094. Choosing Yourself Over Expectations with Kacie Main

The Do a Day Podcast from Bryan Falchuk

Kacie Main released her debut book – I Gave Up Men for Lent, the story of a jaded, hopelessly romantic, health-conscious party girl’s search for meaning – earlier this year. She is the host of The Better You Podcast, which is dedicated to better understanding our relationship with ourselves. Born and raised in Florida, she enjoyed a successful career in the corporate world before leaving it all behind to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Kacie is a contributor for POPSUGAR and you can find her writing on Thought Catalog, Medium, and her own blog at kaciemain.com. She holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and communications, and a master’s degree in business administration. She is blunt, honest, curious, and loves analyzing, writing about, and talking about the journey of life.

Key Points from the Episode with Kacie Main:
  • Kacie is an author and freelance writer, including her first book, I Gave Up Men for Lent, coaches people on book writing and publishing, and hosts a podcast called The Better You Podcast.
  • 2017 was a life-changing year for Kacie.
  • Before that, life was good. She had a good childhood and life in general. She was 32 and single, and didn’t have a strong, clear reason to be unhappy.
  • There’s a theme that, if we don’t have anything wrong on paper, we don’t get to be justifiably unhappy.
  • Kacie wasn’t depressed or anything, but describes it as being “Bleh.” Just nothing.
  • She had been in some bad relationships in her 20s that she chose to stay in despite not being good situations (finding out she was the other woman, etc)
  • In 2017, she became aware of this pattern where she was totally consumed with finding a relationship and having someone have interest in her.
  • What she wasn’t focused on was whether she had any interest in them.
  • She ended up going out with a guy friend who had a girlfriend (Kacie was friends with, too), they drank too much, and hooked up.
  • She woke up from that with a clear view of where she was at in the wake of this happening.
  • It was the start of Lent, so she decided to give up men for Lent (along with other things, like hard liquor, social media and sweets).
  • One difference maker for Kacie in this creating a shift was around changing something big in her life. Aside from mindset, making the change a big one is part of why she was able to shift because it took so much clarity and effort, and couldn’t just be done casually.
  • Kacie sees all of us in process – the process of life, of change, of learning.
  • You can only ever be where you are, and the first step of making change is to sit in that moment of awareness, which may mean sitting there for a while.
  • We are never going to do anything until we’re ready, and the nuances that turn us into being ready are super subtle, so we may need to give real time to our awareness of our current situation to get there.
  • For her, it was a combination of factors – being in her 30s and single, plus all the pressure of others asking her about whether she’s seeing anyone, getting married, etc. She wasn’t passionate or connected to her career. Every part of her life was not fully connected.
  • We tend to want to focus on one thing or one issue because one thing is easier than looking at all we’re unhappy about. Her Lent decision gave her the focus to address on major issue as part of working on shifting to living her life for her.
  • She had been weighing what others wanted of her above what she wanted for herself.
  • Getting caught up in people pleasing lead to living a life that wasn’t connected with who Kacie was.
  • One thing she added to her days during Lent was to journal every day about what she was thinking and feeling.
  • Journaling forces our mind to slow down and complete its thoughts rather than continuing on the fast, idea-switching we do all day.
  • She happened to catch a motivational video her trainer at the gym was watching, and decided to finish it at home later that night. Another video came on that was all about what your purpose is.
  • That hit Kacie hard – she had never thought about it or dug into what her purpose is.
  • The next morning, she got up early to watch the sun rise on the beach, go for a walk and think about what her purpose is.
  • That opened the doors up to really think about her life and what the meaning was.
  • She swapped out motivational videos in place of the news in the morning while getting ready for work.
  • She did walks alone on the beach, kept writing in her journal, and unknowingly started spending much more time with herself and her thoughts to work through things.
  • She sort of fell into personal development. As a result, she just started to feel better when she did these things than the types of things she had been doing in her Blah life.
  • She wasn’t intentional about any of it, but allowed herself to fall into or surrender to these things that felt good and helpful.
  • Since nothing else seemed to work, she stopped trying to grow and just allowed things to happen. She stopped avoiding the things she had laughed at before.
  • Kacie believes not approaching it intentionally or forcefully allowed more peace in it. With lots of intention, if she missed any of those actions, it may be hard to be ok with that, so you end up beating yourself up or feeling like you’re slipping.
  • This helps avoid judging yourself when you “fail”, if such a thing even exists when you’re working on who you are.
  • Just being aware of things can be progress in and of itself.
  • Have a bottom-up approach to growth – allow whatever happened to have happened, digging into it trying to understand it and create that awareness of it.
  • The 40 days wasn’t the solution, but instead was the awareness stage.
  • After this came making change from a place of awareness and understanding.
  • After Lent, Kacie took a break from drinking completely since alcohol had been tied to her past definition of herself as a party girl.
  • The real change was the strong focus on the need to be married, have kids, be a wife, etc, because that’s what she’s supposed to do.
  • That need was the root of why she looked at every man as the potential “One”, and push into being about him rather than seeing who she was and what she personally wanted.
  • “Choosing Me” vs. “Worrying About Expectations.”
  • She also worked on how she managed people vocalizing their expectations. Rather than railing against them, she was thankful for their concern and opinion, and still valued the course she was on.
  • This included leaving her corporate job, where she had a lot of success and fit the mold of earning a good salary in a good job and having her stuff together.
  • To leave that to be a freelancer, coach, author, etc definitely lead to raised eyebrows and questions about what she was doing.
  • We live our lives so busy and doing that we don’t really have the quiet space to be quiet and be introspective.
  • We spend lots of time analyzing other people, but don’t really turn that around on ourselves. And we are paying a price for that.
  • The hardest thing for Kacie was to get over caring about what other people thought, and how that drove her actions.
  • For example, she was a ‘party girl’ because she wanted people to like her and be popular. There are moments where she may miss being the cool, popular party girl, but she also realizes she wasn’t happy.
  • It’s ok to miss her, but being that person doesn’t work for Kacie anymore.
  • Or leaving her job, where she was in it because she wanted people to see her as a strong, independent woman.
  • We tend to think “Either/Or.” Kacie sees life as “Both/And.” You can love who you are now and miss who you used to be at the same time. You don’t have to long for who you were and feel guilty for it. Or be glad you’re changed, and beat yourself up for how long it took or why you were ever like that.


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