Little lessons: seek out what you want, not what others want you to want

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The other night, I was running on the treadmill, intoxicated by just how good Random Access Memories is (seriously, the moment a song ends, all momentum drains out of me until the next song gets going again). My brain has been buzzing with all of these ideas — minimalism, new creative projects, places I want to visit, friendships I want to foster. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about freedom and what that means to me.

And then I realized something: pretty much since moving to Seattle in 2014, I’ve felt like I have so much to prove. I want to show everyone in my home state that I’m capable of taking risks and being successful. I want to show people in Seattle that I’m worthy of their friendship. To my parents, to my social media following, even to myself, I want to prove that I’m doing great. There’s immense pressure to show everyone how wonderfully we’re doing. Doin’ life right ova here! But what I haven’t been focusing on is my own happiness. I’ve been seeing myself through the eyes of others.

The other night, we met with a couple of intriguing new friends, and one (who is an entrepreneur), spoke about how the self-congratulations that you give yourself as a small business owner wears off pretty quickly. What starts as an ego-boost to introduce yourself as an entrepreneur turns into the realization that as a small-business owner, you’re just kind of exhausted and pulled into a lot of different directions.

And that’s exactly how I was feeling not so long ago. Looking back, I was really on autopilot and the only thing keeping me going was how great it all looked from the outside.

A shift in perspective from caring about my image and impressing others to simply seeking out what makes me most happy is crucial.

This approach works almost instantly! The pressure can just melt away. The anxiety of “am I doing this right? What will others think?” can just melt away. When I’m seeking out inspiration, nurturing my body inside and out, I discover what it is that I want, not what I think I should want. And that’s a very freeing experience.

Ice Cream 2.jpg

And sometimes, you just need some ice cream on a cloudy day. Pictured here: my husband and my muse, Brenton. 🙂

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