Welcome to the Off-hand Inspiration Podcast. Those of you who’ve followed me in the past know that I previously produced a podcast called Courage Inspired. It was well received, but for some reason, the title just never seemed to fit what I wanted to do with a podcast, so with the release of my book, SEVERED: A Memoir of Hope and Healing, and the launch of my Enough Already Group Coaching Program, I’ve decided to start over and produce the Off-hand Inspiration Podcast to keep in line with the other themes of my business.
I’m excited to tell you a little bit about my story today, then I’ll spend the bulk of the time introducing you to the concept of Severed Lies, because it’s one of the most important things I do as a coach.
I was born into a home filled with profound dysfunction. The underlying message in my home was always one of “You’re not enough.” By the time I entered Kindergarten, I understood the game. You had to be the best to be anything at all—the best at doing chores, the best at learning to read, the best at simply living. I was already a perfectionist and I was only five years old.
As I grew, I began to pick up on other messages as well. “We only express the good things in life. That includes thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. If there’s any negativity in there, keep it to yourself.” I thought that was the way everyone lived, so I put a smile on my face and set out to make the best of what I’d been given. I worked hard. I learned several instruments. I did well in school—well, most of the time, anyway. I was a good girl at church and kept things immaculate at home. My drawers were divided with pieces of cardboard standing on one end so that my socks and my underwear couldn’t touch. I may have been a bit obsessive about organizing my space.
When I married, I continued the OCD behaviors. We counted the blocks and separated our toys into bins that were organized by type and size. Throwing toys into a collective toy box—well, there was none of that going on at our house. For many years, things went pretty well. And by that, I mean, I controlled everyone and everything in our home. It worked for me, so why not?
For twenty-five years, we held up the façade. I dealt with depression off and on for most of that time. We also had other issues, like a miscarriage, the addition of five children to our family, and all the normal stuff that comes with raising kids. Our marriage wasn’t perfect, but anyone looking saw wedded bliss. That was how I’d been raised to live and that was what I was determined to put forth—ignore the negative, amplify the positive, and bury the rest.
Then the façade began to crumble. See, my family had other ideas about how to live their lives. And although they had managed to keep their stuff hidden for most of their lives, they finally decided they’d had enough. Looking back now, I can’t blame them. It’s hell living under a forced regime. My body began to rebel as well, and it all decided to come spewing out at about the same time. It was the year 2012.
Cancer. Pornography addiction. Homosexuality. Depression. Financial issues. It was an awful year. So, in true Sandra fashion, on New Year’s Eve, I planned a ceremony for our entire family to participate in. We were going to burn the year 2012. As a family, we made a list of the negative things about 2012 on a piece of posterboard (it was pretty easy to fill that thing up on both sides!) and then we built a fire in our backyard fire pit and we burned the year 2012. It felt good in the moment, but I have to admit that it didn’t do any good. 2013 was just as bad, if not worse. When 2014 rolled around, things seemed to be looking up—or maybe I was just getting used to the tragedy that was our life. Whatever the case, it was on May 9th of that year that I was in a rollover ATV accident and I severed my right, dominant hand. If anything really had been looking up, it was all left behind in the sand dunes, along with the blood and bones of my arm.
Some of you know this story. This is what my book is about. But the thing is, as awful as the accident and subsequent injuries were, they created an opportunity for change that has given me a second chance to create the life I want to live. My severed hand allowed me to sever the lies of my past—lies of perfectionism and shame—and embrace the truth.
What’s the truth? That I am already perfect. And you are, too. You are living exactly the life you were meant to live. And while that can be really frustrating in some situations, it can also bring about a lot of peace. Because when we are able to see life as something that is without flaw, then it makes the adversity a lot easier to deal with. It’s like making friends with the negative. If it’s your friend, there’s so much less to fear!
As women, we are subjected to hundreds of lies about ourselves every day. You only have to turn on the T.V. or drive down the freeway and look at a few billboards to know that THIN = BEAUTIFUL. A lie, of course, but one that is perpetuated by Hollywood and every advertising agency in existence. We’re also subjected to career lies, relationship lies, sexual lies, education lies, financial lies, entrepreneurial lies, religious lies, spiritual lies, body image lies. And that doesn’t even include the lies we tell ourselves to prove we’re not enough!
See if anything feels familiar as we talk about three common lies we tell ourselves.
Lie #1: I’m not worthy.
What does that even mean? Not worthy of what? It seems to me that just by your very existence you are worthy. Worthy to live. Worthy to love and be loved. Worthy to create—because that’s the human spirit. Worthy to just be. And yet, millions of women tie their worth to something tangible—something outside of them.
What have you tied your worth to?
This past week, I’ve been talking to my clients about their worth, and I’ve discovered that each of them has allowed their worth to become attached to something else. One woman admitted that her worth was tied to her ability to create financial stability for her family. Someone else had tied her worth to her ability to be a good mother. Another client had decided that her sexuality and her ability to please her husband was what made her worthy.
None of that is true.
And sometimes, when we speak it out loud, it sounds ridiculous enough that we can recognize it. But not always. Because if you were raised to believe that you had to do or be a certain thing in a certain way, then that may actually sound like absolute Truth. But it’s not.
The absolute truth is that each one of us has worth simply because we exist. It doesn’t matter what we do, how famous we become, or how many other people we help because we are already 100% worthy. No matter what.
Keep your house spotless. Worthy.
Live in a pigsty. Worthy.
Be financially stable. Worthy.
Have a ton of debt. Worthy.
Work your ass off at everything you do. Worthy.
Lay around and watch Netflix while eating popcorn and chocolate. Worthy.
Sometimes it’s easier to see the worth each of us has when we try to identify it in other people. Especially children.
When you think about a newborn child. I have two grandbabies who are under three months old right now. They are perfect. Even when they cry and poop out of their diapers, there is no way to see them as anything other than perfect little beings. And I love them with all my heart.
So at what point are they going to lose their worth? Will it be the first time they bite another kid in nursery school? Or maybe when they struggle to read in first grade. Or perhaps their worth will disappear when they fail their first test or tell their first lie. Or maybe it happens when they are older. Like when they steal a candy bar from the drug store or smoke a cigarette. Is that when worthiness flees?
It’s kind of ridiculous to think that worth can be tied to something we do physically. It just doesn’t work that way. We are born with intrinsic value and inherent worth. Period. So give up Lie #1—because, well—it’s a lie!
Lie #2: I have to hide who I am.
This lie comes in a lot of different formats. It likes to play on our insecurities. We hear things like, “Those women are talking about me” or “I’m being left out of the popular group” or “If anyone really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.”
The thing is, all of those things might be true. But it doesn’t matter. Because if you like you—if you know in your heart that you are okay—if you believe in yourself—then you don’t have to hide. You can be authentically who you are, and your tribe will find you. That doesn’t mean you can sit in your house and hide away from the world and good friends will magically appear in your life. But it does mean that you can put yourself in situations where you are genuinely comfortable, and other people who are comfortable in those situations will be there as well. And you just might discover that those are your people.
Maybe the so-called “POPULAR” group isn’t who you want to be associated with, anyway. Maybe you don’t fit with those people for a reason.
I challenge you to start looking for evidence to prove that other people do like the truly authentic version of you. Start putting yourself in situations where people who like the things you like and do the things you do hang out. There are billions of people in the world—and at least a few of them are bound to have similar interests, compatible personalities, and a need for the gifts that you have to offer.
Come out of hiding and start living true to yourself! There’s no reason to hide! Imagine how much different the world would be if we could all be comfortable in our own skin…
Lie #3: I will never be enough.
This is the mother of all lies. It’s also known as a Gremlin. Remember the Gremlin movie from the ’80s? Gremlins were devious little monsters who hid in dark corners and wreaked havoc in the lives of the people around them. Sounds a lot like the “I will never be enough” lie, doesn’t it?
I spoke recently to a group of business women about the Gremlin. I had them write down on their nametags and introduce themselves with it. They would say something like this.
“Hi! I’m Sandra, and I’m not educated enough.” Or “Hi! I’m Teresa, and I’m not a good enough mom.” It was a pretty powerful exercise. There was a doctor in the room who introduced herself as not successful enough and a beautiful woman who said she wasn’t thin enough. There were lots of other ones, too.
I’m not smart enough.
I’m not capable enough.
I’m not energetic enough.
I’m not motivated enough.
I’m not happy enough.
I don’t have enough talent.
I’m not social enough.
The real question for me is—What is enough? Who determines this “Enough Scale”? Is it determined by each of us as individuals? Or is it determined by some outside independent body of the “Enough Police”? I’m not sure.
What I am sure of is that each of us is enough for whatever our individual lives have placed in front of us. The problem is that we compare—we take our lives and our accomplishments and we prop them up next to other people who have lives that are completely different than our own.
So Mary—stay-at-home mom of 7 children who has the perfect house and goes to all of the things—soccer games, piano recitals, dance performances. She is certainly mom enough. But since I work, I’m not. And Tiffany, who has a doctorate in psychology is certainly educated enough to pursue her dreams to help other people find hope and healing. But since I only have life experience and a life coaching certification, I’m really not. And Desiree, who ran a marathon last weekend, well, she’s thin enough and energetic enough, and athletic enough. But since I only walk four miles each morning, I’m definitely not.
Can you see how ridiculous that is? We each have our own accomplishments. And when we start comparing them, then certainly, we feel as if we come up short. But that’s because comparison is the killer of joy!
Recently, I saw a quote on Facebook that said, “Don’t let your ice cream melt while you’re counting someone else’s sprinkles.”
I love that because it’s what we tend to do! We compare instead of rejoicing in our own accomplishments and congratulating others for theirs. It would be a really boring world if we were all exactly alike—so maybe, just maybe, we were meant to be different. Maybe we were meant to have strengths and weaknesses. And maybe, we are enough in every area of our lives. That doesn’t mean we have to stop trying to be better. It’s the striving that brings joy! But we don’t need to beat ourselves up if we aren’t to that place we want to be quite yet. And it’s okay to recognize that we may never be in that place! We can’t do it all—but we can do enough.
And we are ENOUGH Already.
There are a lot of other lies that we commonly tell ourselves. I could probably keep this podcast going for a very long time. But instead, I’ll leave you with this question—which of your lies is holding you back? What are you telling yourself that proves you’re not enough and keeps you from reaching for your dreams? And is it time to let those beliefs go, and instead, start believing that you are exactly who you are supposed to be with the life you are supposed to live and all the tools you need to become the person you want to be. I leave you with that challenge today.
Thanks for listening to episode 1 of the Off-hand Inspiration Podcast. In the next nine episodes, I’ll be interviewing people who show up in my book about their stories. I interview several family members and a couple of friends, too! I know you’ll love them. If you haven’t yet purchased my book, SEVERED: A Memoir of Hope and Healing, it’s available on my website at sandrajarviscoaching.com or on Amazon. Get your copy today and share it with your friends! I am determined to spread my message of hope and healing and can only do that if you are willing to share with others.
And if you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of it and put it out on social media for your friends to see. I really appreciate your help in getting the word out about the Off-hand Inspiration Podcast! Thanks for being here today! See you next time!