To Being Human

When I first started blogging I would write bits of wisdom like “love yourself no matter what” or “stop competing with yourself.”

We KNOW these things. We KNOW we should love ourselves no matter what and be our biggest cheerleaders. And there are thousands of articles out there telling us the same things over and over in different ways. How many times have you read these common tips?

Love yourself no matter what.

Set solid boundaries.

Take time to listen to yourself.

Live in the present moment.

If I were to write an article about these things, you would nod along and say, yes, of course, makes sense. And then you would go out into the world and do your life as you always do it.

A big part of my job is saying “but how?”

But how do you love yourself no matter what when you really know yourself and believe you have so much to work on?

But how do you set solid boundaries and consistently hold them without feeling like a selfish bitch?

But how do you listen to yourself when you have input coming in from all over all the time?

But how do you live in the present moment when you have 50,000 things coming at you at once?

The problem with all this advice? It is impossible to do consistently.

You are working against biology, genetics, trauma, and hard-wired survival mechanisms. Saying to someone the key to life is loving yourself no matter what is like saying the key to life is consistently living debt-free with $500,000 in savings. It sounds good. In fact, it sounds like a great idea. And we all know it is impossible so we don’t even try.

That is what the self-help industry is doing to us. And those of us with High Functioning Anxiety are more prone to believe it.

The one thing we consistently look for is an answer to relieve our pain. And if the answer is these four things, we will try our hardest to accomplish them. Well, at least we will talk a good game, we will share our wisdom, we will discuss the importance of loving yourself no matter what. But we don’t do it. Because doing it consistently is impossible.

Now you might be thinking, “Why should I keep reading? Why try to be happier if it is impossible?” Great question.

The key to living debt-free is making small, intentional decisions every day to be smart with your money. Some days you might be amazing with those decisions and some days you might fail. But the key is to consistently make decisions that put you on a path of living debt-free.

The key to having less anxiety and living happier is making small, intentional decisions every day to be kind to yourself. To see yourself not as the enemy that needs to be punished and beaten into submission but rather as the only being you will be with for the rest of your life. You and your thoughts, feelings, ideas, actions, doubts, fears, idiosyncrasies, likes, dislikes, joys, movements, all of you are who you will be with forever.

So rather than constantly trying to change you, let’s try to be curious about you.

The next time you make a mistake, instead of saying some version of, “you are such an idiot,” say, “Wow, I just messed that up. What can I do to fix it? Who do I need to make amends to? How can I make sure it doesn’t happen in the future?”

And most likely, after you answer those questions and take the necessary action, the “you are such an idiot” phrase will come back. Kindly say to yourself some version of, “Yep, I made a mistake. It sucks to make a mistake. I am human and occasionally humans mess up from time to time, even me.” On repeat. Over and over. Trying as hard as possible to focus on the behavior, not the worthiness factor.

When you do something amazing, rather than ignoring it or minimizing it as you tend to do, say to yourself, “Wow, I did that amazing thing. Go me! I make mistakes and I do amazing things, all one big human being over here.”

Recognizing the mistakes and the victories as being human helps us become more kind to ourselves and takes the pressure off. Too often we are so focused on being perfect and doing it right, we forget we are human.

It is BACK! Live Happier Through the Holidays is back for its 5th year! My gift to you this holiday season: daily emails to help you reduce the drama and anxiety of the holidays and remember why you love the holidays so much.

You don’t have to white-knuckle your way through the holiday season. Sign up and join us.

New on The Happier Approach Podcast

Do you ever feel like you are leading a double life? On the outside, you appear to be the most “with it” woman anyone is ever going to meet, but on the inside, you’re an over-analyzing storm of self-doubt, stress, and anxiety.

Those of us with High Functioning Anxiety have developed coping skills and are so good at hiding our anxiety, even our friends and family would never guess what’s beneath the surface. But the coping mechanisms that used to help are now hurting us and we feel we can’t stop because they are all we know. And the cycle continues.

In this week’s episode of The Happier Approach, we’re talking about the first step in ending that vicious cycle: recognizing when your High Functioning Anxiety is running the show.⠀⠀⠀

Check it out on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or over here.