You were probably the best student in your class. You pride yourself on being on time, on top of your game, best in marks, most accomplished, get-it-all-done-come-hell-or-high-water grit. I call it "valedictorian energy" and I've got to tell you it's probably the energy holding you back from the life you want.
The beauty of letting go of this need to be the best student is that you create more room for the things you want to do. No one is competing with you.
"I have to be selective about what I choose to spend my time on and what I do not. The beauty of not needing to be the valedictorian of life is that we can take what makes sense for us to do and actually just leave the rest."
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What You'll Learn:
The difference between the valedictorian of life vs. the valedictorian of you
Why we're afraid to let go and change
Eight steps to reorient your mindset to celebrate your favorite version of you
How the new Your Favorite You Group Coaching program may just be the "rising tide that lifts all boats" you've been looking for
"You have a lock on winning and you will get to experience graduating to the next level of your favorite you over and over again. I think I'm at least on Melissa version 12.0, and I'm hopeful that there's no end in sight."
There is only one you and you already have a lock on winning. In today's episode of Your Favorite You, I'm going to walk you through eight steps that'll help you redirect your energy and get you moving toward being the valedictorian of YOU.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Full Episode Transcript
Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intention.
My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend. If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.
Oh hi. Welcome back to Your Favorite You. I am so happy to report that I am writing this episode while sitting outside in the sunshine with a beautiful blue sky, not a cloud to be seen in February in Columbus, Ohio. This shit. It does not happen, and one needs to take advantage of any opportunity like this to see that big blazing inferno in the sky that is usually hidden by a dense layer of gray clouds.
At this time of year, I have my down jacket on, and I just got done walking through a beautiful neighborhood here in Columbus, so I am plenty. . Okay. Enough small. Talk onto what you really want to hear. The topic for today is letting go of best student energy. And I'm going to call this valedictorian energy.
I'm assuming since you're listening to this podcast, you are either related to me, hi honey, hi mom. Or you relate to how I'm changing the way that I think about myself and inviting my clients and listeners of your favorite you to do the same. One of the things that I used to pride myself on was the being, if not the best student, one of the best students in the room or on Zoom or in the world, frankly.
This served me when I was younger and it certainly served me when I was in medical school, and though I was not even close to the best student in that room, I did marry one of them anyway. I had digress. I had to work hard for my grades in med school and I had to work for my grades in college, often staying home to study when my girlfriends were all out having fun.
I had to work somewhat hard in high school, but that was only to try to beat Tom Tierney. Spoiler alert, he beat me. Hi, Tom. If you're listening, I doubt you are. You're off being fantastic engineer and dad in the northeast. Anyway, I'm grateful to my past self for doing that work so that I could have a fantastic career that I did in pediatrics.
But if I'm being honest, I'm actually pissed at her because she definitely could have taken more time for herself to have fun. She could have spent more time with her friends on Court Street than she did, and still ended up in the same place. She could have done with a little less all or nothing thinking, but I digress again.
I still actually have two recurring dreams. One where I'm a freshman in college and I have a calculus final, but I have not been to class all corner quarter rather, and I can't find the classroom and I don't have a pencil. It's actually not a dream. It's a nightmare. The other dream that I have is more of a daydream of going back to college.
I went to Ohio University, go Bobcats. and only taking the classes that I want to take instead of the ones that I had to take. And actually, now that I'm saying that out loud, I've honestly made this dream come true with my current career as a coach. I've taken so many classes and courses that I've wanted to, and none that I felt like I had to.
So that's a fun realization to have actually. So now back to the regularly scheduled program. Now that we are out of school most of us listening to this anyway, we are no longer being graded. And we can let go of some of the grip on that best student energy that lots of us have, and that energy might be holding us back from actually going after the life we want.
At the beginning of my first group coaching experience, when I was the. This is all the way back in 2018. I actually said the words on a call. I want to be the valedictorian of this. I wasn't thinking that I wanted to be better than anyone else in the cohort. I just wanted to do my absolute best. But the words that I use suggested otherwise, if I'm the valedictorian, no one else can be.
And my astute coach picked up on that statement right away. She picked it out and had me questioning it as any good coach would. At this stage of my career, I'm adopting the idea that whatever I sign up for, I will take what makes sense of the teachings for me and I will leave the rest. I don't know about the rest of you, but my life is set up such that I really and truly don't have time for all the things I actually want to do.
So, I have to be selective about what I choose to spend my time on and what I do not. The beauty of not needing to be the valedictorian of life is that we can take what makes sense for us to do and actually just leave the rest. Being in valedictorian energy creates this sense of never enough. I can think of so many examples of this, but I think one that you will all relate to is going to be going to an amusement park for a day.
I used to be the person who would have it mapped all out trying to create the perfect experience for my family. This doesn't exist, by the way, and this is valedictorian. We go and go, and if we miss anything, we feel bad about it and we go until late into the night, even when everyone is exhausted, we are staying for the fucking fireworks, goddammit, because we're getting every little last bit out of this experience.
Even if we are all sweaty and sobbing and exhausted and our feet are about to fall off, we're going to enjoy it for fuck's sake. You have all either been this family or seen this family at the amusement park. The kids are sobbing in the stroller waiting for the electric light parade to begin. The parents both look like they're about one step from homicide.
Moms maybe got a strange, smelly substance on her shirt that no one can identify. Dad's nose and bald spotter blistering red. Stay away from this family. It's not going to magically get better for them. I'm sorry to say. So that is valedictorian energy. What I am suggesting is the opposite of that, where you allow yourself to take frequent breaks, you get in the shade, you go into the air conditioning, get out of the sun.
You leave when everyone is starting to get tired, instead of sticking it out for another hour, knowing that whatever you get out of the day at the park is exactly what you were supposed to get out of. Now, take this example into your every day. How could you notice when you are in valedictorian energy and get out of it?
How could you intentionally plan to do something without valedictorian energy? Jon and I just experienced this in a big way. I talked him into doing an online retreat for couples. He was a willing but slightly reluctant part. We went to the first night, it was just meh, and we went late into the night past midnight, which is something that we normally would not do.
We both need sleep me way more than him, and it's very rare that he will ever see midnight on the clock and be intentionally awake. We chatted about it, and we decided to give the second of three days a try. By the middle of the second day, neither of us were having it for various reasons that I won't get into.
But mostly due to the lack of respect that the leaders of their treat had for their own schedule. Now, going over by 10 to 15 minutes is one thing, but going over by 90 minutes with no acknowledgement is another. Anyway, valedictorian me would've stuck it out and said, we have to go back for the second day.
We can't possibly miss the second day. We can't miss the third day. Me who knows how to get exactly what I came for and leave the rest, decided that it was more than okay for us to be done. The point of the retreat was for Jon and I to be more connected, and we learned that we are actually way more connected than we were giving ourselves credit for.
So, we definitely got what we came for, and I learned a valuable lesson about how I am no longer striving to be the valedictorian of anything other than. Now you might be thinking, what do you mean, Melissa? What does it mean to be the valedictorian of you? I think it means striving to figure out who you want to be.
The way that you do this is to be willing to question who you want to be, to ask yourself the question, what do I want? I've talked about this before, asking myself what do I want over and over again, and then be willing to try new things that you may have never done before. or be willing to take some things off your to-do list that you don't want anymore in order to do more of the things that you are already doing that you want to be doing more of or in order to be doing new things.
Now, none of this is going to feel comfortable. It might, but I would not go into it with the expectation that it's going to be comfortable. I want to introduce you to the idea of embracing discomfort. I am certainly not the first person to introduce this idea, but I might be the first person who you are hearing it from.
Most of us think of the discomfort of doing something different, the discomfort of changing up, how we're doing life, how we're experiencing life, how we're experiencing ourselves, and yes, change is often uncomfortable. But most of us discount the discomfort of staying the same when we really feel the pull to change.
Was it uncomfortable for me to make the decision to stop going to this retreat that we had committed to and paid for? Yes, for a few minutes, but that discomfort was nothing in comparison to the discomfort that we would've had by staying at this retreat for another 12 hours. Okay, so back to being the valedictorian of you.
Here's the process. I'm suggesting. Question who you want to be, question what you want. Be willing to try new things. Be willing to give up the things that used to make sense in your life, but that just don't anymore. Be willing to ask for help if you get stuck or if you aren't sure what to do next. Be willing to course correct if what you think you wanted wasn't quite right without making the fact that you needed to course correct mean that you never should have made changes in the first place.
Be willing to feel all the feelings that come up. For some of you, this will be easier said than done. Opening ourselves up to the big smorgasbord of emotions that leading a full life has to offer you can be a jarring experience. Some of us need help being willing to feel any emotion, even the ones that most people would deem as positive emotions.
And I think the most important step in all of this is to make the agreement with yourself that there is absolutely zero reason to blame or shame yourself if things don't turn out exactly how you thought they. As the valedictorian of you, you get to change and grow and fall and rise over and over again.
This is the best news ever. No one is competing with you to be the valedictorian of you. There is only one you. You have a lock on winning and you will get to experience graduating to the next level of your favorite. You over and over again. I think I'm at least on Melissa version 12.0, and I'm hopeful that there's no end in sight.
Okay. I think that's probably enough for this week since you definitely want to become the valedictorian of you, and you want to experience the joy of other women also becoming valedictorians of themselves. And watch and participate in the phenomenon of a rising tide lifting all boats. You are definitely going to want to sign up to be in my brand-new group program starting in May.
It is going to be called Your Favorite You, and it is going to be epic people. I would love to tell you all about it on a council call to see if this container is the obvious next step to helping you become your favorite. Go now to my website, www.melissaparsonscoaching.com and click on the Work With Me tab.
Go to the book now, button to schedule your consult with me. See you all next week.
Thank you so much for all the love you've been giving the podcast. It is not too late to give a five-star rating in review on whichever podcast platform you are listening to this amazingness on right now. I am thrilled to share a secret with you all.
I have a new offer of group coaching for women who want to become their favorite versions of themselves. I'm calling the group your favorite you because I value simplicity. This is for you. Since you are listening to my podcast, you will get amazing coaching plus the beauty of a community of other women who are also interested in thriving as much as they can and who will also want you to succeed at becoming your favorite.
You. Believe it or not, there is great benefit from watching another woman being coached on an issue that you have had in the past or one that you're currently having. Our brains just see so much more possibility when we are not the ones in the hot seat. Another benefit is the ability to come every week and share yourself vulnerably and watch other powerful women share themselves vulnerably.
We know that shame only grows in silence and in hiding, and the power of being held by other incredible humans who are often caught in some of the same traps of thinking that you are, is undeniable. Please go right now to my website, Melissa Parsons coaching.com, and click on the work with me tab.
Schedule a consult with me so I can hear how I can help you, and we can decide together if you are a great fit to join my group. We start in May, and the women who have already said yes to themselves and to the group are a wonderful group of humans. We're all on a journey to becoming their favorite versions of themselves.
Join us. You won't regret it.
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