You’ll probably never hear me tell you to “suck it up” when it comes to your life – not your job, relationship, your body, your stress levels, your social life, etc. Nada!
Sure, there are times when we have to do things we’re not thrilled about doing but I think the idea of sucking up a lifetime of misery is simply unacceptable and an unhelpful approach to living life wholeheartedly.
So many of us are raised to believe that we should to go to school, get a job, find a partner, have a family and “make it work” and that that is the right way to do life and if you find you’re unhappy, sorry bout it! Tough shit.
In other words, if you don’t like the path you’ve chosen, suck. it. up. It’s too late.
I just can’t get on board with this blasphemous, unhealthy and unhelpful approach to living. Do we really think everyone can accurately know what the heck they want to do for their entire lives when they’re 16 applying for colleges?! Do we really think that if we haven’t found our “one true love” by age 26 that the likelihood of us ever finding them or having a family is very small? Is it true that we have to settle in life? That we should be okay with just skating by or suffering through??!
I’m a big advocate for doing things that feel right, things that help you to grow and live to your fullest potential because we’re seeing the after effects of what happens when we don’t… whether it’s
- -waking up at 65 and looking back on your life wondering what happened
- -the ever growing quarter and mid life crisis
- -developing heart disease at a young age
- -feeling numb to life in general
- -having panic attacks for seemingly no reason
This stuff is really happening to many people, all the time, all around us!
I just can’t get behind it.
We hear over and over again things like: “It’s not that bad. It is what it is. Suck it up. Make it work…” in so many ways, whether they’re implicit or explicit. Sometimes we hear it from the people we love most. Sometimes it’s our own brains that are slamming this messaging at us over and over and over again.
And I truly believe it comes from a place of love. Often when we stick with the “suck it up” approach, it’s because what we’re doing is usually a safer, reliable or more familiar pain.
Yet, it’s usually pretty uncomfortable to suck things up day in and day out. Right? Like it doesn’t feel good to be in a relationship that constantly leaves you feeling empty and rejected, or to work in an environment where you don’t feel appreciated or to degrade yourself when you look in the mirror even though you’re working out incessantly everyday. …and to stick those things out in order to play it safe??
Shit. Won’t. Work. And doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, yes?
So I want to offer you a different approach: Choose a different kind of discomfort. Let’s commit to living life in a way that works for YOU – your needs, your values, your interests.
It’s uncomfortable to keep doing shit we hate, why not get uncomfortable doing shit that actually excites us and inspires us? Put yourself out there. Let yourself take chances.
I recognize that this is SO much easier said than done. However, there are some things we can do along the way if you’re down with the living a life that feels good approach —
- Give yourself time and space. – There’s no right or wrong answers here but in order for you to figure out your next best move, give yourself some fricken time and space to think about what feels good, what they could look like, what you’re needing right now. Put pen to paper and get writing. There’s something so clarifying and cathartic about this process. Choosing to live a life without
- Do you need a pep talk? Give yourself a gosh darn pep talk. It’s no small feat to commit to living life on your own terms and aligning with what feels true for you, but damn is it powerful and important. It’s okay to feel scared of this unknown. There are going to be people who won’t understand it. Bring yourself back to the bigger picture – Why are you stepping away from that toxic friendship? Why are you quitting the soul sucking job you hate? What’s possible for you if you set a clear boundary with someone taking up all of your mental space?
- Find your cheer squad. Who in your life is rooting for you? Who will cheer you on no matter what happens? Who can you count on to be there when you fall? Friends, family, find a coach or a therapist. Find some of those people, share with them, treasure them and hold them close.
- Start small – You don’t have to go out and quit your job tomorrow (or ever). Start with smaller, more workable shifts in your mindset and your approach to life.
- Get used to course correcting – meaning, get ready to make mistakes. You may make a decision that didn’t bring the results you were hoping for, that’s okay. You never would’ve known if you didn’t try. You’re learning. And hey, at least you’re getting closer to living a life that feels right for you.
You don’t have to have it all together by age 20 something. Go ask all of the “real adults” in your life if they feel like they’ve got it figured out. I’d venture to say they’ll smile and laugh because the truth of the matter is that we’re all unique and we’re all just doing the best we can day after day.
Don’t let your life be a testament to how well you “sucked it up.” You’re made for more than that and I know it. There’s more to life than that. It can be an unsettling approach to go alone, if you’re needing some extra space, guidance, insight, let’s chat!