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A lady walked up to me in the grocery store last week as I was searching for my favorite peanut butter. She has been following my blog for a couple of years. I was surprised and honored by her reaction. “Oh, my God! Are you Tonya Leigh,” she squealed. “Yes,” I replied, a bit taken back. (Remember, I’m just trying to find some peanut butter.)
She then said something that breaks my heart when another woman says it to me. There are people out there who feed off of this tragic statement disguised as a compliment, but it saddens me.
“I want your life.”
I quickly stopped my peanut butter search, grabbed her hands and looked her in the eyes and said with love, “Please, don’t ever wish for someone else’s life.”
Yet, I’ve certainly done it. Most people have. Who wouldn’t want Beyonce’s life? Or, would you?
Without calling names, there’s a celebrity that I admired. For years, I secretly wished for her life.
Then, I met her. Over a glass of wine, we talked for two hours.
“My life is not what people think it is,” she admitted. She confided in me how she was full of insecurity and how she struggled with her body image. What I thought would be a conversation with me asking her questions about her life became one of her asking me for advice.
Oh, the irony.
Here’s what we all need to understand:
Everyone is showing the highlights of their lives, myself included.
I don’t post pics of my laundry room piled with clothes. I don’t write about how my daughter just screamed at me because I won’t permit her to go to a party. I don’t Periscope me crying because my hormones are raging (although Periscope is about as real as it gets, which is why I enjoy it so much).
I post things to inspire and add beauty to your day because that’s what the School of Self-image is all about.
I also share my challenges, but only when I’m on the other side and have something useful to share.
What I do and don’t share is a very conscious choice. Would Oprah post about her and Stedman’s heated argument? I don’t think so. But, she probably would share what she’s learned about communicating more effectively.
If you’ve ever wished for anyone’s life, there’s a few things you should consider:
1. We’re all human. There are days we don’t like ourselves (even with the best mindset tools). We have bad hair days (unless you’re bald, and then you may be wishing you had hair). Our children sometimes hate us (even though they really don’t). And the most elegant of us still fart.
2. Wanting another person’s life is treating your own as not good enough. It’s like all those years I wished to have Giselle’s body. Every time I wished for a supermodel’s body, I was denying the beauty of my own. How I treated my body reflected this sad belief.
3. Iconic women create their own lives. They don’t waste their energy hoping for someone else’s but determine who they desire to BE and go out there and be her. They know what they value and desire. Each day’s choices are made accordingly.
With all this said, I do believe you can be inspired by another person’s life. Diane Von Furstenberg is a woman I deeply admire. Her tenacity, elegance, grace, and style is something I strive to embody in my own life.
However, I don’t want her life. I’m enjoying this crazy, beautiful mess of my own.
I deeply hope I inspire you to French Kiss your life — to live with more elegance, style and joie de vivre.
But, I’m begging you . . .
One of the best client testimonials I ever received was this,
“I signed up to work with Tonya because I wanted to be like her. But, with her support, she helped me realize that what I truly desired was to be more of me.”
That’s what I’m here to do.
So, instead of wanting someone else’s life…..
Share in the comments below who inspires you.
Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance
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