Permission to make your own dreams a reality

The following is from an email from Ruth Soukup.  I subscribe to her email mailing list, and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I shared her wonderful message with you.  I was first introduced to Ruth through her book “31 Days of Living Well and Spending Less.”  Because of this book, our family just went through our first spending freeze.  We called it “No Spend September.”  It wasn’t exactly fun, but we learned a lot.  She has some really great ideas.  I recommend you check out her website.

From Ruth:

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to connect with a small group of LWSL readers for a special private Goal Crushing Mastermind. As part of our time together, two brave volunteers stepped forward to go on the “hot seat” to share some of the time management issues they have been struggling with, in the hopes that together as a group, we might be able to brainstorm a few solutions.

While the challenges each of the two women were facing seemed quite different on the surface, it soon became clear that there were some common threads to both.

First, both women were struggling with the overwhelming feeling that there wasn’t enough time in the day to get done everything that needed to be done. There were simply too many things to do, and not enough hours to do all of them.

But as we dug deeper, it became clear that this wasn’t just a problem of having too much to do, but of constantly feeling torn between those tasks that they felt had to be done and of longing to make time for those tasks that they really wanted to do.

Can anyone else relate?

As we talked, I realized just how common this feeling really is! As women and moms, we tend to put SO much pressure on ourselves! There’s the pressure to be a better mom and a better wife and a better cook and a better homemaker, the pressure to be more organized and make more money and to create more work-life balance. There’s the pressure to lose weight or to wear nicer clothes or drive a better car or have a bigger, more impressive house. There’s the pressure to have a healthy, organic, homemade dinner on the table every night, and to somehow always magically keep the laundry done, and to keep the house perfectly clean and to have kids that are smart and talented and always well-behaved.

There’s so much pressure that we put on ourselves to live up to someone else’s ideal, that we forget it’s okay to make our own dreams and goals a priority too.

The reality is that we can’t do it all. None of us can. And I promise you that even the perfect mom you are watching from afar, the one you’ve convinced yourself has it all together, has her own set of struggles too.

And that is exactly why it is so important to stop comparing and to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to live up to a standard that doesn’t actually exist!

Instead, we need to be brave enough to spend our time and energy doing the things that spark our passion and make us feel most alive, even if that means letting the laundry pile up or choosing takeout over a home-cooked meal sometimes.

Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Along those same lines, Mae Jemison once wrote, “It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”

In other words, give yourself permission to go after your dreams.

Your goals and the things you are most passionate about are worth making time for, not just because they’ll bring more joy and fulfillment to your life (which they will), but because giving yourself permission to live in your sweet spot will make a difference in everything else you do. It will make you a better wife, a better mom, a better friend. You’ll have more energy to get things done. The world will seem brighter and clearer and more alive.

And so, my challenge for you this week, is to stop being so hard on yourself and to start giving yourself permission to make your own dreams a priority. Stop putting pressure on yourself to live up to an ideal that isn’t real, and instead be honest with yourself. What secret goals have you been pushing aside because you’ve convinced yourself there’s no time? What are the things you wish you could be doing that fill you up and spark your passion and make you feel like the best version of yourself? Make time for them, friends, before it’s too late.

I dare you.

That’s all for now–have an amazing & joy-filled weekend!

xoxo, Ruth

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