The only people you need to impress

Caught in the mental loop of comparison?

It happens to the best of us. What starts innocently with liking pet photos posted by friends moments later becomes obsessing about thigh gap and self-worth.

You’ve heard it before — don’t compare yourself to anyone else — but this image by Mari Andrew refocuses our attention.

If you’re gonna worry about what people think, focus on these two.

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The younger and older versions of yourself decide your life has been worthwhile.

You’ve been a good person, tried your best, made a difference, loved fully, laughed openly, and given with all your heart. If these two are satisfied, you should be too.

What makes your 5-year-old and 85-year-old selves proud?

What do they boast to their friends about you? Share in comments below.

Surprising, isn’t it, what’s important to them and what doesn’t matter at all. Or maybe it makes perfect sense, because they see who you are beneath the surface and beyond today’s to-do list.

They see and love the real you. I hope they think you’re as fantastic as I do.

When should you leap?

This was posed in my Life-Lovers and Leapers community this week: 

Where is the line for you before you know it’s time to make the leap?
How do you know it’s the right move?

Great questions, right? 

The answers are even better. Fellow leapers pulled up a chair for the conversation, weighing in on when they knew deep down their moment had arrived, or when fate took a hand and showed them a sign they couldn't ignore. 

[How do you know when it's time to leap? Sign up here to receive your personal invitation to our Life-Lovers and Leapers community so you can weigh in, too.]

Leaping is pretty personal, as are the signs that are the most meaningful to you. That said, here are ways that help many of my clients when they are on the leaping fence:

1) Trust Your Gut. 

This works best if you're not feeling pressured to make a decision right now. If you are, it's harder to discern what your gut is trying to say. If you're relaxed - if where you are is already fine and you're open to what's next - then check in with yourself.   

Take a couple deep breaths and imagine your favorite place that always makes you smile. Let yourself relax into that scene, soften your shoulders, smile fully, and then ask yourself: 

"If I could have anything I want, what would that be?" or "Will this leap help me feel this way more often?" 

You know the answer, even if you're not ready to admit it yet. That's when Trust needs to kick in. Trust that the answer you keep searching for has already tapped on your shoulder, or butterflied in your gut. Time to listen.

2) Forget "right." 

When these questions popped up in our community, the word "right" immediately stood out.

When you worry about making the "right" decision - sometimes worrying to the point of not being able to make a decision at all - you're essentially asking yourself to predict the future. Or else. You're not trusting in yourself, your gut, or the universe/divine intervention/fate either. That's piling on a lot of pressure, something you wouldn't do to anyone else you care about.

Speaking of, if someone you love was worried about making the "right" decision, what would you say? 

Exactly. How about listening to your own advice?

[I blogged recently about trying to get it right, check that out here.]

3) Leap then Plan, or Plan then Leap?

Leaping comes in two main varieties - leaping first, or planning then leaping. When you leap first, which tends to be my strategy, as the saying goes, you "build the parachute on the way down." It can cause some extra anxiety, but I find it prevents me from over-thinking and therefore talking myself out of it. I know myself well enough that if I have to think too much about something I probably don't really want to do it anyway. If I'm all-in immediately and let that carry me forward, then it is meant to be. 

For those who are of the plan-first variety, that also works. Gathering enough information and putting enough steps in place so you have a sense of where you're headed helps you feel more in control of the outcome. You take care of your fear in advance, making peace with it and giving it details to hold onto, in essence giving yourself permission to leap. 

Either way, and let's be really clear about this: You can never know what will happen when you leap.

Life doesn't work that way. You can plan all you want and still at some point have to have the dreaded conversation, give notice, hire a moving van, sign on the dotted line. After that, there is no way of knowing what others will do and what will come next. 

Leaping is about facing the unknown, which brings us back to Trust. If you're not comfortable with the unknown in the current decision you're facing, then you're not comfortable with leaping...and there's the answer for what to do. If you trust that whatever happens will be for the best, then get going!

How do you know when you're ready to leap? Share below or join our Life-Lovers & Leapers community [sign up here to receive your personal invitation] to weigh in on the discussion!