I’ve had this – thing – with wanting to look good. I don’t mean physically in this sense, but to make sure that I look like I have my shit together. It’s something that I wasn’t actually even aware of until about 2 years ago, when my mentor asked me if wanting to "look good" was a reason I was staying in a job that wasn’t right for me. And – it was.
I often made choices that I hoped would gain the approval of others – no one in particular, really. But I wanted to be able to list off my achievements in conversations, and not to humbly brag, but to make sure it was known that I was not the hot mess that I felt like inside.
Being unaware of living in this crazy mindset had me completely unclear about what it was that I really wanted – or, knowing what it was deep down, but waiting for someone else to tell me what to do; waiting for permission to actually live. But in all of the running around, collecting degrees and certifications and working 4 jobs at a time in the process, I became so unclear as to where I was going and what I was even doing all of this for. And that led to extreme anxiety, sadness, and no sense of purpose.
Starting to understand what I wanted to do for me, and what I was doing for the sake of looking good, was the first step to gaining clarity on what kind of life I wanted to live. This took a lot of uncovering the lies I believed about myself. I acted out of feeling like I was wrong about the life that I wanted, and everyone else had it right. Everyone seemed to be getting along just fine, and I couldn’t seem to “figure it out.”
This is a lie. And often, we hide behind the lies we make up about ourselves (call them limiting beliefs) because seeing the truth means we have to show up much bigger than what might feel comfortable. Sometimes, it’s easier to get along in life doing what we’re told. But our soul will never stop aching for our dharmic path. We could always choose to continue to look for permission, outside validation to live someone else’s version of life; but in choosing to truly live our purpose, the life we envision, we can only stop to look within.
I still have to check myself when I’m making a decision, and decide if it’s really for me, or if it’s in the realm of people-pleasing. And often, when I’m making a decision for myself, it feels uncomfortable but right. Side note: I think we sometimes get confused about the “right” kind of discomfort, versus our bodies telling us something is off. The kind of discomfort that I'm talking about, the kind that signifies growth, is when you’re only not taking the action because you’d rather stay small. You feel uncomfortable taking the action because that will mean stepping into a bigger, up-leveled version of yourself. But on the other side of that discomfort is immense growth, wisdom, and clarity.
The bottom line is, if we keep waiting for someone else to give us permission to do what it really is we want to do, we will be waiting until there’s no time left – literally. Take one step toward something that you truly want for yourself. Maybe that’s investing in personal growth, maybe it’s writing a blog post, recording a podcast, asking for a raise, whatever. Trust that your intuition knows the next right step and let it lead the way to the big picture life that you desire.