One of my favorite feel good/self improvement books is Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. It’s chock full of simple but incredibly useful practices to help make our lives a little bit happier. One of my favorite lessons from the book was the author’s effort to “be Gretchen,” meaning, to truly focus on being herself in every sense of the word. Instead of living a life focused on what other’s wanted or wanted for her, she was going to focus on living the life she wanted. I came across this idea again over Christmas break when I was thumbing through the intro to her latest publication, and it hit me pretty hard.
When it comes to self confidence, I’ve got gaping holes. I can appear confident from the outside, but inside there are lots of voices questioning everything I do. I’m constantly working to not compare myself to others but often fail, and can easily question if my way is the right way. But something about the simplicity of “Be Clara” made me realize how detrimental (and sad) it can be to consistently lose myself in the mix. Being Clara sounds more fun! It’s sounds healthier, more successful, and more carefree. And I want all of those things in in 2014. So here are a few ways I’m focusing on being me in the 12 months to come:
Eating What’s Right for Me: At the end of last year I got really caught up in this book, all about how grains and gluten are killing our guts and our brains. This is a big rabbit hole. I know for some people the elimination of grains from their diet is life changing and life saving. It’s life changing for me, too. I know that if my meals only consist of pancakes, pizza, and pasta I will feel like a miserable slug. But I also know that if I’m sleeping well, exercising, and eating a diet that consists of things like Greek yogurt, homemade granola, tons of dark greens, plenty of olive oil, a bit of French cheese and crusty baguette, and local meats and fish, I’ll feel great. This is what works for me.
Materials Possessions ≠ Self Worth: I saw so many of those Céline luggage totes last year I pretty much convinced myself it would make me a better and happier person if I had one. I know we feel this way about material things all the time, but the thing is, as a person, I really don’t like to own a lot of things. I like to keep a very minimal wardrobe of pieces I only truly wear. This is something that makes me happy. So on the bag front? I already have plenty of beautiful bags to carry, and I barely have room for them as it is. The stress of trying to squeeze in another one would actually negate the thrill of a new bag. Being Clara means staying true to only acquiring material goods that actually deliver joy.
Make My Goals Mine: Towards the end of last year, I noticed a significant a pull towards others goals- goals that deep down, weren’t mine. But in the moment, they didn’t seem like other’s goals. The gluten free thing is a good example. It’s one of those “everyone’s doing it so shouldn’t I do it too?” type goals. The same thing can happen with blogging. “She’s blogging everyday so shouldn’t I make that my goal, too?” It’s really easy to lose sight of what you yourself want, when you let those feelings creep in. Know what I mean? So in effort to not let those feelings blurry my vision this year, I’m working on getting really clear about MY goals, Clara’s goals, from the get-go. It already feels oh so refreshing.
Do you ever struggle with simply being you? Can what other’s are doing and achieving and consuming cause you to lose track? I’d so love to hear your thoughts! We could all use the help. xx