I work with women on discovering their passionate purpose in life. I help them find what makes them jump out of bed in the morning and yell “hell yes!!” to their life. So why do so many women stop themselves from pursuing their purpose when they know it would make them happy? It all boils down to judgment and the “shoulds” that they place in their way.
Just yesterday I was speaking to a client who was talking very passionately about what she wanted to do with her life. When all of a sudden she started critiquing herself. She started telling me the reasons that the wasn’t good enough, that there were other people who had more experience and who would be able to do it better than her. How she has trouble letting go of being perfect when she pursues her passions because she figures that if it’s not perfect it’s just not good enough.
I had to stop her right there. I stopped her and asked her why she would judge herself so harshly. Why she would crush her own dreams so mercilessly under the weight of all of that judgment.
With this particular client it turned out that she had had a very strong drive to fit in when she was younger and so she did everything she could to keep with the status quo.
So why do you judge ourselves so harshly? Why do you succumb to the “shoulds”? And what can you do about it?
You have a strong desire to be approved of.
You want to fit in. You want to feel acceptable and lovable. But people will love you for you. People will love you in all of your unique glory. You’ll draw the right people to you by being your unique and fabulous self! Plus, being approved of is totally over-rated. Other people’s approval ends up being like a cage. Because as long as we’re evaluating our lives on what other people think of us we’re stuck at the end of a yo-yo where we’ll constantly change ourselves to make others happy. It’s time to get off the yo-yo and get grounded in your fabulousness!!
You were taught that there is only one right way of doing things.
And by going against the flow you think that there’s something wrong with you. So you reign yourself in and tell yourself to stop dreaming so big because it’s not the “right way” to go about things. But let me tell you – there IS no one right way to do things. Let go of this perfectionistic idea and recognize that ANY effort is an awesome effort.
You think that being self-critical and self-judgmental will make you grow.
But a child doesn’t learn to walk by having someone stand over them telling them “that’s not the way to do it! You’ll never learn to walk if you keep falling down!”. No way! They learn to walk by making mistakes and having experiences that show them how they can improve. Acknowledge that falling down is part of learning and the only REAL way to succeed in life. The only difference between those who fail and those who succeed is that those who succeed get back up after they fall down!
You limit yourself because you’re afraid of what change will mean, what change will bring to your life, and how everything will change if you start to change one thing. But don’t be afraid. Change is the only real constant we can rely on in life. Nothing stays the same. Everything is always changing! In fact, every cell in your body renews itself every so often. So in a way, you’re not the person that you were 2 years ago. So stop trying to force yourself to stay the same and recognize that change is a natural part of life!
You’re more focused on making other people happy.
You have spent your entire life trying to keep everyone around you happy. And so you’ve judged yourself whenever you’ve focused on your own dreams and desires. You’ve stopped listening to the song of your soul because it’s been drown out by everyone else’s needs, wants, and desires. If this is the case, then it’s time to tune in and recognize that YOU deserve to have your own dreams and desires. And that when YOU’RE fulfilled the people around you are so much more fulfilled as well (and if they’re not, then they’ve just gotten too used to you being a doormat!!).
You’re afraid of making other people uncomfortable.
You think that if you follow your own purpose or your own dreams and desires that you’ll make everyone around you feel uneasy. But you don’t have to diminish yourself, your dreams, or your desires to make other people more comfortable!! The right people will be drawn to your passionate example in the world and you’ll inspire others!!