As a recovering approval addict, I spent years trying to figure out how to live well without letting anyone else down, but that wasn’t cutting it for me. I challenged myself to live fully, to thrive unapologetically, and to savor a life that felt good for me.Here are 10 steps that I have taken (and that I recommend you take) on the road to delicious living. Take what you will, and feel free to add to this list in the comments.
- Give yourself permission to dream big and ask for the things you truly desire. You deserve to live a life that you don’t need to run away from. You deserve joy, freedom, and full self-expression. But closed mouths don’t get fed. So ask for what you want, believe that you deserve it, and the Universe will conspire to make it yours.
- Get crystal clear on what a delicious life would look like for you. There are many ways to go about this: vision boarding, writing a bucket list, pinning on your Pinterest board, penning a “dream resume.” I’ve even done work with women around writing their ideal obituary–morbid, I know, but super effective–to help them brainstorm goals and get clarity on what they would like to leave as their legacy.
- Create an action plan. Work backward from the end of your “dream life” to come up with a list of steps that you would need to take. Break down bigger accomplishments into a series of baby steps to avoid getting overwhelmed. For example, if the bucket list item is “appear on Super Soul Sunday to discuss my best-selling book,” you’ll need to chunk it into one-day tasks like “come up with a list of 10 teaching topics or areas of expertise,” “write a list of 20 possible book titles,” “research publishers,” etc.
- Adopt a “feel good” mantra/affirmation to get you through each day. My favorites are “I don’t need to impress anyone but myself,” “Time expands to meet my needs,” and “I deserve a delicious life.” I like to say these things to myself when I’m feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or unmotivated to push past challenges. Feel free to recite your affirmation whenever you notice negative self-talk creeping in.
- Write out your “Slay List.” List 10 strengths, talents, assets, or innate abilities that make you stand out. These can be things that you get complimented on, things that you take pride in, or things that you could get paid to do. Next to each item, write down one way that you can use that skill/strength to attract the things you want into your life. Refer to this list when you need a reminder that you are on your way to your delicious life! And if you have a hard time coming up with 10 strengths, brainstorm strengths or skills that could propel you toward your vision of a delicious life. Then identify one person in your network that either has that skill or can connect you to someone that does. Who says you can’t #slaythegame with a little help from your friends?
- Shed dead weight. Speaking of friends, you cannot savor a truly blissful life if you are feeling weighed down by negative energy! Identify the energy drainers in your life. These include the friends that only call you to complain (about things that they know they have no intention of changing), the acquaintances that you can only handle in small doses, the family members that are dedicated to destroying your self-esteem, and co-workers that have nothing better to do than gossip. Slowly distance yourself from the emotional vampires that take but never give. Outsource boring or distracting tasks as often as possible, and replace soul-sucking activities with hobbies that light you up.
- Build your team. This step pairs with #6. The world’s most successful women surround themselves with individuals that offer support, inspiration, encouragement, and accountability. They brainstorm with people that offer varied perspectives. And they aren’t afraid to distance themselves from people who belittle their ambitions. If you are serious about committing to your vision, you’ll need to get clear on who facilitates your growth and who keeps you small. You can do this by identifying the people in your life that you feel safe sharing your commitments with, distinguishing the people who keep you focused and on track from those who distract or take away, and finding a mentor that has enjoyed the level of success that you want. If money allows, I would recommend coaching, because an effective coach will hold your feet to the fire and ensure that you get out of your own way.
- Identify your deal-breakers and non-negotiables. Take 5 minutes (or longer, if you need it) to jot down a free-for-all list of all the things that matter to you in life. List all the things you care about; these are your values. After you have finished writing, choose your top 10 list items. These are your core values. Select 3 core values that stand out as non-negotiable, and commit to these values. Call yourself out whenever you make a decision that is out of alignment. For example, if one of your non-negotiables is sexual pleasure, then don’t settle for bland, orgasm-less sex! And if respect is a non-negotiable, don’t spend even one more second with anyone that makes you doubt your awesomeness or feel less-than-enough. Develop self-care rituals that help you recharge and stay present; self-care is self-love, so honor your needs and you’ll inspire others to do the same.
- Take leaps whenever possible. Tara Mohr’s Playing Big–great book for personal development junkies–talks about the importance of taking leaps, or doing things that scare you but propel you toward your goal. Every leap you take communicates to the Universe that you are bigger than your fears, and when you decide to take action in spite of your fear, the Universe will make concessions.
- Give yourself permission to fail. We all fuck up. Sometimes on an epic level. But if you really want to play bigger in life, you have to take risks and be willing to fall on your face. You can’t get what you desire most if you’re not willing to put yourself out there. Self-doubt will have you hide behind your perfectionism, claiming that you’re not “ready,” or that you need more time. Girl. You don’t need any more classes. You don’t need that certificate. You don’t need to put all your ducks in a row. So you can give up your need to “look good” or do things perfectly. Perfectionism is just procrastination with pretty lipstick on, so stop stalling and go for yours!
There you have it. Ten ways to attract your most delicious life. These tips are like a paycheck that you can only cash by getting to work. So go for yours and start designing a life that feels like a staycation!