9 Ways to Make Peace With Your Unpursued Passions
I meet and know many women who have all these dreams and visions inside, and they just feel like they will never ever be able to manifest them for one reason or another. It seems to be an epidemic of sorts - this idea that there are many passions we all have that we may never ever see come about, or that we have to stick with just ONE. And maybe, just maybe that might be true.
And it might be true for many reasons - perhaps you will discover new, more fresh passions along the way. Or maybe you'll figure out that there's only one thing you'd really love to do even more than what you thought. Or maybe something else will come along that will just blow your mind - something that lights you up inside and somehow makes all other passions obsolete or pale in comparison.
What I don't want to see is your un-pursued desires lie dormant because you feel unworthy to have them, don't understand who you are so that you can't make the decisions you need to in order to obtain them, or because someone else "just does it better."
I don't know exactly what's in your mind and heart to do - in its totality. What I do know is that you have unpursued dreams and discoveries that beckon you to really find out who you are, who you most want to be in the world, and how to express it in a way that's true for you.
By the way, expressing yourself doesn't always come in the form of opening your mouth and being verbal. There are many other ways of expressing you and your ideas, work, and visions to the world, such as through things that probably come most naturally to you, like power, art and abstract, or insight & intuition,just to name a few.
I know you often times feel like it will never ever happen - that you aren't making the right decisions, haven't done the right things, and almost resent yourself because of it. I know you have your days when you feel self-confident, sure, and passionate about those ideas, and other days you feel like the Adele song - like you're literally "chasing pavements."
So....in the spirit of both education and encouragement, I'd like to offer you 9 ways to make peace with the passions you haven't or aren't yet pursuing (at least not in the way you think you should be), and adopt a new way of seeing the limiting beliefs you are toting around from day to day in your life right now.
#1 - Get comfortable with your expressions going through stages
I cannot even express the importance of this one, which is why it's #1, straight out of the gate. When I was a young girl, to say I was bossy would be an understatement. And in my teens, it translated into being quite mouthy. VERY mouthy. I expressed myself through my words - I loved to talk, but I didn't know any other way. In school, I used to get "talks too much" on my report card like....every 6 weeks. And I got in trouble for it with my parents like....every 6 weeks. In my tweens and teens, it translated into saying really hurtful things I can never take back, and some things, let's just face it, were immature. We ALL do that - I don't feel like I have to go back and apologize for every wrong thing I said at 16. Because now that I'm in my 30's, I am 1) mature enough to realize my primary form of expression has changed & matured (into writing & teaching) and 2) there'd be no way or feasible process I could go through to take back everything I said at that age - we're all human & it's just not realistic to place this kind of pressure on ourselves.
So the idea here is that our forms of expression will go through stages - mine was from talky, mouthy, bossy big mouth to a more refined, well-spoken, discerning speaker & writer. Yours may be something different, but I welcome you to explore how your expressions have progressed over your lifetime, and where you stand today - what do you think is your primary form of expression? Is it fashion & design, power & position, writing, or art & abstract?
#2 - Learn the power of the present moment
I recently read a book that forever has changed how much I value & view the present moment. I had started to hear this phrase in the personal development arena, but I didn't quite understand it until I read Marie Forleo's book. From there, it was full-on grasp & don't let go because it works. And I'm not perfect, but some of the things I've learned about the present moment have changed my life in ways that are unspeakable. I will write a blog on this in the future, but for today, let me give you one thing to get you started that will help you with this.
Marie will teach you a concept in her book called "This is it." My version is "I only have now." What does that mean? Like she mentions in her own story, I too have spent the last several years wishing things were better in my life. I want a better life, I want a husband, I don't want to have to worry about 'x', I wish I had 'y'. I was constantly trying to improve the people I was in relationships with and was SO future-minded, I couldn't (and now realize I wasn't) really enjoying the here & now.
I was so caught up in how things "should" be, that I now realize I threw away some really awesome moments that "were." In those moments, I couldn't know that I would have today. So now, my mantra is "I only have now." I'm (WE) aren't even promised the next breath or 5 minutes from now. I don't need a house to make my life good or to justify spending the money to make it look like a million dollar place - because I only have now, so I can do it today. And I don't need a husband to be happy, because I only have now. And who I am in this moment is what matters the very most.
Whether you like it or not, this is it. What you have in your life in this very moment - your job, friends, family, and home, the car you drive (or don't drive), the meal you choose, the date you're on (or not on) - all of it really is it. Now, this doesn't mean that things will not change. Everything changes. Life is change. But if you approach your life like this is it, all the time, you'll experience a quantum shift in your reality. You'll be more relaxed, more present, and, inexplicably, more irresistible. Excellence will show up in your life effortlessly. -- Marie Forleo
I don't know about you, but I'm ALL about that!
#3 - Acknowledge that nothing is its BEST without the process.
One of the best metaphors I know for process is baking. You just can't have a good cake, a pan of cookies, or brownies that are just right without proper process. And the beautiful part about baking is the individual quirks that can be added to give it that special something - cooking offers this too. The same goes with your unpursued passions. There's no secret formula for "making it" or "getting there." It happens as a result of you bringing your uniqueness and autonomy to the already existing moment and experience, and knowing that however it turns out is exactly how it was supposed to happen.
#4 - Embrace divine appointments as a part of existence
To say this without sounding all "goddess-y" or woo-woo, I do in fact, believe that we can make an immense amount of peace with our desires that we haven't obtained yet because there is a divine appointment and time those things are supposed to occur. I believe with all my heart that every single appointment has a purpose. In reading Bethenny Frankel's book, A Place of Yes, she devotes an entire chapter to this principle and calls it "make everything your business." Everything. Everyone you meet, every conversation, every new person who comes into your life, every phone call, every drop of the hat decision - make it your business. In other words, everything is everything. Every experience we have assimilates into our experience in a very real way - it becomes part of our story forever. It's our job to figure out how we can best capitalize on that opportunity and make it belong in our story in a real way. When we understand this, we also understand that because life is change, this will always be happening in our lives, and we can know that everything is as it should be and it will be what is needs to be, when the time is right.
#5 - Relinquish the need to control outcomes
I actually learned this principle from Deepak Chopra. He says we need to release the need to control the outcome, and I couldn't agree more. Once I started living from that place, I stopped needing control. I didn't need to control my business, I didn't need to control men I was in relationship with, I don't need to control how things turn out. Let me ask you something - what are you holding onto with a death grip? What is turning your knuckles white and stressing you out so much you can't enjoy your life as it is? I want to challenge you that it could be a need to control how that 'thing' turns out. And I can tell you from experience - a need to control anything will stifle your creativity and well-being. Let go of trying to see the end result - maybe you're not supposed to. Just make a decision. Make it your business. Be in the present moment. Know the process is needed. The more you try to control someone or something, the more out of control you will feel. Let it go.
#6 - Learn the nature of the "ideal self"
As I continue developing The Introvert Effect Architecture - a new digital experience for introverted women I have been working on for months - I am inserting into the framework a revolutionary teaching on the "ideal self" that is based on a little psychological and sociological research on identity roles. Everyone talks about the ideal (or aspirational) self, everyone knows they have one, but no one seems to be able to really understand HER as a person. In this new experience, you'll finally get a full understanding of why she exists and how you can enjoy her being in your life - aka 'making peace' with her. But for now, I will give you a tip of the iceberg and say that our ideal self is a role in our mind - she's the epitome of how we see ourselves. She would do, be, and go appropriately at all times. And there's nothing wrong with having an ideal self. A researcher named Thoits actually discovered that making roles & accumulating role identities actually fosters greater psychological well-being. He also found that the reverse is true - greater psychological well-being allows individuals to actively acquire multiple role identities over time. So make a little peace with a few facts: 1) We all have an ideal self, 2) it's normal to sometimes want to be her and 3) you can have a healthy identity with her in your mind.
#7 - Come out of victimization
I have to say this - victimization is not sexy. At all. But it's sometimes hard to battle. Especially when you've been hurt or crushed in any situation. However, remaining the victim will make people not want to be in your company, and they'll constantly feel like they "owe" you something because they have more than you, or something you aspire to have. That is just not okay, and it's unhealthy. I've gotta give you some tough love here, so I hope you're okay with that. You are not a victim of anything. There are very few scenarios I can name that you didn't have a decision to make regarding it, and you made it - perhaps wrong, but you made it. You married that person knowing what you knew. You decided to quit the job without a savings account. You can leave the job if it's stressful for you (or at least actively search for a new one instead of complaining), you can create your own income if you want more money in your household. You can even stop dating the same old type of guys, then blaming them for hurting you to everyone else. You have more power than you can even imagine, but whining, complaining, and victimizing won't bring your desires to fruition faster - in fact, it will probably sabotage it quicker than anything else I could name. You cando this - you can be totally & completely responsible for birthing your creative ideas.
#8 - Stop looking at balance as such a negative thing
I see a lot of teachers, bloggers around the web, and life coaches say "ditch balance" or "balance is a myth." And I have to be completely honest - until this year, I believed the same. I thought balance was a cop out - a way to try to make others around us think we have it all together, and I wouldn't even write about it. You might even find old blogs that are balance-busters. But balance itself entails a deeper meaning. Go with me for a moment. This quote is from the book, Marketing Metaphoria, and I highly recommend it for you introvert entrepreneurs, especially.
“Deep metaphors start developing at birth and are shaped by our social environment. They are metaphors because they represent, or play around with, nearly everything we encounter. They capture what anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists call human universals, or near universals, the traits and behaviors found in nearly all societies."
Balance itself, is a metaphor. And it means way more than what we've ascribed to it - oh, she can cook, clean, feed the kids, get dry cleaning, work full-time, and do her husband right when he gets home. That isn't really what I refer to here when I refer to balance. Instead, I know that you actually crave this idea in your life of being able to adjust when needed, offset things when they come up, and be really in touch with your truest self, fully at peace. When you can stop such negativity around the idea of balance, you'll see your life really open up and be much more expressive. And those unpursued passions? You'll feel much better about them.
#9 - Stop the glorification of "busy"
I saw this on Pinterest recently, and I had to pin it to The Introvert Effect board. Introverts can tend to struggle saying "no" to people or figuring out the proper way to do so. This because we live in a world that glorifies "I'm busy" mentality, and because it isn't our nature to want to disappoint people. We like to hang out & be liked, but we also crave our alone time. As a final way of making peace with your unpursued desires and creative needs, put aside the excuse that "you're busy" so you can't do 'x, y, or z.' That really isn't gonna cut it anymore, if you want to feel good about where you're headed in your passionate endeavors. This goes well with #7 in that, we have to take responsibility. We also don't have to judge ourselves. This is about simple honesty. "I'd really rather watch 2 hours of TV right now than write", or "I know I'm not a photographer yet because I am just not quite ready to go back to school." Instead of glorifying that "I'm just too busy to __________." That isn't going to help you make peace with your unpursued passions or efforts. Be honest with yourself, yet non-judgmental about what you discover. That way, when it comes time to pursue these things deep on the inside of you, you will know you met yourself the entire way. You are ready.
So glad you're here - please share any insights you got from this in the comments.
All my grace & support for your unpursued passions,