I recently read something that I cannot get out of my mind. Bronnie Ware worked as a nurse, caring for patients at the end of their lives. In her book, she spells out the top 5 regrets people had on their deathbed. The one that hit me like a sucker punch to the gut was the #1 regret:
#1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This is the trap I see crippling so many people.
The expectations come from all around us. They come from society and cultural norms, our families, our friends, our school systems, our coworkers, our partners and most especially ourselves.
Sometimes, we alter our lives to meet expectations no one has clearly communicated; we have just assumed. When we sit down and talk with our partners, family, friends or work colleagues, we find out all they genuinely care about is us being happy. The same freedom we crave is what they crave for us.
Other times, the fear is real. We have been handed roles we are blatantly expected to conform to, and they are suffocating. The consequences of choosing a different path are significant. I have more than one client right now navigating divorce. As painful as it is to walk through, the pain of staying was worse.
Breaking social norms is uncomfortable because of commentary we may have to face from people in our lives, strangers, or the awkwardness of feeling different from everyone else in a room. Being a mother who climbs the corporate ladder to CEO, or a father who decides to walk away from a high paying job to be a full time parent, are such examples.
My own transformation really began the night my husband and I had one of our biggest fights of our marriage. When I was honest with him and told him how much I was holding back what was inside because of how a handful of other people would react, I had no idea I was going to light a fire under my calm, mellow husband. He aptly pointed out I was being a hypocrite. He told me I needed to pick a new career if I wanted to teach people to follow their dreams, but wouldn’t play mine out in full force because I feared a few people’s responses.
You don’t have to die with this regret.
Living the life you crave is absolutely within your reach.
I know this for a fact because not only have I totally transformed my own life, but I have helped so many others do this work.
My program Release Your Favorite Self is centered on this very idea. Only YOU can define what your favorite life looks like. And only YOU can do the work to release it into the world.
It took me ten years, but it doesn’t need to take you that long. I can help you shave YEARS off the process with the tools in my toolbox.
If there is a gap between the life you are living today and the life you are craving, let’s chat.