I posted on Instagram last week about being more open, raw and honest with you about why I do what I do, what has got me to where I am and how I continue to overcome blocks so I can move forward and have more impact in the world.
So, here goes…
The last (almost) two years, since my father died, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who and what is really important. A lot of time healing and working on how I feel about myself, who I am in this world, my worth and what that really means.
Side note: I’m still working on this! Pretty much every day.
A lot of the time it hurts like hell. I’ve cried. A lot. This time last year I was totally exhausted and felt like sleeping for weeks. The everyday life stuff, connecting with people, growing my business, improving my life, I doubted I could do it. I didn’t think I deserved it. I didn’t think I was worth it. Anyone who knows me knows this isn’t me at all. I don’t give up. I’m positive about life.
So, I took some time to rest and took the pressure off myself to achieve my goals and intentions for 2018.
Part one …
STUCK IN MY STORY
Here’s the truth. I got stuck in my story. The story of “I’m tired” was a big one and as most of the stuff we tell ourselves is, it was true at one point, but I got to the point where I had to ask myself if it was still true.
Last February I can honestly say I was damn tired – physically and emotionally. I was waiting for support from people that were never going to give it me. I wasn’t looking after myself fully (as I continually advise others to do). I wasn’t being authentic. So I took steps in the right direction to come back to my real self and I think I’m almost there! Yay!
Late last year though, I heard myself say for the gazzilionth time “God, I’m tired, I need to sleep” and something clicked in my brain. Am I really?, I asked myself. Turns out, the answer was “no, I’m not!”. I’m just feeling flat, unsure and scared about what to do next. I knew there was so much I needed to do, especially in my business, whose growth I’d neglected. But to do that I needed to do some work on myself and my beliefs.
Refurbish my thoughts if you will.
I had lost belief in myself and went back to a version of my younger self where I truly believed I didn’t deserve much, that I wasn’t good enough or smart enough to be happy and successful. And a big one for me, I don’t belong and people just don’t really like me.
Not a great place to be, I’m sure you agree.
From this focus and mindset of lack it’s hard to grow and thrive. I know when I believed these things to be true in my 20’s I married the wrong person*, did unfulfilling work, lacked purpose and didn’t look after myself well at all. I changed things then, so surely I could change them again.
*you’ll be glad to know I divorced said ‘wrong person’ and found my one – we’ve been together 23 years in May!
Now, I know these beliefs from my childhood simply aren’t true. And I want you to know that if you’re feeling like this, it simply isn’t true for you either. For me they come from situations where I felt like I could never do enough, be enough or fit in and be a part of something.
However, there is a silver lining to this coming up in Part three!
Here’s one simple thing I did that really works…
I started a page in my journal for each negative belief and below it began a list of anything that disproves this belief. It’s amazing how effective this is. I mean, for starters, when I just take a look at the people around me who include me in their lives how can those beliefs be true?! The answer is as simple as it seems. Those negative beliefs just can not be true. The evidence is proof, it’s hard to ignore.
Of course knowing they’re not true and actually believing and living it is another story. I’m not going to lie, it’s an ongoing process. I keep adding to these lists plus journalling and doing lots of things to support my wellbeing on all levels. When negative thoughts come up I question whether they are true, and even if I can’t quite convince myself they’re not, I choose a positive thought to replace it.
Self compassion and perspective is super important.
Which brings me to Part 3
IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE
I really started to change how I looked at things. This doesn’t mean ignoring the unfortunate things that have happened or the beliefs I have had about myself. In fact it meant acknowledging them and then looking for the good that I could take from it. What does it mean for me and who I am as a person today?
This is the silver lining. I may not have felt deserving or worthy but I was always kind to other people. I may not have felt like I belonged but I’ve always truly loved helping others. I may not have felt good enough but I’m married to the best man I could imagine and am surrounded by caring friends. These things are what led me to be doing the work I love and becoming a kind, compassionate and caring person.
ACCEPTANCE is key here.
I’m not even sure this was what I wanted to say (and I know there’s more), but if it helps just one person to know they’re not alone then it was worth writing it.
Remember to be patient and compasssionate to yourself. Know you can change your beliefs and your perspective and move towards the life you know you deserve.
PS. A huge thank you to the friend that offered to help me write this. Even though I didn’t take you up on the offer, knowing it was there was a huge comfort and support to me.