LILLIAN CHARLES

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Internal Shifts = External Changes

So often external changes demand that we make internal changes.

A relationship falls apart = we know we need to work on ourselves to avoid repeating the same mistakes moving forward.
A loved one is lost = we need internal healing over the loss.
A job comes to a close = we need time to pick up the pieces and recover.

External changes do demand internal shifts. True.
But. If you're driving yourself mad on the inside... I suggest getting ahead of the game and working on your Internal Shift. Work from the inside out. Because -- truly, madly, deeply:

HOW YOU SHOW UP MAGNETIZES WHAT SHOWS UP FOR YOU.

If I had a dime for every person that has said “FINALLY! ” re: the lululemon ambassador role, I’d be buying Phipps Plaza.

What y’all/they don’t know is that a million internal shifts have HAD to happen for opportunities like this to fall into place.Up until the past several months, I wasn’t even mature enough to take on what is happening NOW. I’ve wanted “titles” like these: @chooseatl influencer, @mindful_mornings_atlanta do-gooder award, @startupsisters.usa speaker, magazine features, ambassador to @solidcore + @barrysbootcamp, host for charity events — for YEARS. And I wanted a lot of it for recognition. I’m not sugar coating this: l’ve busted my ass for my entire adult life and l’ve always wanted to be acknowledged for my hard work and efforts. I spent years beating myself up for not getting the recognition I wanted for the amount of WORK I put in. (Middle child syndrome?! Probably.) It’s the truth, ugly as it may be. This is the story of redirected energy. 

After a series of doors slammed about a year ago, I gave the recognition-hunger up. LIKE FOR REAL. I hit a mega reset button. I texted three of my best friends and told them I was ready to kick some ass, take some names and do whatever it took to make internal changes that would keep me from getting stuck in 1. comparison 2. competition and 3. resentment.

Here are the shifts I made to change my world from the inside out:

therapy.

I mean duh. Therapy is a great little (massive) luxury. But I started asking for challenges. I didn't go in and cry (okay, just kidding, I did and I did a lot of that) but I asked my incredible mindfulness based therapist to gut me. I went in with the intention of finding out where I wasn’t showing up the way I was capable of showing up since others thought I was “doing great.” I knew I needed to change. I was a slave to others approval and I was miserable.  

listening to learn instead of listening to respond.

I started showing up to learn and serve instead of showing up to be seen — this is huge, y’all. Truly. Start paying attention to how you show up in conversation. Are you arriving to conversations just grappling to get your point (or your brilliance) across to someone? To prove yourself? Or are you being open and available to what's happening in front of you?

Share your Self, don’t compare your Self.
Then: Sit down. Shut up.
LISTEN. Stay humble.
AND SAY THANK YOU.

Focus on your impact. Give your gifts. Lend your ears. Speak kindly to and of yourself. Speak kindly to and of others.

cull down your social circles.

I stopped associating (and dealing with) men that re-affirmed my self-doubt and began telling myself the things I longed to hear from men. Weird? No. My voice and the way I speak to myself is more important than any other voice I will hear in my adult life. When the urge to connect with unworthy men arose, I straight up blocked toxic dudes from contacting me.

I cut out women who based all conversations speaking ill of other women. I unapologetically nixed bitchy, caddy, small-minded and competitive girls from my life and with open-arms, I ushered in strong, supportive, authentic, focused, loving women.

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I did all of this because changing my mindset, setting up these boundaries, focusing on learning and listening allowed me to be the person I wanted and want to be, not because (finally) I wanted the titles and the hoopla around being featured finally. To show up and not need recognition, because I'm already SELF-APPROVED is the most liberating feeling in the world.

And just like that... the Universe, God, Atlanta, (seemingly) everybody... wanted in. I started getting asked to host, promote, speak for or speak to brands that I never thought would ever "choose me." Once I stopped caring about how I would be received as an entrepreneur, a fitness icon and a speaker, everything fell into place.

Honest to all that is holy: the recognition from brands, clubs, businesses is a sweet by-product. I’m thankful AF. When I’m asked to host something or awarded some something, it is no longer “yeah, duh, you should ask me.” My response is now TRULY a heartfelt, tearful, grateful as all get out “Namaste-effect," a thank you for seeing the light in me sense of appreciation. At the end of the day, nothing... and I mean nothing! compares to the wholeness I feel from giving myself out of love instead of in hopes of belonging and being seen. What I can offer from my heart has become the new definition of success. The shift in how I show up has magnified what has shown up for me. 

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