The grass isn’t always greener on the other side – or where you water it

Photo by Illán Riestra Nava on Unsplash

How do you feel about these sayings? I hate them. I think they encourage us to stay stuck, to stay exactly where we are out of fear of the unknown. To be satisfied with what we have, with the status-quo, and squash any feelings or dreams of wanting more or something different.

Pretty crappy, right?

Maybe I’m overthinking this and chances are high that I am, but these words have kept me in relationships, jobs and businesses longer than I should have stayed. Words have weight – and sometimes it’s hefty enough to be soul crushing.

I think all of us have a desire to please people, to do “what’s expected”, at least some of the time, with certain people. You want to feel like your actions and your definition of success or failure will be widely accepted.

Yeah, even failure.

Think about it – no one wants to be the person who gave up, to be the quitter. We all want to look back and think “Yep! I put my all into that” before tossing in the proverbial towel. Cool. I get that.

But, what about your own value? What makes you happy and brings you joy? Does that matter? It should! Pouring all of you into a ship that you know is sinking isn’t worth the energy. In the end, are you going to be feel proud and happy that you are exhausted, emotionally spent and broken… but able to say “Well, gave it every last ounce of myself and it still wasn’t enough, so now I guess I can move on!” and pat yourself on the back?

I mean, you can – I’ve done it – but I don’t recommend it.

Your happiness is worth something, too. What you think about yourself matters, the most. You do, in fact, deserve to be happy – like truly, life-changing amounts of happy.

Photo by Szilvia Basso on Unsplash

Listening to yourself, to your heart, gut, soul or whatever place your intuition lives (yes, you have that, promise) is a valid reason for making purposeful shifts in your life. That inner voice isn’t an insignificant thing. That’s you in your purest form, trying to help, you guessed it, you!

All this isn’t to say you shouldn’t try, because challenging your limits has great merit. Those nervous butterflies can sometimes mean you are on the cusp of something great and can propel you towards your life’s purpose – or not. You get to decide what they mean to you.

But those feelings of dread, uneasiness and unhappiness deeply rooted in your soul? Those aren’t exactly positive and they certainly aren’t helping your glow. Those feelings are telling you, or in my case they are often nagging me, to make a change. To wave the white flag and allow yourself to do some soul-searching and move on to actual greener pastures. The type that makes you feel whole, loved, fulfilled – and is worth watering.

If you’re feeling stuck, but not ready to throw in the towel, that’s ok. Pushing yourself is ok. Forcing or stifling yourself, however, is not and you should start trying to recognize the difference by checking in on yourself.

Actually, though.

Buy yourself a BFF necklace and keep both halves. Pretend you are checking in on a close friend and ask the tough questions. How are you… really? Feels weird at first, well, always, but do it anyways. I read somewhere that exercise is never supposed to get easier, so I guess neither is this. Doesn’t make it any less important or good for you.

The trick is though is that you have to answer. Think about how you’re feeling. Are you anxious about something? What is it? No really, play through your day and try to pinpoint why you might have these feelings. Can’t find the culprit? No worries, sometimes you won’t and that’s ok. When that happens, I go for a float, do some stretching or eat a bag of Teddy Grahams, whatever works. I like the chocolate chip kind best myself.

Sometimes you’ll run through your thoughts and find the thing you’re fixating on but hadn’t realized. When that happens? Well, that’s the best. Now you can do something about it! Or not. But you get to make the choice to keep watering that grass or call it a mud puddle and move on.

Photo by Zach Reiner on Unsplash

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but sometimes it is.

The grass is green where you water it, unless there’s no grass left.

Maybe you don’t even want grass! Rock gardens can be pretty nice.

The point is, you get to decide what works for you, when it’s time to move on and when it’s time to stick it out a little longer. When you connect in with yourself, to your inner voice, your confidence and resolve to prioritize yourself and value your own thoughts will increase. Others will offer advice and some will be really valuable and applicable – take it! If you feel like it resonates with you. If it doesn’t? You have the right to toss it, right on over to the brown grass and mud puddle. It’s your call.

Saying goodbye to something or someone because you feel it’s best for you isn’t the end. You’re not closing up shop or sealing your fate. It’s an opportunity for a beautiful new beginning that you get to define yourself, for yourself.

Curious – how do you feel about these cliché sayings? Do they inspire you as intended?

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