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Overcoming insecurities and other lessons from Antarctica

Updated: Apr 3

Live with intention

Your Magenta Monday Magic.

Surrounding Yourself with Positive and Supportive People

Do you ever feel tired of yourself – so much so that you wish you could leave yourself behind for a bit? Kind of like Emma Stone’s character in Poor Things when she says, “In some ways it would be a relief to be rid of my questing self.” This sentiment reflects a desire to temporarily distance oneself from the relentless quest for personal growth, perhaps seeking respite from the burdens of self-improvement and overcoming insecurities.

Well, that is exactly how I felt while on a trip to Antarctica back in February. Caught in a loop of overthinking, I asked myself, “Ugh! Why can’t I just enjoy a vacation without constantly examining how I’m feeling and why?” I wanted to drop my overzealous brain into a life raft and send it out to sea!

(Heads-up – this is a bit of a long story, but stick with me, because there’s an important lesson here.)

There I was on a trip of a lifetime with my husband, and I couldn’t seem to get present long enough to actually enjoy myself. 

It may have had something to do with the total absence of any horizon, or being on a ship that swayed and rolled constantly with the swells of an ocean that stretched as far the eye could see. There were also the cell messages that kept welcoming me to Brazil, and then to China, and then to…. suffice to say that there is no time zone in Antarctica, so whatever port you depart from becomes your designated time zone. It was unsettling, to say the least. 

It was like being in a liminal space – in between departure and arrival – one that was as disorienting as it can be in this stage of life, when we’ve shed our old roles but haven’t yet made it to where we want to be next.

There I was – my slightly introverted self – on a ship with 117 other passengers, and I couldn’t help but feel like, ‘What is happening here? Why do I feel so out of sorts?’ I didn’t like it, and from that insecure place, I began jumping into judgment of my fellow passengers.

There was one young couple with a two-year-old in tow! And not only had they brought their toddler along, but he had a broken leg! I found myself thinking, ‘Why the hell would anyone bring along a 2-year-old, let alone one with a broken leg, on a ship full of adults headed to Antarctica?’ 

I don’t know about you, but in this stage of life, there are times when I don’t really expect (or appreciate) the distraction of small children.

Then there was the ‘influencer’ who showed up in all her grandeur – dressed in beautiful, bright clothing – and commanding every eye when she walked into a room. She was accompanied by an equally beautiful, expertly-coiffed videographer who followed along, capturing her every move on camera. 

I vacillated between feeling fascinated and annoyed at the intrusion of her larger-than-life presence – one that seemed to create a wake of adoring fans each time she passed through a room. 💃

I was acutely aware of my thoughts and NOT enjoying my judgmental internal monologue.

When I reflected on it further though, I started to see that feeling really disoriented had triggered some insecurity and uncertainty within me. 

Add to that a couple of stand-out individuals who appeared not to care what anyone thought about them, and they become manifestations of what I wished I could be in that moment: self-assured, confident, and able to be totally and completely visible. 

Now, I normally feel okay in new situations, so I was really struck by how not being in a place of security and balance left me feeling so vulnerable. Stripped of my usual feelings of confidence and empowerment, and forced to face my insecurities, I was thrown entirely off-kilter, highlighting the importance of overcoming insecurities in maintaining a sense of stability and self-assurance.


Monday Mindshift

It’s the 1° shift that makes the biggest difference over time.

As I was processing all these thoughts about myself and the other passengers, and berating my brain for not letting me just enjoy my vacation of lifetime, something shifted:

I realized that my tendency to analyze, reflect, and get curious was me BEING AUTHENTIC.

It’s how I process what happens around me and within me, and I can credit 25 years of self-growth work for that, as well as the fact that today I see everything in my life as happening for me, instead of to me. 😎

This is me. 

And you know what I realized, observing myself without judgment is far better place to be than where I was years ago – when I would beat myself up over saying or doing something that I wasn’t proud of. 😒

Many of you have heard me say this before – there is no growth when you’re in that place of judgment. You can’t change or learn when you’re in judgment. So there you’ll sit. 

I was fooling myself to think that I could leave the analytical, reflective, overly curious part of myself behind.

How about you? How are you fooling yourself? 

Think about the last time you wished you’d said something differently, or acted in a way that wasn’t aligned with your true self? Maybe you showed up in a way that felt fake or inauthentic.

Did you rush into self-judgment? Did you beat yourself up? 

If you can take a moment to shift your thoughts and get curious about why you felt the way you did, you might learn something interesting. 

Maybe you were trying to mask discomfort, or nervousness, or insecurity? Maybe you rushed to judge others to make yourself feel better.

This stuff is going to happen. It’s just the way life is, even when you’ve been doing this work for as long as I have. But we have a choice when we mess up this way.

We can sit in judgment of ourselves, or we can get curious, and then clean it up. Here’s how I did that once I realized what was happening on my trip.

I connected with the young couple and their son, and they ended up being very interesting; he was doing his PhD studying whales. She spoke French, but they were from Australia. Their son had broken his leg skiing so clearly they were an active family, and it made total sense for them to bring their broken-legged son on a trip to Antarctica! He was such a little trooper – climbing in and out of the zodiac to go watch the penguins. In fact, the three of them taught me something about rolling with the flow – something I NEVER would have done when my kids were that age.

And the influencer? I flipped through her book and listened to a presentation chronicling her many travels. While I didn’t get to interact with her directly, I did get more curious about the motivations behind her Insta-famous lifestyle. In the end, I reminded myself that the opportunities she had to be on stage with her message (something I would like to do someday) were about her journey – not mine.

So, this is all just a long way of saying that even when you wish you could leave yourself behind, you can’t, and you shouldn’t. Your relationship with yourself is the one thing you will ALWAYS have – good, bad, or ugly. 

People in your life will come and go, but like they say, wherever YOU go, there YOU are. 

And if you’re unhappy with how you respond to things or wish you could improve in some ways, guess what? You can! That’s the beauty of this work, including overcoming insecurities. 🌠



Living BRIGHTer is...

B - Be Brave

R - Cultivate Relationships

I - Live with Intention

G - Practice Gratitude

H - Prioritize Health

T - Live your Truth

What is Magenta?

The color magenta is one of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta helps to create harmony and balance in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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