If you haven’t heard of Rachel Hollis yet, you need to make sure you haven’t been living under a rock because this lady is the bomb! I actually read her book earlier this year while I was finishing my thesis for my Master’s degree in history. It was timely because, at the time, I was feeling sorry for myself. I kept concentrating on how HARD the process was instead of enjoying the fact that I was finishing my FU**ing thesis at the young age of 25!!! (Pardon my french 🙈) I mean come on! I should have been crazy proud of myself, but no.
Now maybe you didn’t have trouble finishing your degree. Maybe the idea of staying in school for that long sounds like a nightmare to you, but we can all relate to feeling sorry for ourselves. The worst part about being in that state is no matter what you do, you don’t feel like you can do anything right! You can’t ever get ahead, you are always exhausted. Nothing brings you joy, and you spend your days bitter and lonely even when others are around.
Here’s how Rachel helped me crawl out of the pity party pit where I had given up on life. (I’m being a little… ok, a lot, melodramatic but you get the idea. Lol)
In just the first chapter this woman had me hooked. As a fellow people pleaser, I really related to her. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others and induce a stress-eating, self-loathing depression where you might as well give up if you can’t be the best. At least, it’s easy for me.
So, now that I have admitted I have a problem, (Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m a people pleaser. lol), I can deal with it. First, take responsibility. One of my favorite movies, How Do You Know, with Reese Witherspoon, has a quote. “Don’t judge anybody else until you check yourself out that way you are lucky if it’s your fault because then you can correct the situation.” The first time I heard this quote I HATED it! I’m like, “Great, so everything is your fault and you can’t be mad at anyone else ever?!” I was not in the right place to hear this. But the second or third time I watched the movie (Because who can resist a good chick-flick with Reese Witherspoon?!) I heard it a little differently. Since I am a people pleaser I have a tendency to point fingers, anything just so I don’t have to admit I am the cause of the problem or anything is wrong with me. DEAR GOD DON’T LET ANYTHING EVER BE WRONG WITH ME!!! I can’t stand to admit when I’m wrong and will white-knuckle it past the point of logic. Let’s just say, it’s not pretty.
But if you listen carefully to the quote, it’s just saying pay attention. There’s nothing wrong with checking in to see, “Could I make this better with a few tweaks? Could I do something different to change the outcome in the future?” It’s what grown-ups do, and I don’t mean that in a condescending way. Rachel can explain it better than I can. Her first call to action is to take responsibility for your life. The whole thing is yours! The good, the bad, and the ugly. Then and only then can you create change in your life. Stop beating yourself up because it serves no purpose. Get up and do something about it! Girl, get out of bed! Girl, dust yourself off! Girl, wash your face!! (Great title, right?!) The point is to own it. I think we sometimes think someone, someday is just going to hand us the life we want. It doesn’t really work that way, and in all honesty, I don’t think we would like it if it did. When we fight for something, it’s truly ours. You need a goal in life. I don’t think I knew that. You NEED a goal in life to push you forward. You NEED something to shoot for. Sometimes you’ll hit it right on! Other times you’ll miss the target, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t need the goal.
Here are some of Rachel’s rules to live by:
1. DON’T compare yourselves to others! “Comparison is the death of joy.” If you haven’t listened to Rachel guesting on the Ed Mylett Show Podcast, you have to! She says that life is a little like a math test. Keep your eyes on your own paper! Beat your own record! Be better than YOU were yesterday! Compete only with yourself!
2. Start small. She started by giving up diet coke. I decided to start with small things like making my bed in the morning, giving up ice cream (I have a mild addition to Ben and Jerry’s, like that was a threesome I could always get on board with! lol) Making your first goals easy to chew create momentum and you start to trust yourself again. Ed Mylett said in the same podcast episode mentioned above, that if you can’t keep promises to yourself, you begin to not trust yourself, so it’s no wonder you can’t keep promises to others. You have to keep those promises you make to you. They matter. Your goals matter. Life does get in the way. We all make mistakes and miss the mark but that does not give us, that does not give ME, permission to quit! You can’t quit on yourself. You can’t! I won’t allow it and neither will Rachel! (I’m only slightly kidding. lol) But in all seriousness, I got your back girl and I’d like to think you have mine. 😊
3. “Hustle for joy.” This one sounds like “Duh, Rachel! Of course, I know I should be joyful and happy!” But it goes beyond just being happy. Rachel tells us to enjoy the simple things in life. Every day, write down ten things you are grateful for, and eventually, you’ll notice that you have to pay attention to be able to write down that many things. So, you create a habit of joy and gratitude. Look for it! Seek it out! Enjoy your family, friends and the little things that make you happy. You know what they are. 😉
There is so much more to this book but these are the things that stuck out to me. Don’t be afraid to say your inner dreams out loud! Go after them! Dream BIG! Like BIG, BIG! Do the things you’ve only day-dreamed about. Love yourself even when you fail and DO NOT WALLOW IN SELF PITY! It doesn’t help you or make you feel better anyway. What’s easy is not what you want. Believe it or not, you want the challenge. You’ve just made a habit of finding the easy way out. These are the things that spoke to me and these are things I say to myself as I maneuver through life. It is eye-opening, timely, a little scary, but definitely good!
This feels like a core workout. All these books, podcasts, epiphany-filled moments, and long big-girl conversations with my mother, feel like I’m stretching myself passed where I ever thought I could go. My sister is getting her yoga teaching certificate right now. But before she ever thought about becoming a teacher she knew what she had to do. She had to get strong. She had to try and fall. Strengthen. Try and fail, strengthen. Over and over, pushing the boundaries to find her inner strength as well as the physical. Now, I watch her going into head stands with ease and grace. She makes it look so easy, but I know firsthand it was not. It took a lot of work, pain, bruises, breakdowns, coaching, and learning to get to the place she is now.
That’s what this feels like. It feels like I’ve just discovered my core muscles (theoretically speaking) and let’s just say, I don’t have any abs to speak of! Lol, I’m learning what I’m capable of, I’m listening to people as they show me how to adjust this or that. I’m testing my boundaries and I’m surprised when I can do more than I thought. I’m getting stronger. That’s what matters!
And that’s why I’m so excited to say I am doing the #Last90Days challenge with Rachel Hollis! You should join us! Here’s the link! There’s an inspirational theme related video every Monday and a Facebook group and it starts today!!! We can do this! We can treat the last 90 days of 2018 like we do the first 30 of most years! We can make today count. We can make the next minute, the next second count when we decide, Yes! Today is the day. Today I will try, and I won’t give up. Today. That day is today.