Earlier this year, I decided to highlight some of the incredible people in my life that run their worlds — my role models, my colleagues, and my friends. It was also a way to keep promoting my own book (have you gotten your copy yet and left a review?), but I never realized how much more it was for me.
After publishing my book about running my own world and empowering myself through fitness, I found myself very ungrounded. I still struggled to be my full, authentic self in other areas of my life. I was so vulnerable in my book, but I struggled to be just as vulnerable at work, with my friends, and with my family. I didn’t feel as courageous as I had thought. Much to my dismay, the walls I spent years building stayed up, and I felt challenged to figure out why.
More Than Yoga and Retail Therapy
With new health insurance (bless tf UP), I was finally able to see a therapist (okayyy, it still costs the same as a SoulCycle class, but it’s actually better for me!). With my amazing therapist, I’ve been able to dig deeper about what’s causing my anxiety and inner turmoil.
I have a deep fear of judgment, which I’ve written about before. This fear causes me to judge myself, and as an overachieving perfectionist, it doesn’t fair well. The negative self-talk in my mind was making every day an internal hell, even though I might project a “positive, powerful badass” vibe to others. Fake it ‘til you make it, right?
Unfortunately, not for me. Fitness definitely empowered me to overcome my eating disorder, and I’m so grateful for that. Still, I realized I would have to do a little more soul searching to release my deeper fears.
Disclaimer: soul searching sucks.
It’s not all *woo woo* and crystals — it’s painful. PTSD surfaced years after trauma, and it forced me to realize that burying my issues would only intensify them later.
I have realized that these fears, this anxiety, and the negative self-talk stems from not being my most authentic self in all areas of my life. I haven’t been surrounding myself with the support system I need.
Being a people-pleaser has been detrimental to my own wellbeing. In this weird world of social media, I’ve struggled with understanding why more people think we’re BFFs than I actually reciprocate. I only have a couple friends I consider my closest companions — who know the WHOLE me, not just one or two hats I wear — and outside of that, it freaks me out knowing that others trust me as one of their best friends. I feel like I can’t show up fully to be there for them, and then I have a deep fear of burning bridges and hurting them (…and them judging me).
For too long, I had been saying “YES!” to too many *networking* opportunities. I was spending more time trying to connect with acquaintances instead of fostering deeper relationships. Once I realized that I was craving deep connections, I asked my closest loved ones to hold me accountable to that.
I’m so grateful for everyone that reminded me to DO LESS. The ones who truly care about me never minded when I said “no.” I’m so thankful they have challenged me to above all respect myself and define my self-worth.
So, what does constitute self-worth and self-love?
I’m still figuring it out. Some days, it’s dressing up and doing my hair and makeup without fear of unwanted attention. Other days, it looks like splurging on super cozy pajamas because I miss being that person that sleeps 8 hours a night and I hope they might help me sleep better (they do, so it’s worth the money). Most days, though, it looks like doing less —
- Sitting my ass at home, reading a good book (from the library, of course) — not feeling obligated to go to an event because of FOMO
- Honoring my own thoughts — not thinking about what’s next on the to-do list or obsessively planning my calendar to feel “in control” of my life
- Allowing myself time to imagine and be creative — not punishing myself for not being “productive”
Mostly, I do this to feel more centered around my values. When I feel grounded internally, I find it easier to pursue my values externally. I don’t feel obligated to be with people I don’t want to be with or do things I don’t want to do. Peer pressure doesn’t phase me, and I don’t feel like I have to explain myself. I follow my own energy and seek similar energies. I pursue my own energy.
This Run Your World series has been more than a blog to promote my friends. It’s been a reminder that yes, I may be a little crazy — wait, no.
FLIP THAT NARRATIVE.
I am bold, and not a lot of people fully understand me. But, I understand myself and acknowledge my powerful energy. I am attracted to strong vibrations in other people, and Run Your World has reminded me why I surround myself with such positive, powerful vibes — they support me and challenge me to shine my own, one-of-a-kind light.
I realized I didn’t actually write my book to share my story. As a people-pleaser, I would adore if my book positively affected anyone! But, I really wrote my book for myself. It was tremendously therapeutic to process all of my trauma and inner demons and to highlight how I overcame them. I’m still shocked how far I was able to come without any professional help, and now that I’m finally seeing a therapist, I can recognize what my book really meant to me.
I wrote my book to end a chapter in my own life story — the chapter of feeling controlled by my past with shame and letting what happened to me dictate my future. Yes, I’ve been through some shit. But, it only made me smarter and stronger, and with those lessons learned I have been able to run my world. Running my world will look and feel different throughout the years, and despite what’s happened to me, I will ALWAYS be the person to make things happen.
I Run My World
I know I’m an extremely hard worker. I know that I’m an immensely passionate and loving person. I know that I’m incredibly emotional and authentic.
All of these things can be great when used for good. However, they have their consequences too. I know that when I don’t give a shit about something, I REALLY don’t give a shit. I know that when I communicate negative feelings, I can seem like a cold-hearted bitch. When I want to get something done, I ignore everything and everyone else until it’s done.
Given all of this, I won’t hold back my energy. I’m learning more and more how proud I am to be *extra*. I was the shy little one for so long, and as an introvert, I still can be, but I will gladly own my strong personality. The more I surround myself with other strong personalities, the more comfortable I become with my own. I may not agree with everyone who runs their world in their own individual way, but I’m damn inspired to feel connected with someone else who radiates strong energy, too.
I hope that you pursue your own energy and cultivate your own tribe that supports you.
Should I interview more people who run their worlds? Would you prefer a podcast interview? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram. I want to connect you with as many powerful people as possible!
If you want to learn more about self-love, I encourage you to sign up for the CHAARG Body Positivity Challenge. As a leader, I’m sharing tips from my personal experiences to add to your own self-love toolkit. Instead of a Spring Fit Plan, we’re equipping you to love yourself fully and find ways to show up as your most true self — the one that you love! For more information, visit the CHAARG website here.
++ Mary K