extraordinary self love

Being Extraordinary is Overrated

Being extraordinary is overrated.

Let’s chat about it!

You don’t have to be extraordinary – you are enough. As a recovering perfectionist and high achiever I used to spend inordinate amounts of time aiming for the unachievable seductress – perfection. By telling myself that I had to excel at EVERYTHING I did, I wasted a lot of time worrying about being enough. But it was exhausting and eventually I had to learn to embrace myself – all of my faults, quirks, habits and dreams.

What If Monster

Learning to embrace myself has been a dance with fear and shame. What if I embrace myself and become complacent? What if I stop excelling the moment I start loving myself? If I embrace myself will I waste my life by being “mediocre” or “basic”? I put an inordinate amount of negative labels on the outcome of accepting myself as is. In true irony the outcome of embracing myself has been bigger goals, trusting myself to rest, my energy and an increase in my general happiness. Getting to know my what if monster and trusting myself to manage my fear and shame is what got me here – to this blog – writing to all of you. By embracing myself I was able to not only post work on my own website but also submit to other online magazines. When I stopped holding myself back the writing opportunities trickled in. 

From this first act of bravery and self love I was able to start a business during a pandemic. I’m chasing my dream of self employment because of my ability to accept myself exactly as I am, while simultaneously reaching for new milestones. In summary, none of my fears came true – but I almost didn’t even try because I didn’t think I was enough. 

This is where it gets messy and human. I had to stop asking myself to be an extraordinary person. Loving ourselves is not something that only extraordinary people do. We are all enough. Regular people do extraordinary things. Doing extraordinary things does not require us to be perfect – it requires courage. 

I’m Late to the Brene Brown Party 

As I started coming to this conclusion I stumbled upon Brene Brown (queen of courage and shame conversations). I recently listened to this conversation she had with Tim Ferriss.

During the chat Brene asked Tim where the line between being our best selves (as high achievers) and embracing where we are is. Being the nerd I am I paused the video and answered this for myself. (You should watch the video to see their responses – they are illuminating).

I don’t believe there is a line between pushing ourselves to be our best selves and embracing where we are. I came to the conclusion that for me embracing where we are is an approach. When I set myself goals I view exactly where I am at the time, I identify where I want to go and then I try to set myself little milestone markers in the middle so I can celebrate all the little steps. Embracing where I am right now means that I am worthy of doing the work for this change. I am worthy of however long it takes to get there. Allowing myself to set goals outside of where I am right now means that I know I am worthy of growth. When we approach our goals with a realistic outlook and kindness we are able to enjoy the journey and grow when we inevitably f*ck up. 

None of Us are Extraordinary

This also means that none of us are extraordinary. We often have to work hard for what we want to achieve. A lot of us will struggle our way to our goals – step by step. Allowing ourselves the time and space to grow, fail, f*ck up, and try again is crucial. It is both an act of self acceptance and a driver to grow. Yet so many of us expect ourselves to be extraordinary. 

Think about it; right now we are in a pandemic and so many of us have more free time on our hands than before. Some people have used this time to write books – a majority of us have not. Quite a few people have struggled with this extra time because WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC. Are you unfairly comparing yourself to people who have utilized this time in a different way than you? If you are, is that helping you in any way or does it just make you feel like you aren’t enough? For me, comparison is the thief of joy. I’m not expecting myself to respond to the pandemic in some extraordinary way and that has made a major difference on my mental health. 

Applying the Magic of Normal

After coming to this magical conclusion for myself I began applying this approach to my current goals. My biggest goal right now is getting my brand new baby coaching business up and running to full capacity. Is that possible? Sure. Is it a struggle? Also sure! Do I have to be extraordinary to do it? No! I can be messy, human and vulnerable and still get to my goals (in fact – I think those three qualities are crucial to my success). 

Instead of forcing myself to be extraordinary I’m asking myself to find the everyday magical moments that make this journey worth the work. I’m learning to celebrate the normal. I’ve given myself permission to struggle, to try new things and fail, or to say “this is really f*cking hard some days”. 

I’ve stopped expecting myself to be extraordinary and I ask you to do the same! You are capable of remarkable things. You get to love yourself right now exactly where you are. Permission is granted to say “this is really f*cking hard”. And if you want a little 1:1 time to talk about embracing our normal to be successful visit here to sign up for a discovery call. 

F*ck extraordinary. 

** please do not use this post to replace mental or physical health care from a physician. Always work with a licensed professional when it comes to your health. 

school faceless student tired

My Monkey Mind Has Taken Over

My monkey mind has taken over my life! Here’s how to identify it and how to stop it. 

Heard or experienced any of these lately? COVID brain, self-diagnosed ADHD, auto-pilot, zoning out, scattered thoughts. These responses, spacey moments or knee jerk reactions are stress responses. They are what happens when our survival instinct kicks in and our monkey mind takes control. 

Monkey Mind Defined 

Human brains are composed of three sections. They are our lizard brain, our monkey brain and our human brain.

Our lizard brains control the basic instincts, our monkey brain controls our tissue and complex things like emotions and our human brain which allows us to remove emotions from our thoughts and to think things through or practice mindfulness. This article here goes a bit more in depth if you want to dig in (it’s absolutely fascinating)! 

Our monkey mind is the part of our brain that runs the inner monologue, the part that runs wild during meditation, and it’s tied to your ego and inner critic. Monkey mind tells you that you will never be good enough, you have too much on your plate, that you need to rush rush rush and go go go. It’s important to learn how to control and quiet our monkey mind if we want to be fully present in our lives. 

Before we dig into controlling our monkey mind I want to share that our monkey and lizard brains serve a major purpose! Since our human brain is designed to analyze situations and reactions when we encounter danger or trigger our fight or flight response we rely heavily on our lizard and monkey brains to get us to safety. 

How to Spot Your Monkey Mind 

A major problem with our well working monkey mind is that when we are overwhelmed, stressed or in an extended state of being busy we default to it. Monkey mind becomes prominent when we multitask causing us to go into auto-pilot and make decisions without thinking them through. 

For example, let’s say you are stressed to the max working on a deadline, you aren’t super thrilled with your job to begin with, you’re working from home in a small apartment and your significant other comes in to ask you a question while you’re in the middle of a sentence. You are stressed, overwhelmed, grumpy and a little frustrated with the overwhelming emotions so you may respond with a default answer because you weren’t listening or snap at them for interrupting you. This is your monkey mind and it is a warning sign that you need to stop, take a break and close some of the tabs in your brain to reduce your stress levels. 

I’m anti-multitasking on important things because it is impossible for your brain to truly focus on two things at once but I double down on this stance when it comes to the truly important things like human relationships. Make time to clear your mind. 

How to Control Your Monkey Mind 

So great, you know your monkey mind is running the ship – you are on auto-pilot, not paying attention to where the car is going – now what? Here are a few ideas for you! 

Stop, take a break, take a few deep breaths and get present in your body. If you have a meditation practice try doing a mini meditation – even just a minute of meditation can help calm my monkey mind when it’s in overdrive. 

Move your body! Get up and move, go on a walk, walk around your apartment or yard, dance for a minute or just shake your arms and legs out. Moving your body helps calm down your monkey mind and helps you get present in your body. 

Write! Get the thoughts out of your brain and on paper. I find journaling SO helpful when my brain is in chaos mode. If my brain is so full of thoughts that I can’t decide what to write I’ll throw a gratitude list together and see where that takes me. Sometimes I need to exercise my thoughts, regardless of how true they are, on paper similar to moving my body. 

Do less and reduce how busy you are! I know, this is the hard one! If you have the privilege and capacity to work smarter not harder – do it. Reduce the extra work in your life, limit the emotional labor you do for free, protect your energy and take the extra time to fill your own cup with self-care (the real kind not the marketing face mask kind). 

Remember: Being Busy Is Not Cool! 

Hope this helps! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about your monkey mind and I hope this encourages you to rest your brain and your body. 

Need help making a plan to work smarter and not harder? Sign up for a FREE coaching consultation so we can look at your schedule together! 

Want to find a job that lets you work less and enjoy your life more? Sign up for a FREE coaching consultation so we can find your dream job. 

No idea where to start? Overwhelmed? Need help calming that monkey mind? Sign up for a FREE coaching consultation or check out my Etsy for my self-paced programs. 

Sending you all lot’s of love and rest! 

**This blog is not meant to replace mental or physical health advice from your physician. Please work with a licensed professional when it comes to your health.

Authenticity, Protecting your Energy & Toxic Positivity

Toxic positivity is the most powerful weapon against authenticity. Don’t believe me? Let me explain. 

Before we start here’s little background on toxic positivity

I love love. I love play, excitement, joy, fun! But it is wildly ignorant to believe that everything will always be rainbow and sunshine! I preach that our mindset matters and having a generally positive outlook is helpful for our mental state BUT we can go overboard in the positivity department. This is when positivity becomes toxic. 

Toxic positivity is the overgeneralization that we should be positive and optimistic ALWAYS. It stems from an unwillingness to acknowledge or experience negative emotions. Toxic positivity can feel fake at best and can force participants to repress their negative feelings at worst. 

Youtube Breakdown of Bossbabe culture!

What’s so bad about ignoring our negative emotions? Any emotion we ignore, bury or try to hide is just a bubble of trauma waiting to be burst. If we do not FEEL and ACKNOWLEDGE our emotions they maintain power over us and slip into our subconscious. They start impacting how we make decisions with or without our knowledge. 

In other words, toxic positivity is being SO optimistic we refuse to acknowledge who or what we are. It buries our authenticity and convinces us that we shouldn’t feel negative emotions (and we all know how I feel about shoulding”). 

Toxic positivity is not just “look at the positives” it’s saying to actively ignore and avoid the negatives. 

Toxic Positivity in the Wild

So now that we have our definition let’s jump into how it is used against us (usually against women or femme members of society). 

I’m going to use the phrase positive vibes to explain this. Let’s say I have a neon sign that says “positive vibes only” in my living room. Cute, right? 

Sure, BUT what if you, my bff, come over and need to complain. You really need to let out all the big sad feelings you are having because your husband left you, he stole your favorite cat, he wants custody of your aquarium that you bought and paid for and he was cheating on you with an employee at the pet store. Rough right? 

We sit down on the couch with the sign hanging on the wall behind me. As you tell me all about the AWFUL things that are happening to you, I sit there, with my glaring sign behind me and tell you “everything happens for a reason” or “you don’t want to be with a man like that anyway”. By saying this I begin subtly (or not so subtly) SHAMING you into positivity when you really need to feel all your feels instead. 

That neon sign behind me begins making you feel ashamed for bringing “negative” vibes into the space. It invalidates your feelings and makes the statement that you shouldn’t be feeling or sharing these negative experiences. Toxic positivity tells you that it is shameful to not be positive, to feel bad for yourself, to have emotions. Because of this, toxic positivity forces us to stay stuck where we are. 

Two Reasons Toxic Positivity Causes Stagnation 

  1. It causes us to repress how we feel and hide parts of ourselves to keep the peace. When we ignore our humanness we prevent ourselves from processing the pain. We would rather stay exactly where we are than deal with the emotion due to the fear that it may not be a positive experience. 
  1. When we pretend everything is ok (or convince ourselves that everything is perfect) we can’t see where we need to grow. Toxic positivity glosses over all the places we can grow. It smooths out any blemishes, it prevents us from seeing things as they are and if we can’t identify the issues we can’t fix them. 

Toxic positivity creates inauthentic and fake happiness. It tells us that just being in this moment means that we should (you know how I feel about should) be happy. Asking people to use perspective before they have had a chance to process their emotions marginalizes their experience and dehumanizes them. By forcing people to repress their emotions we are telling them that their baseline emotional level is “too much” or “inappropriate” under the guise of making other people comfortable. You should never make yourself less to make others comfortable (but you should respect their boundaries). 

Toxic Positivity in #Bossbabe Culture 

As I mentioned earlier, toxic positivity is usually used against women. The power of positive thinking is a marketing tool used by MLMs to convince women to invest in their programs. MLMs or “multi-level marketing” schemes are organizations that operate by recruiting salespeople who are not employees of the company. In most instances these sales people are then asked to recruit other sales people to make more money. Women are fed the line that they will “be a boss babe”, “own their own business” or #workhardplayhard to fuel their success. 

Who doesn’t want someone to give them the blueprints to success! It all sounds fun until you run out of friends and family to recruit from. All you have to do is plug in your network and build like the inspirational woman in the video they showed you with the sad sob story. When you no longer have the ability to add anyone else to your team because you’ve tapped your network dry, your dreams of being a #bossbabe begin to feel like failure.

In a lot of these organizations the person who recruited you is making money off your success SO they will feed you lies of toxic positivity or shame you into believing that you aren’t working hard enough. According to your bossbabe boss you are not allowed to fail or failure is not an option. Unfortunately for your bossbabe mentor, you can (and probably will at some point or another) fail.

A major issue with this failure is the financial burden it causes on the women who are duped into participating. These organizations do not just prey on suburban middle class women – they don’t care who they make money off of as long as they can get them to pay for their products. They do this by telling rags to riches stories to “empower” the women involved. But they don’t disclose the failure rates of women who join.

The Power of Positive Thinking

I think MLMs are totally fine if you have disposable income and want to try to make money but I do not believe they are the environment that can pull you out of poverty – and they are willing to take anyone’s money regardless of the odds of success. So, if you are spending your last pennies on a product that you then have to encourage others to buy before you can make money you are probably making a poor financial investment. It’s not IMPOSSIBLE to succeed from this position but it is harder. 

This power of positive thinking makes you believe you are the anomaly instead of normal. It will shame you into believing that you have to be willing to do “whatever it takes” to succeed. It’s bullshit- positive thinking isn’t the only piece that leads to success – and we need to throw toxic positivity away. 

Conclusion

Please don’t take this as an anti-positivity post – I love having a sunny disposition when it’s authentic! I truly believe that there is power in positive thinking – but there is just as much value in honoring your emotions, listening to your own intuition and rejecting inauthentic positivity. Please remember when you feel anything other than positive – that’s ok, normal and important as well! 

*I am not a doctor or therapist. 

Triggered af & Wanting what other people have

While we continue our chat about wants I NEED to say this: You’re allowed to want what other people have! 

I don’t know about all of you but for me quarantine has been a time warp of mindless scrolling and social media envy. I would watch Instagram stories of people living lives so vastly different than mine and I would get filled with envy – I was triggered. 

Triggers in Action

After envy runs its course it is usually followed by shame. Shame for being jealous, shame for wanting what other people had, shame for wishing I was living a different life or had a different set of circumstances. 

Shame is a useless emotion and I grew tired of tapping into it so I decided it was time to address my triggers head on – and that’s when everything clicked. 

It is ok to have envy, it is ok to be jealous of what other people have, it’s ok to feel sad, annoyed, frustrated. ALL FEELINGS ARE VALID. It’s important to feel them, analyze them, look at them. 

But it’s not ok to take action from this place. 

What to Do With triggers

While that’s great in concept it’s a little hard to apply in real life. So I came up with a way to turn my triggers into growth. To learn from my envy and it’s been an amazing mindset shift. 

To do this we need to ask ourselves why we are triggered. We have to dig into the feeling we are having and why we are having it. We have to get REAL AF with ourselves and not be afraid of what we find. 

What I’ve discovered is that most envy comes from a place of fear or scarcity. A place where we ask “Why do they have what I want” when we really need to ask “Why do I feel like I can’t have what they have?” or “Why do I feel like I’m not enough?”. 

We can’t place our envy on other people – we have to find where it comes from inside of us. 

Its ok to want

I’ve learned that we aren’t usually triggered by other people – we are triggered by what they have. This is because they have what we want. They have something that aligns with us. 

So instead of acting out of envy we need to use them as inspiration. We need to tell ourselves that our jealousy is not a “bad” thing, it’s just our brain telling us we are experiencing scarcity or lack. We are worried that we are not enough. 

When we give in to envy or comparison all we are doing is giving our power away and participating in the energy of lack. We are telling ourselves we “can’t” have what we want. 

It’s bullsh*t. 

Turning Triggers Into Friends

But, with this knowledge we can make our triggers our friends. When we meet our triggers where they are, get to know the emotions, find the place of lack and support ourselves on a journey to our wants, we get to grow – they help us find the places we could use a little extra love and support. We get to take control. 

Honestly, I still get triggered. But, with this knowledge I’ve been able to take my triggers and turn them into opportunities for growth, clues on what I want and they’ve helped me identify where I need to add more self love into my life. 

Your triggers don’t have to control you. Ready to turn them into growth? 

Triggered AF MasterClass Coming Soon!

If you want more sign up for my “Triggered AF” masterclass on 8/3. We will dive into our triggers, tools for turning them into growth and how to take care of ourselves lovingly along the way. We will validate our feelings and then use them to develop ourselves and align with what we want. Details here. https://mailchi.mp/4a301b8bc6c2/triggered-af

Let’s grow babies. 

Media Consumption Boundaries

I am in a vicious game of Hungry Hungry Hippos (media consumption wise). I’m in desperate need of some media boundaries and conscious consumption. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.

Our Social Distancing Summer is making it easier than ever to sit behind our screens and consume the never ending marbles of information. Between Twitter trends, Instagram stories, Facebook arguments with racist relatives and the never ending, never sleeping news cycle this consumption is EXHAUSTING. 

I feel myself believing that I can’t stop eating the marbles. I can’t stop consuming.

Why? 

Because if I stop consuming I fall behind. I will no longer know what is going on. I may even be disconnected. 

On the occasions I do disconnect, I feel guilty because it’s a privilege to be able to forget for a little while. 

Obviously, this is unsustainable. So how do we stop eating all the marbles without falling behind with the news? 

Boundaries and Conscious Consumption

Boundaries 

Boundaries are a hot topic in the self help world. Every self help blog, book or Ted Talk I’ve consumed has mentioned them. Unfortunately, we hear a lot about them but we usually don’t get a full picture on them. Let’s break them down together before we move on. 

Boundaries, by definition, are limits we set based on how we want to interact with people or things. Setting healthy boundaries allows us to protect ourselves from the energy other people or things may require from us. They can be time limits, physical limits, emotional space, or mental limits. 

The important thing with boundaries is to remember that we set them to take care of ourselves NOT to burden ourselves with “shoulds” or pointless rules. 

My new and improved media consumption boundaries are: 

  • Screen time limit of 5 hours in a day on my phone (this includes Facetime because that is still phone screen time) 
  • 1 hour of each social media app per day 
  • 1 hour of additional news consumption 
  • No engaging or sharing content that includes violence against BIPOC or minorities

These limits are what work for me but remember to customize your boundaries to you! If you live alone maybe up that screen time option so you have more time to Facetime friends and family. Or maybe you’re really good about not being on your phone but you watch CNN 24/7 and you need to limit the number of news broadcasts you watch. Whatever works for you! 

*Reminder: Do not quit your boundaries just because you make a mistake or consume more media than intended. Some days I only use 3 hours of screen time, other days I use 6, either way I just try again the next day. 

Conscious Consumption 

Now that I have my boundaries in place I can prioritize conscious consumption. To do this I *try* to remember to ask myself the following questions: 

  • Is this serving me in any way? (Ways include but not limited to: joy, knowledge or entertainment) 
  • How is this media making me feel about myself?
  • If I were to have missed this media would I be uneducated on current events?
  • Is there more to learn on this subject or am I obsessively consuming content trying to make sense of something I have no control over? 

The list goes on and on but the sentiments are the same. I want to make sure I’m consuming things that are either essential or helpful to my mental or physical well being. If consuming certain pieces of media make me feel like shit (looking at you diet culture) and they are not essential or useful knowledge for me, I put effort into not consuming them. 

If anything or anyone I watch or engage with starts to make me feel negatively towards myself I put it down. 

Your Turn 

If you have been struggling with media consumption or if you have been working from home and feel the need to be “on” or available all the time, I encourage you to give boundary setting and conscious consumption a try. 

And, as always, if you need help getting your boundaries organized or set please reach out! I am more than happy to set up a session to help you live a life that fulfills you. Let’s make your dreams into your reality by making conscious decisions. 

butreallythocoaching@gmail.com 

Be You, Quit Trying to Be Perfect

If I had a penny for every post I’ve seen with something along the lines of “Be you, everyone else is taken <3”  I would no longer have student loan debt. While this cliche is easy to mock (and trust me – early 20’s Emily mocked it ruthlessly), I’ve recently come to the realization that it’s so popular because it’s actually kind of hard to do. Being yourself – being unique – truly identifying who you are and what you want in a situation is hard and a little confusing.

I can hear you groaning through the keyboard but hear me out, friends.This was a really hard task for me – I used to find it insanely difficult to be and define “me” and I don’t think I’m alone in this. I had a really hard time figuring out which thoughts, feelings and impulses were “me” vs the things I’ve been conditioned to believe or think. 

To truly identify me I had to:  

Separate who I was from how I felt (emotions) 

Separate who I was from all of my thoughts (impulsive thinking brain) 

After a lot of journaling, self discovery and asking myself a lot of why’s I found one of the roots to my identity crisis. Perfectionism.

As we all know, no one is perfect but a lot of us try to be. I had decided that I could not do ANYTHING that I was not perfect at…which triggered a major identity crisis considering NO ONE IS PERFECT.

No One Is Perfect

 Perfection is insidious. It is the downfall of mindset work. Perfection convinces us that we have to show up at 100% or we shouldn’t show up at all. It’s unattainable, unsustainable and frankly a load of bs.So I had to put myself in perfectionism recovery. Here are a few of the ways I shifted my mindset on perfection so I could get to know ME. 

*Before we jump in – I am NOT a therapist. If your perfectionist tendencies are interfering with your day to day life please seek the help of a medical professional. 

Pay Attention to Your Thoughts and Feelings 

Step one! Monitor those thoughts and feelings. Keep a journal, take a mental tally, set a reminder on your phone to take timeouts and check in – do whatever you need to do. 

You are not your thoughts or feelings BUT they do affect you. To help stop the perfectionism monster in its tracks you have to catch it. (Think of this like Swiper from Dora the Explorer – if you don’t see perfectionism sneak in you can’t stop it). 

Every time you catch yourself thinking a perfectionist thought such as “I shouldn’t even bother because this isn’t good enough” or “I’ll never have the perfect living room like all the instagram influencers” or “I’m going to quit posting about BLM because I can’t come up with the perfect or BEST way to talk about it”; Stop. Noodle on it. And think about it. Is this thought serving you? This thought – is it telling you who you are? How does it align with who you are?

Meeting your perfectionism in your thoughts is hard work.This will take TIME and PRACTICE.

Eliminate Good & Bad (Perfect & Imperfect) 

One way I’ve shifted my thoughts around perfection is by eliminating good & bad. I used perfectionism as a procrastination excuse. 

Ex: If I can’t meditate for a full 10-20 minutes then I shouldn’t do it at all because it’s not perfect or enough. Ex: If I can’t exercise for an hour everyday then it’s pointless and not enough. 

This mindset is a guaranteed ticket to failure town. Instead of aiming for perfection I aim for action. 

Ex: Doing 3 minutes of meditation is good. It is better than 0. Walking the dog for exercise is good, it is more than sitting on the couch. 

We don’t get to see instant results when we do things BUT if we kick perfectionism and build the habit we get better day by day sustainably. 

This was a crucial step for me because once I could recognize that any action towards my goal was PROGRESS! Tracking progress is motivating and serves us so much more than striving for perfection.

Celebrate EVERY LITTLE SUCCESS 

As a kid I would color in my coloring book, deem my art “not good enough” and then throw it away. My sweet, kind mother would pull my coloring out of my trash and hang it on the fridge because she thought it was good enough – I thought she was off her rocker. 

I was afraid that my art was never going to be good enough – my mother celebrated it. This was super important for me because it validated my skills even if I didn’t believe in them. 

As an adult I recently picked up the habit of celebrating every little success like I won the lotto. 


Complete the laundry? Dance party! 

Finish everything on my to do list? Take a nap in the sunshine! 

Catch a perfectionist thought before it derailed my day? CELEBRATE

Anything and everything is a cause for celebration. Make life your party. 

Get an Outside Opinion 

My final tip: Work with a mentor! Go to a therapist! Hire a coach!! Talk to someone about it. If you truly want to get to know who you are and what you want you have to eliminate the noise – and that includes the noise we’ve been conditioned to believe about ourselves. Work with someone you trust and who has your best interest in mind. 

Once you start noticing perfectionism it becomes a lot easier to catch. Once you start identifying which thoughts are yours and which are conditioned into you by your family/society/ external forces you get to take control. You get to kick perfection. You get to decide what you want your life to look like – and please – don’t try to make it perfect. 

Need help getting your mindset in check and getting to the root of who you are and what you want? Reach out to butreallythocoaching@gmail.com or visit the coaching tab. 

Let’s kick perfection and get to know our authentic selves.