I have never felt that I fit well in this noisy, competitive, frenetic world; fear told me that I didn't have what it takes. And maybe many of us feel this way.
But as I've journeyed from fear to freedom I have come to the realization that I can forge my own path and look for quieter examples to show me the way. I discovered, too, that what I had perceived to be some of my greatest weaknesses are, in fact, some of my greatest strengths: I am stubborn and determined; I am hungry for truth and authenticity and will not settle for less. I question, and wrestle, and push back doggedly against messages that tell us our worth comes in a bigger house, a smaller body, a mindless going with the flow.
I want something different. I choose Uncluttered. Unshackled. UnBusy.
Unless we stand up and go nose to nose with fear, though, it is near impossible to build and walk out an unbusy, purposeful life.
Fear sabotages us in many ways. She is a subtle, intelligent foe who knows our triggers intimately and is only too willing to use them against us when we seek healthy change and growth, or freedom.
Her sole mission is to keep us bound and defeated.
Stuck in never good enough and settling for status quo.
But if you are seeking an UnBusy Life then it is imperative that you face fear head on - that you get honest about all the ways she is showing up in your life and holding you back from living joyfully, on purpose.
1 | Deepen self-awareness and self-compassion.
Deepening self-awareness puts us on the offensive. It helps us become clear about who we are, how we learn, what motivates us and terrifies us, what triggers us and why. Self-awareness feeds into self-compassion as it helps us identify both our strengths and weaknesses and begin to embrace the fullness of who we are without shame. Getting super honest about where we have messed up and offering ourselves permission to be real about who we choose to be and the life we want to lead is an essential starting point.
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2 | Develop a sound stress mindset.
Anything valuable in this life involves a measure of stress, and not all stress is bad. Consider for a moment that walking away from a lucrative career that does not align with your values, having kids, building a lasting marriage, offering friendship when you've been burned before, these all involve a measure of stress, but they are all worth it, right? A sound stress mindset also includes understanding that it is often our perception of the event more than the event itself which holds the potential to do us harm. This can change your life.
Action step: read The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal.
3 | Remind yourself of where your worth comes from.
If we are not clear on where our worth comes from we might run from one form of bondage or misery to another, trying to fit in or feel good enough. Are you building the life YOU want or do you find yourself pulled into some else's vision? Though fear may tell you otherwise, your worth does not come from a book deal or the number of FB followers you boast. It does not come from a perfectly crafted minimalist wardrobe, a location-independent lifestyle, nor the number of degrees you hold. Freedom comes in knowing where your worth comes from.
Action step: take 20 minutes to journal and get super clear about where your worth comes from.
4 | Do things that scare you. And hold the outcome loosely.
Even folks in the slow lane need to show up each day and do hard work. Sometimes that hard work is giving yourself permission to cuddle on the couch with your kiddos watching Netflix (rest can be hard too!); other days it involves making scary decisions or stepping out of your comfort zone. Publishing an article when you know it is imperfect but you no longer want perfectionism to hold you back, putting your child back into school when you thought you'd home-school forever, letting people see the real you — take you or leave you. Do things that scare you and don't worry so much about the end result. Often life turns out even more amazing than we could have ever planned for ourselves.
Action step: Create a mantra for the year that reminds you to take joy in the messy journey.
5 | Challenge the stories she tells you.
Fear is loud and bossy. She can be vicious at times. And the worst of it is that she often mingles truth with fiction. But you must learn to challenge the stories she feeds you. You get to be the boss of your thoughts. You can learn to question whether or not everything she tells you is truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Since you have done the work to deepen self-awareness and self-compassion, when she throws all your past failings in your face you won't crumble because you already know you are imperfect... AND you are beautiful and resilient and worthy of building a thoughtfully crafted life.
Action step: Learn how to do The Work of Byron Katie.
If you genuinely want to step off the hamster wheel and begin living uncluttered, unshackled and unbusy, then you will need to go nose to nose with fear. You don't have to do it perfectly, you don't have to do it alone, but you do have to show up and do the work. It'll be worth it. xo
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Krista is a questioner, storyteller & Joyful Living Educator. Her mission is to help women live unshackled lives of purpose, health & JOY. If this post resonated with you, and you want to begin living with deeper mind-body health, sign up for her free Mind-Body Nourished ebook and check out her mini-course 30 Days to Greater CALM.
The course lessons will take you through topics like—
- Living with purpose (Getting clear on who & how you want to be)
- Stress mindset (And why not all stress is bad)
- Calming mindfulness techniques
In Krista's words: Sometimes what we need is time to rest and regroup. Time to get honest about what is and is not working in our current lives. A chance to actually decide who and how we want to be for the next season of life… and maybe permission to begin taking self-care seriously.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, the author may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services used personally and believe will add value to readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."