So… I’m reading this great book. It’s called Girl Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis, and it’s a non-fiction book about the lies we tell ourselves, and how if we can recognize the truth, we can actually achieve our dreams. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy, OR, if you are an audio kind of person, Rachel narrates the book herself and it is so powerful hearing it. To get a free audiobook, go to audibletrial.com/girltrieslife and search Girl Wash Your Face.
This book very much has inspired today’s coaching session on the lies that we tell ourselves. I’ve known for a long time that I’ve lied to myself and told myself that I’m not enough. Not enough in the workplace, as a mother, as wife, etc. I wrote a huge old blog post about it, so if you want to read that you can check it out here.
The lie that I want to focus on today is that I need my crutches.
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Emotional eating. Escapism. Netflix. Youtube. Living in my bed. These are all my go-to crutches for dealing with hard things. Now, for anyone thinking for a second, “wait, hey, those sound like self-care,” let me explain that chilling out in your bed with Netflix might be self care for some, but I KNOW it isn’t self-care for me. I know that because it rarely recharges me beyond physically providing some rest. For me, self-care comes in the moments where my energy is revitalized, where I’m inspired, where I’m motivated or when I’m at peace and content with decisions and actions I’ve taken.
And yet… and yet…
And yet in so many hard times I turn to my crutches. My kid screamed bloody murder for two hours so I turn to a mug of cookie dough because I deserve it. I watch reruns of the Bachelor because it’s easier to tune out than it is to face whatever emotional challenge needs digging in to. I live in my bed because it’s easier than saying to my husband that I want us to spend more quality time together.
Here’s the irony. In theory a crutch should boost you up, to help you hobble along in difficult moments.
Does it sound like my chosen crutches are actually doing their job? To me, as I listen to myself, it sounds like these crutches are actually sinking me further to the ground. They’re destabalizing me instead of healing me.
Maybe your crutch is your phone, or working overtime, or exercising to the point of exhaustion. Maybe your crutch is alcohol, or gambling, or drugs. Maybe your crutch is cleaning your house, or creating an epic to do list, or gardening.
What’s interesting is that from the outside looking in, many of our crutches can look and seem healthy. I mean… gardening? How is gardening not healthy? How is cleaning your house a bad thing? I’m not saying they’re inherently bad things. I’m saying that if you’re choosing to do that thing all the time rather than face the emotional challenge, maybe then you have an issue.
We can’t run away forever. The deep, dark, scary always catches up with us. And the crutch isn’t always so supportive.
I’m not saying it’s easy. Facing up to the emotional challenge can feel brutal. Do you know why it feels brutal? Because we usually have to face something about ourselves, our lives or our history that we’re uncomfortable with. I get it – discomfort sucks. It’s easier to lay in bed and watch Coffee in Cars with Comedians. I hear you.
But the longer you use your crutch, the longer you put off building strength in your legs. Do you want to get to the point where you have a permanent limp? Or would you rather go through the hard work of physio and get back into fighting shape?
Yes, I’ve been attacking this crutch/leg metaphor pretty hard here, so I’m going to stop.
What I will say is that the ‘crutch’ is usually built around lies that we’ve told ourselves because the lie is easier than facing the truth.
You’ve got to get real with yourself. Nobody else is going to do it for you. They’ve got their own issues to worry about.
If you want to be living your best, most vibrant life, you need to take charge.
You’re in control of yourself, the decisions and choices that you make, and so much more.
I have total faith that you can throw away the crutch and step up to the version of yourself that you’ve dreamt of.
Field of dreams, baby. If you build it, they will come.