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while trying out to figure out exactly who you are and what you will do with your life, you’ll likely ‘try on’ lots of different ‘masks’. that’s ok. that’s normal. that means you’re experimenting with what doesn’t work for you.

you might recognize traits in others that you believe are attractive. no doubt, you might also pick yourself apart, label your ‘flaws’ and all the reasons you’re not perfect. (a.k.a. not quite loveable).

you might do almost anything in your power to change those parts of yourself. you might punish your body with exercise, or place strict controls on your eating. you might cut your own flesh or be cruel to your reflection in the mirror. you you might betray your values, and give yourself away to someone (or many) who don’t deserve your heart (or body). you might purposefully hold yourself back (from success, love, opportunity) for fear of pissing someone else off. you might.

listed below are 6 crazy-making (as in, drive you to the brink of unhappiness, self-loathing, depression, self-abandonment, soul crushing) habits that you should identify and ditch. right. fucking. now.

1.  comparison

(also see jealousy below)

“The real contest is always between what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing. You measure yourself against yourself and nobody else.” ~ Geoffrey Gaberino

the tendancy to measure ourselves against a perceived superior is huge. whether its the size of your boobs, money in the bank, or job, we’re often checking others out and then seeing how we stack up against them.

it can make you feel really shitty, or really great. (often, comparing your good fortune to the misfortune of others results in gratitude, which is a good emotion to have. thankfulness = good feelings.)

negative comparison throws you under the wheels of an oncoming tanker truck. it takes you from upright to down low before you know what happened. it leaves you feeling flat. and broken.

focus on you. your experience. your path. your potential. your growth. your learning. you.

1. you lack nothing.
2. you have enough.
3. you are enough.
(practicing gratitude is a way to remember these 3 things)

2.  imitation

i have often been teased about my laugh. too big, too loud. a cackle, really. so, at about 12, i chose a new laugh. i picked the laugh of one of the most athletic, popular, pretty girls in my grade 6 class. she had white blond hair (her name was Valerie). her laugh was a ethereal trill. mine was a witch’s chortle. so, i mimicked hers and began to use it.

my family, baffled, thought i’d fallen and bonked my head on the cement. i insisted that this was indeed my real laugh. they’d just never noticed before.

imitation = fake. not genuine. not real. not authentic.

think about what you like:
real people or fake people
real crab or fake crab (disregard if deathly allergic)
real money or fake money

people can sense fake a mile away. authenticity is the way i want to live. i want authentic people around me. authentic means genuinely THEM. i don’t want a dozen of me. or anyone else for that matter.

i want the real you. don’t you?

turns out (thirty years later, i’ve discovered) my laugh makes others laugh.
making others feel joy = good feelings.

3.  with-holding

with-holding is trying to stay safe. backing off. not taking any chances.
playing small.
it is the silent treatment.
not giving anything for fear you won’t get enough in return.

with-holding is an attempt to self preserve.
prevent yourself from being you.
from being loved
from being love.

but it is really self-deprivation.

4.  jealousy

jealousy is downright hard on your soul.
jealousy is outward focused.
jealousy is constantly looking at everyone else,
comparing your self against another’s measuring stick, 
and worse, secretly believing they don’t deserve what they have
and often wishing that they had less than they do.

“Jealousy springs from core beliefs of unworthiness, lack, not-good-enough.” ~ Pema Deane

it is a delusion – the belief that anyone has more than you do, right now.
: the one who is in love.
: the one that has the money.
: the one with the hot car.
: the one who has the perfect body.
: the one who has all the friends.
: the one who is more talented than you.

these are lies you tell yourself.
just because their life looks different than yours does right now,
does not mean you have less.
or are capable of less.
or deserve less.

“Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth.  Each of us has something to give that no one else has.”  ~Elizabeth O’Connor

find your self.
be you.
accept your self.
create your own life.
focus on you.

stop looking at the lives of others, and start creating your own.

5.  fear

i was a fearful kid. afraid of the dark. afraid of the unknown. afraid of my potential. afraid that i wasn’t enough. afraid no one would love me.

fear keeps you stuck, spinning your tires – in the mire and muck of misery.

nothing i was ever afraid of as a child, ever happened.

no shit. it’s all in your head. tripping you up. keeping you small.
hire a therapist. break through your boundaries. heal your crap.
do whatever it takes to remove your fear and live your life.

fear = false expectations appearing real.
none of it is true. it is all in your mind.
and you can change your mind.

do whatever it takes to get rid of your fear.
promise me that.
promise YOU that.

6.  trying too hard

let it go. roll with the punches. go with the flow.
if life exhausts you, maybe you’re swimming upstream.

trying to please everyone is hard.
trying to be perfect is hard.
trying to keep the peace is hard.
trying to live the life you think you should be living is hard.

after a lifetime of trying to fit in
feel accepted
get the response you are looking for
feel important
get love

being you will be super easy. (and super fun)

eventually, after discovering what doesn’t work for you, you’ll realize it is just too much work to try to be someone you’re not. it is liberating, joy-making and righteous to own and be y.o.u. – the very core of you (your essence).

the sooner you make peace with (accept)
your soul, in your body, with your gifts,
the happier you will be.