As I’m writing this, I’m getting ready to turn 36 years old (whew, I look good though lol). It’s funny that the older I get, the more I want to live my dream life and live life the way I want to. When I was younger, I remember my elders telling me that the older I get, the less I would care about what people think of me.
Growing up, I was the “good girl”, as in I did everything I was told to do. I got great grades in school, went to the best state university in my state (I-L-L,I-N-I stand up lol), went to grad school, got a job in my field in marketing, and was working up the corporate ladder…because, that was what I was told I was supposed to do, right?
Well, let’s jump over to 2020/2021 and we all know what kind of years those were. I realized that I was so unhappy, but most importantly, I did not have any peace in my life. It was almost baffling because as a “good girl”, I thought that because I did all “the things” and exactly what I was told to do, I would reap what I sowed and would gain happiness, peace, and contentment. NOPE.
I found myself developing anxiety, depression, and health issues stemming from stress, and I was just…not in alignment with my life’s purpose, and it showed. Thankfully, during this time, I started my healing journey, and I learned that I was so unhappy with my life because I lacked peace. My life was full of despair, disturbance, and chaos…and I chose to reclaim my power and to live a life of peace.
In order to do this, I had to break some bad habits that I learned while I was a people-pleaser and a “good girl”. In this article, I’m sharing 7 things I stopped doing to have peace in my life.
#1 Comparing Myself to Others
THIS!!! I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but “comparison is truly the thief of joy”, and sometimes the grass isn’t always greener! The older I get, the more I start taking off those rose-colored glasses when I’m scrolling through social media looking at other people’s lives. Not everything is what it seems, and to be completely honest…I find myself not even desiring what other people have (spousal and kids’ responsibilities, homeownership, etc).
All I’m saying is, it’s interesting how a lot of single people want to be “boo’d up” and a lot of “boo’d up” people want to be single again! Also, I cannot tell you how many mothers told me to either delay or don’t even bother having kids! Crazy right?! So, I just stopped comparing myself to what others have and started being more grateful for what I do have! The result…baby, peace and restful nights lol!
#2 Living My Life for Others
Shout out to both my therapist and life coach for helping me through this (hey Dr. Joi and Christine lol) because when we are younger, we want to be the apple of our parents’ eyes and we want them to be proud of us. We want them to be doting parents, and hey, some parents want children that they can brag to their friends about, right?
Well, for me, I did all the things that the adults in my life wanted me to do. I mentioned in my intro that I got all the degrees, and got a great-paying job, but ugh, I was so unhappy! I decided that I didn’t see myself working a typical corporate job, paying bills, then dying.
I want to live my life to the fullest and pursue my true passions (beauty, content creation, and community-building), even if I have to take a pay cut. However, I decided that I valued peace in all areas of my life over having a six-figure job that I absolutely hated!
Looking back, I think 2020 was a pivotal year for a lot of people, as we finally were able to take stock of what truly made us happy! Remember the “Great Resignation”? I was part of that revolution, and even though I’m in a career transition, I wouldn’t trade it if I can preserve my peace. 🙂
#3 Not Caring About My Finances
I mean, what website are you reading this article on? LOL!! Before I became a “City Girl Saver”, ya girl was a “Messy City Girl Spender”, and LORD…I just didn’t care! I vividly remember telling myself “Ugh, I’ll get serious about my finances when I’m 30”, then it became 33, then 34 haha!!
I say all of this to say, that working with Raya, the Great Magician, has been the biggest blessing my money and budget have seen! I mean, time keeps flying by, and we’re not getting any younger (I don’t care how much skincare you use lol), so make sure you get your finances in order to alleviate unnecessary stress and anxiety! Being on a budget has brought me financial peace. 😄
#4 Letting My Past Mistakes Define Me
Again, shout out to my therapist and life coach for this, but I used to let my past mistakes, past relationships, and lack of financial literacy define me, and it kept me stuck from reaching my fullest potential. I know we all say that we don’t want to have regrets in life, but we are human, and what do we do? We make mistakes.
I used to be so negative about myself and self-sabotage my goals because I struggled with sticking to my goals in the past. I was so mean to myself and thought that I would never be able to evolve because I had made too many mistakes. Thankfully through therapy and doing the uncomfortable shadow work, I am now much nicer to myself (I still have my moments), but I can be more present, show myself more grace, and I’m able to make peace with myself.
Now, I can confidently say that I am excited about my future goals and know that I am worthy of living my dream life!
#5 Spending So Much Time on Social Media
Oh, the joys and curses of social media lol! Listen, the way my iPhone tells me about myself with its “screen time recap” is truly embarrassing, but I know I’m not alone on this lol! It got so bad that it prompted me to take a 5-6 month break from social media! I was literally spending half of my waking hours on social media…like, what?
I am a social media professional, but I wasn’t even doing work…I was doom-scrolling and causing myself social media anxiety. Do you know how much time and peace I gained when I rededicated my time to myself and other endeavors that didn’t involve social media? Goodness! There was no pressure for me to keep up with what everyone else was doing (or what I wasn’t doing). More importantly, I did not care what other people were doing on social media!
#6 Ignoring My Creative Side
Remember how I said that I did everything that the older, “wiser” adults told me to do? Well, unfortunately, that included neglecting my creative side because “you’ll be poor” if you choose a creative career over a more stable and respectable career. When I was younger, I always loved expressing myself through the creative arts! I was always on a dance team, participated in musical theater, and LOVED writing (still do *winks*)!
However, I remember telling an older relative that I wanted to pursue a career in beauty (makeup, hair, nails, etc.), and I was immediately met with this response that changed the trajectory of my life and how I viewed myself: “Lena, you make straight A’s in school. You are way too smart to do hair, makeup, and nails. You need a more serious career that will make you money.” *Deep sigh* I was so disappointed and discouraged, and it truly made me feel like being creative was dismissive.
Well fast forward to 35-year-old Lena and I am back to rediscovering what made little Lena happy and that was being creative! It wasn’t just getting good grades in school, but it was actually the creativity in school subjects that allowed me to flourish! There is so much research out there that proves that creative people are some of the smartest people, and I can say that being creative and not ignoring that side of myself has brought peace that no one can take away!
#7 Keeping Toxic People and Jobs in My Life
I’m going to keep this point pretty brief because it’s pretty straightforward, but leaving toxic jobs and people who no longer serve you will make you feel so much better about your life haha! Why keep toxicity in your life when life on Earth is so short? No ma’am, not me, not anymore at least haha!
I understand that we need jobs to pay our bills and sometimes the toxic people in our lives are family, but I encourage you to establish boundaries to preserve your peace! There is no job, no person, no amount of money that will keep me from sleeping at night. Trust me, it’s not worth it. Once you remove these from your life, or again establish strict boundaries, your mental health will thank you for years to come!
I thank God/the Universe for peace. I am thankful for my growth on this healing journey that I am on. I am thankful for having this space to hopefully inspire other women on their journeys so that they too can have peace in their lives! ♥️ 😀
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