How to Turn Guilt Into Guidance

October 25, 2015 Career, Health, Lifestyle

There have been many times in my life when I’ve had the the weight of “ I shoulds” on my shoulders.

I should invest in online advertising because that’s what everyone else is doing.
I should work out everyday because it’s good for me.
I should read more books to stay in-the-know.

On and on.

Clearly, these are some of the things I haven’t necessarily made happen–something I used to kick myself about too often. Yet, once I recognized how ridiculous this was, I was able to create a deep sense of compassion for myself.

Here’s how I turned my “shoulds” into my own form of success instead of feeling like a failure.

In my business. I remember in the early stages of starting my business, my wonderful family telling me often that if I had a website, I had to have advertising. It was like “website” equaled “google ads” in their opinion. Feeling pressured to get going on this, I got out my notebook one day and on the top of a page wrote “advertising” with a big bubble around it. I wrote that down 5 years ago and that page is still empty. For most of those years, I felt so frustrated and ashamed that I wasn’t able to rise to the occasion and figure out how to get advertising on my site.

What I realized after many months of agonizing, was that if I was feeling this much resistance it must be for a reason. So I asked myself “if this way of making money doesn’t feel good, what’s your way of advertising and marketing?” Well, that inner exploration evoked my idea for event sponsorships. I’ve made more money doing my events and using my skills and passions in this way, than I thought possible.

On working out: If you’ve been following me for a while, you know by now that I’ve had a lot of ups and downs where my body is concerned. A huge part of that is the struggle I’ve had with working out and moving regularly. You see, when I was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of 10, I ended up having to quit soccer which was the only sport I ever loved because I was covered from head to toe and it was too painful to participate. From a very young age, being active meant being in more pain, so exercise was the absolute last thing I wanted to do.

Fast forward to being 25 years old and finally being free of debilitating psoriasis and arthritis, I all of the sudden had the ability to move like I never moved before. But my mentality was nearly impossible to shift. I was constantly consumed with the compare and despair where fitness was concerned. I felt like everyone I knew was going to yoga, spinning, or having a killer workout at the gym. Except me. It’s taken many years, but I’ve finally gotten to the place where I have tremendous compassion for why this is so difficult for me.

At the same time, I’ve set myself up for success by working with a trainer so that the pressure of moving my body isn’t all on me. Right now, it feels a little unrealistic to undo 24 years of struggle by myself. So instead of feeling guilty, I’m getting the support I need. My trainer Amanda Rose is the holistic-minded fitness guru I’ve always dreamed of.

On reading more: This has always been a struggle for me. Whether I was far behind on the reading list at school or out of the loop in conversations re: the latest best seller with friends, I’ve always felt constant pressure to read more. For years, I would buy books hoping that they would inspire me, but they just wound up sitting on my shelves and still do.

Again, I used to have a deep frustration and shame around not reading more. I would say things to myself like “you’re so stupid,” “what’s wrong with you?,” and “why can’t you get it together?” Of course, I wanted to know what was in the books, but the act of reading them felt strenuous and unenjoyable, so I quickly discovered audiobooks and my world changed. I embraced the fact that I am not a one dimensional learner. I am an experiential learner. So sitting and reading a book is not something that lights me up. However, listening to someone talking about the book makes me feel totally engaged and inspired.

The moral of my stories? There is ALWAYS a way to reframe your situation and customize your approach to it. Do you agree? I’d love to hear if there’s anything you’ve felt guilty about that you’ve been able to transform into something positive. Or if there’s something you’re still struggling with, please share that in the comments below.

Thank you for reading.

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