You’ve said them before. My guess is they’re a staple in your vernacular. Every time they escape your lips, you wonder if someone will pick up on what you’re really saying. A clue. An invitation to ask again, but this time, give you a chance to let your walls down. You see, the words “I’m okay” and “I’m fine” just cover up what’s bubbling underneath the surface. Think about it. How often do you respond like this when you know deep down you’re crumbling? You’re holding yourself together because you don’t or can’t face what might happen if you tell the truth.

What you really want is to feel certain, in control, and happy. Taking time to uncover what’s at the root of your masking with “I’m okay” or “I’m fine” is a courageous step of vulnerability. For me, I often used these phrases to mask the anger, resentment, and sadness I felt about the relationship I had with my mom. The people pleaser and overachiever inside had no problem lying to everyone when she had too much on her plate. Those parts of me were instilled at a young age in order to cope and deal with the stress and anxiety resulting from those challenging feelings I had about my mom. Masking only worked until it stopped working. I learned it was okay to not be okay. Once I gave myself permission to get real with myself, the healing started. My soul’s journey back to home, to my aligned self is a work in progress, but I’m living it because I took the first step. Are you ready to start your journey home, leaving your masks behind?

If you’re tired of masking how you really feel, try these 3 strategies today!

When your head is spinning, your life feels like a mess, or you’re not willing to ask for help, it’s easy to ruminate. Feeling overwhelmed by your thoughts can lead to mental exhaustion when you’re trying to escape what’s happening on the inside. Instead of suffering, choose to stand up for yourself and be honest. It’s okay to not to be okay, and here are 3 strategies you can do today to help you navigate the road ahead.

Control what you can NOW

When you’re telling everyone you’re okay or just fine, underneath you’re looking to feel in control and you’re unsure how to even do it. Taking time to strike a balance between what’s in or out of your control can empower you to clearly see what needs your focus and what doesn’t require your attention at all. Try taking out your journal and draw a vertical line down the middle of a page. At the top of each column, write “In my Control” on the left, and label the right “Out of my Control.” Start listing everything you can think of going on in your life and jot them down in their corresponding column. Taking time to reflect and externalizing what you can and can’t control explicitly shows you where certainty lives in your life. When thoughts come up about what’s in the “Out of my Control” list, you’ll know to whisper to yourself, “It’s out of my hands. There’s nothing I can do.” Choose a different thought.

If you’d like to work through this process and learn more strategies to control what you can now, consider booking a 1:1 Finding Balance session with me.  Like working with a community of like-minded people? Reserve your spot for the upcoming Educator’s Journey Group Coaching Program this fall!

Take mini-power steps

Taking small, manageable steps daily can help you focus on what’s in front of you. Narrowing your attention to one thing at a time, and reframing them as mini-power steps, helps you cross things off your (what seems like) never-ending to-do list and feel a sense of accomplishment. Each morning set your intentions. Wake up telling yourself, “Today’s going to be a wonderful day” and then state your intentions for one thing you can do. Somedays you’ll have little to no time, and in this case, choose tasks with less time and energy needed to get them done. Other days, you’ll be able to invest more of yourself. Be considerate of your mental and emotional energy, too. Spending your energy on a mentally or emotionally taxing task can deplete your energy quickly!

Trust in the process

Trusting in yourself and in the process may seem next to impossible when you’re overwhelmed on the inside or from your outside world. When you have a nudge from within to let your walls come down, trust it. Your intuition knows when it’s time to talk to a friend, ask for help, or take time to practice self-care and rest. You are the only person who can make the decision about what’s best for you, your circumstances, and your situation. If you listen to your internal guidance, help will arrive when you ask for what you need. Just ask and be ready and open to receive. Trust everything will be okay.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, hiding behind the masks of “I’m okay” and “I’m fine” might be your default strategies. Know and trust yourself. It might be time to level up your toolbox of strategies starting by looking within. Give yourself permission to uncover what’s at the root of your struggles. 

What masks do you wear?

How can you be honest with yourself and others while showing love to yourself?

Are you really okay? If not, what’s one thing you can do for yourself today?