As a part of my goal of reinventing myself and trying new things, I decided to go to the GLOW, Girls Leadership Organized Women, Conference in Boston. It’s an annual conference for women and girls to help them gain confidence, receive effective tools for navigating the corporate world, and advance their careers down avenues they never dreamed of. Since I’m trying to break into the fitness and health coaching industry, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to put my best foot forward and try something new and educationally enriching. Not only that, the host of one of my favorite podcasts, Unf*ckYourBrain, was there as a keynote speaker.
Overall it was an amazing conference and being there really did help me realize that I have the ability to turn my life around and pursue the path I was meant to take. All it took was a little bravery and willingness to step outside my usual box by taking a risk I’ve never taken before. A year ago, I don’t think I would have been able to do this. Now, look at me!
That said, the main reason I wanted to create this entry was to go over some of the most prominent lessons I learned from the experience and share them all with you! Here are the top 10! Enjoy!
1. YOU MUST LIBERATE YOUR INTERNAL EXPERIENCE BEFORE YOU CAN LIBERATE ANY EXTERNAL EXPERIENCE
This was one of the first lessons bestowed upon us by Ms. Kara Lowenthiel. What does it mean? It means that you need to take the necessary steps to manage your mind and get your internal self under control before you can make any external changes in your life. We all like to think that we’ll feel much better if we just change this one thing that’s going on outside of ourselves, instead on focusing on whatever internal conflict is occurring. However, when we do that, the painful feeling that we were experiencing does not always go away. In order to make changes on the outside, you’ve got to take the time to look within yourself and ask what’s really causing you to feel this way? Only once you’ve figured out the thought that’s creating the feeling that’s pushing you toward a certain plan of action can you truly liberate both your internal and external experiences of life.
She mainly discussed this in terms of self-critical thoughts many of us as women often “buy into” from a young age. We don’t take the time to unlearn these self-critical principles and those negative principles begin to set the tone of how we think, feel, and act. At the end of the day, though, they’re just thoughts and you are in full control over how they “make” you want to behave. Take the time to focus on them and their origins in order to truly eliminate them so you can make whatever outside changes you truly need to.
2. THERE ARE NO POSITIVE RESPONSES TO NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
Ms. Lowenthiel also reminded us that when you’re acting from a state of anxiety and stress, you’re actually not going to produce at your most optimum level. This also goes for emotions like shame and guilt as well. A lot of us believe that we work hardest when we’re in an anxious or pressured state. Sure, you are working hard because you’re scared of what’ll happen if you don’t do the work, but you’re also not working as hard or as smartly as you could if you just managed your mind enough to work your way past your stress and focus on the task like you should.
Obviously, you can make something happen in a stressed-out state of mind, but how happy will you be doing that? Why would you want to do this over and over again if the simple solution would be to manage your mind as far as your anxiety toward the task and just get it done?
3. YOU CAN’T CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE
This is one of the most important lessons I think we could all learn. You can’t change other people. Their thoughts create their feelings which spur on their own actions. Sure, you can manipulate them through shame or coercion to change their behaviors, but more likely than not, that’s not going to last. The impulse to change others often comes from this internal need to feel “right” with ourselves by manipulating others to align with that “rightness.” Honestly, it doesn’t have as much to do with the other person as it does with how we see our relationship with other in a representative nature people.
It may not seem like it, but the easy solution to these types of situations is to just accept the person for who they are and manage your mind around their behaviors so you can make a meaningful decision for YOUR life. Sometimes that means leaving that person. Sometimes that means changing how you think about that person and society itself. Both of those are significantly easier than trying and hoping to change another human being.
4. LOOK FOR A PROBLEM TO SOLVE
There was a breakout session about how to find your next big idea in terms of starting a business. It’s actually really simple to start out. You just have to think about what you’re passionate about and what’s missing from that service or product industry. Basically, your next idea should be you trying to solve whatever problem you currently have. For me it’s that I don’t find it very often that fitness professionals combine mental well-being with physical well-being. I want to become a personal trainer who combines those ideas and provides a service that meets customers needs on both of those levels.
5. IDEAS GROW BY TALKING ABOUT THEM
I always thought that you had to hide all your ideas until you were ready to launch them so no one would steal your idea or put you down. I think in life you will meet people who are unsupportive of your ideas, but that doesn’t mean that your idea isn’t valuable. In business you will face a lot of rejection and somehow you’ll have to make it through in order for your business to prosper. Also, it’s very unlikely that someone will directly steal your idea as they would have to already have a passion for what you’re doing anyway in order to implement it. Either way, talk about what you want to do! You’ll gain support and a potential client base in the future. Also you’ll learn more about what kind of services you can provide so you can more accurately help or provide for your future clientele. TALK. The more information you acquire, the better.
6. EARLY JOBS ARE LEARNING EXPERIENCES
I think deep down inside I already knew this. Coming out of college I basically got picked up by the first company I got an offer from just because I didn’t feel that I had the luxury of being picky this early in my career. At the end of the day it was a rough experience, but I learned so much that I was able to carry into an even better career. Sometimes, you’re going to have to take a job you don’t like or doesn’t align with your passion, but hopefully you’re growing and gaining the skills you need to pursue the career you really love eventually.
7. SOCIAL MEDIA ONLY SHOWS THE GOOD, NEVER THE BAD
We’ve all seen those happy and amazing posts on social media our family and friends like to post that make us feel like our lives just can’t measure up. At the end of the day, I already knew this, but when you’re hundreds of posts deep in your instagram feed it’s hard to remind yourself that everyone in this world has bad days, not just you. In fact, I used to use social media myself to put on a front to prove that everything in my life was totally “hunky-dory” myself when it really wasn’t.
Just remember, that social media does not paint an accurate picture of someone’s life and we’re all our own unreliable narrators. Don’t let that cause you to believe that you’re the only person going through what you’re going through.