“I have some news”.
I started a few conversations that way recently and then immediately realized that statement made it sound like I was about to tell someone I was pregnant…
Which I am not so I quickly had to make that point clear which made it a little awkward for a minute but in true Jamie fashion, I like to keep things interesting. Maybe “I made a decision” was a better approach to the news.
No, that sounded weird too. And that’s when I realized that I was spending entirely too much time worrying about telling people something that was MINE. My news. My decision. My excitement. My next step. My latest adventure. Why was I so worried about how to approach this conversation with other people? The words didn’t matter.
Well, turns out that I have always put myself into the role of “caretaker” for everyone in my life. Every family member, every friendship, every relationship, and even some past work relationships I have noticed that I automatically assumed that role without ever even putting one ounce of thought into it… I just did it because at some point in my childhood I took ownership of that role and it was written very big and very deep in my subconscious that it was my place to take care of everyone else all the time. Most of the time the other party wasn’t even aware that I had placed myself in that position within my own mind either, it’s just the worry and putting that person first thing that always came naturally to me.
The funny thing is I knew I was a people pleaser. It was something that came to light a few years ago when I went full time as a solo entrepreneur and first struggled with setting boundaries with people in my life and new clients as well. It became painfully clear that this was something I had to shut down and handle differently if I wanted my life to operate in the way that I have envisioned it. I certainly wasn’t going to create my reality by putting everyone else first.
So, for years, it was something I worked on and let me tell you, I did a great job of it. I set and held (still do) very strict communication boundaries as well as respect for my life and my ability to have time for myself and what I need. I stopped saying “yes” to everything and started saying “no” simply because I wanted to or because I needed that time or space to do something that served ME.
Flash forward to this year and having this ability to set boundaries and take care of me first is something I have literally thought hundreds of people how to do and implement in their own lives. It’s something I’m incredibly proud of. And then about a week ago, I uncovered that there was a whole new level to the depth of this role of caregiver/people pleaser than I ever saw coming.
Talk about a plot twist.
I made the decision to move.
Yes, move out of my home state, away from my hometown (the furthest I have ever lived was one hour away), and let me tell you it is one of those decisions that you know in your bones is right. It’s like your heart knows before your head has a chance to catch up and for a minute you kind of stand there spinning when they finally get on the same page and it’s like “WHOA. This really is happening”.
And I’ve never been so damn sure of something.
So, I got really excited. I talked it out with a few choice people who were surprisingly supportive and equally excited for me. They know me well so when they agreed that it just “felt right” then I was even more excited to tell everyone about this amazing adventure I was getting ready to start.
But here comes the plot twist… here comes the deeper darker lesson that unknowingly still existed way deep down under the surface that this particular decision would uncover.
I had been keeping my plan to myself for weeks. I plotted out the entire move. How long it would take, how I would get rid of more than half of my belongings because let’s face it I have entirely too much stuff and what better time than an out of state move to eliminate physical things that are no longer serving me? I had the list, I devised the ultimate plan, and I started executing right away.
But every night I had anxiety. I felt so guilty for no reason. I didn’t know where it was coming from, but I had it before bed every night. I thought to myself “Why are you feeling this way? You have everything planned out perfectly. It’s all going to be just fine.”
And eventually I found the correct meditation, supplement, oil mixture to coax me to sleep and I’d be onto the next day.
Then one night I woke up out of my sleep in a full-blown anxiety attack. One that lasted for over 4 hours. Puking, sweating, uncontrollable shaking, the whole nine yards. I didn’t know what brought it on but there it was, and I was in the middle of it. Just me and my dog in the house alone with no one to turn to.
Or so it seemed. So, during those 4 hours, I had 4 conversations. One with my best friend, one with my boyfriend, one with my mom, and one with myself. While I plan on speaking out more about the way anxiety has been playing a bigger role in my life over the past year, this article is not the time nor the place for that. I want to talk about this plot twist first.
Do you know that if you suppress emotions long enough eventually your body WILL force you into a fight or flight type situation that will basically give you no choice but to get it out?
Very similar to when I have a hypoglycemic episode and my body is trying to balance everything out, so it goes into a state of shock, that’s what happened the other night but this time instead of my blood sugar, it was my emotions.
You see, I had not told my parents that I was moving yet.
Why? Because I didn’t want to hear their judgment. I didn’t want to explain myself to anyone. Also, bigger than the other reasons, I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. All of which sounds ridiculous to me as I type this out but it’s important you know this to understand the lesson here.
So, I blurted it out to my mom during a phone call at 3 am in mid anxiety attack because well, I couldn’t help it. And when I did I explained that this was MY decision that I was making for ME. End of story.
Now let me explain to you how massive of a thing this is and why.
What I discovered earlier that night in conversation with my best friend, is that I have never just allowed “because I want to” to be the reason for anything I’ve ever done.
Outwardly, consciously, yes, I had. I owned my decisions and looked for opinions from no one… Or so I allowed myself to believe.
While in my head and my heart following my intuition and what I am called to do is always the sole reason for my choices, that doesn’t mean that I still didn’t try to justify those choices to make other people “accept” or understand them better.
Unbeknownst to me before now, my subconscious has always played the part of causing me to justify my every choice in order to make it make sense to the people I love the most. It caused me to justify why I was doing something and then in the midst of justifying I also would make plans specifically to spare their feelings in the process.
I could have already been in Iowa with all my belongings by now. But in the weeks of me preparing for this move after making the decision, I planned around everyone else.
I planned not to tell my family until right before the Thanksgiving holiday (for no real reason at all). I planned to have everything detailed out so they wouldn’t have any questions unanswered. I planned to leave the weekend after Christmas so my Mom couldn’t be mad at me for leaving before and to minimize the travel back and forth. Because you know, that’s “cost effective” right? (what a load a crap) Insert me rolling my eyes at myself here.
The scariest part of all those things is that I did not realize the REASON I was doing it. It was just natural for me to be planned and calculated and precise. Even though the decision I made was 100% based on my gut and MY truest desires, my natural reaction to that decision was to plan to make this easiest on everyone else first.
Subconsciously my reasoning wasn’t good enough. I needed a cover story. I needed to cross every T and dot every I, just in case someone tried to question me.
UM I’M SORRY, WHAT!? Who in the actual fuck did my subconscious think it was talking to? Didn’t it know I’m ridiculously self-aware and independent and do whatever I want whenever I want to?! Not to mention one of the most capable human beings out there?
I mean……. DUH.
Here’s the thing though… the funny part of healing yourself and reprogramming your subconscious… it’s sneaky… ESPECIALLY when you’re a mindset coach. Your subconscious gets extremely creative to try and keep you where it feels is your safe space. And the number of layers to all of this are infinitive sometimes.
That is why I am constantly talking about my mindset work and about building your self-awareness and how it’s some of the most important pieces of work you will ever commit to.
So, what is the plot twist here? Let’s recap;
Fact: anxiety attacks are terrifying and I wouldn’t wish them upon anyone BUT I am grateful for this episode. It allowed me to shine light on a little sneaky hidden secret that had been keeping me from fully fully fully honoring myself and my choices thus far.
That realization has been priceless.
It’s different than that rebellious “I don’t care what other people say” attitude that a lot of us walk around with most of our lives.
And don’t get me wrong, I was guilty of that for a long time myself but this… This is different. It had been a shift on the horizon for a while. One that I had been owning within my business but not within my personal relationships. And this experience released something that had been holding a part of me hostage for a long time.
Was it an instant shift? Yes.
Has it been one I’ve had to be very intentional about keeping since? YES.
Just because you uncover something and shine light on it doesn’t mean it just evaporates into thin air. It’s still something you have to keep awareness around, so it doesn’t become a part of your reaction anymore.
That’s why mindset work is forever.
It allows you to make sure that the choices you’re making in every single second of your day are the ones that will be producing the result that you’re seeking. And when it’s a different result that you had before, you have to be even more diligent about babysitting those thoughts and choices.
So yes, I’m thankful for my latest anxiety attack and yes, I’m moving to Iowa at the end of the year and I couldn’t be fucking happier.
Take whatever lessons from this you want, but as always know that this is a part of my soul I’ve chosen to share with you. I hope it lights a path for you or makes you look at something different or simply gives you a little comfort knowing you’re not alone in the journey.
Thank you for letting me share mine with you.