The other week, I wrapped-up my last group coaching call with an amazing group of kind, caring, compassionate women who set the groundwork for a healthier life in all areas – food, their body, themselves.
On the call, I was discussing what the most successful women do after they finish the program. Of course, what was a bit surprising was that the majority of the points weren’t actions, but ways of thinking, or viewing the world, really.
I wanted to share these viewpoints with you because if you really take them to heart and live by them, you’re going to change your world in a seriously cool way.
I speak from experience. I’ve learned these things slowly over the years. Yep – I’m a work in progress too. But aren’t we all, really?
It’s a somewhat long-ish list, but it’s a good one. I hope you make it to the end and leave a comment so we can connect.
Here are 8 rules confident women live by and how you can live by them too.
1. Play in the grey
As human beings, we’re taught to see things as good or bad; hot or cold; black or white. We want everything wrapped up in a neat perfect little box and topped with a bright shiny label. This is the very thinking that has you declaring, “I’ve had a bad food day – who cares? I’m eating whatever I want now. I’ve blown it anyway….” After one (I repeat one) not-so-great meal.
It’s also the same thinking that has us pushing for a label in a budding new relationship. When in reality, we don’t even know if we really like them (gasp!) because we don’t really know them that well. Instead of asking, “Do they like me? What are we?” We need to take a step back and ask, “Do I like them?”And continue to get to know them.
Finally, this black and white thinking is the very thing that has you walking around declaring to yourself (and maybe others), “I’m not good enough, and I’m never going to be good enough. There’s no use in me trying. I always fail.”
This thinking here? It’s defining. There’s no room for growth. Yes, you may have failed in the past, you may have mucked up past relationships, and had bad food days (remember … you’re a human being!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t try again and succeed – seriously.
Give yourself a break. Show yourself some compassion. In other words, learn to play in the grey. It’s tempting to paint the world in black and white, but that’s not where we learn, where we succeed, and where we learn to cut through the gunk to get to the good stuff. Instead of trying to define everything, take a step back and a few deep breaths, and ask yourself what the next best decision is for you moving forward – play in the grey – and I promise you’ll grow.
2. Don’t take things personally
This is one of the agreements in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements. When I first heard these words of wisdom I knew I had a lot of work to do here. And if you’re anything like me or the kind, caring, compassionate I work with, you may have to hone-in on this one too.
Just for the plain and simple fact it’s true. What others do or say has absolutely nothing to do with you. Nothing. That coworker who has rude? That family member who made that mean comment about your appearance? That’s a reflection of their own internal struggles and maybe, even their day. They could have just been in a fight with their partner, lost their job, or are trying to hit a stressful deadline…. you have no idea.
The fact is: happy people aren’t unkind. They just aren’t. And happy women get this. And they get that what people need most here is compassion. Happy women have a deep understanding that the world and people aren’t out to get them. People are too preoccupied with their own lives, just trying to make it to the next day, all doing the best they can.
As soon as you take this to heart, practice compassion, and use these difficult situations as opportunities to stay in a good place, you’ll start to see a massive shift. Because you know what? You’ll be happier … and feel much more at peace.
3. Things don’t happen to you; they happen for you
Happy women have a knowing that something higher (whatever that may be for you) is watching out for them. They have a strong understanding that things don’t happen to them, but for them.
Didn’t get the job?
Relationship didn’t work out?
Didn’t get invited to the wedding?
Women who are grounded and often referred to as “strong” choose to see these things as a blessing. That something much bigger than them is working in their favor because something else better is out there.
When things seem shi**y, lace up your shoes, dust off your knees (maybe after a good long cry, a glass of wine, and heartfelt call with your best girlfriend) and remember – things don’t happen to you; they happen for you. Promise.
4. You’re not alone
One of the reasons I love my group programs so much is that it allows women to feel like they’re not alone. With our smartphones, text messages, and social media apps it’s so easy to forego real human connection – where we share our hearts and souls – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the scary.
Happy women make time to feel connected, to feel not alone, and they make it a priority.
A key thing here is that they find kindred souls who want the same things in life and share the same values. They guard their time preciously and spend it with those who light them up.
Most importantly, truly happy women aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. To share their fears. To discuss their weaknesses, but also their hopes and dreams. With their whole hearts, they understand that while sharing their inner person can be scary, there’s no other way to live their life.
They rather show up to life and get their heart broken, feelings hurt, emotions splattered across the wall, and knees crumbling to the floor … than be untouched by sadness because it means they’ve showed up to their life. They get that life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. It’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.
5. Life is about the bumps
Truly happy people know that life isn’t all butterflies, rainbows, and unicorns. In fact, it’s going to dish you up and serve you some tough love. But without it, you wouldn’t grow or be the person you are today, which is beautiful.
Calm, at ease, centered women, innately understand this very primal fact of life. They choose to ride the waves instead of drown in them. And when they’re ready, they choose to find the good in each and every situation, regardless of how bumpy.
6. They look at people and situations in their as teachers
Happy women stop blaming others and look within. The whole “point a finger and you have three pointing back at you thing?” They get it. They own their messes, insecurities, stories, and fears.
They never sit there thinking the world, their coworkers, or their partner is out to get them, if something goes bad. Instead, they view a gone-bad situation or person as a teacher. What can they learn here? How can they practice staying in a good space? Why is this really bugging them? Where do they themselves need to do more personal work?
7. They do the best they can with where they are with what they have right now
Women who treat themselves kindly ditch the idea of perfect. They realize that no such thing exists. Because – heck – even top supermodels don’t really exist like we see them – they’re airbrushed with whole makeup and hair teams – and that’s just the beginning.
Instead, a woman who tells you she’s at peace with her life will say something to the effect of, “I do the best I can with where I am and what I know right now.” And that best will change day to day. Because you’re not the same person you were yesterday. Maybe today you’ll be better than yesterday because you’re less stressed, got more sleep, had an exciting win at work, or a big personal win – who knows! But it doesn’t matter because regardless you’re always doing the best you can – whether that means resting for the day or checking-off everything on your to-do list, including that intense workout.
Your best will vary from day to day – find it – and honor it. You can thank your future, happier self later.
8. They listen to their hearts
Other people will give them opinions and they’ll listen with intent and sincerity, but at the end of the day, women who live confidently and at peace always listen to their hearts. They don’t need others approval – maybe guidance and support – but not approval.
Instead, they’ve learned to listen to that little voice inside of them – that isn’t always rational – but always lends to living a life that doesn’t just look good on the outside, but feels good on the inside.
You can trust your heart too.
With so much love XXO,