February 28, 2014

Keep it Real! Road to Achieving Self-Health. ~ Jessica Idleman


I have been working with a couple of striking individuals lately who are exceptional at ‘not being good enough’.

More precisely, I should say exceptional at keeping their perception of what ‘good enough’ means. It seems to be a recurring theme in my profession.

Working with at least a couple of these types at any given time is common. I have found over the years that this is yet another form (there are many) of self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is a chameleon that shows itself in numerous forms, but ‘not being good enough’ seems to be the most common.

Humility is the common thread to which we all seem to bond. Somewhere down the line, it was deemed a necessary prerequisite for acceptance from our peers and loved ones.

Working as a holistic health counselor for six years now I still consider myself a rookie. Partly because six years is no time at all and, partly because I know I am still on comparative levels to many of the people who hire me to help them.

In my professional life I am often stunned to discover I am being idealized. Things come out of people’s mouths all the time like “Oh, well I can never be as good as you are at…” or, “If my skin looked like that I would…” I think the perceived image that I keep it all together is definitely a double-edged sword. It is a sword that I fall on quite regularly.

The truth: no one has it all together, all of the time. Setbacks, life events, and transitions happen to all of us. Of course I am not perfect. I am on my own journey too and approach roadblocks also. Every day I cope with the same issues and tendencies I have always had and expect this to be indefinite. Awareness and acceptance is what keeps me in the building process.

My personal life is sometimes the opposite of what I portray as a professional in the wellness field. I come from a humble background that only suggests a progressive lifestyle in how I value it. I’m really not good at just about everything.

I barely graduated from college, spent half of my twenties addicted to prescription medication, abused alcohol and victimized myself in the meantime. I was lazy, insecure, and emotionally irresponsible. All of which caused me to do many things, many times that I am incapable of doing today.

However, the knowledge that my former self was functioning in a body I was filling with garbage is my go-to motivator for staying on my well path. It is where I get the inspiration to educate others on how to clean up their own environments, and teach them about quality over quantity.

Changing what you put into your body, including destructive thoughts, changes everything.

No I am not proud of who I once was but I had to get here somehow. I regret nothing. I am in a good place today because I know all of my decisions; good and bad, are directly proportionate to where I am at this moment. I might change, but the truth of that will not. I have made as many good decisions as possible to support my trending good fortune. Today I am deserving of everything I have.

Taking responsibility for your choices is all I ask of those I coach.

Comparing yourself to someone else is a poor choice with immediate consequences. Not only does it impede progress, but you relinquish all of your innate power. It’s like jamming a square peg into a round hole. It will never work. No one is as they seem, and everything is subjective. We are all getting over something; healing from something, struggling to overcome something, trying to grow up. It’s only the personal details that are different.

We are all human. We all are fallible.

I used to think that I had to actually ‘be’ the things others aspire to be in order to be an honest, professional, deserving of the business I attract. I got over that rather quickly. The real lack of integrity is presenting yourself as something you are not.

I choose to live an authentic life. My chosen profession should support that life, not dictate it and the people who I help are actually helping me to do more of that.

The truth, is that I like to cuss, drink wine, and have an opinion. I have health issues of my own that affect the choices I make every day. I am not a vegetarian. I eat amazing foods, like pizza, and delicate pastries, as long as they are worth it. I am not a morning person. Every once in a while I will have an affair with foods that do not serve me simply because I want to.

Until recently, my own vanity prevented me from ever leaving the house without makeup. Even though it is the opinion of many that our best (pretty) years are behind us, going without makeup is my testament that ownership and acceptance of what god gave us, is the driving force behind who we are.

Our personal ‘hell’ starts when we compare ourselves to someone else.

Insecurity creeps in long enough to create an idyllic image of self that by design is just beyond our reach. That idyllic image looks so pretty. It ends up becoming our social escort, while authenticity is left at home with the key to the liquor cabinet and the bon-bons. Enter self-doubt, self-sabotage.

In short, let’s just keep it real. Releasing the mantra of, “not being good enough” is the first strategy to self-health; not diets, New Year’s resolutions, or holding onto the high school jeans as a bench mark.

Allow yourself to not be beholden to your past. Hold your present self accountable in order to get what you want. Accept your limitations and embrace your strengths. This is really hard to do, lemme tell you. But the reward of being admired for what’s actually there, is glorious by comparison to the thankless monotony of self-censorship. Keepin’ it real means we swallow the horse pill that is self-awareness, accept who we are, and live out loud, amongst the fresh air and the wild breeze that takes ‘real’ just about anywhere.


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Editorial Assistant: Ffion Jones/Editor: Bryonie Wise

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