Season four of the podcast is back! It feels really good to be back behind the microphone and chatting to you all. In today’s episode I’m catching you up on what’s been going on since the last episode, talking about what season four will be all about and discussing societal expectations and why we need to question them!
I won’t lie, this episode is a bit of a rallying cry and a reminder as to why self-worth and confidence work is so important. You can listen wherever you get your podcasts or here:
Links and further reading
- Overcoming overwhelm audio course
- Josephine Brooks
- Free Growth Spurt e-book when you sign up to my newsletter
- 100-day self-worth tip charity challenge
- We are childfree podcast
- How to ditch renter’s shame
Welcome back to Seedling and to season four! In today’s episode I’ll be catching you up after the season break, telling you more about season four and talking about societal expectations and why we need to question everything. So sit back, get comfortable and let’s jump in.
Hello you, long time no speak! How are you doing? I am so excited to be back behind the microphone for season 4 of Seedling. I can’t quite believe we’re even at season 4, time is wild, but here we are! Since we last spoke I’ve been working away on all things Blue Jay of Happiness, if you caught the bonus episode you will have heard the first lesson of my Overcoming Overwhelm audio course which is now out in the wild and being listened to, which is awesome.
I also joined a coaching mastermind run by Josephine Brooks to help me start making an income from Blue Jay and give me some support as I navigate this experimental stage of business. I’ve written my next Growth Spurt e-book, which will be launching soon – and you can read the first in the series for free by signing up to my newsletter, they’re all about the different stages of the self-worth journey.
I’m also in the process of putting together my first paid-for solo workshop, which I hope will be the first of many. And outside of Blue Jay there’s been a lot going on, my role at work has shifted slightly and there are some exciting events coming up that I’m a part of, Dan and I are looking to move and I’m in the midst of a 100-day self-worth tip challenge, where I’m sharing one tip a day for 100 days to raise money for eating disorder charity Beat.
So yeah, things have been busy! And I feel like things are moving, like things are happening. And I don’t think I realised quite how stagnant I was feeling because of the pandemic. It’s only been in the last few weeks, where this movement has felt palpable, that I realised quite how stuck I was feeling. And it feels really nice to feel that energy coming back.
So, I intend to bring that energy to the podcast! And this season there is going to be a soft focus on confidence, because I think this pandemic has knocked a lot of confidence out of people. Hopefully what I share can be helpful.
Today I want to talk about questioning societal expectations because I’ve been doing this a lot recently and I think it comes when we uplevel our confidence. Once we accept ourselves for who we are, once we start to believe in ourselves, we make choices. We recognise the power we hold in our life and we have to decide what to do with it. What do we want our lives to be?
And this is where societal expectations creep in. We can find ourselves on a path because it’s expected. Because it’s the ‘next step’. Because our parents did, because our friends are. It’s really easy to get confused. Of course, sometimes it is absolutely the right path for us, and that’s great. But what I’m trying to get into the habit of is questioning these expectations.
Recently, as a 35-year old woman in a long-term relationship, I’ve been questioning a lot. Something that’s been on my mind especially at the moment is the decision to have children. I’ve given it a lot of thought, as has my partner, and right now we’re on the same page with our decision – and that is that we don’t want children. I’ve been listening to a great podcast called ‘we are childfree’, which I can highly recommend if you’re considering or have decided not to have children. And listening to the stories told on there just makes me realise how expected and assumed it is for women to want children and how stigmatising it can be to go against that expectation.
Along with kids, or course marriage is another expectation tossed our way. And yes, one day we would love to gather our friends and family to celebrate our love, and hell yes I want to wear a pretty dress while we do it. But we’re not in any rush and we won’t do it because it’s the ‘next step’, we’ll do it because we want to and, honestly, when we can afford it!
An expectation we’ve come up against more recently is that we need to get on the property ladder and buy a home. Dan and I have been working towards this, but I sat down the other day and said to him, ‘why do you want to buy a house?’, because I just don’t think we ask these questions enough. We just assume these things will happen. I asked myself the same question and as it turns out, our answers were valid. The desire was coming from us, not societal pressure and that was reassuring. We have accepted that it’ll still be some time before we can afford to do it, but at least we know ‘We’ want to.
I am in no way saying any of these moves are right or wrong. I’ve seen friends and family do all these and be blissfully happy as a result, I’ve seen the joy these things bring. I’m just realising how important it is to question everything and check in with yourself on these big life decisions.
I guess I first did this when I decided to stop climbing the career ladder at my day-job. I stepped down from being a manager a few years ago because it was taking me away from what I was really good at and from what I really loved. I also reduced my hours and took a pay cut so I had more time for Blue Jay work. My role has shifted several times since then, but of course I’ve never had a ‘promotion’. Instead of promotions, I get creatively fulfilled and time to focus on Blue Jay work. I chose to step off of that path and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
What I’m continuing to learn however is that doing this isn’t easy. I feel incredibly fortunate that my parents have never pressured me in any area of my life. They’ve never hinted at future grandchildren, they’ve never nagged about buying a house and they’ve never been anything but supportive about my career choices. I know that’s rare and yet it still feels hard going against societal expectations because the pressure is everywhere. I can’t imagine how hard it must be if you have people in your life pushing you down a path you don’t want.
But at the end of the day, you are the one who has to live your life, not them. You have to live with the decisions you make. Of course it’s OK and natural to make mistakes, but the journey will feel so much easier if we are making decisions based on our wants and needs, not society’s.
And confidence and self-worth are integral to this! We have to value ourselves, our wants and our needs. We have to be able to trust ourselves and to have the confidence to stand up and question what’s expected of us in order to live a life that is fulfilling for us. This is why I’m so passionate about building self-worth and confidence and this is why there’ll be more episodes in this series to help you with all of this.
But that is all I have for you today, I would love to chat to you about this – please do tag me on Instagram if you’re listening or send me a DM, I’m @katbluejay over there and you can find the transcript for this episode and further links at bluejayofhappiness.com/podcast.
I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a new episode and until then, take care!
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