Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about how to “live your best life.” It’s everywhere right now. #livingmybestlife and #bestlife are popular hashtags on social media. I’m listening to “Best Life,” as I type this by the pool.

So what does it really mean to live your best life?

And how do you go about even knowing how to live your best life?

I never write from any kind of an “I-am-your-guru,” psychological high horse. I write to help people out of pain, insecurity, and suffering that I have gone through and still go through. I write to navigate men and women away from the magnetic pull of f*cktards and the bs/darkness associated with it all. I write with the hope of affirmation that I’m not alone.

I also write to remember and solidify my own advice.

Sometimes when I write a longer post (like the last one), it allows me to come to very simple realizations/answers to issues that thrive on complication. The complication of these issues perpetuate mediocrity to such an extent, we become reduced to thinking that “live your best life,” means proving haters wrong, getting a certain number of likes/comments, making him/her burn in regret, living a life based more on impressing others than impressing ourselves, and being “good enough,” for a pig to turn into a puppy.

As far as knowing how to live your best life, I’ve come to a very simple realization that I know works.

How am I so sure?

  • It has transformed and attracted mutuality, value, and quality in my professional, personal, romantic, and familial relationships that I never thought was possible.
  • It has allowed me to go from being labeled as “too sensitive” and “too much,” to me being my own white horse, rider, and ride.
  • It has allowed others to recognize that I have limits and standards without me having to verbalize or write them out in smoke signals.
  • It has allowed me to actually STICK to those limits and standards with a complete absence of guilt for implementing them.
  • It has allowed me to define my own identity instead of adopting a personal identity of reluctant f*cktard creation.

And most significant of all – It has built the most unshakeable, unf*ckwithable confidence, self-love, and self-respect. 

The worst advice I have ever got in my life: “Natasha, it’s not  that simple.” I think that it really IS that simple. Our fears and insecurities are prone to complication creation so that we don’t have to do the scariest thing: accept, adjust/implement boundaries, and take action in our own lives.

Looking back – Every moment that I spent investigating if the weeds in my life would turn into a rose garden, came at the expense of my ability to recognize my own roses. I then weed-labeled myself and as much as I claimed to want a fellow rose… ALL I attracted were more weeds who either couldn’t see the rose in me because I couldn’t see it in myself, or saw the rose and exploited my own blindness for their benefit.

When it comes to knowing how to live your best life, it’s stupid simple.

Here’s the one realization that you need to live your best life NOW…

You will live your best life when you realize THIS: 

The ONLY people who will EVER get upset, make you feel bad for, be abusive and deflect, manipulate, throw a tantrum, and act out against you having limits, standards, and boundaries are the ones who either KNOW THEY WOULD or ALREADY HAVE BENEFITED the most from you not having any. Period.

It’s scary to implement boundaries because many of us grow up in a state of such contradiction, any blow of the breeze induces guilt.

We are taught to have our own back, but not at the expense of someone else’s feelings.

We are taught to graduate from wearing diapers and acclimate to toilet usage but then grow up to be adults who feel guilty for not accommodating to change the emotional diapers of a grown adult and deciding to flush their bullsh*t.

  • As long as you suffer from low self-esteem, boundaries will always induce guilt when implemented. Wouldn’t you feel bad about having to stick up for someone that you didn’t, or at very best, selectively liked, loved, and respected?

  • Here’s the thing though – You will NEVER build unf*ckwithable self esteem WITHOUT implementing boundaries.

And just like you’ll get less and less sore after you stretch your muscles and workout daily, the guilt for having limits, standards, and actually sticking to them WILL go away with practice.

Live your best life now by understanding that the ONLY people who will EVER have an issue with you having your own back are the ones who define having theirs by exploiting your inability to.

Live your best life now by understanding that people whose relational values are comprised of empathy, connectivity, value, respect, and the MATURITY that all of those require, will have ZERO issue with you not being superhuman and having boundaries, limits, and standards. This makes me think of one of my best friends. We are the same age and he is the most accomplished, gifted, driven, BUSY, and talented person I have ever known. Yet, he always makes me feel like I am a priority and he finds the time to text back faster than people I know who are unemployed. Also, when he’s busy, he communicates that he is unable to talk. When I’m slammed with work and he isn’t, not only does he understand, he roots me on and respects my need to disconnect. There’s no guilt, no drama, nothing but a connection that has enriched my life and motivated me more than words could ever express.

Live your best life now by understanding that you having healthy limits, standards, and boundaries, will not affect anyone who has healthy limits, standards and boundaries of their own.

Live your best life now by understanding that once you implement boundaries for yourself, you can finally RELAX. You know your limits and won’t have to worry about creatively avoiding toxic people, friendsh*ts, and relationsh*ts because the boundaries automatically do that FOR you. Implementing your own healthy and non-negotiable standards and limits is the literal clove of garlic to emotional vampires. You also won’t have to worry about amending or having anyone barter your boundaries down. You know your limits/standards and you stick to them. Simple. End of story.

Live your best life now by allowing your boundaries to filter out the seemingly mature reactions to you implementing them. A lot of the time, especially with narcissistic friends, lovers, and exes, these people will get threatened by you reintroducing them to who you truly are – someone who has hit his/her limit – someone who is NO LONGER their doormat and who cuts contact. And because narcissists are competitive by nature, they will try to “maturity match” you in the name of: grandiose apology, after apology… after f*ck up… after apology. Or, they’ll reply in a very cold but uncharacteristically surrendered/psychologically mature manner to take your emotional temperature and to see just how much it will unravel and mess with you, etc. As mature and evolved and “maybe he/she has changed,” as these all seem, it’s actually just a further bust of YOUR boundaries that they cannot handle the implementation of.

Whatever you call them – limits, standards, boundaries – they are there to protect you and preserve your innate value. They are a product of the love, respect, trust, and value that you have for yourself – EVEN IF you have to fake it until you make it. I know I did.

In the gym, losing weight and building muscle comes with dedication and a knowingness of a desired result that supersedes the fear of initial temporary soreness. Muscle memory is a real thing and so is emotional muscle memory.

And just like with your physical body, you’ve got to be more scared of the atrophy of your emotional muscles than you are of the initial soreness (aka guilt for implementing boundaries). 

The one thing that will disallow you from being able to live your best life…

Becoming emotional roadkill to the monster trucks of those who benefited the most from you acquiescing to their big wheels.

Implementing boundaries is the nail that flattens every one of their overly inflated tires.

It’s the gasoline that gets the Rolls Royce (YOU) out of the garage and on the road with the other cars who can stay in their own lane while respecting yours.

x Natasha

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15 comments

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Dearest Natasha … your timing is always second to none. Your wonderful post just took my contemplation of, and action on, Neil Strauss’ cage-shattering sentence ‘They say that love is blind, but it’s trauma that’s blind. Love sees what is’ (p394) to a new level. From what you wrote I have suddenly seen what the difference is between helplessness, and powerlessness. It’s subtle, and it’s EVERYTHING.

Helplessness is what I learned growing up with two emotionally unavailable and deeply traumatised parents. No matter what I did, and what extremes I took things to, I never experienced having an impact on them, or influencing them, to see that I had experience, thoughts and feelings that were not theirs. I never felt safe. (Such a common story!) And so I unconsciously equated loving with not feeling safe, and the effort of trying to prove / assert that I existed, and that my existence had value. And lo! Crumb City! The Golden Gates of F*cktardville! And a looooooong chain of relationships with unavailable men, same pattern, different look. I once told someone that on my gravestone would be, ‘she did it inspite of everything’ which unconsciously expressed my ‘helpless’ belief that no matter how hard you try, something will always be in the way. And when everything in life becomes an effort, all the time, it really doesn’t matter how ‘successful’ you are and what you achieve, because it feels like the Sword of Damocles is always about to drop.

Trauma is helplessness. Freedom is to recognise and own where we are powerless. That’s where boundaries take us. Your delineation of boundaries is so sharp, Natasha! I love it. Boundaries help me to see what’s my responsibility, what’s not, what I can change, what I can’t, what’s real, what stories I’m making up. They show me how to stay safe, to slow down, to observe, to breathe. And they enable me to stay on my white horse and not act out the old fear-based stuff that periodically swills around in my system, and still comes up with mind-bogglingly ‘convincing’ reasons why I should override reality with ‘new, improved fiction’ that will put me back into the emotional washing machine.

Boundaries put loving internal arms round all our fragile bits and remind us of our freedom, and responsibility, to care for ourselves.

Thank you for your love, your care and your work, Natasha. Your posts are a joy, a white horse nosebag. I love feeling connected with you and this tribe. So much love, Helen XXXXXXXXOXOXOXO

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WOW! Helen, thank you so much for this. This helped me see things so much more clearly and I am sure will help so many more.

Thank you for existing. Thank you for being a part of this tribe and THANK YOU for helping us all by shining your light here 🙂

What a healing and beautiful light it is.

Love you soul sister. xxxx

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I could use advice about whether he busted my boundaries? For about four months, I have been seeing a guy that I am compatible with in many ways but his drinking to excess often is not one of them. About three weeks ago, whilst we were out at a wedding he had had too much to drink. He almost wrecked the van we were driving. I asked for the car keys as I had not had more than one glass of wine throughout the six hour night. He passed out almost immediately once I started driving home. The next day I thanked sweetly him for giving me the keys so that I could drive home. Granted, I did this with the intention of giving him positive reinforcement.
This past weekend, once again, he had had too much to drink as I had feared as he might. Only this time, I asked him for his car keys before we went into the concert. He said no. After the concert, he refused to allow me to drive his car even though I explained how anxious I was. Foolishly, I got into the car with him knowing that he had had too much wine. Our night ended on a sour note not just because I was fearful but also because he flatly refused to acknowledge and respect my fearful and anxious request to drive us. We never got into a heated argument but it was late the next afternoon before we addressed the situation regarding his driving while drunk and the refusal to honor my request to drive.
We heard each other’s sides which resulted in his calmly suggesting that if I need to be in control in these situations, I should start our dates by driving us in my own car. This seems reasonable.
Things have been cool, not ice cold but there has been a chilly distance between us since.
We are scheduled to take a very expensive and romantic trip together in about two weeks. I am paying my own airfare although I have not purchased my ticket yet. Although we have a lot in common and his drinking does not interfere with his day to day life, his drinking is a red flag enough that I am not certain that we are compatible long term. I am worried about eventually resenting his drinking to excess often. That being stated, am I being foolish for going on what most would consider to be a holiday for a committed couple? Has he busted my boundaries?
Thank you to anyone and everyone who is willing to offer advice. This tribe has gotten me though very dark times that I do not want to return to.

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Hi Natasha
As usual a really good read.
I still have a lot to do to reach the level where u have reached but I am confident I will. Till then keep inspiring us and keep motivating us…

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Hi Hemlan,

I KNOW you will. You got this 🙂

Happy that the post helped! Thank you for your comments, your love, and for being here. XOXO

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Natasha,
I told my son all about you and sent him the link of your post because he is relationship mineing right now. I know how much emotional intelligence you have. I believe he is at an even higher state of EI than I. Thankfully. Maybe the worst example is the best but, he is very special, even being the lead of a play set at Steppenwolf. The play stretched him so thin and even got him a full scholarship. He could use a person so knowledgable as you to inform.

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Hi Frida!

Thank you 🙂 I hope that the post was helpful for your son. xo

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I needed this post Natasha, thanks for clearing my mental fog. I think what you’ve written about boundaries in this post and the last one is spot-on: they keep us from being triggered into becoming a “performing circus animal.” Unfortunately, I’ve been balancing a beach ball on my nose for most of my life!

I think setting boundaries with respect to others is important, but it is also crucial to define limits for oneself. This is not easy to do, because our brains don’t have an interface to accept a request from our will to stop thinking about something. I don’t speak for everyone in this tribe, but my guess is that many of us are here because we’re all looking to set a boundary with ourselves to stop obsessing about our exes. I am an obsession machine, so setting this boundary has been difficult. Time has been a healer. But invasive thoughts about my ex still creep up on me often. I don’t think there’s anything I can do to prevent their appearance, so I’ve switched my focus to intervening on the obsession cycle when it begins.

Lately I’ve found a technique that works for me, which is (more than) a little silly but effective nonetheless. I read Stephen King’s “It” when I was young and thought it was really scary. One of the characters recites a tongue-twisting mnemonic (“He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts”) to break the monster’s hypnotic cycle. I don’t know whether it’s this phrase’s association with a childhood fear or that it’s a tongue-twister that requires concentration to enunciate…but for some reason when I say or think that phrase, it stops the obsession cycle in its tracks. And that is how I have set this particular boundary for myself, by using this phrase as a bright red “STOP” sign.

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Brandon,

You and me both with balancing that ball! Lol.

Thank you so much for sharing Brandon. I am totally going to try this now 🙂

I’m happy that this post and the last were helpful. The last post got me thinking a lot and that is why I quickly wrote this one. I know exactly what you mean about our brains not being able to stop. I never thought that I’d be free from my own mind.

I have a solution to that that I’ll be sharing soon. It allowed my will/need to be free, to finally take over the destructive and reverse narcissistic mental looping that was going on.

I wish that I could put into words just how much your feedback/comments mean to me and this community. Thanks for being you 🙂

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Natasha – the “15 life lessons” post had so much good material that I couldn’t figure out how to comment on it succinctly. I look forward to reading about what you did to stop the mental looping and free yourself. The more arrows in the quiver, the better! Thanks for all that you do for us.

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🙂 haha thank you!

I’m in the process of developing an eBook/workbook/course. It’s a little more than I can put in a blog post. A lot of good stuff coming soon.

Thank YOU Brandon. From the bottom of my heart!

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Natasha,

I love you! Just sayin…. 🙂

Thank you for EVERYTHING including this post. Hugs!

Kristie

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I love you too Kristie 🤗💕👭

Happy that you enjoyed the post 🙂🦄

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THIS! On sooo many levels, thissss! I NEEDED this today. I mean, “living your best life” captions are cute and all when they’re posted under a photo of someones pet doing something adorable, like lounging on a flamingo pool floatie with a sassy attitude.. but it seems to be popping up in a really obnoxiously prevalent fashion under pics of someone holding a margarita, on a yacht… this ain’t the wolf of wall street…I saw the movie, I read the book..I know how it ends.
Something about the kick-off of summer months always seems to stir up my feelings of insecurity and jealousy. This post spoke right to me, and was a healthy version of a brick to the face! Albeit, a brick in a velvet glove. This really served to hammer home the point for me – not complicating EVERYTHING and implementing BOUNDARIES. I didn’t even realize how little I truly thought of myself, and how “flexible” I really had made my boundaries until I had found your site. I’ll keep it short, but again.. THANK YOU for reminding us we aren’t alone and for being the voice of reason I SO DEEPLY needed to hear. Keep slinging those bricks girl.

xoxo -N

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Hi Nicole!!

I was LOL at Wolf of Wall Street hahahahaha. I know EXACTLY what you mean – You articulated it so well. There’s something about the kick-off of summer and the summer months that induces anxiety in me as well.

I’m happy that the post served you 🙂 Thank you for being a part of this tribe.

You are never alone! xx

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