Your Current Reality Doesn’t Define You

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been rough for everyone in different ways. 

For myself, I have found myself in this limbo where I’m teaching from home and feel so guilty talking about the difficulties that come with that, pregnancy, having to handle everything on the home front while Moe is flying, and everything else because the flipped side of the coin is that I am teaching from home while my co-workers are back in school and dealing with a whole other level of hard there. There are so many women who would kill to be uncomfortable, exhausted and 4 weeks from having a sweet baby and in the aviation industry, many women are scared and grieving because their husbands have lost their jobs altogether. 

Oh the guilt. I was journaling on this a few days ago, trying to gain some clarity around it all and here’s the revelation I had. 

Your reality doesn’t define you anymore than mine defines me. Our realities are based on past decisions we made. Decisions to or not to get married, decisions to or not to adopt, invest our money or spend it, pay off debt or buy another thing we think will make us happy off of Amazon. Choices to work for a certain company, go into a certain industry, etc. 

Your reality also doesn’t dismiss the hard just because someone else seems to have it harder than you. Both realities can be hard. It’s not a competition on who has it worse. Both are hard and different. The last part of my pregnancy can be hard and I can also have empathy, sympathy and compassion for women going through the hardship of wishing so badly to be pregnant and being disappointed and heartbroken month after month when it doesn’t happen. I’ve been there as well. It can be hard for me to juggle 30 plates of my own while my husband is flying and it can be hard for those women who have their husbands home and not flying at all. We don’t have to choose. We don’t have to feel guilty because our hard is different than someone else’s. 

The judgement we have for someone else as they talk about their hardship comes from our own ego of feeling like we have to have more sympathy than they do because our hard is harder. How selfish of us as human beings! The judgement we have for ourselves comes from a place of shame. We are shaming ourselves into believing we are horrible people for feeling a pain and a struggle that we shouldn’t be feeling when we do. There is no should/shouldn’t. It just is. It’s there. It’s teaching us something- gratitude for what we have, perseverance, to choose a different path. Each lesson is different for every person. 

Above all, we need to let go of the shame and guilt- society gives us enough of that anyway. We need to check our ego when we start shaming our friends for going through a hardship that may be hard to them. Have compassion and empathy- it goes a lot farther than judgement and resentment. Again, not a competition. Lastly, we need to give ourselves grace. Our hardship is validated just as much as the next person’s even though it may look different. 

XOXO,

Kameran

Is “NO” a struggle for you?

I spent most of my life saying yes to everything anyone asked me to do or help with because deep down I feared that I would let them down if I said no. After all, why would they ask if they didn’t really need my help? 

About 3 years ago, I started recognizing that people would come to me quite often asking for help and I always said yes, even if I had a magnificent amount of loathing for whatever it was they were asking for. But when I needed help and actually swallowed my pride enough to ask for that help, those same people were rarely there to help me. OUCH!. 

That’s when I realized that everyone falls into one of two categories. Those who have no problem saying No and those who struggle with it daily. Guess which category is happier? Hint: it’s not the strugglers. 

Well my friend, here are a few reasons why saying no is so dang hard. 

You’re a people pleaser. 
Plain and simple, you’ve been conditioned to believe that it’s your job to make others happy, to comply, to be the helper, and to always do the right thing. That translates in your head as “I have to say yes because if I say no, people won’t love me as much. They’ll be mad and that doesn’t feel good.” This level of thinking isn’t exactly true. As a recovering people pleaser myself, I can tell you that the need for approval runs a lot deeper than being able to say no. Saying yes all the time is only one symptom of the need for approval. However, it doesn’t feel good when you disappoint others. But I challenge you to think about these questions. First, when you say yes but you really wanted to say no, how do you feel while you’re carrying out the task asked of you? Chances are you feel just as bad because you know you said yes when you didn’t really want to do this thing in the first place. This is a problem because not only are you now giving 50% effort in the task, you’re harboring a lot of irritation, resentment and maybe even anger. How is that helping the person who asked for the help? How is it helping you? 

Secondly, when you say yes but really wanted to say no, you’re giving away your power over your time, energy, and priorities. With your actions, you’re telling the other person that they come before yourself. So if you say no, you’re telling that person that “hey! I’m really sorry but I matter. My time matters. My priorities matter.” You’re affirming that whatever you’re saying yes to (more time with family, friends, yourself, your money, your other resources) is more important than what they were asking for. So now ask yourself, if this person is disappointed in you putting yourself and your happiness over them, how good of a friend/loved one are they really? Who does that say more about, you or them? 

Next, I say this a lot in my coaching. There is a massive difference between helping and enabling. Helping is doing something for others that they can’t do themselves. Enabling is doing something for others that they can do for themselves, they just choose not to. Those who are enabled once will continue to come back to you knowing you’ll never say no to them and you’ll continue to enable them. They are like a leech. They’ll suck the energy right out of you and never move on until you start putting yourself first! Along with that, how are you helping them live into their fullest potential if you’re constantly enabling them and never setting those much needed boundaries? 

You fear the feeling of guilt. 

This goes hand in hand with being a people pleaser but it also runs much deeper. Why do you feel guilty? Now ask yourself Why again and a third time. Maybe journal on this. When you hit that 3rd why deep, you’ll uncover a monsterous breakthrough. Feel free to email me when you hit this breakthrough and let me know what you uncovered. I love hearing stories of people leveling up! 

Here’s how to calm the guilt though because Lord knows, learning to say no is not an overnight experience. So start by saying something like “That sounds interesting, let me check my calendar” or asking “Can I think about it?” You can even politely say something like “You know, I’m just not sure that I’m the right fit for that job but I sure appreciate you asking/thinking of me!” You don’t have to bluntly say NO, just don’t immediately say yes. Remember, if your heart and soul aren’t in it, you’ll end up giving 50% and find yourself in the toxic realm of resentment and negativity. Which is more beneficial in the long run for both of you? 50% effort or 100% effort? Positivity and joy or anger and resentment? 

I saw a shirt about a year ago and while I probably wouldn’t have worn it much, I still love the saying-
If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s gotta be a No. 

XOXO,

Kameran