How to Be Enough in a World that Says You’re Not
Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you try, you just don't seem to live up to the standards that you set yourself, or that others have set for you? Do you listen to, and take to heart, the criticism from others? Are you always trying to improve and be better, but never giving yourself credit for who you are right now?
If you can relate to any of this, then this podcast is for you.
In this episode, Confidence Coach, Speaker and best-selling Author, Tonya Murray discusses How to Be Enough in a World that Says You're Not.
For over a decade, Tonya has helped children and families impacted by childhood trauma. Through both her professional and personal experiences, she's seen how a lack of self love, combined with the choices we make, affect every aspect of our lives.
Tonya believes that increasing the confidence of one, will cause a positive ripple effect on the lives of many.
This belief led her to found her life and confidence coaching company, The Heart of Confidence, LLC.
Tonya lives in Utah with her three boys, where they spend as much time outdoors as possible.
How to Contact Tonya
For more details of Tonya's best-selling book mentioned in the interview, and to find out more about The Heart of Confidence, please visit:
Free Chapter of 'Functioning Hot Mess: Embrace Your Inner Chaos and Be Enough in a World that Says You're Not': https://theheartofconfidence.com/functioninghotmesschapter1
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/confidenceconnectionHOC/
Gillian Duncan 0:00
Hello, and welcome to this podcast from Clarity Junction. Today, I am thrilled to be joined by Tonya Murray. Tonya is the founder of 'The Heart of Confidence', which is a life and confidence coaching company, and also she is the author of the book, 'Functioning Hot Mess: Embrace Your Inner Chaos and Be Enough in a World That Says You're Not'. Today, Tonya will be discussing the subject of her book in a little more detail and addressing the topic of 'How to Be Enough in a World That Says You're Not'. So, keep listening to discover Tonya's own personal journey, and her advice on how to accept that you are enough. My name is Gillian Duncan, Positive Life and Wellbeing Coach, helping women to lead the life they want. And I am delighted that you're here with me today.
Hi, Tonya! Welcome to the Clarity Junction podcast.
Tonya Murray 0:56
Thank you. I'm excited to be here.
Gillian Duncan 0:58
I'm really excited to be chatting with you today. So, today we are going to be talking all about a very common issue. One that, I believe, most people, or most women, face on a daily basis, and that is the feeling of not living up to the high standards that our society seems to impress upon us. But before we get into this topic in more depth, can you tell the listeners a little bit more about yourself and how this feeling of not being enough has affected you?
Tonya Murray 1:30
Yeah. So for me, I grew up in this, you know, good home, good family situation. My parents were divorced, but they both were super involved in my life. But even with all of that support, there was an underlying feeling that I wasn't enough. That I wasn't doing enough. That things weren't, you know, that there was something wrong with me. And then, just before I got married, I actually had someone who gave me some advice and said, 'You know, you have this really strong, strong personality. You really need to tone it down or you're going to walk all over this nice young man that you're marrying'. And, and I really started feeling like there was something wrong with me. That I wasn't doing something right. And I started looking at, like, this big picture and seeing all these things I wasn't doing well, and I started just to, kind of, implode and changing who I was. And so, I started looking outside to other people's expectations and trying to live up to those expectations and whether it be religion, or society, or other women, other moms otherwise and no matter what I did, I couldn't ever reach those heights, those expectations and, over time, that just chipped away at my self confidence, my self worth, my identity. Before I knew it, I was in this place of, 'What is my life? Who am I? Nothing I'm doing is even measuring up', and it was actually terrifying. I was miserable and I was scared, and I didn't know what to do and, I was a mess.
Gillian Duncan 3:04
So it sounds, Tonya, that you were trying to keep up with a stereotypical image or something that perhaps we would see in a TV show, a sitcom, or, you know, a film, a movie where the family's there, they're all perfectly dressed. The kitchen is always completely spotless, and, you know, the garden's immaculate. And you were put into this position by other people saying that this is how we should be, and how everybody should be, and then you obviously didn't feel that way, and you obviously realised that, you know, hey, real life doesn't work like that. So, why do you think that we're in that position where we, we don't feel like we're enough?
Tonya Murray 3:47
Well, I feel like, you know, whether it's, even from when we're children and our brain isn't fully developed, and we're taking on all of this information, and sometimes it's something that someone says directly to us that makes us feel that way, or something that we interpret as that, but we end up feeling as if something about us, inherently, isn't good enough. It's not that maybe there's a trait we could develop or skill we could develop. We think it's, like, intrinsic. There's something inside that we lack. And, you know, we feel like everything we do, we fall short, we can't ever rise to that expectation. And then we have additional expectations placed on us from what we feed our children, what we feed ourselves, the way we should look, the tasks that we should be able to carry out, whether it be at home or at work, or anywhere and it just continues to pile on. But the thing is, no one in our world is telling us, 'No, no, no, you're doing enough. You're doing great, calm down'. Everyone is saying, 'Do more. Do this. Add that'. And then we have judgments placed on it too, where, you know, we're getting unsolicited advice and then if we don't follow that advice, or if we try and it doesn't work, again, it's because we didn't do it right. There's something that we, you know, we should have done it better. And so we're always striving to do more and do better, and it just becomes, like, all-consuming and it creates anxiety, and it's just, it's, overall it just, it affects us so deeply.
Gillian Duncan 5:21
Do you feel that in our day and age, our modern day society, that a lot of this comes from media or films or programmes or magazines that give us that sort of instruction? It, sort of, informs other people of the rights and the wrongs of the way we should be living our life. Do feel that comes from, from that angle as well?
Tonya Murray 5:42
I do. I feel like it comes from every angle. I feel like, I mean, even our social media, we get in there and we see all of these people who are doing all these amazing things and they're exercising and they have this body image that we want or they're travelling or they're these perfect parents. And that's all we see is the highlights. And, even if we have strong self confidence, we see these things and start thinking, 'Well, why don't I have that?', and start looking at our lives and we start seeing this area of lack. We start to internalise that, rather than thinking, 'Well, they've worked really hard for that. And if I put in that much effort, I could also be travelling that much, or I could also have that perfect relationship or, you know, whatever'. But, we forget that, you know, there's a lot of work that goes into that, and there's a lot of ups and downs and that not everything is as it seems. So even if it seems perfect in someone's life, we don't know what's going on behind those closed doors. So we kind of take on that interpretation ourselves. So, I feel like part of it is society, but part of it is also us.
Gillian Duncan 6:45
Right. We believe what we hear. We're believing what we're getting told. And then, I guess, I don't know about you, but I feel that there's so many things in my life I'd love to achieve, but there's not enough hours in the day.
Tonya Murray 6:58
Gillian Duncan 6:59
And so, I maybe focus on one area of my life and think, or maybe, you know, one or two areas and I say, 'Right, I'll get this done today, get that one today'. And then, you know, I look at the rest of my life, like for example my house, my housework, my, the decorations that were supposed to be done, you know, the, the kitchen that was supposed to be finished and all the rest of it. And I think, 'Oh gosh, I'm failing. My neighbours must think I'm slobbish. You know, I'm lazy because my garden's unkept'. You know, I feel, you know, that other people might be looking down on me and I don't know that, you know. I, I don't have conversations with my neighbours - they've never knocked on my door and said, 'Hey, Gillian, you know you need to cut your grass'. You know, that's not, it's never been an issue. Yet, I have sort of made it mine. I've thought, 'Oh my goodness', and as you say, I've internalised that myself. I feel ashamed sometimes when I look at my garden, you know, and, but that's only one corner of it. You know, I tend to look at that more, yet, I don't look at all the achievements that I've had, and say, 'Oh, well, you know, I've done this instead'. So, when we take charge of this internalised feeling, how do you see it changing our lives? How does this affect us? Once we realise that what is being fed to us and what we're actually believing, you know, when we realise that we are actually enough and that, you know, what we're doing is the best that we possibly can do, and it's perfectly Okay, How does that change?
Tonya Murray 8:36
Well, so, one thing that I learned from Wayne Dyer, he taught that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. And when you know that you're enough, when you start to feel, like truly feel, that feeling, your life just completely opens up. You're able to set boundaries, you're able to have different expectations. You don't have to take on that other people's expectations and priorities, and you get to leave toxic relationships. You have better friendships. You know, you're even, the way that me, personally, when I, the way I parent my children now, versus the way I did quite a few years ago is completely different. And, absolutely, am I not perfect and I have plenty of room for improvement, but I feel like I'm doing well, and that feeling is amazing. You can't, you know, that's priceless. So, once you start to know that you're enough and start to have that feeling, there's no limit to what you can do and it's okay to try things and not be perfect, or try something and decide that doesn't really fit for me, that's not in alignment with who I am, and give it up. It's okay to do those things because you're kind of functioning on a whole different set of rules that you're creating for yourself instead of what other people are creating for you.
Gillian Duncan 9:56
I love the fact that you mentioned about parenting children your children. I think there's a lot of stigmas and baggage attached to how to parent. And, you know, there's a lot of instructions, a lot of guides and you get this advice the minute you have your children, and it's almost as if you're not meant to find it out by yourself. You get, you know, barraged, you have all these, all your friends tell you something, your family tells you something, you know, it's as you say, on, in books, it's everywhere. We should be doing this, we should be doing that. We should be feeding them this, we should be feeding them that. And, it doesn't give us any room, as parents ourselves, to make those decisions. It kind of puts us in doubt. Are we doing the right thing? Are we feeding our children the right way? Are we feeding them enough? Are we giving them enough fresh air? What should they be wearing? What shouldn't they be wearing? What school should they go to? All the rest of it. And so, I can completely relate with that one, definitely. The guilt that gets associated with it. And you don't stand back and say, 'Well, you know, I'm doing the best I can. And my kids are alright, thanks. They're doing well with my parenting, you know'. You don't stand back and see that. All you see, and all you hear are the negative thoughts. So, yeah, that's fantastic to know, though, that you can change just that thinking and stop listening to these external influences and actually believe more and the direction that you're taking.
Tonya Murray 11:27
Right. And I think what you just said is key. You can stop listening to these things because, you know, we get on autopilot. And we start, you know, a lot of the things that we have kind of pulled forward into the future with us, you know, things that happened to us in the past, whether it was when you were a child or whether it was yesterday, if we don't slow down and really think about, you know, that particular issue, we just take it as fact and we consider it to be true, but at any point we can choose differently and we can stop believing that or stop perpetuating that, and, and having it in our life and we can change the talk, we can change the conversation, we can start to do things differently. You know, I remember reading a book on parenting, and I'm a big fan of learning everything that you can about how to parent. But as I read this particular book, you know, it was talking about how to be an emotional support for your child. And I felt like a failure. I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, where was this when my kids were born, and I have failed them in all of these ways'. And I finally had to, I actually had to stop reading the book and put it away because it was making me feel so terribly. But if I would have kept running with that, and just took on everything that it was saying and took on that feeling of failure, then I would have missed all of the good things and all the things I've done right, and recognising that I don't live in a perfect bubble. I can't create that environment. That's not me. I'm never going to be that person and that's okay. I'm not bad. I'm not wrong. But, the choice was to put that book down and to say, 'Okay, there was some nuggets of wisdom that I can take and move forward, and the rest of it I can put away because it wasn't serving me'. In fact, it was more detrimental. And as adults, we have the mental ability to switch things on and off like that. We just have to slow down and do it.
Gillian Duncan 13:26
Yeah, it's almost like becoming aware, isn't it? You switch on an awareness. It's a bit like, I like to think, watching the television and you're watching a programme and something comes on that you don't like. It doesn't make you feel good. It, you maybe don't like the language that's getting used or where the story is going and you sit and you think, 'Well, I'm watching it now. I'll just continue to watch it'. But, you've actually got the choice. You've got the controls to just switch it off. You don't have to watch it just because it's there in front of you, just because it's on the television. You don't have to watch it. And it is making that conscious decision to say, 'Actually, this makes me feel bad. I'm going to leave this. I'm going to switch channels. I'm going to go and do something else. I'm going to do something that makes me feel better'.
Tonya Murray 14:18
Right. And we can do that with other people in our lives as well. You know, when we think about, particularly in childhood, or even as we've been adults, and people have said things that have been hurtful, and their opinions of us are sometimes negative and we take those on. But when we really step back and think about it, we can say why do they get to be right, you know, are they someone that you would go to for advice? Do you consider them someone with a positive identity, positive authority? And when we really look at it, most of the time, the answer is, 'No'. So, we're looking at people who are giving us advice or making judgments about who we are and we don't value their opinion anyway, but yet we take it as fact. And, at any point we can say, 'Who says, and why do you get to be right?', and we can change that to, to think, you know, they, they have the right to have their opinion, and they come from whatever place that they're coming from. But I don't have to take that on. That doesn't have to be my identity. I can kind of, like, shut that off.
Gillian Duncan 15:22
Yeah, this takes me back to childhood, this comment, actually, and it takes me back to my chemistry teacher. And he went around the class the day before the exam and told everybody was sort of grade he expected everybody to get and he got to me and he went, 'Oh, maybe next year'. And I went into the exam the next day, and I thought, you know, I've worked really, really hard. I've maybe not been a natural in chemistry and it might not be my favourite subject, but I've done all this work and I, it really stirred me actually. It got the opposite effect. I actually got quite angry with it. And I went, 'You know, I'm going to just show them', and sure enough, I, I passed my chemistry and I went on to do chemistry at university. So, you know, I, I just thought, well, you know, sometimes you could take that a different way. If it had been, perhaps, somebody else that he had said that to, the effect, it could have been devastating for them. They might just have given up. They may not even have shown up for the exam, because that person was in a position of responsibility. They were in that position where they were leaders and they were listened to. And yet, at the end of the day, he's just a bloke. He was just a chap doing his job. And it's, you know, he probably didn't mean anything devastating about his words. He didn't, you know, he didn't mean to hurt anybody. It was just something he said. He thought it maybe fun or, you know, jovial, I don't know, but it's how you interpret what is being said, as well, and how you take it on board. But it is so huge how our words and our actions can affect other, and influence other, people.
Tonya Murray 17:02
Right. And sometimes, you know, when you think about things that you personally have said and done, and you know, most of the time, I don't have ill intent. I, I'm sarcastic. I like to joke. I like to tease. I'm pretty good about choosing my audience, but, every now and then someone takes a comment wrong and I feel devastated, if I know. But, what about all the times I don't know? And, you know, so part of that is not only being aware of what you're receiving, but also what you're giving. But then, if you're receiving something that seems kind of hurtful, being able to say, 'How can I see this differently?', you know, 'Maybe they didn't mean it that way. Maybe I'm having a bad day, and I'm interpreting things incorrectly'. I mean, there's so many variables, and the beauty is that we really do get to decide because we can step back and say, 'You know, I don't know if he was teasing or if he was serious, but right now, it serves me more I think he was teasing. So I'm just gonna roll with that', because chances of ever knowing which way it was are slim to none. You're never really going to know. So, you might as well choose the positive version, or as most positive as you can.
Gillian Duncan 18:13
Absolutely. I'm for that one. So Tonya, I know that you've got a fantastic book out at the moment, and I am honoured to have been able to read this book when it first came out. I was so delighted, and I remember messaging you and saying, 'Oh, Tonya, when are you releasing the next book? I really want to read more of what you're saying and more about you as a person. I want to find out more and how you cope with everything'. I just thought it was awesome, and I just love this book. So I recommend it to everybody. But, the book is called, 'Functioning Hot Mess: Embrace Your Inner Chaos and Be Enough in a World that Says You're Not'. Tonya, please tell everybody what your book is all about.
Tonya Murray 18:59
Yes, I am. So excited. So with this book, I, I got to a point in my life where, really, it's everything we've been talking about. I was miserable. I was going through the motions. I was trying to be the person everyone wanted me to be, and do everything they wanted me to do, and, inside I was a mess. I had this internal chaos and struggle with who I was, and as a person, to the core, versus who I was supposed to be. And, I, one day, I just, all of a sudden had this realisation where I'm like, 'My life is, this is not what I signed up for. And I am miserable. And I can't keep doing this'. And, so it took me, like, 10 years to get to where I am now and learn these lessons one step at a time. And so, I wanted to be able to put those together in a book so that it doesn't take everyone else 10 years to figure it out. But to just be able to look at, you know, what are the rules that you're living, you know, you're living your life according to and do they even matter? Because I started realising that so many of these rules weren't my own. And they didn't matter to me, but yet I was holding myself to that expectation that I follow that rule. And so, I really kind of broke it down to, 'Okay, then what does matter to you?', and some of them, really, truly, did matter, but some of them I was able to let go. And, it just helped me become more calm, you know, you lose that anxiety. Start to realise that I'm enough. And so, I have a lot of those lessons and experiences in my book. You know, I didn't realise that my life had deteriorated so badly that I was in a toxic relationship. Like, things had gotten so out of hand and I feel like I had just been checking off boxes and living on autopilot and staying so busy that I didn't even know what was going on in my world. And it was, it was just chaotic. So, I've put the stories in my book. Some are super funny, some are sad. There's a full range of emotion in there. And it's just to let you know that, you know, when you have that internal chaos and you're still functioning, but you're kind of a hot mess at the same time, that's okay. And you can use that as a guidance system to tell you that, maybe, there's something in your life that you need to examine a little more closely. Maybe there's something you need to change, or at least, you know, steer your path a different direction. So, it really puts, helps you put the power of your world back in your own hands.
Gillian Duncan 21:43
I think that the topic of your book and what you've written in your book, I know, for sure, that everybody can identify with something or other that you have written. It might not be, obviously the same story. It may not be, obviously it's, this is your personal experiences that you've gone through. But we all have a similar story, or we have all had a similar situation, where we have gone on to autopilot. That we have just completely, head down, just gone on with it, regardless of how we feel, or regardless of what we're really thinking. We've been burying everything. And yeah, sure, we can be doing this for very, very long time. And it takes some wake up call for us to actually realise that we're heading down a path that we don't agree with. That we don't want to be there. And it's such a long path sometimes before we realise that, hey, you know, we need to, we need to take a step back here. We need to find out who we are, again. Who this person that is that I've become and who I want to be. So I really do feel that your book addresses this whole emotion, this whole situation, and, as I say, it doesn't matter whether it's the similar same experience, per se, but it's the concept of that, being on that path and needing to readjust and realign and come back out.
Tonya Murray 23:15
You know, when I started writing, I felt like, you know, my story isn't unique. Maybe these specific details about it are unique, and they're unique to me, but the overall story is something that I've heard a million times. And I've, I've felt that. My readers have come back with that. They've said, 'I felt like you were talking directly to me', or, you know, I had one lady say, 'It was crazy. It was like you were telling my story back to me with just a few little details that were different'. And, you know, I thought, 'Yeah', that's, I knew that, I knew there were people out there who could relate to this and needed this. So, it's really exciting to be able to have this book available and, you know, let people know you're not alone.
Gillian Duncan 24:01
Yeah, exactly, exactly. I think that's how I felt when I read it. I thought, 'Wow, yeah, I can see similarities'. I can see where you've gone and where I went, and, you know, taking that, that backstep. And so, yeah, I could really, definitely relate and I, honestly, the people I speak to, I know that they will identify with a lot of the things that you have written in your book. So, I have absolutely loved reading your book, and as I say, I completely recommend it. I know that you have released the first chapter of your book and you have that on to your website. Can you tell everybody where you can find that chapter?
Tonya Murray 24:41
Yes, it is at theheartofconfidence.com/functioninghotmesschapter1, and it's the number 1, not spelled out. And it is the full chapter one and I wanted people to be able to jump in and give it a test drive and see what they thought before they bought the book because I don't want them to jump into something that they don't feel would be serving them or that doesn't speak to them. But it's a fun chapter. And it's a good chapter. And it's a good place to start. So yeah, I'm giving that away for free. Just throw me your email address, and I'll send it to you, and you can decide if it's something that, that you want to read more of.
Gillian Duncan 25:20
Well, thank you so much for joining me today, Tonya. It has been an absolute delight to speak to you. As I said before, I could talk to you all day about this subject, and I really hope that you'll be able to come back on to the podcast another time and talk to me a little bit more about the subject or tell me that you're next book is out! I'm really looking forward to your next book!
Tonya Murray 25:40
Thank you Gillian!
Gillian Duncan 25:41
So, thank you so much!
Tonya Murray 25:44
Thank you. I'm excited to be able to share this. I'm, I'm so full of energy and excitement around this and I just can't wait for people to read this.
Gillian Duncan 25:53
That's all for this episode. My thanks to Tonya Murray for sharing so much with us today and for assuring us that we are definitely enough. To find out how to connect with Tonya, learn more about her book and for links to her website and Facebook page, then visit clarityjunction.com/enough. Thanks for listening. If you enjoy listening to the Clarity Junction podcast, then let others know about it, and subscribe so that you never miss an episode. Remember to hop over to clarityjunction.com to find out more about our membership for women who want more from life. You can also look us up on Facebook.
Bye for now and keep being awesome.