Recording artist, inspirational speaker, and fashion muse, Julianna Zobrist, knows a thing or two about self-expression and being happy in the skin she’s in. The mom of three (and yes, wife of Chicago Cub’s World Series MVP, Ben Zobrist) shares a little inspiration and profound truths from her new book, Pull It Off: Removing Your Fears And Putting On Confidence.
I love my fans and I love people…
But as time went by, I realized that I wanted to expand the message of my heart outside of a three and a half minute song. At many of my shows, I would meet these women afterwords [and whether they were 12 or 84], we were all dealing with the same thing. Circumstantially, our lives may look very differently, but we were all wanting to be confident— yet still dealing with issues of worthiness, insecurity and fear. And so as I spoke around the country on all of these subjects, Pull It Off was born out of the journey of that research.
Beware of spiritual Botox…
Which is using the appearance of morality to try to please God while impressing other people. The danger of that practice is that it’s not sustainable. You are hanging your approval from God and your morality as a person on your ability to be good enough. And the problem with this is, none of us are going to be good enough.
Eventually, you find yourself messing up too often to pretend to be that perfect person and that’s what “Spiritual Botox” is— it’s illuminating the ways in which we try to make ourselves appear perfect to other people, which is not attainable or sustainable. The antidote? Living in vulnerability, living in honesty and being transparent about who we are. Not necessarily proud of the ways in which we struggle, but not trying to hide them either.
Don’t “Should” on others
Is one of the main tools from my book for becoming a confident individual and owning the decisions we make. If you look the way that I look, or dress the way I dress, and parent the way that I parent, then I’m comfortable with you because I’m not threatened by it. But, the moment someone is actually confident in their own beliefs and in the way they are living their lives—for people who are insecure, it can be very threatening.
As I realized, ‘hey, I can’t please everybody!’ and I began to step out in courage and in confidence, that’s when the ‘should’s’ began pouring in from these other people, from a place of insecurity. And so, my response now is ‘hey! don’t should on me!’ (She laughs). And in turn, we don’t ‘should’ on others, or do it to ourselves either.
We all live life through a certain lens
The reason why we do what we do or live the way we live, always comes back to the idea of some authority in our lives. Whether its cultural upbringing, religion or a painful experience, these become the way we navigate life.
When I realized that so much of the authority that I was giving to my heart and my actions were coming simply from a desire to be approved by other people, I understood that wasn’t a safe place to be bound to, because to be honest, people are fickle (they may like you one day and not the other)! Once I decided that the authority in my life must come from myself and God’s approval of me— and that there’s intrinsic value in who I am as an individual— that freed me up to look fear in the face and say, I know people may not like me or what I’m about to say or what I’m about to wear— but what’s most important to me is that I exercise my courage, and become confident in who I am and not in the need for other peoples approval.
In writing the book I learned
That I didn’t know as much as I thought I did (she laughs). In my research for the book, I was just amazed at how much science, psychology and even art help support some of these common themes and that our questions about insecurity, fear, and desiring unity are not new questions or new struggles. From antiquity, Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates huddled around in a room in the symposium and argued these exact same things. While I learned that these are great questions to ask, and that more confidence and more security are wonderful things to try to obtain— when we are able to be more comfortable in that tension, of not knowing and in our differences— that’s when we begin to celebrate one another.