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Dog treats-When grit and enlightenment aren’t enough-Jo Tucker-#braveblogging, blog, coaching, consistency, desire, forgiveness, intentions, new post, resilience, self love

When grit and enlightenment aren’t enough

I’m doing this new thing. I’ve come to the end of the rope with some of my self-destructive habits. I knew it was time to make a change when I slipped from anger to apathy. It happened in the process of trying not to beat myself up for slogging away in the same old ways and attempting to show myself a bit of fucking compassion. It back-fired. Instead of compassion, I absolve myself of my own actions and quickly became apathetic… and pathetic.

This might sound a bit bizarre, because self compassion and understanding is something that I work with clients on. But, it’s also very very human. We all have days in which we just bury our feelings in chips. Or bludgeon ourselves with ridiculous storylines about how immensely and profoundly fucked we are to not be able to JUST. Get. Our. Shit. Together.

In those soul searching nights, I’ve been searching for the secret button. The secret refrain or hack that was going to take me from conscious awareness to my desired next level: Habit Busting Mastery: Level Infinity. This could take me from knowing the places I desire growth, and choosing growth over stuckness every dang time. With ease, preferably on the beach- cocktail in hand.

So I’ve been on this quest and I’ve come to understand, finally and begrudgingly, that there is no secret pill. And perhaps, there is no Habit Busting Mastery: Level Infinity.

But I have learned a couple of things and I’m experimenting with my methods. I invite you to do the same. Here’s what I have up my sleeve:

  1. Be kind always. this is not a fight or a battle. What does it mean to actual show yourself some compassion? My own coach gave me an excellent analogy. Imagine you were driving with your co-pilot and you miss your exit off the highway. Which gets you back on track faster: ranting and yelling and swearing at the co-pilot? Screaming at them like they’re a fucking failure and complete shit at everything they do? Nah. Breathe, sister. Because…
  2. This is human. Humans the world over are not doing the things they know are best for them like… always. At least you’re aware. And maybe, just maybe… it’s kinda a funny thing that we do. Maybe we can see this in a more playful light. And with that, don’t simply brush it under the rug as an oopsie daisy moment, but get curious…
  3. Stop and cop a feeling. When we are faced with making a decision that would lead to growth, or when we’re at the other end of a series of less than stellar decisions, feel all the feelings. A brilliant sister of mine provides this inspired script: I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.

And then I thought to myself, what if I truly accepted that this was hard for me. Not because of me, but because it’s hard. And what if I truly accepted that I cannot do this on my own. Overtime, I’ve seen that I operate well in a container. A container that is designed and held for me, by someone else. A 21 day detox, an exercise program, an external challenge with external accountability, a coach. And what if I decided that not being able to do it alone was okay. And further to that acceptance— what tools can I use to support myself from a place of strength and resilience?

treat yo'self

Nom nom treats.

I’ve decided that I’m a puppy and am trained through reward. I’ve done the research, and I know that I am not motivated by fear or consequences. The pain method? Hard pass… I just get angry. So from this knowing, I’m designing my own rewards system. And like a puppy being trained, I am not holding a grudge or making up some story about how if I were a real grown up I could do this on grit and enlightenment alone.

I’ll be implementing my super-science-sophisticated points system around here in a few days so check back in and hold my feet to the fire!
Does any of this ring true to you? Do you reward yourself with gold stars? If so, how? Inspire us all with your brilliance in the comments below.

Do you need a little help with some of your habits? Let’s work together. I’ve got a few free 45minute sessions available. Book yours here.

This blog is a part of the #braveblogging project from Makeness Media who are awesome. 

brave blogging


Finger drawing a line in the sand-My Secrets to Better Boundaries- boundaries, coach jo, desire, forgiveness, life coach, life coaching, setting boundaries, truth

My Secrets to Better Boundaries

Boundaries are one of those things that coaches can’t stop going on about.

But there’s a reason. Learning to set and sustain healthy boundaries with others is key to living a full, authentic life.


As Marc Manson says (to paraphrase):

Healthy Personal Boundaries = Taking responsibility for your own actions and emotions, while NOT taking responsibility for the actions or emotions of others.

People with poor boundaries typically come in two flavours: those who take too much responsibility for the emotions/actions of others, and those who expect others to take too much responsibility for their own emotions/actions.

Neither of those options seems like a great way to live a happy and healthy life. And trust- boundaries are more than about your emotional well-being. We all know that when we’re emotionally unwell, our physical and spiritual bodies are also getting shit on.

As I’ve said before, setting boundaries isn’t a one-time thing that you do over brunch with your bestie. They require maintenance and re-visiting. Our relationships change and flux as our lives transform. And a huge part of boundary making lies in forgiveness.

So ya, just go ahead and forgive everyone right now. Voila- you’re perfect.


Just kidding. Forgiveness is tough shit. It is a practice, a ritual (I love rituals!).


So here’s my process to get the forgiveness ball rolling, even for those really dark relationships. 

  1. Get real about what your relationship is. Like really real. Grab some paper and dig in. Write a letter to the person with whom you need better boundaries. Write to them about your grievances- the small to the large. Spend some time here, feel those emotions (anger, guilt, shame, frustration might be a good place to start), and get them down on paper. Get it all out. Now crumple it up and burn it (or destroy it in a way that creates release for you- I prefer the BURN).
  2. Mourn the relationship that never was. So your relationship with your mother was never the Lorelai-Rory relationship of dreams (REAL TALK: they had no boundaries AT ALL). Write out all the ways you wish your relationship had been or was. What you would have done together, how you would feel, how you spoke with one another. All of it. The ideal relationship. Let this entry marinate for a few days in your journal.
  3. After a few days have passed, go back through your ideal relationship and identify the ways that you can stand in your power. At this point, we need to realize that relationships are two-way streets. We all make active choices in the way we relate to other beings. Right now, we know that the way we are acting in this current relationship is not good. It feels bad. It needs to change. The important piece here is that you cannot control what the other person does- you can only control your own actions and reactions. You have to tell people how you expect to be treated, so figure out how that is and ask for it. Ask yourself- what is my real ideal relationship? what are the things I need to let go of (i.e the things I cannot control)? how can I be different in this relationship so that I feel good?
  4. Ask for it. This might feel tough, but it’s the only real way to make change. You cannot will someone to treat you differently via The Force (yet). You must use your words. This is where you really stand in your power. And you must use them again and again. It gets easier.
  5. Self care, babe. People do not change over night- Heck they might not ever change. But you asking to be treated in a way that makes you feel good is a remarkable feat. So celebrate. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You spoke your truth, and that is amazing.
  6. Develop a forgiveness ritual. Remember, there will be tough spots. When you’re with the person in question, they might still sometimes disrespect your boundaries (AKA be a jerk). People are only human, and to make change in an act of courage that not everyone is capable of. We need to make peace with this, but we also need to stand firm. Acknowledge that it’s okay to feel a bit shitty or exhausted. Take time for yourself and feel into those emotions. Don’t ignore them, acknowledge them and let them go (Burn them up? YES!). A great ritual for letting go is to light a candle, speak your emotions aloud, breathe into them for a few minutes, and then affirm forgiveness (I am willing to forgive, I forgive… wherever you’re at). Blow out the candle, visualizing forgiveness.

What do you struggle with when you’re developing new boundaries? Do you have a boundary action plan? Let me know in the comments!


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