There’s obvious change that happens in life where you know it’s coming like starting or graduating college, but then there’s not-so-obvious big changes like letting go of an old thought pattern or deciding you want something and figuring out how to go after it. We pay a lot of attention to the big changes, but I’ve found that most change comes from the sum of many subtle shifts. Today’s pep talk is not about managing change, but more about when the change you want to see in your life isn’t really happening, if you feel stuck, or what to think about when you want something to change.
what’s the story you’re telling yourself?
“I’m not good enough.” “I’m not smart enough.” “I can’t do that.” Have you ever said any of those to yourself? The stories we tell ourselves (about ourselves) are incredibly important and believe it or not for many people, a life long story you create about yourself can start during high school. In today’s pep talk, I share some common high school stories that pop up during the college process, how they affect your present, and how to change your story if you don’t love the one you’re telling yourself.
Ever try to relax and then tell yourself all the things you should be doing instead? I should be studying. I should be doing my laundry. I should be out with friends. This definitely ruins relaxing and I’ve seen it spike during the pandemic when we don’t have clear boundaries between all of our activities. Today’s pep talk, I share a quick tip for get out of the “shoulds” when it comes to downtime.
“I can’t get motivated.”
“I’m not being productive.”
Have you felt that lately? There are so many pandemic related reasons for burnout right now, but one hypothesis I have for a lack of drive is how we view our value. We’re used to measuring success based on productivity, but in a virtual school/work world it looks a lot different and it’s thrown us off. In this pep talk, I chat productivity, the effect of assigning output to our worth, and a mentor shift to help with motivation.
The word “productivity” popped up in my conversations lately and it stood out to me. It’s not a theme I usually hear. Normally with my students, I get a lot of, “I have so much to do, I don’t know where to start!” or “I have a lot to accomplish and not a lot of time!” It’s not typically an issue of motivation so I sat with myself to figure out what’s going on.
My hypothesis is that we’re so used to output being tied to our self worth, but in this pandemic world, we can’t measure our success based on what we got done in a day the same way we used to and it’s had consequences. We used productivity as a measurement of success and for many, that looks a lot different right now.
What I’ve mentored my students to do when a pandemic productivity problem comes up is to shift thinking about productivity to purpose. Instead of assessing your worth is based on what you can get done in a day, focus on where you find meaning.
This mindset change can be really helpful especially as girls graduate and go out into the workforce. You can evaluate who you are based on your inner world and not look to the external all the time with how many things you got crossed off a list or how late you stayed at work. Measuring success without considering your inner world, is not completely fulfilling. To sum up my biggest pandemic productivity tip: when you feel unproductive think about purpose.
unexpected advice for college students (no matter what grade you’re in)
Today’s pep talk is a clip from my ‘ask me anything’ episode! Someone submitted: if you could only give one piece of advice to college students what would it be? What I share is something I remind my students of often and even feel it’s most important for upperclassmen to keep in mind! It can be easy to forget the bigger picture when you’re going through your day-to-day and that’s why this little mind shift can have a big impact.
being human in the in-between
In the last half of 2020, I started signing off my weekly newsletter with something I wished for everyone during the week. It became one of my favorite practices so I went back and collected the themes as they’re what I wish for you all in 2021:
comfort in liminal space
a deep sense of inner peace
and most of all lots of health.
I am rooting into these words more than ever. If January is already feeling long, here are some tips on navigating liminal space: the time between what was and what’s next.
A pep talk on dating
Do you dissect everything when you start talking to someone you’re interested in? Do the beginning stages of getting to know someone feel confusing? With so many ways to communicate (FaceTime, dating apps, Snapchat etc), there’s a lot going on. A question I hear consistently is: how can I tell if someone likes me? In this pep talk, I share the question you really should be asking yourself (2:34), how to feel empowered in dating (3:28), and how I know when someone is into me (5:23).
post grad, college, and high school mentorship for old souls in young bodies
Anyone ever called you an old soul?
An old soul, for me, is someone who is really wise, deep, and self-reflective. They tend to be introspective, not only about themselves, but about the world. Typically they’re the people you turn to when you need advice. I find a lot of old souls can be very empathetic or pick up on the feelings of others. Let me tell you, my private practice is full of old soul empaths and I LOVE it!
but, I’m just going to come out and say it, I think old souls sometimes have a harder time fitting in during their younger years.
When you’re deep and introspective about yourself, about the world, and about others, especially when you’re young, not everyone wants to meet you there. Whenever I’m chatting about fitting in with an old soul client this is what I say:
Who are you trying to fit in with? Are the people you’re looking to hang out with really your people? If you have to be inauthentic in order to fit in, is that really where you want to be? If you’re an old soul, it’s probably a no-go. I think some of the loneliest people out there are the people who give up parts of themselves in order to be a part of a group.
Glennon Doyle in her book Untamed writes,
“Listen every time you’re given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.”
What she means is not that you don’t honor commitments, compromise, or don’t respect other people. It’s that you have to be true and honest with yourself.
It’s okay to not fit in. You actually don’t want to fit in everywhere. Contrary to what social media makes it look like, it’s not always the more friends the better. I find, especially for old soul students, it’s better to have a few friends you can rely on, and you can be yourself with than to be in a group where you have to put on a mask.
If you’re saying, “Okay, Maggie, that’s great but I have no friends right now and I’m not feeling good about it.” I hear you. I feel you. I see you. I’m with you. This is tip two: Go to figure out the things that you like to do.
Do you like working with kids?
Do you enjoy playing music?
Do you enjoy art?
Do you enjoy dance?
Do you enjoy reading?
Go do the activities you enjoy people and make it your mission to meet people there. You just have to allow yourself to be open to making friends wherever you go. For example, you might really love working with kids and get an opportunity to tutor. Can you have a soul connection with the kids that you tutor and also maybe find other people that are tutoring and make a connection with them as well? You already have something big in common with the thing you like to do.
Need more ideas of how to make friends? Check out this podcast:
The focus for old soul fitting in is that soul connection. I know for myself, I found a lot of belonging by going to the things that interested me regardless of who I thought was going to be there. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve gone to alone and left with a friend because the subject matter was something we had in common. It takes a little more finessing for an old soul to fit in, but it is so worth it to have a few friends that get you on a deep level!
mentor support for girls
When I was in my Master’s program, I took a workshop on Jungian psychology. My teacher put a massive pile of magazines on the floor and we picked an image that later became our totem. Unknowingly, I chose the goddess Iris because I loved her gold wings. I found out she’s a messenger goddess typically personified as a rainbow because she is a bridge of communication between heaven and earth.
I related to this right away, but lately, I feel the bridge energy is embodied even more in my private practice.
I am the bridge that helps girls get from where they are to where they want to be.
I help girls walk the bridge from adolescence to adulthood.
I’m also a bridge for parents and their daughters.
Wishing everyone support on whatever bridge you’ve found yourself walking over!
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My sweet friend @erinrdoppelt had me on her podcast where I talked about being a professional big sister, how I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and the value of being authentic. Had lots of fun and got personal about dance, my practices, and my friend group! Check it out at @wisewomanpodcast and leave a comment on iTunes if you dig it! ❤️