Sometimes it’s navigating those uncomfortable conversations about our life choices. Or it’s tolerating the presence of that one person who really gets under our skin. It’s no wonder the thought of having to navigate the holiday season fills most people with dread.
Year after year, we may *hope* that things will be different. We promise ourselves that we can make it through dinner without bursting into tears. The truth is that those closest to us often trigger us the most. Whether we want to believe it or not. We value their opinions so that the slightest indication that we haven’t met their expectations can leave us feeling vulnerable.
So, what do you do about it? In the past, you may have changed how you act, or even who you are. Whether it be the outfits you’ve worn. The food you’ve put on your plates. That imaginary love life you created to silence the crowd. The fear of judgment from others has kept us small and prevented us from living our authentic truth.
Let’s change that, right now. You have the power to take your control back. Feel comfortable in your own skin this holiday season, starting with these three tips!
3 Tips to Navigate the Holiday Season
Tip #1 to Navigate the Holiday Season: Ask the Magic Question
We get so caught up worrying about what other people will think that we forget to check in with ourselves. When it comes to being comfortable and confident in our own skin, we need to understand what we truly want.
In order to obtain that deep understanding, we need to stop. As uncomfortable as that is, it’s the only way to truly tap into what we want.
We need to stop. Long enough to cut through the noise. And listen to our inner guidance system.
A great way to do this is to ask the magic question. “What would make me feel best in this situation?”
This question can be applied to any situation. From deciding to stay home and skipping holiday gatherings, to what you’re eating or drinking, to what you’re wearing. Define the boundaries that you decide to set to protect your energy.
#2: Don’t take it personally
This is a big one. Fear of judgment from others can hold us back from prioritizing our own needs.
But here is the thing, we can’t stop people from making judgments. All attempts to do so are wasted effort and energy. Brene Brown calls perfectionism “a 20 lb shield of armor” that we think will protect us from pain. All perfectionism does is weigh us down and keep us small. Perfectionism and fear keep us from enjoying the present moment. All our effort is focused on creating stories about the future situation.
My favorite mantra to overcome the fear of judgment is this. “What people say and do is about them, how we respond and react is about us.”
Yep, you read that correctly. Those comments, looks, or the things left unsaid – – they have nothing to do with you.
So, don’t take it personally. Take a big deep breath, and check-in with yourself. Why are you being triggered? What is your default response or reaction, and what response or action would you like to have instead? What do you need to address or resolve in order to take back control of your emotions? How can you respond in a way that aligns with who you are at your core?
Aligning to your needs will keep you energetically engaged and confident this holiday season.
#3: Get really clear in your core values
You have probably heard time and again how important it is for you to understand or align with your values. There is good reason for it. Values make us who we are, and they are key indicators of our behaviors and the choices we make. There are two main types of values: fear-based and core-based.
Fear-based values are sneaky. Whenever we make decisions that feel forced, uncomfortable or result in that “icky” feeling, it’s likely a fear-based value. Usually, fear-based decisions sound like “I don’t have a choice,” or “I can’t because.…” An example would be “I don’t have a choice. My parents will kill me if I skip Christmas dinner”. This entire statement is code for, “I don’t believe my voice or opinion matters.” It results in behaviors and choices that, frankly, feel awful.
Core values, on the other hand, define us at our best. They bring us a sense of relief and joy when embodied. When we prioritize our core values and let them guide us in difficult situations, choices feel effortless. Core values don’t have to be explained or rationalized. They sound like “freedom,” “trust,” or “service”. Core values allow you to confidently prioritize yourself and achieve higher levels of success and satisfaction.
Instead of rationalizing, second-guessing, or worrying about what the right decision is. Ask yourself: “would the result of my decision help me honor or prioritize my core values?” If the answer is yes, party on. If the answer is no, try to come up with a different strategy or compromise. Allow yourself to still stand comfortably in your power.
Quick note: If you are not sure what your core values are, that is totally normal. Most people never take time to sit down and think about them. For most, it takes multiple sessions to nail them down!
Putting a Bow on It
When it comes to being comfortable in your own skin, it’s about believing in yourself and your own worth. These three tips can help you better navigate the holiday season. It is also important to know you do not have to do this alone.
Navigating the holidays can be difficult no matter how strong-willed and confident you are. I implore you to recognize that asking for help is not a weakness. As Brene Brown says, “we are hardwired for connection”. “We were never meant to do it all alone”. So, please reach out for help if you need it. And reach out to offer help if you can give it.
I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and confident holiday season. Be safe. Be smart. And be you.