It’s taken some time for me to see the problem with not consciously taking pleasure when things are sailing smoothly, but no more. I’m hyped to share all I have learned in the last couple of weeks about what makes us feel uncomfortable when we feel we’re not driving forward fast enough. There is a balance which we need to acknowledge between pushing too hard, not pushing hard enough, and the negative impact of both of those things.
This has been the struggle of my life for years – not being able to enjoy the middle ground and finding myself regularly pushing too hard to go beyond it. How do we enjoy the ride when it gets stressful and scary? How can we be content with where we are at while also working towards where we want to go? How do we find peace in the middle? In this episode, I address all these questions.
Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who choose to have it all. Learn how to achieve the massive success you’ve been dreaming of in your business and your personal life. Here’s your host, multiple six-figure business owner, and a life stylist, Brooke Keeling.
Hello, hello and welcome to the Love Your Living podcast, where we get real; real in talking about ambition, growth, and the reality of it. You know, you always get what you ask for, right. It’s true every time. The past couple of weeks, I have felt really good, like really good; strong, confident, in control, overall happy until, yet again, it hit this wall of not enough.
When I start to feel too comfortable, there’s this internal alarm that goes off – and it’s not a quiet alarm – that says, “You need to do more. What’s next? You aren’t doing enough. You aren’t playing big enough.” Please know that I know this. I’m very real about knowing that this is not the truth, but it is the language and the conversation that I have with myself.
I ran a lot the past week. Why? Well, because for me, that’s when I get my mind right. I get a lot of these thoughts out. It wakes up my body. I almost always go into a run with a lot going on in my head and it’s a much-needed release. But I also have a very clear intention on what is going on in my head and what it is that I need to work through.
Some runs, I feel incredibly clear after and other times I don’t, but I know that it will come if I keep giving it some time and just being present and being open to knowing that I need to work through something, so I keep running. I used to just sit at my computer and stare at my screen or try to push through the mindless tasks or just push through in general; push, push, push.
Now I run. I realize that you have to release. It’s becoming really aware with the energy that I hold within myself and that energy is a direct reflection of what I am attracting and putting out as well. So I do my best to acknowledge that and do what I need to do in order to release what I need to release and move on.
That doesn’t mean that I have it all figured out. That doesn’t mean that these runs magically solve all of my worries, my thoughts, my struggles, however it does help me get a little clearer and release the energy and the negative tension that comes and goes throughout my days.
This week, I was running to find answers to find what is next, next, next, next; always next. I was having a conversation with my husband last week and I said, “You know, I feel like I’m ready to push onto that next thing.” And I was kind of excited about it.
And he, of course, looks at me wide-eyed like, “Okay, in what areas of life or what business?” He said. “All,” I replied back. And again, I thought he would be kind of excited, like my energy was up and I was excited and I was like eager and anxious to dive into the next thing. And he looked a little disappointed.
Not necessarily disappointed, but I felt his energy drop a little bit. I came back with trying to explain myself a little bit more and just saying, “You know, I just feel like I’m a little too comfortable. And in his mind and in my mind, I knew the same thing. It’s like, “Yeah, okay, too comfortable for like two weeks out of the past six months.”
So anyway, onward, I kept running. For the next few days, I ran. I ran a lot and I was just open; open to being curious about what it is that I needed to really focus on. I had days of reevaluating my business goals, my platform, strategy, my team. And suddenly, boom, I have clarity and I have a pretty massive to-do list.
And just like that, I’m back into the overwhelm because, like anything else, I want it all now. I want it done now. So now I have this clarity on what was next and intentions to dive in, get organized, get started. However, by this time it was the end of the week. I had great intentions to wrap up my week and get myself in a really great place, get organized, get started on all of these big goals and strategies, but the day got the best of me.
And a few fires later and a couple of shitty clients to deal with – don’t get me wrong, I love my clients, but if you are in business, I know you know what I’m talking about – and that was it. That was the end of the day. It was the end of my week and it was 5:45 and there I sat thinking ask and you shall receive. I received. Ask for more, receive more. I received more.
I had to really pull myself out of my office that night. And of course, it wasn’t really the way that I wanted to end my week or not a great spot to really go into the weekend. But it was a Friday night and despite wanting to stay in and somewhat wallow in the stresses and tired state that I was in after feeling a bit of defeat, we decided to go out and enjoy the evening; which I’m so glad that we did.
We got out of the house. We went to one of our favorite spots that had live music and cold beer and we watched our little love run around and enjoy playing with all the kids and just love life. And it was good – it pulled me out of that state I was in.
And I looked at my husband and I said, “I wish I could just enjoy the middle a little bit more.” And without any other- context, he said, “Me too.” I was like, “Wait, you don’t even know what I’m talking about. How could you say me too? You’re not listening. Clearly you’re not listening to me.” He said, “Yeah, I do know what you’re talking about and I was just thinking about this and thinking about you at work today. I wish I could help you enjoy the middle more.”
I, of course, was like, “Okay, if you really think that you know what I’m thinking about then tell me your side of the story.” He says, “I feel like you are either really happy or you’re really stressed and the stressed comes more often than the happy. I love you, I love your work ethic, I love your drive, but it hurts me to see how stressed and overwhelmed you get at times.”
Wow, that was kind of a mixed ball of emotions that came next. Like, dagger to my heart, dose of reality. Obviously, he knew what I was talking about and obviously it was something more than I was just working with in my own mind. This is the struggle of my life. It has been for years. How do I enjoy the ride when the ride gets tough? How do I enjoy the ride when it gets stressful and scary?
How can I be content with where I am at while working towards where I want to go? How can I be enough when I want more? How do I find peace in the middle? What is peace in the middle?
Here’s the thing; it is so easy to get caught up in wanting more and achieving our goals. It’s great to have people to look up to that inspire us and want us to think bigger and do bigger, but we can’t get caught up in feeling like we aren’t enough. We look at other people’s lives and think, “They’re so great, so successful, they’re so happy. They have it all. Their life is perfect.” And then we start to second-guess ourselves; our own success, direction, beliefs, compare and despair is exactly what this is.
Remember this; no one is perfect. No one person has it all figured out. Everyone has problems and in this world of perfectionism, especially with social media making life look like a magical land of unicorns and everybody is perfect, it’s so easy to fall in this trap of not enough.
So as I contemplated this and, of course, my mind was spinning and thinking about a lot of things over the weekend, there were a few really big messages that came to me that really helped me kind of dig myself out of this and understand where I was at. I started reading the book High Performance Habits by Brendan Burchard and I am absolutely obsessed with it.
But it really got me thinking and really resonated with me, the very first couple of pages in the introduction of the book. And he talks about high performance habits and high performing people, high achievers. And high achievers oftentimes get in this place of feeling like everybody can externally look at someone and think, “Their life is so perfect, they’re so perfect, I don’t know how they do it all. They have so much success. They were born to be great. They have this superpower and anything they can do, whatever they do, is just going to be greatness.”
And on the other side of that, that high achiever, that high performer, yes of course they want more and they want the best, but deep down, when people are pushing them or thinking certain things of them or they hit a different level of success, it’s a mind-fuck on the inside too. It’s a mind-fuck of thinking, “Yeah, I do want to go to the next level, but how am I going to go to the next level when I’m barely surviving the one that I’m at?”
Not even the best of the best have it all figured out and it’s being able to push through – it’s being able to surround yourself with people that have been there, that are going through that, that understand this journey. What a great message that was and what a perfect message for where I was at and what I needed to hear. That always happens.
The next thing that popped into my news feed that I was like, “Yes, this is what I’m talking about,” was a post on Instagram from Jenna Kutcher. If you don’t know Jenna Kutcher, she has an incredible Instagram page. She’s a Midwest girl just like me and is very well known for her social media platforms and photography.
She posted a quote that said, “I have no idea what I’m doing.” And in the comments, it says, “Absolutely no one has any idea what they are doing.” And that’s kind of magical. We’re all just winging it and praying it goes alright. Your mentors, those Instagrammers, the millionaires, the people who appear perfect, yeah, they are just making it up as they go.
Oh wait, I thought I was the only one – yeah, we all have problems. And then I have a friend that is I the same industry as me and he put a post up on Facebook. And it was a very real and vulnerable post about the struggles.
And he has a lot of success, is very successful, he’s known for his success and was at a big mastermind event and, you know what, you post all of these things and it makes you look like, “Oh my gosh, life is great. I’m in New York City. I’m learning with the best of the best.”
And his post was very real about the shit behind the scenes and people thinking, like, you have it all together. You hit this certain level of success and all of a sudden your problems are gone or you don’t have things that you have to work through and it makes it so hard and you tend to shut yourself out and you just go down this dark hole rather than being able to surround yourself by people and have those honest conversations of the struggle, of the hard times, of the shit, the money problems, the people problems, the relationship problems.
Like, everybody has problems and guess what, it’s okay. That’s what allows us to be human and be able to grow and learn and create new relationships. Those messages were so powerful to me over the weekend and it was more so just knowing that everybody has problems.
Not one person has it figured out and honestly, the more success that you see, the bigger you scale a business, the more problems you’re going to have; the more you have to step out of your comfort zone, the more you have to really rely on your faith and keep going, stay the course, be happy with where you’re at, stop comparing ourselves to other people and really knowing yourself and what it looks like for you.
So how do I find peace in the middle and what is peace in the middle? I don’t know that just yet. What I do know is that letting go of feeling like I have to have it all figured out is freeing. Knowing that everyone has problems and the more you grow, the more problems you’re going to have gives me strength and it lets me know that I’m not alone.
And really truly knowing that I am enough is love. Finding and defining what happiness is for you and not comparing success, money, relationship, family, business to anyone else, it takes a lot of work and a lot of self-discovery. That’s the fun. That’s the magic; figuring out who you are, not letting yourself get caught up in these massive to-dos and what’s next. That’s the journey that I’m on over the next couple of weeks; finding peace in the middle.
I’m going to have some fun with all of these new goals that I set out to do. I have a to-do list like crazy and rather than stressing myself out with getting it all done now and overwhelming every aspect of my life, I am going to take some small steps, turtle steps, even though I fucking hate turtle steps. I’m going to go small, I’m going to be realistic, I’m going to be really present in finding fun in all of these new tasks that I’m taking on, rather than just get it done so I can check it off.
I’m going to enjoy the ride a little bit more and I invite you to come along with me. Whatever it is that your goals are, whatever you’re setting out to do this week, let’s do it together. I’d love to hear comments, what you’re struggling with, what’s going really great, what action you’re going to be taking and how you can have more fun with that because it really does make a world of difference knowing that you are not alone and everything is figure out-able; as Marie Forleo would say.
Let me know what you’re up to this week. If you haven’t already checked out our Instagram, check us out at @love.your.living – you can see what we’re up to on the daily and, of course, I would love to hear what you’re up to as well.
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