Kill your aspirational self. (The one with the thigh gap.)

Kill your aspirational self.

You have an aspirational self. She has a thigh gap and eats like a champion. He has a six pack and is a stallion in the bedroom. All aspirational selves work out, don’t sweat, don’t fart, and don’t ever swing by a fast food joint for a late-night snack.

Inevitably, your aspirational self makes more money than you do. He or she is also fulfilled by life, never second-guesses a single decision, and is incredibly knowledgeable about every topic on earth.

Make no mistake: your aspirational self is the most interesting person in the world.

You’re constantly comparing yourself to your aspirational self and coming up short.

(Your house doesn’t look like it belongs in a magazine feature. You haven’t made those Pinterest recipes or read those articles or implemented that advice. You ate a cookie. You missed a payment. You aren’t at Inbox Zero. You let that call go to voicemail.)

When compared to your aspirational self, you just plain SUCK.

(So do I. So does she. We all suck.)

Further, and based on this aspirational self, we all have a list in our mind of all the things we “should” do. The goals we should have and the activities we should be participating in to reach that aspirational future self.

My ongoing list pushes me to be an ultra-fit, super-social fashionista. It goes like this.

I should:

• drink one or two green smoothies a day
• run a few miles a day
• meet more strangers and make new friends
• buy whole outfits instead of individual pieces when shopping
• wear high heels instead of flats
• carry a purse
• use a blow dryer instead of letting my hair air dry
• watch less TV
• take more classes in person
• hire a maid service instead of cleaning the house myself
• read on my Kindle more
• answer my phone every time it rings instead of letting it go to voicemail
• send more snail mail to my friends
• do yoga every day
• cook unprocessed, whole foods three times a day
• read a wider range of books and get them from the library instead of buying them
• schedule more adventures for myself instead of playing it by ear

All the standards I want to place on myself from outside, as well as all the ways I want my thighs to be skinnier and my life to be more “normal” come out in this first list.

Now, I’ll take that list and replace “I should” with “I want to,” letting whatever doesn’t survive the switch fall by the wayside. Suddenly, my list is rather short.

I want to:

• take more classes in person
• send more snail mail to my friends
• do yoga every day
• schedule more adventures for myself instead of playing it by ear

Well shit, friend! Those things are totally doable! Instead of falling victim to the whispering voices in my head telling me I should be doing all sorts of crap I don’t actually care about, I’m limiting my energies to what I actually want to do.

Now, let’s refine those desires so they have numbers instead of the word “more.”

I want to:

• take a pottery class in person
• send one snail mail letter per week
• do yoga every day
• schedule a weekly adventure for myself

With those numbers in mind, I can schedule ‘em, add ‘em to the calendar, and go enjoy my closet full of decidedly flat shoes and mismatched articles of clothing.

Killing your purely-aspirational self is the first step toward becoming the imperfect and lovely you we all deserve to meet.

P.S.  This is an excerpt from Introverts at Work.  Pick up your copy in print or digital format now. 😉