Are You Carrying Extra Weight?
This title can be very deceptive. Before any of you get crazy, it has nothing to do with the number on a scale. And everything to do with the weight you apply to other’s opinions and your own self-judgement.
Think about this for a minute. If each person who takes up space in your mind is worth a certain number of rocks in a backpack, and you carry it with you all of the time, at what point is the backpack too heavy for you to keep moving forward? Does it sound like I am talking jibberish? Let me make it a little more concrete
- Your husband’s ex-wives drama weighs - 4lbs
- Your father-in-law’s judgement weighs - 3lbs
- Distant relatives you assume think poorly of you because you are a high achiever – 6lbs
- Co-workers who always give you the side eye because you work “extra” – 5lbs
- The lady at church who seems to think you dress and act poorly – 3lbs
- Fear of failure – 2lbs
- Negative mindset – 2lbs
Suddenly you are carrying 25lbs around in a backpack ALL. THE. TIME. For a little while, it isn’t that bad. You are strong, you can handle it; until you can’t. You have stopped making forward progress, if you are lucky you are still upright, walking in place. Too many people are in this spot, they are just upright and making the motions, but not actually making any progress. Just living day to day, just getting by, hopefully getting the bills paid, but not even trying to do more. Because their backpack is too heavy!
When you look at it like this, the solution is easy right? Take some rocks out! But it isn’t that easy, is it? It can be so hard to let go of all those judgments. I know, because I have been working through this with my coach, Sarah Centrella, for the last couple of weeks. I didn’t even know it was a big issue, until she started uncovering why I have been so stuck in my business lately. Turns out I was carrying around way more weight than I thought, because I had never put it all together. I would look at a few rocks here and a few there, but I never really put it all together to see how heavy the backpack actually was.
And if I am being really honest (aren’t I always?) as much as I say “I don’t care what others think of me” I did care. Now don’t get me wrong, If I don’t know you, I don’t actually care what you think of me. But if you are related to me, a distant relative, an upline, have any influence over my friends or we are friends; it does indeed hurt me if I think you don’t like me or that you think down on me for whatever your reason is. Even if I really don’t like you, if I know you don’t like me and are talking ugly about me, I carry that around with me and let me just say, all of those rocks/ judgements are so heavy and toxic, and they can make us sick!
So now begins the work, you didn’t think I would leave that out, did you? How do you actually get those rocks out of your backpack so you can start moving forward at a much quicker pace?
First, think about the worst-case scenario, what will happen if that person (whose rocks you are carrying around) is no longer a part of your day to day life? What I found out, is that for the most part, it won’t make any difference at all! If I do great things and they judge me for it, it’s totally okay with me if they don’t choose me. How often am I interacting with them anyway? I would much rather be the best version of me, than be the version that fits into the little box they have created for me.
You know what I have realized? There are a few reasons people will judge me (I’m certain I’ve left out a few, but you'll get my drift):
1) We just plain don’t get along. And that is okay, we aren’t meant to get along with everyone. (If you notice that no one gets along with you, then you may want to check yourself, because that is a whole other ball game!)
2) They have tried to do what I’m doing and failed. (They claim they are trying to protect me.)
3) I have something they want, and they can’t seem to get it.
4) They truly don’t understand my ambition.
5) They are threatened by my strengths and would prefer I keep them hidden.
6) I don’t fit into the box they made up for me “daughter in-law” “step mom” “Latter Day Saint mom” “stay at home mom” “entrepreneur” “brain injury survivor” and the lists could go on for ages. Almost everyone I know sub-consciously creates a box for me and if I don’t fit into it, they will be disappointed.
Once I realized that none of the reason’s I am being judged are actually important enough for me to change my plan, AND none of the people that are judging me are shareholders in my day to day life and success, I was able to get rid of that backpack full of rocks!
Who are my shareholders? There are 5 of them. Rob, Isaac, Kassidy, Sophia and Andrew. Everything that I do is for the 6 of us and if they are proud of me, that is all that matters.
Please don’t assume this process is easy, it may not be. I had to separate myself from a group last week and it was hard. I needed to do it, but I feared letting others down. Everyday Rob came home asking “what did _____” do to upset you today, without me ever saying a thing, and I knew it had taken up too much space in my heart. Space that will be better served doing great things for my shareholders. Can you think of anyone like that in your life? It may be painful for a second, but then it is so freeing!
When it comes to family judgement, that is a tough one and has been the source of many battles in my home, because at the end of the day, we don’t get to choose our parents or our in-laws. I suggest having honest conversations with your spouse, you need to choose each other over and over again (assuming we are talking about a healthy strong marriage, anything else is for another blog post). If you stand together as a solid front and protect each other, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve together.
I must also add, that too often, those you think are judging you (and weighing down your backpack) are not actually even thinking of you. They are too busy thinking about themselves and worrying about who is judging them. Something my loved ones will here me say when they are upset about something is “Is that a story you made up in your head, or is it actually based on facts?” Because if there are facts, we can work through the issue. But if you made up the story in your head, you are just giving yourself anxiety for no reason at all, Stop it!
Finally, be aware of what rocks you are holding on to. Are they serving you? If not, let them go and prepare to fly!