Once upon a time “what will they think, what will they say” was something that dictated my decisions and my actions. I never thought, or felt, for myself. I filtered everything through the outside world.
I was conditioned to it.
And I did what others told me to do. I gave up when they told me to. I took their advice and often it led me into trouble.
I look back now and realize just how much I let other people control me… and people who did not know what they were talking about. I had no faith in myself. I was conditioned, worn down, seeking to please even when I didn’t see it that way. I didn’t think I was trying to please everything. I just wanted to get it right.
The problem was I was listening to people who didn’t know. When I ran my first company, a fitness business, my husband always reminded me that I had to do what the client wanted… even if that meant changing their session 5x or working extra late or extra early or “doing whatever it took”.
I get it. He wasn’t the entrepreneur type.
Other people reminded me “it’s only you now, you’ve got to do everything” – as if I didn’t know. And what I ended up creating was a disaster. Clients who had no respect for me. People cancelling and rescheduling all.the.time. I was busy but not productive. I was letting people walk all over me.
Yes. The client is #1 – but not as COST OF YOURSELF.
I gave up myself. I got lost. I was confused. I didn’t know what to do. Everyone had an opinion and I was following bad advice, really. The people telling me how to run a business were employees.
It wasn’t until I started working with business professionals, masterminds, coaches and strategy that I began to truly understand about business. And life. And creating a life you love and a business that allows you to sustain and maintain that.
Of course your clients will come first. Of course you will be busy. Of course you will be the one responsible for it all. But not at a cost of your life, your happiness or your health.
I wasn’t creating wealth with this system. In fact, I was creating overwhelm and more problems. And I became resentful of the people who gave me that advice. In reality, it wasn’t their fault but back then blame was a bigger part of my life than I’d care to admit or remember.
In the end, why would a person take advice, listen to someone who isn’t in their business, hasn’t run their own business, and really doesn’t know the industry or the clients or anything else about it but just an opinion, a belief or a fear? Why would someone like me do that?
Because I didn’t know me. Because I had spent my life looking outside of me for who to be… feedback… did this work, did that work? I wasn’t consciously doing it. It was a subconscious reaction from stuffing down and running away from my past and trying to create myself to be someone else, someone I wasn’t, not an authentic change, but a fearful, fitting in, wanting to be like everyone else, normal kind of girl.
But I had walls and spikes and moats around my fortress.
The real me was in there and some version of me was out here in the real world trying to be what I thought I needed to be in order to be happy, checking boxes off the list only to find out the list wasn’t even what I wanted and the boxes checked off only left me feeling more hallow and empty.
What I really wanted was to live.
And I thought that list, those checkmarks would help me do that. They didn’t. All they did was make me more alone, more lost, and more overwhelmed than before… because now I had an image, now I had a reputation, now I needed to keep going in directions I didn’t know I wanted to be in because I was worried about what they’d say, what would they think if I gave it all up.
Until I couldn’t take anymore.
And I learned to look within instead of outside of me. Hand on heart I asked what I wanted, what felt good for me. And I knew, without a conscious thought, without a pros and cons list, without naming, shaming and blaming… I wanted out. I wanted my life. I wanted to live.
But the truth is, I didn’t know how to live, I didn’t know how to leave the fortress I had built because those walls were so fucking high and I had been in there for so long. I didn’t know what I liked, what I didn’t like, who I was, who I liked, what I wanted to do with my life…
Did I like lipstick that I had given up because my husband didn’t like it? Did I like eating meat that I had started eating because doctor’s and nutritionists and the fitness industry told me I couldn’t be healthy if I didn’t. Did I like my mousy brown hair that the salon’s kept fucking up? Or did I want my natural jet black hair back?
Writing. I liked writing so with pen in my hand I was determined to find myself. To bust down those walls and to let myself come out, to fight back, to speak back, to stop being so fucking nice all the time, to say what I meant and not beat around the bush… to deal with the stuff that made me hide in the first place.
And it was ugly. It was hell. It was sobbing and hysterics. It was running and sleeping and smoking and bingeing. It was quitting and loving and hating. It was purging and travelling and exploring and asking new questions and saying yes to stuff and no to stuff.
And it was never “what do you think…”
Or a lot less of it because a different perspective is ok, but leaving your idea behind, walking away from your soul, your dream or your passion because someone else says no or they don’t like it or shrinking inside of yourself because you feel you can’t be yourself… that’s not ok.
It was “what do I want to do here, even in the face of this”… will I write that book? Will I really publish it (I am), will I take that trip, alone? Will I take that course? Will I open that business? Will I do that course? Will I say yes, no…
And through that journey I learned who to trust, who has my back, who cares, stands by me and for me, who showed up in my darkest days, who kicked me when I was down, who pulled me up when I was down… who believed in me, trusted me, helped me…
But every now and then I got them mixed up… I still fell for the sweet mixture of pain and pleasure from the devastation that a betrayal by someone you think is in your corner, feels. Sometimes I like the pain, it helps me run away, it feeds the part of me that still wishes the fortress existed and I could easily escape.
The problem with that is the walls are too thin and you know too much, so even when you get to build a wall, you can’t now see it, not know it exists, not like the first time. It’s clear, it hurts, it’s heavy and you remember what freedom felt like… even in the briefest of moments and for those woke and meant for greatness, it won’t go back, it won’t stay down… the wildness in your soul will keep calling you back to it, no matter what fiery hell you’ll have to walk through to pick up the broken pieces of your soul so you can stand in the greatest power of who you are.
The more you move to the light, the less hold the darkness has on you. The more you sort through your box of darkness, the less you are triggered to retreat and less you care what people think. It goes from being the biggest thing to something you don’t even factor in when you’re deciding, feeling, moving towards your future.
Life is outside that fortress. That meant I had to walk the line, had to drop into madness, had to visit the past and burn it all down, had to speak the truth, go after what I wanted, stand up for myself, to myself and to others. It meant I had to face my biggest demons and even bigger fears…
It meant I had to face some ugly truth’s about my life and the path I was on, who I was on it with and who I wanted to be on it with. What experiences, what truth, what revelations existed if I would just open, allow, move into living and less into existing.
It was hard. It was uglier than I can even begin to describe. But it was freeing. Soul shattering and awakening freedom. Fear wasn’t leading anymore, I was. And even though I could feel the sheer force of fear making my whole body shake, making me vomit up the poisonous lies I had believed about myself and the world and what was possible, even though fear put it’s fingers around my throat everyday, I showed up.
I shook. But I showed up.
I didn’t feel brave or courageous. I felt like hell actually. But somewhere inside of me was a sheer will to live, to breathe, to experience life itself for myself, as myself, not as some shell of a person who was existing to please others who lived in a castle wasted away and dried up.
I wrote a new story, a new life, a new me… the real one… not by just writing her on her paper, but by showing up, taking trips, going on dates with myself, by myself, changing my diet, quitting things I’d loved and started up things I loved more, making new friends, sleeping in the woods, listening to the sound of my soul in the trees and writing, writing and writing and writing until my fingers bleed and my soul was free.
I walked on fire, zip lined, jumped off telephone poles, swam in the ocean, dipped in a frozen pond, hiked through a mountains in foreign countries, tried new things, volunteered, talked to people, helped people, said no, said yes, said fuck off, wrote a book, 4x, tore it up and started again, got a book deal…
Living. Fucking living. Not pretending to live. Not saying tomorrow or later or next year or when…
That’s not living. Not really living. It’s thinking about living. It’s dreaming about living. But it’s not living. Living is when you get asked to step out of your comfort zone, to show up, to connect, to stay with your uncomfortableness, it’s facing your shit, and even more so facing your awesomeness.
Living is a gift that few people accept. My grandfather would often say “there are a lot of bodies walking around with no heads” and he was right – so many people disconnected and dejected but doing nothing about creating the change that you wish to see and be. It won’t come from living with fear it will come from showing up in spite of fear.
It will come from seeing the fear, not making excuses and simply saying “I’m scared” “I need help” and going for it anyway, finding a coach, a mentor, a mystic, a healer that will help you go inward into the most epic journey of your life so you can live fully and no longer ask “what will they think” but instead ask what do you feel?
If there’s a question you want to ask about “them” – ask what they’ll say at your funeral. Ask what they’ll say about the kind of life you lived, what kind of person you were when you were living? What will they say you made important? How will they say you treated yourself, life, other people?
Will they say you were nice and got by? Or will they tell how you lived fully and alive in life and love?
Because in the end, all that matters is how we showed up for life, how we lived, how well we lived, how we enjoyed that and how much of our soul was in the things we did…and we don’t have to wait for your funeral.
Because the reality is someone is going to bed tonight and not waking up tomorrow. Someone is waking up tomorrow, showering, having breakfast, stopping for coffee at their fav place… and will die before lunch. They didn’t know, they didn’t plan it, just a normal day and poof, gone.
What’s the quote? You only live once and if you’re lucky, that’s all you need. Most people are living filled with regret, nothingness, existing… not filled with soul and fire and passion and movement… too many people are caught in a trance and living a nightmare…
But today, you can wake up. You can change. You can live. You can decide to do the inner work to change your external experience instead of changing the external world hoping it will change your internal experience.
There is no skipping the work that it takes to live your best life, an extraordinary or legendary life and I’m not taking about money and fame and status… I’m talking about in your soul, to know that you’ve shown up, to know that you’ve felt, truly felt, alive.
And the only way to do that is to get busy living… deal with your triggers, trauma’s and conditioning and move through it so you can live your best life with the only “what will they say/think?” be what they’ll say of you when you’re gone…
Most people live they have all the time in the world when in reality this moment right now will never be gotten again, what are you doing with it? What about the last 24 hours, year or 5 years? Is it all looking the same and blending together?
Then maybe it’s time to bust down some walls and let the real you out to play?
If I can help, reach out to me, my passion, my living fully is helping others bust down those walls, deal with that conditioning, remove the triggers so you, too, can live fully!