A few months ago, I was invited to participate in a 10-day social media fast. I willingly agreed, not thinking it would have any impact on me because I spend such limited time on social media. I was wrong. The impact was far-reaching and life-changing. I had no idea how much I used Facebook (to which I have yet to return) as a buffer. I didn’t realize that I was not paying attention to the world around me, to my kids, to my husband, to my own feelings. In the process of being more present, and possibly even bored, I discovered that we have become a scary society in terms of feelings and processing emotion. That is largely due to our inability to feel discomfort. We don’t have to feel it very often (or ever). We can use false pleasure to avoid it entirely, and as a result, we are not growing, evolving or learning. I was stagnant in my life, and I didn’t even know it. How many of us use food, or alcohol, social media or shopping to avoid processing or feeling emotions or discomfort? And what do we gain when we do so? I feel like my eyes have been opened, and I am not ever going back.
Cue Jamee Andelin… your new life coach.
I know, I know, I too have scoffed at the title and idea of a life coach. But let me tell you, I was wrong. I want to level up my happiness, my confidence, my attention and priorities, my life. And I bet you do, too. Jamee helped me to understand how pushing through my discomfort led to extraordinary things. For example, several times when I was bored, waiting to pick up my kids from their various activities, instead of scrolling through my newsfeed, I paid attention to my children. My children needed my attention! I hadn’t known that I wasn’t giving it to them before. And before you say, “well yeah, duh, of course your kids need your attention,” start paying attention yourselves. You might be surprised at what you find. I felt like I was a masterful multitasker and could simultaneously scroll and listen and engage. And again, I’m not talking hours on social media here; I’m talking a few minutes here and a few minutes there. And yet, the difference in my attention is astronomical. I participated in my son’s murder mystery clues and played ball wall with my kids after school. I immediately felt more engaged than I have in a long time. If I had social media still, I might not have noticed the need because my spare minutes would’ve already been filled. So even if social media doesn’t take my time, it was taking my attention!
It was a crushing and humbling experience as I began looking at my kids in their faces every time we talked. How long had it been? For how long had I been absently scrolling through my news feed, nodding my head with inattention to the precious things my children were telling me? How long had it been since I witnessed the facial expressions and changes in their countenance as they moved swiftly from topic to topic? For how long had I been putting my children behind social media? I didn’t even know I was doing it. I was wrong. I was missing their nonverbal communication, which, with children, is almost all of it! Another remarkable thing was that I stopped yelling. As my tether to my phone shortened, my patience lengthened, and I was able to have a fuller perspective on the world around me.
I have felt a shift in my work-life balance too. There’s a saying: “Work gets my best, and my family gets the rest.” I have been guilty of this often in my life. This challenge to fast from social media changed my heart. It has helped me to reprioritize and find a better balance. My most important calling is in raising my children, not the world’s work. This has been a powerful reminder of those priorities.
I was forced to examine why I sought praise from or escape with social media, food and shopping. What was I trying to avoid? Where were my priorities? Why did I care more about the world than my family? Having time spent doing nothing made me curious about so many of my behaviors. How much of the things I tell myself are true? How much time spent pointing fingers could have been better spent on introspection and learning to healthfully process my emotions? I became curious about so many things. Jamee helped me sort these feelings and discomforts out so that my discomfort could become productive. Jamee is a deep-thinking person who talked me off the edge of the proverbial cliff as a mother, wife and friend countless times. She helped me understand what was going on in ways that I previously did not understand, nor did I know that I didn’t know.
Directly from her mouth: “There are misconceptions in the world. People look around and think, ‘Well she looks happy, or she’s confident, or I wish I looked like her, or her life looks super easy, or she’s successful so that’s just really awesome for her and she’s so lucky.’ There’s a lot of people that think things that people have come from luck. But the truth is that things that people have like confidence are skills and talents that can be learned and taught. Just like if you were to sign up for piano lessons or sports, you can sign yourself up for confidence, and happiness, and to be successful in anything lessons. And that’s what a life coach teaches. So, if there’s any part of you that wants to up-level a relationship, a business, your happiness or confidence, life coaching is for you. If you have a business and you want more money, or more clients, or a goal you want to reach — it could be weight loss, a better relationship, a new business, or you desire that feeling when you wake up that you love being alive — life coaching is for you. If you want to discover what your mission in life is, a life coach is for you. A life coach is trained to know how your brain works, and they can reveal that to you and guide you in the process of making decisions, keeping goals and practicing the skills of confidence so that you can up-level anything in your life.”
One of the things that Jamee is most interested and specializes in is helping the overworked, overtired, overwhelmed women. She said, “I think that the women in the world are amazing and powerful, and sometimes we get stuck in these little tiny setbacks comparing ourselves to others. I would really love for every woman in the world to know her full potential and to rise to that and to live and be her best self. The thing about most successful women in the world is they want other women to be successful. And it doesn’t mean that your success looks exactly like my success, it just means that we rise to whatever our success is. Every life coach I’ve met has the desire to help everyone in the world become successful. There isn’t this competition among each other like, ‘You’re going to do better so it’s going to take from me.’ There is a feeling that life is so abundant and everyone is lifting each other and wanting everybody to be their best selves, which makes them their best selves.”
Jamee was trained in Jody Moore’s “Be Bold” program, where she recently went through the advanced master training called, “Be Bold Masters.” She learned the skills to teach, and coach, and speak, and I am certain everyone could benefit from learning how to change their lives and perspectives. But don’t take my word for it. While she has open spots, Jamee is offering free 30-minute mini-sessions for you to try it out. After that, she does one-hour sessions for $50. Even if you decide that she is not the right fit for you, she would love to refer you to another coach who is. She has seen the change in her own life and seeks to facilitate that change in others. Do yourself a favor and head over to her website and sign up for your free session before they fill up. Or you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As she said, “Life coaching is a nonjudgmental, unconditional, loving space where they can reveal to you what your brain is doing. Sometimes what happens is that we think we have the skills to navigate this alone, but it’s so hard to see how your own brain is working and to step outside of your relationships. I’ve seen some really magical things happen from people who already have the skills, but have been unable to apply them to their own experience, even in short sessions like 30 minutes. It’s mind-blowing to watch the progression from overwhelming depression to hope and motivation.
People are uncomfortable with being uncomfortable, so they don’t want to reach their goals. There’s this misconception that if you have any feeling of discomfort then it must be wrong, dangerous or scary. That is how your brain works. It has three purposes: to seek comfort, to protect you, and to seek pleasure. So any time you’re doing anything outside of your comfort zone, your brain goes on high alert. For example, every time I’m about to speak publicly, my brain is like, this isn’t okay, this is dangerous, people could make fun of you, you might mess up. It’s a feeling of anxiety. I’ve noticed a lot of teenagers are starting to have anxiety, and they don’t feel comfortable doing things, but that is just their brains doing what they’re supposed to do. They aren’t comfortable with that discomfort, so they don’t push through or reach their goals or do the things that could lead to an awesome life. They could have a fulfilling rewarding life, but instead they are anxious and stuck. Discomfort is the currency for success. If you want to be successful in anything, you have to become good at being uncomfortable.”
This is so critical! Every time I step out of my comfort zone, amazing things happen. I have seen these first hand so poignantly this last year. I urge you to give Jamee a try… or at least take the time in your own busy lives to do something that terrifies you. The dividend is beyond imagination.