Life is a delicate balance of holding on and letting go.
We are afraid to let go for different reasons and what we need to let go of can be different for all of us.
Maybe it is the ending of a relationship or perhaps a job or certain career path. Even though we know what we need to do, it doesn’t make it any less challenging. For some, maybe it’s things. For some who grew up in poverty and fear of lack can compel them to collect and hoard. Perhaps it is a certain mindset or belief system that we are holding onto and struggling to let go of.
Personally speaking, sometimes if I am afraid to let go it was because of not knowing of what’s next and having to trust that there is yet more goodness and beauty to come my way. But I know I must let go of what was to make space for what will be.
Sometimes what I’m really letting go of is the representation of a beautiful season of life. Perhaps a dream I had which can bring unexpected grief mixed with hope. Fear tells me it will never again be as sweet as this. Even though I know deep down that it will be sweet again. Though I have all the feels, I can let go of what was to make space for what will be.
I am learning to coexist with discomfort and take action anyway so I can do the work to which I am called in this new season. I challenge fear with truth and let go of who I was to make space for who I choose to be.
Each day I can remind myself to take a breath and trust the journey. Instead of stepping into each day with a rigid agenda, I show up with curiosity.
I can loosen my grip on what I think should be to make space for possibilities and joy.
Doing the work of discovering what it is that draws us to to hold on tight is the first step to letting go. It is in this messy, uncomfortable place that we begin to untangle the roots of fear and find our way to freedom.
It is here that I identify my own compelling reason to let go of what was to make space for what will be. The path to true growth is through.
We can craft a life that is rich with purpose. A life with room to breathe so that we are freed up to share our voice and gifts. This is the way to freedom. Once we’ve done the inner work, we let go of what was to make space for what will be.
Comparison is the thief of joy~ Theodore Roosevelt
The tendency to compare ourselves to others is as human as any other emotion. If you find that you are comparing yourself to others, you are not alone. Comparison to others can hinder our self-confidence and can impact the joy in our lives.
There is an infinite number of categories upon which we can compare ourselves and an almost infinite number of people to compare ourselves to. Once we begin down that road, we never find an end.
As a business owner I’ve found myself comparing myself to others or looking outside of myself for inspiration to how to do it. Or I have questioned how I should be, do or not do. I finally had to stop. It was taking me further from who I truly am, who I want to be and the gifts I have to share with the world.
Here’s the thing, comparison is often unfair. We compare ourself to people’s greatest success or their “highlight real” on social media. You are too unique to compare fairly. Your gifts, successes, contributions and value are entirely unique to you and your purpose in this world. They can never be properly compared to anyone else.
Comparison puts focus on others. You can change one life—yours. But when we constantly compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other people’s lives rather than our own. We are looking externally for the answers instead of inside and finding our own.
So, what to do if you find yourself in the comparison cycle:
1) Get quiet and listen to your own inner guidance. It’s there ready to be heard. Allow yourself time everyday to get quiet, tune in without the distractions and listen. This could be meditation, spending time in nature, journaling, etc.
2) Unfollow the people/peers that you find yourself comparing to. Take a break and choose yourself. Take a pause from social media scrolling or focus on the things that light you up.
3) Remind yourself of your own successes. You have a unique perspective, unique experiences and gifts. You have the capacity to love, serve, and contribute. You have everything you need to accomplish good in your section of the world. Become aware of your successes and use this motivation to pursue more of what you want.
4) Compare with yourself. We can strive to be the best possible versions of ourselves—not only for our own selves, but for the benefit and contribution we can offer to others. Work hard to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Commit to growing a little bit each day. Learn to celebrate the little advancements you are making without comparing them to others.
5) Remind yourself nobody is perfect. While focusing on the negatives is rarely as helpful as focusing on the positives, there is important space to be found remembering that nobody is perfect and nobody is living a painless life. Triumph requires an obstacle to be overcome. And everybody is suffering through their own, whether you are close enough to know it or not.
6) Find inspiration without comparison. Comparing our lives with others can bring us down, but finding inspiration and learning from others is entirely wise. Humbly ask questions of the people you admire or read biographies as inspiration. But if comparison is a consistent tendency in your life, notice which attitudes prompt positive change and which result in negative influence.
7) Pursue the greater things in life. Some of the greatest treasures in this world are hidden from sight: love, humility, empathy, selflessness, generosity. Among these higher pursuits, there is no measurement. Desire them above everything else and remove yourself entirely from society’s definition of success.
There is so much freedom found in comparing less is entirely worth the effort. You get to determine what it means to be successful for you and chances are it will look different than someone else’s success.
It can be incredibly easy to get caught up in comparison, especially with social media. I see many posts people sharing they are living their best life and doing amazing things with beautiful photos. I've shared mine too. These things are awesome, however sometimes we don’t also see the full story. We compare to the highlight real and can begin to question and doubt ourself.
I definitely remember a time in my life of not believing in myself and remnants of that can still creep up if I am not aware. What I have learned, is that I do not have to bend and twist myself to fit an arbitrary mold. I do not have to be smarter or prettier, less sensitive or more capable than I already am.
I am gifted and I matter, and so do you. We all have our unique gifts and talents.
We celebrate the people doing extraordinary things– changing the world in big ways (and rightly so!). We put people on pedestals and hold them up as examples of what might be. As a result, some of us live with intense shame that we will never measure up and maybe we don’t even want to!
Self-awareness can create self-compassion and it finally occurred to me that I could choose to embrace myself as enough. I could shake off the shackles of comparison, shame, and perfectionism and refuse to hold myself up to an impossible standard. I decided in all of my imperfections I am enough.
Still, it’s a daily, conscious choice to love all my beautiful and cracked bits. To do the work to heal, to not get caught up in the comparison game, to let go of feeling the need to be “perfect” and being all together, all the time. So freeing.
Deciding I am enough makes space for me to do step out and offer my gifts so that I can do the work I feel called to. Deciding I am enough allows me to show up with curiosity and joy and step fully present into my imperfect and beautiful life.
Finally deciding I am good enough means instead of hiding, I take personal responsibility and use my words and life to help build the world I want to live in. I can impact the world in my own way with my own gifts.
Because millions of ordinary people intent on building and creating, small step by small step, will undoubtedly change and impact the world.
When I feel fear or the unworthiness or stories of not being good enough surface again – I remind myself that I am rooted in the truth that I do not have to pay rent for the space I take up in this world. I have nothing to prove.
And what happens is that this freedom to just be me permits me to freely give. This freedom creates space for joyful possibility. This freedom makes me determined to reach out my hand and lift up as many other weary people as I am able and make a safe space for them to realize they deserve to be here too.
I use my gifts to impact the world. I want you to use your gifts too.
If we struggle or fall, if people don’t like what we offer, if sometimes we run right back to hide out under the covers for a little while, this does not disqualify us from life. If we take two steps forward and another one back, and we cannot always see how we make any difference at all, still we offer up our voices or ask for help…. but we do not quit.
Maybe it is in being real and imperfect and showing up anyways that we offer hope and encouragement to each other and this is, perhaps, one of the most extravagant gifts of all.
What will you do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver
We have one life, how would you like to live yours? If you truly want something you must show up and take action. Step by step. This is key to crafting the life you want.
Keep showing up. Keep going. Do all or something. Take imperfect action. Ask for support. Learn to sit with discomfort. Take two steps forward, one step back. Do it scared and aware there is much you don’t know. Pick yourself up should you fall. Stay out of comparison. But keep showing up.
There are no magic pills, no collect $200 and advance to go, no bypassing the fact that if we say we want something – a good relationship, a thriving business, a healthy body, a decluttered home – we must show up and do the work.
This is the key to crafting the life you want. Getting clear on who and how we want to be, how we choose to spend our time, talents, and resources, requires some work.
Building anything of value requires deliberate action and likely some stress. Moving against status quo or staying focused on your top values and priorities, involves effort.
Talking about your vision is not the same as doing the work. Dreaming and filling in goal work worksheets or listening to podcasts – delightful and often useful but not the same as actually getting your hands messy.
There is no need for perfection and you don’t have to race. You don’t need to impress anyone else or make them approve. This is about you and what you want. One step at a time, build intentionally.
I’ve learned to just show up. I’ve taught myself to offer myself lots of compassion(still a process), take days off as needed, but not to stay stuck. I’ve learned that I’m not a failure if I struggle and I don’t have to look like or do life like anyone else. I don’t need to be perfect. My path is uniquely mine.
I know that I am strong and resilient. I learned this by taking one one step after another. Sometimes falling on my face.
We all meet with resistance. We have a tendency to self-sabotage. You may struggle with people-pleasing or trying to look good for others or trying to do all the things. Whatever your personality, you are offered the choice to show up, get honest about what you want out of life, and do the work to craft the life you want.
You can go slow, make a giant leap, you can fall off course, you can be messy and imperfect.
You can make mistakes, change your mind, and walk through difficult seasons. Keep showing up. One small step and then another.
Spend more time creating instead of watching what others are up to. Be you. Stop comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle.
Ditch the all or nothing lie that holds you back and keeps you stuck. It doesn’t mean it’s easy. It means it’s worthwhile. It may get easier in time.
Practice. Work at your craft or pick away at your dreams.
When you grow tired, learn to rest and not quit. Break down your goal into bite-size steps. When it feels really hard, just breathe. I don’t have a perfect life or body or business and I don’t need perfect. What I need and want is to live on purpose. My life is a work of art created intentionally. Sometimes it feels messy.
I’m cheering you onward as you craft the life you want. Reach out if you need support on crafting your life.
Photo: Grazalema National Park, Spain
There’s a world of difference between seeking growth from a place of feeling broken or messed up vs. stepping into growth from the perspective that you’re imperfect and you’re OK... and badass.
What if you approach growth or a desire to find deeper healing or freedom from the perspective that you are already enough? That wanting to learn and grow and become more fully yourself is great – but not a prerequisite for being enough. You are already enough.
What if you show up curious each day, open to learning and self-discovery but not berating yourself for being exactly who or where you are right now. You’re not wrong for where you’re at on the journey. And even if you never budged from this spot, you’re actually OK.
What if you decide to own your past and your pain but break off the shame attached to these stories. And you choose to be proud of yourself for fighting and not giving up. For choosing life.
What would change if you stopped living for external validation, affirmation, and you became your own best friend?
Could you reach out for help when you need it and realize that you’re brave; it takes incredible strength to ask for what you need.
What if you made the decision to trust the journey. To trust that we all struggle but if we just keep taking one stubborn step after another then chances are we will find ourselves one day in a broad place, a freer space, and realize that we have indeed grown and healed. Sometimes the change we seek comes when we’re not looking.
What if you only spoke to yourself with the same care and delight that you would offer to someone you loved? What if you believed in yourself the way you’d fiercely stand up for your bestie?
And how would it feel to forgive yourself quickly, and forgive others too; to stop all the comparing and just be the perfectly imperfect you.
I wonder what might happen if you made the decision to just love the body you’re in; if you nourished yourself with kindness and all sorts of good things.
You are colorful, beautiful artwork and we’re not meant to be the same.
Have you ever found yourself wanting to do something outside of your comfort zone, then quickly talk yourself out of it? Whether that be to start your dream business, make a career move, or ask that person on a date. Self-doubt gets in the way and we can freeze. Our inner critic can tell us that we are not good enough. When bombarded by elements that can lower our self-belief, we can take charge of building up our confidence and resiliency muscles… to live the life you want and be the awesome person you are.
This topic comes up quite frequently with my clients, and I have had my share of my inner critic speaking up when going out of comfort zone. Below I will share some tips to build your muscles in this area.
1. Feeling the range of emotions you have without judgement. The pleasant and not so pleasant. You are a human and have a full range of emotions and feelings. Sometimes it is uncomfortable! We can feel a full range from anger, frustration to joy and love. Allow your self to feel them, but they don’t have to derail you from the things you want to do. By allowing yourself to be with and still take steps forward, it builds resiliency, emotional strength and confidence in yourself to manage challenging emotions.
2. Speaking up and being heard. This may be sharing your thoughts, asking for what you need or want and self-expression. While we can be mindful and intentional in our speaking, it’s allowing yourself to speak up and be heard versus hiding and playing small because you are fearful of using your voice.
3. Taking Action. Take small steps forward towards your vision and goals in your life, even when you feel scared. Each step you can take can build confidence in yourself. Celebrate the steps you are taking to go forward!
4. Ending Self criticism and beat-up. This is one is so important! We can be our worst critic and be so critical about ourself in our minds. It can be an endless cycle that can be stopped. When we are in the self beat up cycle, it can be a hindrance to our self-confidence. Notice when you are in the self critical loop, acknowledge it, have compassion for yourself and practicing letting it go and choosing thoughts that would better serve you.
5. Accept Compliments. As anyone ever gave you a compliment, and you found yourself not being able to take it in and hear it? Compliments are a mirror of who you are and the great qualities people see in you. Practicing receiving and allowing compliments, they are a reflection of you are!
6. Allow yourself see your positive qualities and achievements: Maybe that’s reminding yourself of accomplishments you have already had and the things you are good at. Maybe you have a great smile, or you nailed that work project. Allow yourself to acknowledge your positive qualities and achievements, no matter how large or small. Do this often!
7. Spending time outdoors. Spending time outdoors in nature can a be a big confidence and resilience booster. For one, it allows you to connect with yourself. When you are on a trek, long walk, or climbing a mountain(big or small), when you get to the top, it can be an amazing feeling and the knowledge you can do it.
Resilience refers to how well you can manage and bounce back from the difficulties of life. Resilient people tend to maintain a more positive outlook and cope with stress more effectively. On both a personal and business level, resilience helps us to create, build, and heal in ways never thought possible- giving us the ability to meet challenges that come our way.
While some people seem to come by resilience naturally, these behaviors can also be learned.
Whether you're going through a tough time now or you want to build muscles, here are 6 things you can practice in order to foster your own resilience.
1)Build Positive Beliefs in Your Abilities
Having confidence in your own ability to cope with the stresses of life can play an important part in resilience. Your belief in yourself plays an important role in coping with stress and recovering from difficult events. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments and practice shifting negative beliefs that pop up in your mind. Remind yourself of the struggles you have faced and got through.
2) Embrace Change
Flexibility is an essential part of resilience. By practicing adaptability, you'll be better equipped to respond when faced with a life crisis. Resilient people often utilize these events as an opportunity to branch out in new directions. While some people may be crushed by abrupt changes, highly resilient individuals are able to adapt and thrive.
3) Developing Optimism
Staying optimistic during dark periods can be difficult, but maintaining a hopeful outlook is an important part of resilience. Positive thinking does not mean ignoring the problem in order to focus on positive outcomes. It means understanding that setbacks are temporary and that you have the skills and abilities to combat the challenges you face.
4) Nurture Yourself
Focus on building your self-nurturance skills and make time for activities that you enjoy. By taking care of your mind, body, and soul, you can boost your overall health and resilience, manage stress, and be fully ready to face life's challenges.
5) Build Strong Social Connection and Support
Having caring, supportive people around you act as a protective factor during times of crisis. While simply talking about a situation with a friend or loved one won't make your troubles go away, it allows you to share your feelings and get supported.
6) Spend Time in Nature
A great example nature demonstrates of resiliency is rest. In winter the trees go dormant, animals hibernate and seeds await to bloom in the spring. Our minds and bodies need rest and breaks from the busy world. With proper rest, we gain the capacity to handle challenges, stress and lead to having a different perspective.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Coach and Registered Yoga teacher, mentor and advisor. I draw from these modalities to support you with the healing process if needed, stress management, building resilience and shifting challenging thoughts. We connect with your intuition, get clear on your vision, address the blocks that are in the way so that you are living the life you want to live. There is no cookie cutter approach, our work together is completely tailor made to what it is your goals and needs are. My work is integrative, so I also work with the mind-body connection.
Perhaps you left the soul-sucking job to start your own business or look for another career or you ended a relationship that was no longer working but you are still open to finding your big love. You have done some growing and evolving. You’ve outgrown who you once were and the new is in progress. You’re in the in-between stage- between what you are finished with and what is next in life. Sometimes knowing that this stage is a real thing can be validating.
It’s like when you are in process of making fudge brownies. You have done the prep, mixed all the batter and put the brownies in the oven. They are in process, and just not where you want them to be to eat as a fully baked delicious brownie. The in-between stage is like being in the goo stage of the brownies.
The in-between stage of life can be really uncomfortable. You are in the polarities of what was and what will be. There is the unknown and perhaps feelings of discomfort and trepidation or grief. Maybe you are present to excitement as well.
It is a bit unavoidable on the way to your next phase. Predictability and fixating on the past will not bring you to your inner peace and full power. You know you can’t run back to the safety of old structures. You’ve been there and know the outcome of that. You don’t know exactly what’s waiting for you on the other side of where you are right now, but you have flashes of possible outcomes and new ideas of how you want it to be. You're in the dance of of letting go and holding on.
There may be times you want to grab something solid to hold onto. Maybe you want to call your ex, apply for a job you don’t want, stay home and watch Netflix instead of going on that date. Or you choose a local destination to travel to, but you really want to go abroad. Some kinds of familiarity are truly nourishing. But in the in-between, clinging to what you thought was good for you just prolongs this stage.
You’re evolving and expanding, your evolving self requires new sources of refreshment and nourishment….which can take some time to seep in.
You’re in the process of beautiful transformation. Transformation can be messy and not always a smooth ride. However so much growth, exploration and new awarenesses can come during this stage.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. ~Anonymous. A friend gave me this magnet quote when I was in the separation stage of divorce many years ago. On the brink of this experience, I started a business, traveled the world, and experienced things I couldn't of imagined. I have also have met some of my dearest friends and connections. I forever keep it on my fridge as a reminder during transition times of life.
Keep going my friend, you can’t go back now, you have come too far. Stop flailing and float. Choose deep breathing over gasping. Remember your “why” and what it truly is that you want in your life and who you are. Keep taking one step at a time forward until you discover your wings and fly.
Photo: Cueva de Dos Puertas in Grazalema Natural Park, near Grazalema Spain.
I am getting close to leave for my next adventure...this time to Spain for a yoga retreat, culture, hiking, wine and olive oil tastings! While those are amazing things about travel and adventure, there are additional internal shifts and benefits from travel.
Travel isn't only beneficial to your physical well-being, there is also a significant amount of research suggesting that exploring a new place is also greatly impactful on your emotional and mental well-being. I'm in!
Here are a few good reasons to travel and how it positively impacts your mental and emotional wellness....
1) Travel relieves stress
Life can get pretty hectic with busy careers, family responsibilities and being accessible 24/7 with technology. Thus, taking a break from the daily hustle is essential for your mind to relax, recharge and rejuvenate. Traveling promotes happiness and helps you take your mind off stressful situations. This leads to lower cortisol levels, making you feel more calm and content. Not to mention while experiencing amazing things!
2) Travel fosters new perspectives and reinvention
If you allow it, travel has the ability to expand your mind and perspectives more ways than you can imagine. Traveling, especially to a foreign country, can allow you the space to re-evaluate and reinvent your life. Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view might have some blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your view on life. Some of the happiest people I met were in poverty stricken areas. You also can get a great appreciation for your own life. Some my greatest shifts in perspective came to me when I was traveling the world.
3) Travel increases resilience
Going or living somewhere where you feel excited and intimidated at the same time builds resilience. I have done quite a bit of travel solo, and love it. I have to problem solve, be on my toes, and aware of what's around me. To know I can do that, is an amazing feeling. Facing difficulties in an unfamiliar environment, among new people, forces you to learn and adapt to a life that's out of your comfort zone. This builds flexibility, patience and emotional strength.
Travel can help you when larger issues in life happen with more grace and patience, I remember earlier in my very early travel days our rental car in Costa Rica was broken into and that included my passport, money and credit cards and some belongings! Another travel adventure to Peru, I lost my cell phone on the plane. These experiences taught me to work through situations more calmly and to attach less emotion to belongings and still be present. I could have let those incidents ruin my whole trip, but I chose not to. Bottom line is, the more challenges you’re faced with, the better you'll get at overcoming them, eventually becoming more resilient, mentally and emotionally.
4) Travel is Education
Seeing the world provides an education that’s absolutely impossible get in school. Travel teaches you economy, politics, history, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will. You can learn a new language and be exposed to culture and not to mention amazing food!
5) Travel helps you move forward
If you’re between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, travel can be a perfect way to move from one of these life stages into your next great adventure. Travel will give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.
6) Travel helps you develop skills you didn't know you had
Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize you you’ve got skills you’ve never used. It’s travel that brings them to the surface and makes you smile, satisfied to have reached the mountain top, or crossed a gorge or helped a villager clean up after a storm, or even to have successfully ordered a meal at a restaurant where English is not spoken.
I could go on with more reason to travel! All of the benefits I mentioned above can be integrated into your everyday life. The peaceful feeling you had by the ocean, cooking delicious food, and all of the skills, can be recreated at home. The memories and experiences you have traveling will be with you for a lifetime!
Photo: Me in New Zealand
There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen. ~Rumi
We all have an antenna for intuition and wisdom, but when the noise of our lives gets too loud, whether that be inside or outside noise, it’s more challenging to utilize our own inner guidance system.
Many of us have been conditioned to ask for advice and to look outside ourselves for answers or guidance before checking in with our own inner knowing. We may have gotten into the habit of trusting society’s opinions and influences, forgetting that we have our own wisdom and guidance, if we are open to listening.
When we depend only on our mental capacities to navigate our lives, we are limited and often end up feeling confused, ping-ponging between pros and cons and can get stuck in what path to choose.
Trusting in myself and my own intuition has been one of my biggest breakthroughs. There have been times in my life when my intuition was speaking and I didn't always listen. Now, when faced with a choice or decision, I always tune into my body and my mind. I know the difference from when I'm just scared and when something isn't the right path for me. You can always return to your own inner compass too.
What I have found is that as we attune to our own knowing and trust in it by taking action, we build and strengthen the muscle to navigate our lives with more grace.
There is a flow that we tap into where synchronicities tend to unfold more frequently and things fall into place much more smoothly. Inspiration that comes through them into action.
You have such wisdom within you. You know what is true in your own heart… you’ve always known. I support you in following and trusting your own knowing.
You are here to express and be who you are in this world. You are ultimately the only one that knows what is right for you at any given time.
This doesn’t mean we close off to other perspectives. Other people may make suggestions and offer advice, but I invite you to check in with how it feels in your body and let that be the barometer that guides you.
Listening in the silence, especially in the morning, even if it’s just for 5 minutes or going for a walk in nature are other great ways I have found to hear my own inner voice more clearly or to reconnect with my truth. Disconnecting from social media and all the noise is supportive for me as well.
Some people tune in through prayer, meditation, yoga, listening to music, going surfing or what athletes sometimes refer to as the ‘runner’s zone.’
Staying connected to what inspires you is another way to help connect back to the frequency of a higher vibration where intuition lives. Whether that be reading uplifting material, hearing a lecture on something that lights you up, or doing spiritual practices – you, more than anyone, knows what makes you come alive… do that!
Of course, I share all of these as suggestions and I am in full support of you following what’s most true in your heart… always.
We are all here to support and learn from each other, so if there is an experience you’d like to share about, maybe a time you have listened to and followed your own knowing, especially if it wasn’t the logical choice, but you listened anyway, please feel free to share below. We can inspire each other to stay true to ourselves.
Hello, thanks for stopping by! I am Lisa Firullo and I am a Certified Life and Career Coach and Licensed Therapist. I support people to get clear on what they want in their life as well as who they are and want to be. I support people to get connected to your own intuition, build self-trust, and own connect with their own power so they can live the life they are meant for... with joy, play, ease and prosperity. We will address the blocks that get in the way, stress/overwhelm and self-doubt, identify goals and vision, and create an action plan to get there. If this resonates with you, I offer a 60 minute complimentary session, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set a time to talk!
Life and Leadership Coach, Licensed Counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.