Click the play button below, or subscribe and listen through our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play.
Many years ago I wrote this blog about things I wanted to want, but didn’t actually care about.
Reading it now was fascinating because a lot of these things I have NO energy or shame around anymore.
So, what follows is my original blog from way back, with (in the true spirit of a high school theater nerd) asides from my current self:
I want to tell you that I’m a go-getter. I’d like for you to believe that I spend my days hustling, achieving, and generally “crushing it.”
(Current day aside: I actually DON’T want you to think this about me anymore. All of this implies that “crushing it” is the absolute pinnacle of life success, and I know now that it’s so NOT.)
It’d be great if when you thought of me, you envisioned someone who easily and breezily works 8-10 hours a day. Someone who’s constantly on top of her inbox. Someone who has great hair and makeup and puts on real clothes and who juggles everything with a smile and a winning attitude.
(Current day aside: The number of hours you work per day is not the only metric of productivity. And I’m writing this from a Starbucks where I’m not wearing makeup, but I AM wearing jeans, so do with that what you will. Also, I was born with chronic bitch face. How likely is it that I’d EVER be someone who smiles constantly??)
I want to want that.
But I don’t actually want any of it.
DO YOU WANT IT? OR DO YOU ONLY WANT TO WANT IT?
I have one group of friends that consists solely of coaches. It’s great.
The last time we got together, we went around in a circle and listed out all of the things that we each wanted to want … but ultimately, didn’t really care about.
We each ended up with a list that sounded fantastic, but that in reality reflected all of the “shoulds” that end up making us feel guilty.
Here’s a sampling of mine: I want to want …
- To be someone who likes hustling and working hard
- To enjoy waking up early
- To be more motivated by money, when it comes to business
- To go to the gym
- To care more about social media
- To landscape my backyard
- To put on make up and real clothes daily
(Current day aside: I still wish I were slightly more motivated by money, because it’d make my life easier. And it would also be better for marketing my business if I cared about social media. But I still don’t, and it is what it is.)
WHEN YOU PUT ALL OF THAT TOGETHER, I SOUND PRETTY AWESOME
If the gap actually closed between where I am now and where that list would have me be, I’d be this incredibly well-dressed, attractive human who gets up at dawn and goes to the gym (wearing makeup!) with a smile on her face, works tirelessly on her business all day, while simultaneously planning for how to keep growing said business, while also making time for trips to Home Depot for her various gardening and landscaping pursuits, and who effortlessly manages to Instagram all of this with the perfect combination of witty hashtags and emojis. <<insert horror-stricken-emoji-face here>>
(Current day aside: DOES that sound awesome?? Or do you hate this fictitious person as much as I do??)
The reality is something way more relatable, I think.
I am not a hustler, nor a particularly hard worker. I’m an introvert who loves books and Netflix and long walks in nature. Hustlin’ just ain’t my deal. Give me a leisurely pace any day.
I have never liked, and will probably never like, going to the gym. If I can get to a place of neutrality about exercise, that’d be a win for me.
I love getting 8 or 9 hours of sleep. Waking up before the sun rises makes me feel like a particularly disgruntled vampire. Being a chipper early bird is not going to happen.
I’m also never going to be very motivated by making money and growing my business. I’m just not that interested in marketing or business strategy. I like to spend my time on what my business is actually here to do … the coaching and writing and podcasting.
I am never going to care about being “Insta-famous.” I’m more clever in person than through a screen, and it feels like a waste of time to be plotting the perfect filter and hashtag selections when I could be, you know, actually living my life.
There is no chance that I will ever put on real clothes and makeup daily. I love being cozy and comfortable, and I don’t feel the need to look prim when I’m mostly working from my house.
And the landscaping thing? Lol, please.
(Current day aside: AMEN, 27-year-old self, amen).
BUT WHAT STAYS, AND WHAT GOES?
I know. It’s not always easy to discern the difference between what you actually need to be doing (but aren’t doing, for some reason) and what you just want to want, but can probably let go of.
If the answer were as easy as, “Just give yourself permission to let go of everything you think you should want!” … then I wouldn’t exercise for the rest of my life.
And then again, there are some things I know I can let go of (like giving a crap about Instagram, for example). So, for the sake of simplicity, here are the three options I applied to my entire list:
- Do it (with caveats). I’ve got to keep exercising, but there’s no rule that says I have to love it. I’m allowed to find a tempo and style that works for me. I can be in shape without being a huge fan of the gym. Same goes for social media … I can do it, but I don’t have to be stellar at it. I’d rather release the pressure to “perform” on social media and just share what feels good, at the right time.
- Have someone else do it. Kristen and I are working with a business coach in 2016 because neither of us likes the marketing and strategy piece that much. But our new coach does love it, which is a big win-win. The same goes for landscaping … if I’m not going to go to Home Depot (and I can assure you, I won’t), I still don’t have to keep staring at an ugly backyard. I have options (and so do you). I could also hire a personal trainer to keep me accountable for working out (and I’m considering this, too).
- Let it go completely. I can accept that I’m a slow-paced introvert who’d rather be quietly reading or writing than hustling. I don’t need to be motivated by money and business growth; in my mind, there are far better metrics to measure my growth (like how my clients feel and the quality of the work I produce rather than the quantity).
(Current day aside: I still don’t like working out, but I do it pretty regularly. I never landscaped my backyard. I never hired a personal trainer. And neither of those things bother me at all. I’m TOTALLY fine with the fact that I don’t “hustle.” I love being a quality-over-quantity person now.)
THE “LET IT GO” THING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
When you make a list like this, what you really create is a picture of who you think you “should” be.
Everything you want to want — regardless of whether you end up doing it, giving it to someone else, or letting it go — has some pressure and guilt around it that needs to be released.
If I’m going to keep exercising, I’ve got to release the guilt about not loving it. All that does is weigh me down more (and counter-intuitively, makes it harder to do).
It has to be OK that I’m working with a business coach, instead of doing marketing myself. I don’t need to be good at, nor even interested in, every piece of my business.
I must give myself permission to be the introverted, non-hustler that I am. I can be successful and be a lover of leisure.
I’m no longer interested in creating more struggle, resistance, and self-judgment by trying to work against my natural inclinations. I’d rather make peace with who I am and operate from a place of ease.
(Current day aside: Letting go of the “shoulds” totally worked, you guys. I don’t care about hardly ANYTHING I was worried about in 2016 anymore. Consider this proof that you can let go of the crap weighing you down, too).
And you? What do you want to want (but really, just don’t)? What stays, what goes … and how will you release the guilt, regardless? Share your thoughts with me, in the comments!
Rachel (& Kristen)
GET ON THE PPVE VIP LIST!
Our twice-yearly online group coaching program, the Passion Plan Virtual Experience, is going to be opening for enrollment on Monday, January 28!
It’s a 6-week course (with a mix of videos, workbook assignments, and live Google hangouts with the two of us) that helps you figure out what to do with your life. Think of it as the “AP Life” class you should have taken in high school, but never got the chance!
If you’re on the VIP list, you’ll be the first to know about our early bird pricing and the handful of free coaching sessions we’re going to be giving away!
We’re only taking 50 people in this round, and enrollment is first-come, first-served. If you want in, you’ll definitely want to be on this list.