Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Self Help for Skeptics

I have recently started seeing a new therapist/life coach. Yes, she’s expensive. Yes, she’s worth it!  This week we were discussing my shopping addiction which is exemplified on several blog posts, like this one. We were talking about the giddy feelings I get when I buy myself something pretty, and she said that maybe I should create a personal mission statement and that I should reference it before I purchase something to make sure it fits into what I want in life. Personal mission statement? Yeah that’s for nerds and optimists. 

That made recall a training I did a few years ago where I went through a series of exercises that led me to create a mission statement but back then I secretly scoffed at the idea as it sounded like something people who take themselves seriously would do and I am not that kind of gal. I reviewed the mission statement I wrote on that day and clearly much has changed in the past 2 years. Not only this time rather than being skeptical I was kind of excited about developing a mission statement, probably because I have now embraced my inner self-help nerd. 

I started doing research and I was relieved that others have already written eloquently on the subject!  Classy Career Girl, Anna Runyan explains that her mission statement helps her keep track of what she wants to achieve with her blog. She's awesome and I loved this mission statement she shared so much that I featured the image on my blog (see above) Your personal mission statement then will help you keep track of what you want in life. I started working on my own mission statement and relating it back to what my therapist said, that I should make it a tool to keep in the back of mind whenever i’m making small or large decisions. I love writing about myself in 3rd person! Here goes my first attempt:

To live without fear, pursue my passions, embrace my personal style, achieve the ideal work-life balance, meet my spiritual and health needs, while creating financial stability that will alleviate stress in my middle age.

Here’s what I found out about myself in this short exercise:
  • Financial stability- Is important –NOW, I used to pride myself on not caring about money, I have realized that money gives you options and I want more time to do all the things I cannot afford to do now like travel and shower my family and friends with nice gifts. Oh and boring stuff like retirement. 
  • Personal Style-I should ask myself next time I buy a pair of shoes if they are indeed helping me embrace personal style or just a momentary desire that will only hinder my ability to meet my other goals.
  • Work-Life Balance- I never thought this was an issue until I realized that working 10 hour days is no way to enjoy life.
  • Spiritual and Health Needs-Again things I didn’t care about at 21, F*ck i’m old.
  • Pursuing my Passions- This blog is one step in that direction. Never thoughts writing would be a hobby. I had to have a breakdown (see work-life balance or lack thereof) to finally start looking for a creative outlet. 
Clearly I have changed my mind on the personal mission statement. However, I am still on the trajectory to embrace other useful tools that are meant to help map out the road to achieving the lives we want to lead. Check out this book for more exercises to help guide you and this great quote from said book:

"Some people don't just live: they lead a life. They don't sit around waiting for a lucky break. They create opportunities. They go after their dreams and bring them to life….

Why does this matter? Because we only live once silly. So do like the ill-fated lovers on the Titanic, and make each day count!

What’s your personal statement? Try to write one, I promise it's easy and you may learn something about yourself!
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Betsy Aimee.


  1. I started working on my mission statement just yesterday, atcually. So far, it's just a list of things I want out of life, but it's been very helpful!

    Do you follow Gala Darling's blog? She wrote a fantastic post on mission statements that I think you'll like. She's into fashion, too, and definitely one of those people who leads her life, so I think you'll enjoy her.

    Wonderful article in the Daily Muse! It was brave and generous of you to share your story.

    -- Sarah

  2. Thank you so much for your comment Sarah :) I will definitely have to check out Gala Darling's blog asap.