Too many women give up - beaten down, decide it’s easier to wait until life settles, opportunities magically appear, or believe their time has passed, altogether...too willing to pass the baton on to our younger counterparts.
But why is that? Aren't we in our prime? Don't we have years of experience under our proverbial belts? Shouldn't our wisdom give us unshakeable confidence?
In our years of supporting women (and knowing ourselves), we have found that the most significant answer boils down to FEAR. Maybe not a rampant fear for our lives, but fears that still paralyze us none-the-less and keep us in holding patterns year after year as life slips away, despite all the experiences and wisdom we've acquired with age.
Unfortunately, this results in our fears restraining us from UnLeashing our true and greatest selves.
These fears can include:
FEAR of what others will think about us. Yes, we can still be stuck here after years of life chipping away.
FEAR of not having enough. Sometimes, we tend to keep an eye on what others have instead of what is right in front of us.
FEAR of being alone. So many of us are starting over after life takes a turn we weren’t expecting.
FEAR of our ever-changing bodies. (Menopause, weight gain, health issues that we have never dealt with before.)
FEAR of failure of what could happen if we step out of our comfort zone or start something new at our age.
It’s time to get out of our heads.
It's so easy to get stuck in our head, not moving forward, frozen by these fears. Most of the time, it’s easier to default back to what we know and what is “comfortable" while still longing for something better. We've lived long enough to learn many hard lessons but still live with a quiet nagging deep within us that we want something more.
We've come to realize there are at least five things that can help us move past our fears and step into the woman we know exists within us. Maybe you're well on this path, or perhaps it's time to take inventory of where you are and start taking active steps to be that woman you know you can be.
These five ways to UnLeash your best self include:
1. UnLeashing Old Ways
Do you ever feel like you're trapped in your old ways of thinking about money, your health, work, or life in general, not moving ahead and feeling stuck?
We know that feeling too – old habits are hard to break! But, we were so determined to move past being stuck and make meaningful changes. We wanted to regain control and pave a better way for our second acts in life. It hasn't always been easy, but it certainly has been worth it.
We’re here to say that you don't have to stay stuck in a life that doesn't look and feel like the life you want and deserve. As overused as it sounds, it truly does start by taking that first step. Maybe it's through journaling, working on new habits, creating a new schedule, or working with a professional to help you move forward in this area. Envision for yourself; what kind of life do you see? What does it look like? Not in general words, but specifics. The more detailed, the better! Let this lead your way.
2. UnLeashing Fears
In our opinion, fear should be a four-letter word. Some of our obstacles in life are a direct result of F-E-A-R. But what if you pushed through this time? What if you knew just how limitless you are? Fears place massive limits on our potential. If removed, the limitations we place on ourselves would be nonexistent.
"Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self- doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be sure that we have to do it.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
We will not change until where we are currently is MORE uncomfortable than where we want to be. Keep that dream and vision you've created front and center! Facing fears doesn't come easy, but learning how it feels to step toward them regularly and be OK with it is possible. Start small and work up!
What are your biggest fears? What small step(s) can you make to get started today?
3. UnLeashing Confidence
People have and will have all sorts of opinions about us. We'd love to say we've grown past this, yet others' opinions still can shake our confidence if we're not careful.
We've all been there, taking out parts of ourselves piece by piece to appease, fit in, or mold ourselves into someone we don't recognize, to be what others want us to be. The gems that make us uniquely beautiful, slowly removed from our crown one-by-one, by circumstances or other people. Over time, we end up shining for no one; all our confidence, dulled and lost.
Confidence is so much more than physical or outward appearances. Society focuses more on our physical appearance, but confidence spans way beyond a pretty face or a size number on your clothes. Confidence is our inner shine. Have you ever admired someone who, regardless of the odds against her, went after her dream? Or, wished you could put yourself out there more irrespective of success or failure because it satisfied your steady march toward your dream?
Confidence shines in all facets, and it's ours to own. If we are to unleash our confidence, we need to take full responsibility for it, allowing no one else to alter it. Protect it, but also feed it. As stated before, taking steps to overcome our fears and letting go of old ways feeds our confidence. It's time to take our power back!
A great way to build confidence is through journaling. We love what journaling can do for our mindset, so start a confidence journal. Journal confidence breakers you've experienced or been told, then started to believe and own it as your own. Afterward, destroy it...it's liberating! Last, journal confidence builders. We don't need to wait or rely on others to build our confidence – this stands on shaky ground. Instead, write out daily what you overcame, accomplished, etc. We know it's easy to take ourselves for granted, so a daily nod to ourselves can, over time, help us build that self-confidence. Reread it anytime you need that extra boost!
We'd love to hear from you in The UnLeashed Woman's Facebook group or comment below on your confidence breakers and builders.
4. UnLeashing Friendships
At this stage of your life, you may already have gotten to the point where you no longer have the time or energy for meaningless, draining, or forced interactions with friends. We have friends of the road and friends of the heart.
Friends of the Road:
These are the friends we meet along the way. They are situational friends; Think, co-workers, your neighbor, your hairdresser, etc. You’re journeying on the same road in certain situations or points where you’ve placed yourself. You enjoy each other's company when you are together. When your situation changes and you’re no longer on that same road, they are the friends that the friendship fizzles. You don’t have that heart connection that would encourage you to make that friendship a priority.
Friends of the Heart: This is the friend you connect with on a deep level. Your friendship has depth and an emotional connection. Knowing them makes you a better person. You feel better for knowing them. They enrich your life and support you. The admiration is mutual, and you lift and inspire each other. Even if your lives take different paths, they are still heart-centered friends with a deep bond. These types of friends are few and far between, so hold them close to your heart and honor that special friendship.
Over the years, we've had many "friends of the road" and very few "friends of the heart." Regardless of the type of friendships we have encountered or built over the years, they have helped us discover our truest self, taught us valuable lessons, and helped us live a fully unLeashed life.
You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people that you choose to be around.
5. UnLeashing Our Money Mindset.
Do you agree that as women, sometimes we need to flip our mindset on money and wealth? Starting with our mindset is the first step!
Our mindset surrounding money can be, well, complicated. So much of our past creates the money story we live in today. We've also realized that as women, talking about it is not the easiest! It's bigger than how we grew up, but society and peer pressures can impact how we feel about it also.
To UnLeash our Money Mindset, we MUST start by adopting a new way of looking at what we have vs. what we don’t have. Because the reality is, if we can manage the money we have right now well, we set ourselves up to be in a much better position when we are blessed with more.
Money is funny - if you want more of it, give it the kind of attention it loves.
Three ways to start the money mindset shift:
Discover old money stories. Many today still hold on to old money stories, possibly things they heard growing up. “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” What are your old stories that play on repeat in your mind?
Refocus your attention. Rewrite a new money story in Present Tense. The future is unwritten; if you don’t like where you are, write a new story! Don't minimize the power of a new story, but don't write it just once and expect a miracle. Like old habits, they don't disappear overnight. Stay consistent and write it often.
Dream big!. We live in a fantastic time where we all have so many opportunities in front of us, not just to dream big, but actually to leap forward and go for our dreams and to challenge ourselves.
It's time to embrace opportunities for growth and step into them. Consistently check what's feeding your mindset, who you're surrounded by, and learning something new that aligns with the direction of our passions and goals.
We'd love to hear more from you in a comment below or our Facebook group. We can't wait to find out what you're overcoming and where your dreams are taking you as you forge your path to living an UnLeashed Life! 💖