Just celebrated another year around the sun this week, and boy do I love my birthday : ) . Perhaps it’s the attention-loving Leo in me, or maybe it’s how I’ve learned over and over again how unpredictable and fragile life is, but I’m a big supporter in keeping the celebration rolling all month. This year I’m feeling pretty good about the number (45!!), so it’s especially easy to let the fun roll. Of course, this hasn’t always been the case.

For a long time, I was definitely not cool with the number ticking up. I spent so much time, like so many of my clients, comparing myself to others and using time to beat myself up:

“My life doesn’t look how I expected.”
“This one is further along *The Path*.”
“That one has it all figured out!”
“This other one knows all the tricks and tips to happiness in life and work . . . ”
etc etc etc . . . Know what I mean?

There are so many avenues available to us to find ways to compare and critique. I’ve been in business for myself for a long time, and my entrepreneurial hustle really amped up when we moved to New York and I shifted from working as a therapist to a coach. Networking and masterminding with many other amazing coaches and entrepreneurs was initially daunting, and the source of a LOT of my comparison-itis. There are so many clever people doing cool work, and at a seemingly rapid pace. But once you really connect, when you scratch beneath the surface and really get to know other people in your space, you see we’re all not so different. So many female entrepreneurs I know — even the ones who are totally crushing it–struggle with many of the same questions, and sometimes also feel adrift and lonely in their businesses. This isn’t to say they aren’t crushing it, it’s just to say that there’s more to it than just one thing. Layers.

I’ve learned and grown and stretched myself so much this last year, really stretching myself outside my comfort zone to DO things I’ve been only talking about for ages. So this birthday feels particularly celebratory. Some gifts of my mid-40s and this last year in particular that have moved the needle on my happiness:

1) Action. Moving into my fear instead of avoiding it. If you’ve been following me for a while, you likely know that I’m a big advocate of getting support. It’s because I know the benefits first hand. For me, working regularly with an excellent business coach and also in small accountability pods has helped me to finally create the kinds of offerings to help more clients in more varied modalities and price points. Actually doing it has helped dispel the “what ifs” and “I can’ts” and has cracked open even more creativity. Lots more ideas about how to provide value and be of service coming soon!

2) Control. Or rather getting comfy with my lack of it. Again, I’ve learned many times over the course of my life–in both painfully huge and also teeny tiny ways–that you never know about tomorrow. Stepping more into my fear has brought me a greater ability to shrug stuff off. This has had a major impact in how I approach aspects of my business, like marketing and what I will now raise my hand for and say “Yes, I am qualified to do that work.” It’s also had a major impact in my interpersonal relationships. Do I still worry what people think? About haters? Yes, of course. But less, WAY less

3) Health. Specially, my non-negotiable focus on it. This past year I’ve made a huge commitment to my health and well-being, and have gotten super fit as a result. Beyond strength gains, focusing on my physical fitness has been a mind-sharpener, and has also given me the fortitude to endure tough personal and professional situations that in the past would leave me anxious and untethered. I just feel better overall. And, when I struggle with trying to find a path forward on a difficult puzzle or problem, I find a lot of calm and ease in turning to how I made a plan to eat more healthfully and to successfully complete one challenging fitness program after another.

I like milestones in general, birthdays in particular, as ways to tune in and take stock of what’s working in your life. For me, with age comes knowing and loving myself even more, and with that a high attunement to what’s working well for me. All of this together helps me find ways to build on successes. Got your own ways to measure change? I’d love to hear about them – please let me know!

PS On retrospect, it occurs to me that from the title, some people may consider this to be a political post. It’s not. However, it IS less than 100 days until mid-term elections. Here’s your link to make sure you’re registered to vote.

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