#10: Slaying Your Personal Dragons And Living Your Ideal Life • anniekip.com

annie kip

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Style with intention

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#10: Slaying Your Personal Dragons And Living Your Ideal Life

All the choices you make either bring you closer to your ideal life or keep you from it. You may have to go through difficult things to get there, endure setbacks, and you may even have to face dragons.

Here are the biggest takeaways from this episode:

  • How the “whispers” can help you dream up your ideal life.
  • Why letting yourself dream feels risky even though not dreaming is riskier.
  • The difference between whispers and dragons (hint: one doesn’t help you).
  • How to stop feeling deprived.
  • I’ll also share how I’m dealing with my own personal dragons.

Hey there!

Thanks for joining me today!

In this episode we are going to talk about “slaying your dragons.”  

Yes, dragons.

A dragon is anything that’s keeping you away from what you really want out of your ideal life, aka your castle (see what I’m doing here…).  Dragons can be small diversions that often seem like short-cuts — or nagging things like self-doubt, bad habits – or even a not-so-happy relationship, depending on how they affect your life.  Dragons are totally different for everyone – and only you know what your dragons are.

You’ll be dealing with dragons all your life, so you may as well learn how to make friends with them!

Join me in learning how to sort through what your dragons are and how you can use the small, ordinary decisions you make every day to create a life you want to live. (Hint – you already have everything it takes to do this!).

As always, my goal is to make it quicker and easier for you to access more ease, joy, and intention in your life…because happy looks really, really good!  

Enjoy the show!


Be sure to download this bonus content – we’re sharing Own Your Day With These 5 Simple Phrases which will help you own your day – and, really, your whole life! These phrases will help you do things like…set limits politely and firmly, ask for what you want without being demanding, and take yourself out of the impossible job of trying to figure out what will make other people happy!

When you have the right words to help you say what you want to say, when you need to say it, you have the power to take control and make your life more the way you want it to be!


If you’d rather read than listen, here’s the



Welcome to the Style With Intention podcast, where we talk about how to use your personal style choices as a tool to create a life you love.

We believe choice is empowering, complacency is boring, and happy looks really, really good!

I’m your host, Annie Kip, and this is our last episode of season 1. We’re going to talk about what is keeping you from getting what you want out of your life.

What would your ideal life feel like? What would it feel like? Have you ever taken the time to really put that thought together in detail?

It’s something that’s easy to put off. We get busy and we’re fairly happy. We figure we don’t have that much control anyway and we assume things will work out. There are kids and jobs and parents and spouses and laundry to do.

Thinking about what you really want from your life might even feel risky – what if you dream up something that seems out of reach. It might even seem self-indulgent and entitled to you. Or frivolous.

But what if you never take the time to think about what you want?  Whose preferences are deciding what your life is like. Or, What if you like the direction you’re headed in, but you get derailed? What if you end up somewhere that isn’t where you wanted to be?

Especially if you feel like you’ve lost track of what you want – my suggestion is to start with imagining how you want to feel – by listening to the “whispers” – we talked about this in episode 2 – they are the small, quiet voices that tell you about what makes your heart sing.   They’re the reactions and the little bits of feedback your brain gives you whenever something lights you up. The whispers can sometimes really hard to hear and even harder to hold onto – but if you pay attention and practice listening, they’re there, trying to help you get crystal clear on what you really want. When you’re sorting through all the various thoughts in your head, you can recognize the whispers because they’re soft, and calm, and unassuming – not loud, pushy or berating.

They give you clues to the core of who you are and tell you about what you make you happy.

For instance, think about how it would feel in your ideal life, if you – had a job or didn’t have a job? What is the work you would love to do?

How would that feel every day?

Would you like to feel purposeful, valued, appreciated, loved?

Would you feel good if you had a mission that drives you and fulfilled you?

Would you feel good if you rested more?

What about relationships – how do you want to feel with the important people in your life?

Your space – what would your ideal space feel like?

If you’re quiet and still, it’s a lot easier to listen to the whispers and notice the places that resonate with you.

For a minute, I want you to think about your ideal life as a metaphorical castle.

The place where all your fairy tale dreams come true –

Where you get to live the way you want to live, your ideal life…

Where you get to do what you want,

Where you get everything you need.

Your castle is the one place where you get to feel the way you want to feel every day.

To get to that good feeling state, to get to this castle – you have to do certain things. All the little choices you make in your life either bring you closer to your castle or keep you from it.

If you’re like most people, you may have to go through difficult things to get to your ideal life. Make tough decisions. Travel through rough terrain. Endure setbacks. Face challenges.

You may even have to face dragons.

Now, dragons are the opposite of the whispers. The dragons in your life can be loud and demanding or subtle and wiley.

Sometimes, they sneak up on you and trip you. Other times they can be big and strong and block your way and make you feel scared and afraid to move forward.

They take your attention away from what you really want and tempt you with diversions that might seem like a short-cut or an easier way to feel good, but at least in the short term, will keep you from getting to your castle – your ideal life.

In the end, the dragons can wear you down and make you wonder if getting to your ideal life is even really worth the effort.

Only you know what your dragons are. They could be anything that’s keeping you from doing what you really want to do. A dragon could be self-doubt. A dragon could be the extra weight you keep wanting to lose or just your habit of not getting up when you planned to. A dragon could be eating food that you know will make you feel bad. A dragon could be just being shy and afraid to reach out.

Dragons are totally different for everyone and they will even vary over your lifetime. You may not have the same dragons all your life – and when you do conquer a dragon, there’s often another dragon waiting in the wings.

A dragon doesn’t care about you and your goals, it only cares about the immediate situation. It can create crisis and panic and it’s hard to ignore. It can make you think that giving in to this one temptation will be fine.

Just this once, you skip the gym or flirt with someone you shouldn’t. Maybe you eat a cookie for breakfast, because you were in a rush. Or you just keep to yourself, instead of reaching out.

You figure if you just feed the dragon a little, it might calm down and leave you alone. What’s the harm?

The confusing thing is that sometimes, those choices do make you feel good – And there’s no dragon behind them. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between dragons, which are trying to hurt you, and whispers, which are trying to help you.

After all, sometimes you do get an emotional boost from taking a break or resting. You don’t always have to be strong and push forward and go go go. Plenty of people stay in marriages that are not 100% what they want. Lots of people decide to buy bigger clothes, rather than lose weight. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these decision or deciding to sleep or have a cookie.

The problem comes when feeding the dragon makes it stronger and it keeps you from getting where you want to go. It hold you back or makes you ashamed. That’s how you know it’s a dragon.

A dragon makes you feel bad, it berates you, it makes you fearful, worried, and steals your time – while a whisper feels calm and clear and sure. A whisper doesn’t need to yell – it’s confident and composed, even quiet and subtle.

You’re the only one who can say whether a thought is a whisper or a dragon trying to get your attention.

You can tell when there’s a dragon holding you back because there’s no movement. If your weight is keeping you from feeling good and stepping out to do new things, then you’ve got a dragon on your hands. If you use your unhappy marriage as an excuse for not doing what you want to do and feeling the way you want to feel, then you might have a dragon on your hands.

So what’s keeping you from your castle?

What does your dragon feed on?

And how can you fight it without blowing up your life?

I have a lot of experience with dragons. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out how to deal with dragons, resisting, and trying hard to ignore them. It’s exhausting. I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to over power the dragons and the only way I can deal with my dragons is to transform my relationship with them.

Remember, we’ve said – we always have at least 2 choices – change the situation or change how we feel about the situation.

I’ve decided to make friends with dragons, so I can manage them better – and it’s working.

Here’s an example of how I’m doing this. This is really vulnerable, but the biggest example from my life recently has been my wine dragon. I don’t think if myself as an alcoholic, but I did start to notice that my consumption was increasing and that the day after I had wine, I didn’t feel great. The next day, I ended up eating food that was bad for me – instead of sticking to my eating plan. The day after I had wine, I wasn’t very motivated. I got less work done. And I felt a little sad.

The wine dragon was messing with my self-esteem and my weight and my motivation, so I tried to not have wine – but the dragon kept after me. I would have just a little and then always a little more. I would plan to not have any, and then have some anyway.

The problem with dragons is – when you give in to them a little, they just get stronger and wear you down.

I felt deprived every time I didn’t have wine and even felt a little angry that I couldn’t enjoy wine like everyone else AND feel good and get everything done. This went on for a while, tearing down my self-esteem, paralyzing my work, and if I’m totally honest here, making me feel a bit depressed and disempowered.

This dragon was keeping me from feeling good and getting the things done that really mattered to me. I realized that wine was getting to be a dragon in my life.

Then I started working on this concept of using personal style to create the life you want to live. I was telling people that all of the small, ordinary choices they make, add up to how they feel and then create the experiences they have in their lives. That we always have a choice – to change the situation or change how we feel about the situation.

And it dawned on me – that the only way I could tame this dragon was by changing how I felt about it.

If I kept thinking of wine as something I wanted, I would never get away from the dragon. It would never be satisfied and the consequences would be the same every single time, as they have always been.

Instead, I decided to focus on wanting the things I really, really wanted so much. To feel crisp and sharp and good everyday. To get my projects going. To feel proud of myself.

To get there, I spent time really concentrating and feeling in my bones how good it would feel to have these things. I intentionally made personal style choices that supported what I wanted – I set up my office to feel productive and professional, I bought flowers for myself, I wore clothes that made me feel strong, and I set up routines to help me get into the emotional state I wanted to be in – feeling really confident, sharp, and happy as a non-drinker – in order to be an emotional match to the feeling I wanted for myself.

I decided that not having wine was a gift I was giving to myself.

I wanted something else for myself more, so I intentionally shifted my feeling from deprived to feeling genuinely good about getting stuff done and making better choices for myself. Slowly but surely, this became more important to me than the momentary fun of having a glass of wine. It became my new normal way of being.

Now, I’m not perfect and I still have wine from time to time, but I think about it totally differently now – and to be honest, I usually regret it – but I don’t beat myself up about it like I used to. I just note how it feels and use that information to help me make a decision the next time the dragon comes after me.

I don’t know if wine will be a dragon for me for the rest of my life, or if it’s just during this season. I’m okay with waiting to find out because I like how I feel right now.

I want to feel good, more than I want wine – I know that’s true for me right now and I think I will always be tweaking my life to make it more the way I want it to be. Maybe you guys can relate to having dragons and a perfectly imperfect life like I do – I’d love to hear about your dragons if you want to shoot me a note over on the website – www.anniekip.com (scroll to the bottom of the page for a contact form!). Let me know what you’re struggling with.

It all comes down to the small, ordinary decisions you make every day – this is what adds up to an ideal life. You can decide how you want to feel every day. You have so much more power to decide than you might realize – you have the tools already to take control and make your life the way you want it to be.

If you can get clear on how it will feel to live in that castle, your ideal life – really let yourself dream of what would feel amazing to you – it will help you make those small, ordinary decisions which will help you get there.

I’m right here with you – we can do this together.

I’m figuring out how I can live my ideal life and best serve people. I’m still figuring out my kids, my relationships, my weight, my routines, my future – but I know how I want to feel and I know I enjoy sharing the things I’m learning about.

I love sharing this journey with you and I so appreciate the notes and feedback I’m getting. Please keep it coming – it’s really helpful! You can leave a friendly review by clicking HERE.

I’ll catch you in the next season of Style With Intention – bye, bye for now!


Be sure to download this free bonus content – we’re sharing Own Your Day (and Your Whole Life!) With These 5 Simple Phrases which will help you own your day – and, really, your whole life! These phrases will help you do things like…set limits politely and firmly, ask for what you want without being demanding, and take yourself out of the impossible job of trying to figure out what will make other people happy!

When you have the right words to help you say what you want to say, when you need to say it, you have the power to take control and make your life more the way you want it to be!


I’d love to share something else with you, too…


In this free guide, I walk you through my top recommendations for how to easily and quickly increase your confidence so you can define your professional brand and build the successful
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Header image by Paul Green

your ideal life is a "castle" surrounded by dragons