Stop Avoiding Your Feelings: How to Do a Life Inventory TODAY

Jenna Kutcher 

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April 26, 2023


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Think it’s time for a life inventory?

In this episode, I’m cracking open my book and deep-diving into an entire chapter with you! The first chapter of my first book, bestseller How Are You, Really?, introduces what I learned from “asking the quieter question” and the practice of doing your OWN life inventory!

Let’s do the work together, and kick this off with an excerpt from chapter one: The Softer Question: How to Feel Your Feelings.

Chapter One Excerpt

When was the last time you asked yourself how you truly feel, how you really are, and waited long enough for an honest response? I know it may be uncomfortable. I know we generally want to avoid getting still with ourselves, I know sometimes we’re afraid to face the answers, and sometimes we don’t even realize we’re avoiding this all together. I know it’s easier to numb the feelings with another glass of merlot, another scroll through Instagram, another Ted Lasso episode. (Okay, that last one might be definitely worth it, though.)

But here’s a thought. Maybe the most high-octane parts of our day–the ones we try to shove and swallow and smooth over–aren’t just the minor inconveniences, annoyances, or distractions we’ve been taught to bypass, to shoo away like a fly. That racing heart, the sweaty pits, the fight-or-flight reactions we experience day after day – small and large? They aren’t meant to be ignored. Maybe our THAT’S NOT OKAY! moments are trying to point us toward something new, something better, something truer, and maybe we are the ones defiantly standing in our own way without even realizing it. 

When we go through life numbing our feelings, ignoring our longings, avoiding opportunities, and silencing our inner voice, we’re avoiding what it can feel like to truly come alive, to be awake to the entire experience. Just as life is meant to be lived, feelings are meant to be felt. 

It’s time for a life inventory. A feelings file. Because I’m certain that at least a dozen or two wise people through the ages have said something along these lines: you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you are. So, what’s a good way to establish a true and honest relationship with yourself? Document where you are today. Like dropping a pin on your life map and really getting the lay of the land you exist in right now, you’re making it easier to see the ways in which you’ve grown and you’ve done from there to here and as you go from here to wherever is next. 

How to Do a Life Inventory

Ready to get started?

Here are the questions from Chapter One of How Are You, Really? to help you complete this exercise:

  • What inspires you? 
  • What makes you rage?
  • What makes you snort-laugh?
  • What makes you cry with joy?
  • What makes you feel empowered?
  • What makes you nod in agreement?
  • What makes you dance with glee?
  • What do you fear the most?
  • What do you find unfair?
  • What problem do you wish you could solve?
  • What do you want to create in the world?

Pull out a pen and paper and start journaling your responses to these questions without judgment… Don’t correct yourself, simply write down the first things that come to mind.

2 Ways to Dig Deeper

A few years ago, I decided to take the practice of ‘checking in on myself’ a heck of a lot more seriously. So much that it turned into, well, an entire book and journal. A life inventory isn’t as intensive as it sounds either. Trust me — this process? It’s like sweet, sweet relief. 

To dive even deeper into this activity and the others throughout my bestselling book, check out the corresponding quarterly journal! It’s a daily journaling experience created as a space for you to check in with yourself, even if you only have 5 minutes.

So get the book and journal to help you do the life inventory exercise that has been so pivotal for me over the last few years.

And remember…

“You don’t need a big reveal, a perfect plan, a quick answer that everyone can hear and clap for. You need a softer question. And the space to hear it speak in the quiet. It knows who you are. Listen closely, because you’ll soon recognize that the voice is familiar. It’s yours.” –Chapter One, How Are You, Really?

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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