The Reason No One Supported Me for Years

For the majority of my life I’ve proudly declared how independent I am. While being independent is something that will always be true of my personality, I recently had the very eye-opening realization that I’m so frustratingly independent because I believed I had to be most of my life.

After my parents got divorced, they weren’t as present as before. Heck, my dad wasn’t even home most of the time. I didn’t have a lot of friends because I didn’t fit in and didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing. My high school sweetheart was often self absorbed, manipulative and emotionally abusive. He’d tell me I was difficult and selfish if I had even the slightest of needs. The guy I had a long relationship with after that loved, to a fault, that he didn’t have to take care of me in any way… so much so that when I was sick I’d get excited to have a “day off”.

I became so independent because I felt like I had to be.

And that’s the key distinction to realize here, I thought I had to be.

I believed that no one wanted to take care of me, that I had to do it all myself, and that being so independent was a positive personality trait. I became so independent because I held a false belief and interacted with others and the world in a way that prompted them to reinforce that belief.

But, since having this realization I’ve made some changes, and I’ve learned a ton, which I’m super excited to share with you today.

The Reason No One Supported Me for Years

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1) The people who love you want to support you… let them.

When I realized I’d been so independent because I’ve had to be, I stopped and asked myself the one question that continues to transform my life… what did I do to allow this to happen? I assumed because my parents were wrapped up in their divorce that I was unlovable, too much, and not something they wanted to “deal with”. I carried that belief into a relationship that was abusive and toxic, because it simply reinforced a belief I had already created. I taught the next guy how to be “selfish and lazy” and not take care of me because I made a point to show him I didn’t need him to. I was independent and I believed (again, forming beliefs all on my own) that’s what he was so attracted to.

Since having this realization, I’ve let my guard down and I’ve stopped being so independent. I let the people in my life take care of me. I let them support me, love me, do things for me, and be there for me. I let myself unravel when I need to, because I know there is someone else who can — and wants to be — strong for me in that moment. What I’ve learned is that the people in our lives want to support us. Even the ones that don’t know us all that well, like the amazing people in my mastermind groups. Letting people support me in these last couple weeks has been life changing.

2) Being independent is exhausting, whether you’ve realized it yet or not.

The moment it all clicked for me, I got very sad and very tired. I’ve been strong and independent for a long time… and you know what? It’s exhausting. Being able to admit that I’m tired of being so strong and independent was an enormous weight off my shoulders. It also made me realize that even though we’re being strong and independent, we’re still storing all the hurt, exhaustion, and pain that comes with it. It doesn’t mean we’re stronger than others or that we can do it all on our own… it just means we’re good at stuffing things down and charging forward. A fabulous mode in certain situations, don’t get me wrong, but one that is detrimental to our health and happiness when we stay in it for too long.

So I gave myself some time to feel all the years and hurts and pains that I had “handled” on my own. To feel sad and lonely and tired. To allow myself to put the strong and independent fronts away, so I could just be the tired, sensitive, vulnerable, and the soft person I am. And I didn’t just put those fronts away for the day, they’re still stored away… which means I’m suddenly aware of how exhausting life can really be. Which leads me to…

3) Amazing things happen when you let people take care of you.

I mean, truly amazing. Letting other people be strong for me when I need to be weak, take care of me when I’m tired or down, or simply hold space and cheer me on is AMAZING. My life, happiness and business have all been supercharged by the love and support of other people. And you know what? I’m showing up even more amazingly in the world and in my work because I’m not doing it solo. I have people to bounce ideas off of, to love me when I’m down, to remind me why I’m doing this when I’m frustrated, and to bear a little bit of the load.

Asking for support is a lot easier than you may expect, really. All you have to do is state the truth of the moment, “I’m tired. I need help. I don’t know what to do. I’m feeling ____.” Sometimes letting others support us means simply being in our truth in that moment, and allowing them to do the rest. We don’t have to have all the answers, we just have to show up truthfully.

4) Learning to balance the two is certainly an art form.

I’m only a couple weeks into this new practice, and it’s not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. But that just means it’s more than worth it. I’ll always be independent to some degree, that’s absolutely a part of who I am… but learning to be true to that and allow myself to be supported, well that’s an art form. One I don’t have a lot of insight on just yet, but I do know it’s about going inward and getting really honest with yourself about where you’re at. Asking, “is this something I need to do for myself, or is it something I think I have to?” There are always going to be things we need to do ourselves, but there’s a difference between that and believing we have to. Understanding that makes all the difference.

Take action now!

Take a moment to check in with yourself and your beliefs about independence and doing it all alone. Are they really serving you? Is it true that the people in your life don’t want to support you, or have you trained them to be that way? Is it true that you’re all alone in this, or have you believed that so deeply and for so long that others have had no choice but to fall in line with that belief? And lastly, what’s one way you can allow someone else to support you today?

PS – I’m hosting a FREE training call on Wednesday, October 1st! Learn the three simple exercises to completely eliminate all obstacles, allow you to start moving forward with ease, and prevent you from throwing in the towel at any point during the journey. It’s smooth sailing from here! Plus, the one thing you’re doing that’s kept you feeling stuck, isolated, overwhelmed, and completely unsupported, while also slowing your progress to a crawl (and what to do instead). Space is limited, so click here to claim your spot now!

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August Was…

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Creative and inspiring adventures like the art museum.

Beautiful sunsets and ample balcony time (I so love my balcony).

Getting back to the gym and my favorite routines.

Hot tea on crisp mornings and iced tea with new mastermind friends.

Loads of insightful and inspiring reads while cozying up with my guys.

Delicious vegan kabobs handmade with love for me.

Several trips to beautiful Bouldershe’s courting me and I’m loving it.

Homemade avocado chickpea mash and stuffed sweet potatoes!

Managing to carry my body six miles without stopping, twice.

Getting to pick up my bestie from the airport for a weekend of fun!

This, and getting to introduce old friends to new in beautiful Boulder.

Mountain goats while visiting the top of Mt. Evans. Absolutely amazing sites!

Checking the fantastic and amazing Casa Bonita off my bucket list.

Beautiful flowers, foggy mornings, and loads of yummy hot tea.

Work at beautiful lunch spots on a super exciting new offering!

Pretty Piggy nails, last melons of the season, baby blossoms on my plants.

Life changing books. And this one (I mean, LIFE CHANGING).

Sunflowers, Thai massages, and late nights working with my guys.

Hugely transformational aha moments.

New beginnings and much needed fresh perspectives.

New, inspiring friends who challenge me.

Growth on so many levels.

Enthusiasm for the changes to come (in season and self).

Love. So much love.

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I Used to Be a Liar.

Seriously, I lied all the time.

I lied every day about what I really desired, regardless of how big or small. I lied about who I was to my friends and family. I lied to my bosses and clients. I lied with every breath, word, and action, and especially with every smile plastered to my face. I lied every time I tucked part of myself away for being “too much” for someone else to handle. I lied every day that I stayed with the men who weren’t right for me and every time I took a step further into a life I didn’t really want.

I’ve always valued honesty, and yet I lied day in and day out for years.

The reason I was such a constant liar is I never realized I was lying to myself. I lied with every word and action, to every person I loved and cared for, because I was completely out of alignment with my own truth. But sadly, I didn’t even know my truth existed at the time… I simply went through the motions based on what others wanted and what I thought I should want. I tucked parts of myself away over the years, held back, and conformed to what I believed was expected of me.

And then, at the start of this year I chose truth as my guiding word. This simple word has shaken me, my life, and my relationships apart completely.

Choosing to live, speak, breathe, and be my truth every single day is one of the most powerful choices I’ve made on this journey to date. Instead of hiding out, putting other people’s expectations first, or trying to dial myself back in order to keep the peace or make things easier on someone else, I speak my truth.

I speak my truth when it’s incredibly hard, sometimes having to repeat the word over and over to myself until I can muster up the strength to dive into the conversation. Truth, truth, truth, truth, GO. I speak my truth when it’s uncomfortable, trusting that if someone can’t handle it (handle me and all that makes me who I am), then they don’t belong in my life. I speak my truth when it means losing money and risking security, because I know if I don’t I’ll be going against my values.

More importantly, I do everything I can to fully embody my truth.

Our truth is more than just what we say, it’s how we show up in the world and our relationships.

It’s in showing up fully, and showing the parts of ourselves that may be too much for someone else. It’s in how we communicate, love, connect, and experience each other. It’s in honoring our needs and desires, even when that means we don’t cater to someone else. It’s in every breath, action, and expression. 

Living a lie isn’t always a conscious choice, but if you know you’re not happy and you’re not doing anything about it, then you’re consciously choosing to continue with that lie. Not only are you choosing to lie to the people you love, you’re choosing to continue lying to yourself, and that’s just unacceptable.

It’s unacceptable because this world needs more people living, breathing, speaking, being, and sharing their truth. We need more people willing to get uncomfortable so they can start loving more deeply, living more fully, and sharing the gifts only they have to give.

I Used to Be a Liar

How to start living your truth:

1) Stop lying to yourself.

If you’re not joyful, in love with every moment of life, or feeling fulfilled in your relationships or work, you’re lying to yourself. You’re either not taking the time to acknowledge how you really feel or you’re  unwilling to admit the truth to yourself and others. When we acknowledge and admit the truth, we’re forced to not only face it, but to do something about it. That’s scary, I know. I absolutely get how scary that is. But continuing to live a lie because it seems easier? That’s even scarier. Because that means one day you’ll wake up in a panic and wonder why you wasted so many years of your life not being true to yourself. Don’t do that. It’s not fun and it doesn’t serve anyone.

2) Stop lying in everything you do.

Once you acknowledge what’s true for you, you have to start living, breathing, speaking, and being it. You have to dress to fit what you love and how you feel, not in the ways you think will impress someone else. You have to share what you believe and feel in the moment, regardless of who it will hurt or offend, or who will disagree with your taste or opinions. You have to do the things that align you with your truth… buy the book, take a step towards the goal, end the relationship, or quit the job. Do the things that move you towards living a life of truth and alignment. You have to be truthful in your every action.

3) Trust in yourself and the process.

This isn’t easy work at all… truth telling is hard stuff. Truth telling means getting uncomfortable, vulnerable, and exposed. It means admitting that you’re not perfect, you messed up, or you don’t agree with everyone else. It means making changes, big and small. It’s hard. But it’s one of those hard things that’s so, so, so worth it. At first it will feel like you’re shaking yourself and your whole world apart, because you are. Stepping into your truth shakes things up, and more importantly, it ensures only the things and people in alignment with your truth will stay. When we align with our truth, we become rooted in it, and the people and things that are right become firm and steady. The parts and pieces of our lives that are tapped on with avoidance and lies, they fall away.

This is a messy process, absolutely. But once you’ve aligned with your truth and are living and breathing it every day, amazing things begin to happen. The right people, opportunities, and experiences just show up. You begin to feel happier and more fulfilled. Life is amazing, just like it should be.

So today, take some time to pause and check in with yourself. Where are you avoiding or refusing to acknowledge your truth? Where are you actively lying to yourself and others? And where can you begin to create more alignment right now?

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Colorado Bucket List: Mount Evans

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The technical Colorado Bucket List goal is “climb” any 14er, but unless I get back out there on foot, I’m going to let this count for now.

Mostly because, how could I not?!

I don’t really use the word epic seriously, but this was epic. My bestie was in town for a weekend get together and we were told the only 14er you can drive to the top of is Mt. Evans. So we decided to do just that the following day.

Driving out we grabbed some B-B-Q and sat in a lot of traffic on I-70, but it was so worth it. We started winding up the mountain from Idaho Springs and it was simply gorgeous up there (I seriously can’t wait to go back in the fall). We finally made it to the park ranger station to get our pass and headed up the steep and winding 14mi to the summit.

Along the way we saw bighorn just casually strolling along the road!

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There was a little pull off area where we stopped to climb rocks and take pictures of the awesome views and our awesome selves. It was breathtaking.

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Further up was a little lake and some gorgeous views. I made a mental note to also return to hike along the pathway near this spot. So unbelievable.

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Then closer to the top we saw mountain goats! There were five of them stopping traffic on the side of the road. This one guy was just staring at all of us while munching some grass with a look of, “what’s the big deal guys?” Amazing.

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At the top, WOW. Just wow.

The views were absolutely amazing and it was so quiet and peaceful, despite the mass of people all around us. We took pictures with the official sign, sat on the edge of the cliff, and just took it all in. Next time I’ll definitely bring a picnic to spend more time at the top.

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Why I Pulled Away from My Tribes (and Why You May Want To)

At the end of last year I made the conscious decision to pull away from my communities. My mastermind tribe, entrepreneurial groups I was in, mentors, and even some of my fellow business building friends. I was feeling unhappy with my business and like it needed to better reflect who I was and the work I was here to do… not be another online business doing the same thing as everyone else.

So I pulled away.

I didn’t post in groups (or even visit them). I didn’t hire coaches or take any programs. I didn’t read the blogs or websites of mentors and people I’d previously looked up to. I took serious space from everyone else and started focusing on what I wanted to create, which lead to some serious awesome.

I changed up my blogging schedule and focus.
I created a new offering unlike anything I’ve ever done.
I poured myself into the creation and release of my new book.
I focused on creation and produced a ton of new content.
I cleared the clutter and shed old layers in life and business.
I focused on my health, happiness, and finances.
I learned that life, relationships, and experiences are my muses.

I not only uncovered more of myself and my truth, but I created greater alignment in my life and businesses, making everything I do more fulfilling, on purpose, and divinely inspired.

Could I have done this while staying connected to my tribes?

I’m honestly not sure.

But the fact is, I didn’t think I could, so I honored that by stepping away. I believe strongly in creating space when it comes to creating alignment with our truth, especially in relationships. Whether personal or professional, it’s hard to grow when we’re trying to fit into other people’s perceptions and expectations of us. Especially with family and long time friends who feel we need to stay “who we’ve been” since that’s what they’re most comfortable with.

The beauty of stepping back is that we rarely have to leave forever. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding our footing so we can stand firmly in our beliefs when we finally do come back.

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How to Pull Away to Create Greater Alignment

1) Consider where you need to step back.

Is it from your personal relationships because they’re stifling and limiting? Is it from the books and programs that all tell you to do the same exact thing as everyone else? Is it from the communities that have so strongly adopted beliefs and practices that there’s no room for innovation or experimentation? Or maybe it’s from your mentors, because it’s time to blaze your own trail and step into your power as a leader? Pay attention to where you feel the most stifled and why.

2) Create the space you need to grow.

This may mean anything from moving across the country to ending a relationship to going completely off the grid. It could mean taking a digital break and stopping the digestion of other people’s work. It may mean going on vacation and unplugging the entire time. Or it may be as simple as not running your ideas past family and friends until you’ve found your footing.

3) Focus on what feels right for you.

When you step back, focus on only the things that feel right for you. Do the things you feel compelled to do without having to worry about other people’s opinions. Experiment with doing things a new and different way. Meet new people and experience new things. Make choices and decisions from your intuitive hits and not from other people’s opinions. This is the only way to grow into the person you’re meant to be, and having the space to do it is unlike anything else.

4) Come back if/when it feels like time.

In some cases, you may never return to the people, communities, mentors or tribes, and others you will. There are certain mentors I’ve completely unfollowed who had a huge impact on me when I started out, while others I’ve chosen to work with again. There are certain communities I left without a second thought, while others I consciously came back to with a new focus and certainty of self. There’s no one size fits all plan for this kind of thing, so trust your intuition. If something or someone who once resonated deeply no longer does, that’s okay! Growth means shedding layers, people, things, and experiences that no longer serve us. You don’t need any other reason besides “this no longer feels right to me.”

Take action now!

Work through the steps above to see where you need to take some space in your life, then share exactly how you plan to do that.

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People around me have noticed how “happy” I’ve been lately and I can 100% say that I have never felt more happy, authentic, confident, and healthy as I do now. I am so grateful to Stephenie for helping me begin this journey of self discovery. — Jennifer McAleese