I was on two zoom calls in the last few days where the topic of weighted blankets came up.
In each of these calls, a woman shared what's weighing them down (not actual weighted blankets!).
In the first call, a woman (let’s call her “Denise”) shared an old story that she picked up somewhere along the way that at 58-years-old, she’s “too late” to start a business. That she’s “too old” to follow her dreams. And that she’s not “qualified” because she doesn’t have enough training or the right certification to attract clients. When she believes these old stories, she doesn’t put her business idea out there, and a lot of great clients miss out on what she has to offer and the chance to benefit from her 58 years of lived experience.
In the second call, a student (we’ll call her “Violet”) described the heavy weight of “having no faith in herself.” A few years ago, she had a panic attack during a presentation and the fear of having another panic attack still paralyzes her today. There’s a judgmental, pressure-filled voice in her head that tells her she should be more confident by now, and that she should be “over” her very public and very embarrassing panic attack. When Violet believes these shame-inducing stories, she feels small and scared, and the entire class misses out on her brilliance.
Both women feel trapped under the heavy weighted blankets of stories and fears. And, as I was listening to them, it became clear to me that we weren’t just talking about ONE weighted blanket pressing down on them - they're under TWO weighted blankets.
The first weighted blanket is the old story - “I’m too old” or “I’m gonna screw this up again” and the second weighted blanket is the self-judgement and blame for being weighed down by that old story in the first place - “I should be more confident in myself” or “I should be past this by now”.
The self-judgement about being weighed down doesn't help - it only weighs us down EVEN MORE.
And the old story that our inner critics keep repeating ISN’T OUR FAULT. We live in a world that tells us we're too old, too young, too loud, too quiet, too __________.
Toni Morrison said “If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down.”
What’s weighing you down?
Old stories? “Shoulds”? Self-judgement? The narrow tightrope of being too much or too little of something?
And what’s getting squished under that weight?
Your confidence? Belief in yourself? Trust and celebration of your unique gifts?
There IS another way. For Denise and Violet, and YOU.
One that feels better. Not so HEAVY.
And you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself.
When you learn how to lift and fling the weight of self-judgement off of you, you can explore those old stories and “shoulds” with compassion.
You can see where you might’ve picked them up, what kept them in place, and start to replace the old heavy stories with new, lighter, more empowering ones. You can share more of you with the world.
Suzy, my favorite Septuagenarian, participated in Led by Love this summer. I share Suzy’s story with you below because I want you to know that it’s possible to toss off the weighted blankets. And, Suzy got so much out of the program's structure and supportive community, she’s coming back for a second round!
"I'm impressed with the depth of this course and how profound it is. I went from having no insight into my saboteurs [inner critics], to really seeing how those thought patterns, reaction patterns, and mental habits - how widespread those were in my life. That was incredibly powerful for me and continues to be. I now recognize it, and I have the resources to help me return to and stabilize in my true self.”
What would be possible for you if you weren’t carrying around the weight of old stories and self-judgement?
If you’re ready to let go of what weighs you down, then one of the three spots left in Led by Love is for you.
… you’ll walk away with more power, more presence, and more freedom.