Let’s face it. Life is hard. Like really hard sometimes. There are days that I just want to crawl under my covers and hide from everything. There’s days I have done that. There are days when I thought giving up was the best thing I could do. Giving up on a dream. Giving up on a job. Giving up on working out. Giving up on eating right. Giving up on myself. Giving up on life.
When you get in that mindset, it’s a deep, dark hole. It’s easy to put yourself in that hole. It’s almost like it sneaks up on you. Thoughts like “You know the weight never stays off.” or “who are you to think you can do that?” start creeping into your brain. Your brain sits there and says these lies to you. And you listen. And you answer. “You’re right. I just yo -yo. It won’t stay off.” and “I don’t have anything valuable to say. You’re right. I don’t have enough experience.” Then come more thoughts. One after another. Pretty soon they’re bombarding and overwhelming you. Eventually, you start thinking about giving up or maybe you do give up.
In reality, these not thoughts, they’re lies. Lies your brain will tell you because it’s designed to protect you. We call this your ego. Freud defined your ego as it developing to mediate between the id (your basic needs) and the world. It operates by reason (being in your head) and not by what you feel (what’s in your heart). It avoids pain, but loves pleasure. It’s job is to solve problems, to look for potential problems, and to do it it all in a rational way. I’m sure you’ve heard people say “I’m just being realistic.” or “I’m just being rational.” This is the ego speaking.
The ego has its place. See a car come into your lane while you’re driving, it works quickly to activate the body to keep you safe because it’s always on the look out for danger. When you’re a women and you’re walking somewhere unfamiliar, it’s warns you to look out for potential dangers, like that guy walking down the street. Maybe you watch all the crime documentaries and see that a good many of serial killers are super good looking…like crazy good looking sometimes. If you’re at a bar and you see a guy that looks too good to be true, your ego will be like..umm…yeah, he’s probably dangerous, you should avoid him. It makes a judgement. Keep in mind this is vastly different than intuition, which can also serve to protect you. If you went through a traumatic event as a kid, it could be as simple as lack of love or as major as abuse, and forgot it, only recalling it at a therapy session later in life. That was the ego. It created a reality, when you were a kid, to help you cope with what you went through. It makes you believe that things happen to you. This is why many people will live in this state..the state of the world happens to you. The ego creates a very strict identity that’s comprised of your beliefs, patterns and ideas you developed while growing up and going through life.
It will LIE because of this identity. You can’t possibly do that. You’re not pretty enough. You’re just going to give up. People always leave you. Don’t open your heart to anyone. Don’t trust people. You can’t sing well. You won’t be successful. These are all LIES it tells you.
While growing up, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved (and still do) animals. My aunt, once, couldn’t find me only to realize I was smack dab in the middle of the herd of horses. Absolutely no fear. I also got bit a couple of times which I instinctively knew was my fault and not the dogs because a dog will simply react out of fear. My sole goal all the way through school and up through high school was to go to Vet school.
My first year of college, my study habits, or lack thereof, from high school did not serve me. You see, we had no AP classes when I was in high school so getting A’s and B’s was super easy for me. I never studied because I didn’t have to. I took this same..umm..strategy..and did it in college. It did not work. I got C’s for the first time ever in a science class. Needless to say, this was a blow to my confidence. Rather than rising to the challenge, I listened to my ego. It told me “See, you’re not smart enough for this. Your gpa is already below a 3.0 (it was only a 2.7) and you need close to a 4.0 to get into the vet school you want to go to. You’ll never get there.” Keep in mind, this was after 1…only 1…semester of college. I could have easily buckled down and said “Shit, let’s find a way of succeeding so that you can recover and get to vet school.” Instead, I quit my dream. I gave up.
I decided to do something else science based because, clearly, vet school was no longer an option. I then decided I would just become a physician’s assistant. I gave that up to because I wasn’t smart enough for that too. I settled for becoming a high school science teacher. After all, I liked babysitting and kids and animals were all the same…they all kicked and bit when they were scared. This was my literal thought. So I became a science teacher. This was never a dream of mine, but my ego told me this was much more logical than becoming my dream. This is also while I enjoyed teaching and enjoyed many of my students, I was never truly happy in it. I was definitely never fulfilled. I had settled instead of chasing my dreams. I felt obligated to continue the journey. So many people do this. All because of the ego and it’s lies.
For 15 years, I taught. I also searched for other things. I coached swimming and soccer. I played soccer. I found direct sales in Mary Kay and succeed at that. I was always super good at sales and one of the top fundraisers in school while growing up. I loved the prizes. Then I quit that and decided to work at The Body Shop, during the Christmas season, because I needed money to put back into it. I joined another direct sales company that I’m still a part of today. It wasn’t till almost 15 years being unfulfilled that the pain of staying in this job was too much and I quit and went full time with my direct sales company.
But I didn’t really quit. My ego told me “You quit your job! That brought in steady money?! to do what?! Do you know how many people succeed in this industry? That’s right, not many. What makes you think you’ll be any different?!” This was reinforced with comments from my father and my father in law. To this day, I think my father in law still thinks I was fired rather than I quit. So, instead of going 100% in my direct sales business (by this time I had earned trips, developed friendships and a large team so I was totally successful, but I didn’t see myself as a success). I decided I needed to sub because we needed the income. (We didn’t) So I long term subbed for a friend, which is basically just teaching.
Then ego told me “Uh oh..next year will be hard..there’s some uncertainty coming” I had basically made that up, but since, logically, it seemed right I went back to teaching at another high school. I hated being back in the classroom. HATED it. It showed in my evaluations which were the lowest they had ever been. I was unfulfilled. My attitude sucked. I blamed the job for not being as successful at my direct sales job. I knew I truly wasn’t meant for teaching high school any more, so I quit that.
While in my last year of high school teaching, I started getting the call to become a coach to help others achieve their goals. I truly loved seeing people succeed. I loved seeing a-ha’s! That was one of my favorite things when I was teaching to see the students go from struggle to understanding what they needed to do. I knew I could help others. This time the ego said “You can’t become a coach. You aren’t good enough. You aren’t successful in your own business, what makes you think you can help others. Not only that, but you’ll be termed by your company.” so I had the call to do it and I did nothing, let the dream get buried, because I listened to the lies the ego told me.
So the question is, how do you go from listening to your ego’s lies and giving up. Here’s what I did:
- I made a decision to work on myself. I knew that I needed help. Do some self-development. I became a student of myself. I took notes off of books, I listened to podcasts. I went to seminars like Unleash the Power Within. This time instead of just writing notes and doing nothing, I started putting action behind it. If you don’t do action, then it’s as if you did nothing at all.
- I started only doing things that brought me joy. If I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t do it. It doesn’t matter if it brings in money, if you are unhappy then money doesn’t solve that.
- I filled my mind with the GOOD. I did this by doing a gratitude journal every day. I simply brain dump everything, big and small, that I am grateful for in the past 24 hours. I try and not repeat things in the week because it doesn’t work as well if you don’t find new things. Like today, my office is a Starbucks. A friend called me to ask if I was still here and said she’d stop by and get coffee so she could chat with me before going to her appointment. I’m so grateful she did. I also listen to podcasts and constantly fill my mind with inspiration and educational ones that interest me. I loooove people like Trent Shelton, Rachel Hollis, Manifestation babe (Kathrin Zenkina), Badass Business babe (Lauren Eliz Love), James Wedmore, Awesome with Alison, and Amy Porterfield..and so much more. Go find them on instagram or facebook or their podcast!
- I meditate. Meditation is killer when it comes to mindset. People still say that mediation is woo-woo and not from God. My answer is that prayer is me talking to God/the universe while meditation is my time for God/the universe to talk to me. That usually shuts them up. Ha! Mediation can be so beneficial not only in mindset but also for your health.
- While I was in the bathroom, my friend typed this “just push to excel and overcome, celebrate tiny victories like you just won the race……” and it is so true. Celebrate the small things. You lost .2 of a pound! Awesome! You chose to not eat out when you really wanted to! Nicely done! You ate out but got a salad instead of the cheeseburger! woohoo! You did a blog post today! Fan-freaking-tastic!
- I repeated affirmations/mantras to myself over and over and over. I am awesome. I was meant to help others. I am courage. I am kind. I am faith. I can do anything. After a while, these became my new truths.
- I started listening to my heart instead of my head. The heart never lies. The head is logical and will lie. It’s as simple as that.
This doesn’t mean the ego doesn’t try to put its two cents in from time to time. When I officially launched my coaching business this month, it was there saying “There’s so many in this space, you can’t possibly succeed.” I said, I was meant to do this. I am meant for more. There are people who need to here what I have to say, the way I say it, even if others say it. Those people will find me. There’s no way I won’t succeed. I shut down my ego and said I love you, but you’re not needed right now.
Whatever your dream is right now. You got this! Don’t listen to the lies your ego tells you. Listen to your heart and not your head.
You can do anything!
You are amazing!
You are fucking capable of magic and miracles!