How many times have you talked yourself out of taking the path that would have led you to something extraordinary? I have a friend who has a story that needs to be told to the world. I don’t say this because they’re my friend. I say this because when they told me a small part of their story, a piece of my heart wept and then I was in awe at how they were still standing. Recently I asked my friend when they going to tell their story. They told me they were too young to tell their life story and they were going to wait another 20 years. Insert major eye roll right here. My friend doesn’t know if they going to live another 20 years. Do you know the best stories ever told and the best advice that fit your exact situation are six feet under at the cemetery? If you aren’t ready to tell your story, find a way to document it.
You are too young to do that. Who would want to learn from you? You haven’t lived yet. You are too old. That is an old-fashioned way of thinking. Write a book? No one would buy it. Go back to school? It’s not like you’ll get a promotion when you finish…if you finish. Lose weight? Haven’t you tried to do that already? Vacation by yourself? Are you crazy? Buy a house? You’ll never get approved for a mortgage. Start a business? Do you know how many fail in the first year? You aren’t doing anything original…
These aren’t the lies that other people tell you. These are the lies that you tell yourself.
Lies hold you hostage. Denying the potential positive impact of sharing your imperfect life serves no one. Lies keep you stagnant. I believe you are more resilient than a lie. But it doesn’t matter if I believe it. Do you?
I don’t know about you but I couldn’t wait until I became an adult. Remember when your only responsibility was doing your homework and maybe some chores on the weekend? Fast forward about 30 years and I realize every single day that being an adult is completely overrated and can be stressful. How I long for the days when school started at 9 in the morning and ended promptly at 3 in the afternoon. I just looked my schedule for the day and all I want to do is roll my eyes. The amount of homework I had as a child is laughable as I look at my desk wondering which task I’m going to tackle first. This isn’t a full-out adult temper tantrum contained within a blog post. I don’t complain without getting closer to a solution or a goal. Do you want to see how I deal with all of this “adulting” without losing my job, family, friends or mind?
Behold the sanity keeper, the conversation starter, the stress reliever, the spontaneous group activity that I bought for my office. This coloring sheet is a glorious 5 feet wide and 4 feet tall and it derails adult temper tantrums, negativity, and tendencies to be cranky. Did you know that adult coloring relieves stress, sparks creativity and encourages mindfulness? The act of coloring requires repetition and attention to detail, so you are able to focus on the activity, not on the meeting that ran over by 30 minutes. Is coloring not your thing? What about going outside and tossing around a football or lace up your sneakers and coordinate a group walk during lunch. Find what works for your office to help you and your fellow co-workers alleviate the stress from all of that “adulting” that we are required to do while on the road to being extraordinary.
I don’t know about you, but I get unexplainable joy from serving others. Helping others reach their goals, break through a mental road block or overcome a challenge makes me Christmas-morning happy. We help others by sharing our gifts and talents. We help others by being authentic and transparent about our struggles and heartbreak.
Have you ever had someone come to you and tell you that because of something you did or said inspired them to pursue a dream? I can tell you from personal experience, it is an amazing feeling. Don’t be selfish with your life experiences. You never who it will encourage or inspire.
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes life can just suck. Like sucks to the point that you don’t want to be bothered with anything other than remembering to breathe and to blink your eyes. The amount of negativity the average person can face each day is enough to make your want to throw your hands up in defeat and question why you started in the first place. I get it. I really do. Now here’s where you will probably roll your eyes at me and sigh deeply. I need you to GROW ANYWAY. The concrete in your life can be anything from family members who tell you can’t do it based on your past mistakes to sabotaging co-workers. GROW ANYWAY. Ask for the promotion. Create the business plan. Enroll in school. Lose the weight. Write the damn book. No one ever said that your individual journey would be easy. If you are looking at someone else’s journey and you think they had it “easy”, invite them to have lunch so they can tell you the truth. Success is hard. Following and fulfilling your purpose might be even harder. But I can tell you that it is worth it. Don’t let a little bit of concrete stop you…GROW ANYWAY.