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Preparing For A Life Change

Our lives are constantly changing. Sometimes those changes are small ones like getting a haircut, driving a different route to work, or even meeting new people. But as we all know too well, sometimes those changes are big…like crazy big. I’m talking about moving, babies, school, marriage, you name it! Those whoppers can be a lot to take in and even more daunting when you try to think about how to prepare yourself for them. Before we get into just a few simple steps to help all of us feel a little less overwhelmed, let’s talk about why these changes seem SO intimidating.


Most of us find comfort in routine and repetition to some extent. For me, even the routine of my daughter coming into my bed in the morning, asking for her IPad and a cup of milk, then letting me sleep for 30 more minutes is a huge comfort. Life changes always feel like they throw a BIG wrench into that. For example, we have a new baby coming here soon, and whether you have kids of your own or not, I think we all know that is going to change up my morning routine quite a bit! Shaking things up is scary and exciting, but if we can keep focusing on the positive aspects of that change (and trust me you can ALWAYS find some), rather than dwelling on potential negatives we can all get through things a lot smoother.

NOW, onto those three glorious steps!

Prepare
I want to make it very clear that we will never be able to FULLY prepare for a big life change. I’m talking more about preparing to the best of your ability, both mentally and physically. Do research, educate yourself, get the supplies you need, make any necessary arrangements, and envision what things might be like after. The more prepared we can be, the less intimidated we will feel!

Don’t Overthink It
It’s far too easy to get caught up in the obsession of what might go wrong, or how fantastic things will be once this change comes to fruition. I am a firm believer that it’s good to try to envision briefly the different outcomes, but harmful to set certain standards of “this is how it’s going to be!”. The truth is we just don’t know what it’s going to be like, and it will be far less stressful if we focus on the things we can manage here in the present.

Confidence & Trust
You need to be able to have confidence and trust in how you’ll handle things when the time comes. I promise you, from the bottom of my heart, that we are ALL capable of far more than we may give ourselves credit for. We were built to adapt to any given situation and your own life changing pace is no exception.


Life is always challenging us by changing directions and it is truly a beautiful thing. Whether you see it as a negative or a positive is entirely in your hands.


4 Ways To Balance Work & Life

Whether you work the 9-5 grind, or you’re rocking your very own business, you have a personal life to balance along with it. I’m a work at home momma with a business of my own, and trust me I feel you. Striving for balance is what I do on the daily. The one thing I always remind myself of, is that I’ll never have the two perfectly balanced all the time, and that’s okay. For me some days are more mom focused, while others are all about productive work time. You’ll go through ebbs and flows, which is the perfect way to not get burnt out on either.
 
Prioritizing

Seems simple enough, right? But I’m not just talking about To Do lists and planning what needs to get done in the day. Although, don’t get me wrong, those things will help keep your day to day more structured! Take a deeper look, and figure out what it is that’s important to you. Do you have a work project you’re striving towards getting done? Maybe you want to focus on spending more time with family and friends? Focus on making the time, so those things can happen - allowing you to feel happy!

Ask for Help

Never be afraid to ask for help. I can tell you whole heartedly that this is a huge one for me right now! Sometimes we feel like we can manage it all, and maybe we can, but a helping hand here and there is going to bring you so much closer to that balance. The beauty is, that help could come on the work end OR the personal end of things.

Knowing When to Back Away

When you’re getting frustrated, feeling stuck, or are just downright tired – back off for a bit. Go for a walk, change up what you’re doing, and show yourself some love. Heck, take a moment to sit and take some deep breaths! Constantly trying to tackle something when our bodies aren’t up to handling it, isn’t productive. Whether you take 5 minutes, or even an hour to reset. You’ll come back with a clearer head, ready to get back to it!

Find Your System

Not every system works the same for everyone. I know people who will get up at 5am. They start rocking and rolling to get done what they need to. For me, that just doesn’t work. But, I can stay up until 3am being insanely productive. Maybe you’re the kind of person who schedules the day out hour by hour, or you have a list of things to tackle, and make them happen as you see fit. Find what drops that stress level, and gives you the best balance. That system may change over time, and that’s find too. Do what works best for you right now.


Try to always be aware if you feel like work is overtaking personal time, or visa versa. Noticing that your balance is off is the first step in helping you regain it.

Don't Be Afraid To Be Weird

We’re all different. We all have quirks. Let’s be honest, we are all a little bit weird. I’ll tell you right now, being weird is an amazing thing! I don’t know if it’s my personality, the way my parents raised me, or other outside circumstances – but I’m usually not one to hide what makes me different.

Take a minute, and think about things you might do, or say, that you might tuck away and hide from others (and no I’m not talking about in a professional setting. That’s a whole other ball game!). Now ask yourself, why do you hide it? Do you think you’ll be embarrassed? Maybe, someone won’t want to talk to you if they find out that you’re … a little weird?

OWN IT!

I can’t tell you how much more confident it makes me when I stand by my quirks, and am proud of them! I know what you might be thinking. She can’t be that weird. It’s probably not that bad. Let the list begin…

-I burp louder than most men.

-My hiccups sound so outrageous, that I am literally KNOWN for them.

-I have multiple collections of dead things around my house. And yes, proudly displayed.

-I am really good at making ridiculous faces (and I tend to do them for photo’s more often than smiling).

I could keep going, but let’s just call it good at that. I firmly believe that owning what makes you weird (and honestly, makes you unique, and who you are) helps you build stronger relationships. If you have to alter what makes you fun, different, unique, or an individual for another person, then I promise you they are not going to last, and aren’t worth your time. Because I am confident in my crazy self, I landed a husband who admires and loves all of those traits. Along with feeling comfortable being his own crazy self too. Ironically, we had both come out of previous relationships where we couldn’t truly be who we are. Talk about refreshing!

Let people in, be honest, and seriously … learn to laugh at yourself. I know firsthand, putting how weird you are out there isn’t all icing and rainbows. People might make judgement, or say hurtful things. Do you know why they do that? Your confidence scares them. Maybe, they don’t feel the most confident in themselves – and that’s their problem. But I promise you, stand your ground, be yourself, and you will attract the right kind of people for you.

4 Ways To Start Loving Yourself

What does loving yourself really mean? It entails taking care of your needs (mentally and physically), living in a positive space, and comes with a sense of confidence. Most of us spend so much of our time making sure things get done, and taking care of others first, that we put ourselves on the back burner. Believe me, this will catch up to you every single time.

Loving yourself seems simple enough, right? Often, us ladies associate self-love with physical appearance and it really is about so much more than that. Now, I’m totally there with you if sometimes just putting on a little make up, and getting out of those yoga pants (even when you have absolutely no plans) helps give you a little boost. The problem is that we tend to look for approval from other people to boost ourselves, when we’re perfectly capable of doing that all on our own.

4 Ways to Start Loving Yourself

Accepting Your “Flaws”

Yes, I put “flaws” in quotes, because so often we use and hear that word, and I think it’s an awful one! I used to call my "larger than life" teeth, smile, and ears a flaw. Maybe you think that roll of fluff on your belly is a flaw, or the way your hair is too curly or too straight is one as well. That’s where your wrong. These unique traits make us beautiful in our own way, and we need to love, respect, and accept that. If someone has an issue with a certain aspect of your beauty, trust me, they are not worth your time.

Do Things That Make You Happy

Like I said before, we too often focus on taking care of others, or making sure all our daily tasks get done, and at the sacrifice of doing things that really make us happy. It’s amazing how taking a little time to do small but meaningful things can boost our happiness. For me, that looks like squeezing in a 20 min yoga session, going out of my way to make healthy snacks from scratch, and even chatting with a good friend on the phone regularly.

Stop Comparing Yourself

I don’t know exactly when or how it began, but we started feeding off this idea that we all need to act similar, look a certain way, or be interested in the same things to reach this state of perfection – to be liked by others. The beautiful thing about all of us though, is that we’re different! Of course, we still have certain things in common with others, but we shouldn’t be striving to change ourselves to fit a mold that’s maybe not comfortable. Embrace what makes you unique, and let it fuel you.

Embrace Change

We get older, our interests shift, and we grow. Change isn’t a bad thing; every single person experiences it. I think our pasts aren’t something to dwell on but to learn from. The more we hold onto things that were, or should have been, the unhappier we become.

One of the biggest things that’s helped put me in a positive space, and help me learn to accept and love myself, is by showing other people the same care. I do my best to cut out initial judgement of people, and focus more on what makes them stand out – of course in a good way! Share those things with other women. It’s amazing how sometimes the simple act of lifting each other, can help us lift ourselves.

Watch Your Language

I used to be queen bee of cussing, saying inappropriate things, and could find something negative in every situation or person. I'm so appreciative that I've taught myself how to flip the script and change my language so that my outlook is far more positive!

I'm not going to stand (let's get real...I'm sitting in my bed) here and tell you that I don't ever cuss, make a dirty joke, or have a negative word slip out of my mouth now. It still happens from time to time but not in excess and not from a place of not having control. When we can learn to be in control of the way we speak about ourselves and others it opens up a world of possibilities.

It all boils down to switching your negative language into a positive one. It's a simple strategy that can be implemented in so many ways which I'll touch on below. Then you can start seeing the world through glasses that are a little more rose colored.

Eventually this new language becomes habit and you'll find yourself getting rid of older negative language that kept your mind in a worse off space. The key is to not expect yourself to cut the crap overnight, it's a gradual transition. Just as if you were to learn a new language like Spanish or German it takes repetition and incorporating those words into your daily life so that you can relate to them.

Here are some steps to start flipping your own script:

1) Start listening to language.

You can start trying to listen to how often you speak positively or negatively about yourself, others, situations, or places. This might be a little tricky to pick up on at first so also consider listening to how other people speak. Be an unbiased listener with no emotional ties to the words and see what you pick up on.

2) Bring on the key words.

Start incorporating uplifting keywords or phrases into your daily speaking or writing. I am beautiful. I am kind. This is awesome! I am grateful for... Tailor these to whatever resonates with you most. Say them in your head, out loud, to someone else, to yourself in a mirror, etc. Just start saying them often!

3) Watch out for sneaky negatives.

Sometimes negative thoughts or words don't seem outright mean but rather they can be riddled with doubt. We want to shift away from I can't, I try, it's hard, I'm not, I'll never, impossible, etc. I'm doing things now I used to be convinced weren't possible, and it's all because of a change in language which leads to a change in mindset.

4) Be mindful of your company.

The company you keep has a huge influence on you! If you start to notice the people you're around speak negatively pretty often you may want to find a new tribe, make a little distance, or even point it out to them or speak in a more positive manner to help them do the same!

5) Say it until you believe it.

Don't get this one twisted thinking that you need to "fake it until you make it" or that the positive words are a lie you're making yourself believe, because that's just not true. Getting more positive might feel new and awkward at first but with practice you will say amazingly nice things to yourself and others with strength in your voice.

 6) Get used to the replacing game at first.

Don't expect the initial negative thoughts to just disappear for a little while. It's okay that they pop in there for a second, but it's up to you to decide to replace it with something more positive. After a while you'll notice that you don't say those nasty thoughts nearly as often if at all.

Are You Capable?

It can seem so defeating sometimes when we look at people that have what we want, they've reached where we want to be, or are doing things we've never done.

They might make it seem easy, effortless, lucky, or backed by privilege. But the wonderful reality that we tend to overlook is - if they can do it, so can we. We have to stop looking at others through envy, jealousy, disdain, defeat, or feeling the impossible.

Negativity didn't get them to where they are, and it won't get you to where you want to be.

Working through change, reaching a goal, creating a new habit, or changing the way you see and think doesn't come without some struggle. So here's what you need to ask yourself:

-Can you forgive yourself for falling?
-Will you find the light in a seemingly dark situation?
-Are you prepared to try, and then try again?
-Can you let go of excuses?
-Are you willing to learn with an open mind?
-Do you want it badly for yourself?

If you answered yes to any of those, then you are capable.

Capable of amazing things. Capable of changing yourself. Capable of changing your world. Capable of love, patience, peace, understanding, trusting, strength, courage....you are capable of anything and everything.

To be capable doesn't mean having the strength, tools, or mindset to do it right now. Being capable means being willing to get there no matter what. It might be easy, it might be hard - and a lot of that is going to depend on you.

I know it can be scary and pretty daunting to make a move towards bettering your life (seems kind of backwards right?). We've grown familiar with how we think, how we feel, how our life looks, and who we've been around others. We might be worried about how hard change might be or the feelings we'll face that are bound to pop up. People might have some kind of judgement or they won't see us the same.

All of that is okay because you are capable of working through every little piece that might feel uncomfortable. Facing the past, thriving in the present, and changing your future are all in your hands. And if you're still uneasy about it, find comfort in the fact that we live in an incredible day and age where support is all around us.

Don't ever underestimate how incredibly capable you are. I used to, and it got me no where. Making any kind of progress in your life starts with being able to believe in yourself, no matter how little.

Advice For Younger Me

I am a firm believer that I needed to go through everything I did (struggling with bipolar, suicide attempts, low self esteem, unhealthy relationships, etc.) to get to the point I'm at today. I was offered support and guidance that I didn't allow in at it's fullest potential, it was a harder path by choice. I didn't realize that then, but I do now.

So here's a letter I would write to a younger me that was willing to listen. My life wouldn't look nearly like what it does now, but maybe if something would have clicked back then I would have been living a happier and more empowered life a whole lot sooner.

Dear Olivia,

Life sucks right? People say hurtful things, responsibility isn't much fun, it's way easier to say yes to what everyone else is doing then to say no and risk being friendless. Putting on a face for other people is necessary, but dealing with your feelings is hard. Being different doesn't make you cool, but is being cool as glamorous as it looks? What is really right and what is actually wrong? Because everyone seems to have their own opinion. You're just a kid, you don't get a say. Do you really have any control?

You'll never believe this, but you do. People say hurtful things but really they're the one's hurting. Responsibility isn't much fun but it will keep you wise. It's way easier to say yes to what everyone else is doing, but it feels so much better having confidence when saying no - because people that are truly your friend won't mind. Putting on a face for other people is way more work than being true to how you feel. Being different doesn't make you cool, it makes you one of a kind. What is right and what is wrong - what does your gut tell you? You're just a kid, and you get all the say in what kind of person you choose to be. You have more control than you think.

You don't have to be the victim, or the rebel. You can be whoever you want to be. When I ask you, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I don't want you to reply with a job title or career path, I want you to tell me what kind of person you want to be. You can start working towards being that person now. You are not just a kid, you are a human being with a beating heart, and an incredible brain, who has the will power to be her own biggest hero.

Does life really suck? You tell me.

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