Things I’ve Learned from Taylor SwiftJul 06, 2023
Today’s podcast episode is a fun one! This seems to be the year of Taylor Swift, and I am here for it. As we await the release of her newest album, I’m going to share 10 things I’ve learned from Taylor Swift that we can all apply as we create richer, fuller lives.
Taylor Swift is arguably one of the most popular and successful single music artists on the planet—and yet, she is also still a human being with a human brain.
Watching the way she makes choices in her life and puts her work out into the world, despite whatever fears or insecurities her brain might have, is inspiring and one of the things I appreciate most about her.
These are the biggest lessons that I have learned by watching her career and enjoying her music.
10 Things I’ve Learned from Taylor Swift
Lesson 1: We Aren’t Alone
When you listen to Taylor’s music, it doesn’t take long to recognize…Oh my goodness, we’re all the same.
All humans are the same. All of our brains work the same way. They're worried about failure, risk, loss and all the dangerous, scary things about life. And at the same time, we all still desperately want the same things, too - love, connection and peace. We’re all trying to feel good about our human experience
I think the reason that Taylor Swift's music is so popular is because it is a really raw, honest reflection of her human experience. And a lot of us other humans can relate to it even though her circumstances are entirely different from ours.
The next time it feels like you're at odds with the world or that no one understands you, I want you to remember that, really and truly, we're all the same.
Lesson 2: Reinvention Is Allowed
In my work, as a coach, I spend a lot of time helping people change their mind about themselves. I do a lot of this work on myself, too.
We all have these ideas about ourselves that we've grown up with or adopted over time. We start to think, Okay, this is the truth about me. And then we think there are rules that go with those conclusions, that identity.
So, when we want to be different, we feel resistance. We think that’s not who we are, and we can’t be this new thing.
You are allowed to change your mind and be whoever you want to be. You are allowed to live your life any way that you want.
When people told Taylor Swift she couldn’t make pop music because she was a country artist, when they tried to get her to stay in a single lane, she continued to make the music she wanted to make and say whatever it was she had to say at the time.
Each one of us contains all the parts of us inside of us. We are not one thing.
Lesson 3: Love All the Versions Of You
Even as we change, grow and evolve, we still get to love all the past ages and versions of us. We still get to love all the feelings we had in the past. There is nothing there to be ashamed of.
Taylor Swift has created all kinds of music, and she is not ashamed of what she created in the past because she is choosing something new right now.
So many times we get in the business of reinventing and changing ourselves because we want to run away as fast as possible from the old versions of us. We want to hide from “past us” and pretend it doesn't exist.
But when we revisit our past selves, we can also see the evolution, change and growth that we’ve experienced.
All the versions of you are good. They are all worthy of love.
Lesson 4: Other People Are Allowed To Have Opinions About You – And it Doesn’t Have to Get in Your Way
As Taylor tell us, “haters gonna hate”. But it’s true. Plenty of people don’t like her. But it’s not a problem. She’s wildly successful anyway.
Our brains are so worried about the opinions of other people, and we think it’s a problem if someone doesn’t like us or doesn’t like something that we do.
But when we concentrate on the opinions of other people, and try to change or perform or behave in a way that meets with their approval, we lose parts of ourselves in it.
Other people’s opinions are not actually dangerous to you. They are allowed to think whatever they want. It’s only the meaning we attach to it that makes it problematic.
People are going to disagree with you. Some people aren’t going to like you. It’s just the way the world works, and it’s okay. Their expectations don’t have to change you.
Lesson 5: Don’t Discount Your Own Ideas
I recently heard a speech Taylor Swift gave, in which she shared that the hundreds - or even thousands - of dumb ideas she’s had are what led to the good ideas. You have to let yourself fail.
My brain tells me that my ideas are stupid all. the. time. We have to counter that. The only way you really know if something is a bad idea is if you try it and let yourself fail.
You have to see your ideas as valuable and be the champion for them. Putting your ideas into the world is a risk, but we have to give them a chance to exist.
Embrace your own kind of weird, your own way of seeing the world and functioning in it. It’s the way you were made. Your unique experience and take on things is how you will bless the world.
Lesson 6: Dreams Aren’t Stupid
We spend a lot of time talking ourselves out of our dreams, trying to be reasonable, trying not to get our hopes up, trying not to be disappointed.
But when I look at Taylor Swift, I think, no, dreams aren't stupid. And if you can believe in them, then great things can happen.
I think the trouble is that we want evidence that our dreams are valid and worth believing in.
I believe all of our desires are put inside of us from God. And if you're not going to fight for your dream, no one else is. So I want you to know that they aren't stupid. Keep going.
Lesson 7: Feelings Aren’t Silly
One of the things I love most about Taylor Swift is that she thinks her feelings matter, and she thinks that your feelings matter.
In general, we're a little bit suspicious of our feelings, we tend to think they're dramatic or wrong. We judge our feelings and try to run from them.
What if all your feelings are just information about what you're thinking? What if they all have a place, they all belong and none of them is wrong?
I think that the better we get at feeling, the more full our Earth life experience becomes.
Lesson 8: Breakthroughs Are Found In Specifics
As we're experiencing life, our brains are looking for patterns and trying to summarize and make sort of these broad, sweeping statements and conclusions about ourselves.
But in coaching, the more specific that we can be about what we’re thinking and feeling, the more awareness and breakthroughs we can get.
There's so much power in examining your life through the specifics. Instead of labeling yourself as a certain type of person, look at a specific example and ask yourself what was happening in that moment.
Taylor’s music feels so powerful because she sings about specific moments and experiences, rather than the general.
You don't have to analyze every single moment of your day (not even possible), but just by choosing one or two, you'll understand yourself so much better.
Lesson 9: Effort Is Awesome
I admire Taylor Swift’s work ethic so much. She loves her craft, she loves her fans, and you can tell because she works so hard for them.
I think all of us should do what we do with excellence. We should put our hearts into it.
Lesson 10: Like What You Like, and Make It a Big Deal
I love the idea of wearing your heart on your sleeve, going all in and all out.
Your brain wants to minimize your effort, your accomplishments, your dreams and your feelings. It wants to downplay everything.
We’ve bought into this idea that less is more. But what if sometimes more is more?
Give yourself permission to make whatever is important to you a big deal. We could all use a little more spectacle and spotlight in our lives for the things we love.
God is lavish and generous in his love for us. So live your life BIG. Love your people BIG. Go all out.
I hope you had fun with this episode. I sure did. I love Taylor Swift because she is larger than life and shows me what’s possible. She helps me understand my own human experience better by sharing hers.
I'm so grateful that she stands up to her brain, the music industry and her critics and puts her work out into the world.
I hope that you will also take that example and be brave, value and champion your own work and put it out there into the world.
- How much I love Taylor Swift (and why)
- Why listening to Taylor Swift is like reading Tolstoy
- 10 things I’ve learned from her music that we can all use to make our lives more awesome
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