Life Design Coach and creator of The SELF Approach™

This is my corner of the web where I share unfiltered advice, practical tools, and laughter at life's sometimes fuckedupedness - all meant to help you live & love the absolute hell out of yourself and your life.

I'm Jen Vertanen

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A sneering colorful older woman with a glass of wine and an orange circle with the words Who's Driving Your Bus with Life Design Coach Jen Vertanen

Who’s Driving Your Bus? Your Brain? Your Ego? Your Best Self?

I’m going to keep this short and sweet and ask you one simple question…

Who is driving your bus the majority of the time?

Is it your brain?

Is it your brain whose job is to keep your blood flowing and remind you to eat so you don’t starve, and drink water so you don’t dehydrate?

Your brain doesn’t care about your goals…it cares about your survival.

It’s going to keep you “safe” and can’t differentiate between the “tiger lurking around the corner” and doing that thing you’ve always wanted to do even though it scares you a little bit like whitewater rafting or going to a networking event solo or trying a new hobby or starting your own business.

Having your brain driving the bus a majority of the time looks like:

✨ living on auto-pilot

✨ going through the motions

✨ surviving

If your brain is driving the bus, your ego, best self, and all other parts of you are the passengers…the bystanders looking out the window watching life pass them by.

It’s not good, bad, right, or wrong…it just is. But recognize if this is how you’re operating a majority of the time and ask yourself – Is this how I want to be living?

If the answer is Yes – cool cool. But if the answer is NO…it’s time to put someone else in charge of driving the bus.

Is your ego in the driver’s seat?

Your ego is interested in how things look, seeks praise and recognition, worries about how others perceive you, and loves to compare and despair.

The ego wants to be right no matter what the cost. The ego doesn’t care what your heart wants but how it might look to someone else.

It sits down in the driver’s seat and goes from 0 to 60 in a few seconds because it has something to prove…that YOU are important and ego wants everyone to know it.

Your ego’s not all bad though! It loves to pump you up so you can do that hard thing. 

Your ego wants to protect you from judging people, it defends your honor when you think you’ve been wronged, and helps you stand up for yourself.

But it needs to be regulated. Allowing ego to be in the driver’s seat a majority of the time means you’re missing out on the finer moments in life because you’re always trying to prove yourself instead of enjoying what’s around you.

Again – it’s not good, bad, right, or wrong but notice if that’s who’s in your driver’s seat and intentionally say Yes or No.

My ego was in the driver’s seat for YEARS and it had me almost walking away from the one good thing in my life – my marriage. It wasn’t until my heart (best self) started talking louder than my ego in the 11th hour did I realize what a huge mistake I was making.

Is your best self in the driver’s seat?

Your best self. The one with the hopes and dreams who is living intentionally in the here and now with an eye to the quality of your future.

Your best self leads from the heart while engaging brain and ego in appropriate, helpful, productive ways so that ALL parts of you are engaged in your life.

Your best self knows how to get your needs met and engages in kind, healthy relationships with others.

It looks like having your back, making yourself a priority in your life, and maintaining kind boundaries while being an engaging, kind, and productive member of society.

Our brain and ego absolutely have seats on our bus but our best self is who we want driving a majority of the time.

Need help putting your best self in the driver’s seat?

✨ Above and beyond your most sacred responsibilities, say no to people and things that drain you

Make your needs a priority on your to-do list more often than not

✨ Be certain in what YOU believe. Not what someone else (parent, teacher, mentor, etc.) told you you should believe

✨ Today is a good day to start. Don’t wait for perfect conditions or someday. Life is a grand experiment…buckle up and enjoy the journey

✨ Voice your needs out loud. People can’t help support you if they don’t know what you need

✨ Check-in with yourself often and ask – how am I really doing and where do I need to course-correct? Literally set yourself a daily reminder on your phone

✨ Do the work to heal your shit. Stop carrying all that baggage…Marie Kondo it once and for all

You get to decide who is driving the bus and that decides everything else.

jen v. xo

Hey there!

I'm a magical mix of coach, perspective-shifting mentor, hair-holder, consultant, wing woman, get shit done'r, silver lining finder, & slightly annoying cheerleader

I'm Jen Vertanen, Make Shit Happen Coach + creator of The Fuck Yeah Methodology

I used to roll my eyes at the notion of self love and loving my life because it felt so far outside the realm of possibilities. I thought both were saved for those who'd escaped childhood unscathed.

But a perfect storm in 2015 had me wake TF up and heal my childhood ish. Along the way, I started to not only love but LIKE myself and I stopped wanting to escape from my life and instead, intentionally create my exciting future. That's saying a lot when you read my stories!

And now? I get to help women all around the world fall in love with themselves, their lives, and create the future THEY want. How cool is that?!?

© 2024 Jen Vertanen & A Fuck Yeah Life

An ADHD &  LGBTQ woman owned business