This is the bane of my existence. I know I will never…and yes, I mean never…be perfect. Yet I stress and fret over making everything I do perfect. Take today for example. I’ve been working on an upcoming webinar I’m going to have…and I’ve spent the majority of the afternoon updating and editing and changing things trying to make it be perfect. For you see, this will be my first one and I, of course, don’t want to fail.
But that’s such a silly way to look at this. Because I don’t have to be perfect…yes, I may have technological problems (but who doesn’t nowadays??) and I may screw up a slide or the words I say…but you know what? I am human!! And it’s okay to mess up and even better, to laugh at myself in doing so!!
So I’ve given myself permission to take a step back from it and know that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. Yes, I need to put the work into it, but I don’t have to make it this perfect thing. All it does is increase my anxiety and frustrate the crap outta me.
Does any of this sound like you??
In the past, when I found myself thinking these thoughts, I would get super depressed and down and put everything off until I was forced to half-ass whatever it was I was doing. So then, guess what? It didn’t go as planned (or as I wanted), and I would beat myself up for days. It was so frustrating.
Nowadays, thankfully, I’ve learned to refocus my thoughts and change my perspective. Yes, I’ve been working on it all day and haven’t gotten as far as I would have liked. But it’s all good…because I have time to get it done. And sitting at my computer stressing about it isn’t going to make it any better. And you know what? I’m going to ask for help (which is something that is really hard for me!!).
I may not have a flawless first webinar, but the fact that I’m doing it is WAAAAYYYYY outside my comfort zone! So I’m okay with that :)
On that note, I’m going to put my computer away and enjoy the rest of my evening. Have a fabulous weekend!
With love and wellness,
I’ve been drawn to write this post for a few days now, and haven’t had the chance to sit down and actually write it…I also think this will be a hard post to write and actually admit out loud, so bear with me.
I wanted to be the first tell you all, my faithful readers, that I am getting baptized again next weekend…July 19th, to be exact. I was baptized as a child when I lived in California, but all I remember from it is based on a video I’ve watched. I gasped loudly for air as I came up from being dunked under, but I can assure you that I don’t remember much else about why I chose to be baptized or what it really meant. This time, though, is very different. I know exactly what it means and I know exactly how I want to live my life. It is a completely different way of how I’ve been living my life up to now. Let me explain…
The picture above is a pretty good depiction of how I’ve felt most of my life. I considered myself a Christian and I prayed every night…when I remembered. Or when I needed/wanted something. I didn’t go to church unless it was a special occasion or my dad invited me to go. And I always said I wanted to find a church, but I never actively did anything to find one. So I just kept on doing what I was doing, saying all the right things but never actually following through.
And the longer I stayed away from church, the more I felt like a fake…like a fraudster. Like everyone who went to church would see right through me and my intentions. So I didn’t go. And worse, I was ashamed…I was ashamed of being a believer and wanting to live my life the way God intended. I became a follower. I didn’t want to stand out, so I just followed blindly along, hoping that things would turn out okay.
And let me tell you…things weren’t okay. I kept making the same mistakes over and over again…looking to outside sources (namely men and/or alcohol [sorry dad]…pick your poison) for approval and happiness. And I couldn’t believe when the end results were *exactly* the same. Let’s see…jumping headlong into a relationship, falling deeply, madly in love (don’t judge) too quickly, moving too fast and making irrational choices (think moving in together too soon, sleeping together too soon, etc. [again, sorry dad]), then having it end in heartache and anger and disbelief that I had yet another failed relationship.
I kept thinking that something was wrong with me…that I didn’t know how to be in a healthy relationship. That all I knew was anger and fighting and distrust. So I’d vow to make changes and to take things slow…and then the next guy would come along, saying all the right things, and the whole cycle would start all over again.
It. Was. Exhausting.
Once again, with my last boyfriend, I made the same vow…I would take things slow, make sure it was based on something more than sex and physical attraction. Except, you guessed it, we jumped headlong into it all…to lay it all out there, we started dating in August and moved in together in December. By March, I had moved out.
I was embarrassed and felt stupid and ashamed at where my life was going and how many times this exact same thing happened to me. I mean, I’m not a stupid woman…I know this was not how healthy, lasting relationships were built. Yet I continued to do the same thing again and again, expecting different results.
After this last break-up, I vowed, once again, to make some much needed changes in my life. It didn’t start out that way as I had a bit of fun, thinking it would distract me and help me feel better. But all it did was make me feel worse.
It was at this point that God brought an amazing woman into my life…she randomly invited me to a bonfire one night at her house. I didn’t really know her but for seeing her at the gym every now and again, but figured, why not? It didn’t hurt to get out of my house and to stop feeling sorry for myself. I don’t know why or how she was brought into my life, other than that God knew she was exactly who and what I needed at a desperately low point in my life.
This woman was very proud of being a follower of Christ and wasn’t ashamed of telling anyone or talking about Him or her beliefs. It was so refreshing to meet someone my age who was like that. So I asked her if I could go to church with her. And I cried so hard at that first sermon…it was like the pastor was speaking directly to me. And over the next several weeks, I continued going to church with her and diving back into the word of God.
I’ll admit, at first, I felt like I didn’t belong…like I was a complete fake for being so far away from Him for so long and now, all of a sudden, coming back to Him. In a previous post, I talked about how I felt like I wasn’t enough for God to love me…that I would never measure up to what He expected. It wasn’t until I attended the Hungry for Hope conference in Franklin, TN (which, by the way, this amazing woman invited me to go to with her) the last weekend in June that I realized I was enough. I was more than enough. And that I wasn’t a fake or being judged or ridiculed. And most importantly, that I was never alone.
I am finally proud to admit that God is the main focus of my life. For too long, I put other things in my life first…guys, alcohol, work, fitness, vanity, you name it…and I was never at peace. I was never truly happy. Since that weekend in Tennessee, I have felt more at peace than I have my entire life. I know He is first and I want to live my life for Him. I wish I could explain exactly how I feel, but I love it. I know I am loved and never alone and that my future is in His hands.
It’s really as simple as this…God is good. He brought this woman into my life at the exact point I needed her and would be open and receptive to her. I knew I needed a change; I just didn’t know what that change was. Now I see it was God along…He was the change I needed.
And let me tell you, I thank God every day for bringing that amazing woman into my life…I am incredibly proud to call her a close friend. She is actually the person I asked to baptize me…so at 1030 a.m. on July 19th, I am getting baptized again. This time, it will be at the beach…and it is 100% my decision and I know exactly why I want to do this…not just because my friends are doing it or I think it’s the “cool” thing to do. I want to publicly proclaim my faith and proudly announce that God is number one in my life.
I know I am not perfect…and I know that I am a sinner and have made too many mistakes to count. But I also know that God’s mercy is greater than my sins. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Seriously…how amazing is that?!
I hope you all have an amazing weekend.
With love and wellness,
For as long as I can remember, my mom has called me Grace. I’m not sure when it started, but I know it has to do with my complete and utter “gracefulness.” Let’s just call it what it is…I’m a klutz…I am definitely not the most graceful. You can ask any one of my friends and they’ll have a story to tell you about that. Let’s just say that I trip on flat surfaces…daily. And don’t get me started on finding bruises that I’m not entirely sure where they came from.
I used to get so embarrassed by it…as in, turn bright red, want to disappear into the background and hope nobody saw it. I can remember this one time in 2nd grade when I was asked to get something from the office – don’t ask me what that something was, but I know I was reading it on my way back to class. Needless to say, I walked into the wrong class and it wasn’t until I looked up and saw everyone staring at me that I realized it. I remember being mortified, turning bright red, and kind of laughing at myself before backing out and going to my classroom.
Now, I’m not sure how long that mortification lasted, but the fact that I can remember it like it was yesterday tells me a lot (believe me, I have the worst memory for things in the past…my mom thinks I’m faking, but I can’t remember jack from my childhood!!).
There are other instances of doing something like this…embarrassing myself so badly that I would get mad at whoever was around for laughing at me. In my mind, I wanted to be so perfect and flawless. And if others could see that I wasn’t, I was *pissed*! I honestly don’t know if I was pissed at myself or at them for laughing at me. But I know this ruined a lot of days for me.
And don’t even get me started on public speaking! Talk about mortifying in and of itself, but if I messed up a word or a concept or what I wanted to say, it was like the end of the world! I would get bright red and overheated (think sweating…awesome!!) and beat myself up for days afterwards! There was even one class where we video-recorded our speeches and had to watch them after the fact and write a critique about them. Oh…it was cringe-worthy. I could barely stand to watch myself and have to re-live the agony!!
Does any of this sound familiar??
*I shake my head and smack myself in the forehead*
This was how I reacted to E V E R Y T H I N G for many years. I couldn’t enjoy anything, because I was so worried about screwing it up or making an a&% out of myself! Now how fun does that sound?! I’m sure I pissed off quite a few friends, as well.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when this changed for me (and don’t get me wrong…I still have my little quirks about what I will and won’t do for fear of looking stupid, but I’m definitely WAY more relaxed than I used to be!). Realizing I wasn’t perfect nor was I ever going to be helped tremendously! I changed my mindset big time and learned to laugh at myself!! Because if I can’t laugh at myself, then I am going to be miserable!! I spend my days running into desks or walls or tripping on flat surfaces, for pete’s sake!! And laughing at myself is far better than being pissed off at myself or the situation or God forbid, anyone around who is laughing at me!
So I’ve accepted being called Grace…I think I’ve actually embraced it. And the more I’m okay with it, the more relaxed and happy I’ve become! *GASP* Who knew that calming down my perfectionist tendencies would help me be happier?!?! Believe me, I wish I’d known this many years ago!
A fellow health coach sent me this quote today: “Perfection is a concept that was derived from something you decided was ‘good’ or ‘right,’ and what you are doing now is being compared to that decision. But, in reality, perfection is nothing but an idea.”
This is such a P E R F E C T way to describe perfection (yes, pun intended). Because what is perfection? According to google, perfection is the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. Have you ever met anyone who is perfect? I know I certainly haven’t. But I was trying to be *that* person!! I placed all these conditions on myself of what was “good” or “right” and when I deviated from those conditions, I was so hateful and angry at myself. This did nothing but make me a hateful and angry person!
Ugh!!! I wasted so many years being that way! It’s taken me several years and lots of internal work, but I have finally embraced my flaws and defects (yes, I’m happy to call them defects). I LOVE my flaws!! I am perfectly imperfect! And I am perfectly flawed! Knowing this…embracing this…accepting this…is so FREEING!! I don’t have to strive for perfection anymore, because
At all. In any way, shape, or form!
Whew – this is such a huge relief! HUGE! GINORMOUS! AMAZING! I am free to be exactly who I’m meant to be! Without any expectations or eagerness to please or be perfect! And you know what else is great about this? God’s grace is bigger than my failures! His grace is bigger than your failures, too!
It doesn’t matter how many times I make a fool of myself (by tripping or running into my desk or the wall that I swear just moved there!!), He still loves me and thinks I’m enough exactly as I am. His Grace is enough for me. And I am pleased to be called Grace, even if it’s not meant in the exact same way.
Accept and embrace your flaws…because they are beautiful. And no matter how many times you “fail” at something, know that God is there. And more importantly, know that it means you are trying!! If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying, which means you aren’t growing!!
I hope you have a beautiful day! And know that you are truly beautiful, flaws, failures, and all!
With love and wellness (and random bruises all over!!),
PS – this has become one of my favorite songs! It speaks to me on so many levels!! Let me know your thoughts in the comments :)
This used to be a typical morning for me…except you could exchange the presentation with a meeting with ANYONE and I dreaded it. I didn’t want anyone seeing me or my face that made me look like a pre-pubescent teenager. I mean, here I am in my 30s and I’m still breaking out! People were going to think I was dirty or couldn’t take care of myself! Seriously. And you better believe I questioned myself and my worth based on whether a guy I was interested in had texted or called…or in most cases, hadn’t!
There were many mornings I had to force myself out of the house while saying, “Good enough for government work” (a typical saying I’ve grown to use)…hoping that the make-up job I did had covered up or hid the horrible break-outs…or hoping against all odds that nobody would notice.
It took me [too] many years to finally realize that most people don’t EVER recognize or notice the faults we have with ourselves. I would mention my break-outs to a friend, who would look at me closely and say, “I didn’t even notice them until you just said something.” But to me, there was a huge red arrow pointing at my face. The reality is that we don’t have time to notice anyone else’s faults, because we are too busy noticing our own!!
It also took me far too long to recognize that I was seeking approval and acceptance in all the wrong places. I thought that people were going to accept (or reject) me based on my looks. And I adjusted who I was as a person so people would like me. Yes, it sounds so shallow, but it’s true. It didn’t really sink in until the last weekend in June when I attended the Hungry for Hope (HFH) conference in Franklin, TN. I looked *everywhere else* for approval…I didn’t even give myself approval, for pete’s sake!!
But you know what I learned last weekend? Or really, what I had re-emphasized? That I am a person…and I will make mistakes.
And that the Lord has *always* pre-approved of me. I was so hard on myself for so many years, demanding the impossible…demanding perfection. And you know what? I *never* measured up. Ever. So I was always disappointed, angry, stressed out, anxious, depressed. Jennifer Dukes Lee, one of the speakers at the HFH conference, said it perfectly: “If we could have achieved perfection on our own, we wouldn’t have needed Jesus.” Duh.
Honestly, it was like a slap in the face…a huge wake-up call. I seriously looked everywhere else for approval…from my parents to friends to guys (big ol’ duh there)…I wanted approval and acceptance so badly, that I was [almost] willing to do anything. I sacrificed who I was and what I believed in far too many times to count.
But that, my friends, has changed. I now know from the bottom of my heart that I am pre-approved and always have been. There is nothing I can do to make God stop loving me. Nothing. Let me say that again…there is NOTHING I can do to make God stop loving me. He knows I am not perfect, but He loves me exactly as I am. There is no doubt about that. I finally realized I don’t need approval from anyone here on earth…people are going to like me or not, no matter what I do. So you know what? I may as well be myself, in all my glory!!
Prior to last weekend, I had come to terms with this on my own…the being myself part. I truthfully didn’t understand the full magnitude of God’s love for me until the HFH conference. Even with Him, I didn’t think I was good enough or would ever measure up to His standards. Because of that belief, that’s how I lived my life…like I wasn’t good enough for anyone or anything and that I would never measure up.
Sometime in the last year or so, I did a lot of soul searching and journaling and realized I was conforming to what other people expected of me or wanted from me. And I realized I wasn’t happy with who I was. I was looking to other people and/or things to try to fill a void in my life and make me happy. Until I realized that happiness only comes from within. *I* am the only person responsible for my happiness. Not any other person or thing or object. Just me.
So I made some changes. I started putting myself out there…I stopped worrying about what people thought of me (or my broken out face). Because no matter what you do (or don’t do), what you look like, what you wear, etc., people are going to judge you (it’s unfortunate, but it’s true). And I stopped pretending to be happy. I started focusing on what I had in my life to be grateful for. And believe me, I had so much to be grateful for. From the roof over my head to the yummy food on my plate, and not to mention my amazing family and friends who *always* made me feel beautiful and loved, no matter what my face looked like. I started ending my day by telling myself, “My acne does not define me.” It sounds silly, but it had such a powerful effect on my beliefs about myself. Because my acne, or whatever fault you think you have, doesn’t define you. It doesn’t make you who you are. For me, it didn’t take away from my sense of humor or smart aleck-ness or my intelligence or the fact that I am a sucker for babies and pugs (seriously, who isn’t??). It didn’t take away from my sensitivity or craziness or (sometimes) laziness. It was just a symptom.
Have you heard the saying, “You are not fat. You have fat, but you are not fat?” It’s similar to that. I had acne…but I was NOT acne. I was so much more. And so are you. When we take away these negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves, it’s amazing what starts to happen in our lives. I started talking to myself in a positive manner and focused on all the amazingly good things I had going on…and the most amazing thing happened. I started feeling better, I started eating better (because I started valuing myself and recognizing my worth), and my acne started clearing up!
Cut yourself some slack…allow yourself to be enough. Because you are enough. You are very good! Genesis 1:27 states, So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:31 further states, God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Notice that He didn’t look at all he made and say, “Ahhh – perfection.” He made us very good. Because we can’t be perfect. We never will be. Nor does God expect us to be. So, to all the beautiful women and handsome men reading this, know that you are a very good person. You are very good. And you are enough! You are not defined by acne or scars or fat or depression or whatever fault you think you have. You are so much more than that!!
I’ll leave you with this: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Allow yourself to feel God’s love…because it’s always there. His love is unending…and His love, His approval is all we need. Take a break from beating yourself up today. Embrace who you are! Because you are beautiful and strong and you are very good! Besides, who wants to be perfect anyways? It’s no fun. Be authentically you!! As Jennifer Dukes Lee pointed out at the HFH conference, “Authenticity trumps perfection every time.” Every. Single. Time.
With love and wellness (and lots of imperfections),
I’m so excited to introduce Christina Rizzo, a relationship coach on a mission to help men and women create loving relationships with themselves. I am excited to have her as a guest blogger on my site. I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did! I’m always in need of more love! Christina helps people achieve their dreams, go for their goals, and find freedom from their stumbling blocks and limiting beliefs using love, enthusiasm, a smidge of magic and a lot of hard work. Gotta have more? Connect with Christina at: www.thechristinarizzo.com and get FREE access to Christina’s guide: 10 easy steps to go from self-deprecating negativity to empowered confident action.
Isn’t love grand and amazing! It makes us feel warm inside and as if we matter in this world. But when we are lacking love we feel out of sorts, lonely, sad, and even bitter. Today I am going to talk about ways you can create more love in your life, so those moments of warmth and amazingness are a daily occurrence. BUT, there is a catch. I’m not talking about just any type of love here. Hmm. Did you think I meant romantic love? Were you hoping I was going to share ways to get more love out of your current relationship or how to get more love from a future relationship? You are right…sort of. I AM talking about getting more love out of a relationship….specifically, the relationship you have from yourself.
Yes, loving your self is sooooooo important and no, loving yourself does not mean you are selfish or have an inflated ego. It means that you value yourself. It means you only allow stellar people into your life. It means you createboundaries. It means you go after the things that matter to you and don’t put them on the back burner for someone else. I could go on and on. If your life is straight crazy and one shitty event after the other is occurring you gotta look inside. How are your treating yourself? As women, it can be even more difficult to love ourselves. We have been conditioned in so many ways to think we have to be self-sacrificing and put others ahead of our own needs. I have been there and I am still working on this myself. I have come very far from the extreme people pleaser I used to be, but changing patterns takes time!
If this is sounding all too familiar I got you covered! Below are 5 really easy ways to bring more self-love into your world. Once you start demanding love for yourself those negative people and situations will start to fall away. We will always have to deal with difficult life situations to some extent, but you will have a better support system, you will have a better outlook, and you will have better resources to help handle anything that comes your way…just because you love and care about yourself. Oh and let me not forget to mention that if you love yourself then you will ATTRACT a more suitable and fulfilling relationship into your life. You will stop going for those “bad boys.” Already in a relationship? When you focus on taking care of you and not on what the other person is lacking your relationship will naturally improve or you will realize that it is not the relationship for you after all.
Use these tips below how you see fit. Some you will love….some not so much. I challenge you to use each of these five tips over the next 14 days and then at the end reflect on how your life has changed and decide to keep them all or keep the ones you like the most.
Five ways to develop a deeper & more loving relationship with yourself:
Now it is your turn, Comment below or on Whitney’s FB page when you try these out. We want to hear from you!! If you heart these tips and want to hear more, head on over to my Facebook page and click on the Like button!
I hope you have an amazing Wednesday (it is hump day, ya know!)! And enjoy your 4th of July holiday weekend! I’m heading to Charleston, SC to visit family and the beautiful city I call home!
With love and wellness (and always in need of more self-love!!),