Simple Tips for Journaling

I have journaled off and on since I was a young teen. At first, I think I started journaling after reading Anne of Green Gables, because writing in a journal seemed like the most “romantical” thing to do. 😂 Many days were spent scribbling away the silly thoughts and dramas that all teens go through. I filled book after book… and usually threw them away as soon as they were full.

Since the teenage drama days, journaling has become an almost necessary part of my life. I use it to pray, to think… and sometimes to vent. 😬 There’s something soothing to me about putting words on an empty page. It helps me step away from the clutter inside my head, and to sort it all out on paper. Journaling has been a lifeline for me… it’s a safe place where I can be myself. I talk to Jesus, scribble out mind maps, figure out marriage, motherhood, and write about LIFE, really.

If you’ve always wanted to write a journal, but have never started (or have never stuck with it after a few weeks)… then this is right where you belong! Before you get started with journaling, you’re going to need a few simple supplies:

 

  1. A Journal –

    Doesn’t have to be anything fancy! I usually buy mine from the craft store or Target! Whenever I see that I’m getting close to the end of one, I hunt for a new one whenever I’m out shopping. I prefer college-lined journals, because I don’t like the wasted space of bigger lines.

  2. A Pen –

    This is entirely up to your preference! I really like black Pilot G2 pens. They are smooth and last a really long time. Make sure to buy some extras of your favorite pen next time you’re out shopping… you’re going to need more. 🙂

  3. Coffee –

    This one might just be me… 😂 I can’t journal until I’ve had at least one good cup of coffee! A hot cup o’ joe seems to help my creative juices flow, and it makes me feel cozy and settled, too.

Now that we’ve got our supplies… let’s get ready to journal!


  • Start with Journaling a few days Each Week.

    Don’t overwhelm yourself with grand plans to write every day. Try to write 2-3 days a week, and if you miss a few (or all of them!), don’t stress about it! The goal is to make this a habit, so you can either record tidbits of life that you want to remember, or have a place that is completely your own in the midst of busy.

  • Set aside a Time & Place.

    Always, ALWAYS choose a time and a place to write. Creating a specific margin for your writing time makes it easier to stay consistent. I like to journal first thing in the morning (before the kids are awake), and in my spot on the couch… armed with a cup of coffee. I’m totally up for moving my space to the great outdoors if the weather is pretty, though!

  •  Follow your Inspiration!

    If a prompt doesn’t line up with whatever is on your mind or heart that day, just do your OWN thing! Journals are a great place to share things that are closest to your heart, and it’s okay if you need to do your own thing… in fact, that’s the best way to journal!

  • Be creative!

    If you’re the artistic type, then draw alongside your journaling! Or, illustrate a topic instead of writing! You can scrapbook in your journal, use collage or wash tape… whatever inspires you to keep going in the journey.

 

I hope this helps you begin to make journaling a lifestyle, and that it will inspire you to make space in your life for writing down your thoughts, ideas, and dreams. Happy writing, friend!

 

How about you: Have you always been into journaling, or are you
interested in getting started? I’d love to chat in the comments!

 



Rising Tide Society Gift Guide 2017!

A few months ago, I decided to try entering the Rising Tide Society’s 2017 Gift Guide. It seemed like a good idea, and the entry fees went to a good cause (helping with the hurricanes that battered the south late this summer). Well… a few weeks ago, I heard the news:

Chasing Wonderment was accepted!

This gift guide has over 100 handmade artists included; with incredible talents and products! It’s a great starting-point for buying handmade this Christmas as you start crossing off the present list. I hope you’ll take a look, share the gift guide with friends (please share it on Facebook!), and have fun shopping!

 

Find Your Wild Tank - Super-soft slouchy tank, made from 50% Polyester/25% Combed Ringspun Cotton/25% Rayon, in Dark Charcoal Grey. Available in 5 Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE GIFT GUIDE!

 


If you’re interested in purchasing Christmas gifts from Chasing Wonderment,
enter your e-mail below to get a 15% off coupon in your inbox!


Rediscovering Creativity.

I recently realized something: I’ve forgotten to enjoy creativity.

Somehow, in the midst of trying to grow a creative business, raising toddlers, and running a home… I’d forgotten one of the most important things in life (to me): Living Creatively. I realized it as I watched Elise create her new course “Encouraging Creative Kids.” While I saw that it was hard work, I also got to see her absolutely engrossed in the process of creating. And then I had a lightbulb moment:

I’m not having much fun.

Sure, I’m doing everything I could have ever wanted in life. But somehow… I let the process steal my joy & creativity away from me. So, this past week, I’ve thought a LOT about what I miss. What I love. I’ve discovered that I really miss doing those random projects that completely inspire me. I’ve always been a spur-of-the-moment kind of creator, and have tried to curb that (in the name of staying on task). While staying on task is great, it’s not so great if it zaps your joy.

I also realized that I miss the OLD way of blogging. When I was a teen, I had a blog on xanga (yep, totally just dated myself there. 😂), and absolutely LOVED it. I wrote about random things that I love, and developed a small community. It was more like a easy-going journal, rather than a “blog”. The ideas were never lacking, and dreading sitting in front of the computer wasn’t an issue. It needs to be more like that.

Rediscovering Creativity

 

After having realized all of these things, I’m making some changes. Sure, they might be small… but they’re pretty big for me. I’m going to chill out and stop pressuring myself to blog, and instead treat this space as a creative journal. I’m planning to incorporate more adventure and creativity into my life, and you guys will get to see that (hopefully). ☺️ I’ve changed the link at the top of this website to “JOURNAL” up at the top to reflect my heart for this space.

The other thing I’m starting is to make time for the creative freedom that I so love. Last weekend, I got a wild idea to slipcover our loveseat. I almost talked myself out of it… because, TIME, and “It’s going to be complicated,” blah, Blah, BLAH. I’m really glad I started cutting that plaid upholstery fabric. The couch looks better than ever, and it’s only 2/3 of the way done! 😆

I only have the cushion left to cover… the new plaid looks SO much better than that old (stained) diamond pattern, though!

I also just finished embroidering myself a Chasing Wonderment hat. The best part? I can promote my business – while simultaneously covering up greasy Mom hair. 😂

Anyone interested in a Chasing Wonderment hat? I’m looking into having these made to sell…

The best news of all: I’m planning a small winter line for the shop! I can’t wait to start the process, make my new screens, and start seeing the ideas in my head coming to life. 😍 Stay tuned, because it will be all things adventuresome, wintry, and wonderful.

It’s time for me to enjoy creativity again. To make time for EVERYTHING that I love, and not get so caught up in my to-do list.

 

How about you? Have you found yourself getting so caught up with
daily life that you’ve forgotten to make time for something you love?

Easily Distracted…

These past few days have been an absolute JOY. No, really; after a few days of laying on the couch with some sort of stomach bug, it feels good to move around again. To wash the dishes, get the laundry tucked away in drawers. I’m also trying to cut back on the kid’s TV time. They were completely cranky about it for a few days, but they are FINALLY starting to play better and use their imaginations. 🙌🏻  The house is blissfully quiet, and this Mama is a happy camper. 😌

My brain is a never-ending cycle of ideas. It’s on auto-pilot, constantly getting distracted and thinking of new things. I struggle with distractions, but they can also be a good thing. When it’s not a good thing, the cycle goes something like this:

“Oh! I need to cook dinner! Wait… this pin on Pinterest looks good…. sucked down the internet rabbit hole… What was I doing? OH! YES! Dinner. *heads into kitchen* First, I have to wash the dishes… oh! the laundry! Hubs needs his good jeans for the weekend…”

(40 minutes later, I’m finally starting dinner and Miss T is HANGRY.)

The wall I keep getting distracted from decorating. It’s awaiting a family picture… and more ideas.

Such is life.

When it’s a good thing, it’s more like this:

“Oh! That’s a really good idea! Let me write this in my bullet journal. Oh yes, dinner! I’ll start it early so I’m not stressed later… First, I have to get to a stopping point with this work. Good! Done. Oh! That’s a really good idea for a shirt! Let me write it down… Now, on to DINNER…”

A never-ending cycle of ideas. Jotting them down, forgetting half of them, getting distracted (again). Focus has never been my strong suit, but I’m slowly getting better.

Selfies make me feel so awkward…  

My cycles of “not good” distractions have gotten SO much better since I’ve started bullet journaling. I still get off-track, but having one spot to write ALL the ideas that fly through my head in one day is SO good. Sometimes they get added to my to-do list; other times they just get scribbled down for a future brainstorming session.

Late-night creative session. I get in a good flow around 10 or 11 at night.

All in all, it’s probably a blessing that I constantly have new ideas. If I didn’t, I’d be bored out of my mind! I’m currently planning a new collection for winter, designing shirts for a friend, embroidering a hat for myself, and re-doing some of the packaging for the shop. All while staying home full-time with the kids, and attempting to keep the house clean. Yep. It’s cRAzY inside this scattered head of mine. 😆

 


Do you get easily distracted, or are you skilled at staying focused?
Do you have any tips for staying focused? (I’m always looking for ideas! 😆)
👇🏻 Let’s chat in the comments below!👇🏻

I am Both.

I am a wandering soul. There’s nothing I love more than the open road, good company, and snacks. If there’s not enough adventure in my life, I quickly feel bored and stuck.

I am also a homebody. To me, there’s nothing better than a cozy blanket, a good cup of coffee, and my favorite journal.

Here’s the problem: I get sucked into the trap of comparison FAR too easily. I see the amazing adventures of friends I follow on Instagram, and wish that I was more outdoorsy. Then I see the cozy creativity of my introverted, homebody friends often makes me wish I wasn’t such a gypsy.

Somehow, they can both co-exist. I can be wholly me. I am both quiet and loud. Hyper and relaxed. Excited and bored. These complete opposites often make me feel like I’m being pulled in two opposite directions. On one hand, I long for crazy adventures, climbing mountains and traveling down the road armed with only a tent and a sleeping bag. On the other hand, I hate hot weather and mosquitoes and spiders.

Somehow I am both. Somehow, I equally adore adventures in the wild, and staying at home for days with knitting needles and my toddlers. This is MY kind of wild. It’s a beautiful blend of cozy and adventure, comfortable and new… and it’s me.

And it’s OKAY. It’s okay to feel pulled in both directions, because that’s part of what makes me… well, Me. There will be days where I’m wild and crazy, and days full of quiet and introversion. I can be both, and I don’t have to be like anyone else. Mostly, I just have to live fully, and embrace who I’m meant to be. I can be an adventuring-homebody.

 

I am Both.

 


How about you? Do you ever struggle with comparing
yourself to other people? How do you find rest in who you are? 

 

Life Lately.

Today… absolutely NOTHING has been accomplished. My #chasingwonderment project over on Instagram got derailed by a puking toddler. Colds and snot and baby bellies don’t mix well. 😕 The house is a disaster. Dinner is late. Sarah & Duck have been playing on repeat…

Sick days are good for naps.

But it’s been a good day. My friend came over and we laughed while the kids played. I snuggled my tiny humans. It was just good to slow down. Right now, I’m managing to burn dinner on the stove while Miss T throws her 82nd tantrum of the day (it’s about MegaBlocks, by the way). Yay Me! 😂

Sometimes I just need a good reminder to slow down. To do something crazy, like Hubs and I did on Saturday night when we packed up the kids and went to an old car show. We didn’t get home until midnight. It was SO much fun! Then on Sunday we slept in, at breakfast together, and headed to IKEA. We wore the kids out, ate yummy food, and bought plasticware. #adulting

Babe, lean down so you are in the picture! (Short girl problems)

This past weekend has made me see that growth is happening. Sometimes I feel stuck, because my adventure-loving heart gets bogged down by the daily-ness of life. I have felt like this year is the year for growth… but each day often feels the same. In all honesty, daily life isn’t always that glamorous.

But with the changing of seasons comes the realization that I also need to change, to grow. I let myself get so stuck by staying at home. By doing NOTHING, I am wasting EVERYTHING. Everything I have is right here, right now. Dreaming of the future is no good if the present isn’t full of the good stuff in life.

So, I slow down. Breathe in and out, make spaghetti for dinner, because it’s easy. Another cup of coffee. Another hug for the sobbing toddler (this time because I told her she couldn’t climb into the laundry basket to attack my sewing machine). I’m hatching a plan to go on a walk at a local park this week… letting little legs run off energy and enjoying the beauty of nature.

I need to get out more.

It’s time for change. For growth. Time to embrace this season of tantrums and snuggles, and enjoy the times slow and adventure. This is life. This is what chasing wonderment looks like for me… how about you?

 

I would really love to chat with you… what’s one thing you
would like to add to daily life to create more wonderment?


Fighting Hatred.

It’s easy to hate. To let the rage out and unload everything on someone else. To lose your temper, to take your rage and throw it on everyone else around you. We see it every day, in the shootings, the tragedies, the wars. Broken friendships because of stupid fights, and families who can’t seem to get along over Thanksgiving Dinner.

Hate is the easy way out.

Love is so much harder than hate. It’s much harder to look at someone who has hurt you and respond in kindness. It’s a lot harder to stop yourself in the middle of an argument with your spouse, and put yourself in their shoes. To stop and realize where someone has come from, what they have been through, and realizing that their opinion matters.

 

My heart is aching over all these recent tragedies. All I keep thinking is “If we could just learn how to REALLY love.” I know, I know… I sound like one of those hippies from the 70’s. I’m the girl that constantly wants to tell people “All you need is LOVE.”

Because it’s true.

 

Love is giving up what you want for someone else. Love is setting aside your own agenda so you can lift up others. It’s letting go of your pride, and saying “I’m sorry.” Real love is a constant process of letting go, of stretching until it hurts, and covering every hurtful action with a thick blanket of GRACE. Real love is patient. It is kind.

 

It hurts me so badly when I hear of people who don’t know how to get rid of the pain they hold so deeply. I have experienced deep pain and anger… and believe me, it’s not easy to let go of. What must people have experienced that leads them to do such cruel things in this world? What kind of childhood did they have, what kind of hatred have they been taught?

 

 

I don’t understand why this hatred and hurt happens. But I do know what we are capable of: LOVE. In the midst of all the hatred and anger in the world, let’s be the voice of love. The constant indwelling of Jesus in this world. Jesus DIED because of love… would we be willing to do the same?

 

What act of kindness can you do today?

I’d love to hear one way you plan on spreading love today in the
face of all the hatred we’ve seen this week. Comment below 👇🏻

I’m joining the Write 31 Days Challenge!

Hello friend!

I’m just hopping on here really quickly to tell you that I’m joining in a super-fun challenge for the month of October! Each day I’ll be posting a tidbit over on Instagram with inspiration for living well.

 

If you’d like to read each day, just check my instagram feed each morning, or search the hashtag #chasingwonderment !

 

All the photographs for this series are by Samantha Jane Photography.
(And they are STUNNING!)

 


Live Adventurously: What are you Waiting For?

Focusing on the miserable stuff in life. I’ve done it myself. The kids fight for days, and I’m feeling cranky, blah, blah blah… It’s hard to get out of the rut of “everything is awful.” (Believe me, I know.) I have wasted so much time wishing that I could live adventurously, waiting for the good stuff to happen. Waiting. Hoping that life will turn around. When you’re in the middle of the hard stuff of life, it’s sometimes hard to see the bigger picture. Sometimes you just can’t see the forest for the trees.

 

I’ve spent a few years wishing that life could be better. When I was single, I told myself “Once I get married, it will ALL be different!” Then marriage happened, and NEWSFLASH marriage was hard, too. “When we have kids, it will all be better!” then “When we get in the new house, it will ALL be different.” No matter where I am in life, I have always struggled with longing for something better.. something more. I thought I had struggled with contentment, but it’s not usually rooted in discontent. It’s because I’m a forward thinker. There’s exciting stuff out there in the world, and I want to be a part of it. I don’t want to miss it. Constantly hoping for something more exciting. Something bigger… something… BETTER. Adventure has to be out there, right?

If I can just get through this day… the end of this week, then maybe I’ll live adventurously.

 

But there comes a point where we have to make a choice. We can choose to stay stuck where we are. Longing for something different, something better. Sometimes we’re unwilling to make the change, too stubborn to get out of our own way. Other times we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, even though it’s super close by. It’s right around the corner. Maybe you need to turn off Netflix, put down the ice cream, and actually write down your bucket list.

My bucket list is a long one… I’m a gypsy at heart, and there’s nothing I love more than a good adventure, a long car ride, and a stunning view. I’ll try just about anything if it might be fun. (Nothing to do with extreme sports, though!) Someday I’ll get to see places far away. But there are plenty of places right here. There are incredible places only a few hours away, and all I really need to do is stop wasting time watching TV and get in the car.

Because, really: the only thing holding me back from chasing those big, exciting dreams down is ME. I can go on adventures NOW. We SHOULD live adventurously now. I want to chase the sunset. Ride an old train. See the leaves turning the most vibrant colors in new England. Right now, I can pack the family in the car and go for a drive down long, winding backroads. Hire a babysitter (or ask a grandma 😬) and go to an incredible hiking trail. I don’t have to wait.

You don’t have to wait.

 

I want to start planning big adventures NOW. While the romance of living a full life feels so young and fresh. There’s nothing quite as freeing as realizing that you don’t have to wait any longer. Stop making excuses. Turn off the television. Buy a few snacks and put some fuel in the car. Put on your sneakers and go. (Don’t forget to bring some good music!)

Live Adventurously: What are you Waiting for?

Here are some of the excuses I’ve made for not chasing wonderment:

“So-and-so won’t go with me.” Yes… AND? Do you need them to go with you? I understand if you want them to experience something amazing beside you. Sometimes those you love aren’t the adventuring type. I bet if you just decided to go, they’d figure out a way to go with you. And if not, they’d probably complain the whole time anyway. 😏

“We don’t have the money right now.” This is a lame excuse, my friend. There are SO many things you can do for FREE, right near your home. Walk the trails at the local state park. Visit the beach, drive down backroads and buy ice cream at a local creamery. You can always find SOMETHING to do, no matter where you live.

“I don’t know what to do.” Have you ever had those times when you feel like doing something, but have NO good ideas? Here’s what you do: write a bucket list in your bullet journal or planner! Whenever you need ideas, flip over to it, and Viola! Instant vault of amazing places to visit, things to experience, and adventures to chase.

 

I’m tired of waiting until it’s the “right time” to go on adventures, while the days and weeks slip by so quickly. NOW is definitely the best time to live adventurously!

 

What are you waiting for?

I would love to chat more about this: Do you struggle with waiting for the exciting stuff of life?
Do you think it’s a lack of contentment, or are you being held back (by yourself or others)?


Embracing Everyday Moments

I get so busy. Running here and there, trying to do ALL the things… honestly, getting very little done. I looked up and realized that somehow my babies are toddlers. Took a breath, and another week was gone. I stopped for a minute, and realized a month had flown by, and I hadn’t gone on a date with my guy.

Embracing Everyday Moments - if we aren't living in the present, the time we waste is so permanently Gone. Click to read more!

 

 

When did life get so busy that I forgot to embrace everyday moments?

Here’s the hard truth: I only get to do this life once. Sometimes the days feel long and I fill them up with busywork or wish for the weekend to come around again. Confession: I get WAY too caught up in my to-do list. All those things that have to be done seem to get in my way. I get so focused on planning for the future that I forget to enjoy the blessings right in front of my face. But these days are fleeting, and I’ll never get them back.

These daily moments are all we have. Each day, month, and year are lived out in moments. Are we embracing them fully, or wasting them? Some of my favorite memories are the times that were spent slowing down. Sitting on the front steps with my Nana, listening to the birds sing and sipping our coffee. Staying up super late to go on a date with Hubs. Rocking on the front porch with the family and listening to everyone tell stories about the “good ole’ days”.

Embracing Everyday Moments - if we aren't living in the present, the time we waste is so permanently Gone. Click to read more!

How, then can we purpose to notice the moments we have?

The best thing I can do is to just take a step back. I have to remind myself to be present each and every day. Take the time to see the sweet, simple things of each day. Stepping back requires a mindset change. It means that I need to be more willing to notice everyday moments, instead of focusing on the busywork of life.

I also need to set my focus on relationships (and not on daily tasks). Sure, the work still has to be done. But will I waste time worrying and fretting over not getting it all done, or will I stop and watch the kids play together? I want to create space to notice and focus on the sweet moments, and quit stressing over the other things. In the end, which is going to matter more: the lives we touch, or the accomplishments notched onto our belts?

SLOW. DOWN. Seriously. I get so caught up in the rat race of living… my brain never stops thinking of all the things I’m supposed to be doing to take care of a home, raise the kids, and run a business. It’s a never-ending cycle! I’m also crazy-forgetful, which doesn’t help, because I forget half of the things I need to do, and then have to think about them over and over until they get done. 😂 Focusing on slow living really helps me make everyday moments a priority.

Embracing Everyday Moments - if we aren't living in the present, the time we waste is so permanently Gone. Click to read more!

Sometimes I just need to make time. The pressures of life will never really go away… as my Nana Anne used to say “It will be there in the morning!” (She usually told my Mom this if she wanted us to go yardsaling, and we were supposed to do homework. 😆) There are times when the chores should be put on hold so I can go to a friend’s house or let the kids smear play-dough all over the table.

Embracing Everyday Moments - if we aren't living in the present, the time we waste is so permanently Gone. Click to read more!

These everyday moments are where it’s at. That’s where the good stuff of life is found. The everyday moments, like when you first noticed that cute guy and started falling in love. When you realize just how much your grandfather has experienced, and wonder if anyone has taken the time to write it down. That time your turned around and caught your toddlers hugging each other (instead of fighting)! These moments are where we find joy. They make up the best ways that we can connect and relate to those closest to us.

 

Tell me; how are you going to make time for more moments this week?

Do More Than Just Exist: Curate a Life You LOVE.

In this age of social media and having an online presence, we can get caught up in the “perfection” of it all. We curate Everything. How people see us, what we say and don’t say. How others see our lives on social media and in public. Curating our online presence isn’t always a BAD thing… I don’t want to share all about every crummy day that I have. I make a choice to not share things that aren’t uplifting and life-giving.

But I want to ask:
Are we curating our daily lives?

Let me explain:

I believe that we can curate a life that we love. We have the power to choose what we focus on; whether it’s the good, or the bad. We can select the things we want to allow space in our lives. You have the ability to choose the beauty, meaningful work, and the lifestyle that lights you up inside. Organizing happens when we decide what is most important in our lives, & we begin to create systems and rhythms that help us enjoy our daily lives more. We can present the world to ourselves in a beautiful light, or we can focus on the negative and be miserable.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not talking about a perfect life. Life happens. Relationships and emotions and EVERYTHING can be complicated. It’s not something that we can avoid. I’m not telling you that you can have a “pinterest-perfect” life, but I am telling you that it’s possible to love this amazing thing we call life. Life can be more than just going through the motions of each day, checking off that to-do list, and starting over again the next morning.

Curate a Life you Love - I'm not talking about a perfect life, but life can be more than just going through the motions every day.


So… how can we Curate a Life we Love?

 

Be Willing to Say NO.

If we are to start curating a life we love, we have to be willing to say NO. There are going to be things that we don’t want to do, and things that we aren’t interested in doing. But I have had times where I still say “yes” to things I don’t want to make space for in my life? Part of this is because of my desire to people-please. The other part is because I just don’t like saying no. I’m learning that I have to be more willing to say no if I want to curate a life that I love!

Look for the Beautiful.

Our mindset is directly affected by what we focus on. Am I choosing to focus on the beautiful moments in life, or dwelling on the bad stuff? If I dwell too long on the crummy moments, my joy begins to fade. I’m trying to learn how to let go of the things that annoy or frustrate me, and focus more on what is beautiful. Instead of complaining about the things that annoyed me today, I’m learning to focus on chasing wonderment. The times the kids snuggled and hugged each other is what I want to remember, not how they fought for two hours straight.

 

Seek What Brings you Joy

Each day, look for things that bring you joy. Instead of just drinking your coffee for the energy boost, take time to smell it. Too quickly I can get caught up in my to-do list, and I forget to actually ENJOY the good things in life. Stop yourself. Listen to the birds singing in the morning, or the crickets chirping at dusk. I love certain smells (ahem… coffee… 😆) and stopping on the side of the road to watch the sunset. When something brings you joy, focus on it, and make time to enjoy it!

 

Here’s the long and short of this whole, long post: You can CHOOSE to find joy right where you are. It’s not always easy… and sometimes life is really tough, and there’s aren’t any rainbows (yet). But I know from experience that often things aren’t as bad as they seem… I’m just too busy being focused on the bad stuff. The less-than pleasant things, like the toddlers fighting or the aches and pains I’m feeling. If I take a step back and look with an eye for curating, I begin to see more and more beauty.

 

How can you begin to Curate a life you love?


Letting Go of People-Pleasing

You feel it hanging over you like a heavy weight. The worry. The stress. You have guilt over decisions that should be simple, or you constantly second-guess each interaction you have. What if you said the wrong thing? It’s like there’s a constant, people-pleasing radar in your head, trying to figure out what everyone else thinks about you.

It’s the lot of highly sensitive, empathetic people everywhere; we desperately want to make everyone happy. We’re plagued by the worries of every single thing we could’ve said wrong. How do we let go of the weight of these supposed expectations?

Whole Living Tank Top

Well, here’s some truth: Some of these expectations are real, and some aren’t. Some of the stress we feel isn’t even necessary! They’re things our wild imaginations have dreamed up due to stress, overwhelm, or just misunderstanding people. But there ARE real expectations. Expectations of how you’re supposed to act, or how others want you to respond in certain situations. There are those people who think you’re supposed to drop everything to wait on them hand and foot (aka: TODDLERS. 😂).

The problem with real (or false) expectations is that we’re stressing out over the unknown, not the actual problem. I don’t worry about actually saying “no” to someone… I worry about hurting or upsetting them. The truth is: I want to make EVERYONE happy. 

The desire to make everyone happy is not only exhausting, it's downright impossible. (For real.)

 

So, how can we stop people pleasing?

 

To be perfectly honest, I’m still trying to figure this out. I struggle every day with people-pleasing. To make life perfect for my family. When I feel like I’ve failed, I want to curl up and become a professional couch potato. I’e spent days contemplating what I said or did wrong (for days!), or what I could’ve possibly done to get a different outcome.

I have found that there are a few things that help me stay focused on the truth as I try to combat my tendency to people-please.

Letting go of People-Pleasing. (It's impossible to make everyone happy!)

 

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize:

No matter what someone else may (or may not!) expect from you, their ideals for life are different from yours, Do you know what your dream life would look like? If other people have their goals lined up for their life, it’s up to them to make it happen. Not You. Keep your eyes on your own ideal of living well, because that’s what your goal is.

Remember the Season You’re in:

Life has ebbs and flows. Sometimes it’s busy, sometimes it’s restful. Other times, it’s downright stressful. Don’t allow someone else’s season of life to make you feel guilty or less-than because you’re in a different stage right now. If you’re taking time to rest, and they’re asking you to add more commitments, it’s okay to say No.

Realize That Everyone is Different:

If you’re a “feeler” surrounded by friends and family who are “thinkers,” you’re going to have some major differences. It’s no fault of theirs, that just base their decisions on logic instead of feelings! They may logically ask you to do something, without realizing that you’re looking at the situation from a totally different (emotional) angle.

Have you ever taken the Meyer’s Briggs personality test? Click Here to find our if you’re a thinker or a feeler! (You’ll see a T or an F in your answer!)

Don’t OWN everyone else’s expectations:

Just because someone expects something from you doesn’t mean that you have to do it. Their ideas and goals are probably different from yours! If their expectations don’t match your to-do list, it’s not your job to fit it in. Your job isn’t to make everyone happy; it’s to chase down the dreams that God has tucked away inside your heart.

It IS possible to stop People-Pleasing:

Lastly, know that it IS possible to find a balance between loving on people you care about, and knowing when to say “No”. It’s also possible to say no and not second-guess that decision! For me, it takes a lot of journaling, wisdom from those who know me best, pep-talks, and a LOT of prayer… but it IS possible to live guilt-free! It’s a daily process.

 

Letting go of People-Pleasing. (It's impossible to make everyone happy!)

I hope you know, dear friend, that you are not alone. It is a HUGE blessing to be an empath, because we can tune in to emotions and feelings in an incredible way. It’s also really hard for those of us who struggle with people-pleasing. We have to learn how to put up boundaries & make definitive decisions. It’s something that takes a lot of time and experience to learn!

 

How can you let go of people-pleasing Today?