02 Jun 8 Ways to Create Your Life
“Everything is falling apart.”
“Everyone else has it figured out.”
“I don’t know what I want to do with my life.”
These were a few things my best girlfriend told me yesterday when she phoned me crying. She was in a rut – every one of her close friends seemed to have life on lock with internships/boyfriends/jobs/wedding plans, and she was still sitting there trying to figure shit out. My heart sank because I suffered through similar toxic thoughts that always would always spiral into worst case scenarios and deep self doubt of “what am I freaking doing with myself and my life.” If she wasn’t all the way in upstate New York, I would’ve embraced her with some warm hugs, Starbuck’s fraps, and a bottle of red wine while diving deep over introspective life discussions. And more hugs. But being on the other end of the phone, I had to play the part of the superhero best friend and come to the rescue with some serious perspective, gratitude training, and motivational jargon to light the fire under her butt. She needed to be pumped up for life again by the pure sound of my voice.
And at the end of the hour-long conversation, she sighed with relief and thanked me with a warmhearted tone to her voice, “You made me feel SO MUCH BETTER.” I could sense the cheek-to-cheek smile on her face through the phone. * wipes sweat off forehead * Anddddd my job is done here. 🙂
Though I don’t have a phD in psychology, social work, or any clinical experience on how to shift people’s mindsets, or a fancy office with an old-school, Freudian free association sofa, I like to think I do a damn good job of putting life into perspective and providing my friends with authentic, cut-to-the-shit advice. To see the positive in everything. To embrace the ride and not cling to outcomes. To stop comparing ourselves to the outside world. To stop FREAKING THE FUCK OUT OVER NOTHING. Because yo. That’s really how you create the life you want. Creating a life that is both enriching and fulfilling is simple. And here are 8 ways to do so:
1.) Stop being addicted to drama.
This one is juicy and I LOVE it. Admittedly, I used to get pleasure from sitting down over coffee with the girls and talking shit about other people. Gossiping became a hobby. It occupied my down time and became a relaxing thing for the gals and me. “Oh my god, why was she wearing that?” “She hooked up with TWO guys in one week?!?!” “They had….BUTT SEX?” “Can you believe that New Jersey housewife punched the other in the face?!”
Then, one sweet day, I had a major *aha* moment…WHY DID I EVEN CARE ABOUT THIS SHIT????? For years, gossiping turned into a mental crutch that held me back from doing positive things for other people and myself. I was restricted in a holding pattern of insecurity and inaction. And as soon as I stopped with the bullshit drama talk, I began to tune into my own personal development, breaking some serious confidence and insecurity barriers. Now, I occupy my free time with helping others, whether that’s coaching soccer, getting women stronger, phoning my friends with life advice, or reading books on mindfulness.
2.) Don’t look to others for happiness.
In relationships, your career, or fitness, looking to others for happiness removes your emotional power. You become dependent. You seek approval. And you are almost always disappointed in the end. Humans are so funny. We search for external factors – whether that is a paycheck, a new car, “I-love-you-you’re-so-pretty” affirmations from our boyfriends to uplift us. Once you look into yourself, your own passions, your hobbies, your own growth, you begin to assert some control. And the good news… it’s 100% guaranteed. 🙂
3.) Take radical action.
Maybe it’s the feisty scorpio in me, but being inherently determined and ambitious through radical action has gotten me further in life than doing nothing at all. Stuck in a 9-5 job you hate? Well, stop doing it. And if you’re about to enter that world, stop before you even start. You see, the old paradigm has been a clock-work system that has removed us from our authentic selves – go to college for 4 years, study something we aren’t so sure about, graduate, enter workforce in two months time, work in a cubicle under florescent lights 30 years, get married in between, retire, then pass away. Though morbid, this reality couldn’t be more true. At age 23, I took serious action before I ended up doing shit I hated. Shit that was soul sucking. So I started coaching kids soccer. I launched a business and LLC. I learned web development and blogging. I researched biomechanics and all of the exercise science books I could get my hands on. I enrolled back in graduate school to study my passions. Rather than waiting for the “right” time, I just went for it fearlessly. I had nothing to lose, only lessons learned, strengths gained, and new adventures to embark upon. Through radical action, my confidence continues to skyrocket to limitless heights.
4.) Always learn. Perfect your craft.
“Do whatever you do intensely.” – Robert Henri
Intensity is sometimes frowned upon. And people poke fun at others who speak so passionately about things and live them out. I’m okay with you being excited about something. Take what you’re good at seriously. Aim to perfect it each day, becoming a true master of your craft. When you’re enthusiastically passionate about something and want to turn it into your lifestyle, you will harness all of your effort to elevate your skills on a daily basis. Curiosity rewires our brains and promotes neuroplasticity. We become smarter. We enhance our ability to learn multiple skills throughout the course of our lives. Curiosity also ceases us from becoming arrogant know-it-alls. 🙂
5.) Be yourself.
“No hype. No glass. No pretense. Just me. Stripped.” – Christina Auguilera
I have been a devoted Christina Auguilera fan my entire life. But most can’t agree with me, especially when she released her Stripped album. There’s something to be said for assless chaps, lip rings, crotchless panties, and being half naked in a boxing ring with dudes other than…..YOU FREAKING GO GIRL! Of course during this time, shockwaves were sent across the entertainment industry and traditional households of elementary school girls. Names like slut, whore, and white trash were stamped across Christina’s image. And it’s sad. Even as a young girl, I couldn’t grasp why people were freaking the fuck out. Christina was cracking a shell and turning into who she really was. When we feel our most vulnerable and naked, molding into who we really are, that’s when life becomes fun. Truly, I have felt my most empowered, confident, and sure of myself when I didn’t put on a facade. When I coach soccer or strength train, I’m myself – hardcore, painfully sarcastic, and rough around edges. But that’s me and it’s gotten me far. People are drawn to my natural energy, not a calculated, smiley Stepford wife robot.
6.) Life is not linear.
“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop.” – Confucius
After taking a class on Chinese philosophy in college, I have incorporated several mantras into my daily regimen – above being one of my favorites. And whenever I catch myself worrying about where I’m going, I remind myself of this thought. Being unattached to outcomes, or the grand finale of your life (which is what???), encourages malleability on your part. Whatever happens, happens. Life is not linear, rather a fun, little swirly pattern of obstacles and victories. As long as you can embrace the process, soak up the highs and lean into the lows of life, you will foster resiliency to all situations.
7.) Know your strengths. Write them down. Live them.
When we go through life, we should settle into a path that is in line with our strengths. You’re good at teaching and connecting with children? Perhaps you should pursue elementary education. You’re good at writing? Ever think to start a blog? You’re good at a sport? Maybe you should coach. Just some wild guesses. It devastates me to see my friends in career paths that don’t bring out their best traits. They’re micromanaged. They’re insecure, afraid to speak up in meetings. Truly think about what you are good at. What are your best traits? And how can you live these out for years to come?
8.) Stop worrying about physical appearance.
I will repeat this statement over and over again until it’s so engrained that you see me saying it in your dreams. But really. Our outer appearance does not equal you being a better person. It doesn’t define what you are capable of in your career, relationships, and social life. Of course I’m in an industry that is dominated by superficiality, but I can’t worry about what my clients think because it will drive me insane. And having a lean physique is NOT my audience anyway. Athletes with fat around the muscles, meat on the bone, and strong glutes are my audience. So I set the example for that specific look. So if your friends are your audience, they shouldn’t care if you’re an ectomorph, endomorph, or have a thick, curvy body. If they do, maybe you should reconsider who you are friends with. And what your boyfriend thinks about your physique shouldn’t matter either because he loves you for who you are. And if he cares what size jeans you wear, you should probably break up with that asshole. Physical attributes don’t make me or you any less motivated. My little extra fat around my hips doesn’t make me any less compassionate of a coach. Having one left boob bigger than the right doesn’t make me less knowledgable in the strength and conditioning industry (rather, I should just lay off on the unilateral chest presses). None of this defines who you are and how good you are in your career and passions. Talent is talent. Physique is temporary.
9.) And stop saying “everyone else has it figured out.“
This one depends on perspective, how you define “figured out.” And we all seem to have a universal definition of having it “figured out”, just like my friend on the phone. She claimed everyone else in her life had everything figured out because they had fiances, new homes, and secure careers. I told my lost friend, “If anything, you have life more figured out than THEM.” Silence. Confusion. Whaaaa?
My two cents for her was that it’s okay to move gradually, to feel uncertain at times, to be picky with what you want – whether that’s with your future husband or a career. These are some BIG decisions, people! Slowwwwwww down. To me, her moving gradually was far more “figured out” than settling down so early or rushing into major life decisions. We deserve to be selective. We deserve to be picky. We deserve to think things through. We deserve to move with the natural flow of our lives.
So there it is – my non-psych degree perspective on how to create your life. Take it with a grain of salt, or manifest these lessons on the reg. And write back to me when you feel light as a feather, carefree, and pumped up for life.
With that said, I will leave you with this: “True masters are those who’ve chosen to make a life, rather than a living.” – Neale Donald Walsch