Updated: Jan 12
Towards the end of the summer, I had the wonderful experience of chatting with both Debby Ryan and Iskra Lawrence at the SAME TIME! It was a powerful introspective into who we are, who we want to be, and who we are becoming.
Here are my favorite takeaways + reminders:
1. SO much knowledge comes up with silence.
Both Debby + Iskra talked about the power of checking in with yourself.
Take a few minutes and sit in silence?
What thoughts rise up?
Usually, for me, it’s a laundry list of things I haven’t done, wanted to do, or feel behind in. This is where most folks advise us to just gently label those thoughts and keep sitting in the silence. So I’ll say “worry” or I’ll think “stress” and then let the thoughts roll by like credits at the end of a film.
After a while, if I sit silent long enough, I get to the good stuff.
I put my intention on focusing on the things that truly bring me joy.
Listening to that quiet voice (aka the whispers) that breaks through the silence of sitting with ourselves, I find that my thoughts usually have a message for me that I need to hear. This is where I can feel my self-love swell.
2. You’re allowed to evolve.
It’s so easy to get stuck in the labels of our lives. “Student”, “Parent”, “Caregiver”, “Partner”, “Boss” — that we forget there is a fully evolving human being attached to those titles. It’s OK to evolve in the roles you play in life, in how you relate to your work path, in how you engage in relationships, and who you identify yourself to be in the world!
In my Good Life courses, we've been talking about our vision and values, and letting those help guide who you want to be in the world, not just what you want to do.
What's your 30,000 foot view of your life?
What are your non-negotiable values?
Both Debby, Iskra and I agree: We are all on a journey of figuring ourselves out.
A big part of that is knowing what your vision is, know that your vision can change, and understanding what you hold most dear, which are your values.
Which brings us to the next lesson...
3. Measure your life by guideposts, not goalposts.
Debby calls me a Legend for this one!
When we set goals and don't achieve them, we feel like we've failed, however, when we look back at our life's journey, hindsight is, as they say, 20/20.
It’s been a gift to realize that everything in my life has led me to this moment.
Everything. The good, the bad, the beautiful. If we focus less on hitting goals and more on the journey we have as we make our way towards goals — we won’t get so upset when the destination changes. That’s the whole point.
Life is all about the journey, not the destination.
If you think about your dreams as guideposts, not goalposts, then you focus less on achievement and more on experiences. And that helps to fortify your personal growth.
Speaking of personal growth...
4. Life is all about learning + unlearning.
The greatest job we're ever going to have is actually the job of learning about who we are. And that is a lifelong pursuit — you are a lifelong learner of yourself.
In fact, I end every episode of my podcast with my favorite mantra:
"Always learning, always growing."
Seriously. I love it so much, I put it on a T-Shirt.
But whatever you do, be wary of comparing your lessons to others, not only because everyone’s journey is different, but because...
5. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Iskra talks so eloquently about avoiding the trap of "compare and despair" that can happen when scrolling through social media, as an example. It helps no one to compare our lives to someone else’s curated version.
It’s usually when we are comparing ourselves to somebody else’s standard of success that we hear those Dominant Stories come up! Dominant Stories are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. And they can sound like:
“I’m not where I should be”
“I’ll never have success like she has”
“I’m too old to do what I really want to do in life”
But Dominant Stories can be pretty loud and therefore, pretty convincing.
Ask yourself instead:
When do you feel the most lit up in your life?
Once you understand what matters to you the most, you always feel successful, truthfully.
Success is not as much of a quest as we sometimes make it in the world, but it can be hard to define if you don't have the right tools to express how you feel.
I try to answer that in my course, WTF is Success?!?
I'm teaching the tools I used to literally change MY life.
Want to hear the whole convo w/ Debby + Iskra?
(Share this blog post to your iPhone and then click the above hyperlink.)
PS. Have you listened to my new podcast Dominant Stories with Jess Weiner yet? It's produced by Shondaland in partnership with iHeartRadio.
Through witty, curious, and hopeful conversations with celebrated guests, including Debby Ryan (released on 11/10/21) and Iskra Lawrence (releasing on 12/22/21), we’ll unpack, challenge, and change our Dominant Stories.