Two Life Mottos for Growth and Self-Love
For most of my life I approached achievement-oriented things like work and exercise in the same way: go as hard as you can for as long as you can, use up all the juice in your tank, otherwise you are lazy and you won’t get anywhere.
It feels like that philosophy is pretty much standard in today’s Western culture. We believe lazy is one of the worst things you could be. We want it all and believe that in order to have it all, we have to bust our booties for it. Nothing good comes easily. Hard work pays off. Pain is beauty. And all that jazz.
Just typing it feels super heavy for me. Does it feel that way to read it?
One of the biggest things that I have discovered on my journey to self-love and self-acceptance is that over-achieving and pushing super hard—whether it is at work or at the gym or in my relationships—is often my default when I am feeling not good enough.
I spent much of my life believing that my worth was dependent on my accomplishments. My career status. My fitness. My bank account.
People said they admired my commitment and determination when I got up at 5 a.m. to get in a 2-hour workout before work. But it wasn’t commitment that motivated me. It was fear.
Of not being thin enough or strong enough to be loved and valued. And I have said it a million times: when we try to create change from a fear-based place, it is never sustainable. (I wrote a whole blog about it that you can read here.)
When I began my healing journey, my motto became: “Find what feels good.”
In business. In love. In exercise. I just had to swing all the way to the other side of that pendulum and let go of the struggle and the hustle and work on feeling good and worthy even when I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything.
That was a necessary step in my healing process (though I don’t claim to know what is right for everyone, that is something that everyone must find for themselves through experimentation).
But then there came I time when I realized that I had extracted the lesson: I was consistently letting things feel good, I learned to love myself without achievement or accolades… there was just one problem. I was no longer growing. Finding what feels good was no longer a challenge; it felt like stagnation.
“Find what feels good” was the perfect motto for me at the time because I had spent years actively getting in my own way and not allowing myself to feel good. But once I got comfortable allowing it, I realized that only pursuing what felt good was keeping me in my comfort zone.
So I had to search for a new mantra.
Enter: Find your edge in a loving way.
This feels so good because it gets you out of your comfort zone, it forces you to push your edges and stretch beyond the “feel good” box (‘cause as we all know from experiencing the second day after leg day, growth requires some discomfort). But it also reminds you to stay loving, to stay connected and tuned into your body, and not to take it too far.
When I am finding my edge in a loving way, I get to ask myself things like:
→ Do I have more juice in the tank?
→ Does this feel uncomfortable because it is stretching me or because it is out of alignment?
→ Is it loving or self-punishing for me to push harder?
Find your edge in a loving way is a motto that combines growth with self-love and self-acceptance. Try it on for size and let me know what you think!
If you need some support, guidance, and accountability in creating growth from a self-accepting and self-loving place, book a discovery call to see if coaching would be a good fit for you.