During this series — which has been presented in both blog post and podcast formats — I have talked about several causes of our languishing as human beings right now and for the past years.
I’ve talked about how we are caught up in powerful systems like patriarchy, racism and capitalism. And I’ve talked about how those systems have so many women feeling trapped and stuck on the hamster wheel of life.
And, as I want to take a much-deserved and needed REST from performance striving such as recording my podcast while my girls are on summer break, I am bringing this series to a close, for now. I will be addressing these topics and MANY more in the coming days, weeks and months. But I’m putting this series to rest for now.
But first …
I want to give you some of my own life coaching wisdom — Shawn-isms — to help you get started on working to deconstruct and unlearn some of these oppressive power systems that have you — and most of us — languishing. The journey is long but if you begin today the closer you will be to making it to the other side.
—> You are invited to also receive MORE wisdom right now by signing up for my email list to receive my weekly-ish Brave Yes Newsletter AND as a way to help you get started on your own Brave Yes Journey, you will automatically get my 7 Days of Everyday Brave Yeses email course.
Listen to the more unfiltered, passionate version of this over on the Brave Yes Show podcast now or read below.
5 Life Coaching Pep Talks to Help You Step Out of Languishing Mode and Start Thriving
BREAKING DOWN OVERWORKING AND OVERDOING
The only way to stop overworking and overdoing is to know when you are. And the only way to really know is to check in with yourself. Only you can know what is too much and what isn’t. So start a daily — or multiple times a day — check-in with yourself. Find a way to talk to your body as if it’s your best friend. Your body knows when it’s in stress. Your body knows when it needs to slow down, rest, stop but you have to know what to do and when.
BREAKING DOWN PERFECTIONISM
Notice when you aren’t making progress in the parts of your life where you want to make change or experience momentum and ask yourself what perfectionism has to do with it. Is your binary mindset — all or nothing thinking — creating a situation where you can’t move forward out of fear of getting it wrong? Focus on the practice. The Journey. Not the outcome. And, see how your high expectations and extreme pressure to change people may be hurting other people as well.
Allow yourself to be totally honest about what you are capable of handling and when enough is enough on being strong. It’s OK to purposefully unpack your strongwoman backpack and lay it all down for a bit. This is all about giving yourself permission.
BREAKING DOWN SETTLING FOR LESS OR NOT GOOD ENOUGH
“I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and do the job,” she said on the Zoom session.
These were the exact words from a client I just started working with who wants to find a new career — one that allows her to fully self-express the way she longs to be seen in the world — but who also needs money to get where she wants to be.
She is feeling the pressure to settle or accept a life that isn’t really what she wants …
But, when she’s working in a corporate job, she doesn’t feel alive let alone aligned.
What she feels in those 9-5 work hours — and the toll it pays on her life, time and energy — is called Languishing — a state in mental health that describes a condition where you are not depressed but not thriving either.
Languishing is a no-joy land. It’s a no-pleasure space.
Well, today I am diving into another political system we are trapped under and that is the — or sucking it up — that so many amazing, talented, star-powered women like you get stuck in stagnation and languishing rather than taking the risks — or, what I call Brave Yes Leaps — needed to show up more authentically and aligned in this unique journey of being human.
Listen to this on the Brave Yes Podcast or keep reading below!
What happens when you feel trapped in your life or stuck in a bad job
We have all had to suck it up in our lives. Most of life, in fact, is about sucking it up — for at least the time being.
The question to ask yourself, though, is … “how long should I tolerate it?”
You may not feel like you are languishing because languishing is subtle. It can be evident to those around you or you may be the only one that knows.
There are many signs to be aware of when you are truly languishing in a situation or career where you are not flourishing in mind, body and spirit.
Believe it or not it is your right to thrive on this earth. You are worthy enough to feel good and have a good life. And to think otherwise is a sign that you need to make some changes to your inner belief system.
When you feel trapped or stuck, though, there are signs that can help you snap out of the mundane survival mode you are stuck in.
Those signs include:
Feeling like you are slogging through your days.
Waiting on perfect conditions to do what feels good
Resentment — what I call The Land of Bitter and Sour
Blaming Others or making excuses for your life
You have big dreams, but little follow through
Low energy, low ambition
You’re just dialing it in at work and at home
These signs are little red flags to pay attention to to decide just how long you have to tolerate your circumstances.
Because the pressure to stay comfortable and not do big, bold things is so great that it’s easier to stay in place than to make a change.
The opportunities to advance and grow and move are few and the risk is too great and so we end up doing one of two things.
Settling or accepting.
And then, beyond that, we take it further to the extreme and decide to stick with it or leave it all together.
Thinking there are only two options — Leaning in or opting out — is binary way of thinking and only perpetuates the cycle of languishing.
The Pressure to Settle or Accept What isn’t Serving You
“Never settle for less than you desire or deserve because when you accept crumbs people will assume that you are happy with scraps.” ― Stacye Branche
I’m always careful when I work with clients about one of my favorite practices: acceptance. It is what it is was a mantra I used for a long time.
Until I realized that sometimes it can work against you and cause women to settle too much into harmful, toxic situations.
For the record, I have NEVER been a settling type woman.
Settling is accepting less than you deserve or being treated in a way that isn’t serving you.
Settling isn’t the same thing as acceptance.
Acceptance is saying yes to an acceptable situation or circumstance with intention and purpose. You can accept a job that doesn’t go against your values while you work toward finding your life’s calling.
You settle when you don’t feel you can do better.
You settle when you don’t think you have anything more to offer.
You settle when your confidence is low or when you’ve lost sight of what’s most important to you and to your future self.
Acceptance, though, is about stepping into your power. It’s about making choices that are fully aligned and within your value system so while it’s not ideal it’s also not harmful or toxic.
You can intentionally accept what isn’t serving you so long as you know that it’s for the short term.
But the goal of any situation where you are settling needs to be to get your to the next situation that is more acceptable.
And the goal for any situation where you are in full acceptance should be to get you to a place of thriving.
All of these require you to move out of your comfort zone, though, or else you may remain in the land of land of bitter and sour and keep languishing for the rest of your life or career.
Knowing when it’s time to leave your comfort zone
When I took the Brave Yes Leap to quit working my 9 to 5 job eight years ago, it would have been easy to stay in my comfort zone of that employer that offered great benefits and a decent salary.
However, like my client I mentioned at the start of this post, I was languishing.
I wanted more time with my twin daughters.
I absolutely wanted more time for my creative work.
And I wanted freedom.
To leave that job meant leaving financial security behind. It meant no more human resources and a steady paycheck.
But to stay in a position that wasn’t helping me feel aligned in my life and creativity or making me feel good would have meant long-term languishing.
At that point, for me, I knew I needed to choose courage over comfort — just like I did last year when I decided to change the direction of my coaching work.
Where you want to learn to get comfortable is in your stretch zone as it’s going to help you get to where you can thrive.
Your stretch zone is where the magic in life resides. It’s where you get to test your courage and your audacity — but not in a way that is too scary or too much.
If you ignore your stretch zone and jump straight into big, scary change you may end up in the danger zone. The danger zone is so overwhelming and so out there that you might quit before you get too far. This is like diving into the deep end when you can’t swim. This could have you sinking in a state of languishing before too long.
Start in the shallow end and move to the middle — that is where the stretch zone is.
But it all begins, first, with the second stage of change — understanding and being AWARE that there is, definitely, a problem and something needs to change.
That’s when you can start to prepare and set intentions to take action to address your challenging situation.
You will no longer be slogging through the mud of life. Your steps will no longer feel heavy.
You will feel lighter.
A smile will pass your lips all day long.
You will be swept up in the current of your own bliss and joy.
You will be braver still because suddenly one scary brave yes makes all the others a little less so.
You will find new friends, new people who will gravitate to this new you. The more boundaried you.
But to do this, you must first choose yourself and invest in your own possibilities.
How many of us are women with little girls inside of us who had dreams that never came to fruition not because we weren’t capable but because we simply didn’t believe in ourselves or we didn’t have the stamina to keep doing the hard, uncomfortable parts of moving the needle in our life?
And, great news … you don’t have to languish — even if you are yet ready to make a change.
That is the beautiful thing about the journey toward wholeness. You can thrive right now AND work toward change that brings you full soul alignment.
Change is hard and takes time. It’s often filled with risk and uncertainty.
It is actually a whole lot easier to begin by creating a beautiful life where you are right now so that you feel fully supported and resilient while you are working toward change.
So back to my client who decided she needs to suck it up and take the 9-5 job — her big worry was about losing herself — not just her time and creative energy –but her whole beautiful, authentic identity.
And that worry is absolutely valid. 100 percent.
She can work on her thriving right now while she’s in the messy middle working toward her audacious, aligned life goals. And I told her I would absolutely help her with her time management and creative energy — that’s what I do — so that she doesn’t feel totally zapped by her day job.
And so I asked her about her frustration at not being able to self-express during her day job — what can she do to spice up her “vanilla work life?”
She had the perfect response …
Rolling in colorful sprinkles is the perfect antidote to coping with a less than ideal — but acceptable — situation.
You can thrive in place — so long as you know that you must keep moving. You must keep growing and changing and not giving up on yourself or your worth.
It’s OK to be in the comfort zone so long as you know it’s just a resting place, not a final destination.
It’s OK to settle for a bit so long as you are working toward the life of your future self where you are the shining star.