On a good day, I felt restless. On a bad day, I felt like a caged animal.
Exasperated, I came home from work to my dark, musty, basement apartment – a glaring reminder that I was not just figuratively, but literally, underground. Drowning in student loan debt, I rarely answered my phone because collection agencies were calling me daily. Trying to find my way in the world wasn’t easy. Emotional and practical baggage of difficult family dynamics and estrangement seemed to be hitting me all at once. I felt like a victim of circumstances, dealt an unfortunate hand, profoundly alone in my struggles.
The job I begrudgingly got at an Ivy League university to establish some stability, looked good on paper, but my soul was dying, a little more every day. The last hour or so of each day was especially hard. Often finishing my work early, I’d sit at my desk waiting for the clock on the wall to say 5:00 so I could leave. I absolutely hated that.
Things were done in inefficient ways for no reason other than it’s the way they’d always done it. This felt archaic to me, but rethinking conventions wasn’t welcomed or encouraged. And the starched button-down shirt I wore, because I thought I should, felt like a straight-jacket, a costume that belonged to someone else – but not me. It all felt like an insult to my personal integrity, pride, and instinct for innovation.
I knew I couldn’t stay.
While going through the motions on all the things I thought I was supposed to do, I was losing myself. On autopilot, I’d drive to work, or the grocery store, or the gym (when I could get myself to go) feeling more and more disconnected from who I was. I wasn’t challenged, or inspired. I felt contained, micro-managed, and caught in status quo games that I didn’t want to play.
Truly, I felt like I was drowning, and I knew no one was coming to save me.
Underneath my restlessness and frustration, was a growing sense that I was meant for MORE, that this couldn’t possibly be all I was meant to do, be, or have.
I knew I needed to take the reins and reshape my life, to reshape my reality, to figure out how to not live in a basement apartment forever, to create a life that was my own, that reflected the truth of who I was.
It was from that dark, musty basement apartment that I gazed out that teeny-tiny window with a view of the sidewalk and the tires of cars passing by … and I’d dream.
I dreamed of having the freedom to travel when and where I please. Longing to work from anywhere, I dreamed of having my own location-independent company. I dreamed of a home with lots of natural light. Knowing I had books within me, I dreamed of becoming a bestselling author. I dreamed of wealth on my own terms. I dreamed of finding love. And I dreamed of having time and energy for creativity and play. I dreamed of making a positive impact, serving others in meaningful ways that made their life better. I dreamed of being myself without boundaries.
The voice of my soul, and seeds of my own self-actualization, were surfacing.
There was a huge difference between the caged, soul-crushing, autopilot life I felt constrained and uninspired by, and my dreams.
The problem was I couldn’t figure out HOW and where to find a bridge between the two.
A few things were missing, and when I finally figured those out, everything changed. Quickly.
What was MISSING was…
- Belief that my dreams were possible – that dreams were not just for other people, but for me
- A way to see and transform my blind spots and expand my thinking
I needed to step up for myself, rather than waiting around for things to change, or others to approve. I needed to go from complaining about what my life currently was, to becoming the person that COULD and WOULD move out of it.
What I needed to LEARN was …
- How to manage my energy
- What to do with fear
- How to navigate naysayers
I needed the skills and support to take the REINS on my life, to listen to my heart, and really take ownership of the life I dreamed and envisioned for myself. I needed to get out of my head, stop fear from running the show, and shift my focus from all the seeming limits of my current circumstances to finding strategies and ways forward that I couldn’t yet see but chose to believe were there to be found.
What I needed to DO was …
- Get the right support
- Take brave consistent action
- Show up fully for what I was saying I wanted
I needed support from someone who’d been there. I needed perspective OUTSIDE what I’d already tried, a shift out of what had created the life I had, and into creating the totally different life I wanted.
So, I got support. And I changed my thinking. And I became a different version of me.
Spoiler alert: It worked.
Not only have I achieved my “impossible” dreams and the freedom I so craved, I have built a business and a profoundly fulfilling, decades-long career around helping others rethink conventions, chart their own course, live their dreams, rediscover themselves, and realize what’s possible.
I help you create the life you think you cannot have.
Your dreams, like mine, are fuel on your path to self-actualization.
The first step along the way to THAT life? Want the key to reclaiming what’s missing, to create everything you want for yourself, to finally make that change? >> The Only Skill You Ever Need
PS – You know what doesn’t suck? I’m in San Francisco this week to attend a women’s leadership conference where my company is a sponsor and where my book is featured in the swag bag given to every attendee. 😊 Proof that dreams come true.
Ready for that dream life of yours? Grab my totally free and totally updated Only Skill You Ever Need guide and bonus chapter. It goes through exactly how to KNOW what you want, GET what you want, where to start, and how to face the uncertainty along that climb from where you are now to the life of your dreams.
Brule is not just a sassy word to know, it’s also a word to understand!
On September 23rd, I’ll be sharing something I’ve never before shared publicly: a personal story about navigating a huge blind spot. Other than the exception of a few close friends, I never imagined I’d be telling this story. After some debate, I’ve decided to do it for one reason: it is the best way I know to demonstrate a teaching that has the power to change lives.
So share, I will. And – you’re invited to be in the room when I do.
Inspired by my book, The Brules of Life, I am hosting The Brule Breakers Brunch – a special in-person gathering for people who want to break the “brules” that hold them back from the life they desire.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, “brule” is sassy slang, for bullsh*t rules. 😜 BUT – it’s so much more than a sassy word!
Brules are psychological and behavioral blind spots that impede and prevent people from thriving. And they’re sneaky. They tend to hide in plain sight! (read: We ALL have them!)
Like, for example, “Be independent” is a brule. Independence is a lie. A delusion. A myth. An impossible goal given that the truth of our interdependence is inherent and unavoidable, with evidence of this fact everywhere! (See chapter 7 in The Brules of Life for more on this critical brule to break, especially if you’re someone who feels stubborn pride – as I did before I busted through this brule – about your so-called “independence.”)
The brules that tend to hold us back the most are the ones that SEEM true and therefore go unquestioned and remain a blind spot in your unconscious, impeding you from thriving.
Blind spots happen when “brules” become embodied beliefs.
Understanding the significance of what this word really means and really represents for YOU is critically important to everything you desire in life … because seeing a blind spot and breaking even ONE brule can change the trajectory of your entire life.
It did mine!
Brule is a sassy word to know AND understand!
What if … you are just one shift, one decision, one brule-busting breakthrough away from everything you want?
I will be presenting at a special first-of-its-kind event in Exeter, New Hampshire (1 hour from Boston, 2 hours from Providence, 30 minutes from Portsmouth Airport).
JOIN ME for this special in-person event!
In addition to good food, new friends, raffle prizes and presents, you will learn:
- the applied psychology of brule-breaking
- how to go beyond seeming “limits” to create the life you think you cannot have
- how to powerfully deconstruct any brule
- the top 3 brules to break and how breaking them can open the door to a new kind of freedom.
This is an intimate event – space is very limited.
If you can be there, great! Save your seat here. I can’t wait to see you!
If you can’t be there on September 23 but still want to learn more about brules … I’ve got something for you too: Grab my FREE Book of Brules bonus chapter,The Only Skill You Ever Need. Learn the skill that makes all the difference, especially if dreaming feels carefree in ways that you do not.
Every time I sit down to write to you, my goal is (1) to provide thoughtful ways for you to feel more free and get to know yourself better, (2) to inspire you to trust your dreams more than your fears/more than you did yesterday and (3) offer some ideas for how to develop the personal habits and actions that make those dreams REAL.
In this bonus chapter, I believe I have done all three.
To success on your own terms,
How do you know if a Fear is real or fake? It can sometimes be very difficult to tell the difference!
According to the American Psychological Association, 95% of people do not take action on their dreams because of fear. And – 98% of the fear is unfounded.
At Create Your Life!, we call this a Fauxbia. … “f-a-u-x-b-i-a”.
Faux meaning “fake”… a “fake fear”.
Did you know that fake fears … or unfounded fears … are what prevent 98% of the 95% of people who do not move their dreams into action?
That means that the beliefs that are holding you back – the ones that are generating that fear – are made up! But rather than change or question these Beliefs (which, by the way, are just thoughts that have been thought over and over again), what’s commonly done instead is finding all kinds of practical, rational, reasons not to act.
In other words, we use our rationality as a way to then support our limiting beliefs.
See yourself in any of this? According to the stats, the likelihood is YES!
And it’s a domino effect from there – inaction creates symptoms like procrastination, avoidance, missing that meeting or phone call, not following through on an assignment, rationalizing why things are good enough, or why the timing is wrong, or being immobilized by perfectionism, or thinking things through to the point of “analysis paralysis”. All of these responses are forms of fear’s resistance and they’re also the breeding ground for feelings of frustration, anger, anxiety, loneliness, feeling stuck, victimized, in a place of lack, envious of others… Yuck.
Here’s an alternative to all that…
The key to being bigger than your fear is learning how to integrate it – and ideally even welcome it. This learning process is profoundly empowering and it’s a life-long practice.
Believe it or not, fear can be your friend. Rather than being afraid of your fear, what if you were curious about it instead? Truth is that fear, if welcomed, can propel you forward. It can inspire you to consistently expand beyond those old out-dated beliefs about what you’re really capable of.
To s-t-r-e-t-c-h beyond fear, takes courage! It helps to remember that brave people are NOT without fear. If they were, what in the world would they need bravery for?!?
Fear can be managed and it can be minimized, but it’s not going to disappear altogether. Your dreams and goals are inviting you to step into BEING a bolder, braver, more expansive version of yourself.
The more you shy away from your fear, the more power and influence fear will have over YOU. So, rather than investing your precious energy in fruitless efforts to hide from your fears, pretend they’re not there, or wish them away, why not invite Fear in for a cup of tea. (Camomile, perhaps?)
3 Steps to Go From Fear to Freedom:
The following 3-step process is an adaptation of a technique that, in psychological circles, is known as “flooding.” It is very effective in treating even the most severe phobias – or, in this case, “fauxbias”. 🙂
Done in full, this is a foolproof way to s-t-r-e-t-c-h beyond your fears and take action on even your most daring dreams.
You’ll need: pen, paper, and a willingness to write it out.
1. Get Specific About Your Fear
Before you can stretch beyond your fear, you must know what IT is! Do you know what you’re afraid OF?
Finding the vocabulary to name your fear is a courageous step all its own. Until you bring your awareness to what you are afraid of, that vague yet immobilizing fear will be in your driver’s seat. By naming your fear, you reconnect to your power, because now you see what’s in your way.
On a blank page, ask yourself, “What might happen if I really go for my dream (in that full-blown leap of faith kind of way)?” “What is the worst-case scenario?” and write out your answers in full. Give your fears an uncensored voice, getting it all out on the page. While this may seem like an enormous undertaking, and of course it takes as long as it takes, I’d honestly be surprised if you spend more than 30 minutes on this.
2. Read It Aloud
When you’re done writing, read it out loud, without interruption, ideally to someone you trust. Once you’ve finished, have the person listening ask you, “Are you ready to take action, despite your fears?” Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
If your answer is anything but a full-fledged “Yes!” then read it again, the whole thing. And again. And again. As many times as it takes, each time answering the question at the end: “Are you ready to take action, despite your fears?”
3. Take Aligned Action
Once you’ve determined that, yes, you are indeed ready to take action, despite your fears, then identify one or two clear, challenging-but-doable next steps that you WILL take to move in the direction of your dreams.
There’s no longer any reason to stay stuck. This 3-part exercise will get you unstuck, helping you move from a place of fear and doubt, into the clarity of awareness about WHAT you’re afraid of…and then back into aligned action.
BE courageous. Take this no nonsense, simple, powerful, dream-propelling next step:
–> Submit your answers to my Dream Discovery Questions and receive a complimentary Dream Discovery session with Create Your Life! Founder & Dream Acceleration™ Master Coach, Tara Sage Steeves.
Your dreams will thank you!
First come, first served, so do respond right away before your fearful Inner Naysayer successfully talks you out of why you shouldn’t do this for yourself.
I can’t wait to connect!