Life and Unexpected Challenges

Life and Unexpected Challenges

Life isn’t always a walk in the park. Sometimes things get rough, obstacles come our way and we need to figure out a way to overcome them.

I’ll be honest, there was a time in my life when only terrible bad things happened. It was like a solid year of my life where one thing after another was thrown my way and for some reason it all sucked.  Have you ever had a period of your life like that? Where all of the sudden everything just seems to spiral out of control?

I met a friend for dinner the other night who is going through one of those tough times. It seems like these last three months have just turned her whole life upside down, and she feels totally lost. I can totally relate…. I’ve been there. It sucks.

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But the truth is when bad things happen we can’t really do much about it right? Well.. No, not really. Whenever we are faced with challenges in life, we cannot necessarily control what is happening to us, but we can control how it shapes us in the future.

Listen…. there are so many people in the world that have bigger challenges than I do… and some of them grow and push through those challenges to be even more amazing than I could ever be. How does that happen? How does one person who goes through such horrible experiences in life come out stronger, better, and so extremely successful?

The difference is what they associate the experience to in their minds – how they let that experience shape them and affect them.

The moral of the story is this… no matter what obstacles we face, no matter what challenges we need to overcome in life, we need to remember that all of those challenges are happening for a reason.. to make us better, more confident and more amazing humans.

So the next time something bad happens and you find yourself asking, “Why me?” try changing your mindset and start asking the question – “How will I grow from this experience?” instead.

I promise you will be better off. Because everything happens for a reason. Even the shitty stuff.

 

 

The Waiting Game: When A Proposal Is On The Rise

The Waiting Game: When A Proposal Is On The Rise

I’m about to get real honest and real with you guys about my current relationship sitch. Matt and I have been talking about getting married. Not to say that this is a new conversation or anything… it’s been a lingering topic for quite some time. We are shopping for a home, looking to settle down together, and marriage just seems to be one of those important parts of the equation. But right in this exact moment, it isn’t a vital part. I don’t have a ring on my finger yet. There was no grand beautiful proposal (yet.) For now, I am just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the opportunity to arise when Matt decides to sweep me off my feet and propose.

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The Perfect Picture Moment

When you see engagement posts on Facebook, it is really easy to get wrapped up in the perfect picture. I wrote about it in my post about how Facebook can compromise our happiness.. But when it comes to engagements and romantic moments, it is especially true.  The dramatic down on one knee moment where the girl looks so shocked and surprised that this special moment she has been waiting for forever is finally happening. But what we forget and tend to ignore is what happened before that beautiful perfect picture moment: The private conversations between two adults who openly discuss the possibility that they are destined to be together forever.

Everyone has those conversations differently. For some, it is a very clear passionate romantic form of expression, “I love you, and you love me… let’s spend the rest of our lives together.” For others, it is a casual “We should get married,” talk. Sometimes it is a conversation that happens more than once, just so that we can be sure this thing we are so happy about is “for real.”

But either way, I’m pretty certain that there is always some sort of conversation that comes before that grand big proposal. Because let’s face it: Guys are logical human beings. And to think a guy goes out and invests thousands of dollars in a ring without at least hinting towards the possibility with his girl first is pretty silly.

What Happens Next? The Girl Goes Crazy.

So after that conversation, here’s what happens: The girl starts imagining her life as a newly wed. She starts getting excited about all the amazing wonderful memories she is about to make: The proposal, the wedding, the celebration. All of it. And in the process of getting excited, it is really easy for some girls (me included) to start freaking out over the possibility that this thing you suddenly want so badly could take months, or years. When the heck is it going to happen? and How Long do I have to wait? It’s the waiting game… to the extreme.

Feeling Out of Control.

I guess those feeling all circle back to an important issue most girls have: and that is the ability to feel comfortable with being out of control of our destiny. The truth is it’s mostly up to the guy right? Sure we can pressure and push and trying to hint that this is something we are just really really wanting to happen, but ultimately it is the guy’s decision to make the move and pop that question. And so we wait… some of us patiently, but most of us, let’s face it, completely stress out the whole time. “When is it going to happen already!?” and “How Long do I have to wait?” And then some of us go to this even more deeper place, and start worrying that maybe that conversation we had was just a “hypothetical” …. or even worse: What if the guy changed his mind about us and doesn’t want it  anymore? What if he is getting cold feet? — Waiting game turned what if = disaster.

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For a While That Was Me.

I’ll admit… it’s been months since Matt and I had our initial conversation about getting married, and I honestly have no idea when it is going to happen. In the beginning, in the early months after our first talk, I freaked out and started to believe every single moment was the potential for a proposal. Literally.. it was ridiculous. Matt would leave the bedroom to go brush his teeth at night and I’d be convinced he was going to get the engagement ring he is hiding… He would call me outside to see something cute the dogies were doing and I’d run downstairs with my “surprised” face hoping he would be down on one knee when I got there. It was like this big ball of anticipation was consuming me, and for a long time, it was a hard thing to shake. And it definitely weighed on our relationship. He knew I was in waiting. And because I was constantly expecting something bigger, it was hard for me to appreciate the little happy moments that came in our relationship during that time.

The Game Changer

There was a pivotal moment for me when all of that anticipation seemed to disappear… it was the moment I started asking myself “Why Do I want to Marry Matt?” I was so obsessed with all the reasons that I thought he would want to marry me (and sometimes obsessed in fear over the reasons he wouldn’t want to) that I stopped asking myself what it was that I wanted. And what I wanted and still want is to be happy with a man I love – a man who I truly feel completes me, and makes me more of the person I am truly meant to be. He is the most wonderful kind man I’ve ever met. Why wouldn’t I want to be happy with him forever? But the reality is, I don’t need a ring on my finger to do that. I don’t need a proposal to happen in order to feel that way. I can just feel that way right here and right now. Looking at our relationship from that small change in perception helped me realize that what mattered most wasn’t the moment with the fancy proposal that I was once so desperately waiting for. What mattered most was the love we shared and the memories we could create before the proposal just as much as afterwards.

 The Lesson

No matter where you are in your relationship, always remember that things grow and evolve naturally. When you force situations or try to make things happen more quickly than their natural time line, you get a jaded and less fulfilling experience no matter what it is: proposal or not. And no matter what, remember the emotions behind what it is you are longing for in your life are most important. It doesn’t make sense to spend months being unhappy because you are waiting for a proposal to make you feel good again.

I know now that no matter what happens along our relationship journey, that being in the moment and celebrating what we have right here and now is the best way to treat my relationship the way it deserves. And if a proposal never happens, I know that we still had a lovely amazing wonderful relationship because we were both present in the NOW of it all. And what happens after the proposal? Well… Happily ever after of course.

But for now, I’ll have to admit… it’s pretty happy too.

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Harnessing the Power of Decision Making

Harnessing the Power of Decision Making

Are you the type of girl that can’t make up her mind? You know who I am talking about… you probably have a friend or two like this. You know, the girl who you ask, “Where should we go to dinner?” Or “What should we do tonight?” And you never get an answer. Maybe that’s you sometimes… the girl who just can’t make up her mind or at least speak up and say what’s on her mind. It’s all about decision.. being able to have the power to make decisions and learning how to harness your power to make them more often.

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Why Being A Decision Maker is Kick-Ass

Aside from NOT being the annoying girl in your group of friends, being a decision maker is totally a kick butt way to live life. Here’s why: Decisions are your pathway to shaping your life in the way that you truly want it to be. If you can’t make decisions about what to eat or where to go for dinner, how could you possibly make decisions about the big stuff – like what job to take, what house to buy, what career to have?

Different actions produce different results, and if you want to be the type of person who creates the life she wants to have, making decisions and learning how to (by practicing with small decisions) is the best way to custom create your life, as opposed to having other people do it for you.

“It is in our moments of decision making that our destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins 

Look back on your life and really ask yourself what decisions you have made in your life that have brought you to where you are today? If you made different decisions, wouldn’t you be somewhere different? What exactly would be different about your life if you did? Would you be happier? More fulfilled? Maybe? Maybe Not?

Make a decision today about how you are going to live the rest of your life. If you don’t. Someone else will make those decisions for you… whether it be friends, family, or the universe.

 

Decision Making Sets Standards For Your Life.

If you don’t make decisions about your life or take massive action to change it, your attitude and way of living will set the standards for how you live for the rest of your life! You’ll find it easier to slip into attitudes, behaviors and a lifestyle that are substandard for what you truly want and deserve in life! So take massive action and make a decision to do something different with your life.. Whether its eating healthier and working out, or signing up for a new educational program to switch jobs… or maybe to ask that person out on a date (or break up with someone) Or even change the way your current relationships are. By making decisions you can change the standards by which you will live the rest of your life.

“Making a true decision means committing to achieving a result and then cutting yourself off from any other possibility.” 

Don’t make anything else an option. Make that choice. Live that life. Because you deserve it

The minute you make a new decision for yourself, you set in motion a  new cause and effect process in your awesome life. New things will result from your new choices, and life will be forever different. How awesome is that.

 

The Steps to Being An Awesome Decision Maker

Remember Just how Powerful decision making is – When you know it is important, it will be more important for you to actually make those choices for yourself.

Realize that the hardest step to achieving anything is actually making that true committed decision – this is something we teach in our Perfection Program – there is a huge difference between wanting to do something, thinking about doing it, planning to do it, vs. Actually doing it. Taking massive action is the biggest sign to making a change happen. Don’t just decide to lose weight – sign up for a gym membership. Don’t just say you’ll go back to school – enroll in a program. Take some massive action associated with what you want to make it real, concrete and tangible, so you cannot fail!

Make Decision Often – Decision making is a muscle guys.. the more often you use it, the more chance you have at being happy and living the life you deserve. Why? Because when the time comes to make real big decisions, you will be so used to making the small ones that those big life choices will seem easy and conquerable to you!

Learn from your decisions – The worst failure is not learning from your choices.. Always learn and always grow.

Be Okay with Changing your Approach on the way to success – there is more than one way to get there… more than one way to achieve whatever goals you have. Don’t create some rigid map for yourself and get frustrated and give up when you have to veer off course. Different paths to your dream — don’t matter. As long as you get there.

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Don’t Quit Your Day Dream… A Story About Success and Failure

Don’t Quit Your Day Dream… A Story About Success and Failure

When I was a little girl, I loved to sing and act. So much so that by the time I was in my second year of high school, It was pretty much all I did with my free time.  I performed in every theater show our school had, took acting classes AND chorus classes just to get the most experience possible. And when that wasn’t enough to fuel my hunger for the stage, I took things a step further, auditioning for shows at community theaters, shelling out every earned dollar I had on  acting books and broadway show scores.

I was so invested in my calling for the stage that I did what most kids in my rich private high school didn’t do – worked two part time jobs. Every weekend I would wake up at 6am, and  work at bagel stores just to rummage up enough cash to pay for one Sunday voice lesson with the greatest teacher I could find (and afford) in NYC.

It started when I was little, but somewhere along the way of my teenage years my love for a hobby turned into my mission in life: To me, my number one goal was to be a successful performer on broadway. I made performing the foundation for what I dreamed would be my future adult life. I imagined me as an adult living in a small apartment working as a waitress to make ends meet and going to audition after audition until I got that great big shot at a lead roll on broadway. And to me, at the time, that imaginary life was perfect.  And I decided that no matter what, I was going to make that dream life a reality:  I was going to succeed. No matter what.

Until I failed.

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It was college audition season. The time where potential college students and their “stage moms” made trips across the country to showcase their talents.. the way artsy theater kids “applied for college.”  It was what we considered to be the most vital moment of our professional lives (even if we were only 17): The moment where you are judged by the people who truly matter – the people who decide if you are worth a shot at pursuing this professionally… the people who accept or deny you into college performing art departments.

Theater stage moms were just as serious about these moment as the kids were – promoting and raving about their child’s talent to any parent who would listen. Unfamiliar with the whole experience, my mother politely listened as mom after mom raved about their child’s amazing performance in last seasons rendition of this show and that show and blah blah blah. She didn’t know my resume. She just wanted me to be happy. And if this was it, that was fine by her.

I auditioned. I was judged. And I was sort of accepted. Waitlisted by the college of my choice. It hurt. My dreams were crushed. I didn’t press it anymore I didn’t fight for my school.. and I knew they wouldn’t fight for me….  Instead, I decided to give up on my dream of performing and enrolled in my safety school in a small town in New Jersey — Unknowingly saying goodbye to the theater world forever.

It wasn’t my intention to give up performing. In fact, I picked my safety school with the intention of getting involved in the small theater groups available on campus. But the truth was I no longer felt that  focus and determination I once devoted to the craft. The passion was gone. It was gone because… well, what was the point right? I mean who cares?

But inside, I cared. And years later I am wondering why I gave up on something I dearly loved – something that made me happy, brought me joy, and made me feel creative. Why did I give up my outlet of artistic expression?

I’ll tell you why. Because I was trying so hard to be seriously good at something so that I could be “successful” like great adults are.

I was trying to be an adult. Because grownups don’t have hobbies. Because big girls in college don’t play pretend in their free time… big girls get internships and start working on their resumes.

And then after college, serious successful people don’t have time for the things they love if they aren’t directly related to their career. If they do, then they are being lazy or not as focused on their jobs as they should be right?

But years later here I am a full blown adult. I am successful, I am responsible, and on most levels, I pretty much have it together. But there is something I don’t have. My passion. My joy. My therapy. My voice.

Now I am here all grown and actually scared of trying to sing again… something that when I was a kid you couldn’t keep me from even if you tried. I feel scared to jump back into a passion I loved wondering if I still have that talent… wondering if it will still bring me that joy. and Scared by the idea that maybe it won’t.

The point of this story isn’t to argue my talent. The point of this story isn’t to teach you more about who I am or where I have been – though I hope you have enjoyed the narrative. The point is far more applicable to your life – The point is there is more than one thing that makes us who we are. There is more to us than just our careers or our relationships, our status as mothers or girlfriends or wives… as professional career woman or otherwise.

Just because you are aiming to be a successful person doesn’t mean you give up the things that you aren’t perfect at. Why give it up just to make room for more professional meetings and overtime hours at your job? Our passions make us who we are even when we aren’t the best at them. They are the things that bring us joy, make us feel whole. They are the things that we look back on and wish we did more of.

I am twenty seven and I am jumping back into a hobby that was once my whole life. And this time it won’t be. And that is okay. What matters most is not being perfectly successful.. what matters is  that I look back and remember all of the joy that hobby brought me and how close it makes me feel to the person  I truly am.

The moral of the story is simple… don’t quit your day dream…. just … look at it a little differently. Don’t give up on the things you love just because you are an adult trying to be “successful.”  Because even if those passions don’t make for a permanent sustainable career.. they make you YOU.

And being true to yourself is the most successful thing you can possibly do in this world.

 

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What is Perfection is the Self Improvement blog for the imperfect girl everywhere. Learn to find happiness, feel beautiful, and be confident in who you are. We all deserve to be happy, and we all deserve to be the best version of us. And we all are truly capable of getting there. Because Perfection Is Impossible. Happiness isn’t. See The Self Improvement E-Guide Collection For Your Life Coaching Guides to Change Your Life Today!

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The Baggage of Fear – Exercises for Letting Go

The Baggage of Fear – Exercises for Letting Go

I have been scared of things my whole entire life. When I was little, I was scared of monsters. When I was a teenager, I was scared of bullies. But when I got older, fear started manifesting in a totally different way – I wasn’t scared of other people or things around me anymore. I was scared of myself. I felt afraid of failing in my life and worried that I would not be enough. I was constantly concerned that I was making the wrong decisions in my life. But Over time I realized that my life would never be happy if I didn’t learn how to let go of fear. So I did. So today I’m going to tell you how to let go of fear too!

Do you have a hard time learning how to let go of fear? Ever been there? Whether its the boogie man, bullies at your locker or the battle inside yourself, fear is a big ass monster looking to wreck your chances of feeling happy.

If you are the type of person who doesn’t know how to let go of fear, you are probably constantly over analyzing the decisions you are making in your life. If you feel a constant worry that you aren’t doing the right thing or you aren’t making the best choices, that’s your fear talking. And it sucks. Because fear of yourself can be even more of a bully than that jerk at your locker was in high school.

Trouble learning to let go of fear? It’s almost like the what if’s of our decisions haunt us more than the reality of the choices we make. We are constantly worried, stressed, and overwhelmed at the thought that we are doing it wrong… that the choices we are making aren’t right, and we will only face the consequences in the future.. like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode on our lives.

 

My Fear Story

The unhealthiest relationship of my life was also the one that left me afraid and immobilized. I wanted to leave. I wanted to walk away . I wanted to call it quits. But something inside my just kept on replaying the what if’s .. What if I was making the wrong decision? What if my family loves me less when I walk away from this relationship because I’m making the wrong decision? What if this unhappy relationship was actually capable of being happy and I was simply jeopardizing it with all my negativity? What if I was failing and what if this was my only shot at being happy.

That was fear talking. But once I let go of fear I found my inner strength (a story you can read about in this post here.)

What if I do change and don’t love myself enough at that point? So why try right? What if I do change and don’t find someone to love me or what if I don’t feel good about myself and put in all this work for nothing? Or what if … what if I just totally fail and can’t do it. So for a while  I didn’t even try. My fear talked me out of changing my life for the better.

 

How to Let Go Of Fear:

Witness your fear instead of ignoring it.

At some point, you need to be brave. You need to let go of fear. Try to step away and move on and just take a chance on following your gut. In order to do any of that, you can’t ignore your fear. You need to witness it. You need to acknowledge that feeling – that insecurity and doubt you have – see it clearly for what it is. Because in order to grow and let go, you must first recognize that your fear exists. If you ignore fear, it will only grow and debilitate you even more. So acknowledge it. Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of exactly?”

Discover the root of that fear.

Everything we are afraid of boils down to one of two fears: We are either afraid of not being loved or not being enough. That is it. It’s simple. Are you afraid of not being loved? Or are you afraid of not being enough? Discover the root fear associated with whatever it is you are afraid of doing. Failure and love are two very strong emotions. No matter what we are holding back from doing (or feeling scared of doing) it is based on one of those two things. So figure out what it is so you can let go of fear.

Figure out why that fear is irrational.

Are you scared of walking away from an unhealthy relationship because you are worried that you will never find love again? Are you scared of going on a date with a boy or falling in love because you are afraid you are too heavy or overweight to be in love? Those fears are completely irrational. And deep down you know that. You just need to sort through those feeling to let go of fear and realize how irrational that fear really is. Take these examples:

If you are scared of leaving a relationship because you don’t think you will fall in love again, write out why that is a ridiculous belief. “Of course I will find love again because I am wonderful, I am beautiful, and awesome. And I know that plenty of people fall in love more than once. If they can I can too.”

If you are scared of falling in love because you don’t think you are skinny or beautiful enough to find someone who will love you. “Of course I will find true love once I just put myself out there. I am beautiful the way I am and this fear is ridiculous. SO many overweight women find true love. SO many people out there fall in love and their physical beauty is irrelevant. I deserve to be in love and will find true love because I am a great person who deserves it!”

Get the point? Cool. Write the list, let go of fear and then…

Take Massive Action.

Let go of the fear, set a new goal and take a big massive action to change your life. Keep reading to learn how!

let go of fear what is perfection

Once you acknowledge what you are scared of, its time to let go of fear. Let go of all that doubt and negativity and say goodbye. And if you have no idea how to do that, try one of these exercises. They work.

Letting Go Of Fear Exercises

The Fear and Fire Release Exercise.

write down a few negative thoughts you have about yourself or things you want to let go of… “I am saying goodbye to not being good enough.. Saying goodbye to hating my body… Saying Goodbye to my harmful relationship….” Writing down the thoughts you will no longer tolerate or stand for in your life… Put them in a fire, or burn them in a bucket.. Watch them disappear and eliminate them symbolically, and physically in your life.

Writing a Letter to the Past

Writing a letter to someone you are letting go of, or even to yourself is a great way to let go and say goodbye to things. I am not suggesting you go ahead and send a hateful letter to your ex.. but writing out all the feelings associated with your past relationship and releasing them as you put your thoughts on paper is a great way to say goodbye to whatever is holding you back. Writing letters to your former self or writing letters to who you are now and telling yourself what you are changing and why you are changing is a great way to symbolically rid your life of all that is hurting you or all that you are still holding on to.

The Balloon Release Experiment.

This exercise to let go of fear is a super fun one. Go to the party store, get a balloon and write down a letter to yourself. Write it ON the balloon. Cool right? Use a marker or write it on a piece of paper and tie it to the balloon. Write down your fears. Reflect on your words for al little while and then release your balloon into the sky. Say goodbye to all that you are afraid of!

Write a Letter to Someone You Love About How You Are Changing Now.

Having someone to hold you accountable is a great way to make change happen. I wrote a letter to my boyfriend and told him all the ways I was changing my life and why I was changing them. I told him in a heartfelt note what I would no longer tolerate in my life and what I needed to change. I said goodbye to my fears, committed to change and never looked back.

Don’t look back. Don’t live in doubt. Follow your gut.. and create the life you deserve.

Need help learning how to take the next step? Check out this post on how to find your inner strength.

 

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Divider what is perfection

What is Perfection is the Self Improvement blog for the imperfect girl everywhere. Learn to find happiness, feel beautiful, and be confident in who you are. We all deserve to be happy, and we all deserve to be the best version of us. And we all are truly capable of getting there. Because Perfection Is Impossible. Happiness isn’t. See The Self Improvement E-Guide Collection For Your Life Coaching Guides to Change Your Life Today!

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