We’ve all felt those feelings at some point in our lives. It’s part of being human.
Yet, sometimes those feelings consume us where we find ourselves loathing another person, mentally rehearsing perfect one liners we could say to them, or placing judgment upon them about how they don’t deserve their success or how you’re much better than so and so.
When those feelings are present for us, they have a lot to teach us. So rather than judge them or judge yourself for having those feelings, get curious and introspective about what may really be going on with you. You’d be surprised about what may really be underneath those challenging feelings.
Recently I did a television segment on this very topic, sharing insights, questions, and tools of how to learn from and release the envy.
Here is the segment:
Often when we feel envy or jealousy, we believe that there is only so much of that success to go around and we may be missing out. Those feelings are fear or ego based, centered in scarcity versus sufficiency or abundance. And finally, many times if someone else’s success is triggering me and these negative feelings, it many times points to dreams or goals that I’d like to have, but I’m not pursuing or giving myself permission or time to entertain.
Consider a person or example that you are envious of or felt jealous of in the past. Ask yourself, “What does their success trigger in me?”
Get curious about what’s going on under these feelings – am I feeling that there is a lack of opportunity for me? Is there a goal that their success inspires in me to pursue? Is there an area or goal in life that I’m not allowing myself to go after?
Study, interview, or read about someone who’s created the results you want. You could invite them to lunch or tea. You could read their autobiography or blog online. Transform your envy to insight.
Ask yourself, “What goal would I like to pursue in a bigger way? What’s one simple action I can take this week to move it forward?”
There are many things in life we cannot control, but we are responsible for our emotions. As Eleanor Roosevelt taught:
“No one can offend you without your permission.”
As conscious creators of our own lives, when we own our emotions and get curious about them, we hold the key to our own freedom, peace of mind, and quality of our lives.
Okay, phew! I just said it. I feel like I just jumped off the symbolic cliff with you. I just put it out there. And now I feel a bit vulnerable and free all at the same time.
I’ve been “thinking” about writing a book for a long time. People say that it’s good for business, great for credibility, and will open many doors. And while that’s true I assume, that isn’t my driving motivation.
Nearly six months ago I attended a women’s retreat and during a meditation by the ocean I had a divine, sacred experience where I felt called to share what’s in my heart. It’s as if a seed was then planted that has been gestating and it’s now beginning to come forth. It’s about me answering a call from my Divine, my heart and willing to walk in this path, even though it’s scares me and brings up lots of my unpretty stuff.
Last weekend I participated in a virtual workshop retreat to write a book in a weekend – it was awesome – great coaching, collaboration, and passion and I made significant progress. And then I hit the wall.
I’m aware that when we approach change and growth that our stuff or limiting beliefs can come up. I coach that everyday. So I was very logical about going into this weekend, yet then I hit my own wall. I was stuck, I was overwhelmed, feeling like I wanted to just check out and shut down.
As I got curious about what was up for me and gave voice to it, I became aware that my stuff sounded like this, “Who am I to write this book? I’m just a regular girl. What will others think of me?” And then the big one surfaced – “what if I can’t live up to my content (core success principles) all the time? I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be. And I feel incredibly vulnerable putting myself out there.”
I cried. Hot tears cried. And then breathed. And then received some love and support from dear friends who “just happened” to reach out when the meltdown was happening, including my workshop partner & dear friend, Michelle. God is really so cool with how He puts people on our path in the moment we need them. And none of them “fixed” it for me – that’s my work with myself and my Maker. Yet held the love and space to say, “Tiff, it’s okay to be vulnerable. You’re writing this to honor a calling, honoring God. You’re writing this for those who are seeking it.” And then I breathed some more and felt a sense of peaceful calm. And went on to knock it out of the park.
Being vulnerable is the path of the courageous, the path of greatness.
Whether that be in the form of writing a book, taking a stand for a cause or beliefs we have, asking for a sale, communicating our needs to our partner, or any other form where we tell our own truth or take a real or perceived risk.
There are reactions we receive in putting ourselves out there – we could experience judgment, criticism, or rejection. We could also experience love, sales, connection, and fulfillment by willing to risk and be vulnerable.
It often appears that hiding our vulnerability – acting as if we’re tough, know it all, are perfectly put together, and stuffing or distracting our vulnerability – will protect us, yet in reality it limits us from living a more expressed life.
Last Spring I was introduced to a great thought leader, Brene Brown and her TED talk video. It moved me to the core. She now has a best selling book, “Daring Greatly” and has recently been featured on the popular Oprah program, Super Soul Sunday. This topic is trending big time. Take a watch and see why:
So I’m sharing with you what is up for me and creating my own path of vulnerability… so you can get the most out of the time you’ve invested in reading this article, take a breath of courage and consider for yourselves…
Where in my life or what in my life am I avoiding or putting off?
What one goal – greater connection, intimacy, writing your book, asking for that sale – do you know in your gut that you need to ask for or go for?
Are you willing to ask for what you want, to put yourself out there?
Yes, your work may be judged, like mine will be. Yes, your work will be praised, like mine will be. Yes, you may get a no, get turned down, told no, or have to make uncomfortable decisions. Yes, you may get a yes, get accepted, and get exactly what you wanted. We never know unless we’re willing to be vulnerable.
I have learned for myself that the more I am authentic and allow myself to share all of me, especially the vulnerable sides, that I experience life and connections at a fuller expression of living. Vulnerability makes life more beautiful…more real, deep, and alive! And that’s a choice I’m choosing to make.
A few years ago as I was working on a new project that I was struggling to complete, my coach at the time said these valuable words, “Perfect is great, done is better.”
It rang a very loud bell for me. To this day that phrase is on a simple 3×5 card in my office that I see every day.
It has served me well over the last few years as a wisdom that helps me to move forward and produce, even when I know (and accept) that it won’t be perfect.
In the quest for achieving our goals – growing a business, starting a project, producing a website/book/event/product, you name it – we want to produce high quality content, right? Which is a great thing! I will always strive for excellence and quality AND I’m also aware that many times there is a trap there wanting to suck you in for life. The trap has a name called “perfectionism” and it can keep you and your goals in a holding pen for months, years, or even a lifetime.
Which the trouble is, no matter what it won’t ever be “perfect.” It can be great and powerful, yet you could always find ways to improve anything. And that vicious cycle stifles our growth, follow through, and expression of the passion that wants to flow through us.
Yesterday I was on a walk in my neighborhood with thoughts about how amazing life is, how much life I want to live, and goals my heart wants to achieve. And for whatever reason I had the awareness that there isn’t an infinite amount of time to get after our goals and creating our best lives. We must take action in the time we have now. Yes, we can always improve and progress as long as we’re living; yet the truth is that our lives and our goals have an expiration date.
We have an expiration date for this life.
Our goals have an expiration date too.
My point in being so dramatic?
If we’re stuck in waiting for life to be perfect to make desired changes – to leave that job or relationship, to write that book or host that event, take that trip or get serious about the bucket list – all in the name of waiting for it to be “perfect”, we will likely have regrets. And that is no way to live.
So ask yourself, what’s something I am putting off doing or completing because I’m waiting for it to be perfect?
Is it writing your book or producing a product?
Is it waiting to market yourself until you have another certification?
Is it staying where you’re waiting for the perfect time to change what’s burning in your heart?
What if we could change that perspective to one of progress versus perfection?
For me, this is your most important goal: PROGRESS, not perfection.
Progress is realistic. Progress can happen every day. Progress is how we tackle an overwhelming, huge, and out-of-our-comfort-zone type of goal.
Consider a goal that you’ve always wanted to go for, but haven’t yet. Write it down.
Identify 3 to 5 simple actions you could begin taking TODAY and do it. Then pick one and do it!
Place the phrase, “Perfect is Great, DONE is Better” somewhere where you will see it often.
Realize that under perfectionism is simply just fear holding you hostage. The fears of “what if I fail? Or is it good enough? What will people think? Who am I to share this?” are all very common culprits creating the perfectionism trap.
Take your power back from the fears of you or your project needing to be perfect and invest it into the path of progress. Your progress is what creates your life and your results, with all its beautiful imperfections along the way.
As long as we’re alive, there will be change involved. As long as change is involved, fear & discomfort will be felt at times. It’s normal and to be expected. Knowing this can help empower you on your path rather than throwing you off course.
Consider this, anytime you’re changing what is FAMILIAR to you, it will likely feel uncomfortable or simply unfamiliar, in other words, leaving the comfort zone. Now even if you’re sick & tired of something in your life and you’re changing it, you’ll still likely experience some degree of fear or discomfort. See, to the subconscious mind, you’re changing certainty and certainty equates to safety – which is the top priority to the subconscious mind. It’s almost as if you’re sending up smoke signals to the subconscious mind to be on the lookout of this new terrain you’re entering.
It might be a new relationship, new career path, health changes…it could also show up when you’re growing your business or doubling your income. Whether you see the change as positive or negative, the fact that you’re changing the familiar and certain, you will provoke feelings of discomfort.
So what to do when those uncomfortable feelings show up?
Here’s a few things that I utilize to help me:
Get Curious. What’s this about? I like to get curious about my fear and poke around to see what is creating it. I like to take the observer or similar to the reporter and ask more questions versus freeze or shutdown. Get curious about the feelings versus taking them as fact. Feelings are not facts – they’re simply indicators and/or teachers.
Get Moving. Many times changing up my environment and/or getting my body moving helps me release the fear energy and clear my head. It can help to shift your focus and the fear versus staying stagnate or stuck in it. There are many benefits to exercise, specifically the natural endorphins that the body produces that create a calming effect.
Get Support. Having a coach, friend, or accountability partner who you can talk and connect with to support you during change is a key success strategy. Having outside insight that you respect as well as the social support to be your cheering squad will help significantly with staying the course of your goals and working through your fear versus being stopped by it.
I also like to: pray, meditate, read, utilize essential oils, eat healthier foods, journal, listening to uplifting music, do things that bring me joy, go hiking, time in nature, workshops, coaching, and time with loved ones.
What’s on your list?
I invite you to create a list of things that support and inspire you as resources to nourish yourself during the uncomfortable feelings.
By recognizing that fear and feelings of discomfort are normal when working through change and new territory, we realize that it’s part of the change process. We no longer have to assume that fear means something is wrong or that it’s a “sign” yet rather more often it’s a sign that you’re human and alive experiencing a normal reaction to change.
If fear is a biggie for you, I recommend the book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways” by Dr. Susan Jeffers as she covers thoroughly the aspects of fear and how to handle it.
I cheer you on as you take on new changes & new experiences for yourself!
Perhaps right now, your heart is aching. You may be facing great uncertainty in your life, your finances, your marriage, health, or career. Your circumstances may find you currently out of work or behind on your bills. You may be feeling lonely and unloved. Or you feel overwhelmed and frazzled and Christmas has become one more source of stress versus joy.
If I may, I’d like to speak directly to the heavy hearted this Christmas season. Last night as I was going to bed, I had the clear impression and inspiration to write this email. I thought it interesting considering it wasn’t planned nor the traditional holiday wishes. Yet, it was clear and inspired so here it is.
I too know what it’s like to have a Christmas where your heart is breaking. Where you feel so alone, scared, unsure, or simply without the joy of Christmas in your heart. Years ago at Christmas, I found my marriage in shambles and my heart broken. As one who typically loves the holidays with great passion, that year I couldn’t wait for December 26th to get here. I was sad, scared, and really unsure of where my life was going. Yet in the midst of that darkness, there were many glimmers of hope and light from God, angels, and dear family and friends – if I chose to see them. It was a time of great seeking and searching to know what to do, where to turn, and what choices to make. And in that searching, I did experience many choice spiritual experiences that touched my heart in a profound way.
Although I may not know the details of what you’re going through, I do know the following truths apply to you, your life and potential, and what is available to you.
You are never alone. Ever. No matter what it “feels” like, you are not alone. You have a Maker who knows you and your needs and who loves and cares for you. You are always surrounded by LOVE and you are being watched over.
God/Universe/Angels wait to assist you to guide your path and your decisions. They can never force anything so it is up to us to ask for their divine help and direction. They are always available, no matter where you’re at or the struggles you’re facing.
From our greatest struggles can come our greatest strengths. There are lessons within your challenges. Go to meditation, prayer, or reflection and ask yourself, “What is this here to teach me? What is the gift of this?” As Napoleon Hill once taught, “With every adversity is the seed of greater opportunity.” There are gems for you where you are right now, even if you can’t see them just yet.
Focus on what you are grateful for right now, no matter how small it may seem. Gratitude changes our heart and our mindset. It helps us to see the bright, glimmers of hope and goodness and in doing so, it can help your heavy heart feel lighter.
“The best way to heal a broken heart is to serve others.” I heard this advice in the thick of my heavy hearted season. It was simple, true, and profound for me. It’s been said that when we lift others, we lift ourselves. I find this to be true. Reach out to someone else – offer a compliment, offer to help, buy their coffee in line, or some other gesture that serves someone else. When we focus on helping others, we do help ourselves.
Finally, increase your self care. Watch your favorite movie or cuddle up with a good book. Take a hot bath or make your favorite treat. Increase doing kind things for yourself that bring you joy or happiness. When our hearts our heavy, it’s important to be kind and loving towards ourselves.
The true spirit of Christmas or the spirit of the Season as you may say, is about a special feeling, about love, about a certain attitude more than it is about anything external. If you look for it, through the darkness and sadness you may be feeling right now, there are embers of hope, love, and peace within.
I promise you that LIFE has great things in store for you. I promise you that you will not always feel so heavy hearted. I promise you that your Maker is with you, even now, to comfort you and guide your steps. There will be seasons of joy for you.
If this speaks to you, if this was written for you, I send a prayer for you with this email that you may feel hope and love within these words and within your heart this day.
Bless you, sweet warrior. You have what it takes to prevail and you will get through whatever you’re facing.