Do you know the feeling of wanting more for yourself? Envisioning yourself better and wanting to experience everything available to you in this lifetime. You can see it, a life designed by you for you. So, what stops us from living the vision? What stops us from taking the leap and trusting we can get to where we want to go? We get stuck. Stuck living a life that we find comfortable or maybe convinced ourselves it is all we are worthy of living. Maybe we don’t know what else is available to us because we’ve never looked. We’ve never taken the time to dream and discover who we are and what we are fully capable of achieving. We stay stuck and think it is a form of living. We stay stuck because a lifetime of messages and experiences have convinced us this is how it is going to be and there’s nothing that can be done to change it. If we want to bleed away time and stay complacent we can, and at the same time convince ourselves that we have moved and are happy.
This is not about productivity or time management. It is about what we want for ourselves and our ability and desire to go get it. You know the thing that takes your breath away and inspires you. The thought of going out into the world and doing it electrifies and terrifies you at the same time. This thing is different at every stage of life. Getting to kindergarten and surviving school days without a parent in sight is a big thing for a five-year-old. Choosing a college, moving, applying for a job, starting a business, growing the business, writing a book, running a marathon, the list is long and the motivation and inspiration bigger than any one individual. It takes believing in yourself and your abilities to push past what is comfortable. So, here is the question, how is it some people have the motivation and belief in themselves, and others stay comfortable? The answer is complex, and I promise by the time you finish reading this blog, it will all make sense and hopefully, you will become unstuck if you are stuck.
Let’s go back to age five. I think most of us can remember some memories, major events, holiday celebrations. Can you remember playing with your friends, who your friends were at the time, and any significant interactions with teachers, family members, or friends? I was teased regularly and remember everything that was said and who said it. I remember feeling small and not wanting to be seen. I remember disliking recess until I realized I was the fastest kid on the playground. I remember hiding in the classroom, never raising my hand even when I knew the answers. Recess was different. I’d show up at recess and race the lineup of kids waiting to beat me. I ran the entire time, never got tired, and won every race from kindergarten to sixth grade. The message was loud and clear in my young mind, stay hidden and no one will see you to tease you and show up only to run fast and win. So, that’s what I did. I went to school solely to run, break school records, and make state meets. No one was teasing me when I won.
As an adult, I still regulate my anxiety by running. If I miss a run, I am not okay. I don’t know how else to say it. I need to run for my mental and physical health. I also know now that my life would look very different if I was not a runner. Running gave me confidence and motivation. Running allowed me to show up when I really did not want to. Being teased from a young age and knowing I was different from the other children was traumatizing. We all experience trauma at some point in our lives. It teaches us and informs us through the pain we experience. When our traumas are overwhelming and we do not close the wound (a scar will remain) we create stories, versions of ourselves that we believe based on the trauma we experienced. For example, I believed I was unlikeable, ugly, and a hairy mess. I carried this version of me everywhere I went. This version of me was not good enough, needed to hide and had no friends. The voices in my head would remind me of my unworthiness regularly until I faced what coaching calls my gremlins during my second session of coach training. I was called to the front of the room by one of the leaders (he could see I was hiding), handed a bat and asked to start swinging at my gremlins. All the teasing, negative voices, and the negative self-image batted away. Not gone, but far enough away for me to finally see me and love me and know hiding my brilliance serves no one.
Believing lies about yourself is easy. Getting to know yourself and your brilliance is work. Understanding who you are, your values, that thing that electrifies and terrifies is a commitment to building self-awareness and self-compassion. It is practice. It is scary, but tell me what isn’t these days? We can convince ourselves that walking out our front doors is super scary, and the media will back us. And if that’s not enough a friend will share a story on social media to heighten our fear. This is how I see it. We spend our entire lives (even at five) swallowing fear. We swallow some much we recognize the taste. We know when it is going to show up because we can smell it before it enters the room. We are so well versed in fear it consumes us. So, how do you avoid fear? How do you dismiss fear, so you can live joyful and inspired and apply for the job, start the business, or write the book? If we’ve been informed our entire lives to fear, stay comfortable, and stay hidden, how do we take the first step and face everything available to us? How do we see possibility and opportunity and at the same time see fear and tell it to fuck off? The answer is simple, its awareness of self and all that surrounds you. It is knowing you’ve been through some shit; people have disappointed you and you have endured because you matter, and you have the ability to effect change.
Start by changing the inner dialogue and believing in yourself. Believe you deserve better. Believe you can. If you are unsure of yourself, take the time to get to know yourself. Learn about your traumas and how they have manifested. Learn what enrages you, what brings you joy, what causes you to laugh so hard you cry, what brings you to tears and what electrifies you and terrifies you at the same time. Build your self-awareness so much that you can’t help but to fall deeply and madly in love with yourself. This work is important. There is nothing more important and so many of us do not even know the beautiful soul living inside of us. Embrace your light, learn all there is to know, and then introduce your light to the world. I promise we will all be better for it. Go discover what brings you laughter and tears. Uncover the motivation and start believing you can because it’s true. We all can and will. I look forward to seeing you!
Kristin Asadourian is a personal development and leadership coach. Her coaching practice is strongly influenced by her work as a social worker and a community organizer, which taught her the importance of community, compassion and confidence.
She is the founder of Living Become, LLC an organization focused on delivering workshops, educational materials and keynotes to empower all people, KA Coach, a confidence and leadership building business, the Los Angeles based arts education not for profit, Artists for Change, and the documentary film company, Seeroon Productions which produced the internationally recognized film, “Beginning Where the Soviet Ends: A Study of Social Work in Armenia.
Kristin works to inspire people to live their true potential. She can be found living her truth guiding young people and adults through leadership workshops, coaching individuals and small groups, speaking on building self-awareness and self-confidence, out for long bike rides, on the trials for a run and making messes with her two children and their goldendoodle.