In 2015, just five or so months after my loss, I declared that I wanted to be braver and bolder with this one life of mine.
It’s a declaration I’ve worked hard to live up to since.
And, in many ways, I’ve succeeded.
I moved away from my amazing, full life and community to the mountains all alone. I wrote my memoir, Unravel, sharing the most awful and traumatic season of my life. I’ve let go of relationships that didn’t serve me anymore, despite the love I still had for those people. I fell in love, worked through my healing, pushed my edges, and broke my own heart when it was time to say goodbye. I pushed past the exhaustion trauma left me with and made myself more visible, launching our podcast and interviewing on so many others. I let go of consistent, solid income when it stopped being fulfilling and the person became someone I didn’t respect anymore.
Plus all the big and small things in between.
And I continue to do the work of being braver and bolder.
It’s hard and exhausting and scary all the time. 😅
“I’m here to be endlessly uncomfortable and constantly pushing edges.”
I shared these words with someone this weekend, and it brought me a deep sense of clarity and calm.
As much as I occasionally desire to live a sweet, quiet life at times, it’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to be endlessly uncomfortable and constantly pushing edges.
A dear friend of mine talks about The Crazy 8%.
This comes from the statistics that say only 7% – 9% of people actually finish online programs independently. So, on average, 8% of people who sign up for some DIY work will complete it. Most people don’t because their subconscious patterns and habitual ways of being will always get them to stop or self-sabotage their progress. They’ll get too busy, have other things come up, feel like they’re falling behind and quit, or get confused and overwhelmed and stop.
It’s human nature to unconsciously resist the change and growth we want because it’s uncomfortable and different, and our subconscious is a sneaky little trickster that gives us very justifiable, valid reasons to stop.
And when we can’t really give our all to the work required to make transformation happen, we often settle for smaller, easier motions of any kind. We stay where we’re at because it’s less complicated and we know how to be at that level.
“So I need to date people in the 8%,” I laughed as my friend and I talked one afternoon, “since I’m obsessive about growth and healing work and never stop.”
“Yes,” he said, “and you’re definitely in the 1% of people.”
I’m not broken or damaged or weird and misplaced; I’m just in a smaller percentage of people and personality types. A reminder I needed because sometimes this work of living my life fully expressed is isolating and hard. And with my core wound story, it’s easy to believe I’m just never going to belong anywhere.
I’ve spent so much of my life trying to fit in.
To find my place in a world that makes no sense to me.
But lately, much of my work has been embracing the truth that I will never fit in with most people in most places. All my life, friends and partners have responded to this truth with, “you fit here, with me!” But that’s usually because they like me in the space they’ve tucked me in their life, without really considering how I feel or if it’s nourishing to me in the same ways it is to them.
The truth is, you can take me anywhere.
Even if I’m at a party with only people who small talk (which I loathe and am basically allergic to), I’ll find someone to “crack open” and go deep with. I’m insatiably curious, so I can talk to anyone about anything with genuine interest. And I can be the life of the party when I decide to be. Plus, I’m everyone’s best friend and soulmate because I invite a ton of openness and depth.
But my lesson this past year is that, even though I can “fit” anywhere, it doesn’t mean I should stay there or be with those people.
My people are the 8% of people who are committed to growth and healing, and who are deeply motivated to give those things priority, no matter how hard it is.
Humans who are conscious, present, and attuned to others. People who are curious and want to know and understand themselves fully (as well as the people around them). People who are deeply set on actualizing their full potential and experiencing all of life. Humans who work to be consistent and congruent because integrity and being fully aligned matter to them.
That said, my current inner circle is made up of people in the 1%.
We can (and do) go deep on anything and everything. I seriously had the sweetest, loving, and deep conversation about mattresses with a friend once. We’re all existential, obsessive about making sense of this life for ourselves, driven to create and do/be/have more, and able to drop into the heart of anything and everything.
Being braver and bolder in my life right now has looked like aligning myself more and more with the 1% – 8% of people, which has meant more healing and growth work, of course. It’s looked like accepting that I’m in a smaller percentage of people, which isn’t to say the “better” percentage of people. It’s just the people I align with, and living fully expressed means being honest about who we are.
“What good is livin’ a life you’ve been given if all you do is stand in one place…”
These lyrics from Lord Huron are some of my favorite.
(Hear the full song here, it’s apropos!)
Most people stand still. Most people run in a loop and are content with incremental change. A nice raise every year. Maybe a new place to visit every summer. Adding more habits here and there and reading some eye-opening books.
And if this is what makes them happy, awesome!
For me, though, it’s not enough.
I want to know exactly what I’m capable of creating and experiencing in this one little life of mine. I want to experience quantum leaps—exponential gains and true transformation across the board. I want to test my limits in every way.
It doesn’t make me “right” or “better,” it’s just how I’m wired.
Many of my clients are the same way, and that’s what I love about our work.
They get triggered and resistant, to be sure. We all do! Even my coaches and mentors bump into these blocks, as do their coaches and mentors. It’s human. But what makes the 8% of people different is that they don’t stop. They recognize their resistance and fear and keep showing up anyway. They’re open to being pushed, called out for their patterns and stories, and make themselves do the work necessary to move forward (or can admit that they’re avoiding it when they are).
They want true transformation, not just incremental change.
That’s all that moves you from the majority to the 8%—an unwavering willingness to show up and do the work. Self-awareness and the ability to be honest and ask for help or support when you do get stopped up. A commitment to continuous growth, rather than a little bit here and there.
My next book is centered around my relationships but isn’t a relationship book.
When I said this to a friend, she laughed.
“How can it be about relationships but not a relationship book?!”
“Because it’s about the relationship traumas that shaped me since childhood, even professionally,” I responded. “And even if the ending involves me creating my right partnership—which it will—it’s mostly about me learning to live my life fully expressed and fully aligned. Unapologetically and without reservation or fear.”
Most of my life—from family to partners to friends to teachers to bosses and clients—I’ve been told that who I am is wrong somehow. I can’t do this or that. I have to be more or less. “That’s not how people act” or “this is just what people do.” It’s nice that I want to live a certain way but I need to be a “realistic” adult.
I can’t talk about purpose in the world without also addressing the systems that actively strip us of who we are—familial, educational, societal, and more (and that will be a big topic of conversation in much of my upcoming work).
Being braver and bolder right now has looked like unlearning everything these systems and the people inside them wrongly taught me.
It’s about getting back to the free-spirited self I’ve always been and learning to create success on my terms. Being all of who I am in relationships, without fear, withholding, or contorting and self-compromise. Saying “no, thank you” more often to attract and co-create more experiences and relationships that align with who I am—people and things that are a full-body HELL YES.
It’s not easy or comfortable to unlearn these things or release old ways of being.
It’s not easy or comfortable to push my edges and completely transform how I show up and engage with life.
It’s terrifying and hard!
It goes against everything my subconscious has put into place over 36 years to keep me “safe, secure, and successful” to the degree I have been. Which means I’ve spent more time in the terror barrier than I care to admit.
The terror barrier is something I share more about on my Make the Impossible Happen workshop. But essentially, when we take action to go against the known and familiar, all hell breaks loose because our subconscious is a hard no to change. It will do anything and everything it can to get us to stop, which makes for a tumultuous period while we push forward into whatever our next level is.
My work this summer has been awful and gut-wrenching at times.
I’ve been spun out, sunk to the bottom of my “dark and twisties,” and felt absolutely turned upside down. But that’s the work—the work most people won’t do because it’s so hard and uncomfortable—which I will never, ever sugarcoat!
And in doing it wholeheartedly (along with a ridiculous amount of process work), I’ve been able to realign myself rapidly. I’m calling in new connections that can really meet me where I’m at and honor who I truly am, not just where they see me fitting. I’m taking more risks and having more adventures (well before I’m “ready”). I’m exploring parts of me I lost to trauma with confidence and zero inhibitions. I’m pushing my limits physically and getting back to being stronger than ever.
And I’m living life and working on my terms, no one else’s.
It’s been worth every loss, every heartbreak, and every painful moment.