How to show up for yourself on the regular.

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I just returned from a road trip with my 12-year-old son which was magical. Just a mom and son trip for seven days.

I’ll be honest; my son is getting to an age where I just want time to slow down. And since I know it won’t, I have had to intentionally slow down myself to soak in this incredibly special time in his childhood. Which is not easy, because I feel like I’m in a phase of life where there are so many demands.

So I literally created a container where I was going to spend time with my son. I put us in the car for 40+ hours together, we went through four states and traveled over 2500 miles. And that trip will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The trip was not convenient to go on to; I had a lot of reasons for not making time for it. It was really challenging to try to juggle everything that had to happen to make it possible. It cost me resources, time, and money. And I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. Let’s face it: sometimes the idea of being alone with your child can be terrifying. You don’t know what kind of mood they’re going to be in, especially at this age. My son and I have never traveled together alone for that length of time, we’ve always had his dad with us. There was some risk-taking there.

So why did I do it?

Because we show up for the things we care about. We’re willing to take risks and get uncomfortable for the things that we care about.

This ties into what I want to talk about today: the topic of why you don’t show up for yourself.

 

The reason why don’t you show up for yourself

Why don’t you keep the promises that you make to yourself? Why don’t you take risks for yourself? Why don’t you go after the things in your heart? Why aren’t you willing to get uncomfortable?

The answer isn’t really complicated. There’s nothing wrong with you. You simply made a habit out of not doing those things.

I always tell my students this is the greatest news ever, because it means that you can change if you want to.

 

You can change your practices at any stage of life

I had a client tell me recently: “Courtney, I just don’t understand why I don’t make myself a priority”. And she was saying that in a way that I could tell she was making it mean that there was something wrong with her. There was no way she was going to make herself a priority from that space. So I told her what I’m telling you.

The only reason you haven’t been making yourself a priority is because you haven’t been practicing making yourself a priority.

My client has been practicing making her kids, her career and her partner a priority. She has very compelling reasons for making those things a priority. But she has yet to put herself on that list. Because she thinks about her kids, career and partner differently than she thinks about herself.

She has spent so much time cultivating those relationships, that the relationship with herself is the thing that she felt she needed to sacrifice in order to do that. She has lost sight of the fact that the common denominator in all of those relationships is her. If she isn’t well, all the other relationships will suffer.

 

We consistently show up for the things that we care about

Consider for a moment the spaces and places where you show up day in and day out without fail. Do you make your bed every day? Do you brush your teeth every day? Do you go to work even though you don’t feel like it? Do you feed your pets?

Now consider why you do those things. Because you have very compelling reasons for doing them. You know why those things matter to you, and there’s some way you are benefiting on the other side of it. When you feed your pet, they stay alive. When you brush your teeth, you get to keep your teeth in your face. When you go to work, you get to bring home a paycheck.

I recently bought a new car, which was a big deal. We’ve been on the hunt for a long time, and we happened to buy a new car in December that I absolutely love and appreciate. So every single week I take time to clean it out, organize it and wash it. I want my whole life to feel like this car, so I take really good care of it because I appreciate it and I value it.

It is my goal in life to help as many women as possible to treat themselves equally as well, if not far better than they are treating their cars or their houses or their jewelry. So if you have not been showing up for yourself, I want to offer that it is very likely that it is stemming from one of two things.

1. You never think about yourself

You never spend time with yourself. You don’t have much of a relationship with yourself because you’re always putting your attention elsewhere, which you could easily rationalize is a really selfless thing.

2. You lack a sense of self-worth

The other reason you may not be showing up for yourself is because of the way you think about yourself. Maybe you find yourself constantly looking for evidence for what is selfish or indulgent about your own self-care, or why you just don’t have the time for it.

 

How to mend the relationship with yourself

Can you imagine thinking of feeding your dog each day as an indulgent activity? It’s not indulgent; it’s how we keep the dog alive. Or can you imagine feeling guilty about making your bed each day? I really love getting into a neatly made bed at the end of the day, and never once have I told myself a storyline that made me feel guilty about it.

But that’s not necessarily true with making time to go to the gym, spending time in the kitchen preparing some new recipe, or going for a 20 minute walk at lunchtime. I can make up grand storylines about how indulgent those things are.

So why should our self-care be any different than the other things that we’re showing up consistently for?

Again, you can build new practices at any time. And new practices begin by getting really clear on your compelling reasons for developing them. When it comes to self-care, becoming someone who consistently shows up for yourself starts with mending the relationship that you have with yourself.

 

Get curious about yourself

Many women that I work with either have a very challenging relationship with themselves (sometimes even toxic), or they just don’t have a relationship with themselves because they simply aren’t making time for that.

So we start by carving out some time to be with ourselves. This doesn’t have to be an epic period of time. We could spend 5-10 minutes just checking in, asking ourselves things like: How you doing today? What’s going on? How can I support you? What do you need from me today?

You have to be willing to get curious about why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and what you actually need to feel supported in your life.

 

Practice loving yourself

Part of mending the relationship with yourself is practicing talking to yourself in a way that is kind and respectful, because that is how healthy relationships are forged. Thinking about yourself in a loving way is a practice.

One of my favorite questions is: What would love do? How would love respond to this? What advice would love give you?

I’ve also heard a lot of people use the analogy that when you’re struggling to give yourself advice, talk to yourself as if you were talking to your best friend. That’s what I mean. So if I didn’t show up for myself in some way today or I made a mistake, what would be a respectful way of thinking about this? How can I be kind to myself within this?

The practice most women I work with have when things don’t go the way they expected them to go is they berate, judge and bully themselves. And when you are in that kind of relationship, why would you keep showing up? Why would you go the extra mile to spend time with that person? You wouldn’t. You don’t.

 

Show up consistently

Here’s another thing that I think we all need the reminder of: you don’t need to get rid of the other things you care about in order to make room for yourself. You get to have a giving and generous heart for others, and simultaneously take care of yourself. Those two things can coexist. And when you start to get clear on how taking care of yourself serves the things in your life that you are so deeply dedicated to, you’ll be so much more compelled to find a way to fit yourself into your own schedule.

You’re doing this all the time with other things. You find a way to get yourself to work, even when you don’t feel like going to. Because you weigh the costs, you ultimately decide that going to work and having a paycheck is worth leaning into discomfort for.

So you’re willing to practice emotional agility. You’re willing to not feel like going and do it anyway, because what you want on the other side is so much more important to you than being comfortable in this moment.

Brushing your teeth is not fun and exciting, but you still show up to do it every day because you have compelling reasons. And yet I often hear women rationalizing: “I’m just bored with my food, so that’s why I’m not eating healthy”. Or “strength training has gotten boring for me”.

Why do you need to constantly be entertained to do things that honor your care?

One of the reasons behind that is because we’re conditioned by the wellness industry, by the diet industry and by the fitness industry to pursue novelty. To sign up for the new program, to do the new diet…

But the truth is, consistency is not fun and exciting.

 

Shift your thinking

You feed your children or your pets, even though it’s not always convenient and you don’t always feel like doing it. You adopt the something is better than nothing. Even though you may not always feed your children the healthiest choices, you still feed them something rather than nothing.

So when it comes to your self-care, why do you compromise so easily? Especially when challenges arise. Maybe you put in your planner that you’re going to go for a 30-minute walk tomorrow at lunch. But then you forgot your walking shoes, so you convince yourself that you can’t do anything. Or maybe you forgot to bring your lunch to work, so you convince yourself that you’ll just start tomorrow. And so you order something that isn’t going to honor the health of your body at all.

We compromise our own self-care so easily when our compelling reasons are not in the forefront of our mind.

This is because you are thinking about yourself in a very different way than how you think about the things that you do consistently show up for. You’re thinking about exercise differently than about showing up for your children every day.

 

Find your ‘why’

The whole point of this blog post is hopefully to inspire you to consider how you might need to shift your thinking. Also to create some time to get clarity about why your own self-care is of such value to you and everyone around you.

This is something I find myself doing time and time again. When I’m working with clients or students, and they’re committing to some kind of new behavior, I will drill them about why.

Don’t just put “I’m going to have a smoothie tomorrow for breakfast” on your schedule. Put your ‘why’ right next to that commitment. Why are you drinking that smoothie for breakfast? “Because I want to nourish my body, I want to be focused at work, I want to be less reactive with my kids, I want to feel strong in my workouts…” When you remind yourself of the reason behind the commitment, you are so much more likely to show up for it.

 

More resources about consistency

I have a lot of resources available to you. If you want a free resource, I recommend that you go to the Grace & Grit website and type in the word ‘consistency’ in the search engine. The website will show you all the podcast episodes and resources that I have on that topic.

But if you want to do a deeper dive, there are two ways to do that.

You can purchase The Consistency Code program, which is a self-led 4-week program. It’s made up of 4 modules, and it is the meat and potatoes of everything I teach everywhere else. It costs $59, which I think is a screaming deal. Once you purchase it, you’ll have access to it for as long as it stays online (which I have no plans on taking it down anytime soon).

There is also Rumble & Rise, my private membership community where women really dive into developing the practices of self-leadership in the health arena. A part of becoming a member of that program is that you get The Consistency Code for free, and becoming a member is also $59.

So you can buy the course by itself, which is $59. Or you can become a Rumble & Rise member, which is also $59 and gives you a thousand more benefits.

Learn more about the Rumble & Rise arena

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