by Lizzie Randazzo
The world we live in is full of opinions, judgments, and pressure. Unless we actively dig for the truth and dismiss the lies, they will paralyze us against living our lives to the fullest.
1. My body isn’t good enough, but hers is.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt
Should I also quote Mean Girls to make my point? “'My hips are huge!' 'I hate my calves.' 'At least you guys can wear halters. I've got man shoulders.' 'I used to think there was just fat and skinny. But apparently there's lots of things that can be wrong on your body.'”
Everyone has something they would like to change about their physique. You know that girl you envy? She isn’t content either. Eating right and exercising is important for health, but not because you aren’t good enough today. You were crafted in the image of the Lord, the originator of beauty. Most of us will continue to struggle with discontent regarding our appearance. We need to quit the stupid game of comparison. Name your internal beauties. Remind yourself how you are nurturing, funny, resilient, courageous, supportive, sincere, or motivated, and so wonderfully unique. Confidence on the outside starts with confidence within.
2. I’m getting “old.”
“Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn't want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer.” William Holden
If only I had a nickel for the number of times I hear twentysomethings say “I’m getting so old!” Yes, you are getting older. But you are not “old.” I think the transition into adulthood is more difficult because it’s the first time in your life that you aren’t sure being older is better. But being older is actually better because you have more adventures and experiences under your belt. Each period of your life has something so beautiful within it. The timeline might not be what you pictured, but it is still beautiful. You will never be younger than you are at this very moment. Rather than worrying about aging, intentionally grow well today. Look back introspectively and grow in wisdom, refusing to limit yourself by your age.
3. My dreams are unrealistic.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
Every single thing around you started with an idea. That coffee table – someone’s idea. That computer – idea. Sticky notes – ingenious idea, although not started by Romy and Michelle. For many of us, our natural tendency is to think that our idea is so crazy or complicated that it would never work. When I was starting Market Colors, I only invited a few key people into the development of it because I knew what my idea was (and that it was a little crazy) and I didn’t want outside opinions to discourage me. Your dream might be less about creating and more about going. Know that any dream you embark on will require a lot of work, sacrifice, risk and time to see results. But you will also experience excitement like you never have before. Getting to write the answer to your “what if” is unmatchable. Whatever adventure you take, go with confidence knowing that you are capable and your dreams need you to make them happen.
4. I can do it all by myself.
“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” Anne Wilson Schaef
As an independent, Enneagram Type 8, asking for help is not something that comes easily to me. I struggle with a certain level of wanting to appear strong. I like knowing that I can do something by myself. I like struggling with that jar of jelly until I pry it open all alone. While there can be merit in working things out alone, and possibly calluses from opening jelly jars, you need to know that asking for help is completely acceptable. There is a difference between getting help and depending on others to carry you. Asking for help takes intentionality and modesty and it often has a timeframe – one task, month, or project. Having others to lean on also builds camaraderie and community - - two things important for any human.
5. When I get (---), everything will be good.
“Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes. . . . Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.”
Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines
Insert what fits you: married, my dream job, skinnier, out of Orlando, Chicago, wherever. It’s a lie, possibly one of the most crippling and paralyzing. Dismiss the preconceived ideas of what makes for a happy life. Be present in the daily monotonies, joyfully acknowledging that this is all a part of your journey. Celebrate today for the achievements you’ve had, the scars you wear, and the people who have been there for both. Excitement for the future and all that’s ahead doesn’t mean we can put today on hold. If we continue to treat today like the waiting room we may come to realize we’ve made it our permanent home.
Make a list of the five lies you are caught believing. When we give our lies the power of truths, we’ve lost the fight. Name your lies, back them into the corner, and defeat them one day at a time.