An Introvert’s Guide To (Soul-Satisfying) Socialization

An Introvert’s Guide To (Soul-Satisfying) Socialization

Community Tips + Tools

Faking it is the worst. No, matter whether you’re feigning confidence in an interview or fighting off your impulse to hide from adult responsibilities or in the passionate midst of a NSFW sitch, “faking it” feels uncomfortable, guilt-riddled, and, well, fake.

Multiply this by a bajillion if you’re an introvert – and a bajillion more if you’ve just said yes to yet another social invite on the cal.

As an introvert, going to an event or getting yourself into a social situation “just because” is usually a set up for disaster, guilt, and low self-confidence.

So how do you avoid a meltdown…without avoiding a social life at the same time?

via introvert doodles

On one hand, you’re an introvert through and through…along with about half the population. You gain energy from within yourself instead of from interaction with others in the outside world. You need time to make decisions and mentally rehearse what you want to say, instead of making decisions quickly and thinking out loud.

Most importantly? You have a private self that is only revealed to your inner circle, the people you trust – which can make it hard to want to be social when you don’t know many people.

The people who don’t understand might peg you as aloof or shy. However, you know that shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, and introversion is a preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments – your thoughts and ideas, the way you react to a piece of music or a string of words, that is stimulating enough. You do your best work in your head, with deep reflection. You are truly your own best friend.

On the other hand, just because you’re a bona-fide introvert doesn’t mean you want to shun socializing. And you know, introvert, that being your personality type doesn’t mean you’re necessarily quiet or shy.

As an introvert, you truly enjoy being around others and benefit most from deep connections. Small talk doesn’t really interest you, and the quantity of connections aren’t so much as important to you as the quality. You get high off of those instances that just seem to click – and even though you are at your best when given time alone, sometimes you feel your trait is shutting you off from a whole world that awaits.

We live in a culture that pays the most attention to extroversion: one that tells us that the signs of a thriving personal life are having a large social circle, bustling days filled with activity, and jam-packed nights filled with soirees. 

In reality, we actually live in a culture that is FILLED with scenarios made for introverts, from one-on-one interactions to solo commutes to independent choices.

Pop culture caters to extroverts, so you may believe you’re the odd (wo)man out. But introverts are the ones who instinctively know how to navigate the deepest of waters in any social scenario. You’ll gain the most value from your social activities if you not only recognize your strengths, but find a purpose behind why you’re going. Because you, dear Introvert, have so much to add to the world, and every social situation can benefit from your insight and worldview.
Introverts instinctively know how to navigate the deepest of waters in any social scenario. Click To Tweet

Introversion and extroversion are not black and white; every single person has a bit of both inside them. The trick is not to try and change yourself into an extrovert or go against what feels true to you – it’s to know how to play up your strengths no matter the situation.

 

Here are 7 ways to stay social while still being true to who you are at your core – no faking required:


1.) Enjoy the silence.
 As an introvert, bustling parties and crowded rooms can be overwhelming – making you shy away from those situations altogether. There will be times, though, you cannot avoid being in the middle of the action or simply don’t want to opt out of every invitation.

Intersperse moments of silence throughout your day, and bookend the event with silence as well. Knowing that you’ll be able to decompress in peace is vital and prevents panic from setting in when you feel like you can’t get away from the literal and metaphorical noise.

2.) Redefine “networking” as “friend-netting.” Don’t worry – I shudder at the thought of “networking,” too. And when you’ve got work functions to attend or mixers you’ve said yes to, it’s easy to feel like a fish out of water.

Instead of focusing on the quantity of people you meet or conversations you have, relish in those one or two meaningful conversations or connections. Instead of networking, find the one or two people that you can devote your focus and attention to. My fiance calls this “friend-netting.” The chances are very slim you’re the only introvert at the party – even if it feels like it at times. Use your killer instinct to find your fellow introverts and maybe even bond over your shared trait.

3.) Ask active questions. One of your strengths is what a wonderful listener you are – and most people love to talk about themselves (not a bad thing – we all love to talk about things we feel we have expertise in, and who is a better expert of ourselves than…ourselves?). Avoid small talk by asking open-ended questions to people you meet, listening carefully, offering up a little piece of information about yourself to form a connection, then ask another question based off the last answer.

For example, instead of asking where someone is from or if they’re been to this person’s party before or if they like the weather or whatever (all of which usually only involve a single word answer), ask how long they’ve lived in your town, how they first met the host, or what they usually do for or love about whatever season you’re in.

4.) Know your yesses – and your nos. What are the qualities you enjoy in an event? What are the things that drain you? Maybe you become anxious and tired at night, but enjoy daytime or afternoon events. Maybe you’re a night owl but any social scenario that takes place before noon makes you cranky. Maybe you don’t bat an eye at parties hosted at someone’s home, but clubs and bars give you goosebumps in a bad way. Know your preferred times of day, locations, days of the week, and other details so that you can make an informed decision about whether to attend or not. If the nos outweigh the yesses by more than two thirds (or even one half), opt out and pat yourself on the back for knowing yourself so well.

5.) Go with a like-minded friend. As an introvert, it’s in your nature to shy away when you sense a highly extroverted personality taking the spotlight. What’s frustrating is not the person herself, it’s that you end up feeling like you’ve put your own personality on hold in order to accommodate someone else – which is usually never an extrovert’s intention to begin with.

Going with a like-minded friend not only evens out the playing field when you’re in group conversations, it ensures you’ll have at least one person to bond with in merriment. Hey, you can even go with a trusted extrovert who gets you and can help take the pressure off being “on.”

 

via introvert doodles

6.) Do the coordination yourself. Whether it’s offering up the location of your lunch spot or diving deep and hosting your own soiree, taking charge of the coordination is a secret tool of introverts. If you’re coordinating, it not only gives you a say in choosing an environment/guest list that suits your comfort level (say, a unique hole-in-the-wall coffee shop instead of a loud trendy restaurant). It gives you a sense of purpose…which is key for an introvert’s social fulfillment.

7.) Cut yourself some slack. As author Elaine Aron says in her book The Highly Sensitive Person (someone who is extremely easily affected by their surroundings and emotions – another personality type you very well might possess as an introvert. I do!), everyone is a bit awkward at their non-specialty.

If you find yourself in the middle of small talk or a conversation you’re flubbing up…if you’re slowly gravitating toward the corner and hugging the punch table…ease up on your self-judgement. Your speciality isn’t small talk or big groups, it’s deep conversations and making a small group or one-on-one interaction feel like it’s the biggest, most important interaction there is. And that’s a gift you should never overlook.

Worst case scenario? You get to people watch. And every introvert knows that is a goldmine.

cartoons via introvert doodles. follow on IG or visit her site here.



WANT Yourself:
Introverts, which of these tips can help YOU most? How do you navigate social situations, networking or otherwise, taking into account your inherent personality type? 

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5 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Exercise (No Matter How You Feel)

5 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Exercise (No Matter How You Feel)

Body Tips + Tools

I’m no stranger to sweat therapy: I hit the gym on the regular. My running shoes are practically a second set of feet. I’ve never been one to turn down a chance to get down (dog) – heck, I’ve been teaching spin classes since people thought it meant you go to a class and turn around in circles for 45 minutes on end (for real. people used to ask me if that was what a spin class was).

I’m well aware of both the physical and mental benefits of getting my heart rate up on the regular, and consider fitness more of a lifestyle habit than a to-do to get to-done.

So why, then, do I wake up some mornings feeling like the last thing I want to do is get moving?

~

According to catchy headlines and fly-by-night trends, we’re supposed to sweat it out the same way no matter the season: with intensity, with drive, and with an all-or-nothing mentality that promises slimmer thighs!, better sex!, and brighter moods! 365 days a year. We force ourselves into routines for the sake of routines, not taking into account that we are living, breathing, changing beings who experience enough physical, emotional, and spiritual shifts in a mere day to fill up a week’s worth of SoulCycle classes by 12:01pm on a Monday afternoon.

Study after study shows us that exercise can boost our mood, help our bodies clear out toxins, and make even the most everyday of activities seem a whole lot easier (hello, five-story walk up apartment). But when you’re feeling fatigued, uninspired, or just plain down-in-the-slumps, scientific facts don’t help all that much. And the “accountability” factor of having a class to make or a trainer to see isn’t always a surefire recipe to get amped up.


The solution: You’ve got to make your workout work out for you.

 

I’ve definitely struggled with this since moving across the country. Not only was I not used to the seasonal shifts, but I had to completely restructure my schedule, top to bottom. This definitely included the way I moved. I loved exercising outside, which I didn’t have many opportunities to do in LA – one point, NYC! The gym was also a huge part of my community on the west coast, and I found that the NYC gyms where I felt that were NOT the ones that were the closest to my house. And then there was rain, there was snow, and there was that huge dramatic shift in early November when I didn’t even want to leave the house let alone break a sweat. Thankfully, ten months in, I’ve figured out my roadblocks and how to move through them in order to get moving.

You’ve got to make your workout WORK OUT for you. Click To Tweet

Feeling blah? I feel you – and there’s no need to let negative self-talk stand in your way. Here are five ways to set yourself up for success and motivate yourself to exercise, no matter how you feel:

 

1) Give yourself options. Ever notice that the more often you do something extreme, the more your body starts to want its next hit? It’s kind of like that with fitness. When it comes to working out on a down day, it’s important to feed your cravings, not your addictions. That could mean foregoing your usual five-mile run for a meditative walk in the park. That could mean modifying your burpees in your HIIT sesh so there’s no push-up involved. That could mean trading in plank for child’s pose. Knowing you have options within the workout you choose removes that all-or-nothing feeling and gives your body what it actually wants (feeds the craving) vs. what you think it SHOULD be wanting (feeding the addiction).

 

2) Have a Plan A…Plan B…Plan C….Plan D… I love to run outside. But I know myself, and there are certain situations in which even the most persuasive person I know (hi mom) wouldn’t be able to convince me to haul you-know-what out in the open air. If you’ve learned how to psych yourself to run in brutal heat, icky rain, or I-can’t-feel-my-face cold, more power to you. Me? That’s a big NOPE in my book.

In the past, I’d either force myself to brave the elements or skip out altogether. Not only was the former potentially dangerous and the latter a surefire way to make me a crankypants for the rest of the day, but neither of those options had to be the solutions! Now I know to always have a Plan A, B, C, even a Plan D for making my workout work for me. Running outside not an option? Use the treadmill. All the treads already taken at the gym? Hop on an elliptical. No cardio equipment available whatsoever – or it’s just too miserable to leave the house in the first place? Say hello to my fave, customizable self-confidence boosting workout. Having multiple options at the ready, I’ve found, ensures I can make a decision that’s right for me no matter the circumstance.

 

3) Wear what makes you feel good. Many fitness pros and motivational coaches will recommend that a surefire way to get amped to work out is wear a rockin’ piece of fitnesswear. And that’s solid advice. Heck, a whole activewear revolution is happening because of that exact school of thought!

The problem is, sometimes that’s not what actually makes us feel our best – especially if we’re feeling uncomfortable in our own skin. When I’m feeling down on myself and physically uncomfortable, I wear clothes that have a little more “give” to them. Sometimes, I throw on my fiancé’s old t-shirt and call it a day. Point is: if your fitnesswear best makes you feel rockin’, rock on! But if an old concert tee and stretchy pants from 2008 make you feel great, that’s great too. It’s much easier to get in a productive – and pleasant – workout when you’re less concerned with the way you look and more invested in the way you feel.

 

4) Make playlist presents for yourself. When I find music I love, I become borderline obsessed. So muchso, in fact, that I’ll listen to an entire album or playlist on repeat for weeks, then move onto another set of songs for another few weeks after that. And so on, and so on. That first time I listen is always the most exciting – so what I’ve learned to do is create a playlist for myself (or download an entire album on Spotify) and promise myself not to listen until my next workout. This works with playlists, genre “stations” on Spotify or Pandora (I’m all about the “90s Smash Hits” right now), even podcasts. Giving yourself something to look forward to within the workout setting is a great way to trick yourself into putting the work in and having a blast in the moment.


5) Give it a REST.
Okay, so this one might seem counter-intuitive…rest to motivate yourself to exercise? Isn’t this a recipe for a negative talk spiral? Actually, it’s the exact opposite. I’m not talking about resting when you’ve got adrenal fatigue or are overtraining – which, obviously, require rest. I’m talking about letting yourself off the hook. If you’re constantly pressuring yourself to “be motivated,” how will you ever get there? Just like with food, your decision to exercise (or not exercise) is not good or bad – it just IS. Yes, sometimes it’s necessary to just get up and do it even when you’d rather be binge watching Orange Is The New Black on your couch. But at the same time, it’s necessary to train yourself to cut yourself some slack. How can we ever develop a healthy relationship with our body if we’re constantly putting the pressure on it to look, act, and do things a certain way? In my experience, this is a breeding ground for guilt and exercise addiction. Give yourself the space to breathe – you might be surprised by what happens when you start to approach exercise as one of many opportunities to feel good, not one sole chance or obligation to do things the “right” way.

 

Looking for more WANT wisdom to help you get moving? Click here for help ramping up…or maybe even slowing down.


WANT YOURSELF:
Now, you: I’d love to hear how you motivate yourself to exercise when you’re just not feeling it. Is there a specific trick you’ve got up your sleeve? Is there a song or playlist you’ve go that gets you going no matter what? Leave a comment below – your sweat-positive strategy might be exactly what someone else needs to get them spinning in the right direction. Literally or figuratively ;)


Photo by Caddie Hastings

Stop In The Name Of (Self) Love: 15 Things To Call Your Negative Self-Talk Instead Of A B*tch

Stop In The Name Of (Self) Love: 15 Things To Call Your Negative Self-Talk Instead Of A B*tch

Body

That voice in your head is an asshole.

Don’t let your thoughts bully you around.

Inner monologue? More like inner bitch. Don’t give her the power.

“Empowerment” is trending, but somehow we’re still here telling our negative self talk it can go fuck itself.

Tell me again how is this supposed to be helping?

~

For what I’m guessing is some sort of evolutionary advantage, we’re programmed to interpret the world in very black and white terms. There can be no middle ground when it comes to right and wrong, and when we disagree with something, we typically villainize it rather than try to understand where it comes from (or what the real solution should be). Good Versus Evil. Us Against Them. It’s a formula that’s easy to understand and easy to master. It’s caveperson-like. So it’s only natural that with this sort of mentality, we’d choose sides with our self-talk and try to bully one of them into submission.

Brené Brown says to give your inner voice a name – she calls hers Gremlin. For some people, providing that separation might be useful and allow you to distance yourself from the harsh, usually untrue things your inner voice likes to say.

I, however, have never been able to separate my inner voice from myself.

Because the thing is, it’s all a part of who I am.

Maybe my brain is playing tricks on my heart, maybe my inner voice is misguided at times, but at the end of the day – it’s all just me, telling myself what to believe.

Some people might say to snap out of it – to tell your inner critic to shut up. And hey, that might work for some people. But it NEVER works for me. Identifying my negative self-talk as someone other than myself – an ass, a bitch, a bully – only puts me on the defensive and gives me yet another thing about myself to dislike (on top of whatever it is I’m negative self-talking about). 

Empowerment, for the record, is defined as “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.” Yet I cannot see how throwing insults at insults does anything to make us feel anything but more aggressive and afraid. They’re just harsh words to combat harsh thoughts. Abuse masked as “empowerment.” Which, to me, is anything but empowering.

Instead of fighting against what is, why not try fighting for what could be? Click To Tweet

Instead of fighting against what is, why not try fighting for what could be? Instead of taking sides, why not confront the perceived enemy? Instead of viewing your inner monologue as separate from your “true” self, why not try to understand what it’s actually trying to tell you? Calling a very real part of who you are a “bitch” just reinforces and strengthens those negative-talk muscles that have been trained over the years to come to your defense in their negative-talk way – and focuses on the problem, not the solution. Berating a part of who you are is not the answer. Tapping into a new reserve of power to retrain that voice – that voice that so longs to be helpful – IS. 

Next time you’re tempted to punch your negative self-talking self in the no-no zone, sideline the smack-talk and reframe it as something more. Here are a few ideas of what your negative self-talk really is…

1) An invitation to explore

2) An opportunity to rise

3) A clue to an imbalance

4) A way to practice moving forward through fear

5) A wound to be nurtured

6) A signal for help

7) A warning preview of what it looks like to not be self-actualized

8) A sign of neglect

9) A cry for help

10) A distraction from the truth

11) A language that’s been learned all wrong

12) A muscle that can stop working and go recover now, thank you very much

13) A call to action

14) An empathetic pathway

15) A clue as to what needs some extra love

When I first started working on WANT, I would get pitches from people with books or websites with names like “Bitch On The Inside” or “#StopHatingYourself Life Coaching.” We’re so aligned, they would say. We’re all about empowering women. I respectfully declined every single one of these pitches.

Again, to each her own. I guess I can understand how some people need a metaphorical smack upside the head to catapult change into motion… But I don’t think that’s what makes the change LAST.

Because here’s the clincher: the quicker we are to call our inner monologue a bitch, the quicker we are to find fault outside ourselves. The quicker we are to clique up and take sides and tell our friends to “get over it” or “snap out of it” when they’re feeling down on themselves, the easier it is to do it to ourselves. Life becomes arduous and unfair. It’s a negativity loop that goes on and on and on – all in the name of self-love.

Teaching yourself a new language, whether it’s Spanish or Self- Respect, is a process. Sometimes it’s as simple as going word by word. Phrase by phrase. Today, pledge to stop calling your inner voice a “mean girl” or your “inner bitch.” Your mind and heart are smart, and they’re most likely just trying to protect you from disappointment, shield you from loneliness, or numb that Ghost Worry pain that’s predicting what other people might “find out” about you so that when they do “find it out” it won’t hurt as bad.

Your inner voice is just used to using this warped defense mechanism – a defense mechanism you don’t need.

It’s not You vs. Your Mind.

Not Good vs. Evil.

They’re all on the same side.

It's not You vs. Your Mind. They're all on the same side. Click To Tweet

WANT Yourself:

Think back to the times when your negative self-talk starts to act up. What is it usually trying to tell you? What does it signal? How can you reframe your most common self-critiques…without resorting to name-calling? Tell me in the comments below.

And know someone who needs this? Share it with them today to help them shift their negative self-talk.

 

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We Go High: An Election Day Survival Guide.

We Go High: An Election Day Survival Guide.

Community Motivation + Inspiration Tips + Tools

Apparently, election-related anxiety has become so prevalent that it’s become an Actual Thing. In a new survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), over half of American adults report that the election is “a very or somewhat significant source of stress.” Even those who I’d never peg as political, even the most apathetic people I know, even they have vocalized the concern, stress, or just dis-ease with the way things have panned out since eighteen months ago.

Before we go any further, I should say this: I’m not writing this to tell you who to support. I’m not here to make a case for one person over the other. We’re past that. This election is happening, and in a matter of hours one of two people will be our new President of the United States of America. I am writing this to offer support to those who, like me, might be struggling.

Sometimes I can’t believe I’m three decades into elections – seven, to be exact. I remember six of them. I grew up with friends, community members, teachers, even family members who had all kinds of backgrounds and a host of different viewpoints. I sat at tables listening to people argue over politics. I was taught that just because we have different views doesn’t mean we can’t be kind to one another. And if we can’t be kind, at least we can be respectful.

This time around has been entirely different. I’ve seen family members all but disown one another. Friendships come to an end. Actual violence. 

So this is happening. How can we fix it? How can we keep kindness, or at least respect, intact?

The direction in which our country goes (and grows) does not start with the President, or any part of the government – it starts with us. From the way we talk to one another to how we disagree to how we manage our own discomfort and dis-ease, it ALL STARTS WITH US. 

From the way we disagree to how we manage our own dis-ease, it all starts with us. Click To Tweet
this girl is ready to rock the vote
when they go low, this chick goes high.

I had other things planned for today. But since I’ve got the privilege of being my own boss, I decided to scrap it all and put together an Election Day survival guide. From making amends to standing your ground, here’s how to go high (even when it might be easier to go low):

• A big concern of mine? The aftermath of what’s already been said in the heat of the moment. I’m not talking the politicians. I’m talking US. For some relationships, damage might be done and it might be too late. But maybe not. For those looking to go high (even if someone *cough*yesevenyou*cough* has gone low), I’d love to offer up my guide on how to apologize if you think an argument has flared up that became disrespectful or hurtful – especially if you’re sensitive like me and mistakes hit hard.

• For many of us, there’s still time. These past few months have been polarizing, but if we look closely and choose to listen, we can see and hear that everyone’s POV comes from somewhere deep inside them, usually fueled by an impactful story or set of personal beliefs they associate with who they are. Who (or what) they choose to support is simply the closest thing they can find to express the way they feel. Still, it can be difficult to get past the surface arguments and into the heart of the matter. If you need a primer on how to listen even when you disagree – and who doesn’t? – this post is for you. (it’s also one of the most popular of the last few months. fancy that!)

• Then there are the friends who say things that trigger something deep within you. Something that reminds you of a time in your life you’d rather forget, or a negative belief you’ve cultivated based on years of experience on Planet Earth. And all you want to do is lash out at this person you love. If that’s you – hold your horses. Here’s a guide re: how to respond when triggered by friends. Read first, then make your move. You’ll thank yourself later.

• Speaking of feeling triggered – this guide on how to know if your intuition is speaking or you’re being triggered is crazy-handy ALL times of year, not just November 8th.

•But since we’re talking about November 8th…let’s not forget all we’re fighting FOR. Not fighting against – fighting FOR. Hope was the chant. And it still is.

Was this dose of pragmatic, proactive positivity helpful? Share with a friend to help her out, on Election Day and beyond. And remember – when they go low, we go high. That’s what a WANT Woman does.

 

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Beside The Point: Should I Follow My Calling And Change Everything?

Beside The Point: Should I Follow My Calling And Change Everything?

Beside The Point Community

Hey Katie!

I hope this email finds you well and in joy, and that you’ve been settling into NYC nicely.

I’m reaching out to you because I’m curious as to what your decision making process was when you decided to move across the country. I’ve had a calling to relocate to the Bay Area (where I’m from) and yet, have had qualms, setbacks, and doubts, especially because life in LA has been wonderful.

I know every journey is different, and your decision to move is yours and yours alone, but any insight you might share to illuminate my path?

Sending love and kindness,
Anais

 

my last walk through my "backyard" the night before moving

my last walk through my “backyard” the night before moving


The short answer to why I moved is usually the easiest to give people: my partner had a job opportunity here. The long answer, which applies more to this question, Anais, is that it was a long time coming. A lot of lessons and stories and dreams evolving to the point of expansion.

Some backstory: NYC had always been in the plans for me – and by “always,” I mean it was the path I thought my life would lead me down post-college. I had it all figured out: I’d go to school for theatre, move back to LA for five to six months to get a solid base of work (why I thought six months was a reasonable time to get a “solid base of work” as an actor, I have no idea), then leave for New York in the late fall to pursue a career on the stage.

That’s obviously not what happened. My prediction of six months to get work was miraculously spot on – not only did I get work, but I got into SAG-AFTRA and was on track to be able to join AEA (Actor’s Equity Association), too. An AEA membership was essential to my NYC game plan. It was all working out just as I’d planned. By the end of the year, I was all lined up to be able to make a career move to NYC.

But I didn’t. It wasn’t a conscious choice not to move, but to be honest, it never really felt right. I kept getting work in LA. I was making friends who encouraged me to be who I was, not who I thought I should be. I was learning how to live in the “real world” as myself, tied to no institutions or predetermined social groups, for the very first time ever. I became an L.A. gypsy, living in a grand total of nine places in the span of eight years. Each place I landed was a perfect representation of where I was at that time in my life (although I rarely realized it in the moment). L.A. became not just where I grew up, but my own treasure-filled city to explore and discover. I became an L.A. evangelist and its biggest fangirl. “People who say they don’t like LA don’t REALLY not like LA,” I used to tell people. “They either came here with an expectation of what it should be like and moved to a place that wasn’t that…or they just haven’t found the part of LA that speaks to them yet.” I truly believed there was something in LA for everyone. I still do. 

When Jeremy asked me if I’d be willing to try out some time in NYC, my decision to say yes didn’t come without qualms, setbacks, or doubts, probably much like your own. Like you, I didn’t have any beef with the city. Like you, life in LA. had been wonderful. 

But here’s the thing: life in LA had gotten familiar. It had gotten comfortable. And after living out an entire decade as an LA gypsy and am entire lifetime before as an LA resident, it had gotten to be a place I felt I’d explored from top to bottom. In order to learn anything new about this city, I knew I was at the point where I’d need to learn a lot more about myself first.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset


You say you’re feeling a calling to relocate. You also say you’ve had qualms, setbacks, and doubts, and that life in LA has been wonderful for the most part.

I have two questions for you, which can apply to any time you feel called to change something up in a major way:

First off, is your calling telling to run toward something, or run away from something – is it telling you to escape, or to expand? I mean, obviously if you’re in a dangerous or harmful situation, get the hell out of there. But if you’re running away and escaping from things like big, scary opportunities or awkward situations that you just don’t want to deal with, that’s a different kind of running away. On the other hand, running TOWARD something means you’re more curious and passionate about what’s on the horizon than you are comfortable sticking with what already IS.

Are you running toward something, or away from something? Do you want to escape, or expand? Click To Tweet

Second: Are you still learning? Are you still growing? And maybe the most importantly, are you able to be the YOU you know you’re meant to be? For me, LA had become a place I was able to be most of who I knew I was meant to be. But I had never known life outside of my small familiar bubble. I also felt like I was at a growth standstill, especially when it came to self-perception in my career. Yes, I had crossed the line from novice to expert and become a professional writer, editor, speaker, what-have-you. But I still felt like something was missing. I felt incomplete without being able to pinpoint exactly whyIt wasn’t ’til I came here and was forced to really, truly OWN being my own boss that I was able to BELIEVE that I was. I realized I’d been taking cues from others for so long that it had become so much easier – and almost accepted – to emulate others’ paths instead of do the challenging but eye-opening work of finding my own way. In five months here I’ve done almost as much as I did in a YEAR in LA. Sure, the fast pace of NYC helps, but it’s also because displacing myself from my safety net of familiarity has made me confront all those little parts of myself that, in the past, have held me back. The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is just a fraction of the biggest lesson I am still learning: I don’t need to know everything in order to make shit happen.

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Now, I’m not one to do things “just because,” and I certainly don’t make big choices based solely on adventure. I probably wouldn’t have made the move if I had not had a concrete reason like J’s job.  I’m way too pragmatic for pure risk. But – and this is a big BUT – I do not view a “calling” as risk. And you say you have that calling. That’s your intuition speaking, girl. That’s your gut and heart and soul knowing something your brain and body don’t yet, which is probably why it feels so weird and confusing. I can only speak from my own experience, but I have a hunch that yours is a lot like mine in that what’s holding you back is that confusing disconnect. I didn’t know what was here waiting for me, and in many ways I still don’t. I only knew it was right. And for me, the risk of going for it, hating it, then moving back was way more scary than the risk of staying safe, staying the same, then regretting it later when life had gotten in the way so much that I no longer had the strength to push it aside.

Your gut is telling you something right now. Whether it has to do with a move or something else, I can’t say. But it’s telling you it’s craving something MORE. Find out what that is first, then move forward fearlessly toward that and see where it takes you.

xo
kt



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WANTcast Episode 021: On Adrenaline Addiction + Forging Your Own Path with Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde

WANTcast Episode 021: On Adrenaline Addiction + Forging Your Own Path with Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde

the WANTcast

I always remind myself that no big choice I've made has failed me yet. - @balancedblondie Click To Tweet

Chances are, you’ve heard of Jordan Younger, akaThe Balanced Blonde.” Maybe it’s because of her best-selling book, Breaking Vegan. Maybe it’s because of her lifestyle blog that’s literally read by thousands of people worldwide weekly. Maybe it’s because of her adorable clothing line, or uber-popular social media channels…

…Or maybe it’s because you saw her on virtually every morning news circuit two years ago, when she “came out” to her readers saying her intense focus on healthy, vegan living had spiraled her into an eating disorder. One that had zero to do with veganism but everything to do with the way she was using the label to mask her unnatural obsession with eating as “pure” as possible. And one that, subsequently, made her the target of intense hate and even death threats from people convinced that she was speaking ill of the vegan community.

In reality, nothing could have been farther from the truth – or the real Jordan behind the news headlines and blog posts. Only 26 years old (as of today! Happy Birthday, Jordan!), Jordan’s transition from The Blonde Vegan (her former blog name) to The Balanced Blonde made her a wellness “It Girl” virtually overnight. She’s managed to navigate both the highest highs and lowest lows of being in the public eye with grace, humor, and integrity, all while unapologetically being, well, herself. She is bubbly like champagne, kind to the core, and just as enthusiastic about championing others’ success as she is when it comes to pursuing her own. She takes her work seriously but takes reactions in stride, and treats each person she meets like a new friend in the making. In a scene that’s becoming almost overly-saturated with a wellness-elite vibe, Jordan is a breath of fresh air and true authenticity.

After years of “knowing” each other from afar and running in so many of the same circles, Jordan and I finally got to met at the WANT Moving Forward Fearlessly event back in April. She crushed it (check out the recap here). And she’s become a cherished friend ever since.

WANT-April2016-211

What I love about Jordan is that she doesn’t apologize for being who she is, and she doesn’t tailor herself to fit other people’s liking. We share countless similarities – from our history with Orthorexia to our blogging backgrounds to our Libra birthdays – and I know I can always speak candidly to her about both the exciting moments and, well, b.s. that comes along with starting up your own purpose project from scratch.

The thing about Jordan is that while she’s gotten a lot of outward success in a relatively short amount of time, what impresses me the most about her is how completely transparent she is about her journey getting there, how she was feeling at the time, and how she currently navigates the extremes that come with both being a highly creative and driven person. It’s a lot easier to take risks and pivot when you’re lesser known or just starting out at whatever you’re doing, but once you’ve got all eyeballs all on you, it can be tough not only to take those risks in the fist place, but also manage the reactions of others you get in response to those risks. She’s able to laugh at herself, is incredible self-aware, and takes it all in stride without throwing out the sensitive parts of her that have made her so magnetic to so many people.

In this episode we talk about adrenaline addiction, the fear of success instead of fear of failure, finding the work style the works for you, how Jordan has learned to manage both the highs and lows of her business while staying true to herself, being a leader when you still feel like you’re learning, and forging your own journey even when it’s tempting to compare yourself to other people in your age range or career field. We also talk about some of her not-so-traditional health and spiritual adventures, the latter of which starts off with us laughing about it, but ends with a lesson all of us should remember about believing what we can’t see.

I can’t think of a more perfect, pragmatically positive person to kick off Season Two of the WANTcast.

WANT JORDAN:

Listen in iTunes | Play in new window | Direct download

Show Notes:
The Balanced Blonde
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Snapchat
Breaking Vegan
E-book preorder
Jordan at WANT’s event in April
That time she was on Chelsea Handler’s Snapchat
Miranda Alcott
Orthorexia, Explained

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Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes, share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

the-balanced-blonde-quote

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