you get stronger and more resilient. Success comes to those who simply don't give up for long enough.
Remember that even when it feels like you're falling back into old patterns, life only moves in one direction: forward. You are NEVER going back to the "old you" ever again...she is already long gone.
The process of finding your voice is the process of walking through that long slog. You’re not always going to know exactly where you’re going or what to do, but it’s the courage to continue taking small risks day after day and pushing into uncomfortable unknown places that really matters.
Have the courage to set your own pace and run your own race.
It’s your purpsoe to be happy, your only job is to take care of yourself so you can be the happiest, healthiest, most vibrant version of yourself you can be. Don’t feel guilty for putting yourself first. Say “no” to other people more often so you can say "yes" to yourself.
You are already good enough. Believe that little voice deep down, not the mean voice in your head.
I can't wait to watch you fly.