I thought discipline was a dirty word. It’s what happened when I did the wrong thing as a kid ‘when you get disciplined’ and told off… Ugh… It seemed hard to stick at things sometimes (ok, so I used to think it was hard to stick at things all the time!). I had bad habits, things that I did that were unhealthy in my relationship, in my career and in my health. I’d overthink them and tell myself that I would change them tomorrow,
Can you remember a time when you were really little? Maybe you were 3 or 4 years old. You had simple needs. You just wanted to play and have others play with you. You wanted some comfort and to feel loved and cared for. I liked climbing trees and playing dress ups. I also liked eating strawberry ice-cream and I really didn’t like being tickled. I didn’t really notice if I was naked or had clothes on,
Real confidence is more than an emotion. It’s about a way of being. I used to think that some people were just born confident or had a really amazing childhood filled with positive affirmations from those around them, and that’s how they grew into confident adults. I personally couldn’t remember ever feeling confident in my life and I used to believe that I never would because “that’s just who I am”. If you’ve ever lacked confidence in any area of life,
Have you ever noticed a pattern in your relationships? Or maybe the fact that you’re not in a relationship but you want to be? Do you self-sabotage and stuff things up before they can get real and intimate? Or do you stop the relationship before it’s even started and find reasons not to date? Is your list of personal attributes for a partner super high, super detailed and possibly impossible for anyone to achieve? Even after you “find the one” do you still find things to criticise or ways to ensure they are continuously proving their love for you?
Have you ever got to the end of the year and felt drained, burnt out and generally in need of a holiday? But then life just keeps rolling along and before you know it, it’s a new year and everyone is already talking about their goals for the next year ahead. For years I would just push through and keep going, sometimes working through holidays that were important to me, like Christmas, Birthdays and New Year Celebrations or other times where I could have been connecting with family and friends,
Do you get emotional over the holidays? Feel stressed, overwhelmed, drained of your energy? Do you finish the year feeling like you need a real break? There’s a lot going on at this time of year, and so many demands on your time, attention and energy. It’s no wonder many people don’t get so excited about the holidays. It might even seem that expectations are high and that you need to do so much in so little time.
Do you feel lonely? Do you want to feel more connected? Many people feel lonely, or are searching for that sense of belonging to a group that resonates with them. Sometimes it’s that there have been some major life changes happening and they’ve let go of their past relationships, friendships or groups where they used to feel comfortable, and now they might not be sure where they belong anymore. Sometimes it’s that they’ve grown beyond their current groups and are looking for something different than where they’ve been before,
I used to think that there was something wrong with me and I felt as if everyone was staring at me all the time. I was so shy and I felt embarrassed of who I was. I felt as if in order for me to be able to be around others or interact in social situations, that I needed to be someone else. I would work hard to hide what I thought were my flaws,
Do you agonise over making decisions? Have you been finding it difficult to prioritise at work, or in your day to day life? Does everything seem like it’s an important decision that you’re afraid to mess up or make the wrong choice?
I used to spend so much time thinking and overthinking about every tiny choice that I felt I needed to make in my life. Whether it was about what to eat,
I was frustrated with my life. On the outside it looked like I was doing pretty well for myself. I was engaged, I had a well-paying job as a manager in a high-end restaurant and I had friends and family who loved me. But I wasn’t happy. My health had taken a backseat to my career and the weight was piling on. I didn’t know what self-care was, instead relying on wine and copious amounts of food to dull the storm of emotions that I was feeling underneath my smile.
I used to feel ashamed to ask for help. It didn’t matter whether it was a simple kind of help like asking someone to take the trash out, or a more complex kind of help, like asking someone if I could just talk to them about a problem. Either way was so uncomfortable for me, and so scary. Even if I felt like things were falling apart in my life, I would try anything and everything else first before seeking help.
Have you ever set out with the best of intentions for tomorrow, believing that tomorrow you will feel better, you’ll have more energy, more drive, more clarity and more motivation than today? Tomorrow, you promise yourself, you will get things done. It will be the best day ever and all the things you’ve been putting off will finally be out of your hair. But that’s usually where it stops right? You think and think and think about it until there’s nothing left to do but take action.
Everyone knows those moments in a conversation, where suddenly there’s a break in the flow, and a pause in the breath, while each of you waits for the other to say something clever. Maybe you take a sip from your empty glass, or avert your eyes whilst searching your brain for something quick to fill the awkward space. It feels like forever, until someone breaks the silence with an offer of more wine, a stiff laugh or bringing the talk back to noticing the weather.
Do you feel constantly on edge, stressed out and like no one “Gets you”? Do you ever think “I don’t need anyone” or “The only person you can trust is yourself” or “Everyone is out for themselves”? I used to feel like I couldn’t trust anyone, not deeply. Sure, I had friends and family members that I could talk to, but I didn’t feel like I could truly be vulnerable with them. I was afraid that I’d be let down,
Have you ever watched someone else start their own business, excel in a sport or a job role and noticed that you felt a little bit negative about it? Even if you really wanted to be happy and excited for them, something inside you felt like picking at their success. Maybe someone else got the promotion or the role that you wanted, or the kids, the house, the looks, the apparent happiness that you wanted.
I used to be a master procrastinator. In fact, I was so good at procrastinating that I could put anything off. I wasn’t proud of this however, and it definitely was affecting my health, my relationships and my career. But I didn’t know what to do about it, until I finally learned that I was just creating more and more pain for myself, when I didn’t have to. I didn’t need to feel so uncomfortable.
Are you someone who loves change and embraces chaos, or do you tend to like to know what’s about to happen and have a plan way in advance? What do you do when things don’t go to plan or don’t match up with the changes that you expected? Life can sometimes throw out some big life changes that we don’t anticipate, until we’re right in the middle of them. What do you do then? Whether it’s a relationship that’s ended,
When I was little, I used to hate it when my parents would argue or when my friends didn’t get along. I would take it upon myself to make them feel better, or find a way to try and “fix” the situation. My teachers said I was a “sensitive soul” who often took on other people’s feelings as my own. I kept on doing this throughout my life, and in the beginning it seemed to work for me,
A long time ago, I was feeling lost and lacking direction. I couldn’t put my finger on just one thing, as I had a lot going on at the time. I was experiencing issues in my relationship even though we’d just got engaged. I was unhappy in my career, not sure if it was the right path for me or even what I wanted to do instead. I was also overweight and too busy to put in the time or effort to go to the gym and cook at home,
For years I suffered from this problem. “I don’t mind” “What do you want to do?” “No, you decide”. Have you ever been around one of those people, or, are you one yourself? Being so indecisive that you just never make a decision.
I used to suffer from this infliction, which frustrated my friends and family, but most of all, it frustrated me. It meant that I never actually got to do what it was that I wanted to do.
Do you find it almost impossible to feel like you’ve done a good job? If you get praise from a friend or work colleague, do you brush it aside? Is nothing you do ever good enough for YOU? Having impossible standards and in many cases not even knowing what your standards are, can be a constant source of pain. On one hand you want praise and recognition and on the other hand you push it away,
Do you struggle with self-worth or low self esteem? Do you have those moments when it feels like nothing you do seems to matter? Have you ever been caught up in those thoughts that tell you that you’re no good or you’re not good enough? I used to think this way, and those sorts of thoughts just kept going round and round in my head, until I actually start to believe them.
Maybe you notice it most at work,
Are you like I used to be? Do your thoughts seem to constantly be plagued with more negative thoughts than positive ones? Do you find yourself constantly finding fault with everything, and even if you don’t say it out loud, you’re thinking it?
I’m a little embarrassed to say, I used to find fault with everything. If it was a beautiful sunny day, ‘I might get burnt’. If we were going to the beach,
Do you ever get frustrated? Annoyed by life and its problems? Do you tend to blame everyone else for your problems? Maybe you keep remembering and reliving times from your childhood, and it’s still affecting your life, your career, your health or your relationships even today. Maybe your partner left you and your relationship with your kids has been affected, or you were made redundant and haven’t found another job yet.
For years I used to blame others whenever anything didn’t go to plan in my life and it left me feeling frustrated and stuck.
Are you usually late or punctual? Do you deliver your tasks for the day on time? Are you able to accomplish everything that you need to accomplish? Do you have an achievable to-do list or an never-ending list? Do you get stressed easily and overwhelmed by all that you feel you need to do?
I used to feel like I was wasting so much time. I had so much to do and never enough time to do it in.
Have you ever really stopped to think about where you are at in life? Often people jump from meeting to meeting or moment to moment, without so much as a pause. There is always a distraction or something or someone that wants your attention. How often do we stop and consider what we really want, not just in this moment but in the future, the next 5 years, 10 years or 30 years. I can remember a time when just thinking about the next 3 months was a challenge,
I know that life isn’t meant to be easy, but I really used to struggle every day. I’d struggle to get out of bed every morning or go to work in a job I didn’t enjoy. I was shy and found it hard to meet new people. I wanted to be dating, but that was just too much to handle.
Once in a blue moon I’d get the courage to go on a date,
Do you ever get the feeling that you are not good enough and that it doesn’t matter what you do because someone else is doing it better, has done it first or they have an opinion about what you are doing? The disappointment of not meeting your own, or a loved ones expectations can be difficult and lead to less than positive feelings. I was so sensitive to others opinions of me that it didn’t matter whether it was at work,
Do you find yourself getting irritable for almost no reason? Or do you find yourself suddenly feeling down without knowing why? If you are feeling these emotions and you don’t know the reasons behind them, don’t think that you’re losing your grip. There are a lot of factors that can influence going through an emotional roller coaster ride, and sometimes, these factors go by unnoticed.
It wasn’t like I wanted to be cranky.
The magazines, movies, advertisements weren’t exactly telling the truth. I thought that if I drank their drink I’d be happy. If I wore certain clothes I’d get the man of my dreams, or if I followed a certain diet I’d lose weight. I grew up believing that I could have the dream relationship, get married, have children, live in a beautiful home in a prestigious suburb, be the perfect weight and have a fulfilling career while holidaying in beautiful locations.
I used to doubt myself all the time. I had a running commentary in my head telling me all the things that I couldn’t do, that I wasn’t good at or that I’d never be good at. Have you ever stopped yourself from trying something because you listened to those doubtful thoughts? I used to let them stop me all the time, until one day someone asked me a question that changed my entire perspective.
Have you ever felt as if other people take you for granted or that whatever you do it’s never good enough? For me, it used to be feeling that I wasn’t worthy or valuable, as if I had nothing of value to contribute to the world. It wasn’t something I noticed immediately, it was a feeling that grew over time. I thought that by always saying yes to people I was helping them out. At work,
How many times has the New Year rolled around and you’ve got so excited about all the awesome new habits you’ll do for the next year? You’ll start learning a new language, take dance lessons, start eating healthy, get a personal trainer, begin that course you’ve been talking about, work your butt off and get a raise, travel overseas and save 10% of your paycheck whilst having the relationship of your dreams with the perfect guy or girl.
Do you tend to imagine the best case scenario of who you can be? Do you picture having the ideal engaging conversation with a friend or on a date, being the perfect, considerate and understanding parent? What about successfully completing a project or improving your interactions with a boss or colleague at work? Perhaps you imagine going to the gym everyday and working out easily and effortlessly?
But then there are those times when reality doesn’t match up to the scenario in your mind.
The truth is we all need to make decisions, but we don’t. We avoid it.
I was like many people. In the past, I’d never stopped to think about how much my decisions (or indecision) were shaping my life. I realised that my indecision was holding me back in virtually all areas of my life. It was stunting my progress and I was feeling stuck.
How I Use To Be
If you’re anything like I used to be,
Do you protect yourself by keeping a safe distance from people or pushing them away? Have you noticed that you tend to have your guard up when meeting new people and you want to feel more at ease? Do you want to have deeper and more meaningful connections with people, but you’re holding yourself back? Do you want to let people in and increase the quality of connections you make, whether it’s with your friends,
Have you ever felt emotionally drained? Maybe even a little exhausted? Like you are giving to everyone else but not to yourself? Your friends, relatives, your brother, your sisters, your mum or your dad. Even people at work seem to be taking from you. Maybe you feel like you want or need to help them, but instead of feeling better for it, you’ve been feeling worse.
Sometimes you can hang out with friends and you start out feeling really good,
What do you do when things don’t go as expected? How do you pick yourself up again and start over? Sometimes we start over because we choose to, but sometimes it can be because things didn’t work out the way we thought they would. Whether it’s a relationship that’s ended, a job, school or uni, moving cities, changing gyms, or friends moving away and we want to start finding new people to hang out with.
I used to think that celebrating was only for birthdays, weddings, engagements, births and so on. Until I discovered that celebrating the little things everyday was important, I didn’t just start feeling more positive emotions, I started to get more done, and started enjoying doing things I used to hate!!! It was incredible, like a secret weapon to productivity.
The feeling of celebrating is an emotion that many people save for certain times in their life.