When is the last time you went out of your comfort zone? Really out? You stretched yourself to such uncomfortable places that you were terrified, yet deep down… you knew that you had to go there?
This weekend, I went there. I was with 2000 women and my mentor, Regena Thomashauer, at a conference about owning our sexuality and living BIG, and though I consider myself fierce in my pursuing my dreams, I realized this weekend how much I still have repressed out of fear:
*Fantasies I've thought were wrong or bad.
*Amazing business ideas that seem “arrogant” and “too much.”
*Dreams to do bigger, bolder work that I have held back out of fear.
Notice how all of these are things that excite me – that would bring me PLEASURE.
What about you? Where have you held yourself back out of fear?
Last week, one of my coaching clients shared that she used to stand in front of the mirror as a little girl and shake her hips, but she was told that was bad, so she became afraid to express herself. Then we talked about shopping for sexy lingerie and she lit up, feeling both excited and a bit nervous! Another client told me that she wanted to become a singer, but was told that was “unrealistic” so she became robotic and practical. Talking with her about joining a choir thrilled and terrified her in the best way!
Fear holds us back from excitement, from pleasure, from joy because somewhere along the way, we learned that as women, what gives us pleasure is wrong.
Fear makes us think we'll be rejected if we try something new.
Fear makes us think that if we change, we'll fail and feel stupid.
Fear makes us think that if we succeed, others will tell us we're arrogant.
So we've played it “safe.” But how safe is it if we feel sad, stoic, resentful, blah, or depressed?
Each time you suppress a desire, you depress yourself. You feel smaller and smaller and then non-existent. “Depress”ion is neglecting yourself.
“The Fear Brain” is necessary for survival… if you're going to be hit by oncoming traffic, you need it and want it. But when it comes to dreams, fear only holds us back. If fear is getting in the way of pleasure, of joy, of happiness… then you know that it is misplaced.
When I left my six-figure salary to go back to graduate school for positive psychology, my dad (lovingly) said it was the stupidest decision he'd ever heard. I was terrified that he was right, but I had to pursue it because the idea of empowering others was so exciting to me. It turns out that going to the edge of that comfort zone was the best decision I'd ever made. I just felt that scary edge again when I launched the Happy Woman Shop, but I did it because I believe in it and every day, I look at it with admiration, excitement and joy – even though it's not as successful as Amazon – yet 😉 .
Regena has taught me that pleasure is the center of a woman's power. We were born for happiness. And when you push your comfort zone and fulfill a desire, you expand, you feel more whole, you feel alive! At the edge of your comfort zone is freedom!
So, what are your desires? What gives you that dis-comfort and fear that's mixed with juicy excitement and “OHMYGODDESS that might be possible” nerves?
Let 2019 be the year that you do that.
We will do it together.
Can you imagine a world where you felt empowered to live your desires?Where you took the pole dancing class or booked the trip to Italy or started the Etsy shop just because it lit you up and made you excited?? Can you imagine how giddy you'd be living in that fun, excited, nervous joy? Can you imagine how THAT world would inspire children to follow their dreams?
That's the world I want to live in: A world of Happy Women.
So my commitment to you is to take seriously each of the desires that came to me this weekend and pursue them all, even if they are scary. One step at a time. And I hope you do the same.
You were not born to live small. You're too brilliant and beautiful and creative and powerful for that. We were born to live our GREATNESS fully. And though it might be uncomfortable, why are we alive if not to LIVE?
With so much love!
To your happiness,
PS – Have you visited our new Happy Woman Shop? It's filled with gifts for you and your loved ones to awaken, get more self-love and live a happier life! Click here for the cutest, most empowering mugs, t-shirts, and our signature “I CHOOSE” necklace!
PPS – We are growing the Women's Global Happiness Network on our free PurposeGirls Facebook group. We're posting weekly motivation, I'll be doing FB lives there soon, and more! Click here to join!
PPPS – For my leading podcast about the science of women's happiness, click here.
The newest episode of The PurposeGirl Podcast is the fifth in a six-part series in which I take you through six different pathways to happiness and human flourishing, and with each one I provide you with tools that you can use. In this episode I teach you all about Achievement. If you missed it you can check it out here.